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  1. #1
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    A Typical Help Thread -- I Have 3 Kids Under Six and No Time to Research!

    Alas, I am moving slowly from an integrated, 8 year old Yamaha RX-V1 to separates, and since I have kids and future college bills (and less time to research) need to stay within reason and a budget.

    So, pretty please (does taht help out here (-: ) provide your thoughts on the following 7 or 8 channel amplifiers at their various price points in context of the others:

    Arcam P1000 7 ch ,135 wpc - $1400, demo from the floor
    NAD T975 7 ch, 140 wpc - $2,100 new or a $1,400 used o
    Marantz Z MM-8003, 8 ch, 140 wpc – between $1500 and $1990 new
    Adcom GFA7707 7-Channel Amplifier, 7 ch, 200 wpc – likely in the $2 to $2,200 range

    My local guys are partial to their NAD and Arcam units; and I do not want to overpay for a unit that will not really step up enough: i.e. if the Adcom GFA-7707 is not $600 better than the used Arcam P1000, I’d pass and go Arcam.

    I am looking to bi-amp my Paradigm Studio 100s, and in the future will add either a rear center or go fully to 7.1 – for the time being though, the new amp and the RX-V1 will get married.

    I appreciate any opinion and insight – thank you for sharing – I apologize if this is well-covered territory out here, see the opening to this post – three kids and hours of research do not mix well.


    Thanks

  2. #2
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    If the Arcam is a FMJ then that would be my first choice. The Marantz might be a tie for first but definitely 2nd. I haven't heard the NAD but hear they are a great bang for the dollar. It really depends on what your emphasis is, the Arcam would be best for clarity (FMJ or not), I think the Marantz has the best balance of clarity and power together, the Adcom makes a strong 200 watt amp. I've heard a few Adcoms and owned a couple but I haven't actually heard the multichannel one. Although Adcom is strong they aren't the last word in resolution. That's my take on it anyway.
    Mark Levinson #512
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    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
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  3. #3
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    NAD has always been known for musicality having a healthy reserve of power for short peaks. IOW, they can sound more powerful than their ratings imply. But having owned a NAD 214 since 1998 with no problems I may be a bit prejudiced.

    As for grunt power, remember that the power-sucking bass will be diverted to the subwoofer so it's capabilities may be your liming factor moreso than the mains amp.

    But, all things considered and all specs being stated equally (which they are not), for a barely audiable three decible increase in headroom loudness requires about twice the power. i.e. three decibles from 100 watts requires 200 watts, six decibles from 100 watts requires 400 watts, etc...

  4. #4
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    Thanks -- a good start so far - I should have noted that my sub is powered and likely to be the only sub I have for a long time -- big old Paradigm PW 2200 that my wife hates, but tolerates.

    My local guy suggests that NAD is conservative with their power ratings -- "full disclosure power" which sounds more like a marketing line, but if they back it up, well, OK.

    Please keep the responses flowing.

    Thanks,

    BCW

  5. #5
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    PS -- what does the J stand for -- FMJ = Floor Model ....???

  6. #6
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    That Marantz tested out out at 109.7 watts per channel with all 7 channels operating. way below its 140 watt per channel rating, pretty whimpy performance for a separate amp! (Home Theater Magazine ... power at 0.1% distortion).

    The Adcom GFA-7607 rated at 125 watts per 7 channels tested out at 98.4 watts.

    Of the amps you listed the NAD might be the best choice.

    Perhaps you could consider the Emotiva UPA-7, 125 watts per channel, all 7 channels driven, currently at $599 (that is not a misprint). Emotiva sells factory direct to end user. I own the XPA-5 and am extremely happy.

    To ensure loads of power you could go with one of the below combinations:

    XPA-5 plus UPA-2 = $1100 (7 ch)

    XPA-5 plus XPA-2 = $1598 (7 ch)

    http://emotiva.com/xpa2.shtm

    http://emotiva.com/xpa5.shtm

    RR6


    From Audioholics review of XPA-2................the XPA-2 exceeded its power specifications by considerable margins. Into 8 ohms it was rated to 250 watts at 1% THD , yet I measured 312 watts at 0.1% THD. Into 4 ohm loads it was rated to 500 watts at 1% THD while again my measurements exceeded this rating producing 512 watts at 0.1% THD. Make no mistake folks this is one POWERFUL amplifier and most definitely the most power for the money amplifier that has ever come across my test bench since I launched Audioholics nearly 10 years ago!...............The XPA-2 produced surprisingly excellent crosstalk measurements (>140dB at 1kHz) with only a gradual rise with increasing frequency because of capacitive coupling. This is the best crosstalk measurement I’ve ever measured in an amplifier and despite the XPA-2 having a singular centralized power supply, the channel to channel isolation was on par with the best monoblock amplifiers I’ve ever seen!...............Amplifier output impedance when the XPA-2 was driving 8-ohm and 4-hom loads at 1 watt was within our preferred 100 mohm range for the entire audio bandwidth. We like to see amplifier maintain 150 mohm output impedance or less so that it will sound consistently good for a larger variety of speaker and cable loads with rather complex impedance profiles. This is a very good measurement and yet more confirmation that the XPA-2 amplifier design was well executed................with the XPA-2 two channel amplifier, but they’ve literally hit the ball out of the park with this creation rewriting the rule book on high performance amplifiers on the cheap. The XPA-2 is not only the most powerful amplifier that has come across my test bench, but it represents the best value in consumer two-channel amplification that I’ve ever seen...............Emotiva was very clever in the roadmap of their products of the XPA family of amplifiers. A typical user can purchase an XPA-2 for the front channels and an XPA-5 for the rest of their 7.1 setup.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcwgobuffs
    PS -- what does the J stand for -- FMJ = Floor Model ....???
    Ha ha..... Full Metal Jacket. When Arcam first started kicking butt with their gear they took criticism because it didn't "look high end". Most of the stuff had the plastic front and typical thin metal on top and sides like most ordinary gear. So Arcam eventually came out with the FMJ which not only had the heavier build but also some stepped up insides.

    With a bit of research you will see that much positive has been written about the MM8003. When I heard the amp it was driving all Martin Logan speakers to a high listening level and sounded very good. You have to consider how many channels you are getting and the price you are shopping. I have a hard time believing the MM8003 would be that far off spec. And it is error to compare specs of a two channel amp to one having 7 or 8. I really don't think any of the four would be a bad choice.
    Mark Levinson #512
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    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    With a bit of research you will see that much positive has been written about the MM8003. When I heard the amp it was driving all Martin Logan speakers to a high listening level and sounded very good. You have to consider how many channels you are getting and the price you are shopping. I have a hard time believing the MM8003 would be that far off spec. And it is error to compare specs of a two channel amp to one having 7 or 8. I really don't think any of the four would be a bad choice.
    Mr. Peabody, I also was surprised when I read the tested results on the power output of the Marantz MM8003. Unfortunately it seems to be getting more prevalent for manufacturers to fudge on their power ratings. Apparently they use the same test lab as Ultimate AV Magazine.com. Here is their quote from a review on the MM8003:

    "..........With eight channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads, the amp reached 0.1% distortion at 109.7 watts and 1% distortion at 122.3 watts. Under these conditions, the manufacturer’s stated distortion of 0.08 % was reached at 108.6 watts, which is considerably less than the 140Wpc specified by Marantz..........." (my error, 8 ch)

    To me statements like: "When I heard the amp it was driving all Martin Logan speakers to a high listening level and sounded very good." What does high mean, 95dB's, 100dB's, 105dB's? That is why I like reviews with objective measured figures.

    I used the test results on the Emotiva XPA-2 amp to show that their stated versus tested specs were conservative. I can only presume that the tested results for their 5 and 7 channel amps are probably not inflated.

    At $599 the UPA-7 which in fact is a 7 channel amp compares spec wise with all the amps listed above except for the Adcom. The XPA-2 plus the XPA-5 (unless he has severe space limitations) does in fact equal 7 channels at $1598 far exceeding any of the amps in power and price versus performance. The XPA-3 plus the XPA-5 is 8 channaels at only $1398. I'm only pointing out an alternative amp company choice which IMO is far superior and one which he obviously did not consider or perhaps has not even heard of.

  9. #9
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    Any one familiar with ML know they present a difficult load and running a full system is quite a task and says something about an amps ability. "A loud listening level" is subjective but it's a real world truth versus a written review. Every review of the MM8003 I've read has been favorable.

    The Emotiva could be a decent option and the price is certainly right but I also know about things that are too good to be true and all of you who have bought them here used them to upgrade from a receiver. It don't take much of an amp to impress some one over a receiver's internal amp. The only one who compared the Emotiva to anything else was Kex. It does look good on paper but so does the receiver the amp was used to replace. I'm asking sincerely, do you know of any reviews of Emotiva where they compare it to any contender amps?
    Mark Levinson #512
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    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
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    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
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  10. #10
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    Maybe you should read other forums besides this one. Did you read the quote from Audioholics that I listed above? He was comparing the Emotiva amp with other amps, not receivers. Those who tested the Marantz power output are wrong? Please quote a review that shows a measured power output on the Marantz exceeding its specified power rating. You call two reviews that say that the Marantz measured power output is considerably below its specified rating as favorable? You need to learn to read between the lines.

    "Real world truth." Pure BS Mr. Peabody.

    If bcwgobuffs wants to read up on the Emotiva amps he can go here and decide for himself. He will find reviews comparing the Emotiva to many amps including McIntosh, Krell, Classe, Threshold, Pass, Anthem, Acurus, etc.

    http://www.emotiva.com/home.html

  11. #11
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    Hmm -- I really appreciate the responses -- but no need to argue LOL.

    Not many responses on the Adcom options, is that reflective of the quality or just the sample size of those responding to my plea for help!

  12. #12
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    That Marantz tested out out at 109.7 watts per channel with all 7 channels operating. way below its 140 watt per channel rating, pretty whimpy performance for a separate amp! (Home Theater Magazine ... power at 0.1% distortion).
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    Mr. Peabody, I also was surprised when I read the tested results on the power output of the Marantz MM8003. Unfortunately it seems to be getting more prevalent for manufacturers to fudge on their power ratings.
    I don't understand why the surprise ? Nowhere in the Marantz specs do they claim the amp will deliver 140W into all channels simultaneously. They say "each" channel is capable of 140W. In real world use, no multichannel amp is called upon to deliver equal power into all channels at the same time; the surround channels certainly do not call for a lot of power.

    Marantz notes in their description of the amp's features that it has a 600VA power transformer. Eight channels x 140W = 1,120W, clearly more than the transformer rating. That should be an immediate clue to the amp's expected performance capability with all channels driven at the same time, even with the assistance of 100,000uf power supply capacitance.
    Last edited by Glen B; 04-28-2009 at 11:20 AM.

  13. #13
    Audio Hobbyist Since 1969 Glen B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    The Emotiva could be a decent option and the price is certainly right but I also know about things that are too good to be true and all of you who have bought them here used them to upgrade from a receiver. It don't take much of an amp to impress some one over a receiver's internal amp. The only one who compared the Emotiva to anything else was Kex. It does look good on paper but so does the receiver the amp was used to replace. I'm asking sincerely, do you know of any reviews of Emotiva where they compare it to any contender amps?
    Owner review of Emotive XPA-1 versus Classé CAV-180 driving B&W 802Ds: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showpos...75&postcount=1

    From Bryston 6BSST to Emotiva XPA-5: http://www.htguide.com/forum/showpos...5&postcount=37

    From Macintosh MC-501s to Emotiva XPA-1s:
    http://www.htguide.com/forum/showpos...0&postcount=41

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the links but I was hoping maybe for more of a pro review. I plan to do some checking.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
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    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
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    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcwgobuffs
    Hmm -- I really appreciate the responses -- but no need to argue LOL.
    No arguing here, just a healthy discussion. Mr. Peabody is an extremely knowledgeable member but we occasionally disagree. The Pix is the only one we always agree with.

    Thanks Glen B for the correction. I did imply that the Marantz spec was with all channels operating and of course it is not. However, note that Emotiva lists their power output with all channels operating. I know the all channels driven spec is rather harsh and not a normal requirement in HT, but it does indicate a very robust power output. Unlike the Marantz (8 & 6 ohms only) , the Emotiva UPA-7 amp ($599) is rated stable into 4 ohms, 280 watts/2 ch and 185 watts/7 ch! You might also note the weight of the UPA-7 at 71 lbs versus the Marantz at 39.5 lbs.

    http://emotiva.com/upa7.shtm

    RR6

  16. #16
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    Yikes -- I'm not this smart. If I bi-amp my Paradigm Studio 100s am I running at 8 Ohms or 4 Ohms OR does this depend on some switch I throw on the back of the amp or my Yamaha RXV1 (for 2 more years) reciever / decoder/ processor.

    Ugg -- I feel so dumb.

    Also, (1) the other units on my original list show a variable output for each channel, this Emotivva does not -- how big of a deal is that? My processor has volume outputs for each, so it seems not so important?

    Why do they label the channels -- i.e. Front, R-Sur etc -- if all the channels are equal, why would it matter what runs from 1 and 3 versus 6 and 2??

    This is very helpful -- thank you!!

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=bcwgobuffs]Yikes -- I'm not this smart. If I bi-amp my Paradigm Studio 100s am I running at 8 Ohms or 4 Ohms OR does this depend on some switch I throw on the back of the amp or my Yamaha RXV1 (for 2 more years) reciever / decoder/ processor.

    * I have never biamped and not sure what impedance the amp would see. If the receiver has an impedance switch it would not effect the speakers impedance. The switch is to help the receiver best deal with the speaker impedance connected to it.

    Also, (1) the other units on my original list show a variable output for each channel, this Emotivva does not -- how big of a deal is that? My processor has volume outputs for each, so it seems not so important?

    * Are you sure you didn't see variable inputs? These would help match another brand preamp to the power amp. I don't feel they are all that important.

    Why do they label the channels -- i.e. Front, R-Sur etc -- if all the channels are equal, why would it matter what runs from 1 and 3 versus 6 and 2??

    * The labels are for convenience. For instance, just take the center, you hook the preamp center out to the amp's center input then the center speaker terminal to center speaker. This would take a lot of trial and error without labels. In addition, the particular speaker has to receive it's intended signal from the soundtrack in order for the sound to match the video. Can you imagine watching a movie with the dialog coming from the rear right speaker?
    Mark Levinson #512
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    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
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    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  18. #18
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    Thanks.

    1 -- my local guy who sold me the 100s and the Yammy will likely be a great help too on the impedance stuff and he knows my gear.

    2 - I think one of the Emotiva units did not show a dial for variable contrlol on each channel -- kind of surprising, but I am nearly postive on this. The other Emotiva 7 channel did have the dials, and it was the more expensive 7 channel.

    3. Although the labels are for convenience, the channels can still be used at my discretion correct? Thus, my 7 channel amp takes 4 channels to bi-amp the speakers and then 2 channels for L & R Surround and 1 Channel for Center. The sub is powered, thus no channel needed. I think!

  19. #19
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    Just my opinion, but I think you should concentrate on choosing an amp and leave the whole bi-amping thing for the distant future. I think someone has planted the bi-amp bug in your head. This is one complicated issue with varying opinions and results. You would get much better results IMO making sure you have adequate power and headroom to drive your speakers.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    Just my opinion, but I think you should concentrate on choosing an amp and leave the whole bi-amping thing for the distant future. I think someone has planted the bi-amp bug in your head. This is one complicated issue with varying opinions and results. You would get much better results IMO making sure you have adequate power and headroom to drive your speakers.

    I totally agree. Spend your money on one really good amp and forget about bi-amping. Any benefit in sound from bi-amping may be marginal.
    But a high quality amp would be better than 2 average amps.

    For a 5.1 setup I would consider the parasound Halo A51 or A52. You can always add a 2 channel amp later for 7.1 sound.
    http://www.parasound.com/halo/

    Consider these monoblocks for rear channels, they are a steal at $270 a piece http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/2200.html
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcwgobuffs
    Thanks.

    1 -- my local guy who sold me the 100s and the Yammy will likely be a great help too on the impedance stuff and he knows my gear.

    2 - I think one of the Emotiva units did not show a dial for variable contrlol on each channel -- kind of surprising, but I am nearly postive on this. The other Emotiva 7 channel did have the dials, and it was the more expensive 7 channel.

    * This would not be a deal breaker for me.

    3. Although the labels are for convenience, the channels can still be used at my discretion correct? Thus, my 7 channel amp takes 4 channels to bi-amp the speakers and then 2 channels for L & R Surround and 1 Channel for Center. The sub is powered, thus no channel needed. I think!
    * This is correct. But if the amp is not bridgeable I wonder how for instance the right front signal gets to two channels to biamp. You could probably use a Y adaptor but I hope there's a better way.
    Mark Levinson #512
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    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    I totally agree. Spend your money on one really good amp and forget about bi-amping. Any benefit in sound from bi-amping may be marginal.
    But a high quality amp would be better than 2 average amps.

    For a 5.1 setup I would consider the parasound Halo A51 or A52. You can always add a 2 channel amp later for 7.1 sound.
    http://www.parasound.com/halo/

    Consider these monoblocks for rear channels, they are a steal at $270 a piece http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/2200.html

    Hmm - quite interesting -- I could be guilty of irrational bi-amping exuberance.

    Which spec numbers are the ones to look for in terms of head-room so I can compare?

    I might have to go back and start over then, but I think I have kicked out the Marantz option and am down to the NAD and the Arcam -- unless I can find your Halo A51 used, it is probably out of my price range.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I would still consider the Emotiva amps. On paper they look very impressive and the few people on this forum who own them, love them.

    Another amp to consider is the B&K reference 200.5. They make some nice equipment and tend to have a warmer sound. And this thing is a beast at about 75 pounds and peak current of 75amps.
    http://www.bkcomp.com/products/ampli...ttproducts_pi1[backPID]=14&tx_ttproducts_pi1[product]=9&cHash=eb183f4201

    They also make the 200.7
    http://www.bkcomp.com/products/ampli...ttproducts_pi1[backPID]=14&tx_ttproducts_pi1[product]=10&cHash=f7aaf13d9a

    You can probably pick up the 200.5 for about $2K and the 200.7 for $2200

    Here's some better pic's http://www.unitedhomeproducts.com/id96.htm
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  24. #24
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    Does anybody know what the differences are between the NAD T973 and T975? On the NAD site I did the compare, and though I could be Forrest Gump Stupid, I did not see a difference in specs, finish or anything else. About the best I can come up with is that it could just be the model year, but why have a different model number without changing at least something -- in true, recent SNL celebrity blogger fastion -- biiitttch puleeeezzzee (-:

  25. #25
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    (From Emotiva XPA-5 owner review section)
    Author Topic: XPA-5 Versus Threshold
    strindl
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    XPA-5 VS Threshold
    « Thread Started on Apr 27, 2009, 7:37pm »

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I just received my XPA-5 this afternoon and have spent a few hours now listening to it on my living room, mainly audio system. It will eventually find it's home in my main family room home theater system running the surrounds, but I wanted to see what it could do running a pair of magnepan 1.6qr's first.

    First off, as other have stated, this is a big heavy piece of iron to maneuver around. The fedex driver was a woman, and there was no way she would have been able to haul it to my front door, so she rang my doorbell first and I helped her get it out of her truck and into my front hallway.

    Once she had left, I brought it into my living room, pulled the Nelson Pass designed Threshold s-500e out of the way and replaced it with the xpa-5.

    I used the balanced outputs from my 990 to hook the main fronts to two of the amps on the XPA-5. I attempted to plug my Kimber speaker wire with the dual banana plugs on the end into the 5 way binding posts on the back of the emotiva, and noticed that the spacing on those binding posts is wider than on the Threshold. The dual banana plugs won't work. Luckily, I had some single banana plugs laying around and swapped those for the duals, and I was ready to energize.

    It powered right up and even though I only had two channels hooked up, all 5 LED status lights glowed nicely.

    I had it hooked through the balanced inputs to an Outlaw 990 with the source being a Logitech Duet network streaming system through my wireless network and connected to the 990 through a digital coax feed. My one thousand plus CD collection has all been ripped in the wma - lossless format to my main computer and that is how I listen to my music. It sounds every bit as good as listening from my CD player direct.

    The Threshold amp that I normally use for this system is rated at 250 watts per channel at 8 ohms and 500 at 4 ohms . It's about 18 years old but in perfect shape and still works as it did when new. It sold for $3800.00 18 years ago.

    The first thing I did when I turned the system on, was listen for noise that shouldn't be there..either mechanical hum at the amplifier chassis itself or any hiss or hum through the magnepans. I was greeted with dead silence from both. With my ear pressed up to the tweeter panel of the magnepans, I could just barely detect a slight hiss. If I moved my ear an inch away...nothing. That is as it should be.

    I then grabbed my Duet remote, settled back into my recliner and scrolled through my music collection looking for something appropriate. I chose an artist and song I have used for years to demo audio equipment, Joan Baez singing Diamonds and Rust. As soon as I heard the acoustic guitar opening followed by her soaring vocals, I had a very satisfied grin on my face. This was what an audio system is supposed to sound like. Joan was standing in my living room singing right to me.

    I ran through a variety of music that I was very familiar with on that system using the Threshold amp and was never disappointed in the XPA-5. Sonically, I can't tell the difference between them when driving the maggies.

    The only difference worth noting was that the emotiva has more gain than the Threshold and required lower volume settings on the Outlaw for equal sound levels.

    Physically, the Threshold and Emotiva are pretty close in size and weight. The Threshold has massive handles on the front that make it easier to maneuver around and carry though.

    I'll keep it in my living room system for another day or so before taking it to the family room. I want to listen again tomorrow and see if my perceptions are the same. Once I have it in the family room, I will hook it up to the Thiel 3.6 speakers that are normally driven by a pure class A Threshold SA4/e monster of an amp. That one is about 16 years old and sold for $6300.00 when new.

    I was able to spend a few more hours so far today doing more listening to the XPA-5 driving the magnepans, and my opinion after my first session last night has not changed. It's a first tier amplifier right up in the same class with the classic Threshold class A/AB Stasis amps. The fact that Emotiva can do this at a fraction of the price that the Threshold sold for new...and still sells for on the used market... is a testament to the design, manufacturing and business model implemented by the people at Emotiva. I haven't even factored in the FIVE channels of amplification that the xpa-5 delivers vs only two on the Threshold. Using only two channels on the emotiva gives me an almost exact match in rated power output as the threshold.

    I've had the amp running for about 4 hours so far today, driving a pair of power hungry 4 ohm speakers at healthy volume levels, and the top is just barely warm. It certainly runs cooler than the Threshold does driving those same speakers.

    At some point here, I'm going to have to lug that big heavy amp down a flight of stairs and hook it up to my Thiels and see if it is capable of the same magic on those very revealing speakers as it has proven to be on a pair of Magnepans.

    I will also be comparing it on that system to an even more expensive pure class A amp. That should be interesting..I really don't know what to expect there. That Threshold is capable of 200 watts at 4 ohm vs the 450 at 4 ohms for the xpa-5 with two channels in use. One is pure class A though as opposed to the class AB of the xpa-5.

    I'm looking forward to hearing that. I'm not looking forward to lugging that amp down a flight of stairs though.

    (I don't think Strindl will mind if I pass on his thoughts)

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