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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,


So as the subject indicates I am debating on taking the jump and purchasing the XPA-5. I must first say I am new at this this and it would be my first amplifier.

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My system:

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1.) Left/Right: Martin Logan Purities

2.) Center: Martin Logan Motif

3.) Surrounds: Martin Logan Helos 100

4.) Subwoofer: Martin Logan Decent i

5.) Receiver: Pioneer Elite SC-07

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My Questions:

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1.) My receiver was pretty high end when I purchased it ... is there a difference to be had?


2.) My Left/Right Purities are powered and currently plugged in using speaker wire. Would being connected to an amp be necessary and make a worthy difference?


3.) Obviously, my subwoofer is also powered. Does this even get connected? Or is it just the left/right/center/surrounds?


4.) I intend to use AudioQuest "Sidewinder" RCA cable connections to go from the Receiver to the Amp. Are there better options out there?


Thanks,

Thomas Gray
 

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^^^


first off, what are you hoping to accomplish?


second, your l/r have built in amplification. is there a reason why you aren't using them that way (i.e. hooked up to the pre-outs of the 07)?


third, the power difference between the 07 and the emo amp isn't as "big" as you might think. even running your system in it's "current" configuration, you are likely not making the 07 work much at all, and the "additional" 60 watts or so of the emo would really only buy you a bit more than 1db of "headroom" (which ain't much)...


fourth, no, the subwoofer would be connected to the pre-out on the avr, as it is now...


five, yes, the rca cables from monoprice would be fine...


the "big" strength of the sc series avr's is that they will deliver rated power...
 

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EDIT all this was after ccotenj posted. And he's waaaaaaaay smarter than I.



I'll attempt this as I am just a step above a noob when it comes to external amps. There are far more knowledgeable people on here so I'll let them correct me if I'm wrong.


(not specific to your #'d questions)


1. A quick google told me that your sc-07 puts out 140W x 7 (20Hz - 20kHz, .09% [email protected] 8ohms, All Channels Driven). That's healthy.


2. Your purity's are fairly easy to drive (93-95db sensitivity) so I can't imagine the Pioneer is having a hard time driving them.


3. Generally if your sub is powered, the let it power itself. AVR subwoofer output to the LFE input of your sub and enjoy. I don't know about that cable.


4. Looking at the purity speakers, I'm not sure how to use your AVR with the built in 200w amp that the speakers have so I'll defer to smarter people.


That being said, I'd still get the XPA for two reasons.


1. I've read on here people having their external amps for 10 plus years and hardly anyone has said theirs broke within that time. Still pushing the X number of watts as they day they bought it (ie., future proof).


2. When I added my XPA-3 to my Yamaha rx-v765 (only 95wpc compared to your 140), and pushing HTd level 3 speakers at 89db sensitivity) I did so thinking I was going to be blown away with this huge volume output. I was very wrong. That dosent mean that it wont get loud, as i rarely, if ever, go past -25) What I did notice was that everything was heard with more clarity at lower volumes, especially dialogue.


There are a ton on threads on here debating the merits of adding en external amp or not. I love how my HT sounds now with the XPA-3, and I'd do it again.
 

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^^^


re: your two reasons...


1) if you don't "need" one, it doesn't matter how "future proof" it is, and yes, amplifiers "break"...


2) i would find it very difficult to believe that he would somehow notice a "clarity" difference using the emo over the internal amplification of the sc, given "proper" testing protocol... significant "hard" evidence exists to support this position, whereas very little "hard" evidence (i.e. none) supports a different conclusion...


edit: lol. nah, i'm not any smarter.
i just have all kinds of worthless information stuck in my brain, keeping information that is actually worthwhile from getting in there...



second edit: i'm a firm believer that if i get something i "want", then things are "better"... i may be an "objectivist", but i'm not immune from either placebo or the pleasure of ownership, as a matter of fact, i embrace it... life would be awfully boring if we just lived by the numbers....
i just want the op to understand that "differences" can (and generally are) the results of something other than the actual equipment...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok - let me throw this out there:


1.) Hook L/R/C into 3 individual eMotiva UPA-1's.

2.) Hook Surrounds/Sub into SC-07


Through this method of hooking into "mono-block amps" would I be both increasing the wattage + reducing signal noice? I am beginning to be convinced that the XPA-5 may not be worth it ... but could this method ($200 more expensive) be smarter?


You guys are amazing by the way ... I am one step below noob.


Thanks,

Thomas Gray
 

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Im here again to put my 2 cents in to say that adding an XPA-5 to my theater was a benefit. It powers my center and surrounds. I did notice more clarity with my center and surrounds. This improvement is at lower and moderate volumes. The speakers it powers are 90db sensitive. My mains are 97db sensitive they where also improved by adding dedicated amps. My Onkyo 805 is a good receiver. Able to make 130 watts per channel or more. It still does not compare to the dedicated amps. I don't have all sorts of graphs and analyzers to back this up. I know the hail storm is coming. Im trusting my ears. My room sounded good before the dedicated amps. Now it sounds even better. It now sounds like you are in a really good theater. Not just in an OK sounding theater. At first I wanted to think the dedicated amps where not going to make a difference. In my case they did. Others are also reporting the increase in clarity at moderate volumes. Im here to say that this is not some placebo effect. Another member stated that life would be boring if we lived strictly by numbers. I think he is right on this and he should start following some of his own advice on that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beastcs1 /forum/post/19544130


Ok - let me throw this out there:


1.) Hook L/R/C into 3 individual eMotiva UPA-1's.

2.) Hook Surrounds/Sub into SC-07


Through this method of hooking into "mono-block amps" would I be both increasing the wattage + reducing signal noice? I am beginning to be convinced that the XPA-5 may not be worth it ... but could this method ($200 more expensive) be smarter?


You guys are amazing by the way ... I am one step below noob.


Thanks,

Thomas Gray

Mono blocks are a different ball game. They are worth getting. I have had my mains powered by several different 2 channel amps, and now by a pair of XPA-1 mono blocks. The mono blocks made the biggest sound improvement to them. If the mono blocks are only a couple hundred more I would possibly go that route.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj /forum/post/0


^^^


re: your two reasons...


1) if you don't "need" one, it doesn't matter how "future proof" it is, and yes, amplifiers "break"...


2) i would find it very difficult to believe that he would somehow notice a "clarity" difference using the emo over the internal amplification of the sc, given "proper" testing protocol... significant "hard" evidence exists to support this position, whereas very little "hard" evidence (i.e. none) supports a different conclusion...


edit: lol. nah, i'm not any smarter.
i just have all kinds of worthless information stuck in my brain, keeping information that is actually worthwhile from getting in there...



second edit: i'm a firm believer that if i get something i "want", then things are "better"... i may be an "objectivist", but i'm not immune from either placebo or the pleasure of ownership, as a matter of fact, i embrace it... life would be awfully boring if we just lived by the numbers....
i just want the op to understand that "differences" can (and generally are) the results of something other than the actual equipment...

I agree. My clarity statement may be purely psychosomatic.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by beastcs1 /forum/post/19544130


Ok - let me throw this out there:


1.) Hook L/R/C into 3 individual eMotiva UPA-1's.

2.) Hook Surrounds/Sub into SC-07


Through this method of hooking into "mono-block amps" would I be both increasing the wattage + reducing signal noice? I am beginning to be convinced that the XPA-5 may not be worth it ... but could this method ($200 more expensive) be smarter?


You guys are amazing by the way ... I am one step below noob.


Thanks,

Thomas Gray

again, i ask "what are you hoping to accomplish"?


no. until you explain to me what you are trying to do (and/or answer the questions in my first response), "doing nothing" is the "smarter" way...


ss, i noticed your last sentence... perhaps it would help if you read my post better... you may be here to tell us "it's not a placebo effect", however, as noted in my post, the preponderance of evidence doesn't support your position...


if merely "separate amplification will make it better", he HAS 200 watt monoblock amps BUILT INTO HIS SPEAKERS THAT HE IS NOT USING NOW...


so yea, the "buy an amp, trust my ears and ignore the evidence, it'll be better" isn't a great response, especially when you haven't even taken all the facts into account...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratm /forum/post/19544177


I agree. My clarity statement may be purely psychosomatic.

and there's nothing "wrong" with that...


look, i just switched pre-pro's from an integra to a marantz... i wouldn't bet a nickel (assuming that you didn't do something on the integra causing it to click) that i could differentiate between the integra and the marantz in a blind test...


but i sure do like my system a more now that the dog ugly integra isn't in there anymore...
and since my "eyes" are happy, that's a good start towards "happy ears"...


embrace placebo, but understand it...
if someone says "i got an amp because i wanted it, and it makes me happy to have it, and thus i'm happier with my system and it 'sounds better' to me", i've got no issues with that... where i get off the bus is when the leap of faith is made to "the amp, in and of itself, is somehow actually changing what is happening"... all existing evidence strongly suggests the opposite, and there is no shortage of that evidence...


ymmv, imo, etc.


btw... happy thanksgiving...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj /forum/post/19544223


and there's nothing "wrong" with that...


look, i just switched pre-pro's from an integra to a marantz... i wouldn't bet a nickel (assuming that you didn't do something on the integra causing it to click) that i could differentiate between the integra and the marantz in a blind test...


but i sure do like my system a more now that the dog ugly integra isn't in there anymore...
and since my "eyes" are happy, that's a good start towards "happy ears"...


embrace placebo, but understand it...
if someone says "i got an amp because i wanted it, and it makes me happy to have it, and thus i'm happier with my system and it 'sounds better' to me", i've got no issues with that... where i get off the bus is when the leap of faith is made to "the amp, in and of itself, is somehow actually changing what is happening"... all existing evidence strongly suggests the opposite, and there is no shortage of that evidence...


ymmv, imo, etc.


btw... happy thanksgiving...

Im always trying to continue to learn about this hobby. I thought that the OPs mains only used the internal amps for sub purposes. I didn't realize that they where fully powered. So a dedicated amp won't help those out. He could still benefit from a dedicated amp on the other channels. Sorry about the mistake.
He is going to have to make that decision. Im very happy with the improved clarity in my center channel. Let alone the improvement in my other channels. The improved sound in the center was worth it by itself. Im not saying that everyone needs dedicated amps. They did benefit my system. I doubted they would make a difference before the install. It isn't night and day, but it's there. Have a good holiday.
 

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I bought an XPA-3 to power my front channels, and never did notice any big gain in clarity at high SPL.


On the other hand, I bought the Emotiva ultra-10, and could not be happier with it.


I don't regret the XPA-3. It's nice to have, because I have to think I always have sufficient front channel power now (and if I don't, I probably never will.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratm /forum/post/19543984


EDIT


1. A quick google told me that your sc-07 puts out 140W x 7 (20Hz - 20kHz, .09% [email protected] 8ohms, All Channels Driven). That's healthy.

A look at the owners manual however indicates that it consumes a maximum of 330 watts. Given class AB design we can assume it's about 50% efficient or maybe just a little better. That translates to 25 w/ch all channels driven. I'm a little shocked that it is only 330 watts power consumption. I would have guessed about 700 and about 50 w/ch all channels driven.


The big difference with the Emotiva is that it's power rating is all channels driven. Generally power amps are rated all channels driven whereas receivers almost never are. Receivers can never provide the power levels their specs imply.


I have three UPA7's and I have to say you can't go wrong with Emotiva. The price is almost nothing and the quality is great. I have an Anthem PVA5 and two Anthem Statement P2's collecting dust. One of these may get put back in service to power the "sub-subwoofer" I'm planning as opposed to buying another Emotiva only because I already have them.


mk
 

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But SC is not a class AB design. Also, it can probably consume more power on peaks than that 330 Watts would indicate.


Also note that the 50% efficiency is not universal. If you push a class AB amp close to it's clipping point, it should be more efficient than 50% (but as I say, in this case, the SC is class D, not class AB.)


Audioholics did bench test an SC-07. It could put out 150x2 Watts into 8 ohms at .1% THD. Not too bad. Audoholics was underwhelmed by it's 4 ohm performance though (it does not seem to care for high frequency sine waves into 4 ohms at all.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj /forum/post/19544191


if merely "separate amplification will make it better", he HAS 200 watt monoblock amps BUILT INTO HIS SPEAKERS THAT HE IS NOT USING NOW...

If I read the manual correctly, he is using the speakers 200 watt amps now. There are line level and speaker level inputs, but both require that the speakers be plugged into an A/C outlet. It doesn't mention any way to bypass the amps at all. Many subs also have speaker level inputs, but they still use the subs amp.



If that's the case, adding an amplifier, any amplifier, will do nothing for his front speakers.
 

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Interesting. Sounds like an amp is not likely going to help much with that speaker setup seeing how the L/R speakers are powered. That means his receiver is powering only three channels (if it's a 5.1 setup, and none of the other channels are powered.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montekay /forum/post/19544351


A look at the owners manual however indicates that it consumes a maximum of 330 watts. Given class AB design we can assume it's about 50% efficient or maybe just a little better. That translates to 25 w/ch all channels driven. I'm a little shocked that it is only 330 watts power consumption. I would have guessed about 700 and about 50 w/ch all channels driven.


The big difference with the Emotiva is that it's power rating is all channels driven. Generally power amps are rated all channels driven whereas receivers almost never are. Receivers can never provide the power levels their specs imply.


I have three UPA7's and I have to say you can't go wrong with Emotiva. The price is almost nothing and the quality is great. I have an Anthem PVA5 and two Anthem Statement P2's collecting dust. One of these may get put back in service to power the "sub-subwoofer" I'm planning as opposed to buying another Emotiva only because I already have them.


mk

All the above is true. Another thing to consider is that the Emotiva specs are rated at RMS and not peak. Receivers are almost always rated at peak. So if you take the OPs receiver. Rated at most likely 140 watts peak. Which it wont deliver. Even on a good day. The XPA-5 is rated at 200 watts per channel RMS at 8ohm. It's peak is much higher. Possibly 300 watts per channel or more. That makes the number differences even bigger between a receiver and an Emotiva amp.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman /forum/post/19544379


But SC is not a class AB design. ... the SC is class D, not class AB.)

Audioholics did bench test an SC-07. It could put out 150x2 Watts into 8 ohms at .1% THD.

In that case then that sounds about right. About 300 watts total output for 43 w/ch all ch driven. Generally not all channels are pulling maximum at the same time especially surrounds so under normal circumstances it should do a little more on the mains. Still, no match for a good external amp.


Of course if he has speakers with built in amps then it's all irrelevant anyway. The receiver's power capability should easily be enough for surrounds.


mk
 

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^^^


fwiw, the sc series avr's have been repeatedly bench tested to deliver stated wattage in an all channels driven mode... so, no, not 43w per channel... stated wattage per channel...


@william... good point... i just skimmed the manual...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj /forum/post/19544671


^^^


fwiw, the sc series avr's have been repeatedly bench tested to deliver stated wattage in an all channels driven mode... so, no, not 43w per channel... stated wattage per channel...


@william... good point... i just skimmed the manual...

That is physically impossible unless... The stated 330 watt consumption is incorrect, I misread something in the manual, or they have invented greater than unity. I'm kind of hoping it's the latter, I could use some free energy



mk
 
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