Best Hi-Fi / HT compromise

Newbie50

Active member
Nov 4, 2021
9
6
25
Hi Guys,

Currently running a 7.2.4 Yamaha RX-A3080 with an Anthem MCA225 to drive my front channels. 2 channels Hi-Fi is very important for me (50 music / 50 HT), which is the reason I bought the MCA 225 in the first place. I would like to buy a 3 channels power amp to replace the MCA225 so my three main channels are driven by the same amp (looking for a better homogeneity between my main channels). And may be, at the same time, improve the music listening experience. I will eventually go with separates, but I'm not there yet.

The options I have are the following : a brand new Anthem MCA 325 that goes for about 3K Canadian, or a used Arcam P349 (Class G), which has about the same wattage as the Anthem and was sold for 7,5K Canadaian in 2015 upon its release, that I can have of 3,5K Canadian. Question is, do you think I would significantly improve the music listening experience by pruchasing the used Arcam rather than the Anthem ? Also bear in mind that when I will go separate in a year or two, all the rest would probably be all Anthem (AVM70 with MCA525 and MCA325 which, coupled with the amp I would be buying now, would give me my 11 channels). Thank you for your comments/suggestions.
 

12th Monkey

Moderator
Aug 31, 2015
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If the new amp would be driving surround channels, it won't affect stereo, only multi-channel music. Do you have much of that, or listen to much that's processed from stereo to multichannel?
 

Newbie50

Active member
Nov 4, 2021
9
6
25
If the new amp would be driving surround channels, it won't affect stereo, only multi-channel music. Do you have much of that, or listen to much that's processed from stereo to multichannel?
The new amp would drive the front and center channels. When listening to music I only listen in 2 channels stereo. So basically, the question is : which of an Anthem MCA325 and an Arcam P349 would give me a better music listening experience ?
 
Not sure why, if stereo is important to you, that you are looking for a power amp that will drive a centre speaker. Anyhow, power amps should do just that and it is unlikely you would hear any sonic benefits between either of those you mentioned.
 
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Newbie50

Active member
Nov 4, 2021
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Not sure why, if stereo is important to you, that you are looking for a power amp that will drive a centre speaker. Anyhow, power amps should do just that and it is unlikely you would hear any sonic benefits between either of those you mentioned.
I have read it was advisable to have the main speakers (towers & center) driven by the same amp for homogeneity in HT. But with the answers I have here and in other forums, I guess I’d better invest in a high-end two channels and let the AVR take care of the center.
 
I have read it was advisable to have the main speakers (towers & center) driven by the same amp for homogeneity in HT. But with the answers I have here and in other forums, I guess I’d better invest in a high-end two channels and let the AVR take care of the center.
I would look to any other responses you may get from other forumees as this is not my are of expertise. However I would say if music is the main concern an amplifier that's handles left / right and possibly subwoofer seems to me to be the way to go.
anthem seem to have this sorted.
 
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Newbie50

Active member
Nov 4, 2021
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Thank you. After having read posters opinions here and elsewhere I’ll go for none of them. I’ll shop for an high-end used 2-channels. And when upgrading to a processor I’ll go with Anthem AVM70 with 2 MCA525 with the 2-channel driving the fronts. Might have found a good deal for a Parasound Halo JC5.
 
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Paradigm Founder 100F / Paradigm Founder 90C (center) / Dual SVS SB-4000
Thanks for your reply. As per my previous post it’s better to try and have the same amplification for the fronts and preferably all around so as to minimise or completely avoid any disconnect.

In my experience Anthem AV integrated amplifiers, AV Processors and their STR pre amp also pair particularly well ATI amplification. ATI’s AT52XNC Series of high current power amplifiers are available in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 channel versions are also worth bearing in mind. Amongst their other qualities the AT52XNC amplifiers high current capabilities will help sustain and keep the Paradigm speakers in check at reference listening levels without sagging.

A great balance for listening to your music and movies.
 
Last edited:
Thank you. After having read posters opinions here and elsewhere I’ll go for none of them. I’ll shop for an high-end used 2-channels. And when upgrading to a processor I’ll go with Anthem AVM70 with 2 MCA525 with the 2-channel driving the fronts. Might have found a good deal for a Parasound Halo JC5.
Good for you. I use a Parasound Halo Hint 6 which is a true 2.1amp but only for my stereo system
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
438
293
19,270
Hi Guys,

Currently running a 7.2.4 Yamaha RX-A3080 with an Anthem MCA225 to drive my front channels. 2 channels Hi-Fi is very important for me (50 music / 50 HT), which is the reason I bought the MCA 225 in the first place. I would like to buy a 3 channels power amp to replace the MCA225 so my three main channels are driven by the same amp (looking for a better homogeneity between my main channels). And may be, at the same time, improve the music listening experience. I will eventually go with separates, but I'm not there yet.

The options I have are the following : a brand new Anthem MCA 325 that goes for about 3K Canadian, or a used Arcam P349 (Class G), which has about the same wattage as the Anthem and was sold for 7,5K Canadaian in 2015 upon its release, that I can have of 3,5K Canadian. Question is, do you think I would significantly improve the music listening experience by pruchasing the used Arcam rather than the Anthem ? Also bear in mind that when I will go separate in a year or two, all the rest would probably be all Anthem (AVM70 with MCA525 and MCA325 which, coupled with the amp I would be buying now, would give me my 11 channels). Thank you for your comments/suggestions.
Hi,
I used to have the centre channel speaker, but i noticed that everything seemed to be coming from the centre channel even with left right movement, the centre channel dominated.

I now use only the left and right channels for home theatre, and it gives a much better spacial presentation. Why not try removing the centre channel from movies and see if you prefer it ?

Regards,
Shadders.
 

Newbie50

Active member
Nov 4, 2021
9
6
25
Thank you all for your input. That was useful. I'll put my money on a 2-channel PA to get the best music experience possible and will let the center to the HT amplification. I just comitted to a Parasound Halo JC5.
 

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