Originally Posted by MisterCassera
I currently have a 9.2 channel Pioneer Lx503 setup with a 5.1.4 system. I dont have any amplifiers, the Pioneer alone powers all 9 channels. It sounds pretty good to me, but I have no baseline as to what a great sound system is, seeing as I am the first one I know to build a home theater.
I was thinking about a Emotiva A-500 5 channel Amp to power my base speakers and let the Pioneer power the 4 atmos speakers.
I feel like the sound is already loud as it is and I rarely ever turn the volume louder than -10db.
My question is, would an amplifier increase clarity also? Because I certainly dont need volume. MAYBE just a bit more sound out of the 4 overheads, but that's about it. Is it absurd to have the Pioneer actually powering ALL 9 channels by its self?
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A couple points:
An external amplifier may or may not be a good idea for you, but such a purchase may start an upgrade cycle that will mean spending more money, perhaps a lot more, than you originally planned. Go into this with you eyes open.
If you do decide to pursue an external amplifier the A-500 appears to be at best equal to what you have. Just to take a supermarket approach. The A-500 is a 5-channel power amplifier Class A/B with a linear power supply that weights 26.5 pounds according to the Emotiva webpage. At a high level, weight is good way to eliminate candidates for external amplifiers that have similar basic designs. Heavier is better. The A-500 is rather anemic.
For comparison, an alternative also a Class A/B amplifier with a linear power supply, that likely would represent as step up is the Monoprice Monolith 5, a 200 Watt per channel, 5-channel power amplifier that weights 78.5 lbs. The Monolith unit is $1,299, clearly more expensive, but a lot more amplifier, a clear step up. This really isn't to recommend the Monolith unit, there are other choices at higher or lower prices, but is intended to give perspective.
Emotiva offers a 5-channel power amplifier, the XPA-5 Gen3, at a bit more money than the Monolith unit, that others on this forum often consider a good choice. The Emotiva units has a different type of power supply so this supermarket approach doesn't apply. The Emotiva unit provides similar power output to the Monoprice unit.
If you do decide to pursue an external power amplifier you'll have no shortage of recommendations from forum members.
Again, a decision on what upgrade to pursue in your system, if any, along with budget limits, should be your first step.