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Thread: Monoblocks and pre or integrated pros and cons

  1. #1
    Join Date: Dec 2013

    Location: newcastle upon tyne

    Posts: 639
    I'm steven.

    Default Monoblocks and pre or integrated pros and cons

    Just wondering about the pros and cons of monoblocks as against a good integrated

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 6,883
    I'm James.

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    Monoblocks apparently have less cross talk. I have experimented with a few pairs of mono blocks and preferred a single stereo power amp.
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  3. #3
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

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    I'm Lawrence.

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    It's usually seen as higher cost and extra rack space vs potentially better sound from isolation and separate power supplies. I've never heard exactly the same circuits and power supplies in integrated and pre/monobloc form so can't verify whether it's that much better.

    The one benefit I see is the ability to choose different pre and power amps eg. If you want valve/passive/stepped attenuator.

    I currently use Monarchy Audio class A monoblocs in my second system and they are nice

  4. #4
    Join Date: Nov 2020

    Location: Leics

    Posts: 224
    I'm David.

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    I've been through the Croft range from integrated amp to pre / stereo amp and now pre with mono amps. Prior to that I did similar with Arcam. Each step up has given a more relaxed, transparent, revealing listen and obviously more grunt. For me there's no downside to the additional boxes.
    Mark Levinson 390S CD / Audiolab 6000 CD transport / Croft 25RS Plus Preamp / Croft 7R mono Amps / Neat Ultimatum XLS Speakers

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Essex

    Posts: 32,504
    I'm openingabottleofwine.

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    Monoblocks do not have to share a power supply, and potentially have less crosstalk. But the cost/benefit ratio is small.

    I use monoblocks (either Levinson ML2, Quad 510 or heavily modified Quad 405s) that are located as close as possible behind each speaker, and connected back to the preamp/sources using balanced line cables. In having the power amplifiers located close to the speakers, the speaker cables are short (< 1 metre, and potentially only about 30cm in length); which I believe is theoretically beneficial.

    The only disadvantage for me is to have to switch on each monoblock separately - and remember to switch them off after any listening session.

    Does all this result in a big sonic difference? No not really - it's more a case of achieving a theoretically better audio installation.
    Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 6,883
    I'm James.

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    I suppose if you have huge speakers as you often see at the HiFi shows around the world then you need massive power to drive some of them and therefore mono blocks seem to be a better choice. Would be daft to drive a pair of bookshelf speakers with mono blocks as I doubt you would hear any benefit at all?
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Surrey

    Posts: 7,127
    I'm Rob.

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    In many situations the correlation between speaker size and sensitivity is a misnomer. In reality most of us with small to average sized listening rooms will use no more than a few watts and the willy waving set ups seen at shows is to perpetuate the myth that bigger is better and that the price tags are well justified.

    Nelson Pass's range of First Watt amps are designed on the basis that the first watt to hit the speakers is the most important. I have made several Pass amps that give out 5 or 8 watts. When compared against my amps with power outputs from 50w to 125w to 200w they are not lacking in any dept and in most cases sound better probably because they are Class A.

    I have made monoblocks and dual mono integrated amps. I can't say that monoblocks sound different to integrated simply because they do not share a power supply. It all depends on the circuit and synergy with the speakers.
    Buy Bose...And get your parking validated!.

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  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: N E Kent

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    I'm Geoff.

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    Good post Rob .
    It is impossible for anything digital to sound analogue, because it isn't analogue!

  9. #9
    Join Date: Nov 2020

    Location: Leics

    Posts: 224
    I'm David.

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    Would be daft to drive a pair of bookshelf speakers with mono blocks as I doubt you would hear any benefit at all?[/QUOTE]
    Not exactly bookshelf but my Neats are standmounts that absolutely sing with the monoblocks. I didn't mention previously the improved seperation and imaging. A further improvement in this came when I put practicality to one side and pretty much moved them away from all walls and into the centre of the listening room. Right now I'm LOVING my hifi
    Mark Levinson 390S CD / Audiolab 6000 CD transport / Croft 25RS Plus Preamp / Croft 7R mono Amps / Neat Ultimatum XLS Speakers

  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Surrey

    Posts: 7,127
    I'm Rob.

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    Quote Originally Posted by walpurgis View Post
    Good post Rob .
    Thanks Geoff. I have been having a little break from here but it's hard to stay away!
    Buy Bose...And get your parking validated!.

    https://youtu.be/ZCBe7-6rw4M

    No Highs...No Lows....It Must Be Bose!

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