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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title says, I'm looking to experiment with some different pro amps on my front stage. I'm currently running an EP4000 but would love to try something with built in DSP. The lower the noise floor the better as with the gains we're dealing with they seem to be very prone to picking up noise. I convert the unbalanced input of my receiver to balanced. I'm considering the following:


Inuke6000DSP - tried this on Sunday. Seemed to have a good deal of power, but very prone to picking up noise in the line, especially with higher gain settings. Damn thing just looks and feels like a toy but it does crank indeed.


Crown XTi2002 - Looks like a nice amplifier, have not used the DSP. A bit more pricey at 699, but likely a higher end (build quality) amp than the Behringer.


Anything from QSC worth looking at in this range? Peavey IPR series?


What are you guys running and what are your favorites? Price range (street price) 400-800 per amp would be a good range.
 

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Why so much amp to run your mains? Seems a tad rediculous. Couldn't you get by with a couple hundred watts? Maybe something non-PA with unbalanced inputs, low noise floor, no fan, 12V trigger, etc. Would probably perform better.
 

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I am using a 100 watt per channel 5 channel amp and it works great, my theater never sound better. My speakers could take 1000 watts but at that level my ears would blow up. That extra 10 dBs is not needed ever.


I think if you state what you are doing it would generate better answers. As I said in the other thread, I would think trying out a EP-4000, and then try out a crown amp would be enough. I have used many different pro amps, have you tried using your clone on your mains?


Here is what I would try to cover all the different types of amps.


EP-4000

Crown XTI or DSI

Clone 14K

QSC PLX, crown PLX

5 channel B&K, Adcom, or emotiva

5 channel ATI or parasound or cinenova grande

5 channel Sim audio, krell, plinius, or even a used proceed amp5.


This way you have the low end 5 channel and pro covered, the midfi 5 channel and pro audio, and the high end pro and 5 channel.


My favorite amps for mains are:

Pro audio, ashley

5 channel would be nakamichi and gemstone
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic  /t/1470844/your-favorite-pro-amps-for-powering-l-c-r-mains/0_80#post_23266384


Why so much amp to run your mains? Seems a tad rediculous. Couldn't you get by with a couple hundred watts? Maybe something non-PA with unbalanced inputs, low noise floor, no fan, 12V trigger, etc. Would probably perform better.

I would also echo this sentiment. We're dealing with drivers with sensitivity in the high 90's. I think a couple hundred watts would be plenty to offer an instant onslaught of deafness.



Only reason I'm going with an external amp over my 3009 on this new build is the fact I'm running an entire front stage (5 speakers) at 4 ohm. I'm sure my receiver wouldn't appreciate that too much.
And at that; a couple hundred watts should be more than enough to reach reference levels with ease.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Goals here are:


1) Experiment - measurements and blind listening tests vs. receiver vs. other amps. Testing to be done at or slightly above reference listening levels with a few sessions a bit above to stretch the legs of each.

2) Built in DSP would be a big win - I like the ability to tweak stuff without adding other boxes in



I haven't tried the Clone on the mains yet but when I do so I will probably back the gain down quite a bit.



The plan is to get a few of us together and try out some different amps to compare/contrast receiver power vs. pro amp power vs. mid-fi and hi-fi amps. The testing would be done blind.


MK - I like your idea of trying varying levels of price/quality at each level but would definitely need someone to bring the high end stuff. I don't mind buying a few more pro amps to play around with though. I will likely wind up using one of them to power the subs I'm planning on building for upstairs anyway.


P.S. - Please guys do I really need to explain that we're way beyond 'reasonable' power here?
 

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I'd be interested in seeing the tests. I've run quite a few different amps in my system, and unless I had them back to back, I honestly don't think I could have told a difference between them, power levels being calibrated equally. I love the reviews you always see online; this amp was much warmer, the soundstage was wider, blah blah.


Rilla, I think instead of wasting a bunch of money buying and trying a million different amps, you would be better served messing around with going active. Much more to be gained than by changing power levels. Keep in mind once again, that these are very efficient speakers. After calibration, the difference between a 200 watt amp and 500 watt amp is going to be nonexistent for home use. There is no way you are going to be able to use enough extra reserve to see the difference. We're not in a live venue where you can continue putting power to them until you reach either the amps, or the speakers, physical limits.


I love seeing you guys experiment with different things, and we all feel overkill is just right
; but I think some of these experiments are just plain ludicrous.
 

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You can find some amps that were designed by high end people for other companies and find them used. I bought a Nakamichi 5 channel amp designed by Nelson Pass just for the fun of it. It is rated at 100 watts times 5. I am coming from an $8500 500 watt per channel amp that could power anything and the little 100 watt amp sounds incredible and I like it better. I bought it for $500! Of course my speakers present a 4 ohm load at 109 dBs sensitivity so I don't need much power. The difference in amps in my humble opinion are very minimal. Detail and all that stuff are the same from one amp to another to me. The difference to me are a couple things and they are an overall difference. The feeling or goosebumps effect, dynamics, and the excitement which I guess goes back to the dynamics. The goal is to find the cheapest amp that does it all for you. This little 5 channel cost me $100 per channel and I get it all, huge bargain! Of course I get that from other amps but they all cost more, even multiple pro amps. 3 used EP-2500's would cost $600-$750 and I like the Nakamichi better. Why? Because it had more feel and more exciting during parts. All the detail and accuracy was the same.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gorilla83  /t/1470844/your-favorite-pro-amps-for-powering-l-c-r-mains#post_23266478



P.S. - Please guys do I really need to explain that we're way beyond 'reasonable' power here?

Exactly, you're way beyond any benefit extra power will offer. You want better sound? Focus on the attributes of an amp that actually can offer you better sound. I don't believe, like others have said, there's much difference between good amps. But if you have a 1000watts and only using 50 watts at the expense of hiss because it has a cheap dsp chip, terrible noise floor, rca-xlr coversion, etc, then what good is that spare 950 watts to you? Much better off with a 200 watt emo or something. There are some "hifi" amps with dsp in them as well.


Also, I gotta ask. What do you plan on doing with the dsp?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK - Perhaps I should clarify as I think you guys may be getting the wrong impression. The point of this experiment is to settle some arguments and satisfy some curiosity as well. Of all the amps I've listened to (dozens) I can't say I've ever noticed any that sounded better than others. My EP4000 and Denon 4311ci sound exactly to me the same below reference in my room. Above reference they will play louder without distortion. There was a lot of chat at the last GTG around the amplification to drive the speakers - even the high efficiency models like mine. Would be nice to put this to rest both on paper and subjective blind impressions.


Note: I'm not looking to improve output potential in my own room - I've got plenty of volume, that's for certain. The power of the EP4000 I'm using now gives me plenty of output and can hang with the subs nicely. I would however like DSP control to allow me to tweak the high end or mid bass area for certain types of music listening. Audyssey never seems to give me exactly what I'm looking for in all situations.


I was simply asking of those of you that use pro amps to power your front stage, which have you found to be reliable, quiet, and of high value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic  /t/1470844/your-favorite-pro-amps-for-powering-l-c-r-mains#post_23266577


Huh, I thought he had Fusion 15s.

Oh, I do.



Current collection:


Yorkville U215's

Fusion-15 "Sentinels"

Other SEOS12 based 10" model I've built crossovers for

CHT SHO-10s

Definitive BP30s

Definitive BP2002

Definitive BPVX

Magnepan MMG

Other stuff like Bose 301's, Infinity bookshelfs, etc.
 

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Oh ok. I understand better now. You want to carry out an experiment, not satisfy any requirements for your listening application.


I'd check out the Crown XLS series. RCA inputs. Lots of power for very little money. Quite. Audiophiles like them. But no dsp. But I don't have lots of experience with amplifiers, so...



So are the Yorks now your LCR? You still using your SEOS design for surrounds? You change setups faster than I change movies
 

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Ashly KLR, pick a size. 2k is class A/B.
 

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If you want DSP for your speakers and the denon does not do it for you I would get separates and amp and be done! You can tweak however you wish for each channel including subs. This way you can get any amp you want and have the dsp built into the processor. I can think of the Emotiva UMC-2 and sherbourn processor that can do this. Ada has some but very expensive. Sherbourn and Ada both have receivers that can do it all as well and maybe you can order the reciever from sherbourn which will give you true 100 watts per channel(trust me, you won't need more) and the parametric EQ for all channels needed. Using emotiva you can choose any amp but the sherbourn is not low quality as emotiva owns sherbourn now. I would sell the Denon and go this route, I have done the same thing but use a Meridian and DCX with my Nakamichi amp and everyone says this setup sounds much better than my Pio SC-37 did. The pio had supposedly more power to boot and DTS-HD where my meridian does High bit rate DTS. Go figure, I test about 7 different people. BTW, the differences were subtle but worth it, not night and day. I live at reference so everything counts for me.
 

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Cheap amp like the EPX3000 on closeout, and a minidsp. Musicians Friend had them a few weeks ago in the lower $200 range. Should come out to less than $400.


I have an Emotiva XPA-5 which I love. Refurbs on sale are ~$680 shipped and have a 5 year warranty. 300w at 4ohm x 5 + a minidsp would be killer.
 

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+1 on the Crown XLS drivecores. I have one, running the big boys right now, and used to have an xls2000 for sub duty. Killer little amps, super light and dead friggin quiet. Even when the fan is running, you can't hear a thing. I wouldnt hesitate to stack my entire rack with these should I sell the sunfire at any point.
 
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