Emotiva XPA-5 or Parasound A51 ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 12-31-2012, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Just wondering whether anybody have tried them both and have any opinion in the sound quality between the two (well, which one is better, or are they just different).

Thank you very much beforehand.

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post #2 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 12:47 PM
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Well, the A51 is High Bias A/AB, the emo is only AB. Meaning at low volume the A51 is pure class A.
I personally would not waste my money on Emo.
The A51 will produce a better soundstage, imo.
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

Well, the A51 is High Bias A/AB, the emo is only AB. Meaning at low volume the A51 is pure class A.
I personally would not waste my money on Emo.
The A51 will produce a better soundstage, imo.

Don't believe marketing hype like "High Bias A/AB" without double blind tests to prove it is actually something that can be heard. The money spent on a Parasound amp is almost always better spent on room treatments and speakers. All "AB" amps operate in class "A" up to a certain point as do all competently designed amps. The Emotiva amps all have vanishingly low distortion which can be seen by the independent tests they publish on their site.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theresa View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

Well, the A51 is High Bias A/AB, the emo is only AB. Meaning at low volume the A51 is pure class A.
I personally would not waste my money on Emo.
The A51 will produce a better soundstage, imo.

Don't believe marketing hype like "High Bias A/AB" without double blind tests to prove it is actually something that can be heard. The money spent on a Parasound amp is almost always better spent on room treatments and speakers. All "AB" amps operate in class "A" up to a certain point as do all competently designed amps. The Emotiva amps all have vanishingly low distortion which can be seen by the independent tests they publish on their site.

 

+1. What does "High Bias A/AB" even mean?

 

There is also the issue of "The A51 will produce a better soundstage" too. How on earth does an amp "produce a soundstage"? Where has that come from?  If it is from the marketing literature of the amp manufacturer, then I would be highly skeptical about anything else in that literature too as the idea that an amp can influence the soundstage in any way is pure BS*. Just sayin'...

 

And, of course, you are 100% right about spending the money saved on better speakers and/or treatments. That's where the biggest SQ improvements will be heard - not in some alleged differences between amps.

 

EDIT:

 

*Just for the sake of completeness it is perhaps worth mentioning the Bob Carver patented 'Dimensional Sound Producing Apparatus' where Carver does claim to be able to 'enhance' stereo imaging by deliberately introducing a delayed and equalised signal in both (stereo) speakers. AFAIK this technology has never found its way into a modern SS amplifier and is, in any case, a deliberate distortion of the input signal. I can't recall the precise details of how it worked, but google will find "Dimensional Sound Producing Apparatus" I am sure, for anyone interested in reading more.

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post #5 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Just wondering whether anybody have tried them both and have any opinion in the sound quality between the two (well, which one is better, or are they just different).

Thank you very much beforehand.

 

Modern solid state amps, when working within their design parameters (eg not clipping) have been shown in numerous blind ABX tests to be indistinguishable in sound quality. If the amps under consideration are powerful enough to drive your speakers to the desired levels, without clipping, then the cheapest is the one to go for (assuming decent design / build quality, which the Emo amps have in spades). 

 

Here is a page of links to various blind tests:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

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post #6 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Considering I'm in Canada, how difficult is it should I need to fix the power amp? will Emotiva pay for shipping both ways? I'm asking this because to ship the Emotiva registered with tracking and signature-required will cost me near half the price of the power amp itself.

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post #7 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

+1. What does "High Bias A/AB" even mean?

There is also the issue of "The A51 will produce a better soundstage" too. How on earth does an amp "produce a soundstage"? Where has that come from?  If it is from the marketing literature of the amp manufacturer, then I would be highly skeptical about anything else in that literature too as the idea that an amp can influence the soundstage in any way is pure BS*. Just sayin'...

Biased in that it may operate class A for the first 5 watts instead of first 2 watts.

Class A's technical merit is that while in Class A you aren't building the wave form with two banks of transistors which it not designed properly can introduce cross over distortion. On the Stereo imaging and soundstage side as long as your channel crosstalk is they will both image well.

I ran Parasound, I ran Adcom. Surprisingly enough I now run 'Pro-Audio' gear: Crown. My XLS402D is a better amp than my two Parasound HCA-1000's. Where the Parasounds were a bit noisy the Crown is Ink-black.

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post #8 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, Crown amps are widely used by THX commercial theatres worldwide but Parasound are also currently being used at Skywalker Sound.

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post #9 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 07:44 PM
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If the goal of home theater is to accurately replicate the theater experience, wouldn't it make sense to use the equipment the theaters use? They're not using $20,000 monoblocks, they're running pro audio stuff.

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post #10 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 09:04 PM
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That is an interesting point. Class D may be great for HT and TV where dynamics are more important. If music is less important that may be a very good option.

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post #11 of 14 Old 01-01-2013, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Well, Crown amps are widely used by THX commercial theatres worldwide but Parasound are also currently being used at Skywalker Sound.
I also know Parasound is used at a high end sub woofer company to power the speakers they use for R&D to blend their subs with.
If music is a big part, tough to beat the Halo series.

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post #12 of 14 Old 01-02-2013, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Well, Crown amps are widely used by THX commercial theatres worldwide but Parasound are also currently being used at Skywalker Sound.

All I know is three years running I offered up my Parasounds to anyone that wanted to come by and blind tell me if they were listening to them or my Crown on my Statements. It was a 10 flips of the coin. Take a guess how many people I had take me up on that offer.

The XLS402D is one competent AMP IMO. Check out the New amp is making me grin from ear to ear thread

Also Home Theater Equipment has a Crown XLS DriveCore thread (Where Parasound was also removed to make room for Crown).

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I HAVE THE UPA 5 Emotiva power amp and I could not be happier. Their warranty is terrific....a floor installer moved my large cabinet and tore off the speaker terminals
and they replaced them no charge and paid for the Fed Ex charges. The Amp drives my Martin Logans wiithout a problem as my last power amp went into fault with
the ML.
I cannot recommend them more..plus telephone tech support is easy, complete and always available.smile.gif
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-04-2013, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post

Considering I'm in Canada, how difficult is it should I need to fix the power amp? will Emotiva pay for shipping both ways? I'm asking this because to ship the Emotiva registered with tracking and signature-required will cost me near half the price of the power amp itself.

 

I am in the UK. For warranty Emo will only pay one way IIRC. But they will work with your local repair shop to help diagnose the problem and then ship parts directly to them. I have never had a problem with any of my 4 Emo amps and I am of the view that if the amps work OK for the first week they will probably be OK for years. Amps are fairly simple devices so the local shop should have no problem fixing a faulty unit, using Emo's spares.

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