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  1. #1

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    Default [Q] Amp or Receiver with HTPC

    Hello,

    I have been reading the forums here for several days now and got a lot of valuable information. Since the need I have is a bit odd, I thought I'd seek suggestions / recommendations for my case as well. I am considering a pair of TSi400s (or better) to go with my HTPC (HT/music 50/50) whenever they stock them in Polk Direct and then a matching center later this year.

    My current setup is HTPC (Phenom II X3 720 / 6GB / Xonar 24-bit 192kHz sound card), Cambridge Soundworks Amp (7x70W) / 210W Sub / 7 Speakers (MC105). While for movies I don't have much complaints, the music could definitely use some help. The sound card sounds pretty good though while using headphones.

    So I am upgrading the fronts hoping it'd fix my music woes. Now I am sure the amp I have isn't going to make the Polks happy but I am on a budget now and can't upgrade it right way (probably around xmas). Still would like to know, what would be the better way to go - an amp like Emotiva UPA-7 or a receiver like Yamaha RX-A800? My first preference would be quality if both of these are able to drive the 400s to the limit. Since this is the budget I have, is there anything better? I am assuming my Xonar card is as good a pre/pro as the RX-A800, is this true?

    For the speakers, I probably could stretch my budget a little and go for TSi500, but wondering if there would be any benefit for music or HT? Considering UPA-7 outputs only 125wpc, TSi500 probably wouldn't perform any better than a TSi400. Am I right? I also noticed that RTi A5s are not too far from 500s - will they be better for music at this power (125wpc)?

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for any comments / suggestions.

  2. #2

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    Welcome to Club Polk. The UPA-7 is a beast of an amp and is a nice choice for the TSi400's or the TSi500's. As long as you can control the volume of each channel with your computer, there is no need for a separate receiver. In terms of power output, the Yamaha RX-A800 receiver is no match to the power of the UPA-7. The TSi500's shine over the TSi400's with music. Not that the TSi400's aren't bad, but the TSi500's are just better. The difference isn't so great with HT.
    Last edited by xcapri79; 08-08-2010 at 10:46 PM.

    Main HT/2 ch:
    Pioneer SC-07, BDP-05FD, Emotiva XPA-5 x 2, XPA-1 x 2,
    Polk Audio LSi25, RTi12 x 2, LSi15 x 4, LSiC x 2, PSW1000 x 4,

    MB HT/ 2 ch:
    LG 47LM5800, Pioneer SC-1523, BDP-23FD, Sony BDP-S790, Emotiva XPA-2, XPA-5,
    Polk Audio LSi25,15, CSi5, LSiFX, PSW505 x 4

    Listening Room 2 ch:
    McIntosh MC162, MC202, C15, C41, C42, MA6500, MA6900, MCD201
    Emotiva RSP-2, RPA-1, ERC-2
    Adcom GCD 750, GFP 750, GFA 5802
    Polk Audio LSi7,9, 15

  3. #3

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    Thanks xcapri79, I also noticed on the emo site that UPA-7 is a class A/B amp, so in stereo mode it should have enough power to drive 500s or A5s.

  4. #4

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    Could someone answer my other questions (about comparing Xonar card's pre/pro with a receiver and advantages of RTi A5 over the 500 for music) please?

    In another thread I noticed a link for Denon 3311. How would this compare with the UPA-7 for music? This is out of my budget now but by the time I am ready to upgrade my current amp, it might be within reach.

    Thanks.

  5. #5

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    If you are considering the RTiA5's, they or the older RTi8's sound quite good for music powered by a HK AVR 354 AVR. There is definitely synergy there. Right now I'm listening to Aerosmith on a pair of RTi8's powered by a HK AVR 354.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Harman-Kardon-HK...ceivers_Tuners

    For $485 and free shipping, you really can't go wrong with that choice. It comes with an iPod bridge and has preamp outputs if you want to add an external amp down the road.

    Another perhaps better buy is the HK AVR 254 for $293 including shipping.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Harman-Kardon-HK...ceivers_Tuners

    I have one of these powering a Polk Monitor 60 based system in a bedroom.
    Last edited by xcapri79; 08-09-2010 at 09:51 PM.

    Main HT/2 ch:
    Pioneer SC-07, BDP-05FD, Emotiva XPA-5 x 2, XPA-1 x 2,
    Polk Audio LSi25, RTi12 x 2, LSi15 x 4, LSiC x 2, PSW1000 x 4,

    MB HT/ 2 ch:
    LG 47LM5800, Pioneer SC-1523, BDP-23FD, Sony BDP-S790, Emotiva XPA-2, XPA-5,
    Polk Audio LSi25,15, CSi5, LSiFX, PSW505 x 4

    Listening Room 2 ch:
    McIntosh MC162, MC202, C15, C41, C42, MA6500, MA6900, MCD201
    Emotiva RSP-2, RPA-1, ERC-2
    Adcom GCD 750, GFP 750, GFA 5802
    Polk Audio LSi7,9, 15

  6. #6

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    That 354 sure looks interesting. Too bad I have a somewhat uncommon need for a receiver with 2 HDMI outs, for my Samsung TV and Panasonic projector. That's the reason I was looking at Yamaha rx-a800 (and later Denon 3311ci).

    Currently both the projector and TV are connected to an ATI video card. The only reason I am still looking at the receivers because of their room correction features (and also 2nd zone). I have a few months to decide this so, keep the suggestions coming.

    Priority right now is the speakers and then after I move to a house, the room treatment. So, is RTi A5 a better buy over TSi500? I have seen 500s selling at a higher price than the A5s. Also what would you guys suggest for cheap room treatment in case I need it (hardwood floor, dry wall etc)?

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