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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My system consists of SVS SCS-01s for L/C/R, and Paradigm atom monitor v5s for surround. PB-10NSD providing the subwoofage. The Atom monitors will be replaced with SVS SSS-01. Right now I have a 75wpc Denon avr-1706, and the SCSs are rated at 160w and 8 ohm speakers. It's used for my HTPC, an Auzentech Prelude 5.1 sound card optically connected to the Denon.

For my next upgrade, I'm wanting to step up to separates and get away from receivers for good. I listen at moderate volumes, occasionally high but never abusing equipment. I've been looking at the Emotiva line, I like their prices (trying to stay under 1200 for amp + processor) but I'm not sure whether I'm going to notice a difference between a 125wpc and a 200wpc with my SVS speakers and my listening habits. Are there any other internet direct companies with similar prices to Emotiva? Outlaw is about the only other one I've looked into and it seems a bit out of my price range. Other options I've been looking at have mostly been used Parasound, Rotel and the like. I should also say that I like a warm, neutral sound as opposed to in your face.

Again, I'm not looking to push the speakers to their limits or anything, but I want to make sure they have a solid power supply and all the headroom they'll need. If I do upgrade the mains down the road, I'll be adding another 2 or 3 channel amp to handle them. Thanks for any help :)
 

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My system consists of SVS SCS-01s for L/C/R, and Paradigm atom monitor v5s for surround. PB-10NSD providing the subwoofage. The Atom monitors will be replaced with SVS SSS-01. Right now I have a 75wpc Denon avr-1706, and the SCSs are rated at 160w and 8 ohm speakers. It's used for my HTPC, an Auzentech Prelude 5.1 sound card optically connected to the Denon.

For my next upgrade, I'm wanting to step up to separates and get away from receivers for good. I listen at moderate volumes, occasionally high but never abusing equipment. I've been looking at the Emotiva line, I like their prices (trying to stay under 1200 for amp + processor) but I'm not sure whether I'm going to notice a difference between a 125wpc and a 200wpc with my SVS speakers and my listening habits. Are there any other internet direct companies with similar prices to Emotiva? Outlaw is about the only other one I've looked into and it seems a bit out of my price range. Other options I've been looking at have mostly been used Parasound, Rotel and the like. I should also say that I like a warm, neutral sound as opposed to in your face.

Again, I'm not looking to push the speakers to their limits or anything, but I want to make sure they have a solid power supply and all the headroom they'll need. If I do upgrade the mains down the road, I'll be adding another 2 or 3 channel amp to handle them. Thanks for any help :)
If you don't need a 12v trigger look at a Yamaha P2500S. It's quiet cool and very powerful.
For separates get a receiver that has the features you want. Pre-pro's cost way too much due to their low volume.

An Onkyo 706 paired with a Yamaha P2500S would fill the bill. Surrounds and a Center would be fine splitting up the rest of the power. If you need a 12v trigger. Rotel Used market is the best deal going. Audiogon or ebay would work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Low volume as in there aren't a lot of them sold as opposed to receivers? Also, do you think my 160w speakers are going to want that much headroom? That amp is rated at 250wpc at 8 ohms.
 

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More power is always better than less Shaun, as you have a higher of risk damaging speakers with underpowered amps than you do with more, as you are more likely to clip the amp if pushed too hard.

It is just being sensible with the volume and making sure that you are not running continuously at very high volume levels.
 

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I don't think you should consider whether or not there is a difference between the 125 wpc and 200 wpc of the Emotivas, but what is the difference between a new amp and what you are currently using. You will not hear much difference between your 75 wpc receiver and a 125 wpc Emotiva, as you need to at least double the output (watts) to hear much of a difference (SPL not SQ). Hence, I'd recommend an XPA-5. The transient peaks of movies and music will just come off much better with more power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't think you should consider whether or not there is a difference between the 125 wpc and 200 wpc of the Emotivas, but what is the difference between a new amp and what you are currently using. You will not hear much difference between your 75 wpc receiver and a 125 wpc Emotiva, as you need to at least double the output (watts) to hear much of a difference (SPL not SQ). Hence, I'd recommend an XPA-5. The transient peaks of movies and music will just come off much better with more power.
That's what I was after. I knew these concepts from car audio, (installed professionally for a couple years, and have done it as a hobby for about 10) just wasn't positive that home speakers and amplifiers were rated in the same manner. I've been reading in a few places that 100 watts from a receiver doesn't hold a candle to 100w from a separate amp, and was thinking it was similar to how mobile head units are rated, in max rather than RMS power. SPL is not the concern, they already get about as loud as I need them to go, but I want to be sure they're well within the amplifiers limits and always sounding clean, so it looks like 200wpc it is.

I was surprised to see someone recommend only amping the front LR speakers though... wouldn't that sound unbalanced from the center, even with level matching? I'm thinking I just need to hold out until I can afford big 5 channel power... then if I move to towers or something down the road, add in a stout 2 channel to run them.

Thanks a lot for your input everyone :spend:
 

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Just remember that a receiver that rated for 75watts per channel is NOT going to output that all channels driven. The most you would get is 40watts as most companies only test output with two channels driven with a 1K tone not full range sweeps or pink noise. Receivers power supplies are normally not large enough to drive all channels simultaneously causing distortion and that is the sound quality difference you hear not the power output.
The dedicated external amp with a rating of 125watts per ch is going to be a huge step up from using the internal amps of most receivers.
 

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Just remember that a receiver that rated for 75watts per channel is NOT going to output that all channels driven. The most you would get is 40watts as most companies only test output with two channels driven with a 1K tone not full range sweeps or pink noise. Receivers power supplies are normally not large enough to drive all channels simultaneously causing distortion and that is the sound quality difference you hear not the power output.
The dedicated external amp with a rating of 125watts per ch is going to be a huge step up from using the internal amps of most receivers.
This is a generalization that Tony probably meant to apply to certain brands of receivers. There are certainly receivers out there that have a ton of power.

Still Pro-Amps have a better price point do to their high volume sales this is the same stuff your favorite band uses for a concert and it can drive almost any speaker.. They also include gain controls which the Emotiva doesn't have.

Speakers are blown by being overpowered. In an underpowered amp clipping actually drives the amp to output twice the output the amp is rated for. Few speakers can handle 60 sustained watts since most woofers are rated for 30watts. Clipping also leads to transient issues.

The only advantage an emotiva has over a pro amp is the 12v trigger, but that is a very nice feature and shouldn't be dismissed to quickly. Still I don't like amps without gain controls. Gain controls can help avoid major issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've decided for now to buy the best receiver I can afford (don't want to go over 800) and save the separate amp for another upgrade down the road. I would buy an amp, if my Denon had pre-amp outs :(

I found a deal on an Adcom GFR-700 for roughly what the Onkyo would set me back. It's 145wpc, 109 with all 5 channels driven. I only run 5.1 and don't need the extra 2. I do not care about upscaling and I don't believe the lack of HDMI audio on the Adcom will affect me. I can get just as high of quality audio from my PC using composite cables as HDMI audio right? I know my optical connection isn't ideal.

How would that Adcom compare to the SR805 or SR875? I'm guessing the Onkyos wouldn't be too far behind in terms of power output, but the Adcom I would assume is built with higher quality components. I guess I'm asking if the Audyssey processing capabilities of the Onkyos is going to outweigh the build quality of the Adcom in the end product that I hear, watching movies and playing 5.1 games on the computer?
 

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I do not know the Adcom amps but Auddyssey and flexibility and power that the Onkyo's give you would sway me, you say HDMI is not an issue but eventually you will have to jump on the HDMI bandwagon as analogue will be obsolete in a few years time :rolleyesno:
 

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For the price of the Onkyo 876 ($800 at accessories4less) you cant go wrong. The Adcom is a huge step down as far as I am concerned.
 

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You definitely would be brought up to date with an Onkyo TX-SR876. Seems to be a pretty good solution for you right now. Later, if you think you need to go nuts on three Emotiva XPA-1s and an XPA-2 you'll be all set for that upgrade. :bigsmile:
 

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You definitely would be brought up to date with an Onkyo TX-SR876. Seems to be a pretty good solution for you right now. Later, if you think you need to go nuts on three Emotiva XPA-1s and an XPA-2 you'll be all set for that upgrade. :bigsmile:
I would find an 875 and not the 876.

875 or 805 both have a much more robust amplifier section and better automatic correction. The 7 series starts adding more features but the 6 series were really the lost child of the 5,6,7 line up.
 

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The 876's amplifier section was not skimped on like the 806 was no issues there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What does the 875/6 offer to me over the 805, other than a little more power? From what I was reading last night, the upgrades were minimal considering the big price bump from the 805. I've found 2 or 3 805s in the 500 dollar range, getting close to pulling the trigger on one.
 

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The 805 does not have the HQV Reon video chip that gives you the very best video processing available but other than that they are virtually the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The 805 does not have the HQV Reon video chip that gives you the very best video processing available but other than that they are virtually the same.
I don't currently have a Blu-Ray drive, but the plan is to put one in the PC and keep it all contained there. I have an Auzentech Prelude sound card now, it's high end but a couple of years old, only have composite and optical outputs. Down the road I'll upgrade to the HTPC card Auzentech released with HDMI. It takes an input from the video card, and combines the video signal with its sound signal into an HDMI cable.

I'm reading up on the Reon chips and what they do, and it seems like it could be a very good thing for my HTPC setup. I have a few Blu-Ray disc images on my drives, so occasionally I watch high quality content, but its mostly lower quality video for now. All of the gaming I do is in 1920x1080 @ 60 hz.

What I'm not sure of though, is does it process the signal itself, or does it upscale to higher resolution? My computer will always be sending a 1080p signal, but if its playing an SD-DVD, or any of the many types of compressed video files, will it also be actively processing that?

If I will indeed see a difference in my PC's output signal, it'd justify the extra cost to me. I have no current plans to run a separate Blu Ray drive here.
 
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