I have a pair of PSB Synchrony 2 towers, a Pioneer SC-61 receiver (125 wpc class D) and a T+A Integrated amp from that is supposed to be 170wpc 8 ohms, 280 4 ohms. I say "supposed to" because while it is heavy and pretty and has nice silver pcb boards and good heat sinks and stuff, it has a 400VA transformer under the hood (spec sheet says 650VA but I saw it with my own eyes a Plintron 400VA) and something tells me it is lean in the power section even though it does sound extremely good within its limits). 3500 cubic foot room roughly. I'm 11 feet from the speakers. Running them small 80hz.
I use the integrated to power these mains, and it sounds great except when I try to go really loud on driving rock music. Two examples of songs that send the integrated amp into protection are Creed's Higher, and Mellencamp's "Authority Song". When I really try to belt these to very high levels.. the T+A amp goes into protection (no soft clipping, it just shuts off). It goes into protection at the same music phrases (bassy ones) whether I use pure direct (speakers Large) or with bass management on. This is at about 100-103 db at the seated position with a RS SPL meter.
I tried driving them with just the pioneer and it does not "shut down", but takes on a fairly strident sound at the super loud levels and I don't feel this is my solution. I'm afraid to clip the speakers.
I'm considering two things - I'd like advice on these options or others:
NAD 275BEE is a 150wpc power amp (conservatively rated) 8 and 4 ohms. I see them discounted around $1000 sometimes. I'm thinking since NAD and PSB share a parent company, maybe I'll benefit from some synergy here?
Emotiva XPA 2 is on sale now under $800 shipped. 1200VA transformer. Maybe this one will dish out all the Synchrony 2's can take??
Are either of these options clearly superior to the other? And will either option give me what I want, which is to play max level on my Synchrony 2 towers without distortion?
I just want to have Authority Song and Higher loud enough to really sock me in the chest... concert level.
My current set up (with the T+A amp) is good 95% of the time. And maybe leaving the status quo will give me a prudent warning when I'm trying to play at unsafe levels. But I just wonder if the NAD or Emotiva will put me over the top.
(ps: I meant to post this in the PSB thread... sorry, user error)