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We may be replacing an amp soon, and are considering the XPA-2, as well as others.

It will be used in a dedicated 2 channel system paired with a vacuum tube pre-amp.

How does Emotiva rank when compared to Parasound, Adcom, or B&K? The build quality looks impressive, and the price is right, but.................what about the sound?
 

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I thought their amps sound a bit cold and bright for my taste and I ran it with a tube pre amp aswell, I prefer the Parasound signature as I have a HCA800 here too. I do know that every system is different so you may or may not find what I did and sure others will disagree with me cause we all have different views of what amps sound like...........for me it was a dud.....plenty of power and control but its sound wasnt at all pleasing. I think Rotel sounds bright too but its better than Emo, Parasound is warmer still.
 

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From what I have read and having demoed the X series Emotiva power amplifiers myself, I would have to say that the intentions of the chief designer of these amps are very true to his description. Lonnie Vaughn designed these to do exactly what an amplifier is supposed to do, take the source signal and amplify it without coloration. One may actually hear a difference in classes of amplifiers, but these class AB power amplifiers add nothing to the signal received and passes it to the speakers uncolored, thus what most enthusiasts that love to add a description to electronics would call "neutral". In reality don't you want to hear what the artist or producer of a given cd/movie meant for you to hear? If I can hear a difference other than the opening of a soundstage in different power amplifiers of the same class then I believe that manufacturer felt it necessary to alter the source signal, thus not hearing what the artist really meant for you to hear. In ones home theater, your source and speakers are the largest factors of what you are hearing and I don't mean loudness, and outside of the electronics, room treatments are the single largest factor. I guess what I'm trying to say, is if your home theater sound changes dramatically from replacing an amplifier of the same class, then it wasn't doing its intended job to begin with, which is amplifying the source signal without coloration. One more thing, Emotiva as a home theater manufacturer, also builds electronics for other well known brands, so what you may have already heard in someone elses home theater, may have been designed by Jade Design owned by Dan Laufman, who owns Emotiva.
 

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We may be replacing an amp soon, and are considering the XPA-2, as well as others.

It will be used in a dedicated 2 channel system paired with a vacuum tube pre-amp.

How does Emotiva rank when compared to Parasound, Adcom, or B&K? The build quality looks impressive, and the price is right, but.................what about the sound?
I have a pair of XPA-1 to power a pair of Jamo R909. It sounds great to my ears. I listen to Rock, Jazz, Electro, Funk, you name it. Source is the bargain high-end ERC-1 CD player. I am using a cheap old inKel preamp until Emotiva releases their DAC-pre. The XX, Kraftwerk and Charles Mingus never sounded better. Below-par recordings however will be not very pleasing indeed. As it should be. What are the speakers you are using? Speakers (and the room) are the single most important factor, like LCSeminole said. Choose the amps that your speakers deserve. I have read in magazines that the budget should be sources/amps/speakers each 1/3. This is wrong. Choose the best speakers you can afford (my Jamo's are 2nd hand, 2 and 1/2 years old for 1/3 of the list price:unbelievable:) and choose a good affordable amp to power them. Every Emotiva amp is a bargain. Who do you think is manufacturing Parasound products in China?
 

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I own (2) XPA-2 (1) XPA-5 and a (1) USP-1. The XPA-2 and the XPA-5 I have in my HT 7.1. I am running a Yammy RX-V863, I use the XPA-2 for my 2 front mains, and the XPA-5 to run my center, sides and rear surrounds. My speakers are all Mirage OMD-15 front mains, OMD-C1 center channel, OMD-5 side and rear surrounds. I am a 50/50 music movie, and could not be happier. In my music room I have the XPA-2 with the USP-1 hooked up to a pair of Mirage OMD-28. Very neutral sound to me love it, at a bargin price.
 

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I have run the XPA-2 with the RPA-2 preamp for about a year now and have had no negative things to say about it. I'm not sure why some people feel it sounds cold. It's a solid state amplifier, so it's going to sound less warm than a tube amp but I would by no means say that it has any sort of coloration. It's a neutral powerhouse of a 2 channel amp. If you're on the fence definitely go for it. You won't regret it.
 
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