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And I'm a SET/Horn guy myself, but...
Our local San Francisco Bay Area Audiophile group had a 'bargain price audio' focused meeting where members were asked to bring low cost audio gear for everyone to hear in the hope that, should we ever be asked by non-audiophiles what they should buy we don't cause a stroke or heart attack when we recommend our favorite $20,000 amp to pair with those $40,000 speakers we all have in our listening rooms. ;-) (not a bad sentence and only one comma)
Anyway someone brought Emotiva BasX A-100 Amp and it was CLEARLY the winner when driving the various low-priced speakers such as the ELAC Uni-fi UB5 (Andrew Jones had paid the group a visit a few weeks earlier).
I was impressed but quickly forgot about it until a few weeks later my neighbor (a cheap-ass surgeon) had his NAD amp break down for the third time, with me over tapping and metering and soldering to try to get it running again, because.... AUDIOPHILE and DIYer!
So finally cheap-assed surgeon wants some 'Audio Advice' from the AUDIOPHILE! next door.
"Emotiva BasX A-100 Amp' is right in your strike zone", sez me. He checks it out on-line and gets one for $230, no tax or shipping!
AND... I un-boxed it for him and ran it in our office for a few days just to check it out (fan never came on even after 48 hr. of 'break-in'). He sez it sounds better than his now-dead NAD he paid more for years ago.
Linked below is a recent review by Steve Guttenberg, now with C-NET. Based on my neighbors experience, it seems to be a fairly close to the mark on this box.
So if a neighbor calls up asking for something cheap...
And don't forget Andrew Jones' new ELAC speakers!
In my mind the Emotiva A-100 and the NuForce DDA-120 are the two top budget amp contenders. Similar power ratings into 4 and 8 ohms (Emotiva does specify the more meaningful FTC standard -THD%, 20Hz-20kHz both channels driven- though only for the 8 ohm rating).
Emotiva- quality headphone capability, Class A/B amp, remote power trigger-$229
NuForce- high quality DAC with 4 digital inputs (2 optical, 1 coax, 1 USB, 1 digital out, BlueTooth capability, proprietary PWM amp -$299 (original introductory price was $699)
Both feature 1 analog input, a subwoofer out, & single pair of speaker connectors.
Very different aesthetics, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Any feed back out there on sound quality? Would love to hear from owners, especially those who have listened to both. Reliability feed back would be welcome too.
The 4ohm power rating for all the 2nd string EMO gear is at 1%, which is clearly stressing things out.
The XPR / XPA series had more reasonable distortion ratings at the lower impedance as well as what would appear to be more robust power supplies.
The new generation is going to switchers for shipping cost savings, maybe.
Too much is never enough
EMO Is built to a price. While the sound is very good, indeed and Especially for the $$$, I suspect one of the compromises made is in a less expensive parts selection.
Recently, they've been using ON Semiconductors. Not Vishey. Not IR or some others.
You periodically hear about several people having problems with the SAME unit. Now, many of the EMO users are 'stackers' and IMO, tend to cook stuff, so that must be considered. But a few of the amps, including the XPA-1L, a really nice mono bloc apparently had some problems. Before I went Parasound, I briefly considered a Quad of them!
Their new line is modular so you can order it with up to 7 channels, while balanced 'blades' are coming soon.
PS is now a 'switcher' of several voltage rails. Class 'H' per the advert. Several advantages to this new line, with simplified production and a lot of parts commonality. Not to mention VAST weight savings when it comes time to SHIP. They'll probably save a couple Hernias in the process, too, since at least one of their HUGE mono blocs tipped the scales at 100+lb.
Here in SoCal, I attended a demonstration where one of the amps the demo guy brought simply would not light. And this was a 50,000$ pair+ One of the members who lived fairly close, went home and brought back his EMO mono blocs. Demo was very good, thank you very much.
Too much is never enough
I have been using an Emotiva XPA-2 for a couple of years and it sounds incredible, a real beast. It brought me back to solid state after 20+ years. Emotiva is a cut above, without breaking the bank, IMHO.
which drives the in-house system. Decidedly better sounding than an old Kenwood receiver the previous homeowner used. It has a standby mode so I leave it on 24/7. With its tiny fan, it runs cool closed in a cabinet.
The single input with a gain control works fine with my computer as source.
LOL Oh yeah! For a highly educated bunch of guys it is amazing how "thick" some of them really are. And this is coming from a retired surgeon.
I've tried educating many doctors over the years about choosing audio components. Only to find out that they still went to Best Buy and dropped $5k on some POS because it was on sale.
Oh and BTW this is usually the same guy that buys a golf club for $1k
He's a 50 year old 'deadhead' surfer and a great guy, but still...
Now he's looking for a $100 turntable, just for parties so he can do the cool vinyl thing for his buds.
"Now he's looking for a $100 turntable, just for parties so he can do the cool vinyl thing for his buds."
His "buds" could probably care less, maybe their sons and daughers "man that tt is so jake dude".
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