well after reading most post here and i'm a bit sad because i didn't experience as good as the rest of you with this unit. like i said i had my spk (monitor audio br6) with marantz mm7055 and anthem a5 and both amp gave me a very full experience and drawn me into what ever i was listening. but with the xpa-5, it has a very sharp high and the low was lose. not the same as what i experience with the other two amp, i did the break in for the last 5 to 6 day now and each day is about 8 to 10 hours. 2nd, i wonder if anyone notice the power cord keep coming lose when moving the unit around for better positioning. any thoughts would be great......
I own the XPA-5 and I never experienced the power cord coming loose when moving it around for better positioning, because once I have the beast (75 lbs) in place I don't move it around. The power cord never comes loose in normal use though it is easy to remove if intended, non-issue IMO. If it still bothers you put a little black electrician's tape around it for a tighter fit or switch the power cord with one of the other amps.
The XPA-5 is ruler flat. I for one don't believe the significant differences that others hear when operating a high quality SS amp within reasonable limits (no clipping, etc). I would question whether you are doing an A/B/C comparison or better yet a blind A/B/C comparison with someone's help. I would guess that the "very sharp high" is due to the Ceramic Coated Aluminum Magnesium tweeter in the BR6 and not some characteristic of the XPA-5 which is actually now allowing you to hear the slightly irritating effect of that type of driver.
Comparing the three amps, the Anthem and the Emo should be very similar if not exactly the same in SQ. The Marantz is not as stable into 4 ohms and probably lower overall quality but should still sound nearly identical under most conditions unless that BR6 drops quite low in impedance.
My guess here is that you are not volume matching as you compare if you are in fact doing A/B or A/B/C testing as the Emo amp's gain (32dB) is significantly higher and if it is driving the BR6's louder then you might be hearing any slight negatives in the playback of the BR6 rather than in the amp. Louder would make you more aware of the possible slightly bright highs in the BR6. If you are also playing the BR6 at full range the slightly louder gain might expose the low bass limitation of the BR6 when played at high volumes. Try listening to a source that has no low bass or be sure the amps are exactly gain/volume matched and do the evaluation again.
I know I'm getting quite nit-picky here but I think there are factors exterior to the XPA-5 at work here.
How about posting here a photo of your setup with all three amps so we can see if we can identify any other potential reasons for your perceived sound differences in these three amps.
well i have the monitor audio bronze series all 5spkers, the front is the br6 series, the receiver is onkyo 1008 and that is it.... very simple. as for the loose cable issue, yes the xpa-5 is heavy and thats why i wasn't able to put it on the exact spot on the first time. the two br6 is a 6 ohm spker and everything is set accordingly with the receiver. i had all 3 amp in 50, 60, 70 volume. i'm trying to find out if i need to setup differently.....
You didn't understand what Chuckienut meant by level matched. You need to get an SPL meter and match the levels of the different amps. "50" on your receiver on one amp might be 90db, while "50" with another amp might produce 100db. This will certainly affect things.
I also think he might be on to something with the driver type. If it wasn't being fully driven, it might muddy it some, which would be preferable if it's a hard sounding driver. Once it got enough power, it filled out its sound, and you found it to be harsh. This is part of the whole "system synergy" thing that some people don't think exists, but in many very scientific cases, it can. Of course, as many others say, it's only true to the sound if you can actually hear it.
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The XPA-5 (and later the XPA-2) certainly made my old Phase Techs come to life. These things didn't sound this good in the shop when I bought them all those years ago. Then again, they were hooked up to an AVR in the shop.
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You didn't understand what Chuckienut meant by level matched.
Thanks Bill for clarifying that for me!
wpgmb03, the impedance specification is a very general spec and the impedance varies significantly with the frequency. Many times the speaker manufacturer tends to give the impedance on the higher side so not scare any potential sales away if the buy owns a receiver.
Many receivers and some lower end amplifiers will put out more power into 4 ohms than into 8 ohms, which is the way it should be but have stability issues at 4 ohms or so . The theortically perfect amp that puts out 100 watts into 8 ohms will put out 200 watts (double) into 4 ohms. Weak amps might put out just slightly more into 4 ohms or even less, watch out! Some receivers or low end amps might not even give a power rating into 4 ohms (only into 8 or 6 ohms, watch out if you have true low impedance speakers). A good general rule of thumb is try to get an amp that puts out at least 50% or more into 4 ohms than into 8 ohms. For example the XPA-5 is rated at 200 watts into 8 ohms and 300 watts into 4 ohms. As you move up the Emo line you'll see that the XPA-1 puts out 500 watts into 8 ohms and 1000 watts into 4 ohms. Although most amps will put out more power into a 4 ohm speaker it happens that it is more of a strain on the amp. That is why enthusiast are usually interested in the amps stability into 4 ohms.
Many speakers that are actually specified at 6 ohms for example, actually drop down to 4 ohms or even less at some frequencies. So just looking at the manufacturers stated impedance rating of 6 ohms is many times a shot in the dark unless you know the actual measured impedance. That is why I always do look carefully for a review on a speaker from a source like Sound & Vision, Home Theater or Stereophile that usually give test measurement results. That can tip you off to a speaker that although rated in its specs as 8 ohms or 6 ohms actually acts more like a 4 ohm speaker in its critical frequencies. Thus one would need to be sure to have an amp like Emo, etc, that are solid into 4 ohms. This not the case with many receivers, except for perhaps the top of the line.
However, using a receiver with an impedance switch can be a problem. The switch is mainly for technical testing reasons (too complicated to get into here), but should always be set to 8 ohms regardless of the 6 or 4 ohm rating on the speakers. If the receiver or low end amp goes into protection mode and shuts down (or overheats) then you've got a problem with an amp that is not stable enough to drive those speaker at any high output levels.
The impedance question is very complicated but just remember that the stated spec is only a rough estimate and one should check for test results if available. One can also check in a review or from friends that the amp is very stable into speakers that are true a 3-5 ohm load or lower.
This was one reason for my comment above about the Marantz amp. I believe if you check it is either rated only by Marantz at 8 and 6 ohms. It might be a nice amp, but that is a tip off that you might be careful if for example you were to buy the Emo 8.3, which is rated by the manufacturer at 4 ohms. If a speaker is in fact rated by the manufacturer at 4 ohms then you can be quite certain that it needs a very strong amp to drive it.
Post by roadrunner on Jul 12, 2011 23:26:05 GMT -5
In addition to what Chuckienut and Bill told you, Marantz is known for its "signature sound". This means Marantz has intentionally "colored" the output rather than having a neutral sounding output. You have gotten used to hearing that colored output so when you hear a perfectly flat, neutral amp it is going to sound like something is askew.
Another thought that has come to mind is did you recalibrate your system when you switched amps? If you didn't, that alone could account for the differences you have noted. One last thought, you may have your br6 speakers wired out of phase, which could also account for what you are hearing.
When you changed amps did you re-run Audyssey in your Onkyo receiver? If not, you need to totally approach this as if you were starting from scratch in setting up your HT system. Otherwise you are using the wrong EQ curves with the XPA-5; and, again, this will alter the output you hear from the speakers.
You can't just drop in a new amp in a HT system without properly calibrating everything if you expect it to perform optimally. Any time you change a major component in your system (amp, pre/pro, receiver, or speakers) you should run all of your set-up routines as if starting from scratch. If you don't the results are not predictable.
great thoughts and thanks, will definitely try out all as mentioned..... keep great ideals coming as i surely can use them. and yes! i find the xpa-5 a bit harsh, maybe i still need to get use to the xpa-5 like "roadrunner" stated. still have a bit of time, will see.... thanks again all
Just to add a comment here about the actual measured power output of the Marantz amp, which I found in a HT Mag review (I never trust the power specs from most companies, especially for receivers or lower priced amps).
The 140 watt per channel at 8 ohms for the Marantz MM7055 is for two channels only (yeah, I know very seldom would you actually have all five channels stressed at once but it is a good comparison test to see how beefy the amp is). It actually tested out below spec at 131 watts into 8 ohms/2 channels. With five channels driven into 8 ohms it tested out at 108 watts versus 209 watts for the XPA-5, almost double the power!. Someone will now point out that is only 3dB's more volume. That 3dB's of headroom can make the difference between very loud peak dynamics in a soundtrack sounding clear and defined versus being mistakenly perceived at "ear bleeding" levels because the lesser power amp has gone into clipping or audible distortion. HT Mag mistakenly showed the spec on the 7055 as 170 watts into 4 ohms/2 channels. Marantz hides that info in their product sheet and I had to download and look in the owner's manual to discover that it is actually a spec of 170 watts into 6 ohms/2 channels. It is common practice over the last few years for B&M brands to cut corners on the amps in their receivers and some lower end amps. When I see an amp that has no 4 ohm power rating alarms go off in my head. A 6 ohm amp rating is something I expect to see in a receiver but not a quality amp. I'm not trying to be negative about the Marantz but only pointing out the possible limitations for high volume use and/or low impedance speakers in the future.
The Anthem A5 at 180 watts/8 ohms and 265 watts/4 ohms is much closer to the hefty power output of the XPA-5, 200 watts/8 ohms and 300 watts/4 ohms. If you can identify the testing problem with the XPA-5, I think you would be better comparing the XPA-5 and the Anthem A5. Power is not everything but I believe these two amps are significantly better.
Last Edit: Jul 14, 2011 18:43:40 GMT -5 by Deleted
hey this makes me laugh I said the same thing over on avs about 1-2 years ago and got laughed at and got told I didn't know what I was talking..
Personally I take 15-25% off what the stated power from avr manufactures actually state in the manual or product briefs for the amp section, given the issues you just stated..
I don't know b&m stands for, though if your talking marantz and denon products, you're looking at D&M holdings as the current parent company that owns both denon and marantz..
I find most people buying avr's today seem to fry the amp section because the dumb *bleep* decide to stick rated speakers on the amp section..
wow I would of said initially 140/8 ohms would be closer to 110/8ohm all channels driven..
I find marantz is more for the european ears where power isn't needed, myself i prefer a pleasant loudness..
to be honest nothing against marantz/denon when I say, I think you would better with any power amp from the upa-1 through to the xpa-1 why would you bother pissing money down the drain on lower wattage gear, when virtually all the major brand power amp has a wattage power choke when you start comparing what is rated to what you can actually get before the protection mode kicks in...
take any 2 channel from denon, marantz, onkyo and anthem then compare it with the xpa-2, then look at the multi channel amp and compare it to the xpa-5, you'll likely the emo gear out class and out perform any within the 8ohms, 6ohms and 4ohms category..
the signature sound is analog for marantz..
mind you I'd like to see emo do something within the 3ohms, 2ohms and 1ohms within the similar price point to the 8-4 ohm gear...
if the xpa's haven't synced in I can understand why you got some issues..
B&M (brick and mortar buildings) stands for brands that are sold thru regular local retail type dealers as opposed to ID (internet direct) dealers like Emotiva. Many B&M brands are now sold also thru (other than ID) online dealers. B&M brands in this context includes, Marantz, Denon, Pioneer, Onkyo, Sony, etc., (and higher end model designations by some brands such as Sony ES, Pioneer Elite and Integra) and even some brands normally considered higher end. A couple examples are an Arcam AVR 400 receiver ($2500) that tested at 84 watts, five channels driven into 8 ohms and an Anthem MRX300 receiver ($1000) tested at 71 watts/5 channels/into 8 ohms. These power levels might be fine for some folks at more moderate levels but their advertised higher power specs are not at all channels driven and many times they are less than adequate into 4 ohms at high levels.
AVRs, IMHO, suck it in terms of SQ. But, I used them for many a year because that's what I could afford. All throughout my high school and college days I only knew of 2 people running separate power amps; everyone else had receivers/AVRs. I never, never knew of anyone frying an amp on a receiver... ever. Blown speakers on the other hand (because of all the clipping going on from a distressed amp) were quite prevalent. And this is coming from a school that had "Quad Wars" where people would stick their speakers in their windows playing different music to see which could be heard in the middle of the Quad.
Ah, those were the days....
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It is just that many folks are confused by the power and impedance numbers on amp specs especially in receivers. I was too for a long time.
I'm not trying to bash any brands here, it is just the competitive pressure to maintain high power numbers while keeping the prices low. This leads brands to cut corners to stay competitive. Some folks laugh at me but one of the first specs I look at in a receiver or amp of similar design is the weight.
For example, take two 5 channel amps that are rated at 200 watts into 8 ohms with all channels operating, and one amp weighs 70 lbs and the other weighs 50 lbs. I immediately start looking for the why? I usually start by trying to find out if one is skimping on the 4 ohms performance.
Another example is a few years ago with the Onkyo 805 receiver and then the next year's 806 model. I was looking at that receiver closely and then noticed that the weight on the 806 took a significant drop from the weight of the 805 (51 down to 45 lbs) while still claiming 130 watts per channel. I presumed they had skimped some on the amp that had been in the 805, which was quite a beefy amp for that class of receiver. Sure enough reading carefully they had changed it from 130 watts into 8 ohms with all channels operating on the 805 to 130 watts into 8 ohms with two channels operating on the 806.
My thoughts were confirmed when I read Brain Florian's review at Secrets of Hi-Fi (Jim Milton's hang out) of the 806 (Brian did a review on both the 805 and 806).
".......Small things don't go unnoticed. When FedEx dropped the unit off at my office, I immediately noticed that I could lift the thing without too much strain whereas last year I distinctly remember asking for help getting the previous model into the car. What's more amusing is that the very next day I was contacted by a reader asking if I would be reviewing the 806, and what did I make of the weight reduction........"
".......On the whole the 806 ....... clearly something has been given up in terms of amplifier power........"
Not to pick on Onkyo here. They make quality receivers comparable to the other brands or perhaps even better. However, the entire industry seems to have suffered by competitive pressures and has skimped on the amps in receivers and some amps. Many prospective buyers simply don't pick up on this.
140 watts is 140 watts and that is almost as much power as 200 watts, right? Well almost as much, maybe 1.5 dB's or so less if all else is equal. That "all else is equal" is a huge qualification. To pick on Marantz again in the description of their MM7055 amp they say:
".......The MM7055 power amplifier produces 140 watts of high current output from each of its five channels. This is “real world” power, too, measured across the full audio bandwidth (20 Hz – 20 kHz) at 8 ohms with 0.08% Total Harmonic Distortion. Among other attributes, this means the MM7055 is capable of long-term power delivery into low impedance speakers........"
Note they do not say with all channels operating. If this amp is so high current and able to provide long term power into low impedance speakers then where is its specs into 4 ohms?
Sorry, I hope I'm not getting too far off thread intent for the OP here (this amp power spec question just hits sensitive nerve endings for me). I realize that the 7055 might be fine for his application now, but IMO too many folks don't really understand amplifier specs and too many brands these days tend to hide the gentle downward power slide in their amps.
(Now maybe one can see why Emotiva amps stick out like a sore thumb ..... no tricks!)
Last Edit: Jul 14, 2011 23:15:34 GMT -5 by Deleted
AVRs, IMHO, suck it in terms of SQ. But, I used them for many a year because that's what I could afford.
I was in the same boat a few years ago and I wanted to upgrade my system. I had my eye on the Onkyo 805, which was then quite a powerhouse for a receiver. Well, I had to hold off and then I saw the amps start to lose weight and I thought oh no!
Not too long afterward a miracle appeared named Emotiva. Here was an amp (XPA-5) very similar in performance to Parasound and other brands that were way, way over my budget, like 3 or 4 times as much!