Mutli-channel amp questions

I’m considering the addition of a MC amp to use with my Denon receiver for the main speakers in my 7.2.4 setup. I’ve heard/read that will make a considerable difference in the sound from movies and music playback. It’s not to shabby now with 150w for 2 channels but with 11 speakers driven the 13 channel receiver would be outputting around 95w per channel.

Yesterday I read the article in Stereophile by @mitr on the Primare A35.8 class D 8 channel power amplifier.

Then today I found a video on the Starke Sound A8.350 8 channel amp with the Denon AVR-X8500H that happens to be my receiver. It’s class A up to 30w then AB on up to the 350w max at 4oms or 200w at 8 oms.

I’m not up to speed on amp classifications or characteristics and I’m hoping for some input from the community to help me figure things out.

I’m content with the setup as is, for the most part, but a recent event surprised me and got me to thinking. My wife hates it when that happens :slight_smile:

We had some contractor reps here a few weeks back to look at issues we had with a new flooring job. When the reps noticed the media/entertainment space they were excited and requested a demonstration.

We have numerous options/zones for Roon to feed the entertainment system. My favorites are HDMI from NUC to the receiver for casual listening, and Ethernet to a Roon Ready MC DAC (uses 7.1 analog inputs on the receiver) for more refined listening.

The demo was played using both. First via HDMI with the receiver DSP simulating surround and driving the ground level speakers and both subs. Then using bit perfect playback with the S88 dac, no receiver DSP or room correction, front towers B&W 702 S2’s only - no subs.

With the simulated surround the 2 subs ,totaling over 3000 watts, had the floor vibrating and the reps loved it.

With the 2 ch playback I thought more volume was needed for compensation and cranked it another 10db. We’d never played it that loud before and the sound was fantastic.

That is when I started thinking, what if the speakers had that much power on tap at a lover volume.

The MC amps I’m looking at are at least 200w per channel times 7 or 8, and one allows bridging for multiple amps combined per channel.

The new amp/receiver combination will probably be configured with the external amp to power the Front - Center - Left and possibly the Rear speakers for 5.1 music playback, with the receiver powering the 4 height/ceiling and side surrounds speakers for home theater.

After reading all the articles I could find on the subject I’ve decided on the NAD M28 7 channel amp, listed conservatively at 200W per channel. The glowing reviews convinced me the M28 is the best multi-channel amp for my needs.

Many thanks to those that responded by PM.

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