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  1. #1

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    Default To Amp Or Not To Amp

    Running a hybrid system, 7.1 with Monitor 75 mains, 25c center, PSB Alpha B1 sides and Realistic Minimus 7 rears, DSW550 sub. Play a lot of SACD and blu-ray concerts, plus movies. Just replaced a Yamaha RX-V671 with a Pioneer SC-61 Elite. I've had it about a week, and I think I was expecting a bit more from the D3 amplification. I notice a bit of clarity and slightly brighter than the Yamaha. I've run MCACC a couple of times, and think I'm getting about all that's deliverable in this configuration. I still feel underpowered for the mains and center, would any of you folks agree? I do like the SC-61, and bought it for the purpose of adding an amp if I felt it was needed. I'm thinking maybe a 3 channel amp and let the SC-61 do the surrounds. Would anyone like to chime in with their thoughts? Thanks...

  2. #2

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    I have a Yamaha RX-A1000 that I ran initially. Things just sound better overall now with a standalone amp. The Yamaha can focus on processing signals while the amp can focus on turning it into noise.
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    I may have an addiction... RTA-15TL, SDA 2, LSi25, LSi15, LSi9, LSi7, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LS/FX, RT/FX, DSW MP2000...and that's just the Polks...

  3. #3

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    More power is always a good thing. Get a 5-7 channel amp of at least 200wpc then sit back and enjoy.
    Sunfire TGP III PrePro, Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature 405wpc 5 ch. Amp, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Onkyo TA2600 Tape Deck, Pioneer Elite 47-A DVD, Sony 32" XBR TV, Polk RTA-8T Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, Boston PV-600 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by cfrizz View Post
    More power is always a good thing. Get a 5-7 channel amp of at least 200wpc then sit back and enjoy.
    +1. Listen to the Lady. However, check where your calibration has set the output levels.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Source: SONOS Music System, DAC: W4S DAC-2, Pre/Pro: Marantz AV8801, Amp: W4S MC5, Front: Polk RTIA9, Center: Polk CSIA6, Surrounds: Polk FXIA6, Sub EQ: DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033C, Subs: 2 - Polk DSW PRO660WI, IC & Speaker Cables: Signal Cable

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorton View Post
    +1. Listen to the Lady. However, check where your calibration has set the output levels.
    Bingo, that Pioneer should have no problem with those speakers. Big mistake most make is running the calibration and never checking what it set everything at. Don't take an auto calibration as gospel, always,always check the settings and tweak as needed.

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    You can never have too much power.
    Processor - Emotiva UMC-200
    Pre-Amp (2 Ch) - Emotiva USP-1
    DAC (2 Ch) - Emotiva XDA-2
    Amp (Fronts) - Emotiva XPA-2
    Amp (Center/Surrounds) - Emotiva XPA-3
    CD - Emotiva ERC-1
    Fronts - Polk Audio RTi 10
    Center - Polk Audio CSi5
    Rears - Polk Audio RTiA1
    Sub - Epik Knight
    Sub EQ - Velodyne SMS-1
    Monitor - Samsung HP-T5054
    Blu-Ray - OPPO BDP-103
    Network Media Player - Roku
    Power Conditioner - APC H15
    Power Conditioner - Emotiva CMX-2
    PVR - DirecTV HR44-500
    Remote - Harmony Touch

  7. #7

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    Ordered an XPA-3 yesterday while they're still on sale ($100 off).

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    What are the speaker levels set at in the receiver ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    Ordered an XPA-3 yesterday while they're still on sale ($100 off).
    The Pioneers are well-liked for delivering solid power. That said, my Onkyo TX-NR1007 is pretty solid in that respect as well, and after adding the XPA-3 last week (after a long ordeal with used Adcom and Parasound amps), I'm very happy with the sound it gave me. So long as it meshes well with the rest of your system (because it really is a matter of synergy), you should be pretty happy with the XPA-3, especially for the price. I know I am so far.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  10. #10

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    Amp!

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    What are the speaker levels set at in the receiver ?
    IIRC the MCACC had the front stage low, -4db or so for the mains, -6 for the center. I did tweak them up to around +3 or so, still didn't seem quite right. At higher volumes things seemed stressed, like instruments were meshing with no separation. But then, I have old ears.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    The Pioneers are well-liked for delivering solid power. That said, my Onkyo TX-NR1007 is pretty solid in that respect as well, and after adding the XPA-3 last week (after a long ordeal with used Adcom and Parasound amps), I'm very happy with the sound it gave me. So long as it meshes well with the rest of your system (because it really is a matter of synergy), you should be pretty happy with the XPA-3, especially for the price. I know I am so far.
    Picked the XPA-3 up today in N.D., installed it this afternoon. Really impressed, it's such a good fit for me. I was expecting a better low end, above the sub. But the bonus has been things like cymbals, horns etc in the higher realms that are so clear now. It's like the speakers had been covered in a plastic film before. Had a little trouble with the 12v trigger from the Pioneer, didn't know I had to set the trigger for each program (STB, Oppo, etc). I'm pretty happy with the purchase right now, thanks for everyone's opinions, pro and con amp.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado Red View Post
    Picked the XPA-3 up today in N.D., installed it this afternoon. Really impressed, it's such a good fit for me. I was expecting a better low end, above the sub.
    Did you re-run MCACC? Since I added the XPA-3, I've actually found that I can run a little lower crossover point with my front three speakers than I used to. You may just need to tweak things a little to get a better transition to your sub. So far, I'm definitely not finding low end lacking, but that could just be my particular speakers. I do find that bass sounds a little less bloated (i.e. better initial attack, less ringing afterwards), so it may just be a matter of what you're used to hearing. It will take you a few days to really adjust to the sound and start noticing the real changes it has made in your system. Listen to something you're familiar with that has punchy bass guitar. For me, it was tracks from Tal Wilkenfeld - Transformation and Herbie Hancock - Possibilities that really made me notice the difference.

    And yeah, like you, I'm impressed by the highs. Has a very crisp sound to it, and my front three speakers definitely image better with the XPA-3 in place (and that was after having an Adcom and a Parasound, though both were being flaky, so it's hard to judge).
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    Did you re-run MCACC? Since I added the XPA-3, I've actually found that I can run a little lower crossover point with my front three speakers than I used to. You may just need to tweak things a little to get a better transition to your sub. So far, I'm definitely not finding low end lacking, but that could just be my particular speakers. I do find that bass sounds a little less bloated (i.e. better initial attack, less ringing afterwards), so it may just be a matter of what you're used to hearing. It will take you a few days to really adjust to the sound and start noticing the real changes it has made in your system. Listen to something you're familiar with that has punchy bass guitar. For me, it was tracks from Tal Wilkenfeld - Transformation and Herbie Hancock - Possibilities that really made me notice the difference.

    And yeah, like you, I'm impressed by the highs. Has a very crisp sound to it, and my front three speakers definitely image better with the XPA-3 in place (and that was after having an Adcom and a Parasound, though both were being flaky, so it's hard to judge).
    I haven't rerun MCACC yet. My plan is to "tinker to taste" over the next week or two, record what I come up with and run MCACC again and compare. Since this is a hybrid type of set up, I may end up saving 2 settings with MCACC, music and movies. And yes, I was able to adjust the sub now. I was sitting at 100hz crossover and have gone down now to 80hz with the M75s better low end. You still keep your RTi70s at "small"?

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