Monoprice Monolith 3 vs Emotiva XPA3 vs Outlaw Monoblocks for LCR - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 36 Old 05-01-2018, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Monoprice Monolith 3 vs Emotiva XPA3 vs Outlaw Monoblocks for LCR

I was surprised to see that THX standard website gives Monoprice Monolith 7 a better score than Emotiva XPA-7 GEN3. I am not sure how much that matters. I am researching a 3 channel amp for LCR in dedicated HT that I am planning to build.

Any opinion/experience on which would be a better choice for LCR .

Monoprice Monolith 3 x 200 - $1099
- Lacks Balanced Input
- 3 yr warranty

Emotiva XPA3 Gen3 - $1199
- 275 x 3 Channels
- 5 yr warranty

Outlaw 3 x 2200 Monoblock Power Amplifier - $979
- 200 W each
- 5 yr warranty

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Living Room - LG OLED 65" | Yamaha 2060 | Monolith 3x200 | KEF Q900 L/R | Paradigm Millenia 20 CC | Polk Surrounds | Monolith 12" Subs x 2

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post #2 of 36 Old 05-01-2018, 06:22 PM
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I don't think you can go wrong with any of those amps. I've owned Emotiva and Outlaw amps. Never had one die on me. The only Outlaw amp I've owned was the older 7075 - 75wpc & just recently sold it. I used 5 channels of it at any one time, center, surrounds, and zone 2. I've owned many Emotiva amps over the years. First one was the very good UPA-7. I've also owned a couple of the XPA amps - the -2 and -5. Never a problem with them. Also owned the UPA-2 and a UPA-500, which is now the BasX 5 channel amp.

You might try just a 3 channel amp for the front three, let the Yamaha 2050 drive the surrounds. You'll save a few bucks with the three channel amps. I do this with an old Yamaha RX-V773, it also drives the center speaker. For multi channel audio the Yamaha A-S1000 in direct amp mode drives the main L/R speakers. Works for me! My main focus is as always 2 channel. Gotta have my music - and it's gotta sound good. IMO it is very good.

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post #3 of 36 Old 05-01-2018, 06:57 PM
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I have the RX-A2060 and I too wanted to try an external amp to see what I might be missing.
My fronts are Polk LSIm 705's that are known to drop down to ~5-6 Ohms. I like to run them full range. Sometimes I enable the x-over @ 40 or 60 but just messing around really.
So I bought The Monolith 200 x 2ch. The Amp was easy to setup and configure but honestly I can't say that I've noticed an improvement in the sound quality at normal listening levels.

I will say two things comparing the Monolith to the 2060,

1. The Monolith seems to be more linear. While listening to 2Ch music, as the volume goes up past ~75db at the normal listening position, the Yamaha "seems" to start accentuating the upper frequencies at the expense of the lower. I suspect it may be current limited. The Monolith doesn't seem to exhibit that issue.

2. When I connected the external amp, I immediately noticed noise coming from the tweeter when the sound was muted, sounded like typical ground hum. If I remove the RCA inputs, then hum goes away (mostly). Still there a little, but you have to put your ears right up to the speaker to hear it. I tried numerous cables, and well honestly the best ones are 20 year old, way overpriced Monsters. I'll get some blue jeans cables, but for now no worries. Also, I connected the Monolith chassis ground pin to the ground pin on the Yamaha and that helped too. However, the Yamaha alone was just dead silent when the music is stopped.

So given my experience, the only thing I wold say is don't look for the external amp to provide a huge improvement in quality. Now if you find the amps in the Yamaha to be lacking in power, then yes, I suspect either of those amps should make you happy.
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post #4 of 36 Old 05-01-2018, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post
I don't think you can go wrong with any of those amps. I've owned Emotiva and Outlaw amps. Never had one die on me. The only Outlaw amp I've owned was the older 7075 - 75wpc & just recently sold it. I used 5 channels of it at any one time, center, surrounds, and zone 2. I've owned many Emotiva amps over the years. First one was the very good UPA-7. I've also owned a couple of the XPA amps - the -2 and -5. Never a problem with them. Also owned the UPA-2 and a UPA-500, which is now the BasX 5 channel amp.

You might try just a 3 channel amp for the front three, let the Yamaha 2050 drive the surrounds. You'll save a few bucks with the three channel amps. I do this with an old Yamaha RX-V773, it also drives the center speaker. For multi channel audio the Yamaha A-S1000 in direct amp mode drives the main L/R speakers. Works for me! My main focus is as always 2 channel. Gotta have my music - and it's gotta sound good. IMO it is very good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ28462 View Post
I have the RX-A2060 and I too wanted to try an external amp to see what I might be missing.
My fronts are Polk LSIm 705's that are known to drop down to ~5-6 Ohms. I like to run them full range. Sometimes I enable the x-over @ 40 or 60 but just messing around really.
So I bought The Monolith 200 x 2ch. The Amp was easy to setup and configure but honestly I can't say that I've noticed an improvement in the sound quality at normal listening levels.

I will say two things comparing the Monolith to the 2060,

1. The Monolith seems to be more linear. While listening to 2Ch music, as the volume goes up past ~75db at the normal listening position, the Yamaha "seems" to start accentuating the upper frequencies at the expense of the lower. I suspect it may be current limited. The Monolith doesn't seem to exhibit that issue.

2. When I connected the external amp, I immediately noticed noise coming from the tweeter when the sound was muted, sounded like typical ground hum. If I remove the RCA inputs, then hum goes away (mostly). Still there a little, but you have to put your ears right up to the speaker to hear it. I tried numerous cables, and well honestly the best ones are 20 year old, way overpriced Monsters. I'll get some blue jeans cables, but for now no worries. Also, I connected the Monolith chassis ground pin to the ground pin on the Yamaha and that helped too. However, the Yamaha alone was just dead silent when the music is stopped.

So given my experience, the only thing I wold say is don't look for the external amp to provide a huge improvement in quality. Now if you find the amps in the Yamaha to be lacking in power, then yes, I suspect either of those amps should make you happy.
Thanks for the input. I just wanted to clarify that the amp is not for my current setup but for future HT that I am planning to build soon. Goal is to use Yamaha/Denon AVR for surrounds and dedicated amp for LCR.

Is this hum common with amps or its just monolith?

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post #5 of 36 Old 05-01-2018, 08:11 PM
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I'm currently running a 2060 with 5 Outlaw M-2200's for the bed layer on a 5.2.4 system. I went with outboard amps because I wanted to run Dirac room correction instead of YPAO. Aside from the room correction, the only difference I've noticed, is at very spirited listening levels on some movies I have more headroom. I guess this is due to the limited power supply in the 2060. At more sane levels, there is little to no difference in performance.

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post #6 of 36 Old 05-01-2018, 08:30 PM
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Why were you surprised? Monoprice makes excellent stuff under the Monolith brand, their subs have ave reviews too, but everyone associates the name with cheap cables so no one takes it seriously
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post #7 of 36 Old 05-01-2018, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
Thanks for the input. I just wanted to clarify that the amp is not for my current setup but for future HT that I am planning to build soon. Goal is to use Yamaha/Denon AVR for surrounds and dedicated amp for LCR.

Is this hum common with amps or its just monolith?

I'm not saying it's an issue with the Monolith. The alcoholics review said it was noise free. So it's possibly an environmental issue in my case. Just saying it doesn't happen without the amp in the path.
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post #8 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
Thanks for the input. I just wanted to clarify that the amp is not for my current setup but for future HT that I am planning to build soon. Goal is to use Yamaha/Denon AVR for surrounds and dedicated amp for LCR.
Doc, what LCR speakers have you got in mind for this future HT build? Reason I ask is, instead of planning to use an amp you'll probably get a better overall result by putting that ~$1000 for amps towards a set of good quality, high sensitivity LCR speakers that don't need dedicated amps to play at well above Reference Level.

The type of speaker I'm talking about are ones like the JTR Noesis 212HT's, the PSA MTM-210's or DIYSG Aggressive 1299 kits, if you're a bit handy. All these speakers are designed for use with subs, so they shoot for high sensitivity in lieu of (unused) LF extension and therefore can play thunderously loud and clean on the power of a mid-tier AVR.

Anyway, have a think about it...
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post #9 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 06:39 AM
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Is the Monolith 3X with XLR input an option?
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post #10 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ28462 View Post
I'm not saying it's an issue with the Monolith. The alcoholics review said it was noise free. So it's possibly an environmental issue in my case. Just saying it doesn't happen without the amp in the path.
Well us alcoholics love anything as long as its loud especially after having a couple but seriously i think you meant audioholics. LOL
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post #11 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Socketman View Post
Well us alcoholics love anything as long as its loud especially after having a couple but seriously i think you meant audioholics. LOL
The spelling correction goblins got me again. Yes, audioholics.
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post #12 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pradeep2 View Post
Is the Monolith 3X with XLR input an option?
I dont see any mention of it on their website

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post #13 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Defcon View Post
Why were you surprised? Monoprice makes excellent stuff under the Monolith brand, their subs have ave reviews too, but everyone associates the name with cheap cables so no one takes it seriously
I am not surprised that Monoprice is making a good product but the Emotiva which is dedicated HT/Audio gear company and is considered a better brand by most people did inferior on the score. Now I know that every result has to be seen in right context but result is suprising nonetheless.

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post #14 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIEGAR View Post
Doc, what LCR speakers have you got in mind for this future HT build? Reason I ask is, instead of planning to use an amp you'll probably get a better overall result by putting that ~$1000 for amps towards a set of good quality, high sensitivity LCR speakers that don't need dedicated amps to play at well above Reference Level.

The type of speaker I'm talking about are ones like the JTR Noesis 212HT's, the PSA MTM-210's or DIYSG Aggressive 1299 kits, if you're a bit handy. All these speakers are designed for use with subs, so they shoot for high sensitivity in lieu of (unused) LF extension and therefore can play thunderously loud and clean on the power of a mid-tier AVR.

Anyway, have a think about it...
Thanks for your input. JTR Noesis is on my short list. Won't running 11 channels in 7.2.4 with only a 11 channel AVR impact performance?

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post #15 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 12:33 PM
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I would say at the very least get one with balanced inputs, I have had to many issues with unbalanced connections causing noise. Of course that means your Pre has to have balanced outputs as well, otherwise it doesn't matter. If the Monoprice indeed is XLR Unbalanced only, kind of wonder why bother with XLR at that point... then its between the Emotiva and Outlaw. I haven't had these models you speak of specifically, but I have had both brands in other models. Multiple Emotiva's caused signal noise for me, ended up returning them all. I got the Outlaw 7700 now, its AMAZING, no issues! So I vote for them
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post #16 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
I dont see any mention of it on their website

I believe they were announced at CES this year, from what I understand they should ship sooner than the 6/29 date indicated.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_...seq=1&format=2

Edited to add:

"Monolith X Series Power Amplifiers ($1099.99-$1599.99) – after tremendous feedback from the Monoprice community, the Monolith series amplifier line will now feature balanced XLR inputs bringing the line to a whole new level of performance."

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-rele...300580516.html

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post #17 of 36 Old 05-02-2018, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
I am not surprised that Monoprice is making a good product but the Emotiva which is dedicated HT/Audio gear company and is considered a better brand by most people did inferior on the score. Now I know that every result has to be seen in right context but result is suprising nonetheless.
ATI (Morris Kessler's company) OEM's the Monolith in the USA, as it does amps for for other companies like Mark Levinson, for example. ATI is about about as solid of an amp manufacturer as you can get.

http://www.ati-amp.com/about.php
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post #18 of 36 Old 05-03-2018, 10:08 AM
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I own 3 Outlaw 2200's. Have been very happy with their performance. They run very cool, can be easily stacked and no issues using them in a cabinet - see cool comment. Hold their value well and Outlaw may have some b-stock. They were just on sale a few weeks ago during one of Outlaw's secret sales. Mine are being used to power L/C/R in a 7.2.4 setup. Mine are dead quite too. Good luck, 3 good choices to choose from, I guess I would lean towards Emo and Outlaw since they've been selling amps longer than Monoprice.

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post #19 of 36 Old 05-27-2018, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Does Monoprice Monolith OR Emotiva XPA amps have Auto turn-on by 'audio signal' like Parasound Halos?

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post #20 of 36 Old 05-28-2018, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
Does Monoprice Monolith OR Emotiva XPA amps have Auto turn-on by 'audio signal' like Parasound Halos?
Can’t answer for those 2, but the Outlaw 2200 does and it works well. Never had to use triggers for my system which is nice.

By the way check out Outlaw’s website today, last day of their Memorial Day sale and the 2200 is part of that sale - nice discount especially on 3 (total cost is about $780 with free shipping). Click on “Promotions.”
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post #21 of 36 Old 07-04-2018, 12:52 PM
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I'm also cross shopping a few of these same models.

I think I've decided on a three channel amp for my LCR's, and just running my surrounds off of the receiver.

The Monolith looks interesting, especially as the current model now has balanced inputs. Being manufactured by ATI you know you are getting a quality product, but at the same time I wonder about the resale value down the line compared to brands with better reputations than Monoprice.

One thing that stands out to me though, is that the 7 Channel Monolith is an absolutely fantastic deal compared to the pricing of comparable Outlaw or Monoprice amps. The 3 channel model is $1,099, only $100 less than the 3 channel Emotiva XPA3 Gen 3, and the emo unit boasts much better specs.

That said, the Emotiva may be a bit much of an amp for my speakers. I wouldn't want my receiver (Denon AVR X3300W) to have to adjust the levels too far down. I'd imagine this could have SQ implications. Also, I ahve no idea at what level the Audyssey chirps play. It would be a bad day if my speakers (rated to tolerate up to 300W at 4ohm) would get a 575W @ 4ohm Audyssey chirp Once set up, they ought to be fine though.

One thing I really like about the Monolith unit is that it is only 7" tall. This easily fits into my entertainment stand. The Emotiva unit is 8" tall, which would pose a problem.

Decisions decisions.

I'm leaning towards the Monolith, but with that much more power in the Emotiva only $100 higher, it is very tempting...

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Desk: DAC: Schiit Modi Multibit,Headphones: Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Speakers: Emotiva UPA-2 -> RBH 41-se & SVS SB12-NSD
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post #22 of 36 Old 07-04-2018, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
Does Monoprice Monolith OR Emotiva XPA amps have Auto turn-on by 'audio signal' like Parasound Halos?
I don't think so, but they both have 12v triggers, which IMHO is a much better solution. Considering amps have a power on delay, you ideally don't want to wait until the audio signal you want to hear is present before powering on. You'll always miss the first few seconds. Then there is the risk it might shut off when things are quiet, and then you miss the first few seconds when it has to power on again.

Much better to trigger by 12v, so it is on whenever the receiver/pre-amp/source/whatever is on.

Livingroom: 65" Panasonic Plasma, Denon AVR-x3300w, Parasound A31, Fronts: RBH SX-6300 Towers, Center: RBH 441-se, Surrounds: RBH 41-se Sub: Dual SVS PC13-Ultra, Source: Custom Kodi Box
Desk: DAC: Schiit Modi Multibit,Headphones: Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Speakers: Emotiva UPA-2 -> RBH 41-se & SVS SB12-NSD
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post #23 of 36 Old 07-04-2018, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattlach View Post
I'm also cross shopping a few of these same models.

I think I've decided on a three channel amp for my LCR's, and just running my surrounds off of the receiver.

The Monolith looks interesting, especially as the current model now has balanced inputs. Being manufactured by ATI you know you are getting a quality product, but at the same time I wonder about the resale value down the line compared to brands with better reputations than Monoprice.

One thing that stands out to me though, is that the 7 Channel Monolith is an absolutely fantastic deal compared to the pricing of comparable Outlaw or Monoprice amps. The 3 channel model is $1,099, only $100 less than the 3 channel Emotiva XPA3 Gen 3, and the emo unit boasts much better specs.

That said, the Emotiva may be a bit much of an amp for my speakers. I wouldn't want my receiver (Denon AVR X3300W) to have to adjust the levels too far down. I'd imagine this could have SQ implications. Also, I ahve no idea at what level the Audyssey chirps play. It would be a bad day if my speakers (rated to tolerate up to 300W at 4ohm) would get a 575W @ 4ohm Audyssey chirp Once set up, they ought to be fine though.

One thing I really like about the Monolith unit is that it is only 7" tall. This easily fits into my entertainment stand. The Emotiva unit is 8" tall, which would pose a problem.

Decisions decisions.

I'm leaning towards the Monolith, but with that much more power in the Emotiva only $100 higher, it is very tempting...
What did you choose for LCR?

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post #24 of 36 Old 07-04-2018, 03:19 PM
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What did you choose for LCR?

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I haven't chosen yet. I only posted that a couple of hours ago.

edit:

Oh, did you mean the speakers? I have a set of RBH sx6300 towers, and an RBH 441-se center.

Livingroom: 65" Panasonic Plasma, Denon AVR-x3300w, Parasound A31, Fronts: RBH SX-6300 Towers, Center: RBH 441-se, Surrounds: RBH 41-se Sub: Dual SVS PC13-Ultra, Source: Custom Kodi Box
Desk: DAC: Schiit Modi Multibit,Headphones: Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Speakers: Emotiva UPA-2 -> RBH 41-se & SVS SB12-NSD
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post #25 of 36 Old 07-13-2018, 06:00 PM
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Oh my God what have I done?


Livingroom: 65" Panasonic Plasma, Denon AVR-x3300w, Parasound A31, Fronts: RBH SX-6300 Towers, Center: RBH 441-se, Surrounds: RBH 41-se Sub: Dual SVS PC13-Ultra, Source: Custom Kodi Box
Desk: DAC: Schiit Modi Multibit,Headphones: Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Speakers: Emotiva UPA-2 -> RBH 41-se & SVS SB12-NSD
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post #26 of 36 Old 07-13-2018, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mattlach View Post
Oh my God what have I done?

(snip)

Signed up for a serious back injury?

(79 lbs boxed. Makes my Emotiva XPA3 Gen3 look like a lightweight at 44 lbs.)
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post #27 of 36 Old 07-13-2018, 07:58 PM
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Oh my God what have I done?


Go big or go home!


What speakers are you using? I'll be curious to see what you think - I was debating between the a31 and a D-sonic for the front 3.....
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post #28 of 36 Old 07-13-2018, 08:10 PM
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Go big or go home!


What speakers are you using? I'll be curious to see what you think - I was debating between the a31 and a D-sonic for the front 3.....
I hvae a set of RBH sx6300's as my main L/R's and an RBH 441-se as my center.

I probably don't need this amp, especially with my small room.

But I'll be moving in the next couple of years, and who knows what my next room will look like. The main motivation for the Parasound A31 is that I am tired of buying stuff and then later finding out that it isn't quite enough. I have done this way too often. I just want to buy it once and be done. I'm hoping this purchase does that.



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Signed up for a serious back injury?

(79 lbs boxed. Makes my Emotiva XPA3 Gen3 look like a lightweight at 44 lbs.)
Tell me about it. They wanted signature on delivery, but UPS always tries to deliver when I am not home, so i preempted the shipment and had it held at the UPS facility for me to pick up.

The damned box did not fit in the trunk of my Volvo S80 (fullsize(?) sedan) so I had to rush home and get my old Volvo V70 (a wagon) and rush back before UPS closed.

The weight is intense, but I can still easily carry it without being a gym rat. Besides, I figure I'll put it in place only once (and after that every time I move) and then won't have to move it again. It's not like we do a waltz with our amps

At least the weight seems indicative of plenty of heatsink capacity

Side note. So much packing popcorn between the outer and inner box. Who even uses that **** anymore in 2018?

Livingroom: 65" Panasonic Plasma, Denon AVR-x3300w, Parasound A31, Fronts: RBH SX-6300 Towers, Center: RBH 441-se, Surrounds: RBH 41-se Sub: Dual SVS PC13-Ultra, Source: Custom Kodi Box
Desk: DAC: Schiit Modi Multibit,Headphones: Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Speakers: Emotiva UPA-2 -> RBH 41-se & SVS SB12-NSD
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post #29 of 36 Old 07-14-2018, 12:15 PM
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Signed up for a serious back injury?

(79 lbs boxed. Makes my Emotiva XPA3 Gen3 look like a lightweight at 44 lbs.)
While my back isn't a problem. (I can lift it with not too much exertion, and I know proper lifting techniques) the shelves on my "entertainment stand" (or whatever those things are called) is.

I knew good power amps were heavy, but I hadn't even considered comparing the weight spec to that of the shelves before buying.

I guess now I have to go furniture shopping...

Livingroom: 65" Panasonic Plasma, Denon AVR-x3300w, Parasound A31, Fronts: RBH SX-6300 Towers, Center: RBH 441-se, Surrounds: RBH 41-se Sub: Dual SVS PC13-Ultra, Source: Custom Kodi Box
Desk: DAC: Schiit Modi Multibit,Headphones: Schiit Jotunheim -> Sennheiser HD650 & Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro, Speakers: Emotiva UPA-2 -> RBH 41-se & SVS SB12-NSD
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post #30 of 36 Old 07-14-2018, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mattlach View Post
Oh my God what have I done?

Congrats!

So what was the deciding factor in choosing A31 (significantly more expensive) over Emotiva or Monoprice Monolith?

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HT - Seymour Centerstage XD 2.39:1 133" W| JVC X790R | Denon AVR | QSC DPA 4.2 | ATI AT528NC | Procella P8/P5V | Revel C763L | Rythmik FV15HP x2
Living Room - LG OLED 65" | Yamaha 2060 | Monolith 3x200 | KEF Q900 L/R | Paradigm Millenia 20 CC | Polk Surrounds | Monolith 12" Subs x 2
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