Wow, what a hoot!
My take on Emotiva is what I said: great performance for the price (good value). I have not compared them recently with any high-end equipment (or very little, and not in my system so I can't really comment). There are plenty of reviews favorable to them at their price point, and frankly I wanted to put my money into other things than $20k worth of amps. Like room treatment, and college tuition for my boys...
I cannot, and as far as I know, do not claim they will match said monoblocks. Don't know they won't, to me
, but I have not listened recently. I could rig up a test system to check their power, but it's not worth it to me. I have work to do and a concert to prepare for in my free time (anybody in the Colorado Springs area? -- www.pikespeakphil.org
I have Magnepan MG-IIIa's, a relatively benign load but 4-ohm and fairly inefficient so they suck some power. Center CC3, surrounds and rears MC-1's. An XPA-2 drives the L/R and XPA-5 the rest. Maybe it is a piece of junk, but it sounds OK to me. My past experience leads me to belive that differences among SS amps is subtle at best once you exceed a fairly low threshold. (Threshold, another great old amp...)
My previous setup was probably 15 years back, before the system went into storage while Life took over. Then, I used a modified ARC SP3a-1 preamp, and biamped the MG-IIIa's with an ARC D-79 on top and Counterpoint SA-220 on the bottom. At that time (say mid-80's) I worked in the business and a number of amps, including Bryston, Krell, CJ, Levinson, etc. all passed through the system. I loved my tubes, whilst knowing they were not the cleanest, quietest, nor provided the best bass. I just liked the sound, colored as it was. When I set up my system again I went into deep depression when I realized the class of equipment I had before was far beyond my means, and I didn't really have the time and funds to bring all my tubes back to life. The Emotivas filled the gap nicely enough for me.
I have always found specsmanship a bit misleading and marketing-led so have never been particularly upset by claims (some are pretty funny, but that's another thread). I use the spec sheet as a rough guide, then read reviews and test results. The biggest spec-shock I have had in the past couple of years was finding out just how little power by previous Sony AVR actually put out...
As for credentials, in addition to decades in the biz (usually install and repair work, plus a lot of live sound and some studio mastering) I have a few degrees in electrical engineering that I have put to good use in the world of high-speed (GHz+) analog IC design. Gives me no more cred than anyone else since you probably can't prove it online.
Don't think I can contribute any more (not sure I actually did any at all) to this thread, but there's my take on it.
FWIWFM, my 0.00001 cents, YMMV, blah blah blah - Don