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#326057 - 10/19/10 02:57 PM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: Ya_basta]
CatBrat Offline

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Originally Posted By: wheelz999
I noticed an audible difference between my 3801/3808, and my Emotiva RPA-1 when running my Paradigm Monitor 9's or M80's. The RPA-1 just seems to bring the speakers to life; it's like a breath of fresh air as everything sounds cleaner at all levels.

Don't tell Pmbuko.

#326058 - 10/19/10 03:14 PM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: CatBrat]
Adrian Offline

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6880
Loc: It's all about the location.
This would have been a good double blind test to do at the Axiom plant last "off the shelf" 100 watt receiver vs an Uberexpensivestein Mach 2 amp running the same speakers.
Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

#326064 - 10/19/10 03:36 PM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: Ya_basta]
wbedford Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/23/10
Posts: 74
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
+1 to what wheelz is saying.

When I had older Yamaha 5 chanell amp, adding an Emotiva UPA-2 amp made a startling difference with my then Energy Speakers.
Most multi channel amplifier measure WATT output power by the stereo.

Two Pioneer Elite AVR example specs.

Front (stereo) 110 W + 110 W
Power output (1 kHz, 6 &#937;, 0.05 %, 1 ch driven)
150 W per channel
Guaranteed speaker impedance 16 &#937; to 8 &#937;,
less than 8 &#937; to 6 &#937; (setting required)

Multi channel simultaneous power output (1 kHz, 1 %, 8 &#937;)
7ch total 700 W (SC-07)/630 W (SC-05)
Continuous Power Output (20 Hz to 20 kHz, 8 &#937;, 0.09 %)
Front 140 W + 140 W
Center 140 W
Surround 140 W + 140 W
Surround back 140 W + 140 W
Continuous Power Output (1 kHz, 6 &#937;, 1.0 %)
Front 180 W + 180 W
Center 180 W
Surround 180 W + 180 W
Surround back 180 W + 180 W
Total harmonic distortion 0.05 %
(20 Hz to 20 kHz, 130 W, 8 &#937;)

SC-05 is continuous power. I love it, my M22, M2 and QS8 are unreal on the SC-05 (which I upgraded to from the VSX23THX).
SC-05, HLT6189, Oppo BDP-93, Blue Circle Audio FX2
Axiom M2v3's, QS8v3's

#326078 - 10/19/10 05:37 PM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: CatBrat]
Ya_basta Offline

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4299
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Originally Posted By: CatBrat
Originally Posted By: wheelz999
I noticed an audible difference between my 3801/3808, and my Emotiva RPA-1 when running my Paradigm Monitor 9's or M80's. The RPA-1 just seems to bring the speakers to life; it's like a breath of fresh air as everything sounds cleaner at all levels.

Don't tell Pmbuko.

Never heard of that guy grin .
The only reasonable argument for owning a gun is to protect yourself from the police.

#326085 - 10/19/10 06:44 PM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: terzaghi]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Originally Posted By: terzaghi
Jason, would you say that you had to crank things above your loudness comfort zone (beyond the loudest you typically listen) to really notice the differences?
No, as I said at low volumes the bass was what I could easily notice, but at normal levels there is a difference, the bass as mentioned but the vocals and instruments seemed to have better seperation, more detail and at high volume levels the music is just crystal clear, no distortion until I went well beyond anything anyone would try to listen to. I think I had the SPL meter at 105-110db and still pretty clean sounding.

It still comes down to diminishing returns, is the ~$4000 of the A1400-8 or ~$2500 of the A1400-2 worth the costs for this better sound. For some it is for others not so much. I still don't own one, maybe someday.


#326090 - 10/19/10 07:19 PM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: jakewash]
terzaghi Offline

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 4870
Loc: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Thanks for the clarification. I read the subtle difference in bass at low volumes and the more dramatic difference at loud volumes but was curious about the "in between" or normal to moderately loud listening volumes. I definitely would like to own a separate amp someday but there are a lot of other things I need to put my money toward first.

#326094 - 10/19/10 08:30 PM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: jhunt17]
BlueJays1 Offline

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Originally Posted By: jhunt17
I was wondering at what point would you audibly notice the benefit of an amp? I own an Onkyo 805 and don't listen all that loudly. Can't really unless the kid, or soon to be kids, are not here. Anyway, is there an audible difference at any spl level, at some level, or only at high volume levels? I have always wanted to know this. I run my onkyo in 7.1 with axiom Epic 60 500 system. I am finding that I am becoming quite the movie soundtrack listener, such as Braveheart, The Patriot, Conan the Barbarian, BSG syfy channel, and other movie scores. I never thought I would enjoy this. I was strictly just a movie person until I got my speakers. Now I love to just hear MUSIC! Strange how that has changed. Anyway, I digress. Thanks for the input. Good Night All!

External amplification can have benefits. It depends on a lot of factors the extent of its benefits, in some cases it could be none at all. Such factors as room size, listening distance, SPL levels, sensitivity, impedance curves most notably the dips all can play important roles if a more robust amplifier with more dynamic headroom is needed.

A great example of the need for external amplification is this thread right here.

The OP noted "harshness" during loud/dynamic passages. In these instances those brief dynamic passages are creating audible distortion. In this case the receiver does not have enough headroom to reproduce those peaks without distortion. Moving up to a more robust external amp with more dynamic headroom and lower distortion will certainly have audible improvements in perceived sound quality.
I’m armed and I’m drinking. You don’t want to listen to advice from me, amigo.

-Max Payne

#326123 - 10/19/10 10:56 PM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: wbedford]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10623
Bill, you've in part misinterpreted the Pioneer specs and amplifier power ratings in general. All amplifiers sold in the U.S.(and effectively, Canada as well)have to comply with FTC(Federal Trade Commission)regulations in issuing a power rating for the units. In relevant part, it's required that FTC ratings be at the full rated power for at least five continuous minutes. Both of the Pioneer units that you mention are in compliance. They meet exactly the same continuous power standard, with the VSX23 being rated at 110 watts per channel and the SC-05 140 watts per channel. The difference between 110 watts and 140 watts is 1dB of maximum output. For example, a brief split second peak in very dynamic material could be played at 105dB using 110 watts and 106dB using 140 watts. That's all.

It can also be pointed out that this isn't, as an earlier reply characterized it, merely an individual who "believes" in a "theory". It's a very basic point of audio amplifier technology that power delivered with flat frequency response and inaudibly low noise and distortion(typical of even modest units these days)results in transparent amplification without any added audible coloration to differentiate the units. Enthusiastic and sincere contrary reports are available in abundance, but the only reliable way to determine such matters is by a controlled double blind test. Such tests have failed to show the differences reported in open hearing. When the name plates and price tags disappeared, so did the differences which were previously reported.

#326132 - 10/20/10 12:06 AM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: Ya_basta]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
Originally Posted By: wheelz999
Originally Posted By: CatBrat
Don't tell Pmbuko.

Never heard of that guy grin .

Yeah. I don't capitalize my screen name.
I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

#326134 - 10/20/10 12:11 AM Re: Benefits of an amp? [Re: JohnK]
jhunt17 Offline

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 225
Loc: Ironton, Ohio
So in essence it basically like me trying to lift 200 pounds by myself, I may be able to do it, but not very well, I might jerk, slow down, or drop it, In other words causing distortion in the sound in the form of peaks or clipping. As opposed to 3 or 4 people picking up the same 200 pounds. It can be done simply, smoothly, and without much effort. Basically giving me clean, smooth distortionless sound. So I guess the question becomes at what weight limit can I easily handle without stress. How do you go about finding this limit? When does it become audible?
7.1 theater room
60 fronts vp180 center 4 qs8's ep500 sub

3.0 tv room
m3's vp150 center

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