Originally Posted by EaZy-E
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.
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.