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#25409 - 22/01/2001 11:33 4 vs. 6 channel amp?
crewe
member

Registered: 12/01/2001
Posts: 114
Loc: London, UK
Hi again (am I the only person who reads the ICE section??...) I need to figure out whether I'm gonna get a 4 channel amp or a 6 channel amp. The amps in question are McIntosh's (see post below). I intend to have components up front and either one or two 8" subs. What's the best way to do this? Should I simply get a 6 and use one channel per speaker, or could I do the same job just as well with 4 channels? I don't know much about 'bridging', etc. but most folks seem to have 4-channel amps and be just fine. Cheers! Sally


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#25410 - 22/01/2001 11:38 Re: 4 vs. 6 channel amp? [Re: crewe]
Smoker_Man
member

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 165
Loc: Calgary, CANADA
I personally do not have any experience with 6-channel amps, but I personally have 1 - 4channel and 2 - mono subwoofer amps

I dont really think using one 6channel will do the trick in effectivly power all 4 speakers and 1or2 subs. It would probably be best to go with a good 4-channel, and one 2 channel (saving space) amp for the subs.

But speak with the installer, he/she knows whats best, but for the going price for a 6-channel (ouch!) you could get a better 4channel and one good mono or 2channel for the subs.

my thoughts....

Smoker_Man
#080000449 MkII - 36Gb Blue
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#25411 - 22/01/2001 12:25 Re: 4 vs. 6 channel amp? [Re: Smoker_Man]
crewe
member

Registered: 12/01/2001
Posts: 114
Loc: London, UK
Hi Smoker Man, That makes a lot of sense. This must be why most people seem to have 4-channel amps, or multiple amps. I dont really think using one 6channel will do the trick in effectivly power all 4 speakers and 1or2 subs. The 6-ch. amp I was considering had 4x55W and 2x110W. The 4-ch. is 4x50. The 6-ch. looks more powerful, but I know know jack about wattage and what's needed. But speak with the installer, he/she knows whats best They suggested a 5-channel. I suppose this is a 6-channel with 2 of them bridged for the sub, right?


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#25412 - 22/01/2001 13:05 Re: 4 vs. 6 channel amp? [Re: crewe]
Smoker_Man
member

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 165
Loc: Calgary, CANADA
The 6-ch. amp I was considering had 4x55W and 2x110W
Wow, thats quite an amp, buy the looks of those numbers that would be more than effective for running your desired setup.
Or with the 5-channel, the fifth channel I would assume is a mono channel, so basicly the lefty-righty sounds get squished into one, good for subs. However, depending on the type of music you listen to, often the bassline or the low end frequencies are in stereo (lefty or righty channel), thus the need for stereo-centric subs are in order (dont take this as the law, as a mono sub can differentiat and play these anyways, regardless of channel)

Ask your installer, and let him give you a good reason to go with 5channel vs 6channel, then call a couple of other shops and get their opinion, then take the most popular opinion and run with that.

I am certain there is an audiophile greater than I, who can explain better what I am trying to convey.

Smoker_Man
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#25413 - 22/01/2001 16:34 Re: 4 vs. 6 channel amp? [Re: Smoker_Man]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
I am certain there is an audiophile greater than I, who can explain better what I am trying to convey.

No, you did a pretty good job of explaining it.

The only thing I could add is:

Assuming those specs were true RMS specs rather than meaningless "peak" specs, then either a five-channel (for a mono sub) or a six-channel (for stereo subs or bridged-to-mono sub) amp in that range should be fine for you. Just make sure your subs and the enclosure are properly matched for that amplifier's wattage. Your installer will be able to help you make sure of this.

There are a lot of advantages to running a single amplifier if you can get away with it:

- Fewer wires.
- Easier to install.
- Takes less space.
- Fewer components means less of a chance for a noisy ground loop to develop.

The only real advantage to having a separate amp for the subwoofer is that you could probably come up with more wattage for your subs in a separate amp. But you'd be paying more that way, and if you can get a 5/6 ch. amp with enough power, then I wouldn't bother.

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Tony Fabris
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#25414 - 22/01/2001 18:13 Re: 4 vs. 6 channel amp? [Re: tfabris]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5403
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
The only real advantage to having a separate amp for the subwoofer is that you could probably come up with more wattage for your subs

Another advantage of having a separate amp for the subs is having separate gain controls, unless your 5/6 channel amp does already have its own gain controls for the sub channels. It is nice to be able to optimize your bass and sub-bass separately from the "main" frequency ranges.

tanstaafl.

"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"
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#25415 - 22/01/2001 20:36 Re: 4 vs. 6 channel amp? [Re: tanstaafl.]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31307
Loc: Seattle, WA
unless your 5/6 channel amp does already have its own gain controls for the sub channels

I'm assuming that's the case. A good multichannel amplifier should, for each pair of channels, have:

- Separate gain control.
- Separate adjustable crossovers.
- Preferably, the choice between high or low pass for the crossovers.

I would think that most of the newer high-end amps would have these features. Am I right, or have I just been spoiled by my recent amp purchases?

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Tony Fabris
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#25416 - 23/01/2001 01:54 Re: 4 vs. 6 channel amp? [Re: tfabris]
fvgestel
old hand

Registered: 12/08/2000
Posts: 702
Loc: Netherlands
I've got a caliber CA 80.5

4x80W MAx 4x40W RMS
1x200W MAX 1x120 RMS subwoofer

It's got all the features you've mentioned.
It's powering the volvo premium speaker-set. The only thing I know about it, is that there are 6x35W speakers and a 80W subwoofer. I'm very happy with the sound though. Does anyone know which brand volvo uses for it's audio? I'll try to rip off the covers, but haven't been able to...

Frank van Gestel
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Frank van Gestel

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