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  • Amplifier: Power Quantity vs Quality vs Features Balance

    Hello,

    I am planning on getting a better amplifier to replace my Emotiva Flex Integrated. It does 50 watts into 8 ohms, and 80 into 4 Ohms. I am using it to power my 3-way Adelphos SB Acoustics system. What would you recommend? I think I can stretch my budget to $2500 if the improvements are drastic in sound quality. I'm not sure what would yield better sound, more power or more quality. Right now the system is loud enough for 80% of the music I listen to.

    I was eyeing an Emotiva Amp/Pre Combo ([email protected]), Parasound Halo integrated ([email protected]) or perhaps something with room correction.

    What do you recommend or what would you do?
    Last edited by DearSX; 05-02-2017, 09:18 AM.

  • #2
    Crown XLS Drivecore; that's what I recommend.

    Later,
    Wolf
    "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
    "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
    "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
    "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

    *InDIYana event website*

    Photobucket pages:
    http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

    My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
    http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks, Wolf. I'm going to look that amp. It is very affordable and powerful. I guess I would need a preamp to go along with it.

      Is this what you run? What speakers are you running it on? You think you are getting the most out of your system with it?

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes. I have an Anthem AVM-30 for my preamp.
        I run a pair of 1500 for Left and Right, either in stereo for left front and left surround on one amp and vice versa, or bridge them for stereo only.
        I run whatever speakers I want with them.
        I couldn't be happier.

        Later,
        Wolf
        "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
        "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
        "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
        "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

        *InDIYana event website*

        Photobucket pages:
        http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

        My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
        http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Wolf View Post
          Yes. I have an Anthem AVM-30 for my preamp.
          I run a pair of 1500 for Left and Right, either in stereo for left front and left surround on one amp and vice versa, or bridge them for stereo only.
          I run whatever speakers I want with them.
          I couldn't be happier.

          Later,
          Wolf


          Thanks, I will pick one up and listen to it this week.

          Do you put a lot more emphasis on the pre-amp? That anthem is not cheap

          Comment


          • #6
            Well- I traded a pair of speakers for it. I don't know what the preamp should be, but in the case of the Crowns, they like a good balanced signal.

            Later,
            Wolf
            "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
            "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
            "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
            "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

            *InDIYana event website*

            Photobucket pages:
            http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

            My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
            http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

            Comment


            • #7
              I would be careful of anything class D, has a switching power supply, or requires a huge pre amp to drive it.

              If an amplifiers specs state it is has 0.5% thd under the very best circumstances, who knows what you are really getting by the time it loads down a pre, and deals with the actual loudspeaker loading/back EMF.

              IMHO, YMMV, however any industy pro I have ever engaged with concider things like power reserves, low distortion, damping factor to be far more important than straight numbers when wanting fidelity.

              I am in the camp of buying 50 good watts like a Parasound Z-Amp.

              http://www.parasound.com/zamp-v3.php#
              .

              Comment


              • #8
                You do realize that the THD spec is at full power on the Crowns, right, Mike? That means miniscule at a few watts.

                I didn't say I needed a huge pre, but the balanced signals are hotter and preferred for pro gear. The 1502 has a sensitivity switch.

                DF is rather high on class D amps, and the Drivecores have no issues with varying load in terms of FR on top.

                50 good watts will still clip at moderate levels with 30dB crest factors in music. I'm in the camp of 250W or more.

                Later,
                Wolf
                "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                *InDIYana event website*

                Photobucket pages:
                http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

                My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                  You do realize that the THD spec is at full power on the Crowns, right, Mike? That means miniscule at a few watts.

                  I didn't say I needed a huge pre, but the balanced signals are hotter and preferred for pro gear. The 1502 has a sensitivity switch.

                  DF is rather high on class D amps, and the Drivecores have no issues with varying load in terms of FR on top.

                  50 good watts will still clip at moderate levels with 30dB crest factors in music. I'm in the camp of 250W or more.

                  Later,
                  Wolf
                  I *can* disagree with you Ben, and I do. He asked which is 'better' (i.e. an opnion). I find cheap watts to be strident, lack detail at regular listening levels, and give up life-like dynamics well before quality watts at regular, to even powerful levels.

                  Pro amps arebuilt with a different set of compromises than home amps. Just like pro loudspeakers vs. Home.

                  That said, the drivecore amps are not 'bad', if fact from my limited exposure to them they seem to have a lot to offer for short money. I am sure it would not be a "wrong" choice.....But not the only choice.
                  .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I tried the $1000 [email protected] Creek Audio Evo 50a, which got a B rating from Stereophile. I could not hear a difference between it and the Emotiva. I was thinking perhaps I need more power or even better quality or both.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DearSX View Post
                      I tried the $1000 [email protected] Creek Audio Evo 50a, which got a B rating from Stereophile. I could not hear a difference between it and the Emotiva. I was thinking perhaps I need more power or even better quality or both.
                      Perhaps it is not the amp?

                      I see, more often than not, the source neglected. Bits are bits and excuses like that typically lead to high jitter, high analig noise, or systems with poor analog sections in a DAC that squash clarity and dynamics.

                      Something to concider, anyway. It all starts at the beginning.

                      Several months back 'I knew a guy' that changed loudapeakers 3 times to try and get rid of something annoying he heard when it turned out it was his DAC. There was nothing wrong with it per-se and it was fairly well rated.....It simply was not his cup o' tea.
                      .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DearSX View Post
                        Hello,

                        I am planning on getting a better amplifier to replace my Emotiva Flex Integrated. It does 50 watts into 8 ohms, and 80 into 4 Ohms. I am using it to power my 3-way Adelphos SB Acoustics system. What would you recommend? I think I can stretch my budget to $2500 if the improvements are drastic in sound quality. I'm not sure what would yield better sound, more power or more quality. Right now the system is load enough for 80% of the music I listen to.

                        I was eyeing an Emotiva Amp/Pre Combo ([email protected]), Parasound Halo integrated ([email protected]) or perhaps something with room correction.

                        What do you recommend or what would you do?
                        Don't rely on specs, or others to tell you what to buy. I'm not one of those that believes in snake oil, (seems to be a lot of that in Stereophile) but I also think specs don't tell the entire story. We all have our preferences (bias). Your ears need to tell you. Others can make recommendations for you to demo, but it's you that has to be satisfied. If I were considering laying out that much cash for amplification, it means I plan on keeping that piece for a long time, and you dam# well bet this would be a long-term drawn out purchasing decision. I'd want to hear those amps in my system before purchase.

                        YMMV.

                        http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
                        http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
                        http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've got 3 integrated that I rotate around in my second system: Accuphase E270, LFD IV, and Naim XS; all are under 100 watts. I do have other tube amps and a Bryston 4B set which I think is around 200 watts. I think the sweet spot is around 80 watts or so, where double the power does not significantly increase loudness in an enjoyable way. That is, there is a point in loudness and being satisfied where there is no need to go any louder depending on the room and the speakers. All 3 integrateds sound great with the Continuums (a speaker that most on this forum have heard) but are subtlely different. If you are the type that constantly tinkers with sound, I would start trying different integrated amps until you find something you like. I ended up with 3 that I can swap in/out when I just want something different. You can buy used on Audiogon and resell with little if any loss. Or, if you have a local brick and mortar hifi shop they may allow in-house demos. I hate to say it, and it sounds cliche', but nobody knows the kind of sound you like more than yourself.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DearSX View Post
                            Hello,

                            I am planning on getting a better amplifier to replace my Emotiva Flex Integrated. It does 50 watts into 8 ohms, and 80 into 4 Ohms. I am using it to power my 3-way Adelphos SB Acoustics system. What would you recommend? I think I can stretch my budget to $2500 if the improvements are drastic in sound quality. I'm not sure what would yield better sound, more power or more quality. Right now the system is load enough for 80% of the music I listen to.

                            I was eyeing an Emotiva Amp/Pre Combo ([email protected]), Parasound Halo integrated ([email protected]) or perhaps something with room correction.

                            What do you recommend or what would you do?

                            If you like your Emotiva, why not buy a pair of the Emotiva XPA-1 monoblocks?

                            I think I hear a difference - wow, it's amazing!" Ethan Winer: audio myths
                            "As God is my witness I'll never be without a good pair of speakers!" Scarlett O'Hara

                            High value, high quality RS150/TB28-537SH bookshelf - TARGAS NLA!
                            SB13/Vifa BC25SC06 MTM DCR Galeons-SB13-MTM
                            My Voxel min sub Yet-another-Voxel-build

                            Tangband W6-sub

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DearSX View Post
                              I tried the $1000 [email protected] Creek Audio Evo 50a, which got a B rating from Stereophile. I could not hear a difference between it and the Emotiva. I was thinking perhaps I need more power or even better quality or both.
                              What is it you think your missing with your current amp?

                              Comment

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