Stereo or monoblocks

I recently bought a pair of the JBL HDI-3800 speakers. I also own a McIntosh C-2300 preamp. Should I buy a used McIntosh mc402 stereo power amp or try to find a pair of a different brands monoblocks? The new Schiit Tyr has my interest.



Congrats, that sounds like an ideal setup, I love JBL’s 😍

and own the Studio 2 series in the mancave home theater.

Going the active route like you did is OTT. 

I have a C2300 that I'm running with MC601 mono blocks. I had an MC352 before, and the difference is there but it's not day and night. Like someone else said - it's very subtle. The reason I upgraded other than that subtle difference, is the design and look of the 601's. Personally, I really don't care for the cosmetic design of the MC402. In any case- you can't go wrong with a C2300. It's my favorite.

Unfortunately, all things being equal will not include price. I am listening to a pair of ARC REF160m monoblocks… they sound slightly better… nuances only, than my ARC REF 160s… but the difference in cost is $12K. So, yeah, the monoblocks are better… it comes down to is it worth $12K’s worth?


your post got me thinking...

people will post asking ’hey, what about this one factor in hifi?’ (e.g. stereo vs mono amps... r2r vs d-s digital conversion... single ended vs balanced... metal vs soft dome tweeters... 6dj8 vs 6h30p... fine line vs elliptical styli... belt drive vs dd )

people then chime in, we have lengthy discussions... but this is talking ad nauseum about one particular variable... in a pursuit where multiple multiple variables are constantly at work, to produce the end result of the music playing

so all else equal, sure, we say this or that... but the key to remember is... all else is never equal... and the better question to ask is just how important is this particular factor among all relevant factors in the whole result being achieved?

perhaps a useful framework here may be something like maslov’s hierarchy, but applied to hifi..."mono vs stereo amps" to me have got to be several levels down below ground, deep in the ol’ basement...