Emotiva XPA2 into Integra DTR 60.5 hook up - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 12-03-2014, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Emotiva XPA2 into Integra DTR 60.5 hook up

Hi Folks!


I was hoping I could use your help here. This is my current setup:


Front Speakers: BW CM10 S2
Center Speaker: BW CM Center S2
Surround L/R: Bose Cubes (yeah sorry but don't feel like spending more on speakers)
Subwoofer: SVS SB-2000
AV Receiver: Integra DTR 60.5


I just hooked up (like an hour ago) a 2 channel amp (Emotiva XPA 2) into the preouts of my receiver and connected my CM10s to the Emotiva. I did this because the CM10s can go as high as 300W while the Integra receiver can only go as high as 135 watts per channel (2 channel driven). So to avoid distortion/clipping issues, I purchased the Emotiva which can go as high as 300W per channel (8 ohms) and hence matches my mains.


I played some music right away without rerunning Audessey and with my volume on the Integra set at 50%, I don't see a difference in sound output or quality. I thought the difference would be noticeable based on what I've read and heard so far. Am I missing something here? Do I need to rerun Audessey, allow a burn in period for the new amp etc.? Or will the difference be more noticeable at higher volume levels? I can't try that right now as it's late at night and my family is asleep!!


Your thoughts/suggestions greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:44 AM
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The only thing more power will let you do is go louder than you could before--you're not going to get any significant increase in "sound quality" by using a discrete amp. Remember that to double the perceived volume, you need 10x more wattage.

Using this calculator: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

135w gives you an SPL of 106.6dB.
300w gives you an SPL of 110dB.

(both assuming that you sit 8 feet from the speakers)

Your speakers aren't particularly difficult to drive; they're quite sensitive and their nominal impedance is 8ohm.

As far as "quality" is concerned: the amp in your Integra AVR was already a high quality amplifier--the Emotiva isn't going to give you a "quality increase." There are a lot of people who disagree with this sentiment; however, it's a highly subjective topic. You said yourself you're not noticing a difference in quality--and there are basically as many people who notice a difference as those who don't (again, so long as a reasonably high quality amplifier is used).

My personal advice: there's absolutely no reason for you to have a discrete amp with your current setup; I suggest you return it and save the money.

Edit: For the $749 that the XPA-2 is currently selling for, you could do a serious upgrade of your rear speakers that would have a FAR greater effect on the quality of your audio than the amp ever could.
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Old 12-04-2014, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalthien View Post
The only thing more power will let you do is go louder than you could before--you're not going to get any significant increase in "sound quality" by using a discrete amp. Remember that to double the perceived volume, you need 10x more wattage.

Using this calculator: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

135w gives you an SPL of 106.6dB.
300w gives you an SPL of 110dB.

(both assuming that you sit 8 feet from the speakers)

Your speakers aren't particularly difficult to drive; they're quite sensitive and their nominal impedance is 8ohm.

As far as "quality" is concerned: the amp in your Integra AVR was already a high quality amplifier--the Emotiva isn't going to give you a "quality increase." There are a lot of people who disagree with this sentiment; however, it's a highly subjective topic. You said yourself you're not noticing a difference in quality--and there are basically as many people who notice a difference as those who don't (again, so long as a reasonably high quality amplifier is used).

My personal advice: there's absolutely no reason for you to have a discrete amp with your current setup; I suggest you return it and save the money.

Edit: For the $749 that the XPA-2 is currently selling for, you could do a serious upgrade of your rear speakers that would have a FAR greater effect on the quality of your audio than the amp ever could.
Great advice nalthien! I should have asked around before making this purchase! But I do have 30 days to try it out. Isn't distortion /clipping from using an amp with less power than the speakers a concern? B&W themselves recommended that I use an amp with equal or more power than the cm10.

Also, you mention 'discrete' amp. Discrete as opposed to what? I had recently auditioned a pair of revel f208 speakers at a local av store. These can go up to 350watts and were connected to what looked like a tube amp. I was amazed with how loud they got even with the volume knob at the 10 o'clock position.. I don't get that kind output from the cm10s (which seem close to the revels spec wise) unless I crank it up to the 2 o'clock position. Perhaps it was the tube amp driving them?
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by rookie4ever View Post
Great advice nalthien! I should have asked around before making this purchase! But I do have 30 days to try it out. Isn't distortion /clipping from using an amp with less power than the speakers a concern? B&W themselves recommended that I use an amp with equal or more power than the cm10.
Clipping is only a concern if you regularly listen at the maximum volume your amplifier can cleanly drive (which, depending on the brand, may not correlate at all with the maximum volume setting). It's also somewhat more complicated as your speaker impedance will not be constant across the full audio spectrum and the dynamic range of the source will also mean that the peaks can go well above the "average."

I highly recommend reading this post on Amplifiers to get a better understanding:

Amplifier FAQ

Quote:
Originally Posted by rookie4ever View Post
Also, you mention 'discrete' amp. Discrete as opposed to what?
Discrete meaning separate--not integrated with another part in your system. Your AVR is effectively a Digital Processor with an amplifier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rookie4ever View Post
I had recently auditioned a pair of revel f208 speakers at a local av store. These can go up to 350watts and were connected to what looked like a tube amp. I was amazed with how loud they got even with the volume knob at the 10 o'clock position.. I don't get that kind output from the cm10s (which seem close to the revels spec wise) unless I crank it up to the 2 o'clock position. Perhaps it was the tube amp driving them?
Don't make the mistake of equating the "position" of the volume knob with how much power the amp is driving. Without knowing anything about the amp, it could have been a unit pushing 500+ watts into 8ohms meaning that a lower setting for volume would be louder. Also understand that there are many factors that affect loudness--one of the most critical is your distance from the speakers.

A quick word of warning about sticking it out the 30 days: the longer you keep it, the more you'll try to convince yourself that you do, in fact, hear a difference. It'll be subconscious. That said: it's your system, your money, and they're your ears! Do what you think works best for you!
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Old 12-04-2014, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nalthien View Post
Clipping is only a concern if you regularly listen at the maximum volume your amplifier can cleanly drive (which, depending on the brand, may not correlate at all with the maximum volume setting). It's also somewhat more complicated as your speaker impedance will not be constant across the full audio spectrum and the dynamic range of the source will also mean that the peaks can go well above the "average."

I highly recommend reading this post on Amplifiers to get a better understanding:

Amplifier FAQ



Discrete meaning separate--not integrated with another part in your system. Your AVR is effectively a Digital Processor with an amplifier.



Don't make the mistake of equating the "position" of the volume knob with how much power the amp is driving. Without knowing anything about the amp, it could have been a unit pushing 500+ watts into 8ohms meaning that a lower setting for volume would be louder. Also understand that there are many factors that affect loudness--one of the most critical is your distance from the speakers.

A quick word of warning about sticking it out the 30 days: the longer you keep it, the more you'll try to convince yourself that you do, in fact, hear a difference. It'll be subconscious. That said: it's your system, your money, and they're your ears! Do what you think works best for you!
In regards to distance from the speakers, I was about 8 feet away from the Revels in the audition room similar to the distance from my CM10s at home. I was listening to the same music too. But I suspected that the Revels could be driven by a much more powerful amp and hence the high SPL which is what got me into looking for a more powerful amp for my speakers in addition to the clipping/distortion concern. I forgot to ask about the amp specs when auditioning the Revels. I suspect room acoustics would play a significant part too as these audition rooms unlike my living room are treated appropriately. But thank you for the link. Will check it out. I'm surely learning a lot.


Also, I know exactly what you mean by the 30 day trial caution. I woke up this morning and thought I could tell a difference in the sound and then I read your reply . Oh well, evaluating products requires objectivity and ruthless honesty I guess and a willingness to put in labor. At 75 pounds, the Emotiva is a real beast to lug around!!!
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Old 12-16-2014, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nalthien View Post
Edit: For the $749 that the XPA-2 is currently selling for, you could do a serious upgrade of your rear speakers that would have a FAR greater effect on the quality of your audio than the amp ever could.
Nalthien, I hope you see this but of course this question is for anyone out there I forgot to follow up on one of Nalthein's comments about my rear speakers. I used to have Bose double cubes as fronts and decided to demote them to surround L/R thinking they should be good enough for that purpose. Should I really expect a big difference by upgrading to other speakers? I thought these speakers would be excellent to handle surround channel content, no? These would only be used for movies. I prefer just 2 channels for music.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by rookie4ever View Post
Nalthien, I hope you see this but of course this question is for anyone out there I forgot to follow up on one of Nalthein's comments about my rear speakers. I used to have Bose double cubes as fronts and decided to demote them to surround L/R thinking they should be good enough for that purpose. Should I really expect a big difference by upgrading to other speakers? I thought these speakers would be excellent to handle surround channel content, no? These would only be used for movies. I prefer just 2 channels for music.
Most folks are focused on rears for movie content. I expect that you would notice a difference. Would it be huge? No, probably not (but maybe, those Bose likely don't have great response)--but it would almost definitely be a bigger increase in quality than adding an external amp that you don't really need.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Most folks are focused on rears for movie content. I expect that you would notice a difference. Would it be huge? No, probably not (but maybe, those Bose likely don't have great response)--but it would almost definitely be a bigger increase in quality than adding an external amp that you don't really need.

Thanks again Nalthein! That helps. The Bose sound good to me as surrounds, are small and I can just stick them onto the wall. If I get anything else more noticeable in my living room, I will be single soon
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:22 PM
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I think you'll find that there are lots of small options that will beat the Bose for sound quality--check around the speaker forums for impressions.
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