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I am looking for a budget solution to power a set of Polk Rti 9a (my first set of towers), my budget is around 600-800. I have a computer hooked up to a Yamaha receiver with pre-outs. I am deciding between a few options and I was wondering which one would sound better:

Option 1: get two Behringer A500 and bi-amp them vertically.
Option 2: get a Yamaha PX3 and just power them normally.

Are there any advantages to bi-amping given that they end up roughly the same about of power per channel? (300watts at 8 ohms)

Option 3: save up a bit to get a Crown XLS2502 or a Yamaha PX5 and power them with roughly 500watts per channel. (is it worth the extra money?)

Are there other better options that I have missed that fit my budget? I know I can get used hardware but I don't know enough to hunt down the proper gear. Am I too focused on power, does it really matter?

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I'd say not worth the money for the px5, and don't bother biamping, as there's nothing to gain there. The px3 looks nice the crowns seem to get love from lots of guys too though. I use a Yamaha p2500s for my mains and it's great. The used market is great. Just look for the same stuff like you would new(px3 etc). Things I would look for is condition and what kind of environment it lived in. Power is important but only up to a point. You'll definitely need some headroom but you don't need 750wpc. Px3 looks good to me. Or the pseries like I use.


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What's wrong with using the existing Yamaha receiver?


Huh, never thought of that! Probably nothing at all. Only thing might be if those polkies are power hungry, or have low impedance dips the avr might go into protection as yamahas seem more sensitive to. Sane person volume levels might not be a problem, but we don't know any habits or room info.
And amps are just cool...


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You'll be hard-pressed to really *need* the 500w/ch. If the spec sheet is mathematically accurate, you're looking at ~116dB @ 500w. For a home theater, that's INSANE. Also, at 200w you'd be at 113dB, so that last 3dB costs a lot in terms of power. Personally, I wouldn't spend the money on the extra amplifier power when the odds are very slim that it will ever be needed.

At $600-$800 you can get a very respectable amplifier new, and with a little bit of digging you can get a real monster used. I'm a fan of Crown myself (I have an XLS1000 and a 1500 in my HT, and another 1000 in my 2.0 system as well as a long history of pounding them into the dirt in professional rigs), and I've also got an old BGW that sounds great. The Yamaha's are nice too, but I have less direct experience with them.
 
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