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schmalex 30th April 2013 04:21 PM

Amplifier for miniDSP 2.1 setup
I've embarked on building a DSP system.

Ipod ----> Yamaha CR-2020 (used as a preamp) ----> miniDSP ----> Amplifier (?) ----> 2-Way Speakers and subwoofer.

I am building the speakers - Seas Excel mid and ScanSpeak tweeter. I will use biamping binding posts to send the signal directly to drivers.

My question is about amplification:
From what I have learned, I need 1 channel for each speaker. The sub has its own amp, so that's easy. To power the speakers, can I use a five channel amplifier? Like this Rotel 985, made for 5.1 THX audio:

Or do I need a separate amplifier for each speaker? The easiest solution is to buy individual class D amps for each speaker (e.g. topping or lepai), but this 5-channel option is available locally for a good price.


lowmagnet 7th May 2013 02:59 PM


Originally Posted by schmalex (
My question is about amplification:
Like this Rotel 985, made for 5.1 THX audio:

I'm guessing that's an RB since it looks like a power amp from the back. If you don't need another two channels, and if you only need LR/S inputs, then something cheaper like a RB-850 (50 wpc) and a separate sub amp might be better for you. You can even use two RB- 2ch amps, running one in bridged mono for the sub, in order to double it's wattage to something a sub needs.

Alternately, you could try one of the Dayton sub-specific external amps. It may be overkill of the minidsp can provide phase correction though.

schmalex 13th May 2013 12:58 AM

Forgive my miniDSP ignorance

Let's set aside the subwoofer. I already have one with its own dedicated amp.

For a 2 way stereo speaker setup, I'm under the impression that I need two conventional amplifiers. The additional set of inputs is the key component. That would mean two 2-channel Rotel amps (If I used the 850s). But this 5.1 version has two sets of inputs (RCA inputs in this case) so it might work.

lowmagnet 13th May 2013 03:42 PM

Yep, you're correct.

It is nice for symmetry to have two 850s, just like it looks nice to have a pair of huge monoblocks ;). You may also be able to get them for a song compared to one RB-985.

schmalex 19th May 2013 06:13 PM

Thanks for the reply. I'm surprised there isn't more conversation on here about amplifier selection. And I'm surprised that in the commercial section for MiniDSP, I couldn't get a response from the folks at MiniDSP themselves. I found this Elan z660 amp locally for a good price. It offers a lot of wiring options, bridging, mono, multiple inputs, bi-wire. Seems good for this purpose.

lowmagnet 19th May 2013 06:18 PM

Your question about amplification was probably better placed on a different forum, and I guess this thread is a little off topic for the mini DSP section, which is why their staff didn't reply. That élan is interesting, and I wonder if it is good enough for a four way system in its 12ch version. That's a lot cheaper than the ones suggested by SL for his Orion design.

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