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  1. #1

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    Default Modding an Emo amp

    First off I don't want this to turn into a heated Emo war.
    I was just curious about all the modding going on on this forum from speaker upgrades to amp upgrades and as we all know there are people that just don't like Emo.
    Which Leeds me to this question if Emo used less expensive parts inside their gear can someone open up an amp and see which parts could be replaced with better quality parts making the amp more expensive sounding without to much cost.
    I don't know if this has been asked before or not so I thought I would throw it out there..
    Can this be done or is it not feasible or cost prohibitive?

  2. #2

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    Personal recommendation would be to wait for the warranty to lapse before modding any amp.

    Looking at the internals on the XPA-2 as an example, there isn't much that would be a simple upgrade.
    Amps like the Adcom GFA-555 are a much simpler design to modify/upgrade while the Emos look like they use pre-fabbed amp boards and the power supply section looks like it is pretty unfriendly to simple mods.

    Personally, if you haven't had any experience modding amps, I would leave well enough alone. Just my 2 cents as amp mods aren't as black and white as crossover mods/upgrades.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZLTFUL View Post
    Personal recommendation would be to wait for the warranty to lapse before modding any amp.
    Good advice. But, if you still want to mod the amp, first make sure you do it safely. Second, the compact design of amps these days make them much harder to mod than amps of old.

    What do you want to accomplish by modding, and what would you do?

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    Thanks for the replies..
    It's not that I want to I was just curious as to the reasons why no one has modded an Emo amp that I am aware of.
    I just thought if you can upgrade your speakers and build your own Dacs and cables I thought maybe it was possible to upgrade some of the parts inside an Emotiva amp to higher quality parts and maybe change its sonic signature to a customization level, provided it was not cost prohibitive and user friendly in that regard.
    ZLTFUL would you say the Adcom is better sounding than the XPA-2?
    If so you say the Adcom is a simpler design easier to upgrade/modify , but I'm guessing simpler does mean cheaper correct?
    If not then why would Emo not use that simpler design ?
    Again I don't want to make this into a Emo haters thread I just want to understand my question a little better, and Thanks for the reply

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    Default

    Thanks for the replies..
    It's not that I want to I was just curious as to the reasons why no one has modded an Emo amp that I am aware of.
    I just thought if you can upgrade your speakers and build your own Dacs and cables I thought maybe it was possible to upgrade some of the parts inside an Emotiva amp to higher quality parts and maybe change its sonic signature to a customization level, provided it was not cost prohibitive and user friendly in that regard.
    ZLTFUL would you say the Adcom is better sounding than the XPA-2?
    If so you say the Adcom is a simpler design easier to upgrade/modify , but I'm guessing simpler does mean cheaper correct?
    If not then why would Emo not use that simpler design ?
    Again I don't want to make this into a Emo haters thread I just want to understand my question a little better, and Thanks for the reply

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    Personally I wouldn't bother with modding an Emotiva amp. The design is going to have more impact on the sound than the individual parts used, and you're not really going to address that with mods. Mods usually consist of taking a great design and just swapping out the innards with better parts, and usually on gear where its simple to do that, the Emotiva gear doesn't really fall into that category.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhayman View Post
    If so you say the Adcom is a simpler design easier to upgrade/modify , but I'm guessing simpler does mean cheaper correct? If not then why would Emo not use that simpler design ?
    You need to ask Big Dan. Personally, I would add a Shunyata Ztron Cobra power cord. If that helps then you know the amp has potential, and you can upgrade the speaker cables next. If the Cobra has no effect then the amp is probably at its peak.

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    I'm afraid to ask the cost of that cable Bluefox?
    I already have an Pepster PC on my Emo and I did notice a difference for the better..
    I posted my thoughts in another post..

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    The design is going to have more impact on the sound than the individual parts used, and you're not really going to address that with mods. Mods usually consist of taking a great design and just swapping out the innards with better parts, and usually on gear where its simple to do that, the Emotiva gear doesn't really fall into that category.
    Agreed. Some of the older amps that are often modded benefit from this because they have a quality design with low part count, but use cheaper components to cut cost or because that's all that way available. Swap a few caps, rectifiers, connectors for gain on an older Adcom, Hafler, or similar, but the same can't be said with newer amps with lots of integrated circuits.

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    A lot of modern amps don't lend themselves to upgrading.
    And the whole warranty thing presents a big stop sign.
    I'm sure in the next few years this will be more do-able.
    But for now, you can always spot the pioneers
    by all the arrows sticking out of their back.
    I'm sure more than ta few amps won't survive the learning curve.
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    A tube buffer on inputs would be all I could think of... Other than that, they are what they are.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    A tube buffer on inputs would be all I could think of... Other than that, they are what they are.
    This will most likely only make a difference if there is an impedance mismatch.

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    I don't wish to start anything either. Is there anyone currently doing mods on the Emo amps? Like at diyaudio, professional mod shops? If so you can duplicate what they do.
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    Looking at internal shots of the Emo amps, I agree with others that their layout is not mod-friendly. You have connectors soldered to the pre-driver board, and construction that involves a lot of disassembly, work that is best left to the most experienced and hardcore modder. For other than the most simple mods, its also good to have schematics/service manual, and I am doubtful that Emo will release such documentation for current products.
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    Would be no problem selling a Emotiva amp as they retain there value cause of there transferable 5 year warranty. Sell it and buy something else if your looking for something different.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eclypse View Post
    Would be no problem selling a Emotiva amp as they retain there value cause of there transferable 5 year warranty. Sell it and buy something else if your looking for something different.
    Good suggestion.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glen B View Post
    Looking at internal shots of the Emo amps, I agree with others that their layout is not mod-friendly. You have connectors soldered to the pre-driver board, and construction that involves a lot of disassembly, work that is best left to the most experienced and hardcore modder.
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    If emo bought carver why not wait until they release a new amp. Surly they will adopt some of his technology, and have the warmer carver sound.

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    Part of the issue is the actual amp topology. No amount of boutique parts can make up for shortcomings and short cuts in topology. You could certainly replace key caps, resistors or even rectifiers. IMO, the many gain stages, and heavy feedback (which is very common at this level of gear) is much more of a limiting factor than poor parts, but ironically the lesser parts mean more gain stages and use of techniques like negative feedback to help achieve some sort of acceptable linearity, etc.. making up for shortcomings in parts. Using better parts in key area's will probably lead to small improvements, but not as much as a redesign of then entire topology.

    Plus you'd need to know you way around inside and be able to make adjustments and circuit mods at the same time.

    But good advice to wait until the warranty is up.

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    The thing you have to understand is speaker x-over components are passive, amplifiers and their components are used in an active circuit. The rules completely change in an active vs. passive circuit. So it's not like upgrading speaker components.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

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