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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm looking for a new stereo setup, i found a good deal for a pair of exon3 monoblock with cursa3...

First of all i want to say that I love the Rega signature sound and not really looking to change brand, I listened to the Brio3 and love it... but... the thing is that Im used to have raw power, and i like my music loud and powerful(especially in the low frequency department)... thats the only thing i found the brio3 not to truly provide...

anyways, silly question, I was wondering if I match the Rega Elicit (or Elicit-R) with a pair of Exon3, how would I connect them since there is only 1 pre-amp output..?

also if anyone have experience with those amplifiers plz share the knowledge!! Im especially hesitating between the cursa3/exon3 trio and the single new Rega Elicit-R...

thx
 

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I am not familiar with this brand, but why would you buy an integrated amp and a pair of monoblocks? Why not just get a preamp to go with the monoblocks?

The Elicit-R does have preamp outputs, so if you wanted to use it for a preamp, you would simply connect the Left output to one mono amp and the Right output to the other mono amp.

What speakers are you using in your two-channel system?

Also... you mentioned "signature sound" with the Rega. Can you describe that sound vs other amps?

The purpose of an amp should be to pass on a neutral uncolored signal to your speakers. Most good quality amps will do this without any issues. The key is to make sure you have the right amp with sufficient power to drive your speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
:duh: never owned a monoblock, completly forgot that they just need 1 rca each lol
Ya i guess the elicit is useless if i have 2 power amplifier, i just read that the cursa 3 preamp kinda limits the exon 3 so i thought of maybe get a better pre amp

the sound is very Rega is very airy, the midrange is very present and clear, and the frequency response feels very full! i havent had much experience with home audio amp, just had crown xti series loll.. but i had a couple of different amplifier in my car system long time ago but that wont be much of a good reference.. also demoed a Rotel, dont remember the model.. but the rega sounded more natural and clear, the bass is deep and the soundstage is great, it just feels full, only just lacking the drive(power) , its for b&w685, but will most probably change to the SVS Ultra bookshelves soon
 

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The 685's are 88dB sensitivity, so if you are really cranking them, it would probably be good to have more power.

As far as preamps, if there is a preamp limiting an amp, the manufacturer shouldn't even build it.

I recently did an AB test between an inexpensive pro amp and a very expensive multi-channel amp and could not tell any difference at all on my MartinLogan Montis. You might want to get the more powerful amps in there and use your current preamp to see how they sound... and try to do some AB testing with both.

I don't see to many Rega owners around here... and that doesn't mean they don't make quality gear, as they probably do, but not sure if you will find a lot of owners to give you any recommendations.
 

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the sound is very Rega is very airy, the midrange is very present and clear, and the frequency response feels very full! i havent had much experience with home audio amp, just had crown xti series loll.. but i had a couple of different amplifier in my car system long time ago but that wont be much of a good reference.. also demoed a Rotel, dont remember the model.. but the rega sounded more natural and clear, the bass is deep and the soundstage is great, it just feels full, only just lacking the drive(power) , its for b&w685, but will most probably change to the SVS Ultra bookshelves soon
Hi SQ. Don't have first hand experience with these, but I have heard a Rega Brio system. Please note "system", i.e. I heard sound coming out of the Rega speakers, interacting with and in a room I was largely unfamiliar with.
As such, I have no idea what the Brio amplifier might "sound" like, since I couldn't gate out the speakers, the room, source, music, etc, etc. and isolate the "sound" of the amp.
Out of curiosity, when you heard these various Regas, Rotel, etc., how was everything held constant, while only the amplifiers were changed?
TIA.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The 685's are 88dB sensitivity, so if you are really cranking them, it would probably be good to have more power.

As far as preamps, if there is a preamp limiting an amp, the manufacturer shouldn't even build it.

I recently did an AB test between an inexpensive pro amp and a very expensive multi-channel amp and could not tell any difference at all on my MartinLogan Montis. You might want to get the more powerful amps in there and use your current preamp to see how they sound... and try to do some AB testing with both.

I don't see to many Rega owners around here... and that doesn't mean they don't make quality gear, as they probably do, but not sure if you will find a lot of owners to give you any recommendations.
kk, i see your point ! in fact there is also the pro audio amp vs hifi amp dilemma thats making my head spin too... i understand the power is power, but still, i just cant believe that with so many amplifier that are built in this world, they all sound the same... although very subjective, and YES I think a lot can play a placebo effect between 2 amplifier... also the fact that sometime we actually hear what we want to listen... its like saying for example...; 2 individual can bench press 500pounds. Ok, fine, they are both powerful and strong human being. Does it stop there? I dont think so.... question is, how did they actually bench press that weight? I can start saying lot of different ways to bench press 500pounds... thats where different amplifier may sound different.

Im not a guru with electronics by all means... but i think, in a logical sense, that there is power, and there is how the power is delivered, efficiency and how the power is filtered, etc. which all plays with the sound of an amplifier...
I will actually do an AB test with the crown xti2000 and brio3 with the 685 see if theres a difference sonically.

Hi SQ. Don't have first hand experience with these, but I have heard a Rega Brio system. Please note "system", i.e. I heard sound coming out of the Rega speakers, interacting with and in a room I was largely unfamiliar with.
As such, I have no idea what the Brio amplifier might "sound" like, since I couldn't gate out the speakers, the room, source, music, etc, etc. and isolate the "sound" of the amp.
Out of curiosity, when you heard these various Regas, Rotel, etc., how was everything held constant, while only the amplifiers were changed?
TIA.
well it was in a room that i was unfamiliar with aswell... they just switched the amplifier... but the room was pretty intense, sound proofing and all that, prolly had lot of impact on what i was listening anyway, everything sounded good ... but like i said, the rega sound more alive and warm than rotel, it was a long time ago though i dont recall much more than that I enjoyed the rega more

thx for the replies !!
 

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A lot of the differences we hear have to do with poor memory, different levels and changing more than just the amp when we are comparing amps.

It would take me hearing the difference using an AB switch with a remote that I could easily swap back and forth between two level matched amps to ever notice a difference.

I hear people say they can hear drastic differences, which indicates to me that there is something wrong with one of the amps, since in most cases even the golden ears of the audiophile world can only discern subtle differences. Rarely do I read of vast differences, except by individuals in forums who have never been exposed to any sort of comparison testing beyond swapping out more expensive amps and claiming exciting and wonderful differences (and why would they not, since they just spent all that extra money on a promise that they would get fabulous sound improvements).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ok, so what would be the core of a system that changes the sound? pre-amp? or simply the actual source file of what is playing? DAC?
 

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I have always found speakers to make the most significant difference in my system. Then I look to the recording... some recordings are just plain out better recorded than others. There is a lot of music that I probably would have never grown fond of if it had not been for the recording sounding so good.

I do believe in ample power from an amp... even overkill, if you please. I don't want to give my speakers any reason to want.

For movies... any reputable BD player will work, they are all very good as far as sound goes, but you might get one that provides better video. I don't think you can go wrong with OPPO... and I like their player for music too, where I use dBpoweramp to extract my music from CD to a USB thumb drive, which I use in my OPPO 105. It has a well respected DAC, which is another thing that I think has differences blown out of proportion.

Just to clarify... I have NOT heard every amp out there (far from it), and I cannot say 100% that there are no differences. However, I do suspect most people can't hear near the differences they claim. I also am biased to believe that there probably isn't any significant audible differences between most quality built amps with most speakers, simply because there are numerous cases of blind AB testing to prove there are no differences and there have never been any that proved their was... or no one has been able to provide proof of any difference. My rational and logical thinking comes into account here. I will be the first to admit it if I ever do hear a difference... with bells and whistles and horns honking as I announce it.
 

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kk, i see your point ! in fact there is also the pro audio amp vs hifi amp dilemma thats making my head spin too... i understand the power is power, but still, i just cant believe that with so many amplifier that are built in this world, they all sound the same... although very subjective, and YES I think a lot can play a placebo effect between 2 amplifier... also the fact that sometime we actually hear what we want to listen... its like saying for example...; 2 individual can bench press 500pounds. Ok, fine, they are both powerful and strong human being. Does it stop there? I dont think so.... question is, how did they actually bench press that weight? I can start saying lot of different ways to bench press 500pounds... thats where different amplifier may sound different.

Im not a guru with electronics by all means... but i think, in a logical sense, that there is power, and there is how the power is delivered, efficiency and how the power is filtered, etc. which all plays with the sound of an amplifier...
I will actually do an AB test with the crown xti2000 and brio3 with the 685 see if theres a difference sonically.
Another way of looking at it is that it is that there are a lot of ways to get to the same sonic destination. Why bother with so many different designs? Because we can. Then we can make a big deal about features or finish or efficiency or reliability or something not directly related to sonics. Or pretend there is a sonic difference for the sake of marketing.
 

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well it was in a room that i was unfamiliar with aswell... they just switched the amplifier... but the room was pretty intense, sound proofing and all that, prolly had lot of impact on what i was listening anyway, everything sounded good ... but like i said, the rega sound more alive and warm than rotel, it was a long time ago though i dont recall much more than that I enjoyed the rega more
Yes, that is a sure recipe for hearing what you heard, though it wouldn't depend at all upon the electrical output of the amplifiers.
I can say with about 99% certainty, you would not hear said differences between those amps driving your speakers (unless over driven), in a controlled test scenario (ears only, no knowledge of which you were listening to, etc).
I can also say with 99% certainty, that your intended, casual, at home listening will not feature any sort of controls whatsoever. So picking the amp that you think will make you happiest is probably you best bet.
 

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The B&W 685 can be a demanding load, dipping down below 4 ohms and possessing funky phase angles. A high current amplifier that doubles it's wattage as the impedance is halved is highly recommended, especially for high SPL listening.
 

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The B&W 685 can be a demanding load, dipping down below 4 ohms and possessing funky phase angles. A high current amplifier that doubles it's wattage as the impedance is halved is highly recommended, especially for high SPL listening.

I agree fully, as a B&W owner for many years, they can be a tough load, well worth it though in the end, but good to be prepared.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
hey guys, just an update.. i ended up getting the rega exon3s and cursa3 and couldnt be happier!!

believe it or not... I plugged in my beater speakers out of curiosity that i had since 2003, 11years old, these speaker went through everything(Sony mhc-gx450, first stereo system ever), i know them quite well and i never expected them to sound good like that (for what they are), considering they are very generic speaker, the depth and resolution became beautiful!! whereas the xti was very very harsh sounding, rude, very fatiguing and now with the new pre-amp/amplifier the voices are soft, crisp, controlled and simply beautiful, all over the frequencies, very articulate as well, also I cant believe the deep bass that those cheap sony are making now....

not sure if thats the amplifier or the pre-amplifier ... but it is quite impressive.. as i know these speaker extremely well, they are really horrible to be honest LOL ... but i got really surprised how "natural" they sound wiith the regas they actually are listenable without problem...

literally a huge difference from the crown xti2000 in terms of musicality... i dont know why, but it is....
 

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If there is a huge difference and all you changed was the amps, then something is certainly wrong with the Crown. There just simply are not "huge" differences from one amp to another like this... UNLESS something is wrong with one. Generally if something is indeed wrong, then it won't be what you describe... it would be distortion or such.

If you are hearing all those characteristics you described, something is definitely not right.

It would be interesting to get an A/B switch, level match the two and switch between them... with all else being the same.
 

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Not sure what to say here but I know B&W very well, have owned several since about 2000 and yes they do like power and actually dont open up till they have some and I have used Rotel amps and preamp, Emotiva, Peavey, just t see how it sounded, and had a 3 hour marathon with B&W and Rega in a shop in Georgia.
I heard differences to be sure, but nothing like what you are describing and my listening was done in 2 locations. So I have to agree with the gents above that there must be something amis, maybe a bad connection or something ?

In all my years, the only time there was a huge difference in amps is if one is broken or completely out of its league, kind of like putting a Emo XPR-2 against a Topping TP30, no contest, but we would never expect one.
Maybe you could clear up the names and numbers of the contenders in the match.....one of them is saying....I could have been a contenda......
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
ok i just connected the xti2000 instead, and you are right, it does sound similar but not the same, there are differences, but its not a true a/b comparision though.. maybe it is playing with my head but doubt it...

just a quick listening, moderate volume- low volume..

whats for sure and there is no debate on that... is that with the crown there is definitely noticeable floor/background noise, very obvious, whereas the exon3s are literaly dead silent... i can listen to a nice classical piece at bare minimum volume and only hear the instruments!! im quite amazed by that since i never had a system like this, never thought of it until now. in fact, it may very well be the biggest difference that changes the whole listening experience....

also, the exon3 lower bass extension feels more intense, more real and effortless, hard to describe... but i hear a difference there... (again, maybe the floor noise in the xti2000 is affecting the lower bass response enough to at least give me this impression)

the other thing is that when i listen to the piano, it just sounds annoying ... with the crown... brittle kinda

the higher frequencies are more "out there" with the crown...

they both sound great though, simply in a different way... for example, as im typing this, im hearing the floor noise from the crown and its driving me crazy, i simply cant listen to music through low volume with them ... maybe this is making the ear fatigue along with the highs being more "out there"

btw i set the crown through DSP off so it runs through full range with no eq

other than the small nuances they both are great though, just in different field i guess, i can see using the crown in a living room though, the floor noise wouldnt be noticeable .... as im very close to the speakers, the dead silence from the exon3 is a huge plus...

im thinking maybe the pre-amp is doing something too .. idk
 

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My Crown Xs500 has been used for a lot of fun and critical listening, have never felt it sounded unmusical. Have not A-B'ed it, either, hope to in a few weeks. It is easy for me to see why many amplifiers could sound the same because that is precisely what the negative feedback configuration used almost universally is designed to do.

I believe i have learned to hear some fairly fine differences, but...
  • My ears have fooled me.
  • I have found auditory memory for fine details to be very suspect, even downright unreliable.
  • I INSIST on A-B test verification to be sure my imagination is not getting the best of me.
In cases like yours, I respectfully suggest others do the same.
 
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