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Newbie External Amp question

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have been set on getting an Emotiva XPA3 amp (3 channel - 200 wpc) for $599. I have recently come across a Behringer EP1500 (2 channel - 260wpc) for $189. So I could get two Behringers for $200 cheaper than the Emotiva.

To me the obvious choice is the Behringer but I do not know much about external amps. Is there something I should know before making a purchase?
post #2 of 31
There are multiple threads over in the amps/processors forum that have a lot of info on this topic. I suggest you post this there.
post #3 of 31
If the amp is in the same room as you are viewing, be forewarned, most have loud fans. I use a PRO amp (QSC4050HD) for sub duty, but it is in another room.
post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregHolt12 View Post

I have been set on getting an Emotiva XPA3 amp (3 channel - 200 wpc) for $599. I have recently come across a Behringer EP1500 (2 channel - 260wpc) for $189. So I could get two Behringers for $200 cheaper than the Emotiva.

To me the obvious choice is the Behringer but I do not know much about external amps. Is there something I should know before making a purchase?


The pro amps are a much better value if you have power hungry speakers. However as stated before fan noise can be a definite drawback depending on how close you will be sitting to your amps. Also shelf space might be a concern for multiple amps. But there is no denying that you will get more for your dollar with two behringer amps over the Emotiva if you can deal with the aforementioned drawbacks.
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

The pro amps are a much better value if you have power hungry speakers. However as stated before fan noise can be a definite drawback depending on how close you will be sitting to your amps. Also shelf space might be a concern for multiple amps. But there is no denying that you will get more for your dollar with two behringer amps over the Emotiva if you can deal with the aforementioned drawbacks.

The value of the pro amps is outstanding and there are fan mods that can take care of the noise issue. Although there are some questions regarding the reliability of the behringer amps, it seems that those issues are mostly limited to high stress pro applications that will not be encountered in the home environment. More shelf space is needed compared to many of the multi-channel class D and H home audio amps which may, or may not, be a concern to you - but for that compact chassis, there is a fairly large premium to be paid.

The other issue to consider is warranty. As far as I can tell(I could be wrong) Behringer has a 1 yr. warranty whereas the Emotiva has a 5 yr. warranty. Just food for thought.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Just realized I posted this in the incorrect forum...but I appreciate the input.
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

The value of the pro amps is outstanding and there are fan mods that can take care of the noise issue. Although there are some questions regarding the reliability of the behringer amps, it seems that those issues are mostly limited to high stress pro applications that will not be encountered in the home environment. More shelf space is needed compared to many of the multi-channel class D and H home audio amps which may, or may not, be a concern to you - but for that compact chassis, there is a fairly large premium to be paid.

The other issue to consider is warranty. As far as I can tell(I could be wrong) Behringer has a 1 yr. warranty whereas the Emotiva has a 5 yr. warranty. Just food for thought.

Very good post. And good point on the warranty info. That is something that I overlooked.
post #8 of 31
It is a big difference in warranty coverage, but the fact is that you could buy 8 channels of new Behringer amps every year for several years before you would equal the cost of say, an equally powered 7 channel Sunfire or Class D amp from D-Sonic or Wyred4sound. It's more hassle and risk than I'm personally willing to tolerate, but it's a pretty staggering statistic none the less. But for those willling to take that risk, the value is outstanding.
post #9 of 31
The Behringer A500 is quite capable - it puts out 160wpc into 8ohms and has no fans - and the price is right. And its better than most audiophiles give it credit. You can bridge the two channels together to drive a huge center channel.

If you need more power get the EP1500 and install this fan. It works on the EP2500 too. If you don't replace the standard fan you'll need to locate it in another room with the door closed. I know - I had one for a few months driving a pair of subs - it is LOUD. I ended up installing onboard amps and sold the EP1500 but I was impressed with the ease in which it could drive 4 drivers in two subs.

I'm a fan of pro amps - just not a fan of their fans.
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

The Behringer A500 is quite capable - it puts out 160wpc into 8ohms and has no fans - and the price is right. And its better than most audiophiles give it credit. You can bridge the two channels together to drive a huge center channel. .

I agree. Although that amp is IMHO underpowered, I am a big fan of amps that deliver big power in a small, cool running chassis. Headroom is the most important quality of any amp that is operating below its clipping point, and Class A or AB designs become too large and too hot when you start asking for any real headroom. Most "Audiophile" amps are underpowered to deliver true dynamics. But thats just my 2 cents


Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

I'm a fan of pro amps - just not a fan of their fans.

There is a certain amount of headache to go along with the savings, that's for sure.
post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

The Behringer A500 is quite capable - it puts out 160wpc into 8ohms and has no fans - and the price is right. And its better than most audiophiles give it credit. You can bridge the two channels together to drive a huge center channel.

If you need more power get the EP1500 and install this fan. It works on the EP2500 too. If you don't replace the standard fan you'll need to locate it in another room with the door closed. I know - I had one for a few months driving a pair of subs - it is LOUD. I ended up installing onboard amps and sold the EP1500 but I was impressed with the ease in which it could drive 4 drivers in two subs.

I'm a fan of pro amps - just not a fan of their fans.

Good info. So installing the above mentioned fan will take care of the noise issue from the standard fan?
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

I agree. Although that amp is IMHO underpowered, I am a big fan of amps that deliver big power in a small, cool running chassis. Headroom is the most important quality of any amp that is operating below its clipping point, and Class A or AB designs become too large and too hot when you start asking for any real headroom. Most "Audiophile" amps are underpowered to deliver true dynamics. But thats just my 2 cents




There is a certain amount of headache to go along with the savings, that's for sure.

"Most "Audiophile" amps are underpowered to deliver true dynamics." Are you sure? I won't disagree with you since I don't know which amps fall into audiophile category plus this has been argued over n over ;>. I'm curious about the fan mods for pro amps. Do the behringer amps only kick in the fan when the they get hot? If so then a quiet pc case fan or similar powered by 12v could avoid the noise no? Diamonddelts? Peace man.... Did you disable the fans or ignore them? What does the mod entail? Curious...
thanks!
post #13 of 31
I just wanted to add that some pro amps have quieter fans than others. For example, I've used a QSC PL236 and RMX 2450 and I can say without question that the PL236 is quieter. Unfortunately, I can't really say what groups or brands of amps are quieter than others. This probably doesn't help but I thought I should post this since one of the major issues most have with using pro amps is the fan noise.
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregHolt12 View Post

Good info. So installing the above mentioned fan will take care of the noise issue from the standard fan?

Yes. The standard fan is unbelievably loud.
When I installed the replacement fan I had to feel for air flow to make sure it was actually functioning. It can be heard from a few feet away but isn't an issue once the sound is at any level above a whisper. It is very quiet. Installation is very easy but will void the warranty. Pro amps are every bit as good at delivering high quality sound as consumer grade amps. They do lack the 12v trigger for powering them on and most of the ones I've seen and been around don't have RCA inputs. You'll need to convert the RCA from your prepro or AVR to TLR or XLR. MonoPrice has cheap adapters for either one.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfm View Post

"Most "Audiophile" amps are underpowered to deliver true dynamics." Are you sure? I won't disagree with you since I don't know which amps fall into audiophile category plus this has been argued over n over ;>.

Yes, this is not worthy of another thread, lol. "Audiophile" amps are, as I use the term, generally Class A, AB, or tube. It's only MY opinion, but the wattage required for dynamic peaks and sustained concert level music is much higher than the vast majority of Class A or AB or tube amps I see.
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

It is a big difference in warranty coverage, but the fact is that you could buy 8 channels of new Behringer amps every year for several years before you would equal the cost of say, an equally powered 7 channel Sunfire or Class D amp from D-Sonic or Wyred4sound.* It's more hassle and risk than I'm personally willing to tolerate, but it's a pretty staggering statistic none the less.* But for those willling to take that risk, the value is outstanding.

Another good point. And this is precisely the bottom line which drove me to purchase the Behringer amps.* I had $3,000(my power rack money) to spend this month. I thought about using my whole* budget to purchase a Sunfire TGA 7400 or Parasound 5250(tank) amp that was available locally, however I began thinking of what am I willing to tolerate if my amp fails. The thought of having to ship a 70lb amp for the failure of one or more channels was more than I was willing to deal with.What appealed to me about the Behringer amps is that if one goes out I can order another one and have it here in three days ready to go. Every time I've had to deal with a warranty service to fix any electronic equipment it has always been a long, frustrating process. And having to ship a heavy item to and fro is just not something I want to live in fear of doing. So that is why I went the Behringer EP4000's. And the rest of my monthly budget will be going towards my custom rack. Though I've recently broken a third recliner this year due to my weight so that's going to eat at my audio budget for next month.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfm View Post

"Most "Audiophile" amps are underpowered to deliver true dynamics." Are you sure? I won't disagree with you since I don't know which amps fall into audiophile category plus this has been argued over n over ;>. I'm curious about the fan mods for pro amps. Do the behringer amps only kick in the fan when the they get hot? If so then a quiet pc case fan or similar powered by 12v could avoid the noise no? Diamonddelts? Peace man.... Did you disable the fans or ignore them? What does the mod entail? Curious...
thanks!


The fans on my Behringer amps are at full speed/somewhat loud as soon as you turn them on. I never run them hard so they have never been hot since I've owned them. I've read here and other forums where people are replacing the stock fans with pc fans with very good results. However this voids their one year warranty and could increase risk of overheating.

At this point I just ignore them. Some days I forget they are even on when I'm listening to music or watching a movie. However there are other days when I am watching TV at low volume and I want to throw a house slipper at them so the fan can shut the f*** up.

In reality, they are no louder than the computer fans you would hear on a custom gaming computer. It's just that I'm used to absolute quiet with my previous amps and my ears have become more sensitive since picking up this hobby two years ago. So little noises like the water flow on my homedics fountain bothers me sometimes. I have a local gearhead friend who has offered to help me swap out the fans with some pc fans but I am just not willing to risk damaging my amps for what I feel is an overall minor irritant at this time.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

At this point I just ignore them. Some days I forget they are even on when I'm listening to music or watching a movie. However there are other days when I am watching TV at low volume and I want to throw a house slipper at them so the fan can shut the f*** up.

I've generally found this to be the case as well. Though I use my pro amp for sub duty so it stays off except for music and movies. So I've yet to want to toss a shoe at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

In reality, they are no louder than the computer fans you would hear on a custom gaming computer. It's just that I'm used to absolute quiet with my previous amps and my ears have become more sensitive since picking up this hobby two years ago. So little noises like the water flow on my homedics fountain bothers me sometimes. I have a local gearhead friend who has offered to help me swap out the fans with some pc fans but I am just not willing to risk damaging my amps for what I feel is an overall minor irritant at this time.

I don't know about the custom gaming computer comment. I built a pc a while back(like almost 8 years ago) and I bought the best cpu fan at the time(best as in moved the most air) and it was LOUD. In retrospect I don't know how I tolerated it. No way I'd tolerate that from an amp today.

Also, I thought some diyers were able to find some fans that were quieter and moved just as much air. Guess I dreamed that up.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmryan821 View Post

I've generally found this to be the case as well. Though I use my pro amp for sub duty so it stays off except for music and movies. So I've yet to want to toss a shoe at it.I don't know about the custom gaming computer comment. I built a pc a while back(like almost 8 years ago) and I bought the best cpu fan at the time(best as in moved the most air) and it was LOUD. In retrospect I don't know how I tolerated it. No way I'd tolerate that from an amp today.Also, I thought some diyers were able to find some fans that were quieter and moved just as much air. Guess I dreamed that up.

Well I am an ex gamer so I guess I'm just used to hearing 10 or more computer fans cranking away at high rpms in my old cooler master and Antec cases. Others might be bothered more. I had my brother over to listen to my new setup last week and I asked him what he thought about the fan noise. His reply was what fan noise?**And my brother has some big ears. So everyone might have a different opinion on the fan noise level of these amps. In my opinion these fans are not loud. However they are just audible enough to be irritating at times during late night viewing at extremely low volumes. I usually watch tv at night at -81.5db.
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

Yes, this is not worthy of another thread, lol. "Audiophile" amps are, as I use the term, generally Class A, AB, or tube. It's only MY opinion, but the wattage required for dynamic peaks and sustained concert level music is much higher than the vast majority of Class A or AB or tube amps I see.

I guess it depends on how loud the concert would be at your listening position, and what concert it was

I am almost 100% sure my system does not clip at the levels I listen at. Which is all that really matters.
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

I guess it depends on how loud the concert would be at your listening position, and what concert it was

I am almost 100% sure my system does not clip at the levels I listen at. Which is all that really matters.

I was waiting for you to get in here. Can't have a good amp discussion without Michael J I'm only Human

(sorry been listening to Human League on my system all night)
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

AnWhat appealed to me about the Behringer amps is that if one goes out I can order another one and have it here in three days ready to go. Every time I've had to deal with a warranty service to fix any electronic equipment it has always been a long, frustrating process. And having to ship a heavy item to and fro is just not something I want to live in fear of doing. So that is why I went the Behringer EP4000's.

Didn't think about it that way, the modularity is another definite advantage of the Pro amps. In my experience, warranty repairs usually take 2-3x as long as they tell you. A definite nightmare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

Though I've recently broken a third recliner this year due to my weight so that's going to eat at my audio budget for next month.

LMAO. That's a laugh with you, not at you. At the rate your lifting, you better keep saving that amp money for furniture repairs.
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

I was waiting for you to get in here. Can't have a good amp discussion without Micael J I'm only Human

(sorry been listening to Human League on my system all night)

I do love all those new wave hits. I have so many new wave compilations, I have numerous songs duplicated. Sometimes you have to but a disk with 8 songs you have to get two you don't. Cheaper than buying those one hit wonder band's albums

Totally off topic, but I was at Best Buy one day, and I see The Knack's Greatest hits? When did they have more than one or two hits? Maybe they were big in Japan, lol
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

I guess it depends on how loud the concert would be at your listening position, and what concert it was

I am almost 100% sure my system does not clip at the levels I listen at. Which is all that really matters.

Absolutely. Everyone needs to determine what volume THEY want. It will likely be different than the volume I want. For HT, I calculate for 105dB peaks for the satellites and 115dB peaks for the sub, and for music I want at least 90dB RMS with headroom for 25 dB peaks which would be 115 dB peaks. Even my 400W amp is somewhat underpowered as far as I'm concerned, but I comprimised.
post #25 of 31
Quote:


Didn't think about it that way, the modularity is another definite advantage of the Pro amps.* In my experience, warranty repairs usually take 2-3x as long as they tell you.* A definite nightmare.

Yep. I had (at the time) a very expensive Sony STR-DA9000ES that had one channel go out on it.http://www.ultimateavmag.com/avreceivers/1204sony/*I had to send it to El Segundo, California to get it repaired. They quoted me 3 weeks for the fix. It ended up taking four months. And when they sent it back to me it was damaged by Fraud-EX during shipping. All of the connections on the back were bent straight downwards when I received my beloved receiver. Both Fraud-EX and the shipper were denying responsibility. *The shipper used a box as thin as tissue paper to send my receiver back and did not doublebox it. Fraud-EX had no mercy on the box and it looked like it has been through a trash compactor when I received it. And this is just one of my many warranty stories. Now I'm all about buying electronics that if broken are replaceable. I'm not up for going the "someone better fix it" route any time soon.*
Quote:


LMAO.* That's a laugh with you, not at you.* At the rate your lifting, you better keep saving that amp money for furniture repairs.

Don't laugh at ol' DD!!! (brand new couch less than 6 months old, I only sat on the right side)
LL
LL
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

(brand new couch less than 6 months old, I only sat on the right side)

That poor thing never stood a chance. The right side looks 15 years old and the left side brand new, LOL.
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

That poor thing never stood a chance. The right side looks 15 years old and the left side brand new, LOL.

LMFAO. This crap always happens when I about to make a sizable purchase. My Bagend Infrasub-18 needs some help. So I was going to be purchasing another 18" sub next week. But I might have more pressing concerns at the moment since I have the leaning tower of Pisa in my living room right now.
post #28 of 31
Makes you wander if the warranties these systems come with are really worth it
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo_Lang View Post

Makes you wander if the warranties these systems come with are really worth it

In my opinion....NO. I miss the old days of product replacement plans. They were pricier than a warranty plan but if something.....ANYTHING failed on my TV, shelf system, receiver, etc I could take it in and have it replaced with an equivalent model or the new/replacement model. Now we are in the days of internet shopping and shady warranty centers that no one has heard of.

Some warranties have been given for warranty centers that no longer exist. You really do not not if your warranty coverage is worth two shits until you use it. And even if you get one that actually honors it's policies your looking at footing the bill for shipping plus unknown weeks and months of wait time until your unit is fixed and shipped back to you. I don't think it's worth the extra cost. But that's just my opinion due to my past experience with warranty work.
post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

The Behringer A500 is quite capable - it puts out 160wpc into 8ohms and has no fans - and the price is right. And its better than most audiophiles give it credit.

When you say no fans...is that a good thing because it is quiet, or does it run loud and you cant do anything about it?
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