Multi-Channel amplifier brands

I just purchased a new A/V receiver with preamp outputs on all channels and I am looking for a multichannel amp to use with it.

I am not too fussy about the home theater side, but I would like to consider something with good sound quality for listening to some multi-channel music videos and SACDs. I would also like excellent quality for the center channel for dialog in movies. Brands that I am considering, buying used, so far are:

Anthem
Emotiva
Monolith
Outlaw
Parasound

I could go 5 or 7 channel and want to keep cost in the 2k and under region. Any recommendation for any brands and/or specific models to consider to give me better sound when listening to multi-channel music. Also, any brands to avoid based on poor/harsh sound or poor reliability?

One of the first “audiophile” amps I bought. Great quality.

ATI

4 or 6 channel amps would be useful for “roll-your-own” active speakers too…
…I know Arcam do them still, but don’t know how they sound (I have Arcam 2 channel amps here stacked up, very nice neutral sound).

I have a multi channel Wyred 4 Sound MC7x250. It’s been in service since 2011. It’s a Class D switching amp. My Parasound’s were rock solid as well. That what I had prior to the Wyred.

Adcom is another solid performer.

I’ve been multichannel for decades and have owned and used MANY different multichannel poweramps… Because my system is now a 7.2.6 type, I use 10 channels of surround and ceiling speakers plus one center in addition to the main-L and -R speakers (powered by M1200s)… Last year I decided to ‘unmess’ my poweramps and IC and speaker cable and discovered Emotiva’s XPA Gen 3 Modular amps… https://emotiva.com/collections/amps/products/build-your-own?variant=14844442542123

It’s a large-chassis amp that starts with their “…new high-current switch mode (sic) power supply (SMPS)–a lightweight, powerful, intelligent design capable of delivering over 3 kW of continuous power with absolute reliability and extremely high efficiency”… The chassis and powersupply accommodate from one thru as many as seven amp modules, and each module may be a single channel of 200 Watts or a stereo version of 65 Watts per channel… Each channel of either of these modules is fully balanced/complimentery, and one can use balanced, XLR interconnect or single-pole-RCA cable…

Mine is a ‘11-1-5S’ version which means 11 channels of which one module is mono and five modules are stereo… I drive the Martin Logan hybrid center-channel with the mono module and the five surround and ceiling speaker pairs with the five stereo modules… The centerchannel module sounds quite good with the ML speaker, and the surround and ceiling speakers also sound good–as far as anyone can hear the surround and ceiling information… The amp has been 100% reliable, I recommend it highly, and I’d buy another if I needed it–heaven forbid! :smirk:

Since each module costs only $200 up to a max of $2000 (IIRC), I’d order the amp with as many modules as you think you’ll ever need… Three front channls of 200 Watts each? Check–$1199… Add a stereo module for surrounds? Check–$1399… Oops, forgot rear surrounds? Check–$1599… Hey, I forgot the two pairs of ceiling speakers! Check–$1999.

LIVE IT UP! :grinning:

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Just had a look - they only do 5 or 7 channel as far as I can see - I wanted 4 or 6 (no AV usage or surround for me, just stereo), they do look nice though :slight_smile:

The Arcam 4 channel ones seem to share a power supply though which is a shame, I have seen modular amps, configurable number of channels though again, really multi mono-blcok would perhaps be best, in which case, may as well go the whole hog and just buy enough mono blocks.
I speak as if I have the cash for this which I don’t at the moment, and hence am sticking to my existing Arcam stereo amps, stacked “vertically” as it were, with one stereo amp per channel, so that each bass driver gets its own power supply, works remarkably well for the outlay :slight_smile:

Nice! and I think the modular ones I was referring to as you typed :slight_smile:
SMPS PUS I would guess makes the shared PSU work rather better too.

I’m running Anthem AVM 60 with Anthem PVA7 and couln’t be happier.

You’ve got a tough decision on your hands and plenty of options to choose from. I recommend auditioning as many as you can, ideally in your listening area, before making a decision.

Good luck!

@joma0711

EJ Sarmento is the owner of Wyred4Sound. If you wanted a 4 or 6 channel MC Amp he may very well accommodate your request. It would probably be a custom order with no returns. If you’re interested send them an email. Just type in QUESTION for EJ Sarmento. The one thing about W4S gear, the QC is tremendous. Rare to have any issues. I’ve owned six components from W4S and never had any issues. Only reason two items were removed from service was they were traded in or sold for component upgrades. Their higher end DACs also utilize I2s over HDMI as the PS Audio brand does.

W4S also works with Rick Cullen who back in the day completed PS Audio DAC upgrades/mods with Cullen Circuits. Rick’s son is Patrick Cullen of Cullen Cables (he makes affordable custom cables).

I have the 7 channel MC variant (MC7x250). Six of those amp channels are for 2-channel audio (3 sets of stereo speakers). The remaining amp channel feeds the center channel speaker when in use. My pair of surrounds are powered by my Anthem MRX 720 AVR.

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not in the market and in the UK, however thank you for the suggestion and it is good to know there are companies that will do this sort of thing :slight_smile:

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That’s a lot of red river flowing from that amp!

I just got my hands on this :

It will run my KEF/Bose 5.1.4 Overhead speaker setup or 7.1.4 Overhead speaker setup when we finally get a house this year with a room big enough for all those 901’s/105_4’s/104_2’s.

PS Audio power of course and a boatload of Class D ICE Amps/miniDSP’s for the KEF Coupled Cavity Bandpass Enclosures and the 901’s.

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Yup, and the black one is Yukon for the CC… I, like the PSA boys and girls, really like AQ cable. :grin:

Parasound all day long!!!

I’ve owned three of their 5 channel amps and they are spectacular. Gorgeous high frequencies.

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Try Emotiva. They make great and affordable products.

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For multi-channel, my front mains go through a Audio Research LS27 preamp to a BHK250 power amp to Vandersteen Treo carbons with a pair of REL S/5 subs. Are the Emotiva XPA amps even close to the BHK250 for music? I have my eye on a used Anthem Statement A5, 180 wpc, all channels driven, original MSRP $3499. I was thinking that would be better sounding than an Emotiva XPA, but I have never had the chance to hear either one.

Also, there seem to be mixed opinions online about whether the Emotiva XPA Gen 2 or Gen 3 sound better. Any opinions in this regard?

I’m with you! Audioquest in my system also!

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Parasound. Been using a 2205AT for 18 years without one single problem. Keep that beast powered on 24/7. Great for movies and music. Gives up a little in detail, but easy to listen to for hours.

Good luck!

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ATI is a large OEM manufacturer. Their products are very good.

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I was wondering when someone would get around to ATI.