PDA

View Full Version : Amplifier recommendations for SB3?



msherman
2009-09-14, 06:35
I just put in-ceiling speakers in my kitchen, so now I'm looking for an amp to drive them with my SB3. I'd like one that will either auto-sense the audio out from the SB3 and turn itself on and off, or one whose power can be controlled by the geekport output on the sb3.

I don't need to drive any other inputs -- the sb3 will be the only audio source in the kitchen.

Any suggestions?

aubuti
2009-09-14, 12:18
I, and many others on the forum, recommend the AudioSource Amp100. That's what I use to drive 2 pairs of in-ceiling speakers in my kitchen/dining area. The amp has auto-sensing inputs, sounds very good, and can easily drive most in-ceiling speakers. Oh, and it's a great value, because it's usually available for less than $100. Check it out on Amazon or elsewhere.

msherman
2009-09-14, 18:34
Are there any other recommendations out there? I looked into this one, and the google results aren't uniformly good.

peterw
2009-09-14, 19:00
You might not need autoswitching. I have one of the original Sonic Impact T-Amps (out of production now), and it draws so little power when nothing's playing that it's not worth bothering to switch it off when the Squeezebox is silent. I don't remember if the Kill-A-Watt even registered a single watt when the amp was on but the SB was not feeding it any music.

You can also use X10 or Insteon appliance modules to turn amps on and off automatically.

aubuti
2009-09-14, 19:03
Are there any other recommendations out there? I looked into this one, and the google results aren't uniformly good.
If you're concerned with complaints about the auto-sensing being too sensitive, so that it cuts out on quiet passages, don't be. Just use Input 2, not Input 1. It's that simple. If you have other concerns, then it's worth looking for something else.

One very good something else is the Parasound Zamp (http://www.parasound.com/ParasoundZ/zampv3.php). It is also auto-sensing. It is a little pricier than the AudioSource, and probably a little better, but I've never heard one of them.

Another possibility is the Sonic Impact T-Amp. It supposedly has excellent audio quality, though again, I've never heard one. It is not auto-sensing, but it draws so little power when it is idling that it may as well be in standby mode. I don't think it has as much power as either the AudioSource or the Zamp, so you would have to make up for that with either more efficient speakers or lower listening volumes.

iPhone
2009-09-14, 19:59
Are there any other recommendations out there? I looked into this one, and the google results aren't uniformly good.

Could we have a little more information? As in what speakers you are trying to drive, what you expect them to do, how you want them to sound (background, listening, party music), what is your budget, and things like that.

The AudioSource Amps are popular and I can second them as a choice. There are plenty of Class D or T amps to pick from. There are even some lower power higher end amps that will work like the Parasound Zamp v.3 Zone Amplifier. I am using this amp with a pair of Thiel Powerpoint speakers in my home gym.

msherman
2009-09-15, 05:57
Sure. The speakers are Sonance 621TR. It's the kitchen, so it's not really a critical listening environment, but it is where I listen to music most often.

My budget is probably in the $200-$300 range (canadian). I'm having trouble finding prices for the Zamp online, but I just called a local store who has it for $485, so that's a bit out of my range.

My concerns about the Amp100 were mostly build quality and reliability -- Google found a lot of mediocre reviews. But I guess people here are pretty happy with it?

aubuti
2009-09-15, 06:19
Sure. The speakers are Sonance 621TR. It's the kitchen, so it's not really a critical listening environment, but it is where I listen to music most often.

My budget is probably in the $200-$300 range (canadian). I'm having trouble finding prices for the Zamp online, but I just called a local store who has it for $485, so that's a bit out of my range.

Another criteria is size -- this will be going on a kitchen wall shelf (with the SB3 on top), fairly visible, and we just renovated, so I want something that looks nice. The Amp100 is 11.5"D, which might be just a bit too deep for a 12" shelf (how close to the wall can I get it with the plugs?) but the Zamp is 10" deep which fits better.

My concerns about the Amp100 were mostly build quality and reliability -- Google found a lot of mediocre reviews. But I guess people here are pretty happy with it?
Hmm, you're a tough audience. The Google reviews (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?q=audiosource+amp+100&hl=en&cid=13970784420185798018&os=reviews#sort=4) have 53% 5-stars and another 29% 4-stars.

As for whether it's too deep for a 12" shelf, that depends in part on your plugs and cables. You might squeak by if you have the typical inexpensive RCA interconnects (small plugs and thin, flexible cables) or L-shaped RCA plugs and use bare wire for the speakers instead of banana plugs.

In case you're interested, here's some photos of our kitchen setup: http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?p=285125#post285125. As you can see, looking good wasn't a criterion for the amp, because we hid the amp and SB away in the pantry, and control it via an SB Controller.

msherman
2009-09-15, 06:31
Heh, maybe I am being too tough. I gravitate to those 16 1 star reviews.

Anyway, anyone know where I can find one of these online in canada, or in a B&M in the Toronto area? My google-fu is failing me.

iPhone
2009-09-15, 09:52
Sure. The speakers are Sonance 621TR. It's the kitchen, so it's not really a critical listening environment, but it is where I listen to music most often.

My budget is probably in the $200-$300 range (canadian). I'm having trouble finding prices for the Zamp online, but I just called a local store who has it for $485, so that's a bit out of my range.

My concerns about the Amp100 were mostly build quality and reliability -- Google found a lot of mediocre reviews. But I guess people here are pretty happy with it?

Thanks for the info. I paid $299 for my Zamp V.3. I see them all the time for $329 to $349 (of course USD).

For the speakers you listed, I think you would be more then happy with an AudioSource 100. As to build quality, let's look at what you are buying, what your paying for it, and your expecting. If you are expecting the build and quality of a $1000 amp for $250, then the Amp100 is not going to be the amp. The Zamp V.3 is a killer amp for the price. Well built and quality sound for the money. But the Amp100 will get the job done and cost less.

There are also several Class T/D choices with plastic cases. Odd thing about these are they range from $79 to $600 mainly depending on output power.

msherman
2009-10-15, 06:36
So based on these recommendations, I've been trying to find an Audiosource Amp100 to buy in Canada for over a month, but I've been completely unable to. The manufacturer doesn't ship to Canada. They directed me to a distributor, who won't talk directly to customers, but sent me on to a custom installer, who said they could order me one for $300 (!). I found an ebay store in NJ that would ship one to me for a reasonable price, but they've been "expecting a shipment of over a hundred to arrive this week" for four weeks now.

So any other recommendations for similar amps?

iPhone
2009-10-15, 10:45
So based on these recommendations, I've been trying to find an Audiosource Amp100 to buy in Canada for over a month, but I've been completely unable to. The manufacturer doesn't ship to Canada. They directed me to a distributor, who won't talk directly to customers, but sent me on to a custom installer, who said they could order me one for $300 (!). I found an ebay store in NJ that would ship one to me for a reasonable price, but they've been "expecting a shipment of over a hundred to arrive this week" for four weeks now.

So any other recommendations for similar amps?

The dealer isn't pulling your chain, they are out of stock. So any dealer waiting on stock has about three weeks more to wait.

Also check your Private Messages.

jsw
2009-10-15, 11:01
Hi iphone How are you liking the sound of this amp? not much talk on these and I been looking for people who own one to get their comments. I have been thinking of buying one myself. thanks

iPhone
2009-10-15, 11:16
Hi iphone How are you liking the sound of this amp? not much talk on these and I been looking for people who own one to get their comments. I have been thinking of buying one myself. thanks

Hello and welcome to the Forum. As far as having a killer 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system, the VeraStarr is a great amp in my opinion. It has a great family history as far as the amps that came before it. It did a great job driving my Vandersteen 3A Signatures and then the Vandy Quatro speakers before I bought the Ayre MX-R Mono Blocks for the Quatro Speakers.

I definitely don't think one can good wrong with the VeraStarr in they HT or Stereo system.

jsw
2009-10-15, 11:49
How often does the fans come on and are they noisy? some say this amp sounds dark? thanks

akjohnson
2009-10-15, 14:02
I just put in-ceiling speakers in my kitchen, so now I'm looking for an amp to drive them with my SB3. I'd like one that will either auto-sense the audio out from the SB3 and turn itself on and off, or one whose power can be controlled by the geekport output on the sb3.

I don't need to drive any other inputs -- the sb3 will be the only audio source in the kitchen.

Any suggestions?

Why not find a second hand Linn LK85? now discountinued so should be cheaper....great sound and auto sensing.

Nonreality
2009-10-15, 16:21
Man you know everything about audio and computers and have quite an array of equipment. Now a home gym. Ok time time to come clean Iphone.... You are actually Bill Gates and don't want anyone to know you like Squeezebox equipment. :)