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#385965 - 11/21/12 12:33 AM Need advice for new amp
cpplain Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 11/20/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Bainbridge Island, WA
Hello, all. I'm a fairly new Axiom owner and am posting to the forum for the first time.

I purchased a pair of M60s in February 2012. They sound great even running through my old, but trusty, 1992 Pioneer VSX-401. While the receiver is adequate, it's time to update to something with HDMI capabilities.

My original intention was to update to a mid-range receiver with pre-outs (e.g., Onkyo TX-NR818), giving me the option to add an amp at a later date. (Using a pre/pro and amp was an ideal solution, but I didn't think there was anything within my budget.) Then I found the Emotiva UMC-200 several days ago. I think this pre/pro is well suited for my use case and allows me the opportunity to use AV separates, which I see as ideal.

Now for the amp question: I'm considering the Axiom ADA-1000 2 ch. and Emotiva XPA-200. The Axiom is a $500+ premium in price. I understand the Axiom will be much more efficient. Other than that, is there anything else I'll gain for the extra cost?

Thanks for your time.


Edited by cpplain (11/21/12 12:35 AM)

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#385966 - 11/21/12 12:55 AM Re: Need advice for new amp [Re: cpplain]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10407
Christopher, welcome. My view is that your original intention is still the correct one. Unless you listen at an unusually long distance the 818 has more than enough power available for all safe(to your hearing)listening levels.

An especially good deal on the 818 is the factory refurbished unit from Accessories4less for about $800.
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#385990 - 11/21/12 11:05 AM Re: Need advice for new amp [Re: cpplain]
dakkon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 1846
Originally Posted By: cpplain

Now for the amp question: I'm considering the Axiom ADA-1000 2 ch. and Emotiva XPA-200. The Axiom is a $500+ premium in price. I understand the Axiom will be much more efficient. Other than that, is there anything else I'll gain for the extra cost?


The Axiom amp is a much newer design than the Emotiva amp's. Emo uses class A/B amps. The Axiom amps are a new digital class, this is where the increase in efficiency comes in..

So far the people who have received their Axiom amps seem to be quite happy with their product.

You could aways call Axiom and ask Brent, or JC what the differences are, they would give you an honest answer.

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#385992 - 11/21/12 01:03 PM Re: Need advice for new amp [Re: cpplain]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6865
Loc: PEI, Canada
I'm no expert but in uneducated terms, one of Axiom's claims to fame is how they dynamically apply unused power across whatever channel needs it at the time. If your fronts need more power and your rears are nut using it at the time, the free power gets channeled to the fronts where it is needed.

With this in mind, most amps/receiver's wattage ratings are stated "per channel" but are actually based on the box only driving one or two channels at that time. If nothing else, Axiom freely posts wattage provided for all combinations of channels driven. You can check out these numbers on thier Amp product pages. Much better peace of mind.

In your case, you are dealing in stereo only so all of the above is not as much of a concern. As John would point out, Unused power is just that, unused. I'd feel quiet comfortable with your choice for your needs unless you like it overly loud (beyond safe levels).
_________________________
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#385997 - 11/21/12 02:35 PM Re: Need advice for new amp [Re: cpplain]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8294
Loc: Tacoma
Welcome to a fellow Washingtonian!

I love my Axiom system. I had been running M60ti's from a Denon receiver and then Onkyo 805 and recently added an XPA-3.

Honestly, it makes me feel better to have the amp, but I really just feel like I'm using more electricity most of the time. I rarely listen to music at loud enough levels that a difference would be perceived (I mostly use the system for TV/movies).

I would get the Onkyo for a few reasons:

- it has many more inputs and outputs. You might think - now - that you won't ever need a second HDMI output or 8 HDMI inputs, but you might be surprised.
- it has the widely used and proven Audyssey room correction. While it is possible that the Emo proprietary system is wonderful (or better) I'm just still skeptical about their software development.
- it has very robust and flexible Zone 2/3 support.
- it is engineered to access and be controlled by other devices on your network

You can always add an amp later, but it's going to be difficult to overcome functional or switching deficiencies.

Obviously, I'm one of those people that don't believe I can hear differences claimed by "higher quality DAC's" or such. Your ears might be better than mine.

Have fun!
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#385998 - 11/21/12 02:52 PM Re: Need advice for new amp [Re: cpplain]
cohesion Offline
local

Registered: 03/27/12
Posts: 219
Loc: Maple, Ontario, Canada
I have an older Denon receiver (with pre-outs) and recently added an Axiom ADA-1500. I am indeed very pleased with the new amp, as well as my Axiom speakers. You didn't give any details as to your listening preferences or whether you will have a home theatre of just listen to music.

Based on your intent to buy the UMC 200 I will assume that you intend to do at least some HT listening. In this case you will need at least 5 channels of amplification. I have not heard the Emotiva amps but have no reason to believe they would be very noticeably different from the ADA1000. I do think either would be noticeably better than any receiver.

Going with an all-Emotiva package (pre and amp) may have some advantages in addition to any possible price incentive for buying both from Emotiva.

Enjoy your new goodies!

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#386006 - 11/21/12 07:38 PM Re: Need advice for new amp [Re: cohesion]
cpplain Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 11/20/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Bainbridge Island, WA
Thanks all for the welcome and feedback.

While I'm not an experienced audiophile, I do think I have fairly discerning hearing. So, I still think I'm leaning towards separates. One of the reasons I chose to go with Axiom over other speaker manufacturers was because of Axiom's commitment to accurate, transparent reproduction of the source material. Not everyone agrees of course, but the consensus seems to be that separates are usually better at this kind of reproduction than receivers. (I'm sure there are exceptions, though probably at higher price points.)

Also, something that attracted me to Emotiva equipment is the company itself. Before I even heard of Emotiva, I was thinking it would be nice to find a receiver manufacturer that shared Axiom's focus on building reasonably priced gear with amazing tonal accuracy. Emotiva seems to be very similar to Axiom in this regard. I would like to continue to support these smaller, quality/customer focused companies whenever possible.

Per dakkon's suggestion, I sent an email off to Brent to see what he says about the comparison between the ADA-1000 and XPA-200. I should hear back soon.

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#386015 - 11/21/12 10:48 PM Re: Need advice for new amp [Re: cpplain]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10407
Chris, it appears that nobody has hearing "discerning" enough to establish an audible difference from putting amplification in two or three boxes rather than one. If the amplification is done with audibly flat frequency response and inaudibly low noise and distortion, which is common these days in even modestly-priced receivers, nothing more is possible.

Of course there are numerous claims to the contrary(certainly not a "consensus" of the informed, however), but they collapse when put to the(blind listening)test. The classic Stereo Review blind listening tests stand unchallenged by solid contrary evidence rather than just stubborn disagreement. There's no magic to be found from amplification.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#386021 - 11/22/12 01:07 AM Re: Need advice for new amp [Re: JohnK]
cpplain Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 11/20/12
Posts: 11
Loc: Bainbridge Island, WA
I've seen similar experiments regarding amplifiers. I'm willing to reconsider, though I do have questions.

1. I agree there is no magic to be found in amplification as long as the amps under consideration have a flat response. However, amps will not necessarily deliver power cleanly at their limit, which can cause distortion. (I assume this would be mostly due to the quality of the components used.) How would one determine that two amps with 100W/channel ratings would perform comparably at any given output?

2. Don't receiver manufactures often compromise the various components used due to chassis restrictions and price point? Would most modestly priced receivers with a 100W/channel amp cary the same quality of amp components as a modestly priced 100W/channel amp separate? Related to question 1: how would one determine the comparable performance, especially at power limits?

3. How can it be determined that the audio processing of the pre/pro or receiver is flat when compared to the original source before amplification?

4. Isn't there a chance of noise being introduced in a receiver due to the close proximity of the amp and processor?

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#386023 - 11/22/12 01:58 AM Re: Need advice for new amp [Re: cpplain]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10407
Amplifiers sold in the U.S. are subject to the FTC regulations as to power claims and have to report the results after 5 minutes of continuous operation at the maximum power rating. The frequencies covered and maximum distortion level also must be included. Somewhat ironically, this is the only area of audio which is subject to relatively specific legal regulations, yet is often subject to suspicion by some who accept audible differences being present in even pieces of connecting wire.

When tested by the manufacturer and by independent testers, who almost uniformly verify the accuracy of the manufacturer's specs, the points you mention relating to frequency response, noise and distortion all are part of the procedure. All are typically at a level which allows for transparent amplification, with the incoming voltage simply being increased to make it enough to drive speakers at loud listening levels.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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