aleph theatre?

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i have a friend who is wanting to build a theatre in his basement, and wants all the components DIY. we were kinda thinking of what amps to use. would it be realistic to have aleph2's? they generate so much heat, i was just wondering if there was a way to get a multichannel in one case. 5 monoblocks would be a little massive for the project.

i was thinking of maybe putting the rears and center in one box, but having external supplies for them. so, one box would house the transformers and caps, and the other box would have the actual amp in it... and then just build the front 2 channels normally. (or as a dual monoblock).

does anyone have any suggestions on this? what would be best for a 5 channel home theatre project? maybe the aleph 5, but it doesnt seem powerful enough for theatre, i could be wrong.
WOW, 5 channels of Aleph2, thats a LOT of heat/money/metal :eek:

If the system were just for movies then I'd go for 5 channels of a 100wpc or so class A/B amp, such as the ESP Project 3A. As for home theatre all you really need is bags of clean power, which none of the Pass designs will provide (well, the 'clean' bit yes, but not the 'bags' bit hehe) without becoming massive.

If the system has to deal with music, thats another subject all together. My system atm is used for both music and moives, and with my Zen already heating the room quite nicely, I did'nt want 3 more channels of it!!! :redhot:
So I use the Zen for the front L+R, and ESP 3A's for the centre/rear L+R. Although I have managed to get the little Zen to clip a few times, enter the Zen 4... :nod:
I too have considered doing the same thing...

I figure the only way to do it is to go water cooled...

I thought about building the amps and hooking them all to a modified heat pump on the outside of the house so it'd be quiet and easily able to handle the heat... I was planning on just finding an old one that someone was having replaced figuring that it would be the easiest thing for the project.

Just an idea...
cool cool.

i was thinking watercooling, which isnt tough... the guy who's house is going in is into building competition airplanes (stunt/aerobatics). he has access to machine shops and has an amazing shop in his basement also. so, building isnt the problem, if its possible, we could do it. i have already built a couple custom watercooling units for other things, so one for a 5-channel aleph2 wouldnt be immensely hard. the custom cooling blocks would be the hardest.

i just dont think doing like an aleph 5 in 5 channel would be enough juice. nor would a zen. sure, they are great for music, but for high power demanding movies, they would just clip... and i think the goal is more in the realm of a class A home theatre... we both actually work for an audio/video store... if i wanted just a home theatre receiver, i could get one cheaper than building the amps (i can get the denon AVR-5803 for under $2K, perks rule).

plus, it would be nice to use the system for DVD-audio or multichannel SACD, since both of us are going to get that new pioneer elite DV-47Ai. quality will most likely come first, then the others next. heat isnt a real issue, any theatre is gonna get hot, and its a basement with proper venting, thats not going to be an issue.

if anyone else has any ideas here, i would like to hear them... im still up for building a multichannel box, and separate powersupply box. i think there is a levinson setup like that.
Being a Aleph 2 is rated at 300W for power consumption, you would have 13 amp power draw on your AC line, you would probably need to put in a 20 amp power line specifically just for your amp. It would also be a waste not to do both front and rear centers, as some DVDs today are being encoded with DTS 6.1 (DTS ES and DTS ES 24/96).
moses said:
Being a Aleph 2 is rated at 300W for power consumption, you would have 13 amp power draw on your AC line, you would probably need to put in a 20 amp power line specifically just for your amp. It would also be a waste not to do both front and rear centers, as some DVDs today are being encoded with DTS 6.1 (DTS ES and DTS ES 24/96).

good points about both outlets and 6.1

i guess 2 3 channel amps would be good. but even with separate power supplies, that would be 4 boxes. weight isnt an issue, money isnt really an issue, heat is an issue, and so is size. so, basically, using aleph or not, this is what is needed:

-around 100W/channel (5 or 6)
-great sound for SACD and DVD-Audio
-relatively compact overall size

i want to kind of stress "quality of sound" here considering what this guy has upstairs... he's got a 5.2 channel system with sonus fabre pioneer elite, and some others. its a pretty damn nice setup. so we are trying to get to around that quality and i think the alephs would do the trick. however, if there is another great class a design, that would be cool too.
Sorry m8, but you will not get 100wpc class A and compact size, unless you do as suggested earlier and water cool it and put the rad outside your house or somthing similar.
And I would'nt bother with external power supplies either, the ammount of c**p you'd get on the lines by the time they got to the amps would be horrible.
For 6.1 (assuming you want DVD-A/SACD) I'd build three, two channel amps, with built in power supplies, and three waterblocks going to an external rad and pump.
Is single ended class A necessary?

I may be in a minority of one but I can't help thinking that class A , never mind single ended class A is not necessary for rear channels in a theatre system.
I can understand going with Single ended class A for the front left
and right channels if the system is to double up on music, but the centre and rear channels don't need that level of harmonic and dynamic purity that class A provides, rear channels are largely for fx and center for speech.
To my way of thinking, simple amplifier circuits are necessary to preserve the purity of the source signal, if the signal lacks purity to begin with it's difficult to see the need for very high quality amplification further down the chain.

I wouldn't bother with water cooling. Just put the amps either outside the room, or in an enclosure inside the room, and use forced air heatsinks. As a bonus, your heatsinks will be cheap, small, and light. Put a glass door on the enclosure and you will have something pretty to show your friends.
You'll never get 600W of class-a power without using excessively large cooling methods. You said you didn't want large boxes with huge heatsinks, but if you go watercooling, you'll have hoses and pipes going around, not too mention radiators, and oh wait, eventually you will end up with something in the water, be it something growing in the water, or some sort of metal (using a coper heat block and an aluminium radiator is a no-no, believe me). If you really want class-a all around, you're going to have to deal with the heat and space the heatsinks take.

One thing I can sudjest is not to try and fit 3 or 4 channels in the same chasis, it's a big pain, when you cram them in like that finding a problem without dismantling the whole thing is really hard,, and it just spawns lots of problems. Hope that helps some.
I'm inclined to agree in part with Jules. Do you really need Alephs for the rear channels? The heat will be ridiculous if you go with Aleph 2s all the way 'round. You'll almost certainly need water cooling with the radiators located outside or something similar, like forced air cooling... and there goes any notion of having a compact system.

When it comes to home theatre, you may as well skip the centre channel at the front and mix it to the front LR channels. High end audiophile stereo setups are capable of excellent spatial resolution and soundstaging, eliminating the need for the centre channel. It's only if you have a mass-market kind of setup where the centre channel is actually useful, and only because the front LR channels just can't create a convincing illusion of sounds coming from the midpoint. So, you can potentially save some speakers and amps there which will allow you to put that much more effort and money into the front LR channels, thus improving their performance when used with standard stereo recordings.

For the rear channels, these are really just for surround sound effects and ambient noises, so the quality isn't nearly as critical as the front channels which are carrying the dialogue and main sounds. For this application, something like the ESP P3a mentioned above will do an excellent job. Even this "lowly" class-AB topology is sure to thoroughly whip the pants of most commercial products.

Here's my personal plan:

At the moment, I'm concentrating on my stereo rig, for which I'm building a pair of Aleph-X monoblocks. With reasonably efficient speakers these amps will be capable of some very respectable SPL. But, at some point I will be expanding into a full surround-sound setup for multichannel music recordings and home theatre (with a DLP projector I hope ;) ). To make matters worse for myself, I plan to do bi/tri-amplification for my custom built speakers, with active crossovers (actually implemented in DSP). So, next on the list is my DSP/preamp, (<i>still</i> sidelined while i work on other things), which will provide maybe 12 or 14 channels of output. By the time I get everything built, I'm going to be looking at a whole lotta amplification necesary to drive those speakers... 12 channels of Aleph are out, no question! Whatever I build will have to be efficient and inexpensive.

Now, I'll be designing my own custom amp circuits, but if I had to pick an off-the-shelf DIY design to build right now, it would be the ESP P3a... Cheap enough that you can build one stereo amp to test out first. Given what's inside even the high grade sonsumer stuff that your pal upstairs has, a nice amp like the P3a should still thoroughly kick some butt. Another excellent alternative for you would be the AKSA amps. These look just perfect for HT use, and have a good reputation. Don't be afraid of a little class-AB... some of the best amps i've heard are DIY class-AB or class-B units! Obviously, the class-A designs are a notch better, but you pay a big price for it!
Oh, almost forgot: there's one other option I can see for you... high efficiency speakers - DIY ones, of course! This way, you can build low-power Aleph or Aleph-X amps and not only stick within a reasonable budget, but also avoid all that heat and have a more compact setup. :up:
hum, well, i was planning on ordering parts today, but maybe a little more thought is needed...

space is no longer an issue. i basically have a full component rack to work with. heat isnt a huge issue, as long as they run cool enough to work.

i understand about the overkill aspect of it... but i just would really really like to do an entire theatre as class A with alephs. maybe use aleph 5's as the rest of the channels, and just keep aleph 2's for LR?

the guy im helping do this isnt interested in budging from the alephs really at all. space issue got solved, heat isnt a problem. with that in mind, could it be done? maybe with the 5's for the other channels?
Built only as much power as you need. Depending on your speakers, but Aleph 5s should be OK for all the channels. If you need more bass slam, you can always add subwoofer with additional amp or bi-amp. Remember, building all 5 amps the same way, would save you a lot of time.

I was reading an article in Stereophile by Sam Telling: SE amps in home theatre setup make a big difference.;)

so you would almost recommend making all aleph 2's? because thats the way i want to go... people arent really understanding this is a price as no object project. (to a degree...) i want the best, not the easiest or most convenient...

oh, and the speakers have been gotten already. we are using sonus fabre grand pianos for fronts, concertino's for rears, and a solo for the center. these arent cheap speakers, and we need some good clean power for them.
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