Originally Posted by audiofan1
I use a Parasound Halo A21 to drive my E100 mains and an Anthem MCA 30(200x3) for the Vr12 and Cambridge multi-pole surrounds, How do the big E's sound with 500 watts on them, as I can see a set of JC1 mono blocks on these gorgeous sounding towers
But for now the A21 at 250 watts a channel produces visceral impact and finesse
The E100's sound amazing powered by the 500watt XPA-1's. The noise floor is really low with these amps but when the material calls for it, man can they rock the house!
After running the Audyssey XT32 calibration, the crossovers for the E100's were set to 40Hz. I measured the in-room frequency response of the E100's with the Seaton Submersive HP and wow, incredibly flat response. I then ran 10hz to 20kHz sweeps at 75db, 85db, 95db and 105db from the MLP. Compared all the graphs for signs of power compression and driver distortion and all the graphs traced each other.
Yup, the E100's with 500 watts can hit THX Reference cleanly with a flat frequency response at 10 feet without a problem. Something the majority of speakers out there can't do. They sound SO good with music too.
Before getting the XPA-1's, I first tried powering the E100's with the 5008, then with the 5008 bridged. They still sounded great powered just by the avr, but with 145 watts, I could hear power compression on the calibrated system at about -15db. With the 5008 bridged to the E100's, they would sound good to about -10 to -5db. They weren't distorting or clipping, but I could hear a difference in dynamics and... the ease of audio. I don't know how else to explain it. When you have s sound system that can hit the volumes you want easily without being near its power of mechanical limits, the sound is natural and relaxed.
Most people I know personally wouldn't notice it, but on my own system in my own house, I could hear that they needed more power if I wanted to hit THX Reference, so I got the XPA-1's. I probably could have gotten away with running the E100's bridged (at least for the left and right) if I'd changed the crossover point to 80Hz (takes a lot more power to drive the lower octaves), but I did some a/b testing with 40 and 80Hz testing and discovered that I can hear the effects of stereo bass and can localize bass below 80Hz, so I prefer the 40Hz crossover.
BTW, I ran a sweep of the speakers without any EQ to see how they did in my room and the frequency response was very good. In fact, in my treated room, some people might prefer the unEQ'd response because it follows the 'Harman curve'. The Audyssey frequency response produces a flat FR out to 15kHz then has a slight rolloff to 20kHz. It also has the 'BBC dip', a slight dip at 2kHz that BBC discovered reduces harshness in voices when played back in smaller than studio/theater spaces. The Harman blind testing preferred curve is a flat/even frequency response that produces a gentle slope with the lowest frequencies being louder and the SPL gently decreasing as the frequency increases.
The reason folks might prefer the Harman curve is because anyone used to unEQ'd systems is probably used to a sloping response due to room gain on the low end. This curve is what the unEQ'd E100's produces, and in my room, DOES sound very good. After a/b'ing both many, many times though, I find I prefer the slightly better tightness and imaging with Audyssey XT32.
Music sounds so good on these. There's an SACD called Art Lande:While She Sleeps, Piano Lullabies. This SACD on this setup is the first time I've personally heard what sounds like a real Steinway being played in front of me(from a recording). Before this, it always sounded like a recording of a piano played on a sound system. But this SACD on these speakers... Amazing. Oh, and one of my favorite songs on these is Nella Fantasia by Jackie Evancho. Her voice is incredible. Gives me goose bumps.
Don't know why they ever stopped making the E-series. They're amazing speakers. Even the E70 and E60's sound good. They don't dig as deep or go as loud as the E100's obviously, but their frequency response is just as flat. I recall hearing something about them discontinuing the E-series simply because they cost too much to make and they weren't selling as well as BA had hoped because the retail price was so high. They couldn't really drop the prices and continue selling them because the cost to make them with the extruded aluminum bodies etc. was so high, which is why the VS series is back to using conventional materials and cabinets. Pity.
I actually managed to acquire a second set brand new unopened of 2 E100's and 3 E70's. Planning on putting them in the bedroom for a killer 5.1 setup in the bedroom when I move into a bigger house. Now I have one set in Black Walnut and the brand new set is in the Cherry.