Originally Posted by Mupi
OP could also add Bryston to the list. Nothing can beat the 20yr warranty :-)
OP: If you have heard them all then you should already know the answer for your question. Most people try to listen to speakers and not bother about listening to an amp. An amp should not change the sound. I dont believe people who make euphoric claims that they heard things they never heard before with a new amp. When they go from a crappy receiver to a decent amp, things get louder which most people equate to better sound. The sound quality still depends on the source and speakers. An amp does not magically bring in the bass that didnt exist before nor does it color the sound in any way.
Like I said before one of the specific strengths could be the sensitivity. Lower the number higher the output that you can get even using cheapo receivers as pre-amps.
Emotiva amps have high gain as they are marketed for the AVR crowd i.e not much pre-out voltage so the amp gain has to be high. That may also increase the noise.
What speakers do you have, do you have an analog pre-amp or an AVR or a processor. Of course what is your budget. Otherwise, simply comparing different brands is not going to help. There is really not much to compare other than power, sensitivity etc. Comparing sound quality of amps is just meaningless in my opinion as a good amp should not change the sound quality.
I am not buying Emotiva amps because I cant handle an 80lb amp. I got the Rotel RB-1080 as it fits my budget and also weight requirements. Plus their build quality is solid. If the Emotiva XPA-2 was like 50lbs I would have bought one.
I'm currently using a HK AVR-2600 with my Focal 826W's. I need some more power to really let them breath, so I'm considering my alternatives for the next step, as well as becoming more knowledgable for a A/V design job I hope to get soon.
Thanks for your input. I suppose a good question would be, if what you say is true, and the Amp doesn't make THAT MUCH of a difference, then why do people bother spending so much money on the uber-expensive equipment?