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Discussion Starter #1
I am in search for a 5 channel amp for my HT setup. I have read quite a lot of threads in the forums and I am inclined towards the XPA-5. Can anyone share their experience pairing this amp with the Polk Lsi Speakers? I heard that the XPA5 has great sound stage, more forward and dynamic which is good for the laid back LSi speakers. However, on the other hand, I was told that it would be better to get a used Parasound (HCA-2205) or B&K 7250 which are more refined and warmth. However, these two amps are between 5-10 years old. BTW, budget is around $800 for the amp.

What do you guys think? Should I go with Emotiva or used Parasound or B&K? Any inputs, thoughts or opinion are very much appreciated. Also what is the best preamp processor is the best bang for the buck. My budget is around $500 for the preamp. Used or new is fine with me.

Thanks!!
 

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Hello,
Welcome to HomeTheaterShack.
While well made solid state amplifiers can last for decades, you well might be best served with the Emotiva. With their generous audition/return policy, you really have little to lose except return shipping worst case.

The XPA-5 is a very good amplifier that should serve you well. It does have a smaller power transformer and less capacitance than the 2205. Then again, the 2205 originally retailed for 3 times the asking price of the Emotiva. And this was 5-10 years ago. The 2205 was a critically acclaimed amplifier which achieved AAA status from Stereophile Guide to Home Theater. They really are in different price classes and the 2205 is more powerful. Then again, it is also used. Moreover, used 2205's often sell for 1000 Dollars plus. Which does speak well for it.

B&K makes excellent products as well and I really like that they are made in America. I have not auditioned the 7250, but I am sure it is an excellent product.

Preamp processor wise, I would save or spend just a few hundred more and purchase a refurbished Onkyo PR-SC885 or 886. The 885 has been available for 800 Dollars lately at Accesories4less and is fully up to date and offers excellent video processing. The PR-SC886 is the replacement model and will cost 1-200 Dollars more. It does offer ISF Modes, Audyssey Volume, and other revisions.

It seems you have misgivings about purchasing a used power amplifier. While purchasing used can provide you high end sound for midfi money, there is the risk of needing maintenance and repair.
Your Polk's are not terribly inefficient and the vast majority of Polk's are designed to be used with AV Receivers. The Emotiva will be a major upgrade from the power supply of 99% of AV Receivers.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Hi JJ,
Someone is selling me the Parasound HCA-2205 for about the same price as a brand new XPA-5. If you are in my shoes, which will will you choose to go with my Lsi's? Per seller, condition is 8/10 on Audiogon scale. Do you think I will gain more sonic difference in HCA-2205 versus the XPA-5? I know the only drawback prolly the warranty in which XPA-5 gives me a 5 years warranty and of course the risk of breaking down in the near term.
 

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Hello,
The Parasound is a more powerful amplifier with far greater current reserves. All the same, the Emotiva has more than enough power/current to meet most people's needs.

If you have a large room and playback at really high SPL's, the Parasound will have more gravitas. Again, with the Emotiva, you do have a return window to audition and see if that meets your needs. Certainly an amazing price for a 5 Channel Amplifier. Internet Direct companies definitely have major advantages in regards to pricing.
JJ
 
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