What factors should I consider when selecting stereo or mono amps from the same manufacturer?

Mdp632

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May 30, 2016
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For the sake of this discussion, let's take into consideration both are the current generation from the same manufacturer.

The difference being the stereo version compared to the monos.

If I look at this from just a purely performance perspective. Monos would win every time.

However, if I take into consideration the rack requirements, power cable and visual aesthetics, I'd go for the stereo version.

I've had conversations people more technical in this area and they say stereo amps are actually harder to design.

Because each channel shares the same ground.

Whereas, mono amps each have their own ground, which further increases their performance over the stereo amp.

Additionally, I was told that if I use single ended connections from my pre-amp to monos that performance is superior.

However, if I had a balanced pre-amp ( I don't) and used balanced cables to a stereo amp, that is the way to go for a stereo amp.

Is there any truth to this?

What other factors should I consider? Speaker ? Room size? Listening distance?

Thank you
 

andromedaaudio

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Jan 23, 2011
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Only advantage i would say monos have is that they usually have a larger power supply compared to the same wattage stereo version.
So if you have low eff . low impedance speakers the monos might be able to control the speakers better then the stereo version
 
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gadawg58

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Apr 7, 2018
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If the gear is fully balanced then I would assume its usually if not always better to go balanced. That is something certainly talked a lot about by BAT as they are proponents of staying balanced to the point my REX II has no single ended outputs at all and they certainly make MONO amps to pair with that preamp. Absolute channel separation in the amplifiers as well would be another advantage although channel separation in new amps these days is pretty amazing so I'm not sure you'd notice that if it was the only difference in the amps. Some vendors will slightly change the architecture of the stereo/mono amps so there is sometimes a compelling reason to go mono as that is their statement amp.

I would agree with you though that generally today its usually about extra power within the same brand ... talking to the team from Boulder at a demo a few years ago they certainly are a proponent of almost always buying their next higher stereo amp over their lower level mono amps as they are usually priced comparably unless you absolutely need the extra power.

George
 
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Mdp632

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May 30, 2016
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Thanks. The context of my question is do I throw more power at my current speakers. Or, entertain changing speaker brands but, keeping a stereo amplifier configuration.

I'm seriously considering the latter.
 

gadawg58

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Apr 7, 2018
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Thanks. The context of my question is do I throw more power at my current speakers. Or, entertain changing speaker brands but, keeping a stereo amplifier configuration.

I'm seriously considering the latter.
To me that would depend on how much you love or don't love your current speakers! :cool:

George
 

Nemal1

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Dec 9, 2018
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I use ARC MONO’s on my Wilson Sasha’s.
Another benefit is the ability to use very short speaker cables with the amps being sited adjacent each speaker.
Its been a while since I had a stereo amp, but power supplies, single chassis per channel are all beneficial contributing factors.
as above, if you like and wish to retain your speakers, audition the mono and stereo versions if practical to ascertain your preference.
 
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gadawg58

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Apr 7, 2018
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Definitely a hard decision as the last time I heard any YGs I remember thinking they sounded quite a bit different than my Wilsons ... that said even though I thought they sounded different I really liked what I heard for sure. Good luck with a very difficult decision!

One more thought ... if you go mono blocks then you should be good to go either way!

George
 
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chuck

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Dec 20, 2011
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The answer to the question about stereo or mono amps depends on the amps under consideration. For example, Boulder stereo amps are as good as just about any mono amps. I would put the money into a better amp since you don't know how good your YG speakers really are until you have a great amp. Besides, YG Carmel 2 to Wilson Sabrina X seems to be a downgrade. Wilsons are fun speakers but paper cone drivers with a port is a big change from YGs.
 
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