Emotiva XPA-2 Or Classe' CA2300 for B&W Diamond Series? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 10-31-2013, 01:39 PM - Thread Starter
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So my question is, I am looking at buying a pair of 803 or 802 Diamond speakers from Bowers & Wilkins and i am trying to decide who would give me the warmer, clear sound. I'm looking between the XPA-2 300wx2 or the CA2300 300wx2 from Classe'. What are your opinions on these?

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post #2 of 21 Old 10-31-2013, 02:25 PM
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Why would you need 300w/ch for a 90dB sensitivity speaker.....to what levels are you going to drive them?

ps Here is a great thread on the aspects of what amp might be needed http://www.avsforum.com/t/1485846/quality-power

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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post #3 of 21 Old 11-02-2013, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I am going to be driving these at roughly -10db on the processor, which is going to be the cp-800 stereo processor from classe'.

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post #4 of 21 Old 11-02-2013, 12:58 PM
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Both amps will sound identical. Neither will be warmer or brighter or tighter bass. Save the money and go with emo. You will never use more then 200 watts unless you listen at 120 db plus.
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post #5 of 21 Old 11-02-2013, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

Both amps will sound identical. Neither will be warmer or brighter or tighter bass. Save the money and go with emo. You will never use more then 200 watts unless you listen at 120 db plus.


Hearing them both in person finally, i have to say, the classe sounds wayyy warmer in tone and there is detail there that the emo is just plain missing.

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post #6 of 21 Old 11-02-2013, 03:15 PM
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Every blind test would disagree with your opinion but if your gut wants classe then go for it. If you get emo you will probably always wonder "what if " so if money isn't an issue then I'm sure you will be happy. Good luck wink.gif
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-02-2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG3NOC1D3 View Post

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Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

Both amps will sound identical. Neither will be warmer or brighter or tighter bass. Save the money and go with emo. You will never use more then 200 watts unless you listen at 120 db plus.


Hearing them both in person finally, i have to say, the classe sounds wayyy warmer in tone and there is detail there that the emo is just plain missing.
How did you do that? Some cooperative B&M dealer that allows an ID brand on premises and hooked it up to appropriate level matched switchgear? Someone's home with such gear to compare? I'd stay away from any amplifier that professes to be anything but a good amplifier; if it adds or subtracts something is wrong but I'd likely think it's the processing if anything that you're hearing differences in particularly on solid state gear but I'd say your expectations probably color it pretty well seeing the brands you're interested in...IMHO Classe doesn't have much special going on technically but their aesthetics, and quality of build and components is good, may make it interesting to some but not a particularly good value.

If you want warm sound get speakers that fit your taste and then eq them as needed for your room.

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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post #8 of 21 Old 11-03-2013, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TG3NOC1D3 View Post
 


Hearing them both in person finally, i have to say, the classe sounds wayyy warmer in tone and there is detail there that the emo is just plain missing.

I had an XPA amp, and found it bright sounding as well.  It depends on the speakers involved, but I'd say B&W would need something warmer. 

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post #9 of 21 Old 11-03-2013, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TG3NOC1D3 View Post

So my question is, I am looking at buying a pair of 803 or 802 Diamond speakers from Bowers & Wilkins and i am trying to decide who would give me the warmer, clear sound. I'm looking between the XPA-2 300wx2 or the CA2300 300wx2 from Classe'. What are your opinions on these?

If you are dissatisfied with the sound of your audio system you need to investigate at least 2 of these three options:

(1) Overpriced, often overpowered amplifiers.

(2) System optimization with equalizers tuned to the room by means of relatively simple and inexpensive acoustical measurements, even those done with features of just about every modern AVR

(3) Optimizing room acoustics, again guided by measurements.

(2) and (3) are complementary and their high effectiveness has been documented on AVS probably 100s of times by now.

(1) Is very old school, highly controversial, and its ineffectiveness has been documented many times.

The choice is up to you.
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post #10 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 11:42 AM
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What about a Crown XLS 1000 vs the emo for 4ohm speakers?
http://www.crownaudio.com/usa/amplifiers/xls-drivecore.html
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post #11 of 21 Old 11-14-2013, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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How did you do that? Some cooperative B&M dealer that allows an ID brand on premises and hooked it up to appropriate level matched switchgear? Someone's home with such gear to compare? I'd stay away from any amplifier that professes to be anything but a good amplifier; if it adds or subtracts something is wrong but I'd likely think it's the processing if anything that you're hearing differences in particularly on solid state gear but I'd say your expectations probably color it pretty well seeing the brands you're interested in...IMHO Classe doesn't have much special going on technically but their aesthetics, and quality of build and components is good, may make it interesting to some but not a particularly good value.

If you want warm sound get speakers that fit your taste and then eq them as needed for your room.


Well, i work for modia home theater and we have the cp-800, buddy of mine brought in his emotiva xpa-2 he was demoing and i got to listen between them. One of the perks of having 802's on the floor and classe'. I've always been more of a videophile so when i started here, i was still learning about the classe' and McIntosh. I'm starting to conquer my learning curve though haha.

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post #12 of 21 Old 11-14-2013, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

How did you do that? Some cooperative B if it adds or subtracts something is wrong but I'd likely think it's the processing if anything that you're hearing differences in particularly on solid state gear but I'd say your expectations probably color it pretty well seeing the brands you're interested in...IMHO Classe doesn't have much special going on technically but their aesthetics, and quality of build and components is good, may make it interesting to some but not a particularly good value.


If you want warm sound get speakers that fit your taste and then eq them as needed for your room.


Well, i work for modia home theater and we have the cp-800, buddy of mine brought in his emotiva xpa-2 he was demoing and i got to listen between them. One of the perks of having 802's on the floor and classe'. I've always been more of a videophile so when i started here, i was still learning about the classe' and McIntosh. I'm starting to conquer my learning curve though haha.

Did you level match? Use a switch to go back and forth between the two amps? What details were missing in the Emotiva? I agree with trying a pro-amp into the mix, you might be pleasantly surprised.....

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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post #13 of 21 Old 11-14-2013, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Did you level match? Use a switch to go back and forth between the two amps? What details were missing in the Emotiva? I agree with trying a pro-amp into the mix, you might be pleasantly surprised.....


I did level match and it was a niles switch that i used to go back and forth. The emo was missing the warmth and image imo, as to the classe' had that open airy soundstage and detail that i like. Basically the emo didn't pickup details like the deep breath before the start of wish you were here from pink floyd, as well as the radio noise was less noticeable. McIntosh was able to give the warmth matching that B&W typically has with their diamond series. Then again, we all here differently, so, take it with a grain of salt hahaha.

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post #14 of 21 Old 11-14-2013, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
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I did level match and it was a niles switch that i used to go back and forth. The emo was missing the warmth and image imo, as to the classe' had that open airy soundstage and detail that i like. Basically the emo didn't pickup details like the deep breath before the start of wish you were here from pink floyd, as well as the radio noise was less noticeable. McIntosh was able to give the warmth matching that B&W typically has with their diamond series. Then again, we all here differently, so, take it with a grain of salt hahaha.

Did you do the switching? Was this two amps and one processor or two systems and the same speakers
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post #15 of 21 Old 11-14-2013, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Did you do the switching? Was this two amps and one processor or two systems and the same speakers

My installer put in the switch. It was one processor, two amps and same speakers.

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post #16 of 21 Old 11-14-2013, 05:12 PM
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How did you level match between the amps?

Niles with this level of gear? Isn't that like using a cheap avr with your fancy B&W speakers? smile.gif

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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post #17 of 21 Old 11-15-2013, 08:17 AM
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I'd agree with "TG3NOC1D3". I have an XPA-2 and it does sound bright and has limited detailing. My comparison wasn't with a Classe' but with a NAD 275BEE. The lower powered NAD was much warmer sounding and with a better soundfield (detailing, bass).
I'd also agree with "lovinthehd", speakers will make a difference to the overall sound.
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post #18 of 21 Old 11-15-2013, 12:04 PM
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People listen with their eyes and their wallets.

The Classe is a nicer more sophisticated amp, it must sound better!

No. They sound exactly the same within their limits.
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post #19 of 21 Old 11-15-2013, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Didn't know Emotiva made defective amps, interesting; or perhaps even more magical Classe (gotta love a dorky name like that....altho I don't do it justice by not adding the accent mark but don't want to spend time figuring out how to find that feature in my character set on my computer). Not amplifying the signal completely is hard to imagine; what does the amp do with the signal it chooses not to amplify? Or is it the Classe is actually adding artifacts? How does that work? You really should write this up for AES or something, that would be very unusual behavior for an amp to selectively not amplify certain passages in the material, or, on the other hand, to add them selectively. You'd think these were tube amps or something. Amazing what they can do with solid state electronics these days rolleyes.gif

I'm betting the Modia guy doesn't even know how to level match....


We actually used a Dynamic Range Meter to check the RMS loudness of the the two mixes at the same point in the music, then set the levels to match them. We also made sure that each of the speakers output in the system, was the same in sound pressure. So yes, I do know how to level match, so does almost every person in our store. Don't insult my intelligence man, i came on this board to offer my opinion and the way i perceived the two. We also ripped the switch out today and did a comparison via running two sets of cables. Same thing, different day.

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post #20 of 21 Old 11-15-2013, 10:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post

Didn't know Emotiva made defective amps, interesting; or perhaps even more magical Classe (gotta love a dorky name like that....altho I don't do it justice by not adding the accent mark but don't want to spend time figuring out how to find that feature in my character set on my computer). Not amplifying the signal completely is hard to imagine; what does the amp do with the signal it chooses not to amplify? Or is it the Classe is actually adding artifacts? How does that work? You really should write this up for AES or something, that would be very unusual behavior for an amp to selectively not amplify certain passages in the material, or, on the other hand, to add them selectively. You'd think these were tube amps or something. Amazing what they can do with solid state electronics these days rolleyes.gif

I'm betting the Modia guy doesn't even know how to level match....

Why do you rip on people doing their best to share results?!

So much negativity.......

If you wanna start calling peoples know how into question start with your living room setup. Can't you get those speakers a little higher and more corner loaded. Dudes like you should listen to what these guys have to offer. Your system can't even create a proper soundstage...... Come on now........
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post #21 of 21 Old 11-16-2013, 04:03 AM
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We actually used a Dynamic Range Meter to check the RMS loudness of the the two mixes at the same point in the music, then set the levels to match them. We also made sure that each of the speakers output in the system, was the same in sound pressure. So yes, I do know how to level match, so does almost every person in our store. Don't insult my intelligence man, i came on this board to offer my opinion and the way i perceived the two. We also ripped the switch out today and did a comparison via running two sets of cables. Same thing, different day.

Don't take it personally.  This forum is kind of a rah rah place for receivers and tight budgets, but I'm sure many appreciate your input, I know I do.  I had an Emotiva amp and found it brighter sounding with my particular speakers too.  They make a decent amp for the asking price, but that's not saying much.

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