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alexc

To power amp or not!

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Recently updated my system and still trying to get rid of the upgrade bug  :)

 

Currently running some B & W CM9s and CMC2 through a Yamaha RX-A820 and wondering if I should get a power amp. And if so which one!

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Definitely a power amp IMO. I have owned only Yamaha rx-v series my entire life and then I bought the rx-v1900 which had a completely different sound to my previous model. I have just recently added an Elektra HD which I got for $2500 (ex demo). I was going to get the first version of it on here second hand at $1800 which is a bargain for a 7 ch amp that does 185wrms and up depending on the speaker impedence.

 

More people should be able to chime in as i'm new to power amps but it made a considerable difference to my Aarons that I have had for a long time. For me its hard to describe how good it is as it just gives the speaker (my speakers ATS5) the fullness I think that a receiver cannot. I could also drive the speakers to there limits where they did not distort but I found they just fell over like there limit was reached cleanly?

 

My Elektra HD is a keeper for me as it is everything I wanted for my speakers...

 

http://clefhifi.com.au/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=56&products_id=70&osCsid=eda1c956e4ea8393c481887ae24b3c7b

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Absolutely get a power amp.  Those speakers are far too good for a reciever like that (not to belittle yamaha but a $4K pair of speakers should not ideally be paired with a sub $1K receiver).  The combo probably sounds fine, but it could sound a whole lot better.

 

Which power amp is a question of how many channels you want and what your budget is, these links should whet your appetite (at least a little).

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/QUAD-99-Power-Amp-2-x-90-Watts-RMS-/321102251152?pt=AU_Electronics_Audio_Amplifiers&hash=item4ac32f8490

 

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Primare-30-5-Power-Amplifier-/251256383536?pt=AU_Electronics_Audio_Amplifiers&hash=item3a800c2830

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All the B&W speakers I have owned over the years have benefited with the addition of a power amplifer.

They all like a bit of power shoved up them !

Some benefits include greater resolution at lower listening levels and higher dynamic capabilities at louder levels. Bass and midrange seem more tight and defined also.

Edited by L J T

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All the B&W speakers I have owned over the years have benefited with the addition of a power amplifer.

They all like a bit of power shoved up them !

 

+1 from my experience with B&W's too...

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Thanks for the comments guys. I am considering the emotiva XPA-3 though I have heard people say that a dedicated Stereo Amp has better musicality.

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Hi Alex

I am a newby here but recently did the same thing. I upgraded an old AVR to a new 3D compatible one only to find that I lost much of my 2 channel sound. I looked at power amps but decided on an Integrated Amp with a fixed input or HT bypass to get the best of both worlds. I also wanted tonal controls and I do not believe the power amps have them. I choose the Cambridge Audio 851A and am very happy with it. To my surprise, when I run my CDP (DVD really) via my AVR then via the power amp mode in my Int Amp, it sounds so much better then before, but running it as an integrated amp still trumps it. It was such a difference, that I am now looking at a Dedicated CDP or maybe OPPO.

Good luck

Thanks for the comments guys. I am considering the emotiva XPA-3 though I have heard people say that a dedicated Stereo Amp has better musicality.

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An integrated amp with HT bypass (like JKSpinner says) might be a better and more flexible choice.

 

It will allow you to route 2 channel sources straight to your stereo... rather than through the preamplifier stage of your AVR.

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hmm, I was hoping to power the centre channel thru a power amp as well. Decisions, decisions. I did some quick checks on shipping the XPA-3 over from the states @%^#$! Such a shame.

Edited by alexc

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I got a quote from Emotiva direct when I was shopping and it was $309 approx shipping for either the XPA-5 or XPR-5. That was via FedEx Economy (4 business days delivery door to door!) so I'd say its $1 per KG or close.

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I just checked with them about shipping and it was $270 to Sydney. Must've been using the wrong options on the fedex site. So the amp would come in under $1k landed!

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Yes even with the ridiculous shipping prices the products are still cheap compared with anything here!

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I have a XPA3 & I absolutely love the thing. It's not going anywhere until it dies or my arse is no longer 90deg to the ground! My shipping was $280 to Newcastle and delivery was 9 days. Ansd speak about shipping. How's $846 to ship a sub to here from Rythmic's distributor? Glad I went SVS!

Edited by digitalhome

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+1 on the Emo route.. using an XPA-2 to run in some 683's and the change over the AVR is night and day....

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Thanks for the tips guys. Now I am considering if I am better off with the XPA-5 so I could just get a dedicated PreProcessor in the future; LOL.

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XPA-5 would be a great amplifier for your setup.

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Thanks for the tips guys. Now I am considering if I am better off with the XPA-5 so I could just get a dedicated PreProcessor in the future; LOL.

Hi Alex,

 

Definitely get a power amp the difference is huge. I had a Denon AVC-3800 and Whatmough P30 speakers both bought about 12 yrs ago, which I have always been happy with until a year ago, as the Amp seemed to not be quite right in a couple of ways. Obviously I don't change on a whim if I'm happy with the sound, but we all suffer from upgaditis at some time.

 

I decided if I changed I would go Pre/pro and power amp because changes in technology change so often now, atleast the poweramp you can keep for a long time.

 

I bought a new Rotel Pre/pro on Grays for less than $600 delivered in Dec. and waited for a poweramp to come up here or DTV,   I would have preferred an Elektra, but they all seemed to be selling  in other states.

 

I came across  Emotiva and having read here and DTV of people happy with them and they had a sale, I ordered  a XPA-5 costing about $275 to ship, a total of about $1100.

 

I hooked it up to the new pre/pro but didn't have front right working. I changed cables, everthing, to no avail. Finally to recheck and have some music, I put the old Denon back, discovered it had pre/outs and set it up for stereo using two of the 4 inputs to the power amp that were Ok and the sound was not what I had ever heard before, just a huge improvement. I really rediscovered stereo.  With the Denon previously it had to be in 5.1 to sound any good.

 

Turned out the switch for XLR or RCA was not quite in position for the F/R channel.

 

Hooked the Rotel back up, can't be happier, after 12 yrs,. the Whatmoughs are sounding how they should have been. No doubt there are other power amps that could be better, but I am very happy, for the extra I would get the XPA-5. I play SACD's and finally I can hear the rears, that is also the difference with the power amp.

 

Joey

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emotiva usally have afew sales during the year and thats the time to buy if you want to save afew bucks

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Yeah definitely go the sales at Emo. Savings will help you absorb some of your freight costs. I think my two XPA5s, at my door,

cost about $2100

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I had the opposite experience to many here. I bought a 5 channel Bryston to power my ML1 HT setup. Improvements over my Onkyo were meagre at best.

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Just a note about the Emotiva amplifiers, the warranty is transferrable. I just sold a pair of monos and I'm in the process of transferring the warranty. Just waiting on details from the buyer. This adds value and peace of mind for those wanting to purchase them second hand :)

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hi , i have some rotel old school class a/b power amps for sale, some 5 x 200w and some 2 x 200w. see my ad in home theatre classifieds

 

also,b&w use rotel amplification in their r&d, could be a good match up.

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