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  1. #1

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    Default Objective Review: Emotiva RPA-2 versus Aragon 8008 on LSi-15

    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.

    Jet
    System
    ModWright SWL 9.0SE Signature Preamp | Aragon 8008 Mk II Amplifier
    Sonus Faber Cremona Loudspeakers
    Squeezebox Touch |Rega DAC
    | Jolida JD-100A CDP | Sansui TU-717 Tuner (Joseph Chow Mods)

  2. #2

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    Thanks for your review.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  3. #3

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    excellent review.
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
    Two Channel... Carver Statement 450~1 Vacuum Tube Monoblocks, Dodd Mid-line Tube Linestage with Psvane 12Ax7 tubes, Pioneer Pdd 9Mk II SACD Player, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable with Sumiko BPS EvoIII, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TLs.


    "Everything we have fought for has been lost, and everything we fought against, we have become...."

  4. #4

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    Thumbs up

    Well done. Nominee for post of the year.
    1. JM Labs Electra 920.1 and CC30; MB Quart Vera Sub; Pioneer SC-57; Squeezebox Touch; Panasonic BDT-500 Blu-Ray; Samsung 52" LCD; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S3 cables
    2. Polk SDA-SRS 2.3TL; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE; Classe Model 25; Marantz SA8004; Acoustech PH1P; Squeezebox Touch; Music Hall MMF7; PS Audio P1000; MIT S2 cables
    3. Polk SDA 2A; Parasound Halo JC-2 and A21; Musical Fidelity X-DAC; Squeezebox Touch; PS Audio 4.7; MIT S1 cables

  5. #5

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    Nice review..for a number of reasons--not the least of which is that I also run an Onkyo 805 and may consider a two channel amp for it at some point-though I mainly do HT with it and it is great for that...for now I'm happy with the SDA 2Bs and Adcom 555 in my dedicated 2 channel system....

    But as everyone knows...it's dangerous to spend too much time on this site because it hurts your wallet.

    cnh

  6. #6

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    Nice to the point review. If only others could be this detailed.

    Nice job!

    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

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  7. #7

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    Nice review... too many times people say their speakers suck without finding out what their speakers are capable of when the right gear is introduced into the mix. Congrats and glad your happy with your new baby.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Nice review... too many times people say their speakers suck without finding out what their speakers are capable of when the right gear is introduced into the mix.
    Synergy is a bitch.............but when you find it, you just know.
    "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

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  9. #9

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    Nice Review,,,The 8008 is a dual-mono design thats a smooth Power-house:D
    Linn AV5140 fronts
    Linn AV5120 Center
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    M&K MX-70 Sub for Music
    Odyssey Mono-Blocs
    SVS Ultra-13 Gloss Black:D

  10. #10

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    Thank you for the review,,I never got my 15's dialed in,,sold em,, and then had an opportunity to play around with a pair that had upgraded crossovers,, by that time I had a decent pair of tubed mono's,,,talk about synergy,,I could easily live with that setup for many years.Thanks for taking the time to share your findings.:)
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  11. #11

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    Very nice write up. Congrats on finding the right amp for your speakers!
    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

  12. #12

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    And if your speakers don't require a common-ground amp as some SDA speakers do, you can always step up to the Palladium/Palladium II/Palladium 1K amps later...

  13. #13

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    Great review! I just bought a pair of Carver amps to power my LSi 15's. I just bought the Polks yesterday and the amps today. I'm in the market for a receiver so I haven't heard what it's all going to sound like. Enjoy the new setup.
    Onkyo TX-SR506
    Carver Model C-1 Pre amp
    Carver TFM-15CB x2
    Sansui CD-190
    Playstation 3
    LSi 15's
    Velodyne VRP-10
    Bose Acoustimass 15
    LG 50" Plasma

  14. #14

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    Nice review. Well done.
    HT-- Denon avr-2808ci,Emotiva UPA-1s, RTi 10's, CSi A6, ERD-1 surrounds, Vizio P50, Yamaha yst-sw300, DVR hr21, 40g PS3, APC-h15

    Downstairs-- Denon avr-3300,Emotiva UPA-2, Toshiba 50" rear projection, Denon 2200 sacd, Emotiva ERM-1s, small Yamaha sub

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