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amplification for Synchrony 2 towers

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a pair of PSB Synchrony 2 towers, a Pioneer SC-61 receiver (125 wpc class D) and a T+A Integrated amp from that is supposed to be 170wpc 8 ohms, 280 4 ohms. I say "supposed to" because while it is heavy and pretty and has nice silver pcb boards and good heat sinks and stuff, it has a 400VA transformer under the hood (spec sheet says 650VA but I saw it with my own eyes a Plintron 400VA) and something tells me it is lean in the power section even though it does sound extremely good within its limits). 3500 cubic foot room roughly. I'm 11 feet from the speakers. Running them small 80hz.

I use the integrated to power these mains, and it sounds great except when I try to go really loud on driving rock music. Two examples of songs that send the integrated amp into protection are Creed's Higher, and Mellencamp's "Authority Song". When I really try to belt these to very high levels.. the T+A amp goes into protection (no soft clipping, it just shuts off). It goes into protection at the same music phrases (bassy ones) whether I use pure direct (speakers Large) or with bass management on. This is at about 100-103 db at the seated position with a RS SPL meter.

I tried driving them with just the pioneer and it does not "shut down", but takes on a fairly strident sound at the super loud levels and I don't feel this is my solution. I'm afraid to clip the speakers.

I'm considering two things - I'd like advice on these options or others:

NAD 275BEE is a 150wpc power amp (conservatively rated) 8 and 4 ohms. I see them discounted around $1000 sometimes. I'm thinking since NAD and PSB share a parent company, maybe I'll benefit from some synergy here?

Emotiva XPA 2 is on sale now under $800 shipped. 1200VA transformer. Maybe this one will dish out all the Synchrony 2's can take??

Are either of these options clearly superior to the other? And will either option give me what I want, which is to play max level on my Synchrony 2 towers without distortion?

I just want to have Authority Song and Higher loud enough to really sock me in the chest... concert level.

My current set up (with the T+A amp) is good 95% of the time. And maybe leaving the status quo will give me a prudent warning when I'm trying to play at unsafe levels. But I just wonder if the NAD or Emotiva will put me over the top.

(ps: I meant to post this in the PSB thread... sorry, user error)
Edited by dozer95667 - 11/18/12 at 1:30pm
post #2 of 7
The NAD. The Emotiva might be a bit too much. 300 at 8 ohms, 500 at 4 ohms. If the pioneer equalizer features are on i'd turn them off. A high quality speaker like the synchrony usually sounds best with the equalizer flat just like with KEFs and definitives.

Another more radical option is to replace the receiver with the higher powered SC-68.
Edited by Alec88 - 11/19/12 at 2:21am
post #3 of 7
At this point it is going to be about personal taste. The NAD is a nice, neat package. The Emotiva has more power and is cheaper. It is a Class AB design, so it will run hotter than Class D and be bigger / heavier. Emotiva has their Black Friday sale going on right now. You CAN'T beat $679 for the XPA-2 right now. You can get the black trim pieces for $20 if you don't like the silver ones. Some folks just take them off completely and put black screws in the holes. I have the XPR-5 and that is a sweet amp with lots of power to spare. It has a 3300VA power supply. LOL
post #4 of 7
Try running at 90 instead of 80 Hz. What kind of sub?
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
the sub is top shelf... SVS SB13 Ultra. I might try a higher crossover for kicks, but I want to be able to play loud in pure 2.0 mode too. But I ought to probably try 100 hz and see what happens.

the Emotiva price per watt is pretty tempting... but the NAD will look classier on the shelf and if the NAD won't run out of gas, I think I'd be inclined to prefer it. I just don't know if an honest 150wpc from NAD will do it.

I don't suppose anybody here can vouch for a NAD 275BEE with Synchrony 2's ?
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dozer95667 View Post

I have a pair of PSB Synchrony 2 towers, a Pioneer SC-61 receiver (125 wpc class D) and a T+A Integrated amp from that is supposed to be 170wpc 8 ohms, 280 4 ohms. I say "supposed to" because while it is heavy and pretty and has nice silver pcb boards and good heat sinks and stuff, it has a 400VA transformer under the hood (spec sheet says 650VA but I saw it with my own eyes a Plintron 400VA) and something tells me it is lean in the power section even though it does sound extremely good within its limits). 3500 cubic foot room roughly. I'm 11 feet from the speakers. Running them small 80hz.

I use the integrated to power these mains, and it sounds great except when I try to go really loud on driving rock music. Two examples of songs that send the integrated amp into protection are Creed's Higher, and Mellencamp's "Authority Song". When I really try to belt these to very high levels.. the T+A amp goes into protection (no soft clipping, it just shuts off). It goes into protection at the same music phrases (bassy ones) whether I use pure direct (speakers Large) or with bass management on. This is at about 100-103 db at the seated position with a RS SPL meter.

I tried driving them with just the pioneer and it does not "shut down", but takes on a fairly strident sound at the super loud levels and I don't feel this is my solution. I'm afraid to clip the speakers.

I'm considering two things - I'd like advice on these options or others:

NAD 275BEE is a 150wpc power amp (conservatively rated) 8 and 4 ohms. I see them discounted around $1000 sometimes. I'm thinking since NAD and PSB share a parent company, maybe I'll benefit from some synergy here?

Emotiva XPA 2 is on sale now under $800 shipped. 1200VA transformer. Maybe this one will dish out all the Synchrony 2's can take??

Are either of these options clearly superior to the other? And will either option give me what I want, which is to play max level on my Synchrony 2 towers without distortion?

I just want to have Authority Song and Higher loud enough to really sock me in the chest... concert level.

My current set up (with the T+A amp) is good 95% of the time. And maybe leaving the status quo will give me a prudent warning when I'm trying to play at unsafe levels. But I just wonder if the NAD or Emotiva will put me over the top.

(ps: I meant to post this in the PSB thread... sorry, user error)

Just in case anybody is ever in the same boat, and comes across this thread in a search... a used Parasound A21 solved my problem very nicely! BAM - right in the chest.. hella loud and clear. A little more money than Emotiva or NAD options, but I think these speakers appreciate the solid 400 watts at 4 ohms!
post #7 of 7
Excellent choice, nice!
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