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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the Pio 1018 and the Take classic speakers. I will be upgrading to the Energy RC-10's with RC mini center up front. I see the Emotiva XPA 3 Audio Power Amplifier is on sale for $499. Is this a worth while upgrade for my front 3 or will the difference be subtle (overal clarity and crispness of sound, and max volumes attainable). I am sort of new to this but have bitten by the bug, hard
Any input at all is welcome, thanks.
 

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My experience with seperates is that the bass is better, and a slight improvement in overall sound quality. No more popping when overdriving the amps in the receiver. I don't know the specs of your gear, but remember you only gain 3 db of volume with each doubling of power. That's not much, I learned that the hard way when I went from a 100 watt receiver to 125 and noticed no improvement, then next added a 200 watt amp and that's when the magic began!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Pio is rated at 130w/ch (over-inflated?) at .05%THD. The Emotiva XPA -3 at 200w/ch at 007%THD.


Having little experience with this type of thing though, I don't know what that will mean in terms of a real world listening difference. I am looking for your (more experienced inout and views). Seems to me like it would mean less distortion (over the entire range or only at high output?). Additionally it'll give some extra head room (especially if the Pio is over rated and the Motiva more accurate in it's rating). Not sure how often that AMP is on sale, if that is a regular thing or if this is an occasional thing.


Last time I upraded Audio stuff was 10 years ago, so I would expect this to last a logn time. The only forseable upgrade would be to the RC-30 towers from the RC-10's once I move to a bigger place.


Any and all thoughts appreciated? I have read good things about Motiva, do you echo that same sentiment? $500, though not minimal, does not seem extravigent for a considerable upgrade in sound quality.
 

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It's unlikely the Pioneer comes even close to 130wpc as they're known for overrating their amps. The EMO on the other hand will likely hit 200wpc. Those speakers don't appear to be difficult to drive. I'd say try them with your 1018 and if the amp sounds like it's straining, maybe add on the UPA-7.
 

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If you have the speakers I think you do and even if you get the new speakers you are talking about speakers that don't cost much more than the amp for all of them.


An amp like the XPA-3 is really overkill on a system like that. I would get significantly better speakers before I'd upgrade the amp like that. With small bookshelf speakers, they just can't hit the low bass or even that much in the way of lower mid range, which is what sucks up most of the power.


The XPA-3 is a terrific amp, but it's pointless unless you have speakers that will benefit from it.


As a general rule of thumb you probably want to spend something like at least twice as much on the speakers as on the electronics.


Your audio system can't reproduce signals that the speakers can't generate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, that is the information that I needed. Looks like there will be probably be no external amp at this time
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However, I would like your thoughts on this. I looked at the UPA 2 at 125w/chx2 with a THD of 0.007%. With the Pio at a THD of .05% would this be a real world improvement in listening quality? Assuming the Pio's output is exagerated and this one is more accurate would that be an improvement? I have read that having "seperates" usually improves the quality of the sound. (the other was overkill, but it seemed like a sweet deal!). Being new at this, I am just trying to get a better understanding of all this stuff so any information or thoughts you have would be appreciated.


chatanika - was that watt increase within recievers or adding a seperate AMP? Did the amount of rated THD change or was it the same? .05 to .007 seems like a considerable drop but it may just look nice on paper
 

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The 100 to 125 increase was two different receivers, then I bought a pre-pro and a 200 watt two channel amp + the recievers for center, & surrounds, and then now two 300 watt mono-blocs, + 5 channel amp for 7.1 - Although the emo has much lower distortion, the pioneer is also clean enough not to notice. Modern specs on most gear are so good these days I care more about signal to noise ratios.. It use to be distortion was measured @ rated power from 20 hz to 20k but now some are only measuring @1k which will appear to give a higher power rating with a false cleaner distortion spec. Some amps measure with all channels driven and some with one or two. And after all of that I must agree that the speaker upgrade should be first. Then a good sub, then amp then preamp, then another sub then high end source gear. And then if you keep reading these forums it won't stop, somebody please make it stop! My wife opened an old army locker full of amps in the garage the other day and said what are these for, I couldn't think of anything other than back-up.!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
As if photographic equipment, saltwater reef tanks, and mountain bikes weren't expensive enough! I can't afford another another one of these hobbies. Dang, I wish the recent upgrade didn't improve the sound so much...then I wouldn't be wanting it even better..hope that anchor I just tossed out slows this ride down!
 
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