Emotiva Amps won't fit my cabinet and I need a plan B. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Building system and every part has been researched, posted, obsessed over but not the amp. I was sure, bang for the buck that Emotiva was the choice.

Now I have a big problem. Just spent some cash on a custom stereo cabinet...nice piece of furniture and spec wise listed as 20" deep. Well, the interior volume is just under 19" and there is no way any reasonably powerful Emotiva will fit, cords and all. My bad I guess. The 20" was the deepest offered from this manufacturer.

I'm at a loss. I need a two channel amp and was very happy to spend 800 bucks for an XPA-2, which will nicely meet my power requirements. Can someone suggest a viable alternative, new or used, which can match it's power and not break the bank?
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post #2 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:35 PM
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Is the cabinet open in the back? can the amp stick out a bit? Although the amp is 20 inches deep, it likely has feet that are attached 2 inches in or more...

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post #3 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:38 PM
 
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Red Dragon Audio makes mono blocks that are quite small and relatively reasonable. They are the class d amp, so are quite light, cool to the touch and small.
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post #4 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:46 PM
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Outlaw Audio M-2200 mono-blocks. 200wpc.

1.75"hx17"wx11.5"d.
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post #5 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:46 PM
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A custom cabinet isn't custom if it doesn't fit your gear. Most of these so called custom furniture cabinets don't ventilate properly and cook your gear. They look nice but that's all. Cabinet builders should stick with building cabinets. Not A/V racks. Just saying. Since it's a custom cabinet have them cut the back out to fit a large Emotiva amplifier. AV gear shouldn't be in a cabinet with a back anyway. You could always cut the back of the cabinet out yourself in that area that you wan't to put the Emotiva amp in. It won't effect the strength of the cabinet unless you cut out way to much wood.
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post #6 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for quick responses.

Order of operations was:

1) Significant other wanted a nice furniture upgrade to hold stereo gear. I wasn't yet in upgrade mode.

2) Bought nice custom room and board piece. Delivered two months later.

3) Now hit by upgrade bug. Stuck with cabinet (it is nice I must admit).

And it has a solid wood back.

So thanks for creative ideas, but like I said in the original post, I need an idea for another amp. Can't do it with Emotiva. Not dropping 5K for something that will perform the same. I can get a local new parasound 2250 for a bit under 1K but it doesn't seem to spec as well as the Emotiva.

Used B&Ks are more expensive and don't spec as well.

Outlaw doesn't seem to offer any powerful 2 channels.

Any other ID direct companies out there that compete in this space with Emotiva?
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post #7 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshoppers View Post

Outlaw Audio M-2200 mono-blocks. 200wpc.

1.75"hx17"wx11.5"d.

Thought about those. Not sure power is enough. The XPA-2 does 500WPC at 4 Ohms. Big difference. But thanks for the thought.
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post #8 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Red Dragon Audio makes mono blocks that are quite small and relatively reasonable. They are the class d amp, so are quite light, cool to the touch and small.

Thanks...just what I'm looking for. Will check them out.
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post #9 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:58 PM
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I'm guessing this amplification is for your mains. Do you really need an amplifier this big? What speakers are you going to use with this dedicated amplifier? I'm a person that likes power but you may not need it. If you just want it that's another story. I like extra power. I have 3 Emotiva amps. Do I need all of them? Probably not. Especially the mono blocks I have.
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post #10 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 06:59 PM
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Red Dragon's Mono blocks 250/500 watts @ 8/4 ohms

http://www.reddragonaudio.com/produc...00-monoblocks/

Dimensions: 7.5"W x 4.0"H x 14"D

Mike

JAZZ IS NOT DEAD IT JUST SMELLS FUNNY ; FRANK ZAPPA
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post #11 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 07:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post

I'm guessing this amplification is for your mains. Do you really need an amplifier this big? What speakers are you going to use with this dedicated amplifier? I'm a person that likes power but you may not need it. If you just want it that's another story. I like extra power. I have 3 Emotiva amps. Do I need all of them? Probably not. Especially the mono blocks I have.

Currently have hard to drive older Infinity Kappa series speakers and in my upgrade plans I have a bit of a fix on for Maggies or MLs. So don't want to underbuy power wise.

And yes, only for mains. I have a Denon 4311 (on order, new system in the works) that should be quite sufficient for the rest of my system.
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post #12 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

Thought about those. Not sure power is enough. The XPA-2 does 500WPC at 4 Ohms. Big difference. But thanks for the thought.

At 4 Ohms they are rated at 300WPC. Sizeable difference yes,
but do you need the wattage above 300?
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post #13 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

Currently have hard to drive older Infinity Kappa series speakers and in my upgrade plans I have a bit of a fix on for Maggies or MLs. So don't want to underbuy power wise.

And yes, only for mains. I have a Denon 4311 (on order, new system in the works) that should be quite sufficient for the rest of my system.

I guess if you're possibly planning on some Maggies you might need some power.
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post #14 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

Thought about those. Not sure power is enough. The XPA-2 does 500WPC at 4 Ohms. Big difference. But thanks for the thought.

The difference between 300w(the 2200's output into 4ohms) and 500w is about 2db which is not tremendous at all. Also, the parasound 2250 looks like a good amp, and the xpa2 would only produce about .75db more than the 2250. I think you'd be well served to take another look at these.

That said, if you still want more power and 500w is the starting point then consider the crown xls1500 or a qsc gx7. Both have regular rca inputs so no special cables are needed. Both also have fans but the crown is class d and will almost certainly never need the fans in a home setting and I've read that the gx7 is pretty quiet.
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post #15 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cmryan821 View Post

The difference between 300w(the 2200's output into 4ohms) and 500w is about 2db which is not tremendous at all. Also, the parasound 2250 looks like a good amp, and the xpa2 would only produce about .75db more than the 2250. I think you'd be well served to take another look at these.

That said, if you still want more power and 500w is the starting point then consider the crown xls1500 or a qsc gx7. Both have regular rca inputs so no special cables are needed. Both also have fans but the crown is class d and will almost certainly never need the fans in a home setting and I've read that the gx7 is pretty quiet.

Yeah, the parasound is likely going to be the best choice if I want a non-pro-amp.

I probably don't understand the cons of the pro-amps very well. Besides less refined looks and possible noise, are there complaints about their SQ? I mean, if a crown 1500 or 2000 can put out the same SQ for a few hundred bucks, why do people spend 10K?

I'm still trying to understand this hobby. Before posting more, I need to go read about the different classes of amps so I know what I'm comparing.

Still, thanks again for all the help on a Friday night.
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post #16 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 07:22 PM
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The Nad C-275 BEE will fit into your cabinet, specs at
410wpc-4Ohm. However it is $500 more.
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post #17 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

Yeah, the parasound is likely going to be the best choice if I want a non-pro-amp.

I don't know anyone that has owned one but it certainly looks like a good amp and less than 1K sounds reasonable so I think it would serve you well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

I probably don't understand the cons of the pro-amps very well. Besides less refined looks and possible noise, are there complaints about their SQ? I mean, if a crown 1500 or 2000 can put out the same SQ for a few hundred bucks, why do people spend 10K?

Well, there are several potential problems that do exist for most pro amps but not all of them. Looks is one thing but that is more of opinion(though I fully acknowledge some pro amps are hideous). I personally like the way the qsc gx amps look but I know many would disagree with me.

As far as functional issues, fan noise is definitely audible in some pro amps though not all of them. Many don't have rca inputs so you need special cables to connect most receivers. The cables aren't expensive but some people don't want to be bothered with them. Another problem is that some require voltage input greater than some receivers can output. Regardless, the two amps I suggested won't suffer from any of these potential problems.

As far as the sound quality question, I don't want to derail your thread so I'll only say that a difference of opinion exists about pro amps and sound quality. Some believe consumer amps are superior while others do not.

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Still, thanks again for all the help on a Friday night.

No problem. I've got a bunch of work to do for Monday and I'm just taking a break.
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post #18 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 07:49 PM
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Any amp may have thermal problems in an enclosed space. At the least you should consider drilling some large (1"+) holes in the back to get some through ventilation.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #19 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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Digital amps will have absolutely no heat problem that a class AB amp will. Red Dragon and Wyred 4 Sound are said by their owners to mate really well with speakers such as Maggies.
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post #20 of 32 Old 03-30-2012, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

Yeah, the parasound is likely going to be the best choice if I want a non-pro-amp.

I probably don't understand the cons of the pro-amps very well. Besides less refined looks and possible noise, are there complaints about their SQ? I mean, if a crown 1500 or 2000 can put out the same SQ for a few hundred bucks, why do people spend 10K?

I'm still trying to understand this hobby. Before posting more, I need to go read about the different classes of amps so I know what I'm comparing.

Still, thanks again for all the help on a Friday night.

I own the qsc gx5 and the emotiva xpa 5. Best amp for the money but big and heavy. The gx5 fan runs full blast and is noisy. If you have a width of 19" the better bet is the QSC PLX1104 is going for $750 and does 500 watts rms 4ohm full range 0.05% thd and 106 s/n ratio. The fan is quieter but won't overheat in a cabinet as long as you don't close the front. It blows air out the front. 3.5" tall x 15" deep! And only 13 pounds. Not 77 lb. The amp I really want is the plx2502. Class h. Cleaner than class d and almost as efficient. 675 watts 4ohm for $1100. Too expensive for both of us. Yes crown and other pro brands are decent but most have 100 s/n ratio. The best home amps have 120 s/n for huge bucks. Class D is still struggling to produce the cleanest tweeter notes.
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post #21 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 04:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Digital amps will have absolutely no heat problem that a class AB amp will. Red Dragon and Wyred 4 Sound are said by their owners to mate really well with speakers such as Maggies.

Wish I could see more objective reviews of the Red Dragon. Their website doesn't inspire me very much, just to be honest (not that that is fair necessarily about their product). Wyred 4 Sound seems a bit more professional but prices are admittedly a bit higher.
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post #22 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 05:04 AM
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How about a Roto-Zip? You did say custom, just needs a bit of 'on-site' modification by opening some of the back. Perhaps the entire back can be removed (w/o damage) & put in storage for replacement later, also great for ventilation . Seriously, I did this with our solid cherry armoire to hold an old CRT, replaced it years later.

Steve
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post #23 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
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How about a Roto-Zip? You did say custom, just needs a bit of 'on-site' modification by opening some of the back. Perhaps the entire back can be removed (w/o damage) & put in storage for replacement later, also great for ventilation . Seriously, I did this with our solid cherry armoire to hold an old CRT, replaced it years later.

Let's just say that this is currently 'under negotiation' but I am not very confident that I will prevail.

I am also working on the concept that two XPA-1s could form the perfect cabinet-top accessory but, again, not sure about winning that one either.

Tough because I have exactly 19" and that is the exact size of the XPA-2 all the way to the back of the posts. Without banana plugs and with some L shaped RCAs and power adapters.....I think it still wouldn't quite work.
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post #24 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 05:49 AM
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Ah yes, the WAF at work here. Good luck!

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post #25 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkenit2 View Post

I own the qsc gx5 and the emotiva xpa 5. Best amp for the money but big and heavy. The gx5 fan runs full blast and is noisy. If you have a width of 19" the better bet is the QSC PLX1104 is going for $750 and does 500 watts rms 4ohm full range 0.05% thd and 106 s/n ratio. The fan is quieter but won't overheat in a cabinet as long as you don't close the front. It blows air out the front. 3.5" tall x 15" deep! And only 13 pounds. Not 77 lb.

The gx7 is a clone of the plx1804(which is being discontinued soon) so it's closer to the powerlights than the gx3 and gx5. Its weight is almost half that of a gx5(15lbs vs 28lbs). Because of that its fans are much quieter than its weaker siblings. Also, I think you have some of the specs mixed up. The plx1104(and 1804) is only 13lbs but is only 11" deep not 15". The plx2502 you mentioned is 15" deep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkenit2 View Post

The amp I really want is the plx2502. Class h. Cleaner than class d and almost as efficient. 675 watts 4ohm for $1100. Too expensive for both of us.

You could try looking for a used plx2402. It's the same internals as the plx2502 and can usually be found on fleabay for less than $500 usually.
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post #26 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

Let's just say that this is currently 'under negotiation' but I am not very confident that I will prevail.

I am also working on the concept that two XPA-1s could form the perfect cabinet-top accessory but, again, not sure about winning that one either.

Tough because I have exactly 19" and that is the exact size of the XPA-2 all the way to the back of the posts. Without banana plugs and with some L shaped RCAs and power adapters.....I think it still wouldn't quite work.

2 xpa-1's?! Maybe I should have asked and not assumed, but what exactly is your budget? I thought you were trying to stay below 1K but two of those would be 2K before shipping.
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post #27 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 04:11 PM
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Pictures are a great way of showing what you have to work with. I have the same problem (designed my own stand but no room for an amp). I do have a nice solution for mine. Yours?
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post #28 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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2 xpa-1's?! Maybe I should have asked and not assumed, but what exactly is your budget? I thought you were trying to stay below 1K but two of those would be 2K before shipping.

It's my fault maybe being a bit vague because, we all have our personality quirks and I am just very OCD about getting 'bang for the buck.' I am very willing to spend money if I think that I am getting a great deal in terms of performance for the dollar.

So I don't have a budget per se. I just had decided after internet research, talking to the Emo sales staff, reading forums, and all that, that Emotiva was the perfect amplifier company for me. Very high bang for the buck ratio. Unbelievable user loyalty. So while I was probably going to go for a single XPA-2 thinking that 500 WPC (4 ohms) was enough and thinking that $800 would be a nice amount to spend, I was also considering dropping the 2K needed for the 2 XPA-1 monoblocks. As I've said earlier, not exactly sure what kind of speakers I'll be ending up with and I like to play music loud.

I started this thread because I was hoping that there would be another such bang for the buck option out there. I am a firm believer (whether it is really completely true or not) that unless you are buying discontinued, clearance items, you are paying a huge markup going retail versus internet direct. For subwoofers, there are at least 5 extremely well regarded ID options that give tremendous bang for the buck. For speakers, probably even more.

So what I want (and thanks so much for all the good ideas posted here) is, lets just say for simplicities sake a way to drive two fronts at 500WPC for 1K or 1000WPC for 2K and I want the product to be as well regarded (almost universally) as Emotiva. I'm not sure whether I'd choose to spend 1K or 2K....but that isn't what I'm asking for help with if you know what I mean.

Maybe I'm just too caught up in the hype of Emo but that's a bit of the way internet research works for people not very knowledgeable about a field. I don't say this to put myself down, it's just that my line of work is in no way connected to music, I've never done this as a hobby before, etc.

So...my take home so far is that there is no company that offers Emos bang for the buck for a product as universally well reviewed for the 2 channel wattage I want. Outlaw would be right there if they made an XPA-1 or XPA-2 clone, but they don't. There are many pro-amps that are much cheaper and much more powerful but it is clear that not everyone thinks these are equivalent in terms of SQ (I have nothing to offer on the issue myself). There are a few of these class D amps but it is clear that there is still some controversy about their performance versus class A/B.

A lot of the satisfaction I get from spending money is to feel that, at least for my own needs, I've found the perfect product at the perfect price point. I thought I had it and am now struggling to find the next best thing.
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post #29 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DyeLooper View Post

Pictures are a great way of showing what you have to work with. I have the same problem (designed my own stand but no room for an amp). I do have a nice solution for mine. Yours?

I'm away from home, but here is a link showing the product if that helps.

http://www.roomandboard.com/rnb/prod...=media_cabinet

Mine is essentially two of the 40" wide versions of these on top of another. Solid (thin) wood backing with media cutouts at top and bottom for wire management and a mesh front.
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post #30 of 32 Old 03-31-2012, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcole05 View Post

It's my fault maybe being a bit vague because, we all have our personality quirks and I am just very OCD about getting 'bang for the buck.' I am very willing to spend money if I think that I am getting a great deal in terms of performance for the dollar.

So I don't have a budget per se. I just had decided after internet research, talking to the Emo sales staff, reading forums, and all that, that Emotiva was the perfect amplifier company for me. Very high bang for the buck ratio. Unbelievable user loyalty. So while I was probably going to go for a single XPA-2 thinking that 500 WPC (4 ohms) was enough and thinking that $800 would be a nice amount to spend, I was also considering dropping the 2K needed for the 2 XPA-1 monoblocks. As I've said earlier, not exactly sure what kind of speakers I'll be ending up with and I like to play music loud.

I started this thread because I was hoping that there would be another such bang for the buck option out there. I am a firm believer (whether it is really completely true or not) that unless you are buying discontinued, clearance items, you are paying a huge markup going retail versus internet direct. For subwoofers, there are at least 5 extremely well regarded ID options that give tremendous bang for the buck. For speakers, probably even more.

So what I want (and thanks so much for all the good ideas posted here) is, lets just say for simplicities sake a way to drive two fronts at 500WPC for 1K or 1000WPC for 2K and I want the product to be as well regarded (almost universally) as Emotiva. I'm not sure whether I'd choose to spend 1K or 2K....but that isn't what I'm asking for help with if you know what I mean.

Maybe I'm just too caught up in the hype of Emo but that's a bit of the way internet research works for people not very knowledgeable about a field. I don't say this to put myself down, it's just that my line of work is in no way connected to music, I've never done this as a hobby before, etc.

So...my take home so far is that there is no company that offers Emos bang for the buck for a product as universally well reviewed for the 2 channel wattage I want. Outlaw would be right there if they made an XPA-1 or XPA-2 clone, but they don't. There are many pro-amps that are much cheaper and much more powerful but it is clear that not everyone thinks these are equivalent in terms of SQ (I have nothing to offer on the issue myself). There are a few of these class D amps but it is clear that there is still some controversy about their performance versus class A/B.

A lot of the satisfaction I get from spending money is to feel that, at least for my own needs, I've found the perfect product at the perfect price point. I thought I had it and am now struggling to find the next best thing.

Well, I still think the outlaw 2200's or the parasound 2250 that you can get locally would serve you quite well, and they can fit in your cabinet. That said if you want the best bang for your buck(watts to $), I'd go with the qsc gx7, but that's just my opinion. It's a little cheaper than the xpa2($600 at most retail sites) and it doesn't have any of the physical limitations that the emo does(for your situation). If compare their spec sheets, the gx7 and xpa1's are remarkably similar. I know that doesn't mean a lot to some guys but I think it can be helpful at times.

Take this with a huge grain of salt, I've had an emo xpa5 and a few pro amps and I couldn't tell any difference between them sound quality wise. Now, I didn't compare at the same time and auditory memory is notoriously poor(in humans) so I wouldn't put much stock in this but I realize that some people do. So, I'm just putting it out there.

Whatever your choice, happy hunting. And read up on room acoustics. Getting that right would make a much more significant difference in sound quality than an amp will.
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