Sunfire Cinema Grand 5 x 200 or Parasound 5250 v2 for HT

sgmsmgsgmsmg Posts: 129
Has anyone had any experience with one or both of these amps? I am considering retiring my Pioneer Elite SC-09TX that I have been using as an amp to drive my Polk LSim 703 x4 / 706c HT setup. Some options I was considering are the Sunfire Cinema Grand 5 x 200 or Parasound 5250 v2. Room is about 16' x20'. These would be used primarily for home theater/ casual listening.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Comments

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,204
    Either one is a good choice, flip a coin. lol
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 3,935
    Personally, it would depend on the age of either.

    If approximately the same age, the Sunfire.
  • jumpindickjumpindick Posts: 176
    +1 to sunfire
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,902
    @psovlsk has had both at the same time.
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 15,878
    the 5/200 Sunfire does not sound very good to my ears. Parasound would be my choice, unless you get the Sunfire 7/400 or 5/400
  • GatecrasherGatecrasher Posts: 1,551
    edited June 15
    I looked at both of them and didn't think either was any kind of upgrade over what you already have with the SC-09TX. I think you might be disappointed.

    I have the same high-end AVR and am looking for something that will make a noticeable improvement.

    Here are the advertised specs for each:

    Parasound 5250 5-Channel Power Amplifier Specifications
    Specifications
    Rated max power: 250 watts x 5 (8 ohms, 20Hz–20kHz)
    Max THD: 0.025%
    Original Mfg. Suggested Retail Price: $2,500

    Sunfire Cinema Grand 5 x 200
    Specifications
    Rated max power: 200 watts x 5 (8 ohms, 20Hz–20kHz)
    Max THD: 0.5%
    Original Mfg. Suggested Retail Price: $2,375

    Pioneer Elite SC-09TX
    Specifications
    Rated max power: 140 watts x 10 (8 ohms, 20Hz–20kHz)
    Max THD: 0.05%

    200 watts x 7 (8 ohms, 20Hz–20kHz)
    Max THD: 0.05%

    (When Set to 5.1 Bi-Amp Mode): 280 watts x 5 (8 ohms, 20Hz–20kHz)
    Max THD: 0.05%

    Original Mfg. Suggested Retail Price: $7,000

    If I had to go with either of the two amplifiers I'd probably lean towards the Parasound but I don't see it as being any kind of major upgrade over what you already have now.

    I'm looking for one with at least more power and similar specs, not one with less power and similar (or worse) specs.

    I do realize that there is more to it than just advertised specs but they are a benchmark that can help point in the right direction.
  • Kurt300Kurt300 Posts: 204
    The 5250 v2 official specs seem quite conservative. I have one driving LSiM 707s and 703s and it sounds sweet indeed.
  • PSOVLSKPSOVLSK Posts: 3,442
    I think they are very similar. The tie-breaker for me would be:
    1) The Sunfire never so much as warm, whereas the Parasound can get pretty warm, especially if not well ventilated.
    2) The Sunfire's meters make it look cooler.

    While your Pioneer is a beast, I can't imagine either of these amps not being an upgrade. How significant??? That's going to be a matter of opinion.

    I'll say this, at one time I was running a very good Pioneer (sorry, don't remember the model number). I was really wanting to take my amp out of the system (I believe I had a NAD at the time). While the difference in sound wasn't what most people would probably call significant, it was enough that I couldn't bring myself to get rid of the amp. YMMV.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,902
    I think you had the SC-35, wasn't it?
  • sgmsmgsgmsmg Posts: 129
    edited June 16
    Thanks to all that have responded. Lots of good information and your help is greatly appreciated. Unfortunately it looks like the Sunfire sold so that isn't an option.

    I also just made another major purchase (Sony XBR75X940D) so the amp might have to wait. Couldn't pass up on the deal for the TV. Also had to get an Oppo205.

    Overall I am content with the SC-09TX but it takes up a much larger amount of space so swapping to one of the other amps would give me a little more room. There is also still a small demand for the SC-09TX so I could potentially sell it after I replace it to get something out of it.

    Like someone mentioned the Sunfire does not produce much heat so that was definitely appealing.

    I will wait and see if I can get a deal on the Parasound but if not I will hold off until another deal comes around.

    Thanks again to everyone. I really appreciate all the feedback.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,902
    Nice TV! I've got the previous year's model and love it.
  • sgmsmgsgmsmg Posts: 129
    edited June 16
    DSkip wrote: »
    Nice TV! I've got the previous year's model and love it.

    Thanks. I saw you had the 940C and another member on here has the 940D. It is a bit different from my plasma but so far I like it. The new Planet Earth 2 Series in 4K is pretty awesome. I am sure I need to do some tweaking and may eventually get it calibrated.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,902
    Yep. Tweak it and you will be rewarded. Thorton has the 940C and PSOVLSK has the 940D. My distributor sold out of the 940D several months ago and I'm surprised you were able to find one.

    Bud had to buy a Sony after seeing mine.
  • sgmsmgsgmsmg Posts: 129
    Yes, I had given up on getting one but stopped by a local chain here "Video Only" and they one that a customer ordered but then decided it was too big for their room. It was a case of right time right place.
  • GatecrasherGatecrasher Posts: 1,551
    One amplifier I would check out is the Marantz PM-10.

    Then you'd you'd probably actually be upgrading a bit sound-wise from the SC-09TX.

  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 8,952
    I have the Sunfire TGA-5400. One point not mentioned here is that it will output 400w/CH on all 5 channels at 8 ohms, and 800W/CH on all 5 channels at 4 ohms. No receiver will come any where close to those specs. I assume the Sunfire amp you are looking at will do the same, at least the TGA-5200 will.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 6,575
    edited June 16
    Sunfire should be 225X5 @ 8 ohm and 450x5 @ 4ohm from my way back machine. Agree very few receivers can come remotely close.
  • GatecrasherGatecrasher Posts: 1,551
    edited June 16
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Sunfire should be 225X5 @ 8 ohm and 450x5 @ 4ohm from my way back machine. Agree very few receivers can come remotely close.

    The SC-09TX AVR has superior specs to the Sunfire in both power and THD.

    That Marantz PM-10 is on another level though.

    As expected, It also costs almost three times as much too.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 6,575
    edited June 16
    Your right yours is bigger and the best

    Notice i said very few..
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 12,553
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Sunfire should be 225X5 @ 8 ohm and 450x5 @ 4ohm from my way back machine. Agree very few receivers can come remotely close.

    The SC-09TX AVR has superior specs to the Sunfire in both power and THD.

    That Marantz PM-10 is on another level though.

    As expected, It also costs almost three times as much too.

    A dedicated amplifier will always be better than a receiver.
  • GatecrasherGatecrasher Posts: 1,551
    edited June 16
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Your right yours is bigger and the best

    Notice i said very few..

    I wasn't bragging. It's the model the OP of this thread has and was considering replacing with the Sunfire. IMO I don't think he would be upgrading by going to the Sunfire. Not that the Sunfire isn't a nice amplifier or anything. They are very-nice and built well too. They just aren't any better performance-wise to the high-end AVR the OP has.

    If it's purely a size issue than maybe he might prefer the Sunfire.
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 6,575
    Yes well aware i read your post and his. My comment was geared toward bluefox.
  • GatecrasherGatecrasher Posts: 1,551
    edited June 16
    cfrizz wrote: »
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Sunfire should be 225X5 @ 8 ohm and 450x5 @ 4ohm from my way back machine. Agree very few receivers can come remotely close.

    The SC-09TX AVR has superior specs to the Sunfire in both power and THD.

    That Marantz PM-10 is on another level though.

    As expected, It also costs almost three times as much too.

    A dedicated amplifier will always be better than a receiver.

    That's a fallacy. Generally-speaking that has been the case but not 100% true. A high-end AVR can have better specs than a lower-end amplifier. The SC-09TX outperforms a lot of less-expensive separates.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 8,952
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    Sunfire should be 225X5 @ 8 ohm and 450x5 @ 4ohm from my way back machine. Agree very few receivers can come remotely close.

    The SC-09TX AVR has superior specs to the Sunfire in both power and THD.

    Not to get into an argument over specs, but as an engineer I deal in facts. If pitdogg's specs are correct then the Pioneer does not even come close to the Sunfire.

    h6ibu22ldyze.png



    https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/StaticFiles/Manuals/Home/SC-09TX_OperatingInstructions0623.pdf#page155
  • GatecrasherGatecrasher Posts: 1,551
    edited June 16
    BlueFox wrote: »

    Not to get into an argument over specs, but as an engineer I deal in facts. If pitdogg's specs are correct then the Pioneer does not even come close to the Sunfire.


    I didn't see pitdogg's specs but I posted them direct from each manufacturer.


    Sunfire Cinema Grand 5 x 200
    Specifications
    Rated max power: 200 watts x 5 (8 ohms, 20Hz–20kHz)
    Max THD: 0.5%
    Original Mfg. Suggested Retail Price: $2,375


    Pioneer Elite SC-09TX
    Specifications
    Rated max power: 200 watts x 7 (8 ohms, 20Hz–20kHz)
    Max THD: 0.05%
    Original Mfg. Suggested Retail Price: $7,000

    BTW, I'm only trying to deal with facts too.

    The SC-09TX puts out a total of 1400 watts in various configurations. In 10.2 mode it is 140 watts per channel and in 7.1 mode it is 200 watts per channel.
  • GatecrasherGatecrasher Posts: 1,551
    edited June 16
    Here's one that at least on paper looks like it would outperform the SC-09TX (and I bet it sounds great).

    It's only two channel though

    The Marantz PM-10

    Specifications
    Rated max power: 200 watts x 2 (8 ohms, 20Hz–20kHz)
    Max THD: 0.005%
    Original Mfg. Suggested Retail Price: $7,999

    http://us.marantz.com/us/Products/Pages/ProductDetails.aspx?CatId=ReferenceSeries&SubCatId=0&ProductId=PM10

    Generally speaking, expect to spend more than $2,375 to find an amplifier with better specs than the SC-09TX. It didn't cost 7 grand for nothing. The Parasound is $2,500 and it has a better THD spec than both the Sunfire or the Pioneer so it looks like it might be pretty-good.

    Before I got my SC-09TX I had a decent NAD amplifier and separates and the Pioneer blew them away so you can't really make the statement that "A dedicated amp will always be better than a receiver." There are exceptions to that rule.
  • sgmsmgsgmsmg Posts: 129
    This is all very good information. I missed the opportunity on the Sunfire so we will see if I snag the Parasound or not. If not I am content with the Pioneer it just takes up too much space that I could use to add other components. One day I would like to have a setup with all separates like DarqueKnight has.

    Again I really appreciate all the info that has been contributed. Thanks!
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 15,878
    Said it once and will do so again. Take it from a guy that has owned Sunfire amps, the 200x5 is NOT that great of an amp. The Signature series 400x5 and the TGA 5400/7400 are night and day better. I would take one of these over the Parasound, but the Parasound all day long over the 200x5 Sunfire.

  • sgmsmgsgmsmg Posts: 129
    Said it once and will do so again. Take it from a guy that has owned Sunfire amps, the 200x5 is NOT that great of an amp. The Signature series 400x5 and the TGA 5400/7400 are night and day better. I would take one of these over the Parasound, but the Parasound all day long over the 200x5 Sunfire.

    Good to know. I will add the Signature series 400x5 and the TGA 5400/7400 to my list of potential canidates. Thanks!
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 6,841
    B&K 200.5 is a good used amp known for being musical, smooth on top, and warm.
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