Red Dragon vs Emotiva - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 8 Old 07-11-11, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Red Dragon vs Emotiva

At present you can get 2 different 1KW mono Blocks for < $900. The Red Dragon M1000 and the Emotiva XPA1. One is class D the other class A/B.

If I were to want to plunk down my coins, I am not sure which I would buy. Anyone want to help?

I have 2 Emotiva XPA2s and an XPA3. So I know about the company, and their products seem pretty solid, except the XPA2 has a hard time driving a pair of Carver AL III + to high volume. I am not sure that the Carvers will stay, as I also have a pair of KEF 105.4s which sound good, and have more SAF in my living room. The XPA2 can drive the KEFs to insane levels, without a problem

I don't know much about Red Dragon other than the little I've read, which all seems positive. I like the physical size and power consumption of the class D, but don't know about the SQ, product reliability, company staying power or integrity, etc.

So has anyone here had any experience with Red Dragon? How would they compare against the XPA1? If I hear one apples/oranges cliche, I will literally scream.

The XPA1s are only on sale for three more days so I gotta decide quick.

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post #2 of 8 Old 07-12-11, 05:58 AM
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Re: Red Dragon vs Emotiva

The lack of specs on the red dragons are frightening, not to mention the snake oil on their website.

The arcitechure used is ICEPower, but many have seen some ICEPower implementations to be clearly lacking in transparency.

The fact that they`re claiming `SET sound` is particularily scary. SET amps are notorious for sounding bad to all but confused audiophiles.

If I were considering Red Dragon amps, I would definitely demand an output impedance specification. If it`s any higher than 1 ohm (and it really, honestly should NOT be any higher than 0.01 ohm) then I would STEER CLEAR.

If you are looking into 1000 watt class D monoblocks, I would feel a lot more comfortable with the SeymourAV builds.

As you can see, their website is a lot more professional with REAL specifications including output impedance and intermodulation distortion.

Beyond that, I'll say this. ICEBlock modules can produce 1000 watts only instantaneously and will measure much worse into an RMS measurement, but the emotivas will be able to draw this kind power continuously until your circuit breaker trips. I don't know how relevant that is for music content though.

Out of those options, I would definitely go with the Emotiva. If you really want to ensure that you're feeding the Carvers, I would look into a DIY or Pro Audio amp that is designed to be 2 ohm stable.

For Pro Audio amps, this guy would work. -

As far as sound quality you wouldn't have any concerns - face amps are extremely well designed. If there's anything to consider, there may be a bit of fan noise audible at low levels unless you can hide the amp in another room or closet. What I can say is that even the XPA-1 is not rated into a 2 ohm load while this is - it has current reserves in abundance. For a reactive load like what the carvers appear to be, I would feel most comfortable with the face amps.

For DIY amps, I would look into building one of the upcoming Class D Hypex NCores with a custom high current power supply, although i admit that a DIY amp might be a bit complex.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-12-11, 07:15 AM
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Re: Red Dragon vs Emotiva

Since you already have preexisting Emotiva's, I would absolutely go with the XPA-1 as it uses the same Gain Structure, etc.. Moreover, I too am not familiar with Red Dragon, but the XPA-1 is my favorite Emotiva Amplifier my a Country Mile.

Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-12-11, 02:56 PM
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Re: Red Dragon vs Emotiva

The XPA-1 is also a fully balanced design input to output I believe:

Topology: Fully Discrete, Dual Differential
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-12-11, 02:59 PM
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Re: Red Dragon vs Emotiva

Also check out D-Sonic.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-12-11, 03:09 PM
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Re: Red Dragon vs Emotiva

Go with the XPA-1. My amps are Emotiva and I am very happy with them

Mains Goldenear Triton One's
Center Channel- Goldenear Super Centre XL
Surrounds- Goldenear SuperSat 50's
Amps - Bryston 4Bsst2/Emotiva XPA-5
Processor -Onkyo PR-SC5508
Projector - Sony VPL-HW55ES
Screen- Elunevision 140 inch 4K Audio Weave. Aspect ratio 2.35 gain 1.2 fixed screen
Bluray/Universal player-OPPO 105D
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-12-11, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Red Dragon vs Emotiva

I am not displeased with my Emotiva Amps.

But they are large. Space is a bit of a premium. I do drive a Ford Fusion Hybrid, just installed a heat pump water heater, have impact resistant low e windows, just got a variable flow pool pump, so I was hoping that a class D amp at a good price would be a good investment from an energy conservation point of view.

So I take it that no one has any personal experience with these amps.

I tend to come down on the side of audio that find $6,000 interconnect cables and power cords to be analagous to the emperor's new clothes. Perhaps that is because I have (as my father used to say) a tin ear, perhaps I am too cheap, or maybe I try to analyze things too rationally.

I do agree that Red Dragon seems to be running a shoe string operation, but, in today's business environment if you aren't lean you get eaten or sink because of your own mass and inertia.

So how do we go about determining whether Red Dragon is selling the elixir of life or garden variety snake oil?

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post #8 of 8 Old 07-13-11, 12:22 AM
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Re: Red Dragon vs Emotiva

For $900 get a Face F700. Efficient and rock solid.
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dragon , emotiva , red

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