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post #31 of 61 Old 07-23-2017, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by EaZy-E View Post
In terms of sound, when you connect an amp to a AVR and you drive your front channels using the AMP and use the AVR for the surrounds, will the audio signature differentiate?
I think that is a very reasonable approach, spend a lot for LCR amplifier, get a 3 or 5 channel amp to cover those three, and possibly the rears if you're only doing 5.1 to begin. If you've got a long room and want 7.1 then, sure, let an AVR run the sides and or rear (3vs5 channel amp). I have always recommended identical LCR speakers and identical LCR amplifier to avoid SQ changes during pans. YMMV. The rears and sides are so very likely to be different speakers than LCR to begin with, and that will probably way outweigh any sonic signature from amp differences front to back/side.
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post #32 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 04:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AlexBen View Post
I think that is a very reasonable approach, spend a lot for LCR amplifier, get a 3 or 5 channel amp to cover those three, and possibly the rears if you're only doing 5.1 to begin. If you've got a long room and want 7.1 then, sure, let an AVR run the sides and or rear (3vs5 channel amp). I have always recommended identical LCR speakers and identical LCR amplifier to avoid SQ changes during pans. YMMV. The rears and sides are so very likely to be different speakers than LCR to begin with, and that will probably way outweigh any sonic signature from amp differences front to back/side.
In my case, all of my speakers will come from the same line/company, even my surrounds and atmos/height speakers. Is it worth it to get an amp for that as well?
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post #33 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 05:20 AM
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Originally Posted by EaZy-E View Post
In my case, all of my speakers will come from the same line/company, even my surrounds and atmos/height speakers. Is it worth it to get an amp for that as well?
No, your receiver should have enough power to run the surrounds/Atmos. Get a good 3 channel amp for the front 3, and you should be golden.
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post #34 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 06:02 AM
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In my case, all of my speakers will come from the same line/company, even my surrounds and atmos/height speakers. Is it worth it to get an amp for that as well?
As @drh3b mentioned, a good 3 channel amp for the LCR speakers would be an excellent choice. Your speakers are relatively inefficient at 87dB for the towers and 85.5dB for the center channel and drop down to 3 ohms so an amp will be very helpful - particularly for listening at high volumes.

Give strong consideration to getting a 5 or 7 channel amp. With a 5 or 7 channel amp, you're bulletproof for having enough amp for most anything you do in the future leaving very little amp work for any AVR you may eventually purchase. If for some reason you ever decide to get a pre/pro - you'll be happy if you already have a 7 channel amp as you will only have to purchase 4 more amp channels of a 7.2.4 system. There are a lot of great used amps on eBay and here on AVS so be sure to check them out. Good amps last a long, long time and used amps hold their value very well. A 200 watt/channel amp is likely to give you all you need.

Also, check out the Sound and Vision review of your speakers. The review strongly recommends an amp for these speakers as well.
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post #35 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 06:05 AM
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I haven't been following this thread that closely but I would go with a inexpensive 5 or 7 channel amp from Outlaw or Emotiva and then one of thier processors too. A separate powerful amp with its own power supply will go a long, long way. That's just my advice n

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post #36 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zorax2 View Post
As @drh3b mentioned, a good 3 channel amp for the LCR speakers would be an excellent choice. Your speakers are relatively inefficient at 87dB for the towers and 85.5dB for the center channel and drop down to 3 ohms so an amp will be very helpful - particularly for listening at high volumes.

Give strong consideration to getting a 5 or 7 channel amp. With a 5 or 7 channel amp, you're bulletproof for having enough amp for most anything you do in the future leaving very little amp work for any AVR you may eventually purchase. If for some reason you ever decide to get a pre/pro - you'll be happy if you already have a 7 channel amp as you will only have to purchase 4 more amp channels of a 7.2.4 system. There are a lot of great used amps on eBay and here on AVS so be sure to check them out. Good amps last a long, long time and used amps hold their value very well. A 200 watt/channel amp is likely to give you all you need.

Also, check out the Sound and Vision review of your speakers. The review strongly recommends an amp for these speakers as well.
Yeah I saw that review before which is why I was thinking of going with an amplifier in the first place. Reading through the various responses and all the info available, I don't see the point of buying a dedicated processor rather than an AV Receiver with pre-out. It seems audio/video quality is identical or close enough it's hard to notice, and let's face it, probably cheaper, and AV Receivers get new features faster and more frequently than processors anyways. So I'll get a 5 or 7 channel amp, and will likely have the AV receiver power at least the 4 atmos channels and maybe some of the surrounds. For the amplifier, I'm considering the Emotiva XPA Gen 3 or A-5175/A-700 and the Outlaw models, both seem to provide good value for the money. The AV Receiver, well it's going to be between Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, kinda leaning towards Yamaha for the better reputation as far as reliability goes. I'm assuming that with the external amp, AVR probably doesn't matter as much anymore, so I should just go for whatever model provides the best features/connectivity.
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post #37 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by EaZy-E View Post
Yeah I saw that review before which is why I was thinking of going with an amplifier in the first place. Reading through the various responses and all the info available, I don't see the point of buying a dedicated processor rather than an AV Receiver with pre-out. It seems audio/video quality is identical or close enough it's hard to notice, and let's face it, probably cheaper, and AV Receivers get new features faster and more frequently than processors anyways. So I'll get a 5 or 7 channel amp, and will likely have the AV receiver power at least the 4 atmos channels and maybe some of the surrounds. For the amplifier, I'm considering the Emotiva XPA Gen 3 or A-5175/A-700 and the Outlaw models, both seem to provide good value for the money. The AV Receiver, well it's going to be between Denon, Marantz, Yamaha, kinda leaning towards Yamaha for the better reputation as far as reliability goes. I'm assuming that with the external amp, AVR probably doesn't matter as much anymore, so I should just go for whatever model provides the best features/connectivity.
The Monoprice Monolith is another amp that is reasonably priced and reviewed well, it comes in several configurations from 2-7 channels. I have a 3 channel version of the XPA gen 3, and have nothing but good things to say about it.
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post #38 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 08:48 AM
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To the OP. Have you considered the Yamaha RX-A3060? It has the inputs you want/need and should be at a good price now. Also the Outlaw model 7100 for an excellent price and more than enough power for your speakers. This combo should be an excellent system. The Outlaw 7100 is supposedly made by ATI. It also gets great reviews. The 3060 will also be getting the Dolby Vision upgrade if you need that as well.

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...0_u/index.html

https://outlawaudio.com/products/7140.html

https://outlawaudio.com/products/7140_about.html
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post #39 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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To the OP. Have you considered the Yamaha RX-A3060? It has the inputs you want/need and should be at a good price now. Also the Outlaw model 7100 for an excellent price and more than enough power for your speakers. This combo should be an excellent system. The Outlaw 7100 is supposedly made by ATI. It also gets great reviews. The 3060 will also be getting the Dolby Vision upgrade if you need that as well.

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...0_u/index.html

https://outlawaudio.com/products/7140.html

https://outlawaudio.com/products/7140_about.html
Dolby Vision does matter to me as I'll be getting a new 4k set by the end of the year.
Any "must have" features between the 3060 vs 3070?
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post #40 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 09:23 AM
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Dolby Vision does matter to me as I'll be getting a new 4k set by the end of the year.
Any "must have" features between the 3060 vs 3070?
I don't see anything other than the DAC's in the 3070 over the 3060. Would you notice a difference? I doubt it. The price difference IMO is not worth it. Both will be getting DV updates later this year. As for the Outlaw amp 7100 225 watts a channel all channels driven for 4 ohm speakers is more than enough for your SVS speakers. I would contact SVS for your speakers and would ask them about the amp. I think they would also tell you that the 7100 has more than enough power for your speakers. Both the 3060 and 3070 have the connectivity you want.
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post #41 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 09:40 AM
 
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Yamaha 3060 is a excellent avr. You don't need the 3070 unless you get a really good deal.

As far as power amps go, I'd stay away from emotiva or outlaw.

The outlaw are better then emotiva though. The new emotiva gen 3 aren't even close to as good as gen 2 was.

Buy a nice used amp. Like a rotel, adcom, parasound, krell, classe, Aragon, ati, proceed, bryston, and anthem. Something like a adcom 7705 or rotel 1095 would blow away emotiva or outlaw.

If you love the emotiva look and the idea of one get a gen2. Get the class a/b amp. Fwiw I compared my adcom 7605 vs emotiva xpa5 gen2 in a bench test at a local store. The power was almost identical but adcom had way lower distortion. Manufacturers specs on adcom are 125x5. Emotiva 200x5. At 8ohms for both. Bench was 188x5 for adcom. 194x5 for emotiva.

Also get at least a 5ch amp. The main surrounds need good power as well. If you ever expand to 9 or 11ch your need a 5 ch amp helping. With only a 3 ch amp you'll be forced to run 6or8ch off of avr. Even a good avr will be lucky to produce 100w driving 8ch.

Now again if you never play things loud or at reference like 105-110db probably don't need all this headroom. If you think loud is 80-90db you'll be fine with just a receiver.
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post #42 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 10:14 AM
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^^^^ You recommend an ATI amp and then say to stay away from Outlaw. Outlaw amps with the exception of the A5000 and the model 2200 monoblocks are made in the U.S. by ATI.
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post #43 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Yamaha 3060 is a excellent avr. You don't need the 3070 unless you get a really good deal.

As far as power amps go, I'd stay away from emotiva or outlaw.

The outlaw are better then emotiva though. The new emotiva gen 3 aren't even close to as good as gen 2 was.

Buy a nice used amp. Like a rotel, adcom, parasound, krell, classe, Aragon, ati, proceed, bryston, and anthem. Something like a adcom 7705 or rotel 1095 would blow away emotiva or outlaw.

If you love the emotiva look and the idea of one get a gen2. Get the class a/b amp. Fwiw I compared my adcom 7605 vs emotiva xpa5 gen2 in a bench test at a local store. The power was almost identical but adcom had way lower distortion. Manufacturers specs on adcom are 125x5. Emotiva 200x5. At 8ohms for both. Bench was 188x5 for adcom. 194x5 for emotiva.

Also get at least a 5ch amp. The main surrounds need good power as well. If you ever expand to 9 or 11ch your need a 5 ch amp helping. With only a 3 ch amp you'll be forced to run 6or8ch off of avr. Even a good avr will be lucky to produce 100w driving 8ch.

Now again if you never play things loud or at reference like 105-110db probably don't need all this headroom. If you think loud is 80-90db you'll be fine with just a receiver.
Never actually measured with an SPL, but I do like it loud. Back when I had my 5.1 system up and running, I sometimes had it cranked up to -3 or -5 on my Pioneer AVR, not sure how loud this translates on the dB meter. On average I listened to -10, -12. Makes sense?
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^^^^ You recommend an ATI amp and then say to stay away from Outlaw. Outlaw amps with the exception of the A5000 and the model 2200 monoblocks are made in the U.S. by ATI.
Just because they make outlaw amps doesn't mean it's a ati amp. Ati isn't bad but it would be towards the bottom of my list.

Ati amps id buy are from 10-15 years ago.
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post #45 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 08:07 PM
 
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#EaZy-E makes perfect since. At those volumes you'll need a amp for sure!
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post #46 of 61 Old 07-24-2017, 08:47 PM
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Flagship A/V Receiver vs Separate?

I'm using YamahaA2050 in my 5.1.4 set-up. But 6 months ago added 2 channel Emotiva Amp (Gen 3) and Parasound P5 preamp bought used off USA Audiomart.

The P5 has HT bypass which I love so the P5 feeds my Amp for 2.1 channel music & not my AVR; in movie mode the Yammy drives 7 speakers and Emo the 2 fronts. But folks are right, within 2-3 years seems the AVR is outdated with these amazing changes every year. 2.2 HDMI, 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, etc.

but my basic analog preamp with a few inputs + 2 channel Amp can continue marching on

Primary set-up 5.1.4; Yamaha A2050, Paired w/Parasound P5 & ATI 500NC 2 channel amp
Revel F206 fronts & Revel M16 rears; Outlaw X12 Sub & 4 RSL C34e in-ceilings

Secondary 5.1: Denon S900W, Polk LSiM703/704C, Polk RC80i in-ceiling rears, RSL Speedwoofer 10s
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post #47 of 61 Old 07-30-2017, 04:10 PM
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SQ and panning

Quote:
Originally Posted by EaZy-E View Post
In my case, all of my speakers will come from the same line/company, even my surrounds and atmos/height speakers. Is it worth it to get an amp for that as well?
I think that makes a lot of sense in a general sort of way. The exception to this is that usually people spend a lot for a stereo pair of speakers, and find a center channel, and fill in with very different speakers for rear, sides, and ATMOS.

Its a necessity and the right way to do it, up to a point. Your mileage may vary, and your installation may preclude what I'm about to suggest.

What I meant specifically, is that to really execute proper pans from left to right across a large screen, its mandatory to have LCR identical. Its just the only way to do it. In that case I also recommend equal amplifiers, exactly, for the LCR.

From a practical perspective, this often requires AT screens, or, placement of the center down below the level of where the L&R are, which screws up pans as well.

For cinema, one could argue (on a scale of 1-10 quality/expense) that you're better off with LCR identical with quality of 5 than having L&R left over 9's from a stereo set up, and putting in an unequal to L&R center. The SQ in that case will always be just a little off, its very, very difficult to perfectly match the L&R to a different, even if intended to be center from same manufacturer, channel in the middle.

So, naturally I'd be advocating a set up with 3 identical speakers LCR, and 3 identical amp channels. Could be a 3 or 5 channel amp, 3 monos, or 3 of a receiver if they are all equal amperage..... Just one guy's opinion of course.

Alex.
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post #48 of 61 Old 07-30-2017, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
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I think that makes a lot of sense in a general sort of way. The exception to this is that usually people spend a lot for a stereo pair of speakers, and find a center channel, and fill in with very different speakers for rear, sides, and ATMOS.

Its a necessity and the right way to do it, up to a point. Your mileage may vary, and your installation may preclude what I'm about to suggest.

What I meant specifically, is that to really execute proper pans from left to right across a large screen, its mandatory to have LCR identical. Its just the only way to do it. In that case I also recommend equal amplifiers, exactly, for the LCR.

From a practical perspective, this often requires AT screens, or, placement of the center down below the level of where the L&R are, which screws up pans as well.

For cinema, one could argue (on a scale of 1-10 quality/expense) that you're better off with LCR identical with quality of 5 than having L&R left over 9's from a stereo set up, and putting in an unequal to L&R center. The SQ in that case will always be just a little off, its very, very difficult to perfectly match the L&R to a different, even if intended to be center from same manufacturer, channel in the middle.

So, naturally I'd be advocating a set up with 3 identical speakers LCR, and 3 identical amp channels. Could be a 3 or 5 channel amp, 3 monos, or 3 of a receiver if they are all equal amperage..... Just one guy's opinion of course.

Alex.
Thanks for the answer Alex.

I was actually thinking of bumping up my thread today as I'm finalizing my plan for this fall which is when my room will be completed. As I mentioned before, I'm very likely going with the SVS Ultra line, I had a lots of back and forth with SVS customer service about the options for my room. I have to give kudos to SVS for that as they took time to analyze my room schematic and were quite helpful. They recommended a 5.1.4 or 5.2.4 setup.

L/R = Ultra Bookshelves
C = Ultra Center
RS/LS = Ultra Surround (in Bipole mode, I was thinking of using the duet mode to do 7.1 however I was told my room wasn't deep enough and Bipole would sound better)
Front/Rear = Elevation speakers, mounted on the side of the MLP, one pair in front and one at the back.
SW = Either I double my current SVS PB-2000 to go dual, or I buy a single PB-16 Ultra and eventually upgrade that to a dual setup. I'm a lot more thrilled about the single PB-16 Ultra rather than doubling my PB-2000 as I love earth shaking bass during movies. Anyways regardless of what I do here, I don't think I can go wrong.

So that pretty much takes care of the speaker part. Now onto the amplification/receiver part which I honestly haven't fully figured out just yet. I'm leaning more towards having a 5 channels amp power my LCR + LS/RS and let the AVR power the rest of the 4 Atmos channels. Being in Canada my options for amps are somewhat limited which is a bit of a pain. ATI, Parasound, Adcom, Outlaw all look like very nice amps, but the lack of retailers in Montreal, the extra cost for importing, and the big question mark as far as warranty repairs if there's any defects all sounds a bit prohibitive and a bit of pain. Looking at my options locally, I can pretty much narrow this down to Emotiva, Anthem & Rotel. The Emotiva XPA Gen 3 sounded very interesting on paper, however the more I read about Emotiva the more I have second thoughts on the long term reliability and support?
Anthem, well I find the cost to be a bit too high at the moment, so not really considering them. Rotel on the other hand, my local store carries them, the price is quite interesting, looking at the RMB-1555 and RMB-1575, A/B class vs D class. I might try to schedule something with my dealer if he has them in stock to audit them and make some comparison. As far as AVR goes, I'm still thinking of going with Yamaha 2070 or 3070, or maybe Denon/Marantz, not sure about that either but leaning towards Yamaha for the reliability and DSPs?

Anyways that's where I'm heading so far, for those who are interested!
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post #49 of 61 Old 07-30-2017, 08:20 PM
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Lcr

If they have a generous return policy, consider getting 4 of the bookshelves, and comparing the sound for movies when using 3 of the bookshelves as LCR, vs using a pair and their "dedicated" center.

You'd have a back up LCR for parts?

I have 3 B&W Matrix 802's that I've used for LCR in the past, a pair of Gen III for L&R, and a GenII for center. It was close enough to identical for my needs for my last room.

I'll stop beating a dead horse shortly.

If you do enough research and reading about the Dolby specs for LCR, they should all be the same. The idea that the center channel is most important, or needs to be special and better or different from the L&R is simply NOT accurate for home theatre. The market is full of special center channel speakers to accommodate installations where tall, tower like L&R speakers have already be purchased, and customers can not put a third tower in the middle because they don't have an AT screen, and the tower will block the TV or display etc..... The rare exception to this rule would be center speakers that are the same size, and the only difference is perhaps the orientation of the cabinet, and the drivers are the same. Google for example a B&W 805H vs the 805V, and imagine using the 805H for a center. If they were all at the same height, you'd be in business.

The availability of center channels that are not identical to the L&R is not done to optimize SQ.
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post #50 of 61 Old 07-30-2017, 08:39 PM
 
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Rotel is a great choice and better then emotiva.

Also svs is ok but nothing incredible. The pb16 is way overpriced.

Look at rythmik fv18 or fv25. So much better. Or jtr cap1400

Speakers are a personal choice but I'm not sure I'd want svs. Paradigm, kef, bowers, goldenear are all much much better to me.

The svs to me are all overpriced and cheap. They do have good customer service. That's just not enough for me.
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post #51 of 61 Old 07-30-2017, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by EaZy-E View Post
In my case, all of my speakers will come from the same line/company, even my surrounds and atmos/height speakers. Is it worth it to get an amp for that as well?
Depends on your listening habits. That is, unless you listen at loud levels, there is no reason for additional amplification at all. Remember -10db is only 10% of full tilt and -20db 1% (one %). Otherwise get a 2 or 3 channel amp for the front to take off some of the load. What many perceive as "loud" is often not more than a few watts.

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post #52 of 61 Old 07-31-2017, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by EaZy-E View Post
Thanks for the answer Alex.

I was actually thinking of bumping up my thread today as I'm finalizing my plan for this fall which is when my room will be completed. As I mentioned before, I'm very likely going with the SVS Ultra line, I had a lots of back and forth with SVS customer service about the options for my room. I have to give kudos to SVS for that as they took time to analyze my room schematic and were quite helpful. They recommended a 5.1.4 or 5.2.4 setup.

L/R = Ultra Bookshelves
C = Ultra Center
RS/LS = Ultra Surround (in Bipole mode, I was thinking of using the duet mode to do 7.1 however I was told my room wasn't deep enough and Bipole would sound better)
Front/Rear = Elevation speakers, mounted on the side of the MLP, one pair in front and one at the back.
SW = Either I double my current SVS PB-2000 to go dual, or I buy a single PB-16 Ultra and eventually upgrade that to a dual setup. I'm a lot more thrilled about the single PB-16 Ultra rather than doubling my PB-2000 as I love earth shaking bass during movies. Anyways regardless of what I do here, I don't think I can go wrong.

So that pretty much takes care of the speaker part. Now onto the amplification/receiver part which I honestly haven't fully figured out just yet. I'm leaning more towards having a 5 channels amp power my LCR + LS/RS and let the AVR power the rest of the 4 Atmos channels. Being in Canada my options for amps are somewhat limited which is a bit of a pain. ATI, Parasound, Adcom, Outlaw all look like very nice amps, but the lack of retailers in Montreal, the extra cost for importing, and the big question mark as far as warranty repairs if there's any defects all sounds a bit prohibitive and a bit of pain. Looking at my options locally, I can pretty much narrow this down to Emotiva, Anthem & Rotel. The Emotiva XPA Gen 3 sounded very interesting on paper, however the more I read about Emotiva the more I have second thoughts on the long term reliability and support?
Anthem, well I find the cost to be a bit too high at the moment, so not really considering them. Rotel on the other hand, my local store carries them, the price is quite interesting, looking at the RMB-1555 and RMB-1575, A/B class vs D class. I might try to schedule something with my dealer if he has them in stock to audit them and make some comparison. As far as AVR goes, I'm still thinking of going with Yamaha 2070 or 3070, or maybe Denon/Marantz, not sure about that either but leaning towards Yamaha for the reliability and DSPs?

Anyways that's where I'm heading so far, for those who are interested!
Okay, FWIW - your speaker setup is similar to mine.

I have:
LCR = SVS Ultra bookshelfs + Ultra Center
Surrounds L/R = SVS Prime bookshelfs
Heights = 4x SVS Prime elevations
Subs = Dual SB2000s

Room size = 1650cu. ft, sealed rectangle room.

My receiver = Yamaha RX-A3060
Amps = Parasound Halo A31 and Emotiva A500


In my room, I have tried the Yamaha A850, Yamaha A3060, Marantz SR6010, and an Anthem MRX-520.

The best receiver to my ears and in my room for the SVS Ultras is the Yamaha A3060. In comparison to the other receivers in Pure direct mode, I found the A2050 to sound the most dynamic with the widest soundstage. Tonally, they were all actually quite similar - differences were mostly subtle, with a few things standing out here and there depending on the receiver.
Putting system EQ in place, there were just too many variances and I felt that Anthem's ARC is the most consistent one in the auto calibration part. That said, since I could nearly replicate what I got out of ARC with the cumbersome and more archaic YPAO manual setup, I decided to go with the A3060 because it costs nearly twice less in my country. A little bit of work is absolutely worth the time to save half the price.

On the other hand, Audyssey XT32 did the best job in EQing the subs, but they were not where I would say - great. Since Audyssey couldn't be manually edited (at my time of testing at least, the app wasn't released yet), I simply couldn't be happy with it. Having manual control with both the MRX520 and A3060 made my subs sound better than the "locked" auto setup that the SR6010 offered. I, like many here thought that I could save some money by sticking with the 6010 since it offers 11 channels of processing as long as you can add external amps to it. Turns out, I valued manual EQ more.

As a side note, the A850 was a simple receiver that sounded good enough - however it was quite under powered in anything more than 2 channels and since I wanted 4 heights, the A850 only served as my 7.1 setup for a year. It is now my secondary receiver where I'm just running it in 3 channels mode in the living room. But sound quality wise, it surprisingly holds up decently to my A3060.

Honestly, I'm happy with Yahama pairing up with the SVS ultra/prime speakers. Despite what some people say about "SVS speakers sounding bright" and Yamaha receivers being "bright", having 2 bright things would just equate to harshness. I found that all to be bs. I enjoyed the airy soundstage, big dynamics, punchy gut wrenching sound. Neither the Marantz or Anthem has the same kind of feeling for me with the SVS ultra speakers.

I have yet to try the Rotel, because there are currently no official Rotel distributors in my country. The RAP-1580 absolutely looks VERY nice and it reminds me of those behemoth Denon receivers back in the mid-2000s. If you've got a good price on them, why not try it out?

As for the Emotiva amp, I just got the A500 a week ago. So far... not bad I'd say. I mean, for the price it is fairly well built. I believe it's just a slightly more refined UPA-500 really. My only complain about it so far is the cheap plastic binding posts, but since they are things that most users don't touch regularly, it's not a major issue. Not much to say about an amp's sound quality, inb4 all the nazis saying there is not difference is sound quality for amps. For whatever it is, the A500 doesn't sound bad - so I'll leave it at that.
As for the XPA series, I've only heard them once. So no comment on that, I know they've had some reliability issues but you have to take into consideration that Emotiva has sold the most external amps in the past 4-5 years. So, seeing more reports about their products is only normal vs a company that makes even better products but sell much less units.

Good luck!
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post #53 of 61 Old 07-31-2017, 04:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by splotten View Post
Depends on your listening habits. That is, unless you listen at loud levels, there is no reason for additional amplification at all. Remember -10db is only 10% of full tilt and -20db 1% (one %). Otherwise get a 2 or 3 channel amp for the front to take off some of the load. What many perceive as "loud" is often not more than a few watts.
I do like it loud. However, SVS did mention that I might "get away" using only the AVR to power all channels, which makes me debate if I should get an amp or not. An amp would eat extra space in my TV stand which I could use for another device, and let's face it, it's an additional box and wires. I'm on the fence really.
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post #54 of 61 Old 07-31-2017, 04:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ben Tan View Post
Okay, FWIW - your speaker setup is similar to mine.

I have:
LCR = SVS Ultra bookshelfs + Ultra Center
Surrounds L/R = SVS Prime bookshelfs
Heights = 4x SVS Prime elevations
Subs = Dual SB2000s

Room size = 1650cu. ft, sealed rectangle room.

My receiver = Yamaha RX-A3060
Amps = Parasound Halo A31 and Emotiva A500


In my room, I have tried the Yamaha A850, Yamaha A3060, Marantz SR6010, and an Anthem MRX-520.

The best receiver to my ears and in my room for the SVS Ultras is the Yamaha A3060. In comparison to the other receivers in Pure direct mode, I found the A2050 to sound the most dynamic with the widest soundstage. Tonally, they were all actually quite similar - differences were mostly subtle, with a few things standing out here and there depending on the receiver.
Putting system EQ in place, there were just too many variances and I felt that Anthem's ARC is the most consistent one in the auto calibration part. That said, since I could nearly replicate what I got out of ARC with the cumbersome and more archaic YPAO manual setup, I decided to go with the A3060 because it costs nearly twice less in my country. A little bit of work is absolutely worth the time to save half the price.

On the other hand, Audyssey XT32 did the best job in EQing the subs, but they were not where I would say - great. Since Audyssey couldn't be manually edited (at my time of testing at least, the app wasn't released yet), I simply couldn't be happy with it. Having manual control with both the MRX520 and A3060 made my subs sound better than the "locked" auto setup that the SR6010 offered. I, like many here thought that I could save some money by sticking with the 6010 since it offers 11 channels of processing as long as you can add external amps to it. Turns out, I valued manual EQ more.

As a side note, the A850 was a simple receiver that sounded good enough - however it was quite under powered in anything more than 2 channels and since I wanted 4 heights, the A850 only served as my 7.1 setup for a year. It is now my secondary receiver where I'm just running it in 3 channels mode in the living room. But sound quality wise, it surprisingly holds up decently to my A3060.

Honestly, I'm happy with Yahama pairing up with the SVS ultra/prime speakers. Despite what some people say about "SVS speakers sounding bright" and Yamaha receivers being "bright", having 2 bright things would just equate to harshness. I found that all to be bs. I enjoyed the airy soundstage, big dynamics, punchy gut wrenching sound. Neither the Marantz or Anthem has the same kind of feeling for me with the SVS ultra speakers.

I have yet to try the Rotel, because there are currently no official Rotel distributors in my country. The RAP-1580 absolutely looks VERY nice and it reminds me of those behemoth Denon receivers back in the mid-2000s. If you've got a good price on them, why not try it out?

As for the Emotiva amp, I just got the A500 a week ago. So far... not bad I'd say. I mean, for the price it is fairly well built. I believe it's just a slightly more refined UPA-500 really. My only complain about it so far is the cheap plastic binding posts, but since they are things that most users don't touch regularly, it's not a major issue. Not much to say about an amp's sound quality, inb4 all the nazis saying there is not difference is sound quality for amps. For whatever it is, the A500 doesn't sound bad - so I'll leave it at that.
As for the XPA series, I've only heard them once. So no comment on that, I know they've had some reliability issues but you have to take into consideration that Emotiva has sold the most external amps in the past 4-5 years. So, seeing more reports about their products is only normal vs a company that makes even better products but sell much less units.

Good luck!

Thanks for the input, always nice to hear from someone who has a very similar setup to what I'm aiming for here. I'm glad to see you are enjoying the Yamaha, I think it looks like a great unit aesthetically and feature wise it's pretty impressive. The only point of comparison I have is when I did A vs B audition test between the Yamaha 2060 and the Anthem MRX 1120 a couple of weeks ago, both were wired to Paradigm speakers. The Anthem did feel a bit "bigger" than the Yamaha, but I'm wondering if the results would've been the same with the 3060. The Anthem receiver seems to have a good amp section and all, but feature wise it's fairly weak and I don't think I'd be willing to pay 3500$, almost 1000$ more than a Yamaha 3070 which gives me more features and the connectivity I want and the flexibility of using that extra 1000$ on a decent amp which would likely edge the MRX-1120 anyways? I saw the Denon 4300H and Marantz SR6011 at my local best buy last week-end, both of them running relatively hot? While I prefer the aesthetic of the Marantz, the more I read about Audyssey XT32, the more I'm not convinced. The Pioneer LX701/901 is also something I've looked at, as I've had Pioneer receivers for the last 12 years, and always fancied the premium look of the Elite line. The problem I have with them is that not all HDMI inputs are HDCP 2.2 compliant, even on the 901 which surprises me and there's still no official words about a firmware update for DV & HLG. I know future proofing in A/V is very hard and next to impossible, but if I buy a piece of equipment, I want it to be at least up to the latest and greatest, not outdated already?


Since I'm still on the fence about the amp, may I ask, did you try running your SVS speakers directly from the Yamaha 3060 without the amp? If so, what were your thoughts? Did you try running them at reference level? If you did try it without the external amp, did you notice that big of a difference?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EaZy-E View Post
I do like it loud. However, SVS did mention that I might "get away" using only the AVR to power all channels, which makes me debate if I should get an amp or not. An amp would eat extra space in my TV stand which I could use for another device, and let's face it, it's an additional box and wires. I'm on the fence really.
I suspect you will need an amp, but no reason to spend that money on it until you know. I suspect with SVS speakers, and you playing loud, you will want one, but again, no reason to spend the money until you're sure you need it.

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post #56 of 61 Old 07-31-2017, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EaZy-E View Post
Thanks for the input, always nice to hear from someone who has a very similar setup to what I'm aiming for here. I'm glad to see you are enjoying the Yamaha, I think it looks like a great unit aesthetically and feature wise it's pretty impressive. The only point of comparison I have is when I did A vs B audition test between the Yamaha 2060 and the Anthem MRX 1120 a couple of weeks ago, both were wired to Paradigm speakers. The Anthem did feel a bit "bigger" than the Yamaha, but I'm wondering if the results would've been the same with the 3060. The Anthem receiver seems to have a good amp section and all, but feature wise it's fairly weak and I don't think I'd be willing to pay 3500$, almost 1000$ more than a Yamaha 3070 which gives me more features and the connectivity I want and the flexibility of using that extra 1000$ on a decent amp which would likely edge the MRX-1120 anyways? I saw the Denon 4300H and Marantz SR6011 at my local best buy last week-end, both of them running relatively hot? While I prefer the aesthetic of the Marantz, the more I read about Audyssey XT32, the more I'm not convinced. The Pioneer LX701/901 is also something I've looked at, as I've had Pioneer receivers for the last 12 years, and always fancied the premium look of the Elite line. The problem I have with them is that not all HDMI inputs are HDCP 2.2 compliant, even on the 901 which surprises me and there's still no official words about a firmware update for DV & HLG. I know future proofing in A/V is very hard and next to impossible, but if I buy a piece of equipment, I want it to be at least up to the latest and greatest, not outdated already?


Since I'm still on the fence about the amp, may I ask, did you try running your SVS speakers directly from the Yamaha 3060 without the amp? If so, what were your thoughts? Did you try running them at reference level? If you did try it without the external amp, did you notice that big of a difference?
Understandable. When getting a receiver, you always want to be on the cutting edge so that it could at least live out its years until the next big HDMI/HDCP/monetary feature arrives to reset everything. My 3060 will hold out until the industry works out how not to make HDMI 2.1 a tacked-on mess. An extra grand over the 3070 is A LOT of money, you could spend that on another sub which would undoubtedly make a significant difference (note I say difference, not improvement - because multi subs isn't always guaranteed to be better, although most of the time it is).

To answer your question regarding the SVS speakers: yes, initially before getting the Prime Elevations, I tried a 5.1.4 and 7.1.2 setup with the A3060 for a month+. I had the LCR as the ultras, the surrounds as the prime bookshelfs and the heights were prime satellites. This was all before I added any external amplification, because I've been told countless times that in my small room (again, 1650cu. ft) I wouldn't even run close to 70% of the power the A3060 has.
That proved untrue, no matter the crossover I set (even as high as 120hz) - my system just sounded, weak. This was the same case with the Marantz SR6010 and Anthem MRX520. The Ultras just started to shrill if I try to run them near reference volume and the prime's tweeters was almost unbearable to listen to. Yes, the A3060 could run my speakers very loud - obscene volumes even. But a single receiver trying to run 9 speakers loses its composure too easily, I shudder to think if it was 11 channels.

The moment I removed the height speakers and just run in 7 channels, things improved. Now I know the prime satellites were rather inefficient (85db), but I wasn't expecting a significant difference. With only 7 channels, the A3060 sounded pretty good in my room. Removing the surround back channels to come down to 5 channels, the main LCR immediately opened up a little more but it's fairly subtle. That said, I was still hearing this veil because when I run the Ultra bookshelfs in stereo, they just sound much more dynamic and competent than with 7 or more channels.

I then borrowed an old, cheap stereo Rotel RB-06 amplifier (only 70w per channel) from an AV store locally. Used it to drive the Ultra bookshelfs and let the 3060 handle everything else. It was a much better experience. The prime speakers doesn't sound like it's about to burst its tweeter anymore for one (which is the most important thing) and the Ultra bookshelfs doesn't sound tinny when driven to near reference volume. It was at this point that I understood amplification is fairly important, even in a small room.

I then scored a third-hand used Parasound Halo A31 (I have no idea why people would sell this magnificent beast, ever, but hey I'm not complaining) for a rather similar price to a brand new Emotiva XPA-3 gen 3. Having the LCRs driven by a dedicated external amp and the rest off the A3060 made me feel like I am inside the sound, not just listening to it. There was no veil, nothing sounded harsh, nothing sounded like it was about to crack and when I play games at reference volume, I don't have to worry about my system clipping and having a seizure. Tonally, it didn't "change" how my speakers sound. I still stand by the belief that amplifiers sound similar enough that it's more important to look at the build quality instead of focusing on "this amp sounds warm and liquidy! oooooh".

TLDR; the short of it is, the A3060 will do okay with 7 speakers in a small room - at pretty loud volumes. But my experience is that the LCRs will appreciate an amp. It doesn't need to be an insane amp, anything moderate will be an improvement. Regardless, if you are going with the 3070 you're going to need an external amp to get 11 channels anyway - so you might as well get a decent one. BUT as always, try everything out off the receiver first before dedicating the money to external amplification.
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post #57 of 61 Old 07-31-2017, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ben Tan View Post
Understandable. When getting a receiver, you always want to be on the cutting edge so that it could at least live out its years until the next big HDMI/HDCP/monetary feature arrives to reset everything. My 3060 will hold out until the industry works out how not to make HDMI 2.1 a tacked-on mess. An extra grand over the 3070 is A LOT of money, you could spend that on another sub which would undoubtedly make a significant difference (note I say difference, not improvement - because multi subs isn't always guaranteed to be better, although most of the time it is).

To answer your question regarding the SVS speakers: yes, initially before getting the Prime Elevations, I tried a 5.1.4 and 7.1.2 setup with the A3060 for a month+. I had the LCR as the ultras, the surrounds as the prime bookshelfs and the heights were prime satellites. This was all before I added any external amplification, because I've been told countless times that in my small room (again, 1650cu. ft) I wouldn't even run close to 70% of the power the A3060 has.
That proved untrue, no matter the crossover I set (even as high as 120hz) - my system just sounded, weak. This was the same case with the Marantz SR6010 and Anthem MRX520. The Ultras just started to shrill if I try to run them near reference volume and the prime's tweeters was almost unbearable to listen to. Yes, the A3060 could run my speakers very loud - obscene volumes even. But a single receiver trying to run 9 speakers loses its composure too easily, I shudder to think if it was 11 channels.

The moment I removed the height speakers and just run in 7 channels, things improved. Now I know the prime satellites were rather inefficient (85db), but I wasn't expecting a significant difference. With only 7 channels, the A3060 sounded pretty good in my room. Removing the surround back channels to come down to 5 channels, the main LCR immediately opened up a little more but it's fairly subtle. That said, I was still hearing this veil because when I run the Ultra bookshelfs in stereo, they just sound much more dynamic and competent than with 7 or more channels.

I then borrowed an old, cheap stereo Rotel RB-06 amplifier (only 70w per channel) from an AV store locally. Used it to drive the Ultra bookshelfs and let the 3060 handle everything else. It was a much better experience. The prime speakers doesn't sound like it's about to burst its tweeter anymore for one (which is the most important thing) and the Ultra bookshelfs doesn't sound tinny when driven to near reference volume. It was at this point that I understood amplification is fairly important, even in a small room.

I then scored a third-hand used Parasound Halo A31 (I have no idea why people would sell this magnificent beast, ever, but hey I'm not complaining) for a rather similar price to a brand new Emotiva XPA-3 gen 3. Having the LCRs driven by a dedicated external amp and the rest off the A3060 made me feel like I am inside the sound, not just listening to it. There was no veil, nothing sounded harsh, nothing sounded like it was about to crack and when I play games at reference volume, I don't have to worry about my system clipping and having a seizure. Tonally, it didn't "change" how my speakers sound. I still stand by the belief that amplifiers sound similar enough that it's more important to look at the build quality instead of focusing on "this amp sounds warm and liquidy! oooooh".

TLDR; the short of it is, the A3060 will do okay with 7 speakers in a small room - at pretty loud volumes. But my experience is that the LCRs will appreciate an amp. It doesn't need to be an insane amp, anything moderate will be an improvement. Regardless, if you are going with the 3070 you're going to need an external amp to get 11 channels anyway - so you might as well get a decent one. BUT as always, try everything out off the receiver first before dedicating the money to external amplification.

Your experience is quite interesting! Really seems like an amp will make those SVS ultra "sing" so yeah I think going Yamaha rather than Anthem and saving the difference for the amp or whatever else makes more sense. I'll see what I think with the AVR alone, and if I'm not happy I'll get the amp. Even though I'm planning for a 5.1.4 and the 3070 can support up to 11 channels, I plan on re-using the other 2 channels for the zone 2 which is reserved for the 2 speakers in my home gym in the room next door. May I ask, regardless of the amp, are you satisfied with your SVS setup overall?
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In my opinion every system can benefit from a separate stand alone amp.

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post #59 of 61 Old 07-31-2017, 08:43 AM
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Any recommendations for a 3 ch amp for LCR use in the same price range as a XPA Gen 3?
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post #60 of 61 Old 07-31-2017, 08:46 AM
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Any recommendations for a 3 ch amp for LCR use in the same price range as a XPA Gen 3?
Well reviewed.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15594

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