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  1. #1

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    Default HT Amp to go with RTi A7s

    I'm a total newbie, so please have patience with any dumb questions I might pose......

    I bought a package of a pair of RTiA7s with a "free" self-powered Polk subwoofer:
    Polk Audio Tower Speakers (RTIA7) - Pair
    Polk Audio 10" 100-Watt Powered Subwoofer (PSW10)

    The RTiA7s are to be the base of my HT system. I'm thinking the PSW10 might be too small a sub, so maybe that gets upgraded at a later date. The TV is a 60" Samsung Plasma. I also have a couple of "left over" speakers that I'll use for the Center and rears for now (JBL NL100 and a pair of JBL NL200)

    So, next on the list is an amp (right?).....

    A friend suggested the Cambridge 851a
    http://www.crutchfield.com/p_779851A...1A-Silver.html

    But then I was looking at the "Polk HT Package" from Audigurus where they have the A7s paired with a Yamaha RX-A730:
    http://www.audiogurus.com/brand/polk...r-package.html
    http://www.crutchfield.com/S-Rz0k9Gr...a-RX-A730.html

    And in talking to a rep at Crutchfield, they were recommending the Onkyo TX-NR828
    http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/P...sp?I=580TXN828 since it has Bluetooth/USB etc.

    The HT is in the basement (not the livingroom) so it would be pretty much mostly for Home Theatre, gaming (PS3) and some music.

    Hookups needed: Ps3, appleTV, iPod, cableTV, (bluetooth?), USB?

    So, my question is... given my newbie-ness, my uses, etc, what do you guys suggest for an amp? The pricing on the options in front of me right now are all over the place:

    a) Cambridge Audio Azur 851A-SL ($1850)
    b) Yamaha RX-A730 ($650)
    c) Onkyo TX-NR828 ($999)

    Thx!

  2. #2

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    Welcome to Club Polk.

    What you're looking for is called an AVR. An amp means a dedicated power amp.

    I prefer the Pioneer Elite SC series AVR's.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  3. #3

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    Pioneer SC series is correct. IMO

  4. #4

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    Pioneer is great but the Yamaha's are really good too. I have a RX-A2000 powering my RTI A7s and they sound amazing.
    Front- RTI A7,(powered by ADCOM GFA 5500)
    Center- CSI5,
    Surrounds- RTI 6 and Rear Surrounds- TS 15.
    TV-Panasonic P55ST50
    SUB-SVS PB10-NSD and PSW505
    Receiver- Yamaha Aventage RX-A2000

  5. #5

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    Default Alternative to an AVR

    If you haven't purchased yet and are not against separates I would consider the following:

    Emotiva UMC-200 Pre-amp
    Emotiva XPA-5 Amplifier

    You would be set for a very long time with these..

    But if you want an AVR consider a Denon, as top of the line as you can afford. I like mine, but an moving towards a pre-amp/amplifier setup and am purchasing the XPA-5 soon.

    Chip
    Last edited by chiptouz; 08-18-2013 at 02:51 PM.
    Sony KDL-55NX810 TV
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    OPPO BDP-93 Blu-Ray Disc Player
    Monster HTS 3600
    Polk RTi-a7 (fronts)
    Polk CSi-a6 (Center)
    Polk TC-60i (Rear & Surround Rear)
    HSU Research VTF3-MK4 (Sub)
    Logitech Harmony 900 (Remote)

  6. #6

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    I would that you go and listen to various manufacturers first. Different brands sound different, but if you don't like Denon, for an example, matched with 4 or 5 different speaker manufacturers, then you probably just don't like Denon. Nothing wrong with liking or disliking any manufacturers product, just the way that it is.

    When you figure out what you like, or at least dislike, then buy an AVR with pre-outs. That will allow you to hook-up a separate amp to power the speakers. This is just to compensate for the lack of power from the AVR. Take your time, you have really good speakers, don't rush the electronics choices simply because it's on sale, or just because most think/say something is the best. It just doesn't work that way.

  7. #7

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    You could go with this for $400

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA2GA0X61187

    You could get an amp later it needed

  8. #8

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    Locas, a few questions :

    1) Room size?
    2) Seated distance?
    3) Preferred listening levels?

    Those speakers are not particularly challenging to drive (don't have a difficult impedance curve). How much power you'll need is mainly influenced by your listening habits, seated distance and the source material.

    If you're able to get yourself an Onkyo NR818 still, not sure if they're still around or not, then my advice would be to grab one. Audyssey XT32 is a must-have feature and in my opinion can dramatically improve sound quality in a room.

    The NR828 is a downgrade, as they've dropped XT32 altogether. They are using a middle of the road Mult EQ room correction which is nowhere close to XT and miles behind XT32 in terms of filter resolution.

  9. #9

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    Atleast whatever he gets.. IF its a receiver you want it to have Pre-outs so you can atleast later on if wanted use separate amps.

    Could grab a UMC-200 as it would be all you would need and its only $600 and then get separate amps to run your speakers. Also you would get 25% off for all future processor purchases from emotiva from there on out. There also coming out with the XMC-1 sometime in the future..

    Could always look for used as well for cheaper on ebay or on emotiva's forums. Everything they sell comes with a 5 year warranty that's transferable! :)
    Full 5 channel set of Polk Audio
    Fronts - LSiM 705
    Center - LSiM 706c
    Sides - LSiM 703
    Mits WD-82842 82" DLP 3DTV
    Denon AVR-3313CI Receiver
    Emotiva stealth DC-1
    Emotiva XPA-2/Fronts XPA-3 Center-surrounds
    Oppo 103

    Loving the new Family! :)

  10. #10

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    Default Onyko AVR - vs Emotiva seperates....

    Wow -- thx for the replies everyone!

    @yahzi - Room size is 14' wide by 32' deep. But more than half of the area is for gym equipment, air hockey table, foosball etc. So, really I'm sitting 10' from the TV in a space that is 14' wide.

    @F1nut - I read through the differences between an amp and an AVR now.... dop! Shows you how green I am.

    @chumlie & @oleon621 - I could probably get away with an AVR, but it seems like a better, long-term view to go with seperates. That way I can always upgrade the pre-amp without having to re-buy the amp/power.

    @chiptouz & @eclypse -
    I emailed emotiva for their recommendations and they suggested:
    - UMC-200 Preamp - plenty of HDMI ports and bluetooth ablity.
    - XPA-2 amp to drive your front RTiA7 speakers, which require 300 Watt Per Channel
    - XPA-5 amp to drive the rest of your system, which requires; Center Channel - 150 w.p.c. , Surrounds -100 w.p.c.
    Total: $2497

    Hmmm, doesn't getting an XPA-2 and an XPA-5 seem like overkill? Maybe start with the UMC-200 and a single XPA-5 (to drive the RTiA7s, the center, and two small rears?) That would bring the price down to a more reasonable $1598.

    After everyones input, here's where my head is currently at:
    There is an Onyko NR-818 available for $799 at Crutchfield..... Maybe I should just start with that, and then possibly use that as a pre-amp if I need more power and get the XPA-2 and/or XPA-5 from Emotiva later?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by locos View Post
    There is an Onyko NR-818 available for $799 at Crutchfield.....
    If you don't mind a refurb, you could get it here for less: http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html.

  12. #12

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    Just a heads up. Onkyo has a high failure rate for there HDMI boards. If that's what your looking at, better price for the 818 at www.accessories4less.com $650

  13. #13

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    I'd also urge you to consider the Pioneer Elites or a Yamaha before you go separates.

    I just added a separate amp to a similar system. The amp added a nice improvement in SQ, but I'm not sure it would have been worth the 2-3k price of a decent new, multi-channel amp.
    Polk Fronts: RTi A7's
    Polk Center: CSi A6
    Polk Surrounds: FXi A6's
    Polk Rear Surround: RTi4
    Sub: HSU VTF-3 (MK1)
    AVR: Yamaha RX-A2010
    B&K Reference 200.7
    TV: Sharp LC-70LE847U
    Oppo BDP-103

  14. #14

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    I'd also urge you to consider the Pioneer Elites or a Yamaha before you go separates.

    locos, I don't think badchad and I have ever agreed on anything....until now.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  15. #15

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    An avr is a pre and amp in one. Most people do an avr and add an amp later down the road. With the pioneer sc series, I don't see you actually needing an amp for a while. I'd strongly urge you to avoid emotiva given your speakers.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  16. #16

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    I just noticed this....
    XPA-2 amp to drive your front RTiA7 speakers, which require 300 Watt Per Channel
    Who told you they require 300 wpc?
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    locos, I don't think badchad and I have ever agreed on anything....until now.
    ha! From time to time I at least pretend I'm a reasonable person :)

    I'm just offering some personal experience from a relative noob. I was chomping at the bit to get into separates, and once I did, I found the improvement to be incremental, not monumental. I might not even notice under double blind conditions :) I'm sure a more seasoned ear than mine might describe it differently.
    Polk Fronts: RTi A7's
    Polk Center: CSi A6
    Polk Surrounds: FXi A6's
    Polk Rear Surround: RTi4
    Sub: HSU VTF-3 (MK1)
    AVR: Yamaha RX-A2010
    B&K Reference 200.7
    TV: Sharp LC-70LE847U
    Oppo BDP-103

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by chumlie View Post
    Just a heads up. Onkyo has a high failure rate for there HDMI boards. If that's what your looking at, better price for the 818 at www.accessories4less.com $650
    I can't stress this enough. Sure, you might get a great one and be fine for years, but I'd hate for you to spend all that dough and get a dud.

    Yamaha Adventage, Pioneer SC, and Denon/Marantz get my vote. You can always add an amp down the road.
    Display: LG 47" LCD | AVR: Marantz SR5005 | BD: Panasonic BDT-210 | CD/SACD: Oppo 980 |
    Amps: Rotel RB-990bx | Marantz MA-500 | Speakers: Totem Mite : Totem Mite-C : RC60i | Sub: HSU VTF-2 MKIV

    HK AVR635 | Polk R30 | Sony DVD/SACD Player

  19. #19

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    Default Yamaha and Pioneer Elite

    Yeah.... looking into the Onkyo TX-NR818 further, there seems to be a lot of chatter about problems with it. And a lot of talk about the emotiva amps being bright so not a great combo for the "bright" A7s....

    (A friend had told me the 300W recommendation, maybe from the specs of 20-300Watts?)

    Anyway, now looking at alternate AVRs...... @f1nut & @badchad --- Thx for the tips. What do you think of the Yamaha RX-A2020? It's over at NewEgg for $900 (reg $1700). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16882115391R

    Or the Pioneer SC-1522 at TigerDirect for $1100 (reg $1650).
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...31-211570190-2
    or is this Pioneer SC-1522 not an Elite, and I should be looking at something like the SC-71 instead ($795 at Amazon) or SC-72 ($900 at Amazon)
    http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Elite-Sc-71/dp/B00DCXXDX8
    http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SC-72-...pd_sim_sbs_e_1


    Thx guys!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by locos View Post
    Yeah.... looking into the Onkyo TX-NR818 further, there seems to be a lot of chatter about problems with it. And a lot of talk about the emotiva amps being bright so not a great combo for the "bright" A7s....

    (A friend had told me the 300W recommendation, maybe from the specs of 20-300Watts?)

    Anyway, now looking at alternate AVRs...... @f1nut & @badchad --- Thx for the tips. What do you think of the Yamaha RX-A2020? It's over at NewEgg for $900 (reg $1700). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16882115391R

    Or the Pioneer SC-1522 at TigerDirect for $1100 (reg $1650).
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...31-211570190-2
    or is this Pioneer SC-1522 not an Elite, and I should be looking at something like the SC-71 instead ($795 at Amazon) or SC-72 ($900 at Amazon)
    http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Elite-Sc-71/dp/B00DCXXDX8
    http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SC-72-...pd_sim_sbs_e_1


    Thx guys!
    If your using a sub then the yamaha 820 or 830 would also work for you. It's the first in that line with pre outs.

  21. #21

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    (A friend had told me the 300W recommendation, maybe from the specs of 20-300Watts?)
    I see. I'll keep this simple, 300 wpc is not required.

    The Pioneer SC-1522 is not an Elite, but I believe would serve you well. In the current Elite series I wouldn't consider less than the SC-75. Compare the two to see which fits your needs the best.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by locos View Post
    Yeah.... looking into the Onkyo TX-NR818 further, there seems to be a lot of chatter about problems with it. And a lot of talk about the emotiva amps being bright so not a great combo for the "bright" A7s....

    (A friend had told me the 300W recommendation, maybe from the specs of 20-300Watts?)

    Anyway, now looking at alternate AVRs...... @f1nut & @badchad --- Thx for the tips. What do you think of the Yamaha RX-A2020? It's over at NewEgg for $900 (reg $1700). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16882115391R

    Or the Pioneer SC-1522 at TigerDirect for $1100 (reg $1650).
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...31-211570190-2
    or is this Pioneer SC-1522 not an Elite, and I should be looking at something like the SC-71 instead ($795 at Amazon) or SC-72 ($900 at Amazon)
    http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-Elite-Sc-71/dp/B00DCXXDX8
    http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-SC-72-...pd_sim_sbs_e_1


    Thx guys!
    Locos,

    Not sure about the A7's being bright. I don't experience that in mine and have done a ton of research on this forum. I don't recall reading that.

    You have a lot of good choices here. I would also consider Denon in the mix. Go to their webpage and look at refurbished products. They have a lot of great av receivers listed at good prices.

    I wouldn't rule out the Emotiva amps yet. There are a ton of people on this forum that uses the xpa-3 and xpa-5 with the A7's that don't have issues. Though most use the A9's with the larger amps.

    Chip
    Sony KDL-55NX810 TV
    Denon 3808ci Receiver
    OPPO BDP-93 Blu-Ray Disc Player
    Monster HTS 3600
    Polk RTi-a7 (fronts)
    Polk CSi-a6 (Center)
    Polk TC-60i (Rear & Surround Rear)
    HSU Research VTF3-MK4 (Sub)
    Logitech Harmony 900 (Remote)

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