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Official Emotiva XPA-5 Owners Thread - Page 10

post #271 of 1944
I need some advice concerning the XPA-5. I've never owned an amplifier before, so I've never had the opportunity to see if my ears can tell the difference between an AVR and separate components.

I'm currently running a 9.1 setup with an Onkyo TX-NR5008, 2 NHT Absolute Towers, NHT 3C Center, 2 NHT Absolute Zeros, 4 NHT SuperOnes. All of the speakers are rated at 86 db sensitivity except for the 3C, it is 87 db. The 5008 is rated at 145 wpc for 2 channels, but when driving 9 channels it puts out less than 70 wpc. My room is roughly 2300 cu ft (low ceiling), I sit 12-14 ft away and I prefer to listen to movies at reference level. I would use the XPA-5 to drive my 5 front channels (Absolute Towers, 3C, & Absolute Zeros [Wides]) and use the 5008 to drive the remaining 4 surround channels.

I think the XPA-5 will make a big difference due to the moderately inefficient speakers and due to my preferred listening level. However, I figure it's best to turn to the experts in this situation. Would the XPA-5 be worth a look?? Any other suggestions beyond the XPA-5??
post #272 of 1944
Hmmm... Sounds like a case where you might actually need the amp. The XPA-5 is a value leader in terms of performance for the dollar; it's competition tends to be amps 1.5 - 3 times the cost.

You might want to play around with an SPL calculator to see how much benefit you might get:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html


3 dB is a just-noticeable increase in sound volume for most people on music/movie content; 10 dB is twice as loud.

HTH - Don
post #273 of 1944
It looks like I'll gain 4.5 db with the XPA-5. Would the extra headroom give me any extra advantages?? I don't think my current AVR is clipping, but I'm not sure. I can't say I've ever heard clipping before. Some movies sound harsh at reference level and I'm forced to turn it down. That's probably not a bad thing for my long term hearing, but I also wonder if I'm missing out on any sound track details by only using an AVR to drive 9 channels.
post #274 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by drterb View Post

It looks like I'll gain 4.5 db with the XPA-5. Would the extra headroom give me any extra advantages?? I don't think my current AVR is clipping, but I'm not sure. I can't say I've ever heard clipping before. Some movies sound harsh at reference level and I'm forced to turn it down. That's probably not a bad thing for my long term hearing, but I also wonder if I'm missing out on any sound track details by only using an AVR to drive 9 channels.

I alternate speakers in and out of my system. Most are in the low 90 db sensitivy range. I mostly use KG 5 and KG 4 Klipsch which are in the upper 90 range.
I use the XPA5 and Yamaha A-3000. The Klipsch always keep their composure. Although the others do not become distorted/unlistenable they simply do not get louder after a point.
You are likely overdriving your amp at reference level with your speakers. Also you are probably driving the speakers to the max. Throwing more power at those speakers is not going to stop speaker compression IMO.
post #275 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

I alternate speakers in and out of my system. Most are in the low 90 db sensitivy range. I mostly use KG 5 and KG 4 Klipsch which are in the upper 90 range.
I use the XPA5 and Yamaha A-3000. The Klipsch always keep their composure. Although the others do not become distorted/unlistenable they simply do not get louder after a point.
You are likely overdriving your amp at reference level with your speakers. Also you are probably driving the speakers to the max. Throwing more power at those speakers is not going to stop speaker compression IMO.

This doesn't make sense to me. I can understand overdriving my amp, which could lead to clipping and distortion. However, I don't think there's any way I could possibly be overdriving the speakers. My AVR would clip my tweeters to death before the speakers were close to their max. Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying.

For S&G's, I watched a couple of sound intensive scenes in stereo mode and was able to turn the volume up to reference level without distortion. The sound was crisp, clear, loud, and pleasant to listen to. In this mode my AVR is pumping 145 wpc instead of the paltry 70 wpc in 9 channel mode. Now I wonder what my front stage would sound like with all 5 speakers being pushed at a constant 200 wpc.

Hmmm......I may have just answered my own question biggrin.gif
post #276 of 1944
Set up my new XPA-5 last night, thought I'd add my thoughts... so much debate about this equipment I was really curious to see what I'd find.

My setup:
Receiver: Denon 3808ci
Mains: Paradigm Studio 100 v.3
Center: Paradigm CC-590
Surrounds: Paradigm ADP-190
Sub: HSU VTF-2

Room is pretty straightforward... I want to say its somewhere between 18 and 20 feet per side.

Also, I haven't really given it a good test yet with all channels driven. I did a bunch of 2.1 channel listening though (I like to leave the sub on, crossed over at 40hz for 2 channel as I listen to a lot of electronic type stuff).

To my ear, there is an improvement in overall clarity and a boost in the low / mid range when played at high volume. When not pushing them real hard, I wouldn't say there was any massive difference, but with the volume up I felt like it was relatively significant. I had been running the Denon in bi-amp mode (which I realize there is a lot of debate about as well)... when I was driving the mains with just one channel each I could get it to clip relatively easily, and bi-amping did seem to help with this. Just my experience.

So anyway, I'll be keeping it, if thats any indication. If nothing else it allows me to think about upgrading speakers without really worrying too much about amplification. I'll watch a movie or two this weekend and see how 5.1 sounds, but it wasn't bad before so we'll see.

Since everybody seems to have an opinion on the "more amplification" thing, here's mine: I personally don't buy the "if you're not forcing your amp into protection mode, you gain nothing from more amplification". I personally can't stand to read reviews of amps / speakers because they all sound the same... everything is amazing blah blah blah so I'm not trying to make bold claims about OH MY GOD SO MUCH BETTER. It sounded pretty damn good before. But to me, and with my setup, its really not that hard to hear a difference under certain circumstances. That said, its not a magic bullet either. I think the Studio 100s may be a bit of an outlier as far as speakers go. They say they are "8 ohm compatible" but if you look at the impedence curve, they spend an awful lot of time in the 3-4 ohm range. Pretty sure they're rated at 88 or so db, but I'm not sure that tells the whole story. Anyway, I wouldn't say that in every circumstance there will be a tangible benefit. I haven't spent all that much time with this new setup yet, but I have a feeling that if you blindfolded me and did a "with extra amp" and "without extra amp" at low to medium volume... I'd probably have trouble telling them apart.

I think if I was going to make a suggestion, since there may be someone reading this who is thinking about buying one, I would say to first do an honest evaluation of your current setup / situation. For instance if you don't have any room treatments... unless your current speakers are really bargain basement or something, do that first, definitely. They're expensive to buy, and I guess some people might run into trouble with the wife-acceptance-factor, but I made my own out of high density fiberglass, wood, and fabric and they turned out great. That whole project cost about 800$ (biggest cost being shipping due to not being able to locally source the fiberglass) and that was by far the biggest improvement I've made, stereo wise, since buying the 100s years ago. You can hear the difference that upgrade made with the stereo OFF.

Anyway, hope this helps someone who might be considering their next upgrade.
post #277 of 1944
Oppenheimer, I also have Paradigm Studio 100's (v4) with a similar type of system. Just ordered a Yamaha RX-A820 (100w/ch) and was considering pairing this with an XPA-5, perhaps bi-amping from two of the amp channels (or get an XPA-3). Planning to let the AVR do the surrounds. I'm currently using a Yamaha RX-V1200 (80w/ch).

I have not yet used an external amp but wonder what type of improvement this could make in my system. Its been two weeks since your post, do you have any new observations to share? I welcome input from others with a similar setup or experience.
Edited by knappster007 - 7/5/12 at 4:15pm
post #278 of 1944
Bi-amping won't do anything Knappster... That being said, I had the xpa-5 with my studio 100's and sig 8's (replaced by xpa-2 later) and it sounded great!. If you don't listen very loud, the differences will be subtle BUT if you listen with some good volume, the xpa-5 will reward you with clear sound, no distortion at pretty much any level you'd have it at.
post #279 of 1944
Ya, I just did a lot of reading about passive bi-amping. Nevermind on the bi-amping with a single multi-channel amp. I do wonder how much better an 200w/ch XPA-3 would be over the 100w/ch Yamaha.
post #280 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by knappster007 View Post

Ya, I just did a lot of reading about passive bi-amping. Nevermind on the bi-amping with a single multi-channel amp. I do wonder how much better an 200w/ch XPA-3 would be over the 100w/ch Yamaha.
It will make a difference with the 100's, they are very power hungry. Also the yamaha isn't likely that much power with channels driven, whereas the emotiva is it's rated power, all channels driven. Thats does make a big difference when listening at higher volumes or on demanding music/movies.
post #281 of 1944
I recently bent an RCA input connector on my XPA5. Not a rarity I guess. I could complain about it breaking but I should have been more careful. In lieu of shipping the brute off to Tennessee, I am considering getting a set of 5 RCA to XLR adapter cables. Not sure If I should keep the switch in the unbalanced position, since these cables will still be unbalanced but might the connection via XLR be open if I do?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10244&cs_id=1024404&p_id=4777&seq=1&format=2
post #282 of 1944
Quick reply from Emotiva:

Are you coming out of the preout unbalanced to balanced input on the XPA-5? If so, you would leave the XPA-5 input selection on Balanced or BAL position. Even though you are not running balanced and are not taking advantage of the common mode noise cancellation.

Thank you for your support.
post #283 of 1944
How do you like your Emo with the Yamaha? I just added an XPA-5 to my RX-A820 and it makes a big difference in my 5.2 set-up, especially with music and movies (not so with sports). I experimented with 2 configurations: (1) bi-amping the Front L&R and the 5th to the Center versus (2) running separately all 5 speakers (L/C/R and 2 Surrounds). Without a doubt, it sounded much better running the 5 speakers separately and the Yamaha functioned perfectly that way (when bi-amping, certain preset factory sound options were compromised). Without the Emo, the Yamaha performed admirably but wasn't "kick-ass". With it, listening to bands like Metallica will blow you away.
post #284 of 1944
I have a middle atlantic slim 5 rack and am thinking about picking up 2 XPA-5's for surround duty (11.1). I have trim faceplates for all of the other equipment in the rack.

Is it better to get the rack ears for these or do the custom faceplates shelves work better? I want that clean, finished look between the amps and the other equipment. In either case I will get a 1U blank faceplate to keep a little space between the amps. Thanks.
post #285 of 1944
For consumer-grade equipment I prefer shelves but the XPA-5 seems pretty solid so the rack ears should do OK. Go by which looks best in your setup.

I would use a slotted (vented) 1U instead of blank to help airflow, and if there is room use a 2U spacer.

FWIWFM - Don
post #286 of 1944
I would ask Emotiva about using only the rack ears. I agree that the front panel of the XPA-5 is good quality but the amp is heavy and deep - a good bit of the amp's weight is cantilevered if rack mounted. I have two in my system and they reside on the bottom shelves of a Salamander Synergy cabinet.
post #287 of 1944
This is probably a stupid question but here it goes...

I have an Emotiva XPA-5 amp. I have a Denon 3310 which the xpa5 is powering all but the rear surrounds in a 7.2 setup. If I were to get the Oppo 95. Could I connect the balanced XLR outs directly to my xpa5 and use the analog volume control to fully benefit the 2-channel balanced analog board of the 95?

I hope this question makes sense. I'm thinking that I would have to manually switch the xpa5 from unbalanced to balanced each time I wanted to use the XLR balanced mode.
post #288 of 1944
^^^

you "could", but it would be rather pointless, and likely detrimental....
post #289 of 1944
I've just got a new XPA-3 that will be used with a Denon 4520CI for 11.x Audyssey DSX sound (power the front soundstage R/C/L)
I assume this is appropriate thread to post XPA-3 owners comments in, since there is Not a owners thread for XPA-3 and they are so similair.
I'll post my comments/q's here.

fwiw, the 11.x upgrade thread is in the Dedicated Theater Design & Construction forum, link here
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1435778/moving-past-7-1-5-1-into-9-1-11-1-upgrading-your-ht-room-via-audyssey-dsx-or-dolby-pl-iiz
post #290 of 1944
I have a XPA-3 paired with a Denon A100 running my 3 Klipsch RF7IIs across the front. Works great
post #291 of 1944
The Emotiva 2012 holiday sale started today.
post #292 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by TazExprez View Post

The Emotiva 2012 holiday sale started today.
I've had my XPA-3 1 week , and see its $100 off in sale, will try and get that refunded.
Thx for posting.

email I sent to customer service:
Quote:
Hi - I've had my XPA-3 less than 14 days and see a Holiday sale is now going on.

Can I get $100 credit to my VISA?

Please advise.

regards,
Mike Rosinski

From: Emotiva Audio customerservice
Subject: The Holiday Sale is here!
Date: November 9, 2012 6:48:50 PM EST
To: Mike Rosinski
Reply-To: Emotiva Audio customerservice

XPA-3 | 200W x 3
$599.00 was $699.00

Sent from my 32GB iPhone4 using Tapatalk
Edited by mtbdudex - 11/10/12 at 4:46am
post #293 of 1944
I got my $100 credit within a few hours of sending the email, on a Saturday no less.
Great customer service!
post #294 of 1944
Browsed the thread and didn't see this question/pairing yet.

I am pushing Monitor Audio RX6s up front with matching RXCenter and surrounds with an Onkyo 808 and Oppo 93 BRP. Love the sound for 2 channel "pure audio" listening on some SACDs and most other formats (FLAC files, etc). - also watch Bluray but less often than 2 ch music listening. Thinking of getting an amplifier to get some of the improved low and mid volume gains that I am reading about here an on customer reviews. Emotiva xpa5 looks like a workhorse at $749 on sale USD. (also considering the 2 channel Emotiva amp)

Question - will I get $749 worth of increased music detail and power OVER the existing system listed above? Just in your opinion - thanks for any feedback. If there is a different amp you think matches better with the 808 and RX6s, by all means. That is my main concern. Don't live in an area where demos are possible unfortunately. Thanks

-tkh
post #295 of 1944
I purchased an Emotiva XPA-5 from AVS forums but had no obvious place to put it, so I ended up re-selling it. I was keeping an eye on prices wondering "what if" and with the holiday sale announced I decided I would give it a shot again and re-configure my setup to accommodate the amp. This meant buying a "riser" for my 65" Panasonic plasma so I could slip my center channel speaker under and would then have a spot for the amp.

Received the amp about a month ago. My setup is as follows:
Denon AVR-4311
Dual MFW-15 subwoofers
Definitive Technology Mythos STS (L/R)
Definitive technology CLR 2500 (C)
Definitive Technology Mythos Gem (Rear surrounds)

I had previously owned a pioneer SC-07 as a receiver and I really loved how that receiver sounded with my speakers. I had a lightning storm knock it out back in June and although the Denon is a good receiver, I didn't feel like it had the power of the Pioneer even though they are rated similarly. After adding the Emotiva XPA-5, I can say I finally have something that clearly surpassed the SC-07 and blows the Denon 4311 away as far as clarity and headroom. I feel like the speakers are now the weakest link. I was skeptical of purchasing an amp in the first place considering the Denon's hefty power rating claims and the fact that the 3 front speakers have powered "subwoofers" built in, but I can honestly say after a month of owning the Emotiva that I wish I would have bought it sooner. In my opinion, it's always hard to imagine how your setup could sound better than it already does, but I think I have finally hit the point where it would be an exponential diminishing returns to try to improve on what I have. To anyone with a similar setup that is on the fence about purchasing an Emotiva Amp, I would highly recommend giving it a shot. The worst case scenario is trying it out for a few days and sending it back.
post #296 of 1944
Thanks for the review. I have an Onkyo 1007 that had an audio problem last January so I tried a Denon 4311 and was underwhelmed. Onkyo ended up fixing the 1007 so I'm happy to have it back but I have always considered the XPA-5 and wondered if it would take me up a level. Sounds like I may have to give it a try at some point. Just don't have the cash right now.
post #297 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanii19 View Post

Is the xpa-5 really 19" deep? Daaaaaamn.. I'm gonna have to cut the back out on my console. Can someone verify this depth?

I'm also looking to verify this. I've got an XPA-5 being shipped out today, and I'm trying to work out how it will fit in my entertainment center. Is the chassis really 19" deep, or is this a generous measurement to allow room for your cables in the back? Either way, mine will have to stick out a couple inches from the front of the shelf.

This brings me to my next question. Can anyone verify whether or not the specified height of 7 3/4" includes the rubber feet, or is that the height of the chassis only, with the feet adding to this?

Lastly, can anyone tell me how close the front two feet are from the front edge of the unit? Are they right at the front, or are they set back from the front a bit, and if so, how much?

Many thanks to anyone who can answer this for me.
post #298 of 1944
Greetings!

I am currently running Energy RC 70s (fronts), RC 30s (wides), LCR (center), RC 10s (heights) and Veritas 2.0ri's (sides), all running through a Denon 4311. I am looking to add the rears for a full 11.1, and need to add an amp. I will probably use either Paradigm Monitor V3s that I have laying around, or Take Sat LCRs as rears. I do about 80/20 movies/music, but never really listen very loudly -- usually below -15dB.

I've started looking at 3 channel amps, but I think I might end up with a 5 channel. My question is, about how much power should I shoot for? I've been looking at Emotivas, and would certainly love to get an XPA-5 (200 wpc), but if a UPA-500 (80 wpc) will give me all that I need, saving $400 would be pretty nice. After all, RCs seem pretty sensitive (95dB), and I hear they're fairly easy to drive. I'm not against getting different brands, and have also browsed the used market to keep my options open, but the UPA-500 just seems like a good deal with the current sale.

I suppose one option would be just to get a 2 channel amp, like the UPA-200, to fulfill the bare minimum, but I'm not sure.

Any help would be greatly appreciated - thanks!
post #299 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by tboe77 View Post

I'm also looking to verify this. I've got an XPA-5 being shipped out today, and I'm trying to work out how it will fit in my entertainment center. Is the chassis really 19" deep, or is this a generous measurement to allow room for your cables in the back? Either way, mine will have to stick out a couple inches from the front of the shelf.
This brings me to my next question. Can anyone verify whether or not the specified height of 7 3/4" includes the rubber feet, or is that the height of the chassis only, with the feet adding to this?
Lastly, can anyone tell me how close the front two feet are from the front edge of the unit? Are they right at the front, or are they set back from the front a bit, and if so, how much?
Many thanks to anyone who can answer this for me.

To answer your questions. The chassis is actually 18" deep. That is without counting the 5 way binding posts (speaker terminals) that add another inch or so. So, that is the 19" deep that you were referring in your post. Now, keep in mind that if you are going to use banana plugs, you will have to take the size of them into consideration as well. I have my amps installed on DIY AV console that is 22" deep and my banana plugs are like 1 1/4" long.

Yes, the 7 3/4" includes the rubber feet.

The front two rubber feet are 2 1/8" from the front of the amp and it seems like it is the same for the feet on the back too.

Finally, congrats on your XPA-5 you will be really pleased with this amp. Don't forget to post back your initial impressions.
post #300 of 1944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdell View Post

Greetings!
I am currently running Energy RC 70s (fronts), RC 30s (wides), LCR (center), RC 10s (heights) and Veritas 2.0ri's (sides), all running through a Denon 4311. I am looking to add the rears for a full 11.1, and need to add an amp. I will probably use either Paradigm Monitor V3s that I have laying around, or Take Sat LCRs as rears. I do about 80/20 movies/music, but never really listen very loudly -- usually below -15dB.
I've started looking at 3 channel amps, but I think I might end up with a 5 channel. My question is, about how much power should I shoot for? I've been looking at Emotivas, and would certainly love to get an XPA-5 (200 wpc), but if a UPA-500 (80 wpc) will give me all that I need, saving $400 would be pretty nice. After all, RCs seem pretty sensitive (95dB), and I hear they're fairly easy to drive. I'm not against getting different brands, and have also browsed the used market to keep my options open, but the UPA-500 just seems like a good deal with the current sale.
I suppose one option would be just to get a 2 channel amp, like the UPA-200, to fulfill the bare minimum, but I'm not sure.
Any help would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

If you really can buy the XPA-5 go for that one (even if you have to wait a bit longer). Otherwise, you will be always keep wondering about how your speakers would sound driven by that amp. That happened to me when I initially purchased a XPA-3 and then eventually, I finally purchased the XPA-5.

Yes, you should be able to notice the difference in sound clarity and detail added by the XPA-5 to your system.

My 2 cents.
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