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Discussion Starter #1
i am currently contemplating purchasing an external amp. i am looking at a emotiva xpa-3/5 or a acurus 100 x 3 (both used). while i am somewhat "content" with my current set up, i feel like i am missing midbass or something is missing in the middle frequency range. for receiver i am currently running an onkyo 605 but have a HK avr 254 as well.

i have paradigm mini-monitors specs_here and the cc-290 specs_here (both v5) for the fronts and paradigm adp 190 surrounds.

i listen at pretty high volumes--not reference levels--but loud. the highs appear to be there and my shiva sub handles the lows with ease, but i am wondering if it is the speakers themselves or lack of juice from the onkyo. i believe the front speakers are crossed at 80Hz and the rear at 120.

would an amp help the front soundstage?
 

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Yes, a seperate power amp will always be of benefit and the front soundstage is the most important as it is used far more often than the surrounds are, which are only there for effects and ambient sound, it will also give you more flexibility when you feel the need to upgrade as you could go for either a better reciever or a pre/pro which will again give more performance gains to your system...

Just a thought though, I am not sure that 605 has pre outs, if it does not then you would not be able to feed it through a seperate power amp...
 

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Hello,
John is right on. I have owned many Paradigm speakers over the years and they really do transform when you add a powerful amplifier.

If using an outboard amplifier, you would have to use the H/K because the 605 does not have preouts. You are correct about that.

I am a huge fan of Mondial Designs (Aragon/Acurus). Though no longer in business, they made awesome amplifiers. I absolutely love my Aragon 8008BB.

All the same, I would go with the Emotiva as it will be brand new and offers absurd value. Your Paradigm's will be reinvigorated with an amplifier.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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Yes, a seperate power amp will always be of benefit and the front soundstage is the most important as it is used far more often than the surrounds are...
Hello,
John is right on. I have owned many Paradigm speakers over the years and they really do transform when you add a powerful amplifier.
Sure, a good amp can improve the soundstage and dynamics, but make up for midbass or midrange that is lacking? And it shows up with not one but two receivers (Onkyo and HK)? That seems to me like a room problem that needs either EQ, speaker repositioning, or both... :huh:

Regards,
Wayne

 

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That seems to me like a room problem that needs either EQ, speaker repositioning, or both... :huh:
I agree here. The mids many times are especially vulnerable to comb filtering from the room and room reflections from speaker positioning. Are the speakers close to a back wall, side wall or corner? All of which can reinforce the bass and make the midrange sound lower.

I would move them around some first and see if it doesn't change. Make sure you are running the receiver with no signal processing when you are testing. You could also do some gated nearfield measurements to check the speakers response.

I would be curious how they compare with the two different receivers. If all processing is turned off, they should essentially sound the same.
 

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Sure, a good amp can improve the soundstage and dynamics, but make up for midbass or midrange that is lacking? And it shows up with not one but two receivers (Onkyo and HK)? That seems to me like a room problem that needs either EQ, speaker repositioning, or both... :huh:

Regards,
Wayne
very true wayne, I would of thought that the Onkyo with it's Audyssey could of assisted but if the room is really bad it just might not be able correct it, the 605 Audyssey is not as powerful and with very few filters this could possibly be why...speaker repositioning and then retrying Audyssey could help :)
 

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The easiest solution I think is changing speaker locations, like Wayne mentioned. Moving subwoofers and speakers even a foot or less can make a drastic difference. Although, it may be hard to tell and it will take some time to find the right spot, this can really make a massive difference in the sound.

Adding an amp can help, but I think you'll have better results just playing with speaker location.
 

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I think that by adding an Emotiva XPA-5 to your system, you'll gain tremendously in what you're looking for.

I'll say go for it (you still have 30 days to change your mind).
And when you do, let us know.

Cheers,
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
i moved the speakers out and away from their corner location. I was/am a little limited on how far i can move the speakers towards the center but moving them out is not an issue. my room is 10'11" X 19'8" X 9' (WxLxH). i have no room treatments and when i clap my hands, i can hear it echo. I believe some form of room treatment would be beneficial, just not sure where to start.

I am attaching a layout of the room. just an overhead view to show a general placement of speakers and equipment and not 100% to scale, but just wanted to give an idea.

any suggestions on where to begin?

also, I ditched the HK (firmware glitches) and picked up a marantz sr5003 and an emotiva xpa-3. will be hooking up today. not sure if it will make a difference as i believe the room has a lot to do with the issues.
 

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If you hear a good amount of clap echo then some acoustical sound diffusors and absorbers will be necessary. There are plenty of options out there for style, color, size, etc. I have yet to get into sound treatment myself, so I can't make any specific recommendations there myself, but I know that plenty of people here will be able to help!
 

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Congratulations on your Marantz SR5003 / Emotiva XPA3 combination!

It was a fantastic choice.

* Some absorbing panels between your front speakers and primary couch (on the side walls)
should be beneficial, that's a really good place to start.
 

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So how does it sound? I know that when I added an outboard amp to my setup for the first time I was blown away by the difference. I always thought a watt was a watt was a watt until that day...
 

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So how does it sound? I know that when I added an outboard amp to my setup for the first time I was blown away by the difference. I always thought a watt was a watt was a watt until that day...
Hi Jarrod,

I guess your question is for Rudy?

* I'm sure he's totally happy with the sound result.
An external amp will add more dynamic headroom and oomph to your system, and more clarity too.
~ 'Blown away' is not an exaggeration. I fully agree with your statement.
 

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I always thought a watt was a watt was a watt until that day...
Its not about "IF" the amps in a receiver can do when they are rated to do, its about the power supply that supply's the amps that is usually not big enough to power them. This will cause noticeable distortion and in extreme cases trip the receivers safety circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
i am extremely pleased with the marantz alone. i connected the xpa-3 and i believe there is simply too much power for my speakers. at higher volumes (what i watch movies at), i heard what sounded like hissing. a high pitched ssssssssssssssss is the best way to describe it. this came from the 3 fronts that were connected to the emotiva. i disconnected and switched back to the marantz alone and the hiss was no longer present. i have fairly efficient speakers and was told an external amp, at least in my situation, is overkill and could potentially damage the speakers.

I decided rather than push the speakers beyond their limits, i would simply sell my xpa-3 and focus on room treatments. i believe this will be the most beneficial for my room and budget at the moment.
 

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I missed that you were trying to drive mini-monitors. Those speakers are great but they don't require a big amp to drive them well (which is one of their nice qualities IMO). I used to have a pair of Atoms in the spare room, myself...

I would double-check your crossover settings on the receiver and your subwoofer. In particular, make sure your sub amp's crossover is defeated (if it can be turned off), or turned to its highest frequency setting (if it can't be turned off). If your reciever is crossing over at 80Hz, and you also have your sub's crossover engaged, it can create a "hole" near the crossover frequency.

Something as simple as watching an SPL meter while a frequency sweep tone plays through your system will help you pinpoint the area that needs most attention. If you can do that to quantify the issue, it would help a lot.
 

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... at higher volumes (what i watch movies at), i heard what sounded like hissing. a high pitched ssssssssssssssss is the best way to describe it. this came from the 3 fronts that were connected to the emotiva...
Probably is the infamous "ground loop"...I have the same problem when I use my Samson, I haven't look for a solution yet.

I suggest you to keep your amplifier, it will come handy when you upgrade your speakers, you can reconnect everything again and look for a solution to the hum ...there's some really easy :T
 

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Discussion Starter #18
i am in no rush to upgrade speakers. paradigm has some new SE series coming out that i am hoping to audition. i believe room treatments will be the next step and will be more beneficial than upgrading speakers at the moment. i also need to figure out all the options with the speaker settings, eq, etc within the receiver. time for me to R_T_F_M!!! :flex:
 

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Your Emotiva XPA-3 is a terrific power amplifier, keep it.

* Your problem is not too much power, it is probably a ground loop or a gain to adjust;
or from the receiver end or from your power amp (if avail.).
-> You should call Emotiva, and let them know about this, they'll help you out.

** Happens to other people too, and I know there is a solution.
 
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