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“Guess who just got back today

Them wild-eyed boys that had been away

Haven't changed that much to say

But man, I still think them cats are crazy”
– Thin Lizzy





Yes, friendly readers, the boys are back and ready to get their hands dirty! Over the last several years Home Theater Shack has delivered several exceptional audiophile evaluation events for three different price classes of loudspeakers ($1000, $2,500, and $3,000). The resulting write-ups have become invaluable resources, giving the rest of us a chance to see how highly regarded models stack-up against the competition in a controlled environment. If you’re wondering how popular these events have been, consider this: The results threads have generated more than 200,000 views. That’s a lot of eyes combing over critical impressions formed by expert ears. If you haven't taken the time to read the results, stop what you're doing and click on the supplied links. It's must read material.

This time, a team composed of Joe Alexander, Leonard Caillouet, Wayne Myers, and Sonnie Parker are joining forces to execute a “High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event” with a few non-amp twists. The event, taking place at Sonnie Parker’s dialed-in Cedar Creek Cinema, will feature eight world-class amps, including the Denon X5200 AVR, Krell Duo 175, Mark Levinson 532H, Parasound HALO A31, Pass Labs X250.5, Sunfire TGA-7401, Van Alstine Fet Valve 400R, and Wyred 4 Sound ST-500 MK II.



Chane's new A5rx-c will be one of four speakers used to evaluate the amps.


The team will be using four exciting speaker models to evaluate the amps*. The list includes Acoustic Zen’s Crescendo MK II (courtesy of Robert Lee, Acoustic Zen Technologies), Spatial Hologram’s M1 Turbo v2 (courtesy of Clayton Shaw, Spatial Audio), Chane Music & Cinema’s new A5rx-c (courtesy of Jon Lane, Chane), and Martin Logan’s ESL. A spin-off of the event results will be official speaker reviews of the Cresendo MK IIs, M1 Turbo v2s, and the A5rx-cs. We’ll have those reviews published in future months.

In addition to the amp and speaker evaluations, the team will also perform a direct comparison of Dirac Live and Audyssey XT32.



HTS Sponsor miniDSP is supplying a nanoAVR DL for the the Dirac Live vs XT32 evaluation.


The event is taking place this coming Thursday (March 12th) through Sunday (March 14th). Updates and comments will be posted on our 2015 High-End Amplifier Evaluation Event discussion thread, in addition, we’ll carry photos on our Facebook feed. Stay tuned for more information!


*Speaker cables/interconnects courtesy of Marrow Audio; miniDSP nanoAVR DL courtesy of miniDSP.
 

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That sounds like quite a feat! And only 4 days...ya'll are goning to be busy! That's a great selection of speakers & an even more impressive array of amplifiers. 8 ams with 4 speakers, that's 32 combinations & 2 separate evals per set. That's 64 evaluations in 4 days! HTS is kicking it up a notch! Looking forward to the write up guy's. Couldn't think of a better crew to do it....have fun!!!
 

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Really looking forward to the Dirac vs Audyssey XT32 as I am looking at a Dirac and haven't seen much on them.

Is the Audyssey XT32 a outboard EQ as well?
 

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I have no idea what the eval plan is, but if it is a double blind affair I would like to see a $250 Sony added to the mix, just for fun.
 

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Awesome event! You're going to tackle the amp question, eh? That should be interesting. Very glad also that you'll be comparing XT32 and Dirac, and that the new A5 will be put through the wringer. I'm so glad that this tradition is continuing at HTS and that Sonnie will be involved again. Looking forward to it, and subscribing to the relevant threads.
 

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I, for one, will be starting with the assumption that there are differences in the amps to be heard. And we will do everything we can to experience them and quantify them if possible.
 

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Under what conditions will you be assessing the differences in the amps if I might ask?
I assume you'll be level matching them, and doing double-blind comparisons?

The Audyssey vs Dirac will be interesting, though it would be great if you could include ARC, MCCAC and YPAO as well :)
 

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Under what conditions will you be assessing the differences in the amps if I might ask?
I assume you'll be level matching them, and doing double-blind comparisons?

The Audyssey vs Dirac will be interesting, though it would be great if you could include ARC, MCCAC and YPAO as well :)

The best place to ask is here:

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/home-theater-receivers-processors-amps/114753-home-theater-shack-2015-high-end-amplifier-evaluation-event-preparations-thread.html


The gang doing the evaluation is more likely to see it there.
 

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It will be very interesting to see how Emotiva compares
 

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But I thought amps don't make a difference when it comes to sound? I'm just playin! I went from Emo to Sim to ATI and wow what a difference! I would love to see an ATI in the mix b/c they may not be the prettiest but dang they sound amazing!
 

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I have heard really good things about the TPA3116 based amp boards. Barebones boards can be had for about $10.

Here is a complete amp sans power supply for $80
http://www.amazon.com/SMSL-SA-60-60WPC-Digital-Amplifier/dp/B00PA3ECGK

Astron RS12a power supply $90
http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-004423

Or a 12V li-ion rechargeable battery $22
http://www.amazon.com/Portable-4500mAh-Rechargeable-Battery-Wireless/dp/B008UKKXRC

I think it would be interesting to see how these boards compare with the expensive amps.
 

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I have heard really good things about the TPA3116 based amp boards. Barebones boards can be had for about $10.

Here is a complete amp sans power supply for $80
http://www.amazon.com/SMSL-SA-60-60WPC-Digital-Amplifier/dp/B00PA3ECGK

Astron RS12a power supply $90
http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-004423

Or a 12V li-ion rechargeable battery $22
http://www.amazon.com/Portable-4500mAh-Rechargeable-Battery-Wireless/dp/B008UKKXRC

I think it would be interesting to see how these boards compare with the expensive amps.
I have read where people had tube amps and moved to T chip amps because they sounded as good or better.:T
 

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I have read where people had tube amps and moved to T chip amps because they sounded as good or better.:T
I suppose some might say that but I have never heard it. Most tube users specifically like the sound of tubes.
 
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