Official Emotiva XPA-5 Owners Thread - Page 55 - AVS Forum
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post #1621 of 2048 Old 11-06-2013, 03:03 AM
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After reading so many positive reviews, I purchased a used first gen XPA-5 and am a bit disappointed. This is my first experience with a separate power amplifier and while it does improve the sound of my second generation Energy Veritas speakers compared to my Denon AVR-3312, I find it hard to justify the expense. At 50% of the cost of the speakers themselves, I thought it would make more of an impact than it does.

Anyone else feel this way?

I'm sorry you spent all that money for minimal improvement, but I am not surprised. When anyone asks for a recommendation I always ask why. I always try to walk him/her through what they are expecting vs. reality. I give them the numbers and let them make an informed decision based on that rather than anecdotal stories of how adding an external amp somehow magically opened up the sound of their speakers, widened the soundstage, added more depth, etc. The only time a properly designed amp will make an audible difference over another properly designed amp is if one of the amps is underpowered and is unable to deliver the power required to drive the speakers to a particular SPL.

Your Veritas are between 90dBs and 93dBs sensitivity depending on model. This means you will only need between 32W - 64W to reach reference levels running full range at 2m. That power requirement will be substantially less if you are running them small and crossing them over to a sub. All properly designed amps (including those built into an AVR) will sound the same when not pushed beyond their capabilities. The Denon AVR-3312 is rated at 125W/CH. I'm guessing that is with 2 channels driven. It will drop considerably with all channels driven, but absent real testing numbers, I'm going to guess it will still be able to deliver more than 64W/CH with all channels driven. That is more than enough to drive your speakers to reference levels. Most people do not normally listen at reference levels. If you have calibrated your AVR and are using the negative scale then reference is 0 on the master volume.

 

100% +1.



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post #1622 of 2048 Old 11-06-2013, 03:51 AM
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The small improvement you believe you are hearing is also an illusion. In a sighted test, your own biases are impossible to control and the difference you are hearing is arising because of that. In a proper blind test, I can guarantee you would not hear any difference at all.

Please note that I am not knocking the Emo amp. I own 4 Emo amps and I am delighted with them all. But I bought them for a reason. As in your setup it seems that your AVR has enough power to cleanly deliver the required SPLs, an external amp is unnecessary.  In your situation, I would return the amp for a refund and use the money saved to invest in something that will actually make a difference to your sound quality. These are: better speakers, a better sub, room treatments. If your current speakers are good then maybe consider a better sub or an additional sub. I cannot overemphasise the contribution of a high quality subwoofer - not just to the bass but to the entire frequency range.
I'm quite sure I hear a difference, just not a substantial one. I've done most of my XPA-5 listening with 2 channel stereo running full range to my Veritas 2.3s without a subwoofer (direct mode) and the added bass is obvious with the emotiva. I have listened to the same material back-to-back comparing the AVR to the XPA-5.

I'm happy with my speakers and subs, but did read several comments from owners of the same speakers stating that adding an amp made worthwhile improvements to their system which is what sparked my interest. As far as room treatments go, the person that I bought the XPA-5 from had acoustic panels in his dedicated home theater room and couldn't tell if they made any difference at all. My living room is fairly large and open to my dining room, kitchen, hallway and stairway. Is this more of a reason to consider room treatments or less?

I'm entertaining the idea now of selling the XPA-5 and AVR-3312 and purchasing an AVR-4311 for audyssey XT32.

Also duc135, I believe these sensitivity rating of these speakers is slightly lower than you mentioned, but I can't recall exactly. I know the V2.4s are 85dB. I have the 2.3s, 2.0C and 2.0R
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post #1623 of 2048 Old 11-06-2013, 09:13 AM
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Since you never mentioned which model Veritas you had I was only giving specs on what I could find on their site. I did a search on the 2.3s and could find only one review stating a 90dBS sensitivity. Nothing official. If adding an external amp made an audible difference to you then that is all that matters. You just need to make sure you are honest with yourself and did proper testing or at least close enough. This means proper level matching and blind testing.

I find your comment that acoustic treatments didn't make a difference. As with all things, proper implementation and setup are key.
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post #1624 of 2048 Old 11-06-2013, 11:40 AM
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The small improvement you believe you are hearing is also an illusion. In a sighted test, your own biases are impossible to control and the difference you are hearing is arising because of that. In a proper blind test, I can guarantee you would not hear any difference at all.

Please note that I am not knocking the Emo amp. I own 4 Emo amps and I am delighted with them all. But I bought them for a reason. As in your setup it seems that your AVR has enough power to cleanly deliver the required SPLs, an external amp is unnecessary.  In your situation, I would return the amp for a refund and use the money saved to invest in something that will actually make a difference to your sound quality. These are: better speakers, a better sub, room treatments. If your current speakers are good then maybe consider a better sub or an additional sub. I cannot overemphasise the contribution of a high quality subwoofer - not just to the bass but to the entire frequency range.
I'm quite sure I hear a difference, just not a substantial one. I've done most of my XPA-5 listening with 2 channel stereo running full range to my Veritas 2.3s without a subwoofer (direct mode) and the added bass is obvious with the emotiva. I have listened to the same material back-to-back comparing the AVR to the XPA-5.
 

 

Oh yes, I am quite sure too that you hear a difference. It's just that the difference you hear has nothing at all to do with the amp. The difference is due to the flawed, sighted, non-level-matched test procedure you used. If the levels aren’t matched +/-0.5dB, then the 'test' is meaningless. The amp that is louder is the one that will sound better. This has been proven countless times.

 

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 I'm happy with my speakers and subs, but did read several comments from owners of the same speakers stating that adding an amp made worthwhile improvements to their system which is what sparked my interest. 
 

 

Sure - people who don't know any better or who don't know much about amplifiers will often say that they hear these mythical differences. They are invariably due to the flawed way they compare the different amps.

 

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 As far as room treatments go, the person that I bought the XPA-5 from had acoustic panels in his dedicated home theater room and couldn't tell if they made any difference at all. My living room is fairly large and open to my dining room, kitchen, hallway and stairway. Is this more of a reason to consider room treatments or less?

 

All rooms require treatments. All rooms have modes, and modes cause huge distortion of the sound - thousands of times more distortion than any amp can cause.  Often these modes will result in some frequencies playing 20 or 30Db higher than others, which makes nonsense of the chasing of the minuscule differences amps, DACs, cables etc make. Similarly, all untreated rooms have reflective surfaces and unwanted reflections destroy imaging, spatial coherence and soundstage. The room is by far the biggest factor in the final SQ and it is the most important component to 'upgrade' if considering an upgrade path, once decent amps, speakers etc are in place, which you say you have. The sole way to properly control these problems in the time domain is with acoustic treatments.

 

If the person who installed treatments found no big difference then he either installed the wrong treatments or installed them in the wrong place. You can’t just bung anything anywhere and expect it to work. The first requirement really is to measure the room using REW and a good calibrated mic, to isolate the problems the room is causing. Until you know what the problems are it is nit possible to formulate a solution.

 

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 I'm entertaining the idea now of selling the XPA-5 and AVR-3312 and purchasing an AVR-4311 for audyssey XT32.

Also duc135, I believe these sensitivity rating of these speakers is slightly lower than you mentioned, but I can't recall exactly. I know the V2.4s are 85dB. I have the 2.3s, 2.0C and 2.0R
 
 
In the absence of treatments, the next best thing is Audyssey XT32. This will make a significant difference and, again, is vastly more influential on the final SQ than changing the amp or other electronics. Upgrading your AVR to the 4311 is a very sound (no pun intended) choice.  It will drive your speakers very well.


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post #1625 of 2048 Old 11-06-2013, 11:42 AM
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Since you never mentioned which model Veritas you had I was only giving specs on what I could find on their site. I did a search on the 2.3s and could find only one review stating a 90dBS sensitivity. Nothing official. If adding an external amp made an audible difference to you then that is all that matters. You just need to make sure you are honest with yourself and did proper testing or at least close enough. This means proper level matching and blind testing.

I find your comment that acoustic treatments didn't make a difference. As with all things, proper implementation and setup are key.

 

+1. Proper level matching is essential, to +/-0.5dB. Blind testing is also essential as you say. And some form of instantaneous switching too, because of our very short (3 or 4 seconds) auditory memory.

 

Also +1 to your comment about treatments. It is inconceivable that properly utilised treatments would not make a signifcant improvement to a domestic space. 



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post #1626 of 2048 Old 11-06-2013, 08:08 PM
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So based on what you people have told me in the past few days, how does the XPA-5 and Emotiva amps in general get so many rave reviews?
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post #1627 of 2048 Old 11-06-2013, 08:35 PM
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I can't answer for anyone else, but in my situation, it allows me to drive my somewhat difficult speakers to SPLs I desire. I also need an external amp since I have more speakers than amp channels in my receiver. I would have been happy with an XPA-5, but got my XPR-5 to replace my XPA-2 for free so I can't complain. If I had to pay for it I would have gone with one of the cheaper options. The big thing going for Emotiva is that they are relatively cheap compared to their competitors without having to go the pro audio route.

I can only guess the rave reviews are from people who hear what they want to hear. Placebo affects are VERY strong in audio. If they see it, they're going to perceive an improvement. The other possibility is that they did not properly level match the comparisons. With the 1st gen XPA-5s the input gain was 32dBs so it is possible that with the master volume set to the same level, the output was higher. Generally, people will equate louder to better. All that being said, there are those of us with low sensitivity speakers that require an external amp to drive them to desirable levels. For instance, the sensitivity of my Revel Salon2s is 84dBs/1W/1m. To reach reference levels at 9' requires somewhere north of 250W@4ohms. No receiver I know of can do that. For people in this situation, adding an external amp or more powerful amp could make a huge difference in sound quality since they are no longer clipping the amps.
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post #1628 of 2048 Old 11-06-2013, 10:45 PM
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So based on what you people have told me in the past few days, how does the XPA-5 and Emotiva amps in general get so many rave reviews?

By providing plenty of power when needed without any audible alterations. Oh, and the price ain't too bad either.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!

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post #1629 of 2048 Old 11-07-2013, 03:25 AM
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So based on what you people have told me in the past few days, how does the XPA-5 and Emotiva amps in general get so many rave reviews?

 

Because they are very good amps.

 

But even if they are the best amps in the galaxy, they are only of any use if you actually need them. And if you can hit the SPLs you need without clipping, then you already have the amps you need.



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post #1630 of 2048 Old 11-07-2013, 03:29 AM
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I can't answer for anyone else, but in my situation, it allows me to drive my somewhat difficult speakers to SPLs I desire. I also need an external amp since I have more speakers than amp channels in my receiver. I would have been happy with an XPA-5, but got my XPR-5 to replace my XPA-2 for free so I can't complain. If I had to pay for it I would have gone with one of the cheaper options. The big thing going for Emotiva is that they are relatively cheap compared to their competitors without having to go the pro audio route.

 

+1. I initially bought my Emo amps to drive 'difficult' speakers. I no longer have those speakers but I still have the Emo amps because along the way I sold my AVR and bought a prepro (to get Audyssey Pro capability as there were, at the time, no AVRs that I wanted which had Pro capability). If I was starting today I'd go with the Onkyo 5010 AVR which has Pro capability (Europe only) and has an amps section which has sufficient power. As I have the Emo amps, and as they are excellent amps, I may as well hang on to them.

 

Quote:

 I can only guess the rave reviews are from people who hear what they want to hear. Placebo affects are VERY strong in audio. If they see it, they're going to perceive an improvement. The other possibility is that they did not properly level match the comparisons. With the 1st gen XPA-5s the input gain was 32dBs so it is possible that with the master volume set to the same level, the output was higher. Generally, people will equate louder to better. All that being said, there are those of us with low sensitivity speakers that require an external amp to drive them to desirable levels. For instance, the sensitivity of my Revel Salon2s is 84dBs/1W/1m. To reach reference levels at 9' requires somewhere north of 250W@4ohms. No receiver I know of can do that. For people in this situation, adding an external amp or more powerful amp could make a huge difference in sound quality since they are no longer clipping the amps.

 

+1. It is all about clean power.



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post #1631 of 2048 Old 11-07-2013, 05:27 PM
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Because they are very good amps.
Not debating that. I didn't word my question correctly. I was wondering why I haven't seen more (or any as I can recall) reviews/comments from people in similar situations as mine that have bought one based on reviews and then not had their expectations met.

Another option is go one step further and get a UMC-200. Would this be any better/worse than an AVR-4311(without the XPA-5) for my situation?
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Not debating that. I didn't word my question correctly. I was wondering why I haven't seen more (or any as I can recall) reviews/comments from people in similar situations as mine that have bought one based on reviews and then not had their expectations met.

I can only guess that most people would not want to come out and admit publicly that something they did or bought was a mistake. Only a random guess. I'm not saying that's the case for anyone.
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Another option is go one step further and get a UMC-200. Would this be any better/worse than an AVR-4311(without the XPA-5) for my situation?

I must have missed it if you stated what your issue was or not. I'm not familiar with the UMC-200 or Emotiva's auto room correction software nor have I ever read any reviews on it. I can tell you that the 4311 is top notch though. If you already have the 3312, that has Audyssey MultEQ XT. While the jump to XT32 is noticeable, I wouldn't call it significant enough to warrant an upgrade if you have other areas that need addressing first. Without knowing your setup, I would say the biggest bang for your buck will be acoustic treatments or upgrades to your sub system. A second sub will make a huge difference in evening out room frequency response if you don't already have multiple subs. Since you state you have the Energy Veritas 2.3s I'm assuming you have at least a decent capable sub already.

Before spending money on any other upgrades though, I would recommend spending money on a decent microphone and learn how to use it with REW (freeware) or OmniMic (all inclusive measurement system) to measure your room first. This will help determine what your problems are.
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post #1633 of 2048 Old 11-07-2013, 06:35 PM
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Not debating that. I didn't word my question correctly. I was wondering why I haven't seen more (or any as I can recall) reviews/comments from people in similar situations as mine that have bought one based on reviews and then not had their expectations met.

Another option is go one step further and get a UMC-200. Would this be any better/worse than an AVR-4311(without the XPA-5) for my situation?

I think you will have better results on buying the Denon 4311. I have one and it is a really nice receiver, capable of driving your speakers without any issues. In my case I'm using external amps for multiple reasons:

First - I have a 11.2 setup, so I needed external amps to achieve that configuration anyways.
Second - I have a large multi-purpose room and I need extra headroom to play my music loud, even when I'm not at the MLP (I moved my home office to the basement, so I spend a lot of time at my desk listening music at the opposite side of the room). Therefore, I can crank the volume up without been concern of clipping/damaging my speakers.
Third - Performance (as mentioned above - capable of listening music really loud without distortion - just make sure you have good source material)
Four - Use the Denon 4311 as pre/pro.........cool.gif
Fifth - Bang for the buck / reputation...........I purchased second hand units with plenty of warranty left / reputation of Emotiva products and a healthy market in case I want to sell them in the future*


* This one is actually something very positive for you. There are plenty of folks looking for XPA-5's as a way to help them to achieve / satisfy their specific needs. So, you shouldn't have much trouble on selling it in just few days.

Hope you all the best!
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post #1634 of 2048 Old 11-07-2013, 06:54 PM
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Not debating that. I didn't word my question correctly. I was wondering why I haven't seen more (or any as I can recall) reviews/comments from people in similar situations as mine that have bought one based on reviews and then not had their expectations met.

Another option is go one step further and get a UMC-200. Would this be any better/worse than an AVR-4311(without the XPA-5) for my situation?

I have owned the 4311 and now the UMC-200. IMO the UMC wins hands down for sound quality.
The new version of EmoQ gave better sound than Audyssey for me. Although it is better I usually leave it off. I am not a fan of RC.
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post #1635 of 2048 Old 11-07-2013, 11:18 PM
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Not debating that. I didn't word my question correctly. I was wondering why I haven't seen more (or any as I can recall) reviews/comments from people in similar situations as mine that have bought one based on reviews and then not had their expectations met.

I would think majority of the owners bought Emotiva based on its reputation and review since you can't really see, hear or touch one in a store.

I bought mine when my previous amp stopped working. I needed an amp in my house as soon as possible. Since this is a sudden situation and I have not been paying attention to the amp market. I quickly zoomed in on Emotiva first based on its price/performance ratio, return policy and free shipping.

The new gen 2 also just came out with incremental improvements over the original. How can this go wrong? I can have an amp with good reputation in 3 days and this gives me more time to check the market rolleyes.gif.

Well, I still have it and I stopped looking for an amp. smile.gif

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post #1636 of 2048 Old 11-08-2013, 02:35 AM
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Because they are very good amps.
Not debating that. I didn't word my question correctly. I was wondering why I haven't seen more (or any as I can recall) reviews/comments from people in similar situations as mine that have bought one based on reviews and then not had their expectations met.

 

Ah right. Well, when people drop a thousand bucks etc on a new piece of gear, they naturally have high expectations that it will make some sort of difference. 

 

If you google 'expectation bias' you will discover how this proven psychological characteristic of human beings works against them when trying to subjectively evaluate audio equipment (or anything else for that matter). This is one of the reasons why subjective evaluations have no merit when one is trying to determine if A is different in some way to B. All proper scientific evaluations aimed at discovering if these differences really exist in fact go to great lengths to remove all sources of potential bias. This is why ABX tests are done 'blind' where the listener does not know which unit is playing at any given time. Or, preferably, double blind, where neither the listener nor the person(s) conducting the test knows which unit is playing. While you have google open, you may also care to search for 'placebo effect' which is closely related to expectation bias.

 

 

Quote:

 Another option is go one step further and get a UMC-200. Would this be any better/worse than an AVR-4311(without the XPA-5) for my situation?

 

It would be the last thing I would do, and only then if every other option had been removed from me. Emotiva have a remarkably poor reputation for processors which stems from the unmitigated disaster that was the UMC-1. By all accounts the UMC-200 is much better (it is difficult to see how it couldn't be) but I wouldn't, personally, go near one. It also lacks Audyssey of course. XT32 is probably the single most important thing in the 4311 as far as influencing the final sound you hear is concerned. There is no way at all I would lose XT32 for whatever alleged benefits the UMC-200 brings.



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post #1637 of 2048 Old 11-08-2013, 02:36 AM
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Not debating that. I didn't word my question correctly. I was wondering why I haven't seen more (or any as I can recall) reviews/comments from people in similar situations as mine that have bought one based on reviews and then not had their expectations met.

I can only guess that most people would not want to come out and admit publicly that something they did or bought was a mistake. Only a random guess. I'm not saying that's the case for anyone.
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Originally Posted by brendelac View Post

Another option is go one step further and get a UMC-200. Would this be any better/worse than an AVR-4311(without the XPA-5) for my situation?

I must have missed it if you stated what your issue was or not. I'm not familiar with the UMC-200 or Emotiva's auto room correction software nor have I ever read any reviews on it. I can tell you that the 4311 is top notch though. If you already have the 3312, that has Audyssey MultEQ XT. While the jump to XT32 is noticeable, I wouldn't call it significant enough to warrant an upgrade if you have other areas that need addressing first. Without knowing your setup, I would say the biggest bang for your buck will be acoustic treatments or upgrades to your sub system. A second sub will make a huge difference in evening out room frequency response if you don't already have multiple subs. Since you state you have the Energy Veritas 2.3s I'm assuming you have at least a decent capable sub already.

Before spending money on any other upgrades though, I would recommend spending money on a decent microphone and learn how to use it with REW (freeware) or OmniMic (all inclusive measurement system) to measure your room first. This will help determine what your problems are.

 

+1.



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post #1638 of 2048 Old 11-08-2013, 02:37 AM
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Not debating that. I didn't word my question correctly. I was wondering why I haven't seen more (or any as I can recall) reviews/comments from people in similar situations as mine that have bought one based on reviews and then not had their expectations met.

Another option is go one step further and get a UMC-200. Would this be any better/worse than an AVR-4311(without the XPA-5) for my situation?

I have owned the 4311 and now the UMC-200. IMO the UMC wins hands down for sound quality.
The new version of EmoQ gave better sound than Audyssey for me. Although it is better I usually leave it off. I am not a fan of RC.

How did you assess this, Mud?  Objectively I mean, so we can attach significance to the results.



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post #1639 of 2048 Old 11-08-2013, 05:43 AM
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How did you assess this, Mud?  Objectively I mean, so we can attach significance to the results.

I knew this was coming.smile.gif I do not have objective measurements. As with Audyssey, they are not the last word in good sound.
I do not recall making any statements that Audyssey or any RC is not measurable. What I have stated is that I do not prefer those alterations to the sound. After running RC, measuring, tweaking. etc. it comes down to subjective opinion of what sounds good.
I have owned the Denon 4310 and 4311 among others. I have owned the UMC-1 and UMC-200. Even if I liked the end result of the eq performed by RC there are things that it does not do. I have not read of any measurements that show how well the sound is steered around the room. I can't use descriptive words like some do so I will give my thoughts as best I can. The Emotivas have a more enveloping sound with movies. You do not always feel that sound is either in front or rear or left or right when you know that you should feel as if you are in the center of the sound. Overall there is more naturalness to the sound (2 channel included). IMO the Denons are more sterile, clinical or whatever.
When you try both units please advise which you prefer.
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How did you assess this, Mud?  Objectively I mean, so we can attach significance to the results.

I knew this was coming.smile.gif I do not have objective measurements. As with Audyssey, they are not the last word in good sound.
I do not recall making any statements that Audyssey or any RC is not measurable. What I have stated is that I do not prefer those alterations to the sound. After running RC, measuring, tweaking. etc. it comes down to subjective opinion of what sounds good.
I have owned the Denon 4310 and 4311 among others. I have owned the UMC-1 and UMC-200. Even if I liked the end result of the eq performed by RC there are things that it does not do. I have not read of any measurements that show how well the sound is steered around the room. I can't use descriptive words like some do so I will give my thoughts as best I can. The Emotivas have a more enveloping sound with movies. You do not always feel that sound is either in front or rear or left or right when you know that you should feel as if you are in the center of the sound. Overall there is more naturalness to the sound (2 channel included). IMO the Denons are more sterile, clinical or whatever.
When you try both units please advise which you prefer.

 

I wasn't asking you which you preferred or which, in your opinion, is the better unit or even which, in your opinion, gives the better sound quality. I was asking you how you objectively assessed any differences which you hear. You have answered: you do not objectively assess any differences you hear.

 

As such, all we have is your opinion, which is valuable to you but not all that valuable to anyone else since we cannot hear with your ears.

 

The aim of objective assessment of differences between units is that it removes opinion and it removes the impossible requirement of us all hearing with your ears. The only true test of whether the UMC-200 produces 'better sound quality' than a Denon 4311 is first to assess whether any differences in sound can be heard between the two units. Now in the case of processors it is likely that differences will be heard because of all the, well, processing, they do. We can turn all that stuff off, but it seems pointless - why would one turn off Audyssey if that is the reason one bought an Audyssey-equipped unit, for example?

 

But at least you did preface your remarks with "IMO" which is not always the case on these forums, where opinion is often presented as fact.

 

One of the major benefits of any modern AVR is the room correction it offers. RC is required if the room is untreated acoustically for all the reasons we already know and which have been discussed at length in this and other threads. Now fortunately, we can measure the effects of RC. So what would be needed for us to evaluate which of two units - one with XT32 and another with something else, eg Emo-Q - was delivering the flattest frequency response is a simple measurement of the room before and after, using both of the RC systems. It would be fairly easy then to see which one did a better job. That is the sort of thing I was asking you about - did you do an evaluation like this, which then led you to conclude that the UMC-200 + amps was delivering 'better SQ' than a Denon 4311?

 

If I may remind you what you said, it was: "I have owned the 4311 and now the UMC-200. IMO the UMC wins hands down for sound quality. The new version of EmoQ gave better sound than Audyssey for me." Without some sort of objective evaluation of Emo-Q and XT32, I am struggling to understand why we should attach much significance to your opinion. As I say, a person's opinion is very valuable to the person holding it, but in the absence of some sort of objectivity, is it of as much use to everyone else?

 

I admit that I have not seen an objective comparison of the two RC systems either, but then I am not the one saying that one is better than another wrt to sound quality. All I said is that I personally would not want to lose XT32 for the alleged benefits of the UMC-200. My remarks were based on Emo's terrible reputation with processors, gained from the disastrous UMC-1 which even Emotiva admitted was badly flawed in numerous respects. For balance, I did also say that I believe the UMC-200 is a better unit than the UMC-1, but then, it could hardly be worse could it? ;)

 

In the end, you did at least say that your judgement was your opinion and not a matter of acknowledged fact, and that alone puts you in front of many AVS members who constantly present opinion as if it were just another sort of fact.

 

 

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Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post
 
I have not read of any measurements that show how well the sound is steered around the room. I can't use descriptive words like some do so I will give my thoughts as best I can. The Emotivas have a more enveloping sound with movies. You do not always feel that sound is either in front or rear or left or right when you know that you should feel as if you are in the center of the sound. 

 

i think you are discussing what we generally refer to as imaging - how well the system presents the spatial coherence of sounds, using the number of channels it has available. (We can assume, I think, that all half-decent modern AVRs can steer the sounds to the appropriate speakers). Imaging is a function of the reflectiveness of the room. If the room has numerous untamed reflections, then imaging will be 'confused' as sound arrives at different places at different times after being bounced around the room. It is relatively easy to measure the reflectiveness of a room, using an ETC measurement and from this it is easy enough to deduce what the imaging quality will be. Unfortunately, as electronic EQ isn't effective in the time domain (other than small benefits arising as a result of improvements made in the frequency domain), then neither Emo-Q or XT32 are going to make much impact in this regard, so why you would purport that the Emo can do this better than the Denon, I don't know. The only real way to control the time domain issues is with room treatments. 



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post #1641 of 2048 Old 11-09-2013, 09:36 AM
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I wasn't asking you which you preferred or which, in your opinion, is the better unit or even which, in your opinion, gives the better sound quality. I was asking you how you objectively assessed any differences which you hear. You have answered: you do not objectively assess any differences you hear.

As such, all we have is your opinion, which is valuable to you but not all that valuable to anyone else since we cannot hear with your ears.

The aim of objective assessment of differences between units is that it removes opinion and it removes the impossible requirement of us all hearing with your ears. The only true test of whether the UMC-200 produces 'better sound quality' than a Denon 4311 is first to assess whether any differences in sound can be heard between the two units. Now in the case of processors it is likely that differences will be heard because of all the, well, processing, they do. We can turn all that stuff off, but it seems pointless - why would one turn off Audyssey if that is the reason one bought an Audyssey-equipped unit, for example?

But at least you did preface your remarks with "IMO" which is not always the case on these forums, where opinion is often presented as fact.

One of the major benefits of any modern AVR is the room correction it offers. RC is required if the room is untreated acoustically for all the reasons we already know and which have been discussed at length in this and other threads. Now fortunately, we can measure the effects of RC. So what would be needed for us to evaluate which of two units - one with XT32 and another with something else, eg Emo-Q - was delivering the flattest frequency response is a simple measurement of the room before and after, using both of the RC systems. It would be fairly easy then to see which one did a better job. That is the sort of thing I was asking you about - did you do an evaluation like this, which then led you to conclude that the UMC-200 + amps was delivering 'better SQ' than a Denon 4311?

If I may remind you what you said, it was: "I have owned the 4311 and now the UMC-200. IMO the UMC wins hands down for sound quality. The new version of EmoQ gave better sound than Audyssey for me." Without some sort of objective evaluation of Emo-Q and XT32, I am struggling to understand why we should attach much significance to your opinion. As I say, a person's opinion is very valuable to the person holding it, but in the absence of some sort of objectivity, is it of as much use to everyone else?

I admit that I have not seen an objective comparison of the two RC systems either, but then I am not the one saying that one is better than another wrt to sound quality. All I said is that I personally would not want to lose XT32 for the alleged benefits of the UMC-200. My remarks were based on Emo's terrible reputation with processors, gained from the disastrous UMC-1 which even Emotiva admitted was badly flawed in numerous respects. For balance, I did also say that I believe the UMC-200 is a better unit than the UMC-1, but then, it could hardly be worse could it? wink.gif

In the end, you did at least say that your judgement was your opinion and not a matter of acknowledged fact, and that alone puts you in front of many AVS members who constantly present opinion as if it were just another sort of fact.


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Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 go_quote.gif



i think you are discussing what we generally refer to as imaging - how well the system presents the spatial coherence of sounds, using the number of channels it has available. (We can assume, I think, that all half-decent modern AVRs can steer the sounds to the appropriate speakers). Imaging is a function of the reflectiveness of the room. If the room has numerous untamed reflections, then imaging will be 'confused' as sound arrives at different places at different times after being bounced around the room. It is relatively easy to measure the reflectiveness of a room, using an ETC measurement and from this it is easy enough to deduce what the imaging quality will be. Unfortunately, as electronic EQ isn't effective in the time domain (other than small benefits arising as a result of improvements made in the frequency domain), then neither Emo-Q or XT32 are going to make much impact in this regard, so why you would purport that the Emo can do this better than the Denon, I don't know. The only real way to control the time domain issues is with room treatments. 

I do not have enough interest to debate everything in your response.
Measurements are great if you are seeking the info they provide. If one is seeking the flattest response as an example. I have never claimed that Audyssey applications can't be measured and compared to other RC systems or compared to before and after Audyssey. If any RC is engaged and the results are not desired I see no need to measure if I am satisfied without it.
Your preference for the sound produced by Audyssey is just as subjective as mine is for non Audyssey. Nothing objective here.
The post directly mine was purely subjective. He would choose Denon because he owns one. Yet he has never compared to the UMC. He claims no distortion on the Denon which is totally subjective. Why did you fail to challenge him? Is it because he like likes Audyssey?
Many are told that Audyssey is a necessity and buy on that advice. They may or may not like it after purchase. Suppose they take measurements and still find it undesirable. At that point they probably ask why in the hell did I listen to Keith. After all his opinion is subjective regardless of how my Aydyssey measured. You subjective opinion is not better or worse than mine or others. Just an opinion that should be prefaced as such when giving it and not stated as fact.
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I wasn't asking you which you preferred or which, in your opinion, is the better unit or even which, in your opinion, gives the better sound quality. I was asking you how you objectively assessed any differences which you hear. You have answered: you do not objectively assess any differences you hear.

As such, all we have is your opinion, which is valuable to you but not all that valuable to anyone else since we cannot hear with your ears.

The aim of objective assessment of differences between units is that it removes opinion and it removes the impossible requirement of us all hearing with your ears. The only true test of whether the UMC-200 produces 'better sound quality' than a Denon 4311 is first to assess whether any differences in sound can be heard between the two units. Now in the case of processors it is likely that differences will be heard because of all the, well, processing, they do. We can turn all that stuff off, but it seems pointless - why would one turn off Audyssey if that is the reason one bought an Audyssey-equipped unit, for example?

But at least you did preface your remarks with "IMO" which is not always the case on these forums, where opinion is often presented as fact.

One of the major benefits of any modern AVR is the room correction it offers. RC is required if the room is untreated acoustically for all the reasons we already know and which have been discussed at length in this and other threads. Now fortunately, we can measure the effects of RC. So what would be needed for us to evaluate which of two units - one with XT32 and another with something else, eg Emo-Q - was delivering the flattest frequency response is a simple measurement of the room before and after, using both of the RC systems. It would be fairly easy then to see which one did a better job. That is the sort of thing I was asking you about - did you do an evaluation like this, which then led you to conclude that the UMC-200 + amps was delivering 'better SQ' than a Denon 4311?

If I may remind you what you said, it was: "I have owned the 4311 and now the UMC-200. IMO the UMC wins hands down for sound quality. The new version of EmoQ gave better sound than Audyssey for me." Without some sort of objective evaluation of Emo-Q and XT32, I am struggling to understand why we should attach much significance to your opinion. As I say, a person's opinion is very valuable to the person holding it, but in the absence of some sort of objectivity, is it of as much use to everyone else?

I admit that I have not seen an objective comparison of the two RC systems either, but then I am not the one saying that one is better than another wrt to sound quality. All I said is that I personally would not want to lose XT32 for the alleged benefits of the UMC-200. My remarks were based on Emo's terrible reputation with processors, gained from the disastrous UMC-1 which even Emotiva admitted was badly flawed in numerous respects. For balance, I did also say that I believe the UMC-200 is a better unit than the UMC-1, but then, it could hardly be worse could it? wink.gif

In the end, you did at least say that your judgement was your opinion and not a matter of acknowledged fact, and that alone puts you in front of many AVS members who constantly present opinion as if it were just another sort of fact.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 go_quote.gif



i think you are discussing what we generally refer to as imaging - how well the system presents the spatial coherence of sounds, using the number of channels it has available. (We can assume, I think, that all half-decent modern AVRs can steer the sounds to the appropriate speakers). Imaging is a function of the reflectiveness of the room. If the room has numerous untamed reflections, then imaging will be 'confused' as sound arrives at different places at different times after being bounced around the room. It is relatively easy to measure the reflectiveness of a room, using an ETC measurement and from this it is easy enough to deduce what the imaging quality will be. Unfortunately, as electronic EQ isn't effective in the time domain (other than small benefits arising as a result of improvements made in the frequency domain), then neither Emo-Q or XT32 are going to make much impact in this regard, so why you would purport that the Emo can do this better than the Denon, I don't know. The only real way to control the time domain issues is with room treatments. 

I do not have enough interest to debate everything in your response.

 

Fair enough.



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post #1643 of 2048 Old 11-09-2013, 11:38 AM
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I have heard a lot of Polk owners claim their speakers came alive with an external amp. I wonder if that is, the amp playing at a slightly higher volume or Polk speakers liking to dip into 4 ohm and the external amp handles it better?
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I have heard a lot of Polk owners claim their speakers came alive with an external amp. I wonder if that is, the amp playing at a slightly higher volume or Polk speakers liking to dip into 4 ohm and the external amp handles it better?

Makes me wonder how much of that difference that people hear is in "loudness" or increased dynamic range with more power on tap. I haven't done much testing and only recently in the last year went with an external amp (this XPA5). My speakers are notoriously difficult to drive (4 ohms) and I was pretty happy with a classic but good Sony DTR-DA777ES receiver. Had a really powerful amp section, stable to 4ohms. Last year I finally decided that I needed something that supported high-def audio codecs, and got the Sherwood R-972. While no slouch, I could immediately tell the difference in power available.

Enter the XPA5. System can get stupid loud now, more so than even with the Sony. In that sense, the external amp makes everything sound more dynamic. I have noticed some differences in sound however. High end while more detailed, sounds a bit shrill. This is with both the Sony and Sherwood as source, so there is a small but sonically noticeable difference.

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Enter the XPA5. System can get stupid loud now, more so than even with the Sony. In that sense, the external amp makes everything sound more dynamic. I have noticed some differences in sound however. High end while more detailed, sounds a bit shrill. This is with both the Sony and Sherwood as source, so there is a small but sonically noticeable difference.

 

When you look at the Audio Precision frequency response test report of the XPA-5, what do you see that would make you believe that the XPA-5 would sound "a bit shrill' at the high end of the FR?

 



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post #1646 of 2048 Old 11-11-2013, 05:25 AM
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When you look at the Audio Precision frequency response test report of the XPA-5, what do you see that would make you believe that the XPA-5 would sound "a bit shrill' at the high end of the FR?

The added loudness of the volume. It could also be the inter connects between the AVR and amp. smile.gif
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When you look at the Audio Precision frequency response test report of the XPA-5, what do you see that would make you believe that the XPA-5 would sound "a bit shrill' at the high end of the FR?

The added loudness of the volume. 

 

Not sure what that means. 

 

 

Quote:

 It could also be the inter connects between the AVR and amp. smile.gif

 

So not the amp then. But how would that work - what would the cables be doing to make the sound "a bit shrill", and how would they do it?  Every cable I have ever seen tested has passed the input to the output unchanged (as we'd expect).



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post #1648 of 2048 Old 11-11-2013, 06:39 AM
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I was kidding Keith. However, if you read the entire post he did refer to added loudness which can become shrill if played too loud.

Just so there is no misunderstanding I am not one who believes that cables alter frequencies. That was a joke also.

I do appreciate you once again sharing you expertise.eek.gif
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post #1649 of 2048 Old 11-11-2013, 06:46 AM
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I was kidding Keith. However, if you read the entire post he did refer to added loudness which can become shrill if played too loud.

Just so there is no misunderstanding I am not one who believes that cables alter frequencies. That was a joke also.

I do appreciate you once again sharing you expertise.eek.gif

 

:) Ah right - so he is hearing the "shrillness" when he turns up the volume?  There could be a few possible explanations for that but none of them will be because of something the amp is doing. The XPA amps from Emotive are superb units IME and IMO and never a day goes by when I do not appreciate their terrific contribution to my HT. 

 

TBH, I suspect there is no real shrillness, just maybe perceived shrillness... people change amps etc and then go looking for differences, even where differences don't exist.



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post #1650 of 2048 Old 11-11-2013, 07:08 AM
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smile.gif Ah right - so he is hearing the "shrillness" when he turns up the volume?  There could be a few possible explanations for that but none of them will be because of something the amp is doing. The XPA amps from Emotive are superb units IME and IMO and never a day goes by when I do not appreciate their terrific contribution to my HT. 

TBH, I suspect there is no real shrillness, just maybe perceived shrillness... people change amps etc and then go looking for differences, even where differences don't exist.

If the amp is producing more volume then it is possible that it is something that the amp is doing. I like the pricing on Emo amps. I have reservations about the quality. My first XPA 5 had to be repaired 3 times for going into protection mode. It was replaced on the fourth failure. The replacement is now doing the same. My experience has been better with the UMC.s.

Some differences may be perceived. Others not. Shrillness has a negative impact on the hearing that does not have to be measured to hear. I listened to a friend's Jubilees. At low to moderate volume they are excellent. When cranked I could not take the shrillness.

I am so thankful that I can hear various sounds without having to read a chart to see if they exist.
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