Do amps matter???? Kansas City blind amp comparison GTG. - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 186 Old 05-23-2013, 09:23 AM
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Hugh,

I've asked around a bit, and I do think that Scrappydue's emotiva is the best pre-amp we have of our local group. Most of us in the group use AVRs, and connect them to computers via HDMI, or toslink as our source. Steven (Scrappydue) and I discussed this a bit this morning and a pre-amp has positives and negatives.

Pro:
all 'amps' (including Pioneer and Onkyo AVRs) are treated fairly - as they all get analog inputs and amplify the sound
Con:
That isn't how AVRs are typically used


Con against Emotiva Pre-Amp:
No access to digital sources without a DAC or a sound card? Is the Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium quality enough for analog output? Does it sound better than the Burr Brown DACs used in the AVRs these days?

Con against Emotiva Pre-Amp:
Is anyone in our group even using their pre-amps right now? I think the entirety of the attendance group is using AVRs right? Isn't that more representative of our use cases?

Con against AVR:
Would higher quality equipment allow us to hear differences in the amps we may not otherwise hear?

Scrappydue, we may have to think this through a bit because your Emotiva doesn't have DAC built in, and I know a bunch of guys were looking forward to playing their favorite MP3's or FLAC files -- otherwise we may be swapping CD's out for every song that's going to really slow down the process. I can bring over my Creative X-Fi Titanium card and plug it into Sheldon's machine to feed your pre-amp and analog signal, but otherwise he has an onboard sound card and that's not great for anything analog. However onboard sound card for digital signal fed to an AVR it wouldn't matter since the AVR'sDAC is doing the converting. We don't have a fancy DAC like the Lynx Hilo that we used at the Des Moines meet, and part of our initial thoughts were do the amp classes matter much on the components we use?

I think it fair to let Hugh understand that we are not the typical audiophile crowd, but rather just a bunch of guys who enjoy the hobby and are trying to learn more. Our signal gear is mostly mid-tier (and mostly because I don't think many of us has seen that the expensive DAC seperates seem to sound noticeably different than our AVRs). We should shoot the idea around on the pre-amp a bit more as a group and make sure we feel we have a good enough DAC to use the emotiva pre-amp (is the X-Fi card good enough?) --- because I'm fairly confident people will want to use the computer as the source.




Other opinions from the group or the followers of this event?

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post #62 of 186 Old 05-23-2013, 11:24 AM
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i don't know much about flac files. but can they be put onto a disc that will play in my cd player? if so the cd played i have has the exact same DAC as emotiva's separate DAC anyways. if that's the case each member that is wanting to "really" participate could just bring a disc with their material they are wanting to demo? i mean it doesn't really matter to me either way. totally up to participants.
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post #63 of 186 Old 05-23-2013, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

I spoke to Audio Authority on the phone today an told a CSR what we were trying to do. He said they have equipment for that purpose, and some of it is very capable stuff - capable of handling up to 2500 watts per channel and switching actively. The CSR said he would get back to me via e-mail with appropriate part numbers and a direct quote. That equipment is a cool find Andrew!

Hopefully you find something useful and realistic to obtain. They do have some killer gear, but i'm sure it's not cheap. Ideally a good ebay find would do the trick once you know which module(s) to use. biggrin.gif
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post #64 of 186 Old 05-23-2013, 03:11 PM
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Jonathan,

As much as I'd like to, I just can't.

We are extremely busy gearing up for THE Show in Newport Beach, CA next weekend.
http://www.theshownewport.com/

Hopefully, next time when you guys give us a little extra time to prepare then we would love to accommodate.
As a matter of fact, I'll even fly over to KC since we used to live in Wichita a long time ago. smile.gif

So sorry this time around, it's just not enough time to do everything we'd want to.

Have fun.

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post #65 of 186 Old 05-23-2013, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OnixMan View Post

Jonathan,

As much as I'd like to, I just can't.

We are extremely busy gearing up for THE Show in Newport Beach, CA next weekend.
http://www.theshownewport.com/

Hopefully, next time when you guys give us a little extra time to prepare then we would love to accommodate.
As a matter of fact, I'll even fly over to KC since we used to live in Wichita a long time ago. smile.gif

So sorry this time around, it's just not enough time to do everything we'd want to.

Have fun.

Bummer but totally understandable. Thanks for considering it Hugh.

I tend to throw last minute gatherings, in fact this one started as just having the guys over to hear my new sub setup and then morphed into a blind amp comparison. smile.gif Eventually we plan on having a KC home theater tour where a few of the KC guys will have anyone and everyone go from theater to theater checking out the setups When that happens we will give a lot more notice.
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post #66 of 186 Old 05-23-2013, 03:56 PM
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Hugh, - I appreciate the reply here! Good luck with THE Show!

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post #67 of 186 Old 05-23-2013, 08:00 PM
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Hey Jonathan I'm trying to track down a dac. Hopefully I can find one in the next few days. I've been wanting one anyways. Perfect reason to buy one.
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post #68 of 186 Old 05-24-2013, 10:55 AM
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post #69 of 186 Old 05-24-2013, 08:42 PM
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You guys also look for a dac?
I wonder how many days it'd take FedEx to move a small box from CA to KS.
We have Onix Dac if you guys are interested.

Hugh
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post #70 of 186 Old 05-24-2013, 09:40 PM
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Hugh,

Unless scrappydue found one - we don't have any standalone options and probably would have to use a sound card at this point or one of the AVR's as the DAC.

If you think you'd be willing to let us loan/borrow/rent a Onix DAC and it could get here by next Friday (our setup night) we'd definitely entertain the idea.

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post #71 of 186 Old 05-24-2013, 10:03 PM
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Let me know by Monday then we'll go from there.

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post #72 of 186 Old 05-25-2013, 07:09 AM
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A quote from audio authority came back. Looks like it be a great system but it is quite a bit of money for a one day use. Quote is $900.

Some of the parts are available on eBay for much cheaper used, but not all. Then there is the fear with Monday being a holiday could we even get them in in time from multiple different sellers? The legitimate answer is probably not. Audio Authority says in the quote they need a lead time of 1 week, and ebay sellers are all over the map on ship times.


This is a screenprint from the quote - the parts we would need.


The first part is $43 from a ebay seller right now
The second part is $80 from an ebay seller right now
The remaining three we would have to buy from AudioAuthority.


I think if there was more time - I'd pursue this route - but based on the old proverb of one bird in the hand is worth three in the bush - I'll probably just recommend we proceed with our current home depot double pole single throw switch assortment.

Thoughts?

Andrew and crew out east? You could start picking this gear up for a future meet in your area. The first part for $45 on ebay is a major discount!

903
http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDIO-AUTHORITY-DEMONSTRATION-NETWORK-CONTROL-PANEL-903-30-DAY-WARRANTY-/300909486837?pt=US_Video_Cables_Adapters&hash=item460f9a62f5

949x
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Audio-Authority-AccessEZ-Model-949x-High-Current-Amplifier-Expander-Module-/300902398711?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item460f2e3af7

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post #73 of 186 Old 05-26-2013, 04:30 AM
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Jonathan - thanks for pulling all the info together! I will start working on collecting those parts. biggrin.gif
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post #74 of 186 Old 05-29-2013, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla83 View Post

Jonathan - thanks for pulling all the info together! I will start working on collecting those parts. biggrin.gif

Update: I sent you guys a PM. Not sure if your timing is flexible, but I've got a 903 and 949x on the way to my house. I'd be willing to send them your way?
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post #75 of 186 Old 05-29-2013, 03:16 PM
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I got my fingers crossed for you guys. Would be awesome to see active switching realtime for sure...

Archaea, be careful if you go the HD route. Knowing my absent minds a$$ I'd be the guy to switch two amps on at the same time... "pop"alock
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post #76 of 186 Old 05-30-2013, 07:09 AM
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To the engineers out there. Do you think running the amps on a 20 amp gfi would help shut down the power fast enough to avoid damage to the amps if somone accidentally/absent mindedly switched two amps on at once?

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post #77 of 186 Old 05-30-2013, 07:13 AM
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Scrappydue, did you source a DAC, or are we gonna use a sound card?

Archaea's 9.12.4 Home Theater Room
(13) JBL CBT 70j-1 | Denon x7200wa | Sherbourn PA 7-350 amplifier | (8) Ultimax 18" sealed subwoofers | (4) iNuke DSP 6000 amplifiers | (4) MB Quart 12" subwoofers mounted direct mounted to Berkline theater chairs BOSS style | Epson 5040UB Projector | Jamestown 144" acoustic transparent 2.35:1 screen w/ Seymour XD fabric
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post #78 of 186 Old 05-30-2013, 11:38 PM
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What do you get when you spend about 6 hours cutting, splicing, screwing, labeling, switching, testing, TESTING, RETESTING?

A perfectly 100% working amp switching mechanism. I checked, double checked, and triple checked connection and polarity with a multimeter. I actually wired it all right the first time (I almost still can't believe it) -- so so much verification just had to be sure!

I had to go buy a professional wire stripping tool - this 12 guage speaker wire had a thick cut resistant coat and with how many dozens of wire ends I had to strip to do this a standard snips was NOT going to cut it ( tongue.gif ). If anyone wants to know a fantastic wire stripping tool - I really enjoyed using this tonight:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-6-62-in-Katapult-Wire-Stripper-11063/202282851?N=3xg#.Uag3s0DOkto Kind of expensive - but it makes short work of an otherwise very frustrating task!

Whatever - now it's definitely ready to go!




Darn it's late and I still gotta round up all the rest of the gear.

I'll be just taking it to work with me tomorrow so I can go directly over to your house tomorrow night to help set up Sheldon.


What I'm bringing over:

The home made Frankenswitch
Multiple Y RCA splitters for the amps to split the incoming signal
multimeter to set SPL levels based on ACV
Banana Plugs in case needed.
Onkyo TX-NR1007
Emotive XPA-3
Lepai T-Amp
Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium (SB0880 card)
Crown XLS-202 (already at carps)
Inuke DSP 3000 (already at carps)

What else Sheldon? Anything else I'm not thinking of?

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post #79 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 07:31 AM
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I also decided to bring my onkyo ht-rc230 which is a cheap lightweight no frills HTIB AVR. Is it worth paying 4x or 5x more for my onkyo tx-nr1007 with all the thx ultra credentials and other bells and whistles? We shall see tonight.

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post #80 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

What do you get when you spend about 6 hours cutting, splicing, screwing, labeling, switching, testing, TESTING, RETESTING?
What would I get? A divorce...
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post #81 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

What do you get when you spend about 6 hours cutting, splicing, screwing, labeling, switching, testing, TESTING, RETESTING?

A perfectly 100% working amp switching mechanism. I checked, double checked, and triple checked connection and polarity with a multimeter. I actually wired it all right the first time (I almost still can't believe it) -- so so much verification just had to be sure!

I had to go buy a professional wire stripping tool - this 12 guage speaker wire had a thick cut resistant coat and with how many dozens of wire ends I had to strip to do this a standard snips was NOT going to cut it ( tongue.gif ). If anyone wants to know a fantastic wire stripping tool - I really enjoyed using this tonight:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Klein-Tools-6-62-in-Katapult-Wire-Stripper-11063/202282851?N=3xg#.Uag3s0DOkto Kind of expensive - but it makes short work of an otherwise very frustrating task!

Whatever - now it's definitely ready to go!




Darn it's late and I still gotta round up all the rest of the gear.

I'll be just taking it to work with me tomorrow so I can go directly over to your house tomorrow night to help set up Sheldon.


What I'm bringing over:

The home made Frankenswitch
Multiple Y RCA splitters for the amps to split the incoming signal
multimeter to set SPL levels based on ACV
Banana Plugs in case needed.
Onkyo TX-NR1007
Emotive XPA-3
Lepai T-Amp
Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium (SB0880 card)
Crown XLS-202 (already at carps)
Inuke DSP 3000 (already at carps)

What else Sheldon? Anything else I'm not thinking of?


Just now seeing this. I've been out of it a bit, yesterday was the last day of school and they are re-configuring some of the buildings and it was the last day for many of us that have been teaching together (and really enjoying it) for over 10 years. Sad day.


Ok, back to the matter at hand. Hmmm, I got your voicemail about cheater plugs other than that I don't know... I need to buy some more beer smile.gif and try to at least straighten up the laundry room a little bit so we will have a place to put the amps, it's a real mess back in that corner.

I have to say, Jonathan is (obvioulsy) the driving force behind this GTG, I can't thank you enough for all the work you've put in. I can't wait to hear how the switching works!!
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post #82 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 01:42 PM
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Nice work, Jonathan. Can't wait to read the results this weekend. Someone text me along the way and clue me as to what's going down! Wish I could be there.
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post #83 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Gorilla83 View Post

Nice work, Jonathan. Can't wait to read the results this weekend. Someone text me along the way and clue me as to what's going down! Wish I could be there.
+1

Awesome.

Carp needs to setup a live video feed (skype?) for us east coasters.

You know... For "remote" double blind testing.

I'm sure his webcam has an awesome mic...

biggrin.gif
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post #84 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 03:38 PM
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Are you guys going to use any other speakers than the Noesis? I wonder if a less sensitive, more difficult to drive speaker might show more differences. The Noesis seems like a very easy to drive speaker.

Apologies if this was addressed earlier in the thread. I just read the first post and then here.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

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post #85 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 04:47 PM
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Randy is bringing in pair of $2500 85db sensitivity Pioneer TAD bookshelves we are going to toy with in full range mode.

Archaea's 9.12.4 Home Theater Room
(13) JBL CBT 70j-1 | Denon x7200wa | Sherbourn PA 7-350 amplifier | (8) Ultimax 18" sealed subwoofers | (4) iNuke DSP 6000 amplifiers | (4) MB Quart 12" subwoofers mounted direct mounted to Berkline theater chairs BOSS style | Epson 5040UB Projector | Jamestown 144" acoustic transparent 2.35:1 screen w/ Seymour XD fabric
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post #86 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mrlittlejeans View Post

Are you guys going to use any other speakers than the Noesis? I wonder if a less sensitive, more difficult to drive speaker might show more differences. The Noesis seems like a very easy to drive speaker.

Apologies if this was addressed earlier in the thread. I just read the first post and then here.



Yeah, the thought that we might be wasting our time with such high sensitivity speakers was discussed, fortunately Randy Bessinger will be bringing his Pioneer TAD 4EX speakers which are 85.5 db sensitivity.
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post #87 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Gorilla83 View Post

Nice work, Jonathan. Can't wait to read the results this weekend. Someone text me along the way and clue me as to what's going down! Wish I could be there.


Sure thing, although once I start drinking I quickly forget things I meant to do... wink.gifsmile.gif
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+1

Awesome.

Carp needs to setup a live video feed (skype?) for us east coasters.

You know... For "remote" double blind testing.

I'm sure his webcam has an awesome mic...

biggrin.gif



You guys should have made the trip!! Kidding of course, save it for the KC tour. smile.gif
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post #88 of 186 Old 05-31-2013, 10:30 PM
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One amp down. Two got switched on at the same time in the first 10 minutes of testing. T amp went up in smoke.

Archaea's 9.12.4 Home Theater Room
(13) JBL CBT 70j-1 | Denon x7200wa | Sherbourn PA 7-350 amplifier | (8) Ultimax 18" sealed subwoofers | (4) iNuke DSP 6000 amplifiers | (4) MB Quart 12" subwoofers mounted direct mounted to Berkline theater chairs BOSS style | Epson 5040UB Projector | Jamestown 144" acoustic transparent 2.35:1 screen w/ Seymour XD fabric
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post #89 of 186 Old 06-01-2013, 02:05 AM
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My bad! Lol eh trial and error. At least we have it down and blew up the cheapy one. More tomorrow!
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post #90 of 186 Old 06-01-2013, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

One amp down. Two got switched on at the same time in the first 10 minutes of testing. T amp went up in smoke.

WTF?!?! Seriously?

Sounds a bit nerve racking.
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