Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am lucky enough to be receiving a bonus from work. My better half and I agreed I could spend half on stereo equip. I have been wanting to add an amp to my system, I have settled on Emotiva XPA-3. I presently use a Denon x3100w ( 105 watts per. into 8 ohms ) for movies and SACD multi-channel listening. For 2 channel I use an HK 3490 int. amp. Both systems share TSi 500 mains and 2 Klipsch KW-100 subs. I found for 2 channel listening the HK 3490 sounds noticeably better then the Denon in stereo mode. My center is a CSi A6. Finally to my question how much sonic benefit am I likely to see? I am hoping to switch to the Denon x3100 + Emotiva XPA-3 for 2 channel listening. Thanks.:spend:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
Assuming you don't listen at blistering levels, I'm guessing there wouldn't be much difference in sound quality between the two amps. Your speakers are fairly efficient at 91dB and have a nominal impedance of 8 ohms, so they shouldn't be hard to drive. Your Denon is spec'd down to a 6 ohm load, so unless your Polks dip substantially below that, you're probably not being exposed to any performance anomalies. Swapping for the Emotiva wouldn't buy anything in that regard. But if you like your music served up loud, then the Emotiva (at about twice the power) would provide more headroom; and that contributes to less sense of strain.

Some will tell you amps sound pretty much the same as long as they're operated below clipping. Others claim power supply design and choice of internal components matter. Pride of ownership and brand bias can cause perceived differences where there really are none. If the HK sounds noticeably better as you mentioned, why not use it and invest the cash on acoustic treatment instead? Speakers and treatment contribute much more to sound differences than amps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I do like movies and music loud. My sound meter when I listen to music can hit 90 db with bass hits up to 110 db. I am trying for reference levels and feel for movies. I would like to upgrade mains but not sure what would make a real noticeble improvement over TSi-500s. You know, I want it all but affordable. Tks Lumen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,784 Posts
I would like to take this a bit further if I may.

The Denon as a home theater receiver cannot hold the 105wpc, all channels driven, during high intensity scenes from movies or SACD. I think most receivers of this power range would dip to maybe 60wpc when driving all channels. So in this case, the Emotiva would be a great addition.

I would tend to agree with Lumen's thoughts on the HK for two channel playback, use it and smile without worry. Just sayin...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Jack. Last night I put in my test Blu-ray, War of the Worlds (DTS-HD). I played scene 3 (lightning strikes) and scene 4 (aliens emerge from underground) for my wife and I. These scenes played loud and awesome (these scenes still make my wife jump in her seat) We agreed, could it sound much better ? Perhaps I am chasing for the sake of chasing. Once we are use to our systems maybe we take them for granted. P.S. To Lumen, room treatments other than Audyssey , are impractical for me due to room being a shared space. Livingroom/TV,music room. Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,017 Posts
I have to think due to the big question "could it sound much better?", you'd be better off upgrading subwoofers. And room treatments like the guys mentioned already.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,784 Posts
Thanks Jack. Last night I put in my test Blu-ray, War of the Worlds (DTS-HD). I played scene 3 (lightning strikes) and scene 4 (aliens emerge from underground) for my wife and I. These scenes played loud and awesome (these scenes still make my wife jump in her seat) We agreed, could it sound much better ? Perhaps I am chasing for the sake of chasing. Once we are use to our systems maybe we take them for granted. P.S. To Lumen, room treatments other than Audyssey , are impractical for me due to room being a shared space. Livingroom/TV,music room. Thanks again.
I like your style, listen and if it works and rocks you AND your wife, stay with it and be happy. Just sayin..
I am learning the hard way to live with what I have because an update of any major degree, is not in the cards, so my system is perfect, if you know what I mean. Not all of us have access to wealth like Willis. :innocent:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks willis. I have considered different subs. Room treatments are not an option for this shared room. My better half has already been very accepting with me putting in 5pcs of electronics,5 speakers and 2 subs. Good subs are very expensive to buy and ship to Canada. My present Klipsch subs are only 2 yrs old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the reasoning Jack. Perhaps I will put some money aside for a TV upgrade when the HDR war settles out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
I have to think due to the big question "could it sound much better?"...
I am learning the hard way to live with what I have...
I guess your current budget is around $400-$500 given the price of the XPA-3; so I'm with the guys on living with what you have for now. A possible improvement not yet mentioned is speaker/sub positioning. Is that something you can try, or is it also limited because the space is shared? How far away are the mains from front and side walls? If you can swing it, pulling them further into the room can make worlds of difference. But if your satisfied... :whistling:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Lumen. Subs are down firing in opposite corners. Mains are 3 ft from side wall and 18 in. from front wall. Moving them out is not possible. XPA-3 is $ 1100 CDN. shipped. I can get a pair RTi-a9s for $ 1000 CDN shipped. But they may need more power for sure.. I know I am all over the place with ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,261 Posts
If I had around $1k to scratch my itch, I'd want the biggest bang for my buck. Speakers will definitely get you more than acoustic treatment, and much more than a new amp. I'd target the SVS Prime Towers. I don't have personal experience with them, but they come highly recommended by many members of this site (see this thread). That said, the SVS Prime Towers cast a great soundstage, image well, and are easy to set up. They're also hard to beat in the extremely competitive $1k price range. SVS also offers excellent customer service, a 45-day free trial, and a 5-year warranty! A formal review of the Prime Towers is on our site here, and the entire SVS Prime 5.1 system is reviewed here. You might want to give SVS a call to get a shipping quote.

You probably already know that upgrading to the SVS mains will cause a mismatch with your center, so if you can make the stretch now, another $350 (less shipping) for the SVS Prime Center will get you there. Having matched L/C/R speakers is much more important than having matched surrounds, so those can wait until the next upgrade bug bites! :bigsmile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,017 Posts
Not all of us have access to wealth like Willis. :innocent:

Rofl!!! Just saw this. Jack, you are quite hilarious. Truth is , if I had the money, I might just send him a pair of new subs, and an amp. Just because!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,017 Posts
Blainestuds, I understand the dual purpose/treatment/WAF at the limit. I agree with your statement about getting used to our systems. I think we find that out status quo becomes elevated as we upgrade and get used to the (hopefully) elevated performance. I didn't mean to sound like I was picking on your subs. Only meant to highlight that shopping in the range you are, you're likely to find much more return in that area. I also like where Lou is headed...hmmm


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks willis. Your offer of free equipment is awesome!! But if you are like me you will need any extra cash for upcoming new products. HDR tvs. $ 5000-10000. Samsung Ultra HD Blu-ray ( $ 400 ), wireless 5.1 speaker systems (Klipsch ) $ 5100. As we know it never ends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
855 Posts
I am lucky enough to be receiving a bonus from work. My better half and I agreed I could spend half on stereo equip. I have been wanting to add an amp to my system, I have settled on Emotiva XPA-3. I presently use a Denon x3100w ( 105 watts per. into 8 ohms ) for movies and SACD multi-channel listening. For 2 channel I use an HK 3490 int. amp. Both systems share TSi 500 mains and 2 Klipsch KW-100 subs. I found for 2 channel listening the HK 3490 sounds noticeably better then the Denon in stereo mode. My center is a CSi A6. Finally to my question how much sonic benefit am I likely to see? I am hoping to switch to the Denon x3100 + Emotiva XPA-3 for 2 channel listening. Thanks.:spend:
What do you think is lacking from your system? Is it bass?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
213 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks 3dbin. That is the strange thing, I can not say for sure anything is missing. I think for the budget I have spent, my system sounds very good, but can I make it sound noticeably better. Bass sounds quite good, overall volume is also quite loud and clear. I think I may be guilty of reading too many equipment reviews. However considering my 2 subs there could be room for improvement,but is the cost of upgrading them worth the perceived improvement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
855 Posts
Thanks 3dbin. That is the strange thing, I can not say for sure anything is missing. I think for the budget I have spent, my system sounds very good, but can I make it sound noticeably better. Bass sounds quite good, overall volume is also quite loud and clear. I think I may be guilty of reading too many equipment reviews. However considering my 2 subs there could be room for improvement,but is the cost of upgrading them worth the perceived improvement.
Sounds like your looking for any excuse to upgrade despite being happy with what you have. :) Don't get caught up with audiophile's world of waxing hyperbole on the latest and greatest equipment. If you are happy with the sound you have, I would start looking at things like supporting Atmos, and moving to 4K. That does involve an upgrade to your AVR, Display, and sources such as BluRay players. Oh and having to buy more speakers. Just my opinion....
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,423 Posts
I think I may be guilty of reading too many equipment reviews. However considering my 2 subs there could be room for improvement,but is the cost of upgrading them worth the perceived improvement.
I'm all for adding amps and stuff, after all this is our hobby. I do think you would be more likely to have a perceived improvement after adding an amp as opposed to a substantive improvement if you upgraded your subs.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top