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Official Emotiva XPA-5 Owners Thread - Page 44

post #1291 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Thanks kbarnes, but hardly that, just EE 101. Gobs of folk on AVS could do the same and plenty more; acoustics is more a hobby with me (decades since my grad acoustics classes).
 

 

:)  Don - those calculations give you god-like status IMO. It's good to have guys like you in these threads.

 

Quote:
Raining here today, much needed but a bit unusual, minds me of your side of the pond. smile.gif

 

Rain - unusual?  Two words I don't often hear in the same sentence :)  An American friend of mine who lived for some years in the UK said he didn't know why we bothered to have weather forecasts. He said everyone could do the job just fine using only three words: "it might rain". :)  We don't have a climate here - we just have 'weather'. Usually bad.

post #1292 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

OK - well Don has answered the question like a Math God now anyway smile.gif  The reason I asked is that I figured your answer would show that you are good to go with your chosen AVR and the XPA-3, as indeed you are. You will have no problem using the 818 with the XPA-3 - as Don says, your 818 will drive the XPA-3 to its max rated power, as I suspected. Enjoy!

Thanks kbarnes701. smile.gif
post #1293 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post

Milt99: Caught your short lived post earlier today in which you took umbrage to this part of my post #1257:

Quote:
I'm not surprised. As I said previously, they've just done sighted, non level matched informal listening sessions. They've spent $1400 on amps, they're excited, and like you (just above) had almost certainly made up their minds already... and their brains are telling them exactly what they want to hear. I don't doubt these owners are genuine in describing their experience, but what they've experienced actually has nothing to do the "sound quality" of the new amp. Have you ever noticed how much more you enjoy music when you're already in a great mood? Are your favourite songs the ones that bring back memories of great experiences? These are other examples of the power of the human brain.

Happy to respond if you wish to post again in a manner that will survive. You know what I mean. wink.gif

Well it's been two weeks, so I guess that's a NO. Shame really...




(Gee, it's been quiet on here. wink.gif )
post #1294 of 1944
Hey
Just an FYI there is a big Summer Sale going on right now over on the Emotiva website.
Emotiva Pro and Sherbourn products too! biggrin.gif
post #1295 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post

Well it's been two weeks, so I guess that's a NO. Shame really...
(Gee, it's been quiet on here. wink.gif )

I've been staying away from Emotiva related threads for the most part since it seems that they are turning into pissing matches between people who like Emotiva & own their gear, dissatisfied former owners who can't seem to get over their bad experience, others who simply don't like anything about Emotiva then when some poster starts spouting about something or another, the all amps sound the same crowd parachutes in and a multi-page sh!t storm ensues.

I'm not sure exactly why my post got deleted unless someone complained and frankly I don't remember the exact verbiage but I'm pretty sure it was the broad brush painted about how "subjective\sighted" evaluations are worthless or can't be trusted or whatever.

I really get tired of the "I can't hear a difference so you can't either and if you think you do, you're deluded".
Or the "I've got graphs that prove my point".
There are some pretty intelligent people who post here but IMHO, they cannot get it through their heads that they are not going to convince anyone one way or the other.

I've only stated my honest experiences derived from a lot of years of listening to, playing and reading about music and gear.
I know the sound that I like and what I don't like.
I know that I have heard differences between various pieces of gear in mine and other people systems.
Sometimes these defy what one would assume is logical.
For instance, why does my system sound better with a preamp in between my Oppo and my amps rather than the Oppo straight into my amps?
By a certain POV, a piece of gear can only degrade or at best do no harm to the signal not improve it.
Yes, my system sounds better with a preamp in the chain and I've not done an A\B\X blind test so I must be subjectively justifying the preamp because I want a preamp, right?
If I could get by without having to spend money on a preamp I would and I'm not going to do any blind level-matched testing to satisfy some poster on an internet forum.
I've satisfied myself as honestly as I can.

So there's my over long to some, short to me response.

I would also kindly request that in a thread such as this, if your only intent is to warn people about Emotiva in general or reiterate your bad former experience\opinion about Emotiva,
most likely you've already done it several times here and elsewhere, please give it a rest or post in the BEWARE EMOTIVE THREAD or maybe one of the Tekton threads or another Bose thread.
post #1296 of 1944
Hi everyone. Last time I posted was like about Jan 25 or so on the day my uncle died of cancer.

Well I finally have made a decision on what to do about my system. I made this decision within the last 4 months or so.

I would like to eventually have a McIntosh system. I heard the XR100 and was blown away. Kick drum sounded like a kick drum. Neutral not too warm and not too bright sound. C48 pre and MC452 amp were connected. I love the look. So I want to try to get the McIntosh XR100, XR50 and LCR80. I've always loved the Mac look and quality and things I've read. So I want to get the McIntosh MC205 amp and MX-121 processor.

I have not done anything to my room regarding treatment.

I did buy Paradigm Studio 60 and the Paradigm CC-590 center. Not as bright and not as harsh as my M&K. I got them in Cherry. I loved the sound in the store. Nice demo room. The Studio 60 bass is much better in my room since my room is smaller and the speakers are closer to the walls. Great sound. Surprised that I could feel the drums or Cello from the True Lies soundtrack in my chest on the other side of my room. Woofers barely move too which surprised me. At low vol I can feel the bass on my bed.

So I'm done with my speaker upgrade till I can get the McIntosh system. The store has a 1 year trade in if you spend twice as much you get full credit of your speakers towards the new ones. So It's like having the Paradigm speakers for free for one year. I paid $2000 for the Studio 60s. Can trade those for full credit towards the McIntosh XR50 within one year and ill only have to pay $2000. Same with my center when I can have about $1300 for the McIntosh LCR80.

I have a shelf above my tv now finally and the Paradigm center sits there. I need to toe in the 60s still and run Audysse still.

As good as the 60s are in my room with amazing bass from this size, I can bet the McIntosh XR100 will blow the roof off. Meaning they'll be major awesome speakers in here.

So this is what I've decided on. With how much I like McIntosh I'm not sure I could be totally fine with anything else. Except maybe Legacy Audio speakers. But still getting the McIntosh MC205 and MX-121 or the next one coming out next year maybe.

Still want to do room treatments.
post #1297 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

Hi everyone. Last time I posted was like about Jan 25 or so on the day my uncle died of cancer.

Well I finally have made a decision on what to do about my system. I made this decision within the last 4 months or so.

I would like to eventually have a McIntosh system. I heard the XR100 and was blown away. Kick drum sounded like a kick drum. Neutral not too warm and not too bright sound. C48 pre and MC452 amp were connected. I love the look. So I want to try to get the McIntosh XR100, XR50 and LCR80. I've always loved the Mac look and quality and things I've read. So I want to get the McIntosh MC205 amp and MX-121 processor.

I have not done anything to my room regarding treatment.

I did buy Paradigm Studio 60 and the Paradigm CC-590 center. Not as bright and not as harsh as my M&K. I got them in Cherry. I loved the sound in the store. Nice demo room. The Studio 60 bass is much better in my room since my room is smaller and the speakers are closer to the walls. Great sound. Surprised that I could feel the drums or Cello from the True Lies soundtrack in my chest on the other side of my room. Woofers barely move too which surprised me. At low vol I can feel the bass on my bed.

So I'm done with my speaker upgrade till I can get the McIntosh system. The store has a 1 year trade in if you spend twice as much you get full credit of your speakers towards the new ones. So It's like having the Paradigm speakers for free for one year. I paid $2000 for the Studio 60s. Can trade those for full credit towards the McIntosh XR50 within one year and ill only have to pay $2000. Same with my center when I can have about $1300 for the McIntosh LCR80.

I have a shelf above my tv now finally and the Paradigm center sits there. I need to toe in the 60s still and run Audysse still.

As good as the 60s are in my room with amazing bass from this size, I can bet the McIntosh XR100 will blow the roof off. Meaning they'll be major awesome speakers in here.

So this is what I've decided on. With how much I like McIntosh I'm not sure I could be totally fine with anything else. Except maybe Legacy Audio speakers. But still getting the McIntosh MC205 and MX-121 or the next one coming out next year maybe.

Still want to do room treatments.

WTF does all this have to do with the XPA-5?
post #1298 of 1944
Well if you would have been around in here talking with me back in Jan then you'd know.
post #1299 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

Hi everyone. Last time I posted was like about Jan 25 or so on the day my uncle died of cancer.

Well I finally have made a decision on what to do about my system. I made this decision within the last 4 months or so.

I would like to eventually have a McIntosh system. I heard the XR100 and was blown away. Kick drum sounded like a kick drum. Neutral not too warm and not too bright sound. C48 pre and MC452 amp were connected. I love the look. So I want to try to get the McIntosh XR100, XR50 and LCR80. I've always loved the Mac look and quality and things I've read. So I want to get the McIntosh MC205 amp and MX-121 processor.

I have not done anything to my room regarding treatment.

I did buy Paradigm Studio 60 and the Paradigm CC-590 center. Not as bright and not as harsh as my M&K. I got them in Cherry. I loved the sound in the store. Nice demo room. The Studio 60 bass is much better in my room since my room is smaller and the speakers are closer to the walls. Great sound. Surprised that I could feel the drums or Cello from the True Lies soundtrack in my chest on the other side of my room. Woofers barely move too which surprised me. At low vol I can feel the bass on my bed.

So I'm done with my speaker upgrade till I can get the McIntosh system. The store has a 1 year trade in if you spend twice as much you get full credit of your speakers towards the new ones. So It's like having the Paradigm speakers for free for one year. I paid $2000 for the Studio 60s. Can trade those for full credit towards the McIntosh XR50 within one year and ill only have to pay $2000. Same with my center when I can have about $1300 for the McIntosh LCR80.

I have a shelf above my tv now finally and the Paradigm center sits there. I need to toe in the 60s still and run Audysse still.

As good as the 60s are in my room with amazing bass from this size, I can bet the McIntosh XR100 will blow the roof off. Meaning they'll be major awesome speakers in here.

So this is what I've decided on. With how much I like McIntosh I'm not sure I could be totally fine with anything else. Except maybe Legacy Audio speakers. But still getting the McIntosh MC205 and MX-121 or the next one coming out next year maybe.

Still want to do room treatments.

 

Your post is seriously off topic, so I won't add to the problem with a reply in depth - but you are going about this backwards. The first priority is to treat the room. Then consider speakers and amps etc afterwards. The biggest difference, by miles, in sound quality will come from getting the room right and the speakers and sub(s) correctly placed within the room. Even cheap speakers can sound fabulous in a decent room whereas the most expensive speakers will sound like cr&p if placed badly in an untreated room. Modern electronics make very little difference to overall SQ, so they should be at the bottom of the priority list. 

post #1300 of 1944
I don't feel I'm backwards. My new speakers are much better then my M&K. So I solved one issue there.

The room treatment will be possibly the last thing I do because of money. Not going into detail.

I've already decided on McIntosh and I've explained why.

I will do room treatments but no idea when. Right now I am guessing that's the last thing I do because of money stuff.

For me this works. For others it may seem backwards.

Plus right now I don't yet know anything about room treatments. So far I've got what I wanted in part. A different better sound which came from the Paradigm Studio 60s and CC590.

Room treatments I am guessing will help even more. I have no clue when I can do this though. Since I buy everything on no interest financing from my store room treatments have to wait till I pay things off and save because my store doesn't sell room treatments. So I have to get them from soneone else without financing. So ok. I went into detail.
post #1301 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

I don't feel I'm backwards. My new speakers are much better then my M&K. So I solved one issue there.

The room treatment will be possibly the last thing I do because of money. Not going into detail.

I've already decided on McIntosh and I've explained why.

I will do room treatments but no idea when. Right now I am guessing that's the last thing I do because of money stuff.

For me this works. For others it may seem backwards.

Plus right now I don't yet know anything about room treatments. So far I've got what I wanted in part. A different better sound which came from the Paradigm Studio 60s and CC590.

Room treatments I am guessing will help even more. I have no clue when I can do this though. Since I buy everything on no interest financing from my store room treatments have to wait till I pay things off and save because my store doesn't sell room treatments. So I have to get them from soneone else without financing. So ok. I went into detail.

Speakers are important. Room treatments are right up there with speakers. Solid state amps have a far lower impact on what you might call "sound quality". (taking into account that a given SS amp is not clipping and operating normally) Room treatments are not just about money, but about placement.

Most people think $$$ solves their problem, or provides a huge impact. Far too many (including me when I started this interest) do nothing or next to nothing about their listening room.
post #1302 of 1944
Good thing I want to do room treatment too. Just not sure when I can.
post #1303 of 1944
Hi guys,
I dropped my screen masking onto my xpa-3 last night and now the unbalanced input is almost sheared off one channel - I have been kicking myself for hours.
I live in the uk so no easy return to emotiva. It still functioned but shutdown with blinking orange lights when I pressed on the wobbly channel input. Still when left alone it ran happily for hours so I think it's generally ok but it needs repair.
Looked at all the pics I could see of the internals and I can't tell how easy it might be to repair.
Is this thing safe to open up by a novice?
I should probably call emotiva but shipping back to the us would be several hundred dollars each way.
Any thoughts or info appreciated
post #1304 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

I don't feel I'm backwards. My new speakers are much better then my M&K. So I solved one issue there.

The room treatment will be possibly the last thing I do because of money. Not going into detail.

I've already decided on McIntosh and I've explained why.

I will do room treatments but no idea when. Right now I am guessing that's the last thing I do because of money stuff.

For me this works. For others it may seem backwards.

Plus right now I don't yet know anything about room treatments. So far I've got what I wanted in part. A different better sound which came from the Paradigm Studio 60s and CC590.

Room treatments I am guessing will help even more. I have no clue when I can do this though. Since I buy everything on no interest financing from my store room treatments have to wait till I pay things off and save because my store doesn't sell room treatments. So I have to get them from soneone else without financing. So ok. I went into detail.

 

I wasn’t criticising you. Just trying to save you some money. Rather than spending a small fortune on McIntosh amps (which will have the least impact of all -- if any at all -- on the sound quality) spend it instead on the room treatments you have considered anyway. The treatments will give you VASTLY more improvement in SQ than the amps, and for a lot less money. It's not uncommon for your in-room frequency response in an untreated room to vary by 20-30dB. This will affect the final SQ way, way more than any small differences which might exist between one amp and another.

 

FWIW, before I came to understand the subject better, I have used many 'esoteric' amplifiers over the years. I can honestly say that not one of them has sonically bettered my current Emotiva XPA3/UPA-2 setup.

post #1305 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

Speakers are important. Room treatments are right up there with speakers. Solid state amps have a far lower impact on what you might call "sound quality". (taking into account that a given SS amp is not clipping and operating normally) Room treatments are not just about money, but about placement.

Most people think $$$ solves their problem, or provides a huge impact. Far too many (including me when I started this interest) do nothing or next to nothing about their listening room.

 

100% +1.

post #1306 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

Good thing I want to do room treatment too. Just not sure when I can.

 

Just do them before buying new amps. You will be amazed at the improvement. Go to the GIK website or the realTraps website to learn a lot more about treatments.

post #1307 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by drilloav View Post

Hi guys,
I dropped my screen masking onto my xpa-3 last night and now the unbalanced input is almost sheared off one channel - I have been kicking myself for hours.
I live in the uk so no easy return to emotiva. It still functioned but shutdown with blinking orange lights when I pressed on the wobbly channel input. Still when left alone it ran happily for hours so I think it's generally ok but it needs repair.
Looked at all the pics I could see of the internals and I can't tell how easy it might be to repair.
Is this thing safe to open up by a novice?
I should probably call emotiva but shipping back to the us would be several hundred dollars each way.
Any thoughts or info appreciated

 

I live in the UK too, so I know your predicament. But as the amp still functions normally you haven't, fortunately, done any serious damage to it. Any competent electronics workshop should be able to fix this small issue with the unbalanced input, and for a fairly reasonable price. I’d google for one in your area and give them a call. The repair should be straightforward and will only take a short while to fix. 

 

If you need an Emotiva-specific component (probably not as an RCA is an RCA), Emo will mail you one and you can give it to your chosen repair shop.

post #1308 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I live in the UK too, so I know your predicament. But as the amp still functions normally you haven't, fortunately, done any serious damage to it. Any competent electronics workshop should be able to fix this small issue with the unbalanced input, and for a fairly reasonable price. I’d google for one in your area and give them a call. The repair should be straightforward and will only take a short while to fix. 



If you need an Emotiva-specific component (probably not as an RCA is an RCA), Emo will mail you one and you can give it to your chosen repair shop.

Now that's a reassuring message, thanks Kbarnes!
I seem to have located one (wish it wasn't so bloody heavy) which I'll contact tomorrow, hope they don't take me for a mug
post #1309 of 1944
I'm going to get a McIntosh system no matter what. So it doesn't matter about room treatments in that room treatments won't stop me from wanting a mcintosh system by hey can only make things better. If I did room treatments now and everything was awesome I'd still wanna get the Mac. But with how I buy stuff I can't get room treatments for a long time. ID probably have the Mac amp and preamp and Mac speakers before that. I'm not sure though. Only guessing.

With room treatments can I make it so I don't hear noise outside my room? That's extremely important.
post #1310 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by drilloav View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I live in the UK too, so I know your predicament. But as the amp still functions normally you haven't, fortunately, done any serious damage to it. Any competent electronics workshop should be able to fix this small issue with the unbalanced input, and for a fairly reasonable price. I’d google for one in your area and give them a call. The repair should be straightforward and will only take a short while to fix. 



If you need an Emotiva-specific component (probably not as an RCA is an RCA), Emo will mail you one and you can give it to your chosen repair shop.

Now that's a reassuring message, thanks Kbarnes!
I seem to have located one (wish it wasn't so bloody heavy) which I'll contact tomorrow, hope they don't take me for a mug

 

Get a firm quote from them before going ahead of course. I’d be interested in how you get on and what it cost to get fixed. 

post #1311 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

I'm going to get a McIntosh system no matter what. So it doesn't matter about room treatments in that room treatments won't stop me from wanting a mcintosh system by hey can only make things better. If I did room treatments now and everything was awesome I'd still wanna get the Mac. But with how I buy stuff I can't get room treatments for a long time. ID probably have the Mac amp and preamp and Mac speakers before that. I'm not sure though. Only guessing.

With room treatments can I make it so I don't hear noise outside my room? That's extremely important.

 

So long as you're not expecting the McIntosh to make much (or any) difference to the SQ, compared with, say, an Emotiva amp of similar power, there's no reason not to buy one - it's your cash after all.

 

Acoustic treatments aren’t designed to soundproof your room - they are designed to improve the interaction between your room and speakers, to remove, as far as possible, all of the negative effects that all rooms have on the sound. 

 

Soundproofing an existing room is near as damn impossible unfortunately. It requires isolation of the room's structural members from the other rooms in the house. Any common structural members, such as walls, doors, ceiling and floor joists etc will transmit sound to elsewhere in the house, especially bass frequencies. Ceilings act as soundboards and transmit sound to the room above, floors do the same for rooms below. If you have aircon (HVAC) ducts sound will travel through those really neatly to all the other rooms too. To soundproof a room you effectively have to build a 'room within a room' isolating the joists from the rest of the building and isolating the walls from the adjacent rooms. Doors have to be double thickness with an air gap of several inches between the thicknesses and windows require double or triple glazing and, ideally, specially designed and constructed frames. None of this is really possible within an existing room unless you are prepared to spend tens of thousands of dollars on it, and even then it is unlikely to be possible because of the way your house is constructed, bass frequencies especially will travel right through solid structures - think of the guy who pulls up next to you at the lights with his music playing at 110dB. You can hear all that bass, right?  Well it's the same in your house unfortunately. Short answer: don't even think about it.

post #1312 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

I'm going to get a McIntosh system no matter what. So it doesn't matter about room treatments in that room treatments won't stop me from wanting a mcintosh system by hey can only make things better. If I did room treatments now and everything was awesome I'd still wanna get the Mac. But with how I buy stuff I can't get room treatments for a long time. ID probably have the Mac amp and preamp and Mac speakers before that. I'm not sure though. Only guessing.

With room treatments can I make it so I don't hear noise outside my room? That's extremely important.

I'd be willing to wager that there's a strong possibility that whatever room treatments you may need may actually cost you far less than the Mcintosh amp you're buying.

And, again, room treatments is also about placement of speakers - again, it isn't all about $$$.

I get the impression that what Kbarnes stated that you don't understand the basics of treating a room, speaker, placement, etc. It's going to show a much bigger improvement than moving from Emotiva to McIntosh.
post #1313 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

I'm going to get a McIntosh system no matter what. So it doesn't matter about room treatments in that room treatments won't stop me from wanting a mcintosh system by hey can only make things better. If I did room treatments now and everything was awesome I'd still wanna get the Mac. But with how I buy stuff I can't get room treatments for a long time. ID probably have the Mac amp and preamp and Mac speakers before that. I'm not sure though. Only guessing.

With room treatments can I make it so I don't hear noise outside my room? That's extremely important.

I'd be willing to wager that there's a strong possibility that whatever room treatments you may need may actually cost you far less than the Mcintosh amp you're buying.

And, again, room treatments is also about placement of speakers - again, it isn't all about $$$.

 

Yep. The room treatments will definitely cost less than a McIntosh amp - I’d join you in that wager. 

 

 

Quote:
I get the impression that what Kbarnes stated that you don't understand the basics of treating a room, speaker, placement, etc. It's going to show a much bigger improvement than moving from Emotiva to McIntosh.

 

Without question. Personally, I don't believe there will be any audible difference at all between those two amps. If they were compared in a properly conducted ABX test I would bet my entire system that nobody could reliably differentiate one from another with any level of certainty other than random chance. 

 

I suspect you may be right that buggs doesn't quite 'get' what acoustic treatments are all about, judging by his conflating of treatments and soundproofing. I've suggested he looks at the GIK Acoustics and RealTraps sites, which have tons of useful info for beginners. I can do no more - well not in this thread anyway as we are straying way off topic.

post #1314 of 1944
Yes. Where can we go to talk about this? Ill move there.

I bookmarked GIK. I bookmarked their primer on different subjects and just got done reading about diffuser or room modes. What I read fits one of my issues exactly.

It talked about sound especially bass being different based on room boundaries like walls connected to wall or ceiling etc like in corners. And I get more output when I stand in the back corner vs middle of room.

So I am now just beginning to learn. And it is true I have no idea about how room treatments can improve things.

I have always wanted Mac since the. 90s for their look, performance I've read and reliability. I may not be able to tell the difference between the McIntosh mc205 and Emotiva xpa5. But I can't test this. What I can and will do is test the Mac amp vs any other the dealer has. And I'm not sure I would be 100% comfortable getting the $6k amp if I couldn't tell a difference. But I absolutely adore the McIntosh look which for me is a big factor.
post #1315 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

Yes. Where can we go to talk about this? Ill move there.

I bookmarked GIK. I bookmarked their primer on different subjects and just got done reading about diffuser or room modes. What I read fits one of my issues exactly.

It talked about sound especially bass being different based on room boundaries like walls connected to wall or ceiling etc like in corners. And I get more output when I stand in the back corner vs middle of room.

So I am now just beginning to learn. And it is true I have no idea about how room treatments can improve things.

I have always wanted Mac since the. 90s for their look, performance I've read and reliability. I may not be able to tell the difference between the McIntosh mc205 and Emotiva xpa5. But I can't test this. What I can and will do is test the Mac amp vs any other the dealer has. And I'm not sure I would be 100% comfortable getting the $6k amp if I couldn't tell a difference. But I absolutely adore the McIntosh look which for me is a big factor.

 

Hi buggs.  There are numerous acoustics threads on AVS that you might want to sub to. Most of them welcome beginners.

 

Reading the info on those two sites I mentioned will get you a long way into the basics of room treatments and you have already grasped the most important bit, which is that the room is the single biggest factor in the overall sound you hear. Because the room has the biggest influence on the sound, it follows that getting the room right will make the biggest difference - way bigger than anything else except (possibly) speakers. Positioning speakers and subs in the room is also very important and is a free fix. The objective there is to get the speakers to work with the room modes and not against them.

 

WRT to the McIntosh... if you have always wanted it, then buy it. Nothing wrong with pride of ownership. But please do be aware that in all likelihood there will be no appreciable difference in SQ between that amp and an Emotiva amp, so long as both have the power (watts) you need to generate the required SPLs in your room. Modern amps have long since passed the day when component considerations mattered a lot and all modern SS amps you are ever likely to consider have distortion figures that fall way below the threshold at which humans can hear the distortions. Amps are simple things to design (unlike speakers and processors) and nowadays every major manufacturer gets it right - even in relatively cheap AVRs. Just ensure you have enough watts so you don't drive the amp of your choice into clipping. Remember that doubling the watts only makes a 3dB difference in SPL - so you need to go from, say, a 100 watt amp to a 200 watt amp to have any real difference.

 

IMHO a $6,000 amp is a waste of money. Sure, if you have always had your heart set on one, then buy it.  We don't always run our lives according to logic, thank god. Just don't expect any significant difference to the sound it makes. Acoustic treatments will cost you a fraction of that - probably a lot less than $1,000. You could treat the room, buy an Emotiva amp and have thousands of dollars left for spending elsewhere - eg on a pair of killer subs, or CDs or Blurays, or whatever you want. 

 

WRT to listening tests in store - they are a waste of your time. You cannot learn anything in an uncontrolled test. To be valid, an amp comparison test has to have certain very stringent conditions met: the volume levels of each amp under test much be matched to a very high standard of precision - 1dB or less is the very minimum, and this cannot be easily achieved in the environment of a store. If one amp plays a few dB louder than another (not enough to really notice the increase in loudness consciously) then the louder amp is always perceived as better. A salesman demoing a $6,000 amp against a $500 amp can use this knowledge to his advantage and turn up the volume a little for the more expensive amp. Also, the music you are listening to for the test has to be repeated exactly and more or less instantly when you switch amps - this is usually impossible without specialised equipment which a store will not have. If there is any delay between switching and repeating the music excerpts, then the test is invalid. This is because humans have what is called "auditory memory" and it lasts for about 3 or 4 seconds. After that time, the brain cannot reliably compare one sound with another.

 

There are other important factors too that make a store listening test pointless. The test must be done 'blind'. If you know which amp is which you will be subconsciously influenced by your desires and prejudices. We all fall victim to this and nobody is immune to it - so the test must be done blind. But it gets worse - the test should also be blind for the person conducting the test - ie the salesman. If he knows which amp is which he can, subconsciously or consciously, influence the result of the test. One example of how is given above - he can tweak the volume up a little bit on the amp he 'favours'. Guess which amp a salesman will want to sell you - the $6,000 amp or the $500 amp? Remember the salesman is not your friend, no matter much he appears to be - he is a sales professional and is judged in his job by the volume of sales he makes not by how many friends he has. Finally, all of the other conditions of the test need to be constant - the same speakers, in the same place for example. Again, this is usually impossible in a store because it requires expensive and sophisticated switching equipment.

 

There have been thousands of blind comparison tests conducted over the years and they invariably all come to the same conclusion - people cannot reliably hear any difference between modern SS amps which are not broken and which are working within their design parameters and not clipping. It is beyond reasonable to expect that the sole exception to this rule is the McIntosh amp you have your heart set on, which is why I can say without fear of knowledgeable contradiction that you would hear no difference between a McIntosh and an Emotiva of the same power (watts). You can google for the results of these tests and come to your own conclusion if you wish - here is one site which links to about 50 such tests, plus some background reading if you are interested in finding out more:

 

Do All Amplifiers Sound The Same?

Do amplifiers contribute to sound quality?

The Dishonesty of Sighted Listening Tests

post #1316 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by drilloav View Post

Hi guys,
I dropped my screen masking onto my xpa-3 last night and now the unbalanced input is almost sheared off one channel - I have been kicking myself for hours.
I live in the uk so no easy return to emotiva. It still functioned but shutdown with blinking orange lights when I pressed on the wobbly channel input. Still when left alone it ran happily for hours so I think it's generally ok but it needs repair.
Looked at all the pics I could see of the internals and I can't tell how easy it might be to repair.
Is this thing safe to open up by a novice?
I should probably call emotiva but shipping back to the us would be several hundred dollars each way.
Any thoughts or info appreciated

I noticed that Kbarnes already recommended you to get in touch with an electronics workshop to permanently fix the problem. But, if you are not able to find one right away or if the repair cost is way too high. Then another option is simple hook your receiver to the "balanced" output of your XPA-3 by using an XLR to RCA interconnect. Here is a link to one of them (I bet you will like the price):

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?seq=1&format=2&p_id=4776&CAWELAID=1329450498&catargetid=320013720000011014&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CIXi1uDK67cCFapcMgod8loAJA

Cheers!
post #1317 of 1944
Well I have tried many receivers over the last several years. I've heard a difference in almost all. The sound was barely different when there was a difference. Like pioneer ones I tried had just a tad more bright sound. Others sibilants in the center were bad or slightly better with s and ch type sounds. I heard the NAD T757 against a $2600 250 watt x5 amp. Pioneer receiver. Integra. The NAD sounded the same except was wider. Not imagining this. I liked the wider on this at the time $1600 receiver over every other receiver I compared it to. That includes the much more costly Rotel.

All receiver settings were off. 2 channel stereo. No eq. Or audysse or anything. Same speakers. Same placement. Same everything.

That could just be maybe the brands did something to their receivers. I don't know. And when I tried the XPA5 on my own home system there was no difference over my Integra 40.3.

I know for me I'm not influenced by brand, cost, nothing. If I don't notice a difference it doesn't matter the brand or cost. I am honest. So if I heard no difference between the Mac vs something less then half the cost I won't think the Mac sounds better just from cost or brand. I'm honest to know if I hear something or not regardless of cost and brand.
post #1318 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

I'm going to get a McIntosh system no matter what. So it doesn't matter about room treatments in that room treatments won't stop me from wanting a mcintosh system by hey can only make things better. If I did room treatments now and everything was awesome I'd still wanna get the Mac. But with how I buy stuff I can't get room treatments for a long time. ID probably have the Mac amp and preamp and Mac speakers before that. I'm not sure though. Only guessing.

I respect your desire for a McIntosh system. But I agree 100% with those that have posted that you will most likely not hear much of a difference if anything at all between the McIntosh and Emotiva amps. There is no doubt that McIntosh makes some fine gear but in my opinion that gear is waaaaay over priced. The biggest improvements I have found in my system have been with speaker upgrades and not amp changes (which there have been many).

Bill
post #1319 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by buggs1a View Post

Well I have tried many receivers over the last several years. I've heard a difference in almost all. The sound was barely different when there was a difference. Like pioneer ones I tried had just a tad more bright sound. Others sibilants in the center were bad or slightly better with s and ch type sounds. I heard the NAD T757 against a $2600 250 watt x5 amp. Pioneer receiver. Integra. The NAD sounded the same except was wider. Not imagining this. I liked the wider on this at the time $1600 receiver over every other receiver I compared it to. That includes the much more costly Rotel.

All receiver settings were off. 2 channel stereo. No eq. Or audysse or anything. Same speakers. Same placement. Same everything.

That could just be maybe the brands did something to their receivers. I don't know. And when I tried the XPA5 on my own home system there was no difference over my Integra 40.3.

I know for me I'm not influenced by brand, cost, nothing. If I don't notice a difference it doesn't matter the brand or cost. I am honest. So if I heard no difference between the Mac vs something less then half the cost I won't think the Mac sounds better just from cost or brand. I'm honest to know if I hear something or not regardless of cost and brand.

I am willing to bet that the Mac and Emo likely measure flat or nearly flat across the audible spectrum (assuming both are solid state), so, how could they sound different, unless if one is faulty or driven to clipping?
post #1320 of 1944
I don't know anything about technical stuff. But I have always wondered if parts have their own sonic character? I don't know. Because everyone uses different parts.

I know I like the Mac look much better then Emotiva or any other brand. And with my mental issues such as OCD and other stuff and with how I just am the Mac look is enough to get me to want it over anything else. But I don't know if I would actually buy Mac gear if there was no difference to something half or less $. I just have a hard time liking anything else when it comes to look.

If amps don't sound different that is extremely disappointing to me. I always thought it stupid even if one is rich to buy say Krell or Mac or anything if it sou da the same. And tons of people will notice a difference.

I honestly do not think it is possible that every amp sounds the same within normal use. I just think people will hear differences once in a while.

But at least I don't think I'll blindly buy the Mac without comparing it on my speakers with other receivers and amps my dealer has.

I'm not sure I would be able to buy an emo amp because I would always be wondering. And if I bought a Mac I know I can't do much better and I love the Mac look.
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