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EMOTIVA Thread Q&A [TECHNICAL TALK ONLY] - Page 551

post #16501 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post



Just also wanted to underscore your point about response measurements. They certainly can be a helpful tool in finding problems, and one can interpret certain lumps and bumps into a prediction of how things might sound. But when it comes to translating them into subtler details of total system sonics, I don't think we have any set of measurements yet that can do that adequately.

I was under the impression that Harman studies had correlated a few key parameters to what a fairly diverse group of people identified as better sounding.

Perhaps why RichB likes the Salons so much...Harman's studies put into practice.
post #16502 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

You did, although perhaps unintentionally/unknowingly.

What is you point?
My point is that of course, enough power is enough power.
Now, making that determination is the trick wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

Here you acknowlege, rightfully, that a bigger amp sounded better in this case because the smaller amp petered out.

Thank you tongue.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by whoaru99 View Post

Yet here you apparently change direction and attribute the improvement to "just because they said so", rather than the fact they simply ran out of power with the AVR..

Folks can say they here an improvement with an amp because they ran out of power.
Depending on your speaker load, crossover settings, and content they may run out of power at lower average listening levels than many believe.
DR15 content for example requires about 50 times the power.
I am sure there are many systems that only require a watt so 50 watts is no problem at all.
At 10 watts, an AVR is going to compress.

I see no contradiction between an observation and there being a reason behind an observation.
That reason may exist in the absence of a proper measurement.

- Rich
post #16503 of 17194
We have been worrying this to death!

In any given system there can be a difference in the sound when using different amplifiers.

The reasons for this are many.

Most of them are associated with the power required by the speakers at a certain sound level coupled with the program material.

If you always listen at levels 20 Db below reference almost all well designed amplifiers are going to sound pretty much the same.

At reference levels all bets are off.

How much power is enough? Let your ears tell you.

Let's get this thread back on topic discussing Emotiva products.
post #16504 of 17194
So in essence, you're asking to have the last word on the subject. Why not simply post, "Let's get this thread back on topic discussing Emotiva products" and leave it at that?
In other words, Walk Type the talk. wink.gif
post #16505 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_WI View Post

Not sure if this is a "processors" relevant thread post, but seems like this is the primary Emotiva forum.
Any thoughts on the new Emotiva Stealth DC-1 DAC?
http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/processors/products/stealth-dc-2

Mike

I've had mine for a couple of months now and I'm impressed with how it performs over just using analog out from a PC. Whether the DC-1 is good for you depends on what your application will be. I was specifically looking for a DAC with an analog input for a tape deck, etc. along with 24/192 output through USB and a small form factor that can sit on top of my PC. My setup is strictly a 2-channel PC-based setup using Emotiva Airmotiv 5 monitors connected to the DC-1 with XLR cables. The small-form-factor PC I have just has the basic 7.1 RealTek on-board audio and no room for a sound card since the single PCI-e slot is covered by a dual-slot video card. Getting the DC-1 allows me to push 24/192 audio to the speakers without down-converting to 16/44.1. Only thing I can't do is play DSD, so I have to stream those to the main room. It won't make all those crappy mp3's sound good but the music I have from Reference Recordings and Channel Classics sounds much better going through a DAC. The 24/192 " rips " from vinyl sound good as well.

I'd say the DC-1 is a definite buy at the $500 Holiday Sale price if 2-channel high fidelity audio is your goal.

The ONLY real negative I have with the DC-1 is the CAST-IRON remote that comes with it. LOL The thing weighs A TON.

If your main application is multi-channel audio, then maybe the UPA-200 would be a better fit.
post #16506 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post

 

Hi Rich - apologies for the long delay in the promised response. Been distracted by life :)  The discussion has moved on anyway, but here are the main points I was going to make:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
Much of the discussion was the headroom required for well recorded dynamic music.
Keith felt it was typically 10 DB sufficient headroom and I am not sure if the upper end may be closer to 20 DB

 

I was never quite sure if we were discussing amplifier headroom, or crest factor. If the former, 3dB is generally regarded as plenty I believe. After all, once one has enough amp headroom, increasing it even more serves no purpose. Like the literal headroom for a bridge - if the tallest truck on the road has 3 feet of clearance, giving 50 feet of clearance makes no difference. If it's crest factor, I  am led to believe that 12dB is a typical maximum for music. But it will be 20dB of course for movies as these are mixed to an average of 85dB but with a requirement for peaks of 105dB (115dB for LFE).

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
DR (Dynamic Range) is important in determining power requirements, as are speaker efficiency, the load they place on the amp, the room size, and listening habits.
That said, I agreed that an amp is not the first thing you should fix when upgrading your system and for most it is not required. The requirement goes down when you are crossing your speakers at 80hz and using a sub.

 

No disagreement there.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
The statement was made that Audyssey is required unless you have a perfect room costing $100,000 or more. I disagree. I believe there is a cost to all this digital processing. Every AVR/Preamp I have tried sounds better in Pure Direct/Direct mode than Stereo mode (set to flat).

 

That statement was certainly not made by me! It is a fact that the room will ALWAYS have an impact on the sound, and usually a negative impact, due to modes and unwanted reflections. So unless the room is very well treated acoustically, there is a need to control those negative impacts. For most people, Audyssey XT32 represents the best way currently to do that, at an affordable price. If the sound is better when Audyssey is bypassed, then (assuming the room is not 'perfect', which one are) something else is wrong and needs finding and fixing IMO.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
Sure, you can run sweeps and show improvement measurements. How much better depends on the smoothing. 1/6th Octave. That makes a big difference to how good they look. It does not change how they sound tongue.gif

 

Absolutely. But there is nothing that can be heard that cannot be measured. (And plenty that can be measured but not heard of course). Not sure what point you are making here. Measuring the room's response is always going to be a good idea as it shows what attention is needed in order to improve the sound. The latter is very difficult to achieve in the absence of measurements.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
Keith’s measurements definitely look good and a bit smoother than mine.
This is an interesting data point but it does not measure the dynamics of your speakers, distortion and other factors.

 

This is true. Measurements are not a substitute for listening. They are an aid to knowing what problems exist and, when found, if they have been fixed by appropriate intervention. It is also very important to not just focus on frequency response as many do. FR is probably the least interesting of the measurements we can make and perhaps tells us less about the sound itself that we hear than other measurements do - I am thinking waterfalls, for example.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
I do want to debate the sound of an amp because every agrees that amps should not distort, compress or otherwise alter the signal. Yet, to some degree or another they all do. So, let’s stick to power.

 

Not audibly. That's the point. Differences in measurements can be seen, but they are outside our ability to hear them. This is why all modern SS amps working within spec and not run into clipping, sound the same. And why every properly conducted blind ABX test shows that listeners can never reliably distinguish one amp from another.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
Speakers with low impedance and high phase angles require more power than the rated efficiency.
For example, the Salons are rated at 86 DB at 1 watt.
However, they are essentially 4 ohm speakers so it will take double the power to hit 86 DB. In this case, only 2 watts, no big deal. However, no matter what the power, they will always require twice the power.

 

I don't quite see it this way. An amp rated at 200 watts into 8 ohms will deliver (theoretically) 400 watts into 4 ohms. In reality, more like 300-350 watts. So in effect, the amp 'becomes more powerful' when it is driving a 4 ohm speaker. This is also incredibly frequency dependent of course, and nominal 8 ohm speakers frequently become 4 ohm speakers at various frequencies. What I am getting at is that if an amp spec says 200 watts it is usually into 8 ohms. But the amp is a 300 watt amp if you hook up 4 ohms speakers (assuming the amp can even drive those speakers safely - but we are discussing the kind of amps that can - eg the Emotiva amps). So the speakers don't 'require twice the power' as such - the amp delivers more power. it is perhaps a pedantic point.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
If you have a big room, the calculators out there will show that you need more power.
Now, if music has 10 DB peaks your amp must provide 10 times is required.
If music has 20 DB peaks, then 100 times the power is required.
If you want the amp to never clip and always provide the required power, what is the headroom you should shoot for?

 

Your calculations are of course correct. But 10 times 1 watt isn't very much!  And if a typical speaker is producing 89dB for 1 watt (at 1m) then it takes 10 watts to produce 99dB, which is damn loud for most people! OK, we listen at greater distances than 3 feet - but we also have room gain and are usually listening to more than one speaker playing at a time, so the power requirement for 99dB is still not fantastic.  Same for 100 times the power. 100 times 1 watt is 100 watts - a comfortable spec for almost any decent AVR these days.  Also of course it is very important to remember that amps are power rated on continuous signal and sine waves. This has zero bearing on what amps are actually used for where they never play sine waves and where the requirement for '100 times the power' lasts for a fraction of a second usually. An amp rated for 200 watts may well deliver 1000 watts for rapidly transient peaks. It is a conflation, IMO, to discuss an amp in terms of its rated power when discussing in the same sentence the needs for peak power.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
If an amp is required to produce current that it cannot, it will clip. Today’s well designed amps clip fairly gracefully. At loud listening levels, it is not easy to hear an amp clip until it gets pretty bad. And even then, speakers may be distorting far worse.
When an amp clips it, fails to provide the required power and that will compress the sound.

 

When an amp clips it provides far more than its rated power. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
I gave an example of my friend who moved from a Pioneer SC-07 (140 WPC) ICE amp receiver to no receiver at all. He is using the BDP-105 directly with two M2200 (200 WPC) mono-blocks.
The result was a much more impactful dynamic sound.

 

I would never dispute what you and your friend are hearing. But a sighted test, with no way to control levels +/-0.5dB, and no instantaneous switching of sources, doesn't really prove anything, There are many reasons for hearing this 'more impactful dynamic sound' and probably none them has anything to do with amps. Usually the flawed 'test' conditions do actually result in audible differences - unfortunately the differences are a product of the way the test was conducted but the conclusion always drawn is that the difference is a product of the units under 'test'. (I put 'test' in inverted commas because such sighted tests with no level matching etc are not what I would ordinarily call 'tests').

 

There is no need to respond to all of this (unless you want to of course) as the thread has moved on and, in most cases, we seem to be in broad agreement about what really matters. Thanks again for a civilised discussion.

post #16507 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by djbluemax1 View Post

On standby, a single XPA-1 draws 2.2 - 2.5 watts. On turn on, the amps draw about 60 watts, which gradually climbs and stabilizes at about 90-95 watts after about 10-15 minutes. Once stabilized at 90-95 watts, this draw level is maintained whether I'm watching cable TV at -30db MV with Audyssey DEQ and DVol engaged, or with the setup muted with no sound out of the speakers. In other words, at -30db MV with DEQ and DVol turned On, the system is loafing and probably only drawing 1 - 5 watts at most. (BTW the wattage draw climbs gradually from about 60 watts at turn on, to about 90-95 watts over the first 10-15 minutes. Hmmm... I thought solid state amps didn't need warmup periods?).

Now for the kicker; I checked the meter after playing Tron Legacy at THX Reference. The Maximum power draw from one single XPA-1 on its own circuit peaked at 1882 watts!

Keith, I think that amplifier power required calculator that you pulled up might be a little optimistic. Granted, that calculator is for Stereo music (i.e. peak db with a pair of speakers vs 105db from each speaker per THX Reference specs). There's a reason why I didn't consider the Revel Salon II's for the Mains for my music/HT dual purpose setup even though they reviewed and measure incredibly well. If a 95.4db/w/m sensitivity speaker can draw 1882 watts while playing a movie at Reference, I don't think an 86db/w/m speaker would cut it. BTW, when I got the Focus SEs, I wondered about their "95.4db/w/m sensitivity in-room" spec, but when I swapped them with the 89db/w/m sensitivity Boston Acoustics E100's, the Audyssey calibration resulted in -6db trim settings for the Focus SEs compared to the E100's. These days, I just stick to the Crown Amplifier Power Required Calculator
http://www.crownaudio.com/elect-pwr-req.htm

Granted, as I said, this is only anecdotal info on the amplifier draw, and not the actual speaker draw, but a few years back at RMAF (Rocky Mountain Audio Festival), one of the exhibitors (I forget which one) hooked up a meter with a peak function between the 89db/w/m speaker and amps while playing acoustic music at normal listening levels. While the average power draw was only a few watts, the peak draw from dynamics and transients was close to 200 watts. This was with acoustic music.


Max

 

Max, I am far from being any sort of expert on this but AIUI the mains power drawn by an amplifier has only a tenuous relationship with the audio power that the speakers see.

 

There's also the issue of peak power which is what happens in real life content, as opposed to RMS power where a sine wave is used to measure power output of the amp, with all channels driven simultaneously (in Emotiva's case). Those conditions will never be met in real life of course, so I am thinking that an amp with a spec of 300 watts RMS ACD can quite likely deliver 1000 watts or more for the very brief peak durations demanded by real content. For all normal purposes, averagely sensitive speakers and reasonable listening distances, 200 watts is going to be sufficient I think.

 

We often see people discussing, in the same breath, the RMS rated, continuous sine wave power capability of an amp and then relating it to the peak power required for real content, and I think that this is misleading them. They are discussing apples and oranges.

 

Like I say, I am no expert on this and am happy to be proved wrong if necessary.

post #16508 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Max, I am far from being any sort of expert on this but AIUI the mains power drawn by an amplifier has only a tenuous relationship with the audio power that the speakers see.

There's also the issue of peak power which is what happens in real life content, as opposed to RMS power where a sine wave is used to measure power output of the amp, with all channels driven simultaneously (in Emotiva's case). Those conditions will never be met in real life of course, so I am thinking that an amp with a spec of 300 watts RMS ACD can quite likely deliver 1000 watts or more for the very brief peak durations demanded by real content. For all normal purposes, averagely sensitive speakers and reasonable listening distances, 200 watts is going to be sufficient I think.

We often see people discussing, in the same breath, the RMS rated, continuous sine wave power capability of an amp and then relating it to the peak power required for real content, and I think that this is misleading them. They are discussing apples and oranges.

Like I say, I am no expert on this and am happy to be proved wrong if necessary.

The Dynamic Range ratings site records the measured dynamic range peak over the average level for each track and the album.
There are many DR15 and even DR20 listing.
I cannot say for sure that this is representative but I believe it is type of information that is pertinent to a discussion of peak power requirements.

Dynamic Range Database

http://www.audioholics.com/amplifier-reviews/marantz-pm-11s3/measurements

Here is a review of the Marantz PM-11S3 Integrated Amplifier ($5K) rated at 200watts per channel:
Audioholics is one of the best sites at measuring amps. They measure the 1K signal ( that most AVR's use), full power 20HXZ-20KHZ sweeps, and Peak Power in recent reviews.
You will also find a Peak power measurement. It measures 113 WPC into 8 ohms and 200 WPC into 4 ohms both channels driven.
The dynamic power measures are 169 into 8 ohms and 285 into 4 ohms. That is about a 1 DB more dynamic power.
Not earth shattering.

Pass Labs X350.5 Stereo Amplifier

Here is review of the monstrous Pass Labs X350.5 Stereo Amplifier:

http://www.audioholics.com/amplifier-reviews/x350.5-review/x350.5-measurements

Power into 8 and 4 ohms is 405 and 550 watts 2 channels driven at 1% distortion.
Peak power into 8 and 4 ohms is 580 and 695 watts at 1% distortion.

Both of these products are much more robust than an AVR and yet their peak power is nowhere hear 1000 watts. In these reviews peak power ranges from less than 1 to 1.5 DB of dynamic power.

I recommend buying an amp that meets the power needs of your system and not relying much peak power.

- Rich
post #16509 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post

The Dynamic Range ratings site records the measured dynamic range peak over the average level for each track and the album.
There are many DR15 and even DR20 listing.
I cannot say for sure that this is representative but I believe it is type of information that is pertinent to a discussion of peak power requirements.

Dynamic Range Database

http://www.audioholics.com/amplifier-reviews/marantz-pm-11s3/measurements

Here is a review of the Marantz PM-11S3 Integrated Amplifier ($5K) rated at 200watts per channel:
Audioholics is one of the best sites at measuring amps. They measure the 1K signal ( that most AVR's use), full power 20HXZ-20KHZ sweeps, and Peak Power in recent reviews.
You will also find a Peak power measurement. It measures 113 WPC into 8 ohms and 200 WPC into 4 ohms both channels driven.
The dynamic power measures are 169 into 8 ohms and 285 into 4 ohms. That is about a 1 DB more dynamic power.
Not earth shattering.

Pass Labs X350.5 Stereo Amplifier

Here is review of the monstrous Pass Labs X350.5 Stereo Amplifier:

http://www.audioholics.com/amplifier-reviews/x350.5-review/x350.5-measurements

Power into 8 and 4 ohms is 405 and 550 watts 2 channels driven at 1% distortion.
Peak power into 8 and 4 ohms is 580 and 695 watts at 1% distortion.

Both of these products are much more robust than an AVR and yet their peak power is nowhere hear 1000 watts. In these reviews peak power ranges from less than 1 to 1.5 DB of dynamic power.

I recommend buying an amp that meets the power needs of your system and not relying much peak power.

- Rich

Rich, thanks for the link for the dynamic range database, I hadn't seen that before. I'm hoping to get a lab gruppen FP10K for the mains then I should have the dynamic range covered for what I need in my room.biggrin.gif
post #16510 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post
 
 
I recommend buying an amp that meets the power needs of your system and not relying much peak power.

- Rich

 

Absolutely. So long as the chosen amp can drive the chosen speakers to the required SPL without clipping, then it is powerful enough for the job. For most people, a good AVR will meet those requirements. For some, with speakers of unusually low sensitivity, or which present a very difficult load to the amplifier, or where Reference Level playback is required, an external amplifier will possibly be required.

post #16511 of 17194
Sorry my post got messed up over in the Marantz 8801 forum. All I was trying to say is that I do not think that everything that affects sound has been discovered, and of course you can't measure something if you don't know what it is. DBT is one way, for sure, but various psychological factors are also at play there. Anyway, the discussion is interesting, as long as the participants don't take the differences personally. smile.gif
post #16512 of 17194
Question for the emotiva pros....

I am considering buying an emo amp.

Question is: I am thinking of a UPA 700 to power everything but my mains, which are Goldenear Triton II's. I was thinking of using the 135 watts from my receiver just using it to power the GE's. The UPA 700 would power the rest of my speakers.

Or is getting a xpa 200 with a 150 watts to power the GE's a more fidelic choice?

Thanks.
post #16513 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic debauchery View Post

Question for the emotiva pros....

I am considering buying an emo amp.

Question is: I am thinking of a UPA 700 to power everything but my mains, which are Goldenear Triton II's. I was thinking of using the 135 watts from my receiver just using it to power the GE's. The UPA 700 would power the rest of my speakers.

Or is getting a xpa 200 with a 150 watts to power the GE's a more fidelic choice?

Thanks.

tough call as neither really offers enough additional watts per channel to really provide a worthwhile benefit over your 135w per channel avr. out of your two choices as presented, if it were me, i'd go with the xpa-200 option, as i find it difficult to wrap my head around buying an external amp and not powering my mains with it. And the xpa-200 is a touch cheaper as well.
post #16514 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic debauchery View Post

Question for the emotiva pros....

I am considering buying an emo amp.

Question is: I am thinking of a UPA 700 to power everything but my mains, which are Goldenear Triton II's. I was thinking of using the 135 watts from my receiver just using it to power the GE's. The UPA 700 would power the rest of my speakers.

Or is getting a xpa 200 with a 150 watts to power the GE's a more fidelic choice?

Thanks.

tough call as neither really offers enough additional watts per channel to really provide a worthwhile benefit over your 135w per channel avr. out of your two choices as presented, if it were me, i'd go with the xpa-200 option, as i find it difficult to wrap my head around buying an external amp and not powering my mains with it. And the xpa-200 is a touch cheaper as well.

 

I agree - his AVR can power the other speakers. But I'd consider the XPA-3 because the last speaker I’d want to leave out in the cold is my centre. That would make a nice setup - the three mains powered by the XPA-3 and the rest by the AVR itself.

 

But before sonic d gets the credit card out, I'd be interested to know why he wants an external amp at all. @sonic d - are you clipping your current AVR amps when playing the system at the SPLs you require?  If not, then an external amp won’t bring much to the table for you.

post #16515 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I agree - his AVR can power the other speakers. But I'd consider the XPA-3 because the last speaker I’d want to leave out in the cold is my centre. That would make a nice setup - the three mains powered by the XPA-3 and the rest by the AVR itself.

But before sonic d gets the credit card out, I'd be interested to know why he wants an external amp at all. @sonic d - are you clipping your current AVR amps when playing the system at the SPLs you require?  If not, then an external amp won’t bring much to the table for you.

Thanks for your response, no i am not clipping at all. I think you are right, i probably won't notice any difference, as i rarely listen at reference level. I was thinking of giving the receiver a "rest" and letting an external amp do the heavy work? I think with my usage an external amp would not benefit me.
post #16516 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by 67jason View Post

tough call as neither really offers enough additional watts per channel to really provide a worthwhile benefit over your 135w per channel avr. out of your two choices as presented, if it were me, i'd go with the xpa-200 option, as i find it difficult to wrap my head around buying an external amp and not powering my mains with it. And the xpa-200 is a touch cheaper as well.

I think for my usage, 95% below reference level listening an external amp would not give me any gains anywhere. Thank you so much.
post #16517 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic debauchery View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I agree - his AVR can power the other speakers. But I'd consider the XPA-3 because the last speaker I’d want to leave out in the cold is my centre. That would make a nice setup - the three mains powered by the XPA-3 and the rest by the AVR itself.

But before sonic d gets the credit card out, I'd be interested to know why he wants an external amp at all. @sonic d - are you clipping your current AVR amps when playing the system at the SPLs you require?  If not, then an external amp won’t bring much to the table for you.

Thanks for your response, no i am not clipping at all. I think you are right, i probably won't notice any difference, as i rarely listen at reference level. I was thinking of giving the receiver a "rest" and letting an external amp do the heavy work? I think with my usage an external amp would not benefit me.

 

I am impressed by your response. It's rare when discussing external amps to see someone acknowledge scientific fact in this way. If you are not clipping when using your current amplification at the SPLs you require, then you have the amps you need already and won’t hear any benefit from external amplification. Most people rarely need more than a few watts of amp power if they are using speakers of average sensitivity (say 89dB/w/m) and sit at a typical listening distance from them (say 12 feet) and require typical listening levels (say 85-90dB, which is actually pretty loud). Most modern AVRs are sufficiently powerful to deliver these requirements. 

 

With the money you have saved on the amp, you could spend it where you really will hear a difference - a better, or additional, subwoofer, better speakers or, most important of all, room treatments if you are able to accommodate them. The latter will make huge differences to the sound quality and can cost surprisingly little. They are also easy to DIY and if you go that way you can fit out an entire room for the price of an external amp!

 

One other thing you can do to improve SQ actually costs nothing, other than a little time, and maybe some research: and that is to position your speakers and sub(s) in their optimal positions wrt to room modes and reflections.

post #16518 of 17194
Emotiva need to ramp up their technical skills on the website side. I can't order from them because my billing address is different from my shipping address. That makes them different from every other e-commerce site on the web. I know they're based in TN and not CA, but having an e-commerce site from 1997 is not smart.
post #16519 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by housequestion View Post

Emotiva need to ramp up their technical skills on the website side. I can't order from them because my billing address is different from my shipping address. That makes them different from every other e-commerce site on the web. I know they're based in TN and not CA, but having an e-commerce site from 1997 is not smart.

Emotiva seems to behind the curve on certain aspects of their business IMO. The manuals for their processors and preamps are lacking to say the least. There is a new FW update for the UMC-200 and there is not a single mention of what issues are corrected or new features with the new FW on their site. Is it really that difficult for a company like Emotiva to list the parameters that a new FW has? That way one can decide if it is worth it to do the FW update or not. Emotiva should take a look at the way Oppo handles the announcement of FW updates.

Bill
post #16520 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I am impressed by your response. It's rare when discussing external amps to see someone acknowledge scientific fact in this way. If you are not clipping when using your current amplification at the SPLs you require, then you have the amps you need already and won’t hear any benefit from external amplification. Most people rarely need more than a few watts of amp power if they are using speakers of average sensitivity (say 89dB/w/m) and sit at a typical listening distance from them (say 12 feet) and require typical listening levels (say 85-90dB, which is actually pretty loud). Most modern AVRs are sufficiently powerful to deliver these requirements. 

With the money you have saved on the amp, you could spend it where you really will hear a difference - a better, or additional, subwoofer, better speakers or, most important of all, room treatments if you are able to accommodate them. The latter will make huge differences to the sound quality and can cost surprisingly little. They are also easy to DIY and if you go that way you can fit out an entire room for the price of an external amp!

One other thing you can do to improve SQ actually costs nothing, other than a little time, and maybe some research: and that is to position your speakers and sub(s) in their optimal positions wrt to room modes and reflections.

Oh man, how do I write this without disagreeing with the previous posters? All right, I will give it a go.

The fact that you dont experience any clipping at your regular listening level doesnt necessarily mean an external amp will be a waste of money. You may listen regularly at 12 feet 80db, but may want to crank it up one in a while and only then your amp will count.

I got my external amp after I listened to my AVR at very loud levels (about 100db and 12 feet). The sound was constricted, strained. I had no point of reference because I've never had a power amp before. I assumed it was just a loud painful sound and/or bad speakers. The truth is the AVR was fine so were the speakers. Someone on this site suggested I try a power amp. There was a big difference for the better. It wasn't painful anymore. Delightful at any level.

I would suggest this sort of test.

Sit down an listen to your favorite dynamic soundtrack at normal listening level and normal distance. How long can you listen to it? Lets say "until you got other things to do". Now crank up your AVR up to the loudest tolerable - meaning it isnt immediately painful or discomforting - level and set the time until it becomes tiresome, fatiguing , unpleasant . If your soundstage collapses at high volume, the speakers become harsh, like they are shouting from the top of their lungs, strained, become some torture instruments faster than 5-10 minutes: then you need an appropriate power amp (there are ways to find out what appropriate for your setup), even if you are not clipping.

There are a lot of other considerations for getting a power amp. The device has ints own power supply which is a lot larger than the one in your AVR (lift my 20lbs AVR and my 60lbs power amp and compare). The weight mostly goes to the power supply, which is essential for proper sound.

The power amp also has a separate enclosure from all other electronics of an AVR - Marvel video processors, tuners, preamplifier, surround processing circuit, etc. Power amp doesnt. There are many other considerations (granted they are most likely not quantifiable, but not easily forgettable either).

My suggestion is to:

1) Define your budget.
2) Decide what gives you best bang for the buck
3) Buy the power amp experiment for a few days with a lot of different soundtracks, borrow speakers you want to upgrade to next, different volumes, music or HT, even different impartial listeners, etc.

Then decide if you really need it. If you dont - return it. Otherwise you will always have a doubt that some people in some online forum talked you into ignoring one of the most important components in many music and HT setups.

As for me, I can tell you this. If someone secretly replaced my power amp with a dummy one, a look alike that only has a run-through wire inside: I probably wouldnt notice for a couple of days. I tend crank it up once or twice a week. Would I notice then? Yes, I definitely would. So, knowing that power amp is there but I dont need it all the time is better than knowing all the time that may be I should have bought it a long time ago, but didnt .

Music is supposed to give you pleasure, not discomfort. Help your own setup by giving it components that it needs and you will enjoy it.

Disclaimer. To all who will slam me next I have never quantified nor conducted any double blind studies of this strange phenomena called "enjoyment". Guilty as charged.
.
smile.gif
Edited by grigorianvlad - 11/22/13 at 7:46am
post #16521 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Emotiva seems to behind the curve on certain aspects of their business IMO. The manuals for their processors and preamps are lacking to say the least. There is a new FW update for the UMC-200 and there is not a single mention of what issues are corrected or new features with the new FW on their site. Is it really that difficult for a company like Emotiva to list the parameters that a new FW has? That way one can decide if it is worth it to do the FW update or not. Emotiva should take a look at the way Oppo handles the announcement of FW updates.

Bill

If Emotiva products were priced at the Oppo level they might offer more.
post #16522 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

If Emotiva products were priced at the Oppo level they might offer more.

Huh confused.gif? So both the Oppo 103 and the 105 aren't outstanding values? Please show me universal players with the features of the 103 and the 105 that cost less. No offense Mud but you just can't seem to admit at times that Emotiva is lacking in the areas I mentioned in my earlier post. What does the cost of Emotiva products have to do with providing well written manuals and information on their website about FW updates? It wouldn't cost Emotiva anything to show what each FW update includes on their website. C'mon man wink.gif!!!

Bill
post #16523 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Huh? So both the Oppo 103 and the 105 aren't outstanding values? Please show me universal players with the features of the 103 and the 105 that cost less. No offense Mud but you just can't seem to admit at times that Emotiva is lacking in the areas I mentioned in my earlier post. What does the cost of Emotiva products have to do with having well written manuals and information on their website about FW updates?

Bill

Bill, get off the defensive. I was not discussing the merits of Oppo. I simply said that if Emotive cost more I would expect more.
I would prefer a better manual, better explanation of FW updates and easer method of updating. I can live without those for the cost savings and sound quality. Most manufacturers provide a crappy manual unless you like reading it on a screen. They also offer more wording than good explanations.
No offense but you do not seem to comprehend what one says when they do not constantly criticize Emotiva.
post #16524 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

Bill, get off the defensive. I was not discussing the merits of Oppo. I simply said that if Emotive cost more I would expect more.
I would prefer a better manual, better explanation of FW updates and easer method of updating. I can live without those for the cost savings and sound quality. Most manufacturers provide a crappy manual unless you like reading it on a screen. They also offer more wording than good explanations.
No offense but you do not seem to comprehend what one says when they do not constantly criticize Emotiva.

Mud,

Defensive? You're the one on the defensive by posting "If Emotiva products were priced at the Oppo level they might offer more" wink.gif. You totally missed my point and didn't answer my question. The question was how much do you think it would cost Emotiva to include well written and informative manuals with their products. Not much in my opinion but Emotiva refuses to put out better manuals. Emotiva has even admitted that their manuals are lacking and say "we're working on it". My point of including Oppo is that their players are priced affordably as Emotiva gear is. But Oppo has outstanding manuals and detailed information about each and every FW update they do. So what's stopping Emotiva from doing this?

Bill
post #16525 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post


Emotiva seems to behind the curve on certain aspects of their business IMO. The manuals for their processors and preamps are lacking to say the least. There is a new FW update for the UMC-200 and there is not a single mention of what issues are corrected or new features with the new FW on their site. Is it really that difficult for a company like Emotiva to list the parameters that a new FW has? That way one can decide if it is worth it to do the FW update or not. Emotiva should take a look at the way Oppo handles the announcement of FW updates.

Bill

I agree.  The argument defending Emotiva because their products are so cheaply priced is puzzling.  If a company does anything at all for the customer, they should do it well, manuals included.  My NAD integrated cost under 500 and it came with an excellent manual.  New FW is another item that should be explained well, to not gives the impression it fixes something they don't want you to know about.

post #16526 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by audio4life View Post

I agree.  The argument defending Emotiva because their products are so cheaply priced is puzzling.  If a company does anything at all for the customer, they should do it well, manuals included.  My NAD integrated cost under 500 and it came with an excellent manual.  New FW is another item that should be explained well, to not gives the impression it fixes something they don't want you to know about.

I can't understand the "Emotiva's products cost less" defense either, makes no sense IMO. I agree that a company especially in the A/V business should provide proper manuals to explain the features and operational aspects of their products. Your impressions about the lack of FW update information from Emotiva is a thought that I had as well.

Bill
post #16527 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I am impressed by your response. It's rare when discussing external amps to see someone acknowledge scientific fact in this way. If you are not clipping when using your current amplification at the SPLs you require, then you have the amps you need already and won’t hear any benefit from external amplification. Most people rarely need more than a few watts of amp power if they are using speakers of average sensitivity (say 89dB/w/m) and sit at a typical listening distance from them (say 12 feet) and require typical listening levels (say 85-90dB, which is actually pretty loud). Most modern AVRs are sufficiently powerful to deliver these requirements. 

With the money you have saved on the amp, you could spend it where you really will hear a difference - a better, or additional, subwoofer, better speakers or, most important of all, room treatments if you are able to accommodate them. The latter will make huge differences to the sound quality and can cost surprisingly little. They are also easy to DIY and if you go that way you can fit out an entire room for the price of an external amp!

One other thing you can do to improve SQ actually costs nothing, other than a little time, and maybe some research: and that is to position your speakers and sub(s) in their optimal positions wrt to room modes and reflections.

Oh man, how do I write this without disagreeing with the previous posters? All right, I will give it a go.

The fact that you dont experience any clipping at your regular listening level doesnt necessarily mean an external amp will be a waste of money. You may listen regularly at 12 feet 80db, but may want to crank it up one in a while and only then your amp will count.
 

 

I didn't say anything about my 'regular' listening level or peaks. I don't experience clipping when listening at movie Reference Level, which is 105dB for peaks (115dB LFE channel peaks). I can hit those levels totally cleanly, so there is therefore no further requirement for more power from amplifiers. Any additional watts would simply be wasted (or rather, unnecessary).

 

I repeat what I said: if you can hit the levels you require without clipping, then you have the amps you need.

 

 

 

post #16528 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

Bill, get off the defensive. I was not discussing the merits of Oppo. I simply said that if Emotive cost more I would expect more.
I would prefer a better manual, better explanation of FW updates and easer method of updating. I can live without those for the cost savings and sound quality. Most manufacturers provide a crappy manual unless you like reading it on a screen. They also offer more wording than good explanations.
No offense but you do not seem to comprehend what one says when they do not constantly criticize Emotiva.

Mud,

Defensive? You're the one on the defensive by posting "If Emotiva products were priced at the Oppo level they might offer more" wink.gif. You totally missed my point and didn't answer my question. The question was how much do you think it would cost Emotiva to include well written and informative manuals with their products. Not much in my opinion but Emotiva refuses to put out better manuals. Emotiva has even admitted that their manuals are lacking and say "we're working on it". My point of including Oppo is that their players are priced affordably as Emotiva gear is. But Oppo has outstanding manuals and detailed information about each and every FW update they do. So what's stopping Emotiva from doing this?

Bill

 

Emo have been saying they will improve their manuals for years and haven't done so. I doubt it would cost $10,000 to write the lot - most of the amp manuals would be more or less the same, for example. I suspect the reason is they cannot get the raw info they need from their manufacturers.  Look at how Emo failed to understand the significance of the broken bass management in the UMC-1 - they actually tried at first to make out that it was deliberately designed the way it was - a 'feature' not a 'problem'. This seems to reveal that they don't necessarily actually understand the inner workings of some of their products themselves - so in the absence of the info coming from China, they are stuffed.

post #16529 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post


Right, we are not disagreeing as it tuns out.

You wrote
Quote:
If you are not clipping when using your current amplification at the SPLs you require, then you have the amps you need already and won’t hear any benefit from external amplification.

This "required" is the key. A reasonable requirement is the loudest you would usually listen +10 for headroom. I am an unreasonable person so I would like my AVR to go to 100% (+10 over reference in my case) and still exhibit no clipping or distortion. This notion that there is an invisible redline on my volume knob would drive me nuts.

But that's just me.

smile.gif
post #16530 of 17194
Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
 

Right, we are not disagreeing as it tuns out.

You wrote
Quote:
If you are not clipping when using your current amplification at the SPLs you require, then you have the amps you need already and won’t hear any benefit from external amplification.

This "required" is the key. A reasonable requirement is the loudest you would usually listen +10 for headroom. I am an unreasonable person so I would like my AVR to go to 100% (+10 over reference in my case) and still exhibit no clipping or distortion. This notion that there is an invisible redline on my volume knob would drive me nuts.

But that's just me.

smile.gif

 

10 what above Reference?  I assume you don't mean 10dB!  That's about 10 times the power. So if your 200 watt Emo amp can play to Reference level, to get 10dB more you’d need a 2000 watt amp. I am sure you can see that this would be entirely unnecessary. Even if your speakers could handle 2000 watts, which they can't (unless you borrowed them from Led Zeppelin). 

 

If you play movies to Reference, you need 85dB average (easy) and 105dB peak (115dB LFE) (not so easy). Once your amp can play 105dB cleanly, you are there. And this is assuming you play movies at Reference - almost nobody does, so you already have a good degree of headroom built in anyway. 

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