Differences in How Power Amps Sound

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  • rlin
    Junior Member
    • Aug 2003
    • 24

    Differences in How Power Amps Sound

    I am not sure this is the right forum to bring up this subject but since I am using the RSP-1098 I just want to know other people's experiences...

    The RSP-1098 is my first true venture into separates...before I was using a Denon receiver as a Pre-Amp and a Carver 705 THX 5 Channel power amp. My front speakers are Vandersteen 2CE (paid only $800 for a used pair). Now since upgrading the preamp to the RSP-1098 its DAC is such a much higher quality that allows me to hear differences in equipments that I did not notice before.

    I decided to try out the new Outlaw 7100 (100x7 channels) power amp given its bang-for-the-buck. Since it is a brand new model, costing twice as the Carver ($799 vs. $399 - I picked up the Carver as a store demo at Circuit City 3 years ago), I would expect the Outlaw to be much superior to the good-old Carver.

    Boy was I wrong. First of all, through the RSP-1098, the power amps sound noticeably different. The Carver has a deeper sound stage, a more sense of air (brighter perhaps?) - a good match to the Vandy 2CE which is not known to be bright sounding. The Outlaw 7100 sounds slightly more forward, a tad less airy (or less bright?), but little more precision in localization of instruments. Given that the Outlaw 7100 is more expensive and already has several positive reviews, I was expecting to like it more, but somehow I just like the cheaper, older Carver sound better. Perhaps it is how well each amp interact with the speakers?

    I would like to hear other people's experience in choosing power amps. I came to the conclusion that it is impossible to test a poweramp in the store unless that particular store has the exact same preamp and speaker setup as home.

    Eventually I do hope to try out the Rotel 1075 though... : )

    Rob
  • Andrew Pratt
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 16507

    #2
    I'm not the least surprised to hear you hear a difference in the power amps and don't let price fool you there's some very nice amps that don't cost as much as some of the "big" names out there. I think given your tastes you'd really like Rotels 1075 since to me its much more open sounding then my older HK PA5800 amp.




    Comment

    • Azeke
      Super Senior Member
      • Mar 2003
      • 2123

      #3
      Rob,

      I just realized you are in Centreville also, as well as EJ, we should get together a compare notes (okay serparate forum).

      I would go to Myer-Emco, they allow you to test equipment in your home with a 30 day return policy (I believe), but for the most part it all depends on your listening pleasures. Perhaps you, EJ, and myself could meet a Myer-Emco and discuss the possibilites. (Any thoughts EJ?)

      I love my RMB-1095 (just digressing here).

      Let your own ears be the judge. but you should listen in your home environment for the best results.

      Regards,

      Azeke

      Comment

      • Andrew Pratt
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 16507

        #4
        sounds like a gathering of the rotel clan




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        • dave
          Senior Member
          • Aug 2003
          • 434

          #5
          Rlin: I am running the rsp1066 which is lower in sound quality than your 1098, and for amplification Tthe rmb1095 with vandersteen 3s&2s and the sound quality is beautiful. I can only imagine what its going to sound like when I upgrade to the rsp1098! My advice would be to do as I did & let your ears make your decision for you. Good Luck




          dave
          Dave...

          Comment

          • skipm
            Senior Member
            • Jun 2003
            • 198

            #6
            Just came across this on another forum that may help Rob answer his question and is very good news for all Rotelians. Take a look at the post by "Tom_Bombadil" about half way down the page concerning double blind tests and Rotel amps. Makes you want to go home and hug your 1075/1095.

            -Skip

            Comment

            • Danbry39
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Sep 2002
              • 1584

              #7
              Well, when I got into home theater 1 1/2 to 2 years ago, I bought an Onkyo receiver, based on my past experiences which had been very positive. I also bought Klipsch reference speakers and the pairing of the two wasn't all that good. At that point, I didn't even know that forums like this existed, but when I discovered them I started researching which amps might sound best with Klipsch. Parasound, HK, and Rotel came up quite frequently, so, when I saw brand new Parasound amps being auctioned off from an authorized Parasound dealer, Ubid.com, I got my 1205A for the bargain price of $649. What a transformation!!! It completely changed my system! It wasn't that the Parasound offered more power, which it did substantially, the Klipsch have a sensitivity of 97 decibels, but that it was cleaner power. Since then, I'll never doubt that power sources can make a substantial difference in sound, even at the same wattage.

              While everything was improved substantially with the Parasound, including two-channel, the final pieces that brought me to my current state of very high satisfaction with music were my Rotel 1066, a Magenta ADE-24 Digital enhancer, and Quantum audio interconnects. All three add up to a great sounding musical experience, especially with my new ACI speakers.

              It all started with the power amp though.

              In fact, when Andrew got his new 1098 and his new Rotel power amp, I knew that the Rotel amp was also part of the improvement in sound that he was experiencing. A well designed power amp is a great addition to any system.




              Keith
              Keith

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