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Organm

Onkyo 906 v/s Emotiva XpA-5

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Hi, I have had some great feedback from dedicated people over the past week on a couple of issues (Biamping and HT Bypass). Now I am posing a scenario that is the logical extension of these:

Current situation: New Polk RTi A9 speakers with Yamaha RV1000 receiver (2000 model does 5.1 dolby digital surround). Looking at upgrading receiver of buying new amp or both?

Option 1: Keep Yamaha receiver and buy Emotiva XPA-5 to improve all round performance

Pro: Should get immediate improvement in 2 channel and HT performance for a relatively cheap price.

Cons: Miss out on the advantages of a modern receiver such as the ONKYO 906 and all the new HT formats that it offers.

Option 2: Trash the Yamaha and buy the ONKYO 906.

Pro's: take advantage of the new HT formats with a very good receiver.

Con's: Not getting the advantage of having a dedicated amp plus it is the more expensive option.

Option 3: Buy both.

Pro's: no compromises.

Con's: expensive and maybe overkill.

Please give me your views on my options.

Thanks. Mark

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Myself I would buy the XPA-5 and look for a cheaper AVR that has all the new codecs and bells and whistles.

I had a Harman Kardon AVR255(really liked it) that had preouts can use a XPA-5. Sold it for $600

My suggestion would be to look for a cheaper AVR with Preouts and get the XPA-5 or even the new UPA-5.

Edited by rocky500

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I agree with Rocky, I've got myself a 2nd hand Rotel power amp and are pairing it with a cheap av-r with pre outs.

Have a look at the Integra DTR 30.1 or any other cheap receiver to begin with

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Rocky,

I am a little inclined both ways on this one. Change my mind every other day.

One thing I will say is that my get feeling is don't pay a fortune for AVR's as they are more or less consumables as the trends change. Wheras amps are more keepers for a long time.

The other thing that sticks with me is that almost everyone who has an amp rekons they out performs receivers on two channel sound quality.

So the logical way to go is buy a cheaper receiver and replace it every five or so years (if needed) and keepthe amp forever.

How do you see this analysis?

Mark

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Hi Organm,The Emotiva stuff is still a bit of an unkown quantity here but from what reports there are it seems to be getting a good rep for value for money.

A quality external power-amp does seem to offer a good upgrade over the internals of most AVR's in the mid price area and an inexpensive AVR seems to do a reasonable job as a pre/pro for movies.If you listen to 2ch music a fair bit of the time this may not be such a great route as cheap AVR's tend to mangle music.

Might be worth considering the matching pre/pro from Emotiva for good allround performance at a reasonable price.

Gordon

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Rocky,

I am a little inclined both ways on this one. Change my mind every other day.

One thing I will say is that my get feeling is don't pay a fortune for AVR's as they are more or less consumables as the trends change. Wheras amps are more keepers for a long time.

The other thing that sticks with me is that almost everyone who has an amp rekons they out performs receivers on two channel sound quality.

So the logical way to go is buy a cheaper receiver and replace it every five or so years (if needed) and keepthe amp forever.

How do you see this analysis?

Mark

That's the way I see it and depend on how far you want to go in improving the two channel aspect of your system you may want to consider a two channel pre with ht bypass in the future.

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The Polk's look pretty easy to drive. I'd just go with the 906. I think you'd see a bigger improvement getting better speakers than an external amp.

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Mark, just to make it (even) harder for you ....

A few comments on upgrades. HT receivers have technology that becomes out of date. Every now and again you have to upgrade to get new features, although a lot of the new features often aren't necessary. If you buy good power amps with plenty of power, they are a longer term investment. They need less frequent updating. If you cut corners here you will want to upgrade, but if you start with something that will do for a long time, you can better focus funds elsewhere. Speakers give you the most bang for buck and when you want to get better SQ, this is the first place to look, but not necessarily the first thing to spend money on.

Option 4

Get the Emotiva power amp first then upgrade the speakers. The latter will give you more bang for buck, but the amp is a good foundation. Upgrade the receiver when you decide there are some real features you see a need for that you will actually use.

Option 5

Consider studio power amps like Behringer A500. Also consider the Emotiva processor. I'd pair that with some power amps rather than spend over $1k on a receiver. It's a very powerful unit.

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