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  1. #1
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Emotiva LPA-1, 7 channel amplifier

    Oh dear, look what I found. Let's see what's inside

    Emotiva LPA-1, 7 channel amplifier-outer_box.jpg

    Oh...another box

    Emotiva LPA-1, 7 channel amplifier-p1010563.jpg

    Wow. That is big and heavy...

    Emotiva LPA-1, 7 channel amplifier-p1010565.jpg

    All seems to be in order...

    Emotiva LPA-1, 7 channel amplifier-front.jpg

    An Adcom GFA-535 and AudioSource Amp One for size comparison.

    Emotiva LPA-1, 7 channel amplifier-side_comp.jpg

    Sadly, after my 2006 Christmas present fell into the Atlantic Ocean, I'm still the only one I know without a digital camera. By coincidence my wife's friend was at our place with hers last night. I took a few pics. Obviously I'm no photographer...

  2. #2
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    You dog you. You pulled that trigger huh?
    It looks like a beast. How long until we see a review?
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  3. #3
    Da Dragonball Kid L.J.'s Avatar
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    Great now were never gonna hear the end of it. GM perhaps you should put a link directly to Emotiva in your sig.


    **puts on flamesuit**

  4. #4
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L.J.
    Great now were never gonna hear the end of it. GM perhaps you should put a link directly to Emotiva in your sig.


    **puts on flamesuit**
    That depends on if Kex ends up liking it.

    (torch lit!)
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  5. #5
    way up in Canada eh f0rge's Avatar
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    wow i just looked that up and it seems like a steal for the price they're asking

    kex did you buy direct from the site? what was the duty like?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by f0rge
    wow i just looked that up and it seems like a steal for the price they're asking

    kex did you buy direct from the site? what was the duty like?
    Yeah, direct from them...Duty, well, I still don't know for sure yet, Fed Ex will send me a bill for all that later on. On amplifiers the duty is 6.5% of the value (in Canadian dollars). Probably about $30 or so. Sucks, but audio gear in Canada isn't fairly priced yet anyway so it's not really a factor in the decision.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    That depends on if Kex ends up liking it.

    (torch lit!)
    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    You dog you. You pulled that trigger huh?
    It looks like a beast. How long until we see a review?
    I had hoped to have one already to go. But I didn't get as much time to play with it as I would have liked. Spent most of last night trying to figure out why it kept switching to protection mode.

    After a few hours of isolating channels and switching speaker wire and interconnects through countless permutations, I discovered that moving interconnects around would move the channels that faulted. Turns out my brand new Monster Interconnects had continuity between the R and L cables. That's not suppose to happen. Swapping with another pair of interconnects made the problem vanish.

    I've never heard of such a thing and I'm beyond disgusted that Monster could sell cables over $50 retail that allowed the two channels to touch somewhere.

    I almost thought the amp was the problem and was ready to call.

    Anyway, been spending some quality time with a functional amp this evening...so far...sor good.

  8. #8
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    Nice catch Kex. Nice purchase too. I remember in another topic you mentioned the type of music you listen to; similar to my tastes in many ways (especially the Pink Floyd aspect) so I'll also be interested in hearing what you've got to say about the LPA-1.

    P.S. That outer box is scary looking.

  9. #9
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    I had hoped to have one already to go. But I didn't get as much time to play with it as I would have liked. Spent most of last night trying to figure out why it kept switching to protection mode.

    After a few hours of isolating channels and switching speaker wire and interconnects through countless permutations, I discovered that moving interconnects around would move the channels that faulted. Turns out my brand new Monster Interconnects had continuity between the R and L cables. That's not suppose to happen. Swapping with another pair of interconnects made the problem vanish.

    I've never heard of such a thing and I'm beyond disgusted that Monster could sell cables over $50 retail that allowed the two channels to touch somewhere.

    I almost thought the amp was the problem and was ready to call.

    Anyway, been spending some quality time with a functional amp this evening...so far...sor good.
    Sorry to read about your cable issue. Good job catching it. Do you think that had anything to do with your last amp crapping out on you?
    Good luck with your new toy. Hope you have many years of happiness together. And don't forget that review. The rest of us cheap a$$'s need to know how good this thing is.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMichael
    Sorry to read about your cable issue. Good job catching it. Do you think that had anything to do with your last amp crapping out on you?
    Good luck with your new toy. Hope you have many years of happiness together. And don't forget that review. The rest of us cheap a$$'s need to know how good this thing is.
    No chance it hurt the other amp - I hadn't used these cables yet, they were fresh out of a package!!! I bought them at the boxing week super sale FuturShop had for $6 or something foolish with some other cables I still haven't bothered to use. I do recall they were over $50 MSRP. Turns out I still overpaid.

    I dunno how it trips the protection circuitry though, I wouldn't think the low level voltage via pre-outs would screw anything up terribly but maybe there's some extra safe protection circuitry in the amp. Actually, that's a pretty cool feature to have I guess.

  11. #11
    way up in Canada eh f0rge's Avatar
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    you should try pulling them apart into 2 separate cables, with luck and some electrical tape you might be able to salvage them for use in lesser equipment.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by f0rge
    you should try pulling them apart into 2 separate cables, with luck and some electrical tape you might be able to salvage them for use in lesser equipment.
    Yeah, I might. Or I might return them. Still have the bag and receipt and they have a 100% replacement warranty and since they're obviously faulty I shouldn't have any issues there.

    Then again, I'm done with Monster now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by f0rge
    you should try pulling them apart into 2 separate cables, with luck and some electrical tape you might be able to salvage them for use in lesser equipment.
    If that happened to me, I'd be so pi$$ed off that not only would I return them, I'd also send a little note to Monster asking them to send me a customer satisfaction survey!

  14. #14
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    Kex, how bout a little sound quality review. Email Monster and tell them you had to buy a pair of Blue Jean because theirs were defective. Ask if that was part of the patent.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    If that happened to me, I'd be so pi$$ed off that not only would I return them, I'd also send a little note to Monster asking them to send me a customer satisfaction survey!
    That'll teach em!!!
    Ohhhhh, you're so scary!
    I bet the founder of monster is quaking in whichever of THREE theaters in his house that hes' in right now.
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Kex, how bout a little sound quality review. Email Monster and tell them you had to buy a pair of Blue Jean because theirs were defective. Ask if that was part of the patent.
    Heh heh heh...I'll tell them I picked Blue Jean Cables because I heard they were jacking Monster's patents so they must be of good quality. Actually, I'd hate to see them try and use that as evidence that BJC is infringing...
    SQ review coming soon. I've been taking some notes. I'm doing a lot of a/b switching with some of my other amps. I'm hoping some a/b comparisons with amps I actually own might be of interest. I also don't want to rush to conclusions either so I'm listening to a variety of different sources.

    They might as well have named it the Sherman though. I'm pretty sure it's made of the same stuff they use to make the "Black Box" in planes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    That'll teach em!!!
    Ohhhhh, you're so scary!
    I bet the founder of monster is quaking in whichever of THREE theaters in his house that hes' in right now.
    I'll bet ya he'd be scared if I took the $80 HDMI Monster cable I bought over to his house and wrapped it around his NECK!!! And then took his three DLP projectors!

  18. #18
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Congrats Kex, this is just too sweet. I'l looking forward to hearing your impressions of the amp as I am completely without any knowledge of Emotiva---never even read a review. Hope it all works out.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  19. #19
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    I'll bet ya he'd be scared if I took the $80 HDMI Monster cable I bought over to his house and wrapped it around his NECK!!! And then took his three DLP projectors!

    Not really, he knows how that cable is made.
    (joke)
    I HAVE NEVER HAD ANY problems with Monster, BTW
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
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    sharp Aquos BLU player
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    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  20. #20
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    Update

    Well I've had some quality time with this thing.

    Most notable observation: this amplifier can play LOUD. It's a very heavy, well built, little power plant. In the configuration I use it in, it is rated to deliver 125 watts x 5, plus 50 watts x 2, all channels driven simultaneously. That's got to be conservative.

    Most of my listening has been done with my HT speakers - 2-way, bookshelf DIY speakers that use Peerless CSX woofers (which I noticed Totem still uses) and a bit with my Paradigm Studio 40 v.2 monitors (which the DIY's replaced). Didn't find subbing speakers changed impressions at all - with one exception below.

    First night I spent mostly listening to acoustic music and female vocals - Allison Krauss on CD and SACD in particular. At one point my wife came down and told me to turn it down. I didn't think it was terribly loud, but when I checked my trusty SPL meter I was spiking over 94 dB and had an average volume in the low 80's, which really surprised me. It didnt' "seem" as loud because it sounded better. I've experienced this phenomenon before - when I changed a 40 watt NAD integrated with a beefier, 100 watt Rotel. I'm sure some of you have experienced something similar. To me it's a good sign when you can lose track of the loudness without your ears hurting or getting tired.

    There's a certain element of grain or high end distortion I would normally experience after extended periods of time with my receiver at such volume levels (read "fatigue"), and even a bit with the Adcom GFA-535 or Rotel RB-980 amps I was using if I really pushed the volume. I'm pretty certain I can attribute this to extra headroom and the absence of clipping of various sorts. In fact, all week I've noticed myself pushing my system to new loudness levels - whether it be 2-channel listening or home theater - the amp handles it effortlessly and there's no sign of strain.

    I've spent the last few days off work playing CD's, SACD's and DVD's and trying to get a feel for the comparative differences this unit has with some other amps I own. In terms of tonality, the amp is comparatively warmer sounding than the Adcoms and Rotels I've owned, and of course the Yamaha receiver. Not as warm as some amps I've owned and maybe a bit more neutral sounding than any NAD gear I've used. Actually, this is a bit of a change for me - I've always preferred "brighter" sounding gear I guess. A lot of tube amps and excessive warm gear just bore me. My hearing is fine, just my preference. This amp doesn't indulge in excessive brightness or warmth. That might turn off people in both camps.

    I bought this to serve as a multichannel amp so I spent quite some time with Dolby Digital, DTS and hi-resolution multi-channel sources. It passes with flying colors in this role and has really added a new element to my SACD collection in particular. I notice a more spacious soundfield during movies, and a wider, deeper soundstage. And again, I find myself playing things louder without sign of fatigue. This thing loves to play multi-channel classical music on SACD's just so it can show off dynamic range. Mahler's 5th was on just a few minutes ago. I could see walkers in my neighborhood staring in my window probably wondering what the hell I was doing.

    At more moderate levels I noticed channel separation seems to be notably improved, and I wasn't expecting that coming from 3 separate power amps. It has better specs than the amps I was using in the right areas, but I've noticed in the past that specs don't always equate to real world performance. This amp meets or exceeds expectations. Surround sound never sounded so good to me. I would not hesitate to recommend this amplifier to anyone looking for more power and better sound than what they can find in the $1000-$2000 receiver range.

    What's really surprised me is how good it performs in stereo - this morning I brought up my RA-1070. I've been manually switching between a NAD 3020, my Rotel and Yamaha/LPA-1 combo. It's not a perfect a/b by any stretch but I know my system well and I'm comfortable I'm not imagining things. Despite there being only a 20 watt/channel difference, I can't say enough about the extra headroom this unit has over the integrated. My Rotel is no slouch, but it runs out of gas earlier. My home theater is in our family room, 20 x 24 feet approximately, and I sit about 10-11 feet from my speakers. If my stereo rig was in this room I might want more power, but it's in a much smaller room with more efficient speakers, so it's been more than adequate.

    Not much to say about comparing it to the the NAD 3020. This Emo amp partnered with my receiver sound a lot better for most types of music. You name it, it's better. Wider soundstage, more focused imaging, clearer vocals, better bass response. And not just at louder volumes. There's nothing wrong with the NAD, it was serviced last year and is fine. It's just a 40 watt model and I think it's just over matched in my room once you start turning the volume up with any significance. I assume it's a power thing, or maybe the Yamaha has a better pre-amp section. Don't know, don't care, not going to dwell on it. Next.

    Compared to the Rotel, bass sounds a bit more defined when using the LPA-1/Yammie combo, and the difference increases with volume. I can't really tell much difference for rock music, but acoustic bass in some jazz cd's I was playing is definitely a bit tighter and seems to have more precision. Some people might call it "fast" or under more control. I'm struggling for the words here. I want to explore this more with my 2-channel rig, in time. However, music through the Rotel does seem to be a tiny wee bit more lively, but the sound stage and and imaging are about the same. There's just a slight bit more character I notice on drums, particularly brushes and cymbals when using the Rotel. Not sure if it's "better", just different.

    I actually lugged my towers upstairs yesterday to see how it would handle better speakers that are a tiny bit harder to drive (lower min impedance). I swear the male vocals on the Rotel are a bit closer to me than in the LPA-1. Not better or worse, but as I crank the volume it's like the Rotel pushes vocals foward, the LPA-1 keeps em centered. Anyone else ever notice anything like this? Rich's problems in his Yammie thread have me wondering if an impedance swing in the midrange could cause this? Thoughts? Never noticed it before.

    Tear down and setup took about 45 minutes and a lot of grunting, so I'm not lugging speakers up and down stairs again.

    Anyway. To make a short story long, I have no reservations saying this amp is better, and more practical solution than buying 3 separate used Rotel/Adcom/NAD stereo amps to connect to a receiver (like I was doing), and I can't imagine any typical $1000-$2000 receiver packing as much power and sound quality into the box. Does well in stereo mode! I'm really impressed with this thing so far. I know very little about the company other than they've been around for about 5 years or so now and seem to be following a similar path to Outlaw Audio (whom I've also had good experience with btw). But if the rest of the amps these guys make are worth their salt, I suspect we'll be hearing more from these guys. I'm seriously thinking about losing the Rotel and grabbing one of their 2-channel amps.

    Bonus points for looking very cool and having hi-tech protection circuitry. There's no reason for amps to look ugly anymore. High WAF.

    Edit: Oh yeah, this thing only costs $500 (plus shipping) with a 5 year warranty, if you're wonderin'...
    Last edited by kexodusc; 05-02-2008 at 03:14 PM.

  21. #21
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Great review Kex. I'm glad you're enjoying the new toy. I can relate to the part about an increase in volume without awareness. Same thing happened when I moved from the Rotel to the Mac...kinda funny when someones talking to you and ya just see lips flapping.

    Good stuff. From where does the Emotiva originate?
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  22. #22
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobsticks
    Great review Kex. I'm glad you're enjoying the new toy. I can relate to the part about an increase in volume without awareness. Same thing happened when I moved from the Rotel to the Mac...kinda funny when someones talking to you and ya just see lips flapping.

    Good stuff. From where does the Emotiva originate?
    Like all good companies these days, they are HQ'ed in Tennessee, designed in the USA and manufactured in China (oh the horror). Hence the low price.
    Seeing a lot of this in the driver/speaker industry too - QC is handled by US engineering, but labor/production is exploite--err contracted at the going rate in China. You gotta think eventually the labor supply over there is going to become a bit more scarce..

    Emotiva owns their manufacturing facilities and actually produce amps for some other high end audio companies in addition to the house brand "Emotiva".

    A good friend of mine bought some gear from these guys not too long ago and fanboyed me into curiousity. A few of the members here have been eyeballing them too. With my Adcom dying and my need to buy some new gear HT room for the house we're building, I figured I'd be a guinea pig.

    There's nothing cheap about this thing and a lot of excess has been engineered into it. It just looks and feels higher quality than my Rotel throughout. Not a Bryston or PS Audio, by any means but this sick value performer.

  23. #23
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    A note on the 6th and 7th channels

    The 6th/7th channels can be bridge to make another 125 watt channel that matches the other 5, but I run all 7. The manufacturer's rating for those channels is 50 watt x 2 (when all 7 channels are driven to max output at stated THD spec). In practice, I think this is a bit conservative.

    For me, the reduced power hasn't been an issue, they have plenty of reserve power and I'm sure exceed that rating by quite a bit. I did a quick zone 2 test and they drove my speakers to to lead slap without any sign of compression or clipping. The 60 watt/channel GFA-535 has little distortion indicator lights that flare up a bit before getting that loud, and I know those amps were tested at well above 60 watt/channel. I know how people here value numbers so much, just want address any concerns people might have. I think there's more reserve power available to them than my 120 watt/channel receiver can deliver. Like I said...hasn't been an issue.

    The model is getting a slight overhaul that will bump the power to 125 watts for all 7 channels instead of 50 x 2 for the 6th/7th channels. I was told this model is expected to jump $200 in price because production costs have increased...any fence sitters might want to act quickly.

  24. #24
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    It's been a long time coming. I think we've all known that American/Canadian/Euro design and Far East manufacturing can work, it's good to see an instance in which it does work.
    I've been researching external DACS and inevitably the conversation always comes down to this as the Chinese and Japanese are really pioneering the way into computer audio. Good to know the job can get done right.

    I'm currently running my Mac bridged with excellent results for the two-channel scenario. I'm not sure if your bookshelves would really benifit from that increased current, but who knows, mebbe soon there'll be a wall of Emotivas at Chez Kex.

    Peace
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

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    Sounds like a good bang for the buck for sure. When you were comparing did you use the Yamaha receiver as preamp with all amps? Most of your review sounded real good the only point that gave me pause was when you thought the Rotel was a bit more lively. All the demos of Rotel always struck me as them being very laid back. So if the Emo is more so, it wouldn't be the amp for me.

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