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Official Emotiva XPA-5 Owners Thread

post #1 of 1944
Thread Starter 
i recently acquired an Emotiva XPA-5, and to my shock, there was no thread aimed primarily at the owners of this particular amp on AVS Forum. So i had to start one.
This amp is spectacular. I hooked it up to my Denon 4310CI (used as a processor) and you simply hear details that were not there before. I'm sure you've heard that before, but i'm here to tell you it's the truth.

One particular example is in Transformers 2. The "pimp-slap" that Optimus Prime gives Megatron at the beginning of the Graveyard Battle sequence is quite telling. In the theaters, and back when I was using the Denon 4310CI for audio, that smack sounded like a "clink" with a small bit of after-effect. Once the Amp was driving my speakers, that same smack was a full fledged, detailed, metallic scream that sounded amazing.

Of course this is just one tiny example, but it's one that folks can find easily to test out. (I also popped in "Master and Commander: Far Side of the World" and talking about that movie is a whole new thread in and of itself). My fellow Emotiva XPA-5 owners--how has this amp improved your Home Theater and/or Music listening experience? Feel free to list examples in music and movies where you've heard a difference after blessing your system with the Emotiva XPA-5. Please list your speakers and processor as well. It would be great to get an idea of the gear we (XPA-5 owners) are using with the mighty amp.
post #2 of 1944
Does it make sense to make it a xpa-3/xpa-5 owners thread?
post #3 of 1944
Or maybe an "XPA series" owners thread. The 5 is probably the most popular in the series (who knows maybe its the 2) but I'm not sure how much traffic this thread'll get by itself.
post #4 of 1944
What happened to the Emotiva owners thread?
post #5 of 1944
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymalya View Post

Does it make sense to make it a xpa-3/xpa-5 owners thread?

The XPA-3 already shares a thread with the XPA-2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D_Strasse View Post

Or maybe an "XPA series" owners thread. The 5 is probably the most popular in the series (who knows maybe its the 2) but I'm not sure how much traffic this thread'll get by itself.

There are dedicated threads for processors and amps. I'm just looking for this to be a place where XPA-5 Owners share. I'm not really big on traffic. Even if only three people share their experiences, that's great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

What happened to the Emotiva owners thread?

That's a very overarching thread. I want to focus on the granularities. The XPA-5 is one of many excellent amps produced by Emotiva.
post #6 of 1944
Have been looking at multi-channel amps as a possible alternative to multiple stereo amps lately and the Emotiva XPA-5 caught my eye as a potential stop gap for consistent multi-channel sound until I have a chance to pick up multiple Hafler P3000s.

Have any of you used this with balanced connections? It looks like it would be a pretty solid piece that I could use with my Denon A7100 primary system, then shift over to my Room-B Rotel pre (still a very nice preamp) when I got around to picking up all the Haflers I would need.
post #7 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

What happened to the Emotiva owners thread?

What about just having one Yamaha thread, or one Denon thread, for all their products?
post #8 of 1944
I think it's a pretty good idea. Hopefully it will stay focused and not go to far astray.
post #9 of 1944
Lack of focus on a single product or topic is why the "Emotiva Owners Thread" is such a disaster. It really needs to be closed and individual threads for its many topics started.

Oh, crap... Now I'm off-topic on this one. Sorry.
post #10 of 1944
Given the general similarities of between the XPA-2, XPA-3 and XPA-5, I would have thought one thread for all three would have made more sense.

Admittedly there are some differences, but mainly in power and with the filter capacitance.
post #11 of 1944
I have an XPA-5 and have been thoroughly impressed with it. I took some innard shots:

















post #12 of 1944
I've been considering an XPA series amplifier for awhile, just sold off a Carver M1.5t as it was overkill for me and was still worth good money. Does anyone have any good links to lab tests of the XPA amplifiers? Mostly, I am curious about dynamic power output.

I am favoring a XPA-3 to pair with my Denon AVR-3808ci. I have JBL PS1400/PT800 stacks up front and PC600 center. 200 watts rms with good dynamic headroom is fine for them, but I can't seem to find that spec.
post #13 of 1944
Thread Starter 
Oh man, those are some sweet pics.....The XPA=5 truly is a well-built machine!
post #14 of 1944
couple of questions on the xpa-5.
i notice in the pics that it doesnt have any internal fans that i can see. why doesnt it get hot?

what is this amps class?
EDIT- from what information i could find its a class A/B

are the channels all independant? meaning can some be used balanced and some be used unbalanced?
EDIT- Note that each channel on the XPA‐5 has been switched to ‘Un‐Bal’ (for an RCA/Unbalanced connection) using the Balanced/Unbalanced Selectors. If the selector does not match the connection type, the amplifier channel in question does not pass the signal to the speakers, and that channel will remain silent.
are both the balanced and the rca connections hot all the time? or does each channel have a switch between the balanced and the unbalanced connections?
EDIT - Note that each channel on the XPA‐5 has been switched to ‘Un‐Bal’ (for an RCA/Unbalanced connection) using the Balanced/Unbalanced Selectors. If the selector does not match the connection type, the amplifier channel in question does not pass the signal to the speakers, and that channel will remain silent.

how much space is reccommended by Emotiva above this amp for heat dissipation?
EDIT- Place your X amplifier on a flat, level surface, with the weight distributed equally on all four feet. If using a cabinet or shelf, please make sure that there is sufficient ventilation and there is at least 6 inches of free air space above the amplifier and 3 inches on each side.


it looks like the amp boards could be easily replaced. are there any wires hard soldered onto the board? it looks like all the wires are on clips. this could make home repairs quite easy.

will Emotiva sell only the amp modules for self repairs?
post #15 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Oh man, those are some sweet pics.....The XPA=5 truly is a well-built machine!

How can you tell by looking at the pictures?
post #16 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

How can you tell by looking at the pictures?

Maybe Dan L helped him paint his house this weekend.
post #17 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnathanwinter View Post

couple of questions on the xpa-5.
i notice in the pics that it doesnt have any internal fans that i can see. why doesnt it get hot?

I have owned a number of multichannel amps and none have had any fans (thankfully). Cooling is accomplished by the heat rising up through the top vents. From what I have read the Emotiva amps run fairly cool unless you place another component on top of them.

Bill
post #18 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

I have owned a number of multichannel amps and none have had any fans (thankfully). Cooling is accomplished by the heat rising up through the top vents. From what I have read the Emotiva amps run fairly cool unless you place another component on top of them.

Bill

i wonder why it runs fairly cool. the heat sinks dont seem to be that large. although it could just be because of the way they look in the picture. but with them all covered up i just dont get it.
post #19 of 1944
I recently got an XPA-5, too. And, I, too, have heard all manners of things I didn't before ... but it's not entirely obvious to what extent it's because I'm listening for details now.

Anyway, two scenes I and the family picked up on are

* early scene in Transformers 2 where the ice cream truck is looking for Decepticons: now, the spluttering and bad-engine noises seem almost exaggerated

* scene in one of High School Musicals, where Troy is on a golf course, singing "Bet on me" (I think): the kids immediately commented on the drums that open the song [anyone with advice on how to wean kids off of these? please!?]
post #20 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReneV View Post

I recently got an XPA-5, too. And, I, too, have heard all manners of things I didn't before ... but it's not entirely obvious to what extent it's because I'm listening for details now.

Anyway, two scenes I and the family picked up on are

* early scene in Transformers 2 where the ice cream truck is looking for Decepticons: now, the spluttering and bad-engine noises seem almost exaggerated

* scene in one of High School Musicals, where Troy is on a golf course, singing "Bet on me" (I think): the kids immediately commented on the drums that open the song [anyone with advice on how to wean kids off of these? please!?]

The XPA-5 as many of us see it is a relatively neutral amp. What kind of speakers are you using with the xpa-5?
post #21 of 1944
I bought an XPA-5 to complement a Denon 2807 reciever with my 4 Klipsch RF-82s, RC-64.

Klipsch are known to be very efficient speakers but the XPA-5s gave my speakers NEW LIFE. I saw much more detail and clarity. THEY ENJOY POWER and use it very well.

I have now replaced my denon 2807 with a onkyo 5507 and again my system has increased in SQ greatly. Now I have much better sound field and imaging with the prepro upgrade.
post #22 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by sethhobrin View Post

I bought an XPA-5 to complement a Denon 2807 reciever with my 4 Klipsch RF-82s, RC-64.

Klipsch are known to be very efficient speakers but the XPA-5s gave my speakers NEW LIFE. I saw much more detail and clarity. THEY ENJOY POWER and use it very well.

I have now replaced my denon 2807 with a onkyo 5507 and again my system has increased in SQ greatly. Now I have much better sound field and imaging with the prepro upgrade.

Nothing like a little placebo doing a great job
post #23 of 1944
LOL, Penn! You gonna go and see Tiger play?
post #24 of 1944
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

How can you tell by looking at the pictures?

I can tell it is a well-built machine because I own the amp. I just happen to love those pictures as well.
post #25 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

LOL, Penn! You gonna go and see Tiger play?

lmao, did you like that...I wont go further

btw,
My buddy gets tickets every year!! But NO Its my daughters birthday party (she wouldn't care, she is just 1).
post #26 of 1944
Thread Starter 
Has anyone upgraded from Line-Level (Unbalanced) to XLR (Balanced) inputs? If so, how noticable is the difference?
post #27 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Has anyone upgraded from Line-Level (Unbalanced) to XLR (Balanced) inputs? If so, how noticable is the difference?

For short runs, you will not really notice a difference between RCA (unbalanced) vs XLR (balanced). THe advantage of balanced inputs is to overcome signal degredation due to long cable runs (over 20 ft or so). You see them used more with pro audio equipment utilising long cable runs.
post #28 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post

Has anyone upgraded from Line-Level (Unbalanced) to XLR (Balanced) inputs? If so, how noticable is the difference?

There's no SQ benefit simply from switching to XLR. However, if you are picking up any electrical noise on your RCA cables, the balanced connections may reduce or eliminate it.
post #29 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReneV View Post

I recently got an XPA-5, too. And, I, too, have heard all manners of things I didn't before ... but it's not entirely obvious to what extent it's because I'm listening for details now.

Anyway, two scenes I and the family picked up on are

* early scene in Transformers 2 where the ice cream truck is looking for Decepticons: now, the spluttering and bad-engine noises seem almost exaggerated

* scene in one of High School Musicals, where Troy is on a golf course, singing "Bet on me" (I think): the kids immediately commented on the drums that open the song [anyone with advice on how to wean kids off of these? please!?]

What are you running as a preamp? And what receiver were you running before?
post #30 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by ufokillerz View Post

What kind of speakers are you using with the xpa-5?

The extra details I mentioned were with a Pioneer front consisting of S-A5 + S-A5c + S-A5.

We've since changed the front to all B&W 685s. (For the time being, we are using a pair of them at centre.) In case it is necessary to say, the speaker change was more revealing than the addition of the XPA-5.

We are so impressed with the B&Ws, in fact, that we will shortly receive a pair of B&W 683s for left/rights, and will then start alternating between a single vs a pair of 685s at centre till we decide what we prefer.

The point of this is that we bought the XPA-5 to be able to experiment with things like 2 speakers on one channel, to have spare amplification for other uses, and ultimately to be able to play around with 9 and 11 (Audyssey) channels, in the expectation that no reasonably-priced receiver will come with 11 channel amplification for the foreseeable future.
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