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I am considering adding some outboard amplification to augment the output of my Onkyo TX-NR807 AVR but have not decided whether I want a 2 channel or 3 channel amp. I'm confident the AVR has enough power to drive my surrounds and, in the future, rear surrounds but I need to decide whether I want to add the center channel to the outboard amplification or leave it powered by the AVR. My mains are Polk Audio RTi A7s while my center channel is a Polk Audio CSi3 (5-1/4" mid-woofer).
Originally, I was only considering the 2-channel amp to drive the mains for stereo listening but then I started wondering if the additional power going to the center channel would benefit movie audio. I am also considering upgrading the center channel to the larger matching CSi A6 with 6-1/2" mid/woofer drivers so that may come into play as well.
The amplifier models I am looking at are the Emotiva XPA-2 or XPA-3. The XPA-2 is rated for more output per channel than the XPA-3 but the XPA-3 is cheaper.
I am currently leaning towards the XPA-3 but any suggestions and information that would help in the decision making process would be appreciated.
 

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Hi, a lot of people do use separate amps for powering there mains and are fairly happy with the outcome, but IMO it is important to keep the front sound stage for Home Cinema powered by the same amp/amps, if it were me I would go for the Emotiva 3 channel power amp and let the AVR deal with the surrounds, and possibly add another amp in the future for more power if needed.
 

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Lester, I have similar questions as you. I'm planning an HT room with Paradigm Signature 8's, C5 and ADP3's with Emotiva amps and a pre-amp. I was thinking of using the XPA-2 for the mains and XPA-3 for the center and surrounds.

Recruit, if I understand you correctly, you are telling Lester and I to use the same size amp for both the mains and center, so my plan wouldn't be the best application.
 

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The centre channel in a HC application is the most important speaker and therefore should be treated that way IMO, it's not to say your way would not work it may well and you would be happy but I would recommend in keeping them the same.

Edit: Just realised you are using all XPA (Emotiva) amps so you should be fine as they should be closely matched in terms of output and gain settings, my issue is when using amps of different makes.
 

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Lester
I recently purchased the XPA-3 to power the L/C/R and it has made a huge improvement to my front sound stage. My mains are SVS MTS-01's. MY centre is SVS MCS-01. I use the AVR to power the surrounds. I agree with John that you should use the same amp to power the L/C/R to keep your front sound stage consistent.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks John.

Lester I would love to hear your opinion of the Emotiva when you get it; I'm still a long way from having a room built and ready for equipment.
I certainly will as soon as I convince my wife of the absurdity of her delusional claim that I have been spending too much on HT gear. :unbelievable:
 
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