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Emotiva XPA 5 w/ Denon 4308ci

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hey Guys!!! I just ordered my XPA-5, can't wait to get it. I am having it paired up with my Denon AVR 4308ci. What do you guys think of having the XPA running highs/lows for my Polk RTi a9's (basically bi-amping the XPA using y-adapters from the front L/R preouts of the denon) and the 5th channel powering my polk CSi a6 center? I will let the Denon power the surround speakers. The reason why I bought this beast of an amp is for starters all the positive remarks people have made and what a great price!!!!!! The denon does have great sound, but I feel by adding the XPA-5 it will be better, what do you guys think? Also, should I directly plug this XPA-5 into it's own outlet or plugging it into my monster power center? Any input is greatly appreciated!!!
Smo
post #2 of 29
My opinions:
1. I would power the speakers with the amp and not (passively) bi-amp.
2. I would plug it into its own outlet.
post #3 of 29
ditto to what the guy above me wrote!
post #4 of 29
jeje... I just got the XPA-5 about a week ago & I own same AVR... 4308CI.

Honestly, I think sounds better. Depending on the RCA cables you get... I did have some dificulty in plugging RCA's in back of AVR.

I do feel it was a good buy.
post #5 of 29
It depends on the RCA cable you used? Odd
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

It depends on the RCA cable you used? Odd

Yes, I suppose it depends which ones you use... I had bought these monoprice... http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I would probably avoid these
post #7 of 29
I used whatever I had lying around, when it came to connecting my XPA-3, and then my Crown.

As long as the cable is not defective, I would expect zero differences (according to electrical engineers, only audiophiles seem to think it matters, you choose who you think knows more about science You can buy some fancier RCA cables at mono price which look nicer. Thought about doing it myself.
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! Any specific reason(s) why not to bi-amp using the XPA-5 for my polk rti a9's?
Those speakers would be getting a ton of power, no? I am using a mid-line monster cable audio cable for the preouts.
post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post

jeje... I just got the XPA-5 about a week ago & I own same AVR... 4308CI.

Honestly, I think sounds better. Depending on the RCA cables you get... I did have some dificulty in plugging RCA's in back of AVR.

I do feel it was a good buy.

Any specific things you notice? Bass better, treble, imaging? Anything? What kind of speakers are you using? I mean are you really happy with it? You think the amps in the XPA-5 are a lot better then the denon 4308ci? The denon itself sounds great, but I just want the brawn, ya know?
Smo
post #10 of 29
FYI - starting up two discussions in two threads for the same topic is a bit frowned on. It's a bit confusing for one thing. People end up having to repeat themselves, etc.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
ok, kind of a newbie here! But love audio,lol!
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks Michael for your input. I am currently running a 5.1 setup.
Polk Audio rti a9's front L/R
Polk Audio Csi A6 Center
Polk Audio RC85i in-walls for surround
The monster power strip was about $200 at tweeter 5-7 years ago. I went for it because I didn't have room on my rack for it. It shows amps/ volts, reverse wiring, clean power, etc...
Do you really think i will notice a difference with the XPA-5 vs just my on-board denon 4308 amps?
post #13 of 29
I don't know much about the Denon. As a general rule, receivers can't match the XPA-5.

First off, the XPA-5 has a transformer with a 1200 VA rating. The Denon is highly unlikely to have a transformer with a rating anywhere near that. The transformer in an amp is one of the primary factors in how much power it can put out.

It has a large amount of capacitance in the power supply (60,000 uF claimed.) I don't know about Denon, but even in high end Yamaha receivers, it's more like two 2000 uF caps. This helps on peaks (some call this ability dynamic headroom.)

It uses 6 transistors / channel (probably two sets of 3 in a Darlington configuration.) More is better in some ways. Probably more reliable with spreading out the load to multiple transistors. It's normal to have only 2 transistors / channel in receivers.

It runs much more heat sink area. It can run cooler. Between that, and having 6 transistors / channel, they can probably run less current limiting than the Denon. The Denon may have to current limit to protect it's transistors, and will run hotter, and closer to it's thermal limits, where it will shut down to try to protect itself.

All of these gives the XPA-5 the advantage near as I can tell, over the Denon. That being said, there's two things to note...

1) If you were not exceeding the Denon's own capabilities, you won't notice an improvement, or much of an improvement with the XPA
2) If you were exceeding the Denon's capabilities, don't expect a massive improvement in unclipped SPL...because you need twice the power for each gain of 3 dB SPL.

I did not notice a big difference going from my Yamaha RX-Z7 only, when I added an XPA-3. But I tend to listen to movies at -10 dB or so, which is 10 dB below reference. The more you push the system, the more likely you would notice the improved power of the XPA.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

My opinions:
1. I would power the speakers with the amp and not (passively) bi-amp.
2. I would plug it into its own outlet.

x2

post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMO5007 View Post

Any specific things you notice? Bass better, treble, imaging? Anything? What kind of speakers are you using? I mean are you really happy with it? You think the amps in the XPA-5 are a lot better then the denon 4308ci? The denon itself sounds great, but I just want the brawn, ya know?
Smo

I can't really pinpoint but I can say that I hear it better.

One thing to note is that I have a BDI cabinet where I was placing my center inside a drawer but looks like placing center in drawer was blocking some audio. After taking drawer out I get better sound from my center.

I currently plug my XPA-5 to an outlet but in the future I may connect it to my panamax power conditioner. I don't think it makes a difference.
post #16 of 29
I would not expect a power conditioner to make a difference, until it limits power

Which is why some amp companies suggest you don't plug you amp into any active sort of power conditioner.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post

Yes, I suppose it depends which ones you use... I had bought these monoprice... http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I would probably avoid these

Im using these to connect my XPA-5 and they work just fine. I even ordered them without the magic audio dust option on the outside. Just joking
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

There is no need to avoid the cables you posted. The only thing to avoid is the negative thoughts running through your mind that there is something wrong with those cables. At least sound wise. They work just fine unless there was a defect in them.

Also for the OP. Just connect your XPA-5 the normal way. There is no need to do any bi amping or bi wiring of any kind. Unless you like extra RCA cables and speaker wire behind your rack.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Secret Squirrel View Post

Im using these to connect my XPA-5 and they work just fine. I even ordered them without the magic audio dust option on the outside. Just joking
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

There is no need to avoid the cables you posted. The only thing to avoid is the negative thoughts running through your mind that there is something wrong with those cables. At least sound wise. They work just fine unless there was a defect in them.

Also for the OP. Just connect your XPA-5 the normal way. There is no need to do any bi amping or bi wiring of any kind. Unless you like extra RCA cables and speaker wire behind your rack.

The monoprice cables were a breeze to plug into the XPA-5 but were very very difficult to get a good connection on my AVR 4308CI. After only about 20 mins of plugging unplugging and remember thinking... Before giving up... On the last attempt did it actually worked.... I also think someone else posted too that they also had issues... So, I'm not the only one.

Initially, I was going to go with the ones you posted but then the ones I got seemed fancier... big mistake
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post

The monoprice cables were a breeze to plug into the XPA-5 but were very very difficult to get a good connection on my AVR 4308CI. After only about 20 mins of plugging unplugging and remember thinking... Before giving up... On the last attempt did it actually worked.... I also think someone else posted too that they also had issues... So, I'm not the only one.

Initially, I was going to go with the ones you posted but then the ones I got seemed fancier... big mistake

Sometimes tolerances are different on RCA's between different devices or even different cables. You can carefully loosen the ends of the RCA cable with needle nose pliers so they are not so tight. The way the thread was going with your comment as well as another poster, made it seem as if the debate of certain RCA's sounding different than others was starting to come up. We all know they sound the same. Maybe I took it the wrong way. The ends not fitting your AVR is another story and has nothing to do with how they sound.
post #20 of 29
I just use a needle nose pliers when they are too tight.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

I just use a needle nose pliers when they are too tight.

Easy there Michael - audiofiles (SIC) everywhere are cringing at the thought of you molesting your RCA cables...
post #22 of 29
I have evaded the FBI so far...

"The RCA cables put the lotion on, or they get the hose"

(That's a movie misquote for anyone who is confused)
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Mike, thanks for all of your input. I actually decided not to go with the xpa-5 because honestly I do not push the denon beyond it's capabilities. I am very pleased with the DENON sound. I really want to get the denon 5308ci, but its kind of out of my price range. I had an onkyo 1007 before, and I couldn't believe how much better the denon 4308ci sounded. IMO, given the beefy amps of the Onkyo, I was so surprised by the denon that I immediately put the onkyo up for sale.


I've had
onkyo tx 787
Denon 3806
Onkyo 3007-static noise problem
Onkyo 5007-" " so returned those two for the 1007
Onkyo 1007
Now Denon 4308ci best so far!
Thanks guys!
Smo
post #24 of 29
Yet another happy Denon from Onkyo convert
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Yet another happy Denon from Onkyo convert

Hey now. I'm a proud owner of an Onkyo TX-SR805 owner. The last of the good Onkyos in my opinion. I have been an Onkyo user for 20 years. I may switch to another brand if Onkyo doesn't get their act together. They have been producing AVR's filled with issues for the last couple of years.
post #26 of 29
I don't mean to imply they have not, and will not make reliable receivers. Just had a few problems here and there

So I apologize for the dig.
post #27 of 29
No I'm just joking with you. I'm really agreeing with you on your comment. I may switch brands next time I need a receiver if Onkyo doesn't get their act together.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by spike9876 View Post

Yes, I suppose it depends which ones you use... I had bought these monoprice... http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

I would probably avoid these

Bought the same ones, and YES they are very tight, but that is a GOOD THING. Don't have to worry about them being intermittent at all between Amp and AVR.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

I don't know much about the Denon. As a general rule, receivers can't match the XPA-5.

First off, the XPA-5 has a transformer with a 1200 VA rating. The Denon is highly unlikely to have a transformer with a rating anywhere near that. The transformer in an amp is one of the primary factors in how much power it can put out.

It has a large amount of capacitance in the power supply (60,000 uF claimed.) I don't know about Denon, but even in high end Yamaha receivers, it's more like two 2000 uF caps. This helps on peaks (some call this ability dynamic headroom.)

It uses 6 transistors / channel (probably two sets of 3 in a Darlington configuration.) More is better in some ways. Probably more reliable with spreading out the load to multiple transistors. It's normal to have only 2 transistors / channel in receivers.

It runs much more heat sink area. It can run cooler. Between that, and having 6 transistors / channel, they can probably run less current limiting than the Denon. The Denon may have to current limit to protect it's transistors, and will run hotter, and closer to it's thermal limits, where it will shut down to try to protect itself.

All of these gives the XPA-5 the advantage near as I can tell, over the Denon. That being said, there's two things to note...

1) If you were not exceeding the Denon's own capabilities, you won't notice an improvement, or much of an improvement with the XPA
2) If you were exceeding the Denon's capabilities, don't expect a massive improvement in unclipped SPL...because you need twice the power for each gain of 3 dB SPL.

I did not notice a big difference going from my Yamaha RX-Z7 only, when I added an XPA-3. But I tend to listen to movies at -10 dB or so, which is 10 dB below reference. The more you push the system, the more likely you would notice the improved power of the XPA.

I decided on giving the xpa 5 a chance and I'm glad I did! I ended up bi-amping my polk rti a9's and using the 5th channel to power my center csi a6. I've had the xpa 5 for about 2 weeks now. I like the overall sound and appearance of the amp. I think that it pairs well with the polk's and the denon 4308 as pre-amp. One of the first things I noticed was "how much better" the imaging/sweetspot became. I listen to a lot of two channel music and this amp added much needed headroom. I thought the denon did a great job at driving the a9's but having a dedicated power amp MAKES a huge difference. I was kind of skeptical at first but now after having it for two weeks and put it through its paces it's worth every penny....
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