For the last 9 months I’ve run an Emotiva RPA-2 on my LSi-15’s. They are fed by an Onk 805 and Jolida JD-100A. About two and a half weeks ago I replaced the Emo with an Aragon 8008 MkII. What follows is my (hopefully) objective comparison.
The Emo RPA-2 is a class H amp. I was very happy with the performance I got from it, especially compared to driving the LSi’s with the 805. I would describe it as a fairly detailed amp and not forward in any way. It throws a good soundstage with instruments clearly located in space between the speakers and a fairly good sense of front-to-back staging as well. It seems really well suited to acoustical instruments.
As good as the RPA-2 was I always felt I was missing something. Also, after long listening sessions and at high volumes the highs would sound a bit thin and etched (if I understand that term correctly). I did not notice any deficit in bass response (but read on).
The Aragon 8008 MkII is identical to the highly regarded 8008BB but much sweeter looking due to the “Klipsch” style faceplate and blue LED’s. It’s a class A amp up to 25 Watts, thereafter it is class A/B. I’ve concluded that the Aragon is a far superior amp for driving the LSi’s in many ways. First of all, the bass. As I posted on this forum I was shocked by the sudden appearance of bass. The bass from this amp is clear and round and deep. I can only conclude that the RPA-2 lacked sufficient current to drive the LSi-15 woofers, because they’ve now come to life! This is great for music, but also has added more impact to my HT where I can now feel the bass where I couldn’t before. I had been seriously considering a subwoofer for my system but now have those plans on hold.
The Aragon is also a smoother amp all-around than the RPA-2. No etching or thinning of the highs (to be honest this effect was not dramatic on the RPA-2, but was present). In fact, it just seems that the whole spectrum of sound is smoother and richer. And as far as I can tell I haven’t lost any of the detail. I would also describe the Aragon as a bit “forward” and I think this makes it a much better match for the LSi’s since they are known to be laid back speakers.
The width of soundstage with the Aragon is not very different than the Emo, but it definitely has a deeper staging. Not dramatic, but better.
When you read that LSi speakers need plenty of current, believe it! If you’re running your LSi’s off of an AVR I can understand that you think they sound good, because that’s what I thought. But the fact is you have no idea what these speakers are capable of. The Emo was a good step up and I don’t regret the purchase. In fact I listed it on A-gon for $600 (I paid $699) and sold it within an hour. However, the Aragon is in a different league, at least with these speakers. It seems to be (for me) a perfect synergistic match-up.
In closing I’d like to say thanks to the folks on this forum who share their experience and opinions. If I wasn’t on this forum I doubt I would have been compelled to look at a different amp.