Yamaha RX-A820 or Emotiva XPA-5 Amplifier - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-03-2012, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Before I begin, I've been a lurker here for a long time and now have the funds to start another expensive hobby.

Current 7.2 setup:

Receiver: Yamaha RX-V663
Fronts: Polk Monitor 70's
Center: Polk CS2
Surrounds: Polk Monitor 30's ALSO have Polk Monitor 60's that were retired as fronts that I was thinking to use as surrounds eventually.
Rears: Polk Monitor 30's
Subs: Polk PSW505's
Power: Belkin PureAV PF30

Reasons behind upgrade:

I currently love this receiver but I have two issues with it; one being it only has 2 HDMI ports and I need 4, and two I really want Pandora and streaming music without using a 3.5mm to RCA plugs and having to hook my phone up to it.

My other reason behind wanting to upgrade is I listen to music about 90% of the time in 2 channel stereo at a rather loud level and when I watch movies it's the same way so I would like to add more power to the 70's as well as being able to utilize the 60's as surround's without stressing the Yamaha as much.

Question:

Should I upgrade my receiver to the RX-A820 to get the options I'm looking for and skip on the extra power or should I keep the RX-V663 and add an HDMI switch and go for the Emotiva XPA-5 amp?

Personally I'm leaning towards the amp as I have workarounds for the options I want in the receiver and the extra power will really wake up the system I have now. I'm new to having a separate amp so I know nothing about them besides the power rating and hookups. This is why I turn you knowledgeable people!
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-04-2012, 09:39 AM
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HDMI switch and an external amp would be my choice...

I was in the same boat a while back. Like you, I run a larger Polk tower for left and right mains. My HK receiver did a fair (at best) job of running these towers at low-medium levels. If I wanted to open up and run them loud, I would always have to reduce bass/treble levels, lower individual input levels, and hope that I did not cook off one of the drivers. Low power + high gain = distortion.

In an effort to give my RTi10's some juice, I researched every damn company I could. SQ and value were my targets...emotiva seemed to offer both but further reading revealed issues of build quality and sound quality...leaving value in my court. Mind you, this was just my research and I blame the copious amounts of cold IPA & pissed off Emotiva owners that drove me away from a purchase.

My money went to the purchase of an ADA PTM6150. This a was a craigslist find and the owner bought it new in the late 90's but failed to unbox it for the project he had in mind. I scored quality and value in one 25 minute drive from my front door. I brought it home, terminated pre-outs to amp inputs and powered my system up. Right off, I noticed how much better the sound was at low volume levels and raising the level only became better. My entire RTi system now sings where it used to hum.

Invest your dough in power. IMO, your current Yamaha is a fine processor...open those Polks up and enjoy the sound.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-04-2012, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I've been watching CL for months for a good amp and nothing ever appears, even checked cities around me and nothing. I live in a crap area.

Is there any other brand of amp that might suit my needs for around that price range? I'm definitely not against used.
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-05-2012, 06:08 AM
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I just bought an RX-A820 and it is great, but with my Paradigm Studio 100's, it was a bit underpowered. Not sure if your speakers are a comparable load. That said, I just paired the RX-A820 with an Emotiva XPA-3 and now it is an amazing system. The Yamaha has no trouble driving my surround speakers. The RX-A820 + XPA-3 gives me the latest AVR features with all the power I need. Hard to beat a combo like this for around $1500 total.

If you can delay your AVR upgrade, I agree with the above posts to go amp first.
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