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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, this is my first post to the shack! I can't believe I missed such great forum for years(I had an account without looking at HT stuff for years and got removed)

I am currently in a situation of moving into new place and opportunity to upgrade my HT setup with limited budget. Long story short, I am making a list for the electronics:
Oppo Bluray player
Emotiva UMC-1
Parasound/Rotel/Emotiva

I am looking for an 5 channel amp among these 3 brands and trying to keep the budget within $2000 total(so $800 or less for the amp, or $1500 for both pro/amp). I am fine with both class A/B or digital amp offered in these companies. For the budget am I in the right direction? The processors are generally double the price or even more, or is there other good alternatives?

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds like you're already on the right track. An Emotiva amp will fit the bill nicely at $800.
Thanks,

I have never heard of Emotiva before until I do some research recently. It seems they gained their reputation a lot recently for being reasonable price and performing well in the same time. Parasound and Rotel have been around for a while and well respected by people, which offers excellent quality as well. I would not worry about their second hand being defected or anything.

As Parasound and Rotel I am looking for a second hand off audiogon etc., they are around the same price. Would it still better to have Emotiva over Parasound/Rotel? If so why would that be?
Thanks again :wave:
 

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Can you use your current AVR as processor and just add some power to run the speakers???
Nope....... my AVR do not have the preout and it lacks HDMI and new DD/DTS format decoding...... which I would prefer to get a new one in the same time as I am getting into Bluray as well
 

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I personally wouldn't sweat the Rotel/Parasound name over Emotiva. For the same mone, I'd say it would be personal preference. My experience with amp (admittedly most live sound versus Home Theater) is that as long as their loud and clean, they don't effect the sound of your system as much as other components such as your speakers, room treatments, and even AVR. Anecdotal evidence from others seems to support this.

Now, if you have an "Audiophile" amp designed to color the sound, that's a different matter
 

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Now, if you have an "Audiophile" amp designed to color the sound, that's a different matter
:rofl:

I have also been looking and researching. I like what I read about Emotiva but have no experience with them. I had pretty much decided on a couple two or three Emotiva RPA-2's but they were discontinued too soon. Now I'm kinda waiting to see what they replace it with. And while I'm waiting I've been bidding on some Acurus A200 and A250 amps.
 

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I personally wouldn't sweat the Rotel/Parasound name over Emotiva. For the same mone, I'd say it would be personal preference. My experience with amp (admittedly most live sound versus Home Theater) is that as long as their loud and clean, they don't effect the sound of your system as much as other components such as your speakers, room treatments, and even AVR. Anecdotal evidence from others seems to support this.

Now, if you have an "Audiophile" amp designed to color the sound, that's a different matter
Thanks again for answering :bigsmile:

When it gets to reference listening volume(say 95db+) I guess they would be similar, but how bout lower listening volume at around 80db? They would still perform the same regardless of their design? Well Emotiva is same as Parasound for A/B but Rotel is class D. That's where I worry about the Emotiva as there are significantly less tests were done in low volume listening and I can mostly rely on people's experiences and comments only.

I understand other components affect the sonic more than the amp section, especially I am getting processor in the same time. Would I even better off with getting myself a $3-400 used multichannel amp and spend more money to get a better processor?

Sorry for the questions as these get complicated the same time as amplifying sections are equal among them
 

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I personally own a Parasound A 23 and have been extremely pleased with its performance. The high slew rate and damping ratio assures tight control over the most difficult speaker loads. I assume their multi-channel amps (the A 51 & A 52) are of equal quality. Another brand you may consider is Amplifier Technologies, Inc. (ATI). Though I have no personal experience with these amps, I have heard very good things about them and they are reasonably priced. One of the founders of SAE now runs ATI.
 

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Hard to give an opinion without knowing more or your situation/setup. What do you have for speakers/sub? How big is your room? What levels do you listen at? Why separates instead of an integrated AVR?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hard to give an opinion without knowing more or your situation/setup. What do you have for speakers/sub? How big is your room? What levels do you listen at? Why separates instead of an integrated AVR?
Here's what I have
Klipsch Ref 3 series(98db at 1feet 1watt sensitivity), sub is SVS PB-12. I don't have an accurate measurement of the new place but it should be 12 by 17ish. My average listening level is only 75-85db for the most of the time(4-6 feet away from speakers or so), which is pretty low. Listening in such low volume is a critical factor on picking an amp which performs well in such low output(while most of the reviews/tests are done at much higher listening level).


Aside from stepping up, technologies in processors are changing so fast recently that made me feel I would end up gaining more from moving onto separate. Instead of spending good amount of the money to get a decent integrated AVR and spending extra money on the amp section on every new AVR unnecessarily, separate is not a bad idea at all. For the next 10 years per se, I would be upgrading my processor twice(even only once), the amp could stay in that 10years without being replaced. I could spend less on upgrading or having better quality of overall system with same amount of money spent into upgrades. And 2channel preamp and a new pair of front speakers are on my plans for next 5years as well to improve the music experience as well, integrated AVR has limits on adding a preamp down the road.
Thanks :bigsmile:
 

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... technologies in processors are changing so fast recently that made me feel I would end up gaining more from moving onto separate. Instead of spending good amount of the money to get a decent integrated AVR and spending extra money on the amp section on every new AVR unnecessarily, separate is not a bad idea at all. ... integrated AVR has limits on adding a preamp down the road.
:bigsmile:
You're right about the technologies :yes:

My AVR (Yamaha 140WPC) power all surround speakers, to power the fronts I use a separate pro-amp (I think this are the speakers that put a lot of stress on the AVR, so, if they got a separate amp you're okay with a regular AVR instead of separates for each speaker).

My AVR doesn't decode any of the latest HD formats, but it can play anything from player via HDMI....so, I just let the HD-DVD decode True HD sound and send it to by played by the AVR.

My suggestion (if you want to save some money): Buy an AVR with pre-outs (I read that Onkyo is the best bang for the buck), then get a separate amp for the fronts and let the AVR power all surrounds...if you feel that you need more power, you can add more amps in the future using the pre-outs :yes:
 

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My suggestion (if you want to save some money): Buy an AVR with pre-outs (I read that Onkyo is the best bang for the buck), then get a separate amp for the fronts and let the AVR power all surrounds...if you feel that you need more power, you can add more amps in the future using the pre-outs :yes:
Great suggestion, especially since pre/pros are often more expensive then their equally capable powered AVR counterparts (Don't know why, supply and demand?).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You're right about the technologies :yes:

My AVR (Yamaha 140WPC) power all surround speakers, to power the fronts I use a separate pro-amp (I think this are the speakers that put a lot of stress on the AVR, so, if they got a separate amp you're okay with a regular AVR instead of separates for each speaker).

My AVR doesn't decode any of the latest HD formats, but it can play anything from player via HDMI....so, I just let the HD-DVD decode True HD sound and send it to by played by the AVR.

My suggestion (if you want to save some money): Buy an AVR with pre-outs (I read that Onkyo is the best bang for the buck), then get a separate amp for the fronts and let the AVR power all surrounds...if you feel that you need more power, you can add more amps in the future using the pre-outs :yes:
My current AVR is around 4years old...... which didn't have HDMI either. I thought this is a chance to step up from it. I did some audition to Onkyo a while back in my cousin'sp lace and didn't really like the sound. The HT is great, doing it's job right but the tiny details are missing here and there while compared to my panasonic XR-55.

I am looking for good upscaling(both HDMI/component) and bypass function. Instead of not satisfying and upgrading again like I did with my Pioneer AVR(which used less than a year), I guess I will get the best stuff within my budget and be satisfied.
 

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Great suggestion, especially since pre/pros are often more expensive then their equally capable powered AVR counterparts (Don't know why, supply and demand?).
Yea there is around the same price for same processing capabilities(maybe one step down) and with the amplifying section in AVR. The sound that I really liked was Marantz but they are now Denon and only having higher end's separate only. Brands like Yammy/Denon are great, but I guess they just did not impress me enough to take them home.

Packing features and leaving quality behind keep pushes me away from getting another AVR. I guess we are at the stage that trying to pay more for that tiny bit improvement but we still go after it as long as we can afford it :coocoo:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ended up with a Parasound 5125 because it's even $200 cheaper than Emotiva XPA-5, used market is just good :) Thanks all for help
 
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