I need some advices, tks (may be from Hawk?)


Unregistered guest
My situation is like this:

I am almost done with my HT set up and I am wondering is it worth to add a power amp to my system?

Now I am using NAD T742 which got pre-outs and the front and center speakers are all Polk Lsi series (main: 9 and center: C). Surrounds are Bose 161 (it is crappy anyway). Subwoofer is Hsu VTF-2. DVD-player is SONY 755 and a Cambridge Audio D300SE CD player. My room size is about 15'x16' with an opening to the hallway at the back of the room.

I must say I am quite happy with it when I am watching movies. But my problem is would it be a big difference and worth invest in a power amp to upgrade my stereo part? i.e. my music enjoyment.

I am a big fan of classical music and how much sound quality improvement would I expect to add a power amp. I think my upper limit would be around 500, and it is not very much for a power amp. If getting a new one is not very practical (what I meant is the improvement in sound quality), any used gear may fall into this price range that I can explore?

Any respond will be highly appreciated. Thx a bunch.

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 210
Registered: 12-2003

Hey, that is a nice system you have there. The 742 has been a real budget system dream machine, IMO. I also have the same Sony DVD player (its great!) and your CD player is one of my favorites. Good job with the Polk LSis across the front, too.

This is a tough question because I don't know you and I haven't heard your system in your house (environment is so important). Now, having said that, more power is almost always better. This is not a question of necessity, but a bigger amp does not need to work as hard to produce the same volume, so it will sound more effortless and natural. This is particularly true with your Polk LSis, a rather power hungry speaker. Having an outboard amp for the mains also leaves more power for the remaining on-board amps to drive the surrounds and the center. Given the size of your room (assuming a 9-10 ft. ceilings would put you at over 2000 cubic feet in your listening room, without counting the area it is open to), and the power hungry nature of the LSis, I am inclined to believe adding a good outboard amp will make a noticeable improvement in your stereo sound (and your HT, too!).

Now, the only way to know if you are going to enjoy the stereo better is to try it. It is simple enough, but only you will know if the music is going to sound more enjoyable with an outboard amp. However, given your budget there are some very good candidates that I think are worth trying.

The first is an NAD C270. This is a great amp (NAD does such a good job with amps) rated at 120 wpc x 2 (dynamic power of 340 wpc into your 4 ohm LSis), and you can get it on closeout from Saturday Audio (www.saturdayaudio.com) for a mere $449 (MSRP is $599). If there is any amp that is certain to get your LSis to really sing, this would be it. You already know you like the sound of NAD amps, so this will not alter the overall timbre of the system, just give a bigger, cleaner, and more natural sound. Given your penchant for classical music, this would be the one to really bring out the best in the music (think of how "Carmina Burana" would sound with more punch and excitement, for example).

My second (close) choice would be the Adcom GFA-5300. I have seen this 80 wpc amp (125 wpc into your 4 ohm LSis) available at Elegant Audio video for $369, but I don't know if they are an authorized dealer or not. Nevertheless, I would recommend you locate an Adcom dealer near you and see if you could arrange to test drive one in your home. It should give you an idea whether an outboard amp would improve your stereo sound. Clearly, it has less power than the NAD, but it is more than enough. This amp does have a slightly softer and smoother sound that is really nice, as well. Your local dealer should be willing to offer it to you at 15-20% off its MSRP of $499.00. If not, Kief's (www.kiefs.com) is a long-time authorized Adcom dealer and they will likely offer it for 20% off, well within your budget.

I hope this helps.

Unregistered guest

Thank you so much for your input. But I still have a question about power amp, I am still a newbie in seperates.

In the LSi9 manual stated that the speakers best operate between 20-200wpc. In the case of NAD C270, will the 340wpc power damage the speakers? Or it is okay when volume is low but may casue some problems when I turn it up?

After reading your advices, I also look into Adcom 5400 (used on eBay), is it the same design and quality as the 5300? Is this the only difference be the power?

You are really helpful. Thanks again.

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 242
Registered: 12-2003

No, it won't damage the speakers because you will never use that much power on a continuous basis. Instead, you will probably run at most into 20-30 watts on a continuous basis with instananeous transient bursts of 100 watts, maybe 120. For several years I ran a 100 wpc Kyocera stereo receiver driving a pair of Heybrook H2Rs, a British bookshelf which are rated 10-60 wpc. Used that system for well over ten years without ever damaging the speaker. In fact, I have used those same speakers for my receiver shopping and they still sound very sweet. So I wouldn't worry about the power being too much.

Yeah, I think that is right about the Adcom--the only real difference is the power. Here is a link for a dealer offering it for $569, although I do not know if they are an authorized dealer:


Good luck!

Unregistered guest

After some researched on the web, I am thinking to get the NAD c270 from Saturday once I got my next paycheck. And I would like to update the information that this amp is actually selling for $399 only!!


New member
Username: Xtremeht

Post Number: 3
Registered: 02-2004
You might want to check out the Outlaw audio 200 monoblocks as another choice. Very good value for the money and a 30 day money back guarantee if you don't like them!
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