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Thread: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    17

    Default Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    I'm looking to put a pair of classic (not SE) CBM-170s to use in my office, which is about 16' x 12' x 10'. I would never listen beyond a low-moderate volume. The following three options seem sensible to me and range from $230 to $380 (giving a sense of my current thinking on price).

    Emotiva BasX a-100
    Parasound Zamp v.3
    NAD C 319 BEE

    I'll be grateful for comments, observations, warnings and/or other alternatives I should be considering. I think each of these should be plenty powerful enough, but if I'm wrong please say so!

    Thanks for your attention and your two cents.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Manhattan Beach, California
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    6,077

    Default Re: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    Any one of those would be more than fine.

    Get the least expensive, and then call Ascend on the cost of upgrading the speaker to the SE version.
    -curtis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    Thanks curtis. Took your advice several years ago on another matter and have not been disappointed. And it's interesting that that the 170s may be upgradeable.

    I noticed you say "more than fine"... I'm certainly willing to be persuaded that I could part with fewer dead presidents and be equally happy...

  4. #4
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    Aug 2016
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    Encino, CA
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    21

    Default Re: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    I was using emotiva mini xa-100 with Sierra 2's for awhile (desktop setup) with zero issues.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    I am using the BasX A-100 as a headphone amp and think that should do very well with the 170's also. It's probably the lowest price of the 3 you listed and it is a very solidly built amp. No need to spend any more, plus it has an excellent headphone section, too.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    Thanks kyzersoze98 and monkuboy, confidence increasing for the a-100.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    434

    Default Re: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    One more owner of the mini-x a-100 here, I use it with my old speakers in a different setup now, but it powers those crappy Klipsch R-15M's to high levels with surprising dynamics and detail. It's probably one of the best values in audio electronics for what it can do. It's not the last word in detail for sure, the XPA series takes the cake there without a doubt, but for the price, it's incredible.
    -Alex
    PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers and Horizon Center w/ RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM-200 SE (Surrounds), 2x Rythmik F12 subwoofers

  8. #8
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    My thanks to all who offered their opinions. I ordered the Emotiva BasX a-100 on the strength of your shared recommendations. Best to all!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    434

    Default Re: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    Quote Originally Posted by nwilcox View Post
    My thanks to all who offered their opinions. I ordered the Emotiva BasX a-100 on the strength of your shared recommendations. Best to all!
    That is awesome. Please report back with your impressions! Try it out with headphones as well if you have any, it is a stellar headphone amp as well. A guy at head-fi originally modified the first model of the a-100 to have that headphone output and it was very well received by the community, so Emotiva decided to make it standard in the new version. I love that they did that, they are one of the coolest companys out there, along with Ascend and Schiit Audio.
    -Alex
    PS4/Nvidia Shield --> Emotiva XMC-1 --> Emotiva XPA-5 --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra Towers and Horizon Center w/ RAAL tweeters (L/C/R), HTM-200 SE (Surrounds), 2x Rythmik F12 subwoofers

  10. #10
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Good amp for classic CMB-170 pair in an office

    I've listened to the Emotiva BasX a-100 powering the classic CBM-170s for about five hours. I've been running cd quality wav files through a Schiit Modi 2 to the amp. The amp seems very, very good to my ears--virtually unnoticeable. Thank you all for your encouragement--I'm very happy with this buy.

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