32 db of gain - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-06-2013, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I had an unfortunate experience after purchasing my last amplifier. After much deliberation I went with a new Earthquake CineNova 5.
It failed this year. Dealing with Earthquake company was a nightmare that I would not want my worst enemy to endure.

Now I am looking for a new amplifier to go with my 2 channel recently purchased new Aragon 8008.
I have been in discussion with Emotiva on a range of amplifier options.
A sticking point being that on most of the Emotiva forums I have read the purchaser is coming from a receiver and not separates.

Also as has been mentioned in this thread the unusually high input gain of 32db on most of their amplifiers.
Even the tech support admits there can be issues with this type of gain with certain set ups.

Did I mention that EARTHQUAKE sound corporation SUCKS in every way possible on every level?

Although the Emotiva return policy is good the options are many and I would rather not return even once.
The tech line says that gen 2 of the xpa 5 is all new and much better. But it still has the 32db gain.
I could use the additional channels in case I ever want to try out 7 channel surround or use them for zone playback.

The burning question for me is whether the their reasonably priced product is going to be a hindrance to the overall enjoyment of playback integrated into my system.
The previous purchase priced at about $500.00 per channel was ..... I have already stated my thoughts on ECS.

Customer service is a key component as well to overall satisfaction and Emotiva do seem to care about their customers.
Is the high gain an issue?
Or just a meaningless spec?
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-06-2013, 12:59 PM
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Emotiva does indeed care about their customers - they're VERY responsive and helpful.
If you're looking for an excellent 2 channel amp at a gain of 29db, then why not get Emotiva's reference line two channel amp? - the XPR-2?, (600w x 2 into 8 Ohms, and less expensive than most others).
I own the XPR-5 and its been a really high performer, sounds wonderfully 'musical', and all the headroom anyone could ever need or want.
Yeah, I'd go with their XPR-2 in your case...

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Marantz AV 8801 Processor, Emotiva XPR-5 Amplifier, Panasonic 65" ST30 Plasma, Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray, Yamaha CDC-697 CD Player, Yamaha TT-500U Turntable, w/Signet TK5e, JBL ES100 Fronts, JBL LC2 Center, JBL ES30 Surrounds & 2 JBL ES250P Subwoofers
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-06-2013, 01:34 PM
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I don't know your budget but if $1,500 is doable I highly recommend the Theta Digital Intrepid refurb amps sold with full 3 year warranty by Classic Audio Parts as an authorized dealer for ATI and Theta. The Intrepid new listed for $4,000 so a fully warranted unit for $1,500 IMO is a great value. The Intrepid is a very quiet amp using fully-balanced architecture and has power beyond it's given ratings, especially if you use just 2-3 channels. It is made in the USA, FWIW, as opposed to Asia, and build quality is outstanding. I have used this amp for the center and surrounds in my HT setup for about five years now and from day one I felt is was the best HT amp I had heard (and I have owned many) - if used with a sub. I don't think it is the best out there for a full-frequency speaker which is why I use the Roger Sanders designed Innersound ESL (which IMO is peerless). for my 2 channel listening. The higher power rated ATI amps may be better for you if you don't use a sub with your 2 ch listening, especially the fully balanced models. I have not heard ATI but their reviews are excellent and their quality is rock solid. ATI is an OEM source for many high end amplifiers, in case you didn't know. Here is a link for the refurb models which have the same warranty as new:

http://www.classicaudioparts.com/

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-06-2013, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

***The Intrepid is a very quiet amp using fully-balanced architecture and has power beyond it's given ratings, especially if you use just 2-3 channels.

No, it doesn't.

The Theta amp also has rather high source impedance, so much so that with some speakers it may even sound different from an amp of better design. More "tube like," because an awful lot of "tube sound" is really just FR modulation caused by high source impedance.

Also, while ATI may or may not have been Theta's OEM (I don't know one way or the other), this amp is markedly different from the ATI-badged amps. It's much more ideological in design ("negative feedback is evil" is fairly standard audiophool dogma) than is ATI's wont. Also, I believe this amp design dates from before ATI purchased Theta.

Unless one just have to have that "stingray's lady parts" faceplate and really wants to say that s/he bought a "4000 dollar amp for 1500," the standard ATI part available at that price will be a markedly superior performer, and perhaps even audibly better into speakers with large impedance swings in the midrange. ATI does make fine amps at reasonable prices, and has exceptional after-sales support. The 1805 is cheaper and better than the Theta (more powerful, less ideological design). The only knock on it right now is that the 1807 is barely more expensive through CAP (still cheaper than the Theta) and offers two more channels. The 2005 is also available from CAP. It is more expensive than the Theta, but also is at least 4.5dB more powerful.

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post #5 of 16 Old 07-07-2013, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Mad Norseman wrote
Quote:
If you're looking for an excellent 2 channel amp at a gain of 29db, then why not get Emotiva's reference line two channel amp? - the XPR-2?, (600w x 2 into 8 Ohms, and less expensive than most others).

I require 3 channels, at least of amplification. So XPR-2 and ?

I am wondering if anyone has received the XPA-5 Gen 2?
Reviews?

Hey Mad Norseman what amplifier did you own before the XPA-5?
Comparisons please?
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post #6 of 16 Old 07-07-2013, 05:07 PM
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I own three Emotiva amplifiers with 32db gain structure. I have two XPA-1 mono blocks powering mains with 97db sensitivity. When calibrated from my LP to read 75DB with a test tone they have a -10.5DB channel volume setting in my AVR. No problems there. My XPA-5 is used for the other channels and those speakers are all 90db sensitivity. They are all set from -3 to -10.5 in the calibration. I don't think you have anything to worry about.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-07-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post

I own three Emotiva amplifiers with 32db gain structure. I have two XPA-1 mono blocks powering mains with 97db sensitivity. When calibrated from my LP to read 75DB with a test tone they have a -10.5DB channel volume setting in my AVR. No problems there. My XPA-5 is used for the other channels and those speakers are all 90db sensitivity. They are all set from -3 to -10.5 in the calibration. I don't think you have anything to worry about.

yeah, you really need all the robust amperage you can get with those speaker sensitivity.rolleyes.gif oh wait that's right headroom, its all about headroom.

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-07-2013, 05:36 PM
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There is an 8008x3 on EBay at the moment but it says Shipping to US but you never know.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-07-2013, 05:36 PM
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Adequate headroom is a great thing. I never need to think about clipping or running out of power. My mains have large impedance dips. The XPR line of amplifiers to me is to excessive. Hardly no one will ever come close to using the excessive headroom. I think they are a complete waste of money.
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-07-2013, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
There is an 8008x3 on EBay at the moment but it says Shipping to US but you never know.

no balanced connections or else it would be mine!
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-07-2013, 06:15 PM
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There is no need for balanced connections unless you have extremely long cable runs running along many other cables. I highly doubt you have that in your home unless you have something similar to a live concert setup in your home.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-07-2013, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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balanced are way better
been there done that.

I just have microphone cable with balanced connectors and they are sooooooo much better, so much better than my $100.00 a meter RCA's in regards to noise floor.
Wont go back to un balanced nope.
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-08-2013, 03:59 PM
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Hi kiwi2000!
Before, I was running everything off of a Yamaha RX-V1900 AVR rated at 130w x 2.
It was an excellent receiver, but the extra power of a separate multi-channel amplifier DOES INDEED make a huge positive difference!

Since you need 3 channels of amplification, you might as well consider the Emotive XPR-5 (400w x 5), on sale right now, and just idle 2 of the channels:
http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/amplifiers/products/xpr5
(Later if you expand to a 5 channel system then you're all set, and will STILL have plenty of clean power.
Good luck in whatever you decide though.

The Insane Pink Care Bear's Home Theater Set Up:

Marantz AV 8801 Processor, Emotiva XPR-5 Amplifier, Panasonic 65" ST30 Plasma, Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray, Yamaha CDC-697 CD Player, Yamaha TT-500U Turntable, w/Signet TK5e, JBL ES100 Fronts, JBL LC2 Center, JBL ES30 Surrounds & 2 JBL ES250P Subwoofers
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-09-2013, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
you might as well consider the Emotive XPR-5 (400w x 5), on sale right now, and just idle 2 of the channels:

That is interesting as the cost of the Gen 2 XPA-5 is $1000.00 a $700.00 difference to be sure but still about teh similar cost to a good used amplifier
29Db of gain as opposed to 32 on the XPA-5..

But I don't require anywhere near that amount of power it is a waste. You also require an electrician to install a 20 amp supply.
Your JBL's would have been fine with the XPA-5 as well. They are super efficient speakers as mine are.
Quote:
Later if you expand to a 5 channel system then you're all set, and will STILL have plenty of clean power.

I have a five channel system now if you read the first post when I joined in this thread I had an unfortunate incident with the 5 channel amplifier I purchased.
I now have a stereo amplifier and only require 3 channels but 5 would be acceptable if I ever go to 7.1 surround its already there.

A used Krell is on Ebay right now for the cost of a new XPA-5. and that is just the opening bid.

secret squirrel has me convinced that the 32db is not going to be an issue.

Decisions, decisions
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-09-2013, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2000 View Post

That is interesting as the cost of the Gen 2 XPA-5 is $1000.00 a $700.00 difference to be sure but still about teh similar cost to a good used amplifier
29Db of gain as opposed to 32 on the XPA-5..
But I don't require anywhere near that amount of power it is a waste. You also require an electrician to install a 20 amp supply.
Your JBL's would have been fine with the XPA-5 as well. They are super efficient speakers as mine are.
I have a five channel system now if you read the first post when I joined in this thread I had an unfortunate incident with the 5 channel amplifier I purchased.
I now have a stereo amplifier and only require 3 channels but 5 would be acceptable if I ever go to 7.1 surround its already there.
A used Krell is on Ebay right now for the cost of a new XPA-5. and that is just the opening bid.
secret squirrel has me convinced that the 32db is not going to be an issue.
Decisions, decisions

Still, I'd seriously consider the XPR-5.
Yeah, my JBLs are somewhat efficient (91db fronts, but 88db surrounds), and my LC2 center channel speaker, though rated at a high 92db sensitivity, is really a 'power pig' in disguise!
I've never clipped with this amp, but I have driven it pretty hard at times lighting up all the LEDs all the way to the top a bunch of times with dynamic movie soundtracks ('Looper', 'Saving Private Ryan', etc.).
But in any case, the XPA-5 would be fine in your case too, those some have reported a slight 'hiss' with very efficient speakers (due to its 32db gain I'm sure).
Easier to drive the XPAs to full output with an AVR's pre-outs too, since they put out lower voltage.

Good luck with whatever route you go, but please post back here your experiences.

The Insane Pink Care Bear's Home Theater Set Up:

Marantz AV 8801 Processor, Emotiva XPR-5 Amplifier, Panasonic 65" ST30 Plasma, Yamaha BD-S2900 Blu-ray, Yamaha CDC-697 CD Player, Yamaha TT-500U Turntable, w/Signet TK5e, JBL ES100 Fronts, JBL LC2 Center, JBL ES30 Surrounds & 2 JBL ES250P Subwoofers
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-10-2013, 02:37 PM
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http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/thread/31398/new-xpa-generation-2?page=2 In this thread it appears that the new xpa-5 will be 29db gain if it helps.
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