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  • Mono blocks vs 2 channel amps

    I know this question has been asked before but search yielded a goose egg.
    So I ask
    What are the differences between a monoblock amplifier and a 2 channel amplifier.
    For example: better dynamics, lower distortion, larger sound stage etc. etc.
    which would you recommend for 2 channel listening perferably tubes under $4k.
    Melody Audio, Shangling, Mcintosh people as well as anyone else please post your thoughts any and all info is greatly appreciated. :bowing:

    thanks
    edward

  • #2
    For that I'd be looking at the Dodd mono's....

    Or maybe the Moscode 401.....heard good things about it.
    Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!

    Comment


    • #3
      will take a look
      thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        A pair of monoblocks will feature separate power supplies, two-channel amps normally share one large power supply (but not always).

        Monoblocks will cost extra because....the manufacturer can, and because of extra costs for the case.

        What speakers are you using? I don't mean to get offtopic or anything, but if your speakers aren't worldclass reference, I'd probably put the $4000 to better speakers before buying an expensive amp. I'm currently using a $300 receiver with $3,600 speakers and a custom dual OB servo sub....couldn't be happier. I have a $2,000 tube amp that sounds very nice just sitting around.

        Back to what you actually asked for...the Dodd stuff is all pretty good, unfortunately, the tube power amp market isn't superb. There are some nice designs out there that use less than supreme parts which I believe take away from performance and the unanimously best sounding tube amps (OTL) cost a pretty penny. Mcalister makes a nice product, but the build quality is not upto par with Dodd...they're bulid sturdily...just not as nice looking as the pictures convey. Music Reference also offers a great quality product...they look wonderful, I'm told they're very well engineered and should last a long, long time.

        Good luck with whatever you choose...
        "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."

        -Bill Watterson

        Comment


        • #5
          a few things about Monoblocks that Jump out at me.

          1. each amp has its own powersupply.... thus greater depth or grunt to draw from
          2. Less cross talk...... better separation of channels

          I am sure I am missing a few things since I just got home from the bar.... but well built MONO's regardless of tube or solid state.... in general will sound much better than most receivers. And monos will take it one step above good 2ch amps, although a smaller step up.

          I dont buy into most crazy things in the audio industry, but every time I have heard speakers on good or better amplifiers they have always sounded better. I cant say that for speaker cables or interconnect changes in the same systems, but amps, YES
          Kevin
          Motor City Custom Audio
          Your Onix and MELODY Dealer for MI,IN,IL,MO,IA,MN,WI and Canada
          Bringing you Chopped/Cut/Modified Subwoofer Kits and even Flames if you want

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cujobob
            A pair of monoblocks will feature separate power supplies, two-channel amps normally share one large power supply (but not always).

            Monoblocks will cost extra because....the manufacturer can, and because of extra costs for the case.

            What speakers are you using? I don't mean to get offtopic or anything, but if your speakers aren't worldclass reference, I'd probably put the $4000 to better speakers before buying an expensive amp. I'm currently using a $300 receiver with $3,600 speakers and a custom dual OB servo sub....couldn't be happier. I have a $2,000 tube amp that sounds very nice just sitting around.

            Back to what you actually asked for...the Dodd stuff is all pretty good, unfortunately, the tube power amp market isn't superb. There are some nice designs out there that use less than supreme parts which I believe take away from performance and the unanimously best sounding tube amps (OTL) cost a pretty penny. Mcalister makes a nice product, but the build quality is not upto par with Dodd...they're bulid sturdily...just not as nice looking as the pictures convey. Music Reference also offers a great quality product...they look wonderful, I'm told they're very well engineered and should last a long, long time.

            Good luck with whatever you choose...
            currently the best speakers in the house are the Rocket 850's.
            and i also have Klipsch running the HT, to me it sounds as if the Klipsch are not as bright when powered by tube amps.
            anyway the speaker upgrade situation is a ongoing thing, and i see what you mean by powering $ dollar speakers with $$$$ dollar amps
            i have looked at the Dodd web site but could not find but a couple of reviews for his amps.
            i have come across some Shanling sp-80 monos the reviews are good.
            I have looked at the Melody m880 they look well built also good reviews.
            Suprisingly ascant amount of revews for the McIntosh 352.
            and yep i have looked into the Emotiva XPA-1 also.
            What i am trying to do is to buy the best amp that i can as it will be a good while before i will purchase another one.
            Also the dollar limit set is for me the extreme limt if i dont have to spend it all i will not. I just figured this amount will include a good range of products
            and manufacturers.

            thanks for the info.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think other variables are:
              - rack (or other space)
              - power - often you can get more power from multiple monos (question is whether you really need it)
              - cost
              - some stereo amps have "dual mono" designs allowing benefits of mono with sharing the same case - ? decreased cost

              The Emotiva XPA-1's are currently on sale now ($899 down from $999) - link.

              In a very non-scientific (non-blinded) testing, I thought that adding the XPA-3 to my Denon 5308 setup with Rocket 1000Signatures resulted in better sound.
              (I fully acknowledge that this could be placebo effect).

              I don't know about all of the other amps mentioned.
              Good luck.

              Mike
              HT Gear (AVS Link)
              Rk: MA WR-37-32
              Pwr: 20A, Surge-X SEQ, M1500-UPS
              Proj: JVC RS20, 128" 2.4:1 CaradaBW, ISCOIIIL, CineSlide, RadianceXE
              Cbl: DirectTV C31/700 Genie receiver
              Rec: 5308CI + XPA-3
              BR: Oppo BDP-103
              Gm: 360 Pro
              LR/C: RS1KSig/RSC200Sig
              S/R: RSS300/RS250MkII
              Sub: SVS PB12-Ultra/2
              Off: HRT MS DAC, USP-1, UPA-2, ERC-1, Ultra10, WAF-1 Ninja+No-Rez
              Off2: Gizmo, WAF-1
              TCA: 3x Gizmo 1.0or,5x v1.0M; 5xWAF-1

              Comment


              • #8
                just personal opinion here, but I think that budget is way overkill for those speakers. I think you are going to have to move up the speaker ladder just a bit to really observe the benefits of an amp in that price range. Again, just imo.
                Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Find a nice used Aragon 8008BB amp, use the balanced hook up if you can, and you will be very happy.

                  Lou

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jason
                    just personal opinion here, but I think that budget is way overkill for those speakers. I think you are going to have to move up the speaker ladder just a bit to really observe the benefits of an amp in that price range. Again, just imo.
                    i think i know what you mean sorta
                    dont power a Pinto with a Ferrari engine
                    i just elected to do the amps now speakers later
                    thanks

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The 850's are great speakers...don't get me wrong....I definitely wouldn't call them a 'pinto' but the analogy works.

                      For me, if I knew I were upgrading/changing speakers, I'd do that first and try to find an amp that tailor's to them vs the other way around. Again, my .02:sly:
                      Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thank you Mr. Evans- East Street Audio-:bowing:
                        for a most informative and not to mention one i can understand
                        explanation.
                        Good fortunes to you sir.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jason
                          The 850's are great speakers...don't get me wrong....I definitely wouldn't call them a 'pinto' but the analogy works.

                          For me, if I knew I were upgrading/changing speakers, I'd do that first and try to find an amp that tailor's to them vs the other way around. Again, my .02:sly:
                          i agree definitely not a Pinto. Sorry Mr. Schfiter no insult intended.
                          so if read this right you are saying the speakers being the most important
                          part of the audio reproduction chain should be delt with first
                          and all other components chosen to fit/complement the speakers?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by edward
                            so if read this right you are saying the speakers being the most important
                            part of the audio reproduction chain should be delt with first
                            and all other components chosen to fit/complement the speakers?
                            Yes, speakers will have the most impact on how the system sounds. IMO, then next most influential will be the pre>dac/source>amp>cables. Power conditioning fits in there too, but it depends on how clean you are to start with...

                            I'm far from an expert, so there may be some others who disagree with my sequence there.

                            Edit:
                            forgot to add something in the sequence. Speakers>treatments>pre>dac/source>amp>cables.
                            Never Argue With An idiot. They'll Lower You To Their Level And Then Beat You With Experience!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You could put together an entire two channel system for your high end price there and I think that is what people are trying to say, upgrade your weakest link first. When I was looking at Rockets the conclusion I came to was great for HT and good for music. I just had the GR Neo 2x demo units here and those speakers are flat out amazing. You could put together a two channel system with those (or any of the speakers in that line), a Virtue Audio amp, and GR servo sub for less than 2K and you would have to spend a lot of money to beat it.

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