Originally Posted by Jestered
That pretty much confirms exactly what I already knew. So, that has me scratching my head a little bit. Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to put down Emotiva, or any other amp maker for that matter, and I definitely recognize that the right person with the right needs/setup can absolutely gain something by adding an amp to their setup.
Yes, there are times when I external amps make a difference. I bought mine when I was running fairly insensitive, difficult to drive, 4 ohm 'audiophile' speakers. My AVR just kecouldn’tep up with what I was asking it today. I still use the amps today, but with my current speakers they aren't really necessary. One of the high power AVRs would do just as well.
But, I think there is obviously a very wide-spread and massive placebo problem going on when it comes to these amps. The majority of people that buy these amps are not using them with some cheap HTIB. The majority of people that purchase these amps have already spent a lot of money on their full audio video setup, which means they likely already have a pretty good AVR that can handle normal everyday listening.
People buy them for various reasons. Some just like the idea of big, shiny, powerful looking amps in their rack. Some have no idea how to work out what they need so they go the 'overkill' (aka wasting money') route. And many more are deceived by the zillion misinformed comments on the forums about 'speakers coming to life' and 'power-hungry speakers' and so on. I've even heard the latter said about speakers that are 103dB/w/m sensitive! That is they produce 103dB from 1 watt (at 1m)!! So anything that can pump about 30 watts into them will give Reference level sound! Power hungry???
I also believe that the majority of those that are using these amps are probably like myself and never even utilize the extra wattage that these amps provide over what their AVR is capable of giving them. But, I keep hearing these people talk about the major improvement in SQ once adding an amp. I'm sorry but that doesn't make any sense to me.
It doesn't make any sense to anyone who understands even the rudimentary basics of electronics and acoustics. But placebo is strong. If you've just dropped $1,000 of hard-earned on an amp, you can be pretty sure you want to hear a difference! Even when there isn’t one. Every single instance of this happening is in an unsighted 'test' with no level matching and no instantaneous swapping of sources. IOW, invalid tests. The sole conclusion you can draw from such a 'test' is that you cannot draw a valid conclusion from such a test. IOW, it's a waste of time.
With all that being said, if I ever find myself in a situation where I need an external dedicated amp, I'll seriously consider getting an Emotiva amp. They appear to be the biggest bang for your buck and that's pretty impressive (in the right scenario).
Agreed. Over many years I have had all sorts of amps. In the days when I didn't know any better, I’d drop a fortune on the latest, greatest amp. "If it costs $10,000 it HAS to be great, right?". Then I wised up, learned the basics and now I run Emotiva amps. And my SQ today is the best it has ever been. But that is because I have good speakers, properly placed, good subs, properly placed and room treatments. The latter has made the biggest difference and is the biggest audio bang for the buck - ever.