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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I know this is a pretty polarizing topic, but I thought we could start a lively discussion. I have Era Design 5 bookshelf speakers in a 5.1 setup. They are pretty inefficient, 86dB, and are known to really like power. The owners advocate this very strongly. I cross my system over to a SVS PB10 sub at 80hz. My receiver is the Pioneer Elite 94txh, which is "rated" at 140 watts per channel, but it is a receiver, and we all know it does not put out nearly that much power.

I am debating whether to add an amp, something like the Emotiva XPA-5 or the Rotel 1095 or the Parasound 2200 or who knows what else. I have a dedicated theater, and although I love my music, realistically, I am 90% home theater.

How much benefit would I gain from going with a seperate amp?
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Separates to me is about flexibility. I have a reciever used as a preamp and an Outlaw amp. When I eventually upgrade, I can get a dedicated preamp and keep the Outlaw. Or I can get another receiver.

In my case, the external amp was necessary as the receiver could not handle 4 Ohm speakers.

As for the amps, I auditioned Parasound, Rotel, and Outlaw (Emotiva wasn't around then). The Parasound had a noisy power supply (I could hear the hum across the room), the Rotel was warm, but with my Marantz preamp it was almost too warm (muddy almost), and the Outlaw was just right. All were pretty good amps, though, I was just really picky. :)
 

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I have always said that simply adding a external amp to power just the mains is more than sufficient. Once you relieve the receiver of driving the mains it will have no issue driving the rest. A good 2 channel amp will cost substantially less and give you the same results.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What about the concept of using an amp if I am crossing over at 80hz. From what I understand, bass it the most difficult thing for an amp to produce. If I am relieving my receiver of that duty, would there really be any tangible benefit for home theater usage?
 

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The 80Hz crossover is sufficient for most speakers and already sends most of the power hungry frequencies to the sub .1 channel. You will be fine as many people including myself have gone that route and it does make a noticeable difference. You have to remember that its our mains that get around 65% of the audio most of the time during movies even during high action sequences. Distortion because of under powering speakers is the number one cause of damage and poor sound quality.
 

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It gets most of the dialog but given its only one channel its not as tough to drive compared to the L&R channels IMHOP.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Shouldn't the center be getting most of the audio?
It gets most of the dialog but given its only one channel its not as tough to drive compared to the L&R channels IMHOP.
I have heard many say this, but at one time I spoke with Barry Ober from M&K and he said they strongly suggest equal power to all three front speakers. I am not speaking from personal experience here, as obviously you are Tony, but just another train of thought to consider.
 

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I have heard many say this, but at one time I spoke with Barry Ober from M&K and he said they strongly suggest equal power to all three front speakers. I am not speaking from personal experience here, as obviously you are Tony, but just another train of thought to consider.
If you have identical speakers across the front this does hold some truth but that is partially why new receivers have some sort of auto room correction like Auddssey or YAPO.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am sure you are right, and I will seriously consider this. It does make the price point more attractive to step into something better.
 
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