Emotiva versus Parasound versus Anthem amplifiers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 17 Old 04-02-2019, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Emotiva versus Parasound versus Anthem amplifiers

Hello all -

I am looking to upgrade my front 3 speakers currently running on my Anthem MRX-1120 receiver. I am currently running the RBH SX-8300 towers for FR and FL, and the SX-6100C for my center speaker.

I am looking to possibly upgrade to one of the following 3 channel amplifiers:

Parasound A31
Anthem MCA 325
Emotiva XPA-DR3

I was wondering if anyone has experience with these amps, any recommendations, and how you think they compare to each other?

My concerns are being able to power my front 3 speakers, and heat. In the past I have owned amplifiers that have clipped due to over heating, so would like to avoid that. They will be stored in an HT closet that is fairly open. My receiver has never gotten hot in this environment, so my hope is there is plenty of ventilation for the amplifier too.

I am wondering if the Anthem amp might integrate better with my Anthem receiver? But have no idea if that would actually be true?

As always, thanks in advance for any help.
bumpercar1971 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 17 Old 04-02-2019, 10:18 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jonas2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 5,470
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2749 Post(s)
Liked: 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpercar1971 View Post
Hello all -

I am looking to upgrade my front 3 speakers currently running on my Anthem MRX-1120 receiver. I am currently running the RBH SX-8300 towers for FR and FL, and the SX-6100C for my center speaker.

I am looking to possibly upgrade to one of the following 3 channel amplifiers:

Parasound A31
Anthem MCA 325
Emotiva XPA-DR3

I was wondering if anyone has experience with these amps, any recommendations, and how you think they compare to each other?

My concerns are being able to power my front 3 speakers, and heat. In the past I have owned amplifiers that have clipped due to over heating, so would like to avoid that. They will be stored in an HT closet that is fairly open. My receiver has never gotten hot in this environment, so my hope is there is plenty of ventilation for the amplifier too.

I am wondering if the Anthem amp might integrate better with my Anthem receiver? But have no idea if that would actually be true?

As always, thanks in advance for any help.
I auditioned my Paradigm speakers on both Anthem MRX receiver, AVM/MCA combo, and Parasound Halo gear. In non-AB comparisons, there was perceivable difference in SQ at a variety of volume levels with a variety of different content. (They were all great!). Can't speak for the Emotiva. I did not however chose Anthem or Parasound amps (though I do run the Anthem AVM60). The Anthem amp will integrate nicely with the MRX receiver, but not necessarily better.

If you are concerned about heat though, want more power (that you may or may not need), and more value while maintaining high build/sounds quality, you could look at one of these:

https://www.d-sonic.com/amplifiers/m...three-channel/

I have the 7-channel, 400 watt version. Never looked back. I'd put this up against anything Anthem, Parasound, or Emotiva has to offer as well other far more expensive amps. Plays beautifully with the AVM60. I think you'd be just fine with any of the other 3 though, my preference if I was doing that would probably be the Anthem.

7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
Mains:
Paradigm Prestige 85F and 55C; Side / Rear Surrounds: Totem Acoustic Tribe III / Tribe I; Amplification: D-Sonic M3a-2800-7 (7ch. x 400w)
ATMOS:
Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
Subwoofers:
2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Pioneer CLD-59
Jonas2 is offline  
post #3 of 17 Old 04-03-2019, 01:21 AM
Senior Member
 
Pride9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Posts: 284
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Great post, looking at the Emotiva, Anthem and ATI two-channel amps myself. Because of living overseas everything is at a premium so want as much information I can get before making a decision. Hope many more users of these amps will chime in and provide their thoughts.
Pride9 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 17 Old 04-03-2019, 02:56 AM
Advanced Member
 
johnplayerson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 644
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 282 Post(s)
Liked: 67
Monoprice monolith 7

https://discuss.avscience.com/index.php?topic=459.60
A Good amplifier requires a adequate power supply, It does not matter what the amplifier is capable of if the power supply will not provide the power required. Most amplifiers have under rated power supplies. It is up to you to make sure you get the ones that are least under rated if at all.
johnplayerson is offline  
post #5 of 17 Old 04-03-2019, 08:28 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,571
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1270 Post(s)
Liked: 241
I. Have an anthem MCA5 and have an issue with the centre channel right now where the dialogue for movie watching is choppy and cuts in and out when hooked up to my receiver but the same center speaker when hooked up to just the receiver never has that issue at all.

My question is this:
Since my receiver is a 5 channel receiver and it’s labelled surrounds x2, left and right and center-If I wanted to use the surround as the center Chanel and hook that up to my receivers center channel, would that be ok if it works? All 5 channels are 170 wpc...
Chirosamsung is online now  
post #6 of 17 Old 04-04-2019, 06:34 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Jonas2's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: South Bay Area
Posts: 5,470
Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2749 Post(s)
Liked: 1710
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chirosamsung View Post
I. Have an anthem MCA5 and have an issue with the centre channel right now where the dialogue for movie watching is choppy and cuts in and out when hooked up to my receiver but the same center speaker when hooked up to just the receiver never has that issue at all.

My question is this:
Since my receiver is a 5 channel receiver and it’s labelled surrounds x2, left and right and center-If I wanted to use the surround as the center Chanel and hook that up to my receivers center channel, would that be ok if it works? All 5 channels are 170 wpc...

Sure. The amp doesn't care. I doubt Anthem has done anything special for the center channel on that amp. Give it a shot! Is the amp under warranty though? That, or you might have an issue with the pre-out on the receiver.

7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
Mains:
Paradigm Prestige 85F and 55C; Side / Rear Surrounds: Totem Acoustic Tribe III / Tribe I; Amplification: D-Sonic M3a-2800-7 (7ch. x 400w)
ATMOS:
Definitive Technology DI8R; Amplification: Class D Audio SDS-470C (4ch. x 300w)
Subwoofers:
2 x SVS-SB13Ultras; Media: Oppo UDP-203, Pioneer CLD-59
Jonas2 is offline  
post #7 of 17 Old 04-04-2019, 02:07 PM
Senior Member
 
WOKNROX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SoCal HiDez
Posts: 477
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 266 Post(s)
Liked: 191
I'd try hooking the center channel output of the receiver to a different (known good) channel on your amplifier.
If it plays as it should then you know you have a problem with the amplifier. If it doesn't then you know you have a problem with your receiver's output.
WOKNROX is online now  
post #8 of 17 Old 04-04-2019, 02:19 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1,571
Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1270 Post(s)
Liked: 241
Quote:
Originally Posted by WOKNROX View Post
I'd try hooking the center channel output of the receiver to a different (known good) channel on your amplifier.
If it plays as it should then you know you have a problem with the amplifier. If it doesn't then you know you have a problem with your receiver's output.
That’s a great idea to isolate the variables. I’ll give that a shot to see if that solves things. Thanks!

Sony 75Z9D, Samsung 65JS9500
Monitor Audio Gold 200(2), Gold 350, Gold 50(2), Gold CT280-IDC(4). SVS PC4000(2).
NAD 758, Anthem MCA-5
Apple TV 4K, Nvidea Shield. Mac Mini (2018). Samsung UHD BluRay and X-Box One X. 14 Sonos
Chirosamsung is online now  
post #9 of 17 Old 04-04-2019, 05:00 PM
Senior Member
 
WOKNROX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: SoCal HiDez
Posts: 477
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 266 Post(s)
Liked: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chirosamsung View Post
That’s a great idea to isolate the variables. I’ll give that a shot to see if that solves things. Thanks!
Hey no problem and I hope everything all works out for you.

To add to your question regarding amplfiers...
I have own/'d many different amplifiers over the many years..

I use Emotiva amps for the most part exclusively nowadays.
XPA's (1st &2nd gen) and XPR throughout my different rooms.
I like them and find them to be of very good value. They are reliable and perform great.

I would suggest finding the earlier gen Emo amps at great deals.
The 1st gen XPA's also has a bit more gain to them too...if that's your thing.

Last edited by WOKNROX; 04-04-2019 at 05:11 PM.
WOKNROX is online now  
post #10 of 17 Old 04-04-2019, 05:41 PM
Advanced Member
 
erick granato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: toronto area
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked: 82
Just curious why you're adding an external amplifier? By all accounts the Anthem 1120 is one of, if not the, best receiver on the market with plenty enough power? I looked up the spec on the speaker, and unless you have a monster size room, 4 ohm at 91db isn't that huge of a load. True though, with the added power you would have plenty of headroom to play insanely loud!
erick granato is online now  
post #11 of 17 Old 04-09-2019, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by erick granato View Post
Just curious why you're adding an external amplifier? By all accounts the Anthem 1120 is one of, if not the, best receiver on the market with plenty enough power? I looked up the spec on the speaker, and unless you have a monster size room, 4 ohm at 91db isn't that huge of a load. True though, with the added power you would have plenty of headroom to play insanely loud!
Hi -

It's a great question. At this point I am really just doing research, and trying to figure out if it's a good idea. I have asked a couple of other people on other threads who have added external amps to see what kind of difference it has made in their experience, if any.

I figured I would do some research on both fronts to see where I land. I agree with all your points, and my room is very large. So louder is not a bad thing.

I guess my question is whether I will really notice a difference in detail with the external amps, versus using the current setup. If it's just louder, with no more detail, then it might not be a worthwhile purchase. Thoughts?

Thanks again for the input.
bumpercar1971 is offline  
post #12 of 17 Old 04-10-2019, 04:09 AM
Advanced Member
 
erick granato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: toronto area
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpercar1971 View Post
Hi -

It's a great question. At this point I am really just doing research, and trying to figure out if it's a good idea. I have asked a couple of other people on other threads who have added external amps to see what kind of difference it has made in their experience, if any.

I figured I would do some research on both fronts to see where I land. I agree with all your points, and my room is very large. So louder is not a bad thing.

I guess my question is whether I will really notice a difference in detail with the external amps, versus using the current setup. If it's just louder, with no more detail, then it might not be a worthwhile purchase. Thoughts?

Thanks again for the input.
Well I added a Rotel RMB 1555 amp to my Pioneer SC 57 receiver and don't regret it. The benefits that I perceive is a tad warmer sound and a slightly better mid and low end. On paper, the Rotel appears to have less power than my receiver amp but my room is not large and the Rotel plays really loud really clearly. As stated before, your Anthem receiver is well known for sound quality and excellent performance overall, so stepping up to a larger amp would definitely help fill a larger room without strain and maintain excellent sound quality. By all accounts, the preamp section of your receiver is top notch, basically the very well regarded AVM 60 with amplifiers. So, if you can afford it, go for it! The amps on your list are very good ones and you probably wouldn't go wrong with any of them, however, I would recommend looking at the Rotel RMB 1585, big brother to mine, 5 channel though, but a monster for a great price.
erick granato is online now  
post #13 of 17 Old 04-11-2019, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by erick granato View Post
Well I added a Rotel RMB 1555 amp to my Pioneer SC 57 receiver and don't regret it. The benefits that I perceive is a tad warmer sound and a slightly better mid and low end. On paper, the Rotel appears to have less power than my receiver amp but my room is not large and the Rotel plays really loud really clearly. As stated before, your Anthem receiver is well known for sound quality and excellent performance overall, so stepping up to a larger amp would definitely help fill a larger room without strain and maintain excellent sound quality. By all accounts, the preamp section of your receiver is top notch, basically the very well regarded AVM 60 with amplifiers. So, if you can afford it, go for it! The amps on your list are very good ones and you probably wouldn't go wrong with any of them, however, I would recommend looking at the Rotel RMB 1585, big brother to mine, 5 channel though, but a monster for a great price.
That's great feedback. Thanks so much. I am wondering if I will get the same response from my speakers once I hooked them up to one of these amps I am reviewing.

While I have always read good things about the MRX-1120 for power, I haven't read anything recently with what people think of their actual power output when all channels are driven.

I know their documentation indicates the front 5 channels run from 140-170 wpc, but I am curious is that is the real world output. Prolly only way to really know is to hook then 3 channels up to the amplifier and listen to them for a while.

Maybe I can pick your brain for one more bit of advice? Do you think there is much of a difference in quality from using RCA versus XLR connectors? I want to maximize the potential of the amplifier with the receiver, but also don't' want to waste money.

Thanks again for your feedback. It's really helpful.
bumpercar1971 is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 04-11-2019, 11:53 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 116 Post(s)
Liked: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpercar1971 View Post
Hello all -

I am looking to upgrade my front 3 speakers currently running on my Anthem MRX-1120 receiver. I am currently running the RBH SX-8300 towers for FR and FL, and the SX-6100C for my center speaker.

I am looking to possibly upgrade to one of the following 3 channel amplifiers:

Parasound A31
Anthem MCA 325
Emotiva XPA-DR3

I was wondering if anyone has experience with these amps, any recommendations, and how you think they compare to each other?

My concerns are being able to power my front 3 speakers, and heat. In the past I have owned amplifiers that have clipped due to over heating, so would like to avoid that. They will be stored in an HT closet that is fairly open. My receiver has never gotten hot in this environment, so my hope is there is plenty of ventilation for the amplifier too.

I am wondering if the Anthem amp might integrate better with my Anthem receiver? But have no idea if that would actually be true?

As always, thanks in advance for any help.
Out of those 3 choices that you listed above, I would highly recommend the Parasound Halo A31 or A51 if you need a five-channel amp. The Rotel RMB-1585 that was recommended by another forum member here is also another great choice but I would go with the Parasound Halo A31 of A51 if I were you. The Parasound sounded more resolving with better details than the Rotel RMB-1585.

Stereo setup: MSB Select ll DAC w/ 2 mono powerbases (PSU) & Femto 33 clock; Clearaudio Statement TT w/ Statement Goldfinger cartridge & separate PSU; D'Agostino Momentum phonostage; Naim Statement NAC S1 linestage preamp & NAP S1 monoblock amps; Magico M6.
Home theater: Oppo 205; Classe SSP800; 3 Classe CAM600 & 2 CA2300; B&W 800D3; B&W HTML1 D3; 4 B&W 800 series D3 CT in-wall surrounds; 2 JL Gotham.
vivace is offline  
post #15 of 17 Old 04-12-2019, 03:04 AM
Advanced Member
 
erick granato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: toronto area
Posts: 820
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 111 Post(s)
Liked: 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpercar1971 View Post
That's great feedback. Thanks so much. I am wondering if I will get the same response from my speakers once I hooked them up to one of these amps I am reviewing.

While I have always read good things about the MRX-1120 for power, I haven't read anything recently with what people think of their actual power output when all channels are driven.

I know their documentation indicates the front 5 channels run from 140-170 wpc, but I am curious is that is the real world output. Prolly only way to really know is to hook then 3 channels up to the amplifier and listen to them for a while.

Maybe I can pick your brain for one more bit of advice? Do you think there is much of a difference in quality from using RCA versus XLR connectors? I want to maximize the potential of the amplifier with the receiver, but also don't' want to waste money.

Thanks again for your feedback. It's really helpful.
I do not have XLR connections, nor have I ever used them, but I believe they came from the pro audio side and are used especially for long runs. By all I have read, for short runs, there is no difference in sound quality between RCA and XLR.
erick granato is online now  
post #16 of 17 Old 04-15-2019, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 19
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by vivace View Post
Out of those 3 choices that you listed above, I would highly recommend the Parasound Halo A31 or A51 if you need a five-channel amp. The Rotel RMB-1585 that was recommended by another forum member here is also another great choice but I would go with the Parasound Halo A31 of A51 if I were you. The Parasound sounded more resolving with better details than the Rotel RMB-1585.
Thanks for the feedback. I have been reading great things about the Parasound A 31 amplifier. I sent an email to Anthem asking some questions about the MCA 325 3 weeks ago, and still haven't heard back. I even ended up calling them and leaving a message, and still nothing. Not too impressed by that.

While I own the Anthem MRX-1120 and a couple of Paradigm subs, it's made me wonder about other offerings a little more. In all comparisons I have read it seems the reviewer preferred the Parasound amp to the Anthem. I am curious if you use the Parasound amp, and what experience you have had with it. I am always concerned about heat, so that is my primary concern. I think all the amps will power my 4 ohm speakers, but don't want to deal with an amp that heat related problems.

Thanks again for any help.
bumpercar1971 is offline  
post #17 of 17 Old 04-15-2019, 11:24 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 116 Post(s)
Liked: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpercar1971 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I have been reading great things about the Parasound A 31 amplifier. I sent an email to Anthem asking some questions about the MCA 325 3 weeks ago, and still haven't heard back. I even ended up calling them and leaving a message, and still nothing. Not too impressed by that.

While I own the Anthem MRX-1120 and a couple of Paradigm subs, it's made me wonder about other offerings a little more. In all comparisons I have read it seems the reviewer preferred the Parasound amp to the Anthem. I am curious if you use the Parasound amp, and what experience you have had with it. I am always concerned about heat, so that is my primary concern. I think all the amps will power my 4 ohm speakers, but don't want to deal with an amp that heat related problems.

Thanks again for any help.
No, I do not use any Parasound amps in my dedicated HT room nor in my dedicated 2 channel setup room. But I 've heard those Parasound Halo A51/A31/A21 amps and they were wonderful especially for the money. But they run kinda warm I guessed partly due to class A biased for the first few watts. So if you end up with these Parasound A31 or A51 or A21 amps I would suggest you place them on the floor on the amplifier stand, or place it in an open hifi audio rack and leave a space above it. I wouldn't put it in a closed confined audio or AV rack if I were you. I would recommend these Parasound Halo A21/A31/A51 amps over Anthem amps.

However, the Rotel RMB-1585 five-channel amp runs cool at all time and is a fantastic multi-channel amp for both stereo music and surround sounds. My cousin has this Rotel RMB-1585 amp in his multi-channel setup driving his B&W 804 D3 speaker system. The RMB-1585 is massive though and weighs around 80 pounds. If you're worried about heat issue with those Parasound Halo amps then this Rotel RMB-1585 would be your best choice. It performs excellent especially for $3k brand new price. For surround sound movies the Parasound Halo A51/A31 perform better than the Rotel RMB-1585 amp. The Parasound sounded more resolving with better detiails and nuances and better PRAT than the Rotel RMB-1585.
But for music both the Parasound and the Rotel RMB-1585 are almost on par, you can never go wrong with either of them when used for music reproductions. The Rotel RMB-1585 runs cool no matter how hard you drive it. The Parasound Halo A51 runs somewhat hot.

In my dedicated HT room I'm using all Classe Delta series class AB amps to power all my speakers. Pls see my signature below. I'm using 3 Classe Delta CAM 600 monoblock amps to drive my front B&W 800 D3 and the B&W HTML1 D3 center speaker. And I'm using 2 Classe Delta CA-2300 stereo amps to power my custom theater (CT) in-wall surround speakers, which are also matching B&W 800 series D3 CT in-wall speakers. I'm currently only doing 7.2 setup since my Classe SSP 800 preamp processor is only a 7 channel processor and does not support Dolby Atmos, DTS-X or Auro 3D. The SSP 800 has become somewhat obsolete now but it's still one if the best sounding AV preamp processor.
I use this HT setup room strictly for surrounds or HT. I don't listen to stereo music in this dedicated HT room.

I do have a separate dedicated reference stereo setup/system in separate dedicated stereo listening room. Please send my signature below under stereo setup. For this reference stereo setup I have the Naim Statement NAC S1 linestage analog stereo preamp, Naim Statement NAP S1 monoblock amps driving my Magico M6 speakers.
For digital front end source components I have the MSB Select ll DAC with an upgraded Femto 33 clock and with 2 mono powerbases or 2 mono power supply units, one for digital side if thing and the other for analog side of thing.
For analog front ends I have the Clearaudio Statement turntable with a Statement Goldfinger cartridge and external PSU for the turntable. I'm using the D'Agostino Momentum phonostage preamp for the turntable.

Stereo setup: MSB Select ll DAC w/ 2 mono powerbases (PSU) & Femto 33 clock; Clearaudio Statement TT w/ Statement Goldfinger cartridge & separate PSU; D'Agostino Momentum phonostage; Naim Statement NAC S1 linestage preamp & NAP S1 monoblock amps; Magico M6.
Home theater: Oppo 205; Classe SSP800; 3 Classe CAM600 & 2 CA2300; B&W 800D3; B&W HTML1 D3; 4 B&W 800 series D3 CT in-wall surrounds; 2 JL Gotham.
vivace is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off