emotiva mono block amps any good?

interested in sound quality of emotiva mono block amps.
Which ones?
I haven't listened to anything by Emotiva but most of the people here who have recommend them highly. Definitely worth looking into.
A lot of bang for the buck. Very good sounding equipment that is very reasonably priced. If they didn't sell direct, the prices on the equipment would be about 1 and 1/2 times higher than they are.
They have a 30-day free trial period.

...can't beat that.
Emotiva is definitely a good bang for the buck, especially now with the sale going on.

My only problem with Emotiva is that there isn't much of their used stuff on the market, and for the price of their new stuff, you can get equipment that is arguably better on the used market.
A pair of XP-1 monoblocks, 500 wpc @ 8 ohms and 1,000 wpc @ 4 ohms go for $1600 a pair at 160 lbs with free shipping, 30-day free trial and 5 year transferrable warranty.

and for the price of their new stuff, you can get equipment that is arguably better on the used market.

Tonyangel, I'm curious, what is arguably better on the used market for that price?
Anybody know if the reference series amps are a step up from the XPA? ie; XPR-1 vs. XPA-1 and I'm not just talking about the obvious increase in output power.
Tonyangel, I'm curious, what is arguably better on the used market for that price?

Well, if watts equal quality, then they are offering an undeniably good deal. I was referring to sound quality. I don't typically shop for amps rated at 500wpc, but if I was looking to spend $1600 on an amp or two, I'd probably look at the amps that Emotiva is offering (as I often do) and then I would look at the classifieds here.

If you just take a look at what's being offered for sale here at the price of $1600 or less, there are more than a few that many would consider to be "better" and they would be able to make a pretty good argument in support of that point. Just pulling up the amp section I'm seeing the likes of Levinson, Belles, Linn, etc.

Like I said, ARGUABLY better. It isn't always just about the power either.

A pair of XP-1 monoblocks, 500 wpc @ 8 ohms and 1,000 wpc @ 4 ohms go for $1600 a pair at 160 lbs with free shipping, 30-day free trial and 5 year transferrable warranty.

You appear to present the above information to make the point that it is a value that can't be beat; but if this is true, then it could also be said that there is no reason to consider an amp on the used market because you won't be able to find anything better at that price. So...are you saying that the answer to all of the "which amp should I buy?" questions posted on Agon is that they should buy an Emotiva (assuming that Emotiva has a competing model)?

I hope that isn't what you're saying because that would be ridiculous.

I was only suggesting to the OP that there may be other options on the used market. I also asked what model it was that he was interested in, which we do not know yet.

The answer to that question may also make what I said more or less valid.

Don't get me wrong, Emotiva makes some good bang for the buck stuff.
What I'm saying is a direct question. What would be arguably better used for the same price as the new item that I mentioned? I'd like you see what specific examples you cite to back up your statement.

I didn't say or imply that my example couldn't be beat. I merely posted one of their products and asked you for an example of products that would be 'arguably' better. You may be correct...I'd just like to see some examples of your claim.
Oh my gosh. Sorry, I can't resist. But if the question is what would I rather spend $1,600 on in terms of a used amp, a 5 minute brousing of the current listings here produced some possibilities: top pick, Plinius SA-50(1,600); Rowland Model 1 (1,220); Bel Canto M300 monos (1,050); Ayre V3 (1,300); several listings form McIntosh and Classe, etc. I'd take any one of these over an Emotiva. Just my 2 cents.
Or new Odyssey Khartago or Stratos, with Odyssey upgrades. Less power but 20 year warranty.
How about the XPA-1s on ebay right now for $1200 shipped? From an apparently reputable dealer.
If you needed an amp with lots of headroom and testicular fortitude, all of the flea-powered examples above would be woefully inadequate.

All of you trotted out the familiar names of the usual high-end suspects. Come on, a 50 wpc Plinius stereo amp?? Get real. 60 wpc Rowland? Laughable.

Compare apples to apples and find me a used pair of 500 wpc monoblocs for $1600 that would be better.
I thought I did, when I mentioned the used XPA-1s for $1200, shipped.

I also appears that I am wrong when I assumed above that watts do not equal quality. Apparently, you believe that it does.

Apparently, I stepped on someone's toes.

So, Mitch, have YOU heard the XPA-1s. Do you own them? Perhaps some comments about the sound quality that they produce would lend some credibility to your argument.
Tony the used 50 watt Plinius is $1500. A new 50 watt Emotiva amp is $189. Sure the used class A Plinius amp is better...at ten times the price. I have speakers at home that will make the $1500 Plinius and Rowland amps you mentioned cry for their mama.

Just compare apples to apples.

Don't compare a 50 watt stereo amp to a pair of 500 watt monoblock amps...they are two totally different applications. With a hard to drive speaker, the 50 watt amp is going to run out of steam...period. Go find a used amp from one of names that you mentioned with some serious muscle, and you'll find that your price just went through the roof.

I own two pair of Pass Labs X-600 monoblocs with similar specs as the Emotiva monoblocs mentioned here. No way on earth you will find them near $1600 a pair used. More like $6k-$8k per pair used.

I have not heard the XPA-1's, nor have I heard any of Emotiva's amps. But, you name me a pair of used big name high powered monoblocs for $1600 that can drive my Infinity Kappa 9 speakers. You won't find it...I've already looked. Those speakers will vaporize all the ones you've mentioned above.
We know the amp has lots of watts per dollar, but is it any good?
You know, Mitch. As I said above, I was just trying make sure that the OP realized that there were alternatives on the used market.

Besides, other than the amps mentioned above, there was also a Krell and a Belles, each of which was rated at 250wpc at 8 ohms, doubling that into 4. I'm sure that your Kappas would not have made either of those cry for their mamas. From a practical perspective, I doubt that there's a hole lot of difference between a 250wpc amp and a 500 wpc amp. I will concede that the larger amp would provide more headroom, but the question of whether that much headroom would be needed still remains.

Personally, I'd grab either the Krell or the Belles before the Emotivas at the same price.

What I find most odd is that you are making an argument for a product that you have NO experience with. It seems that you are basing your argument on what is written on paper and taking the watts=quality approach.

I have heard amps in the XPA line and based on the experience and for the same money, I'd take the Belles all day long.

Many also tout the 30 money back guarantee and free shipping. That is all fine and dandy and I commend Emotiva for having such a policy; although having that policy makes sense, since they are a direct seller and it's the only way that they can get people to audition their products.

What some may not realize on the back end is that the return doesn't include free shipping. If the OP buys the XPA-1s and decides that he doesn't like them, he has to pay for shipping about 150lbs of amp back to Emotiva and that isn't going to be cheap.
"I have heard amps in the XPA line and based on the experience and for the same money, I'd take the Belles all day long."

Totally; XPA is not in the same league as amps mentioned above. But any info on the XPR Reference line? Is it a redesigned amp?
It looks like the XPR line may be a totally different animal. I'd like to know more myself.

The only things that strike me as POSSIBLE areas of concern are that the power doesn't double when going from 8 ohms to 4 ohms, which is something that most amps with "testicular fortitude" do. Still, I don't know that it makes much difference when talking about a whopper of an amp like that.

The other thing that bug me a bit is that the specs listed on their website says that 4 ohms is the minimum recommended load. On the other hand, another Agoner did contact Emotiva and asked them about this and Emotiva's response was that the amp would handle a load lower than 4 ohms without problems. If this is the case, Emotiva really needs to update their web site because this could leave prospective buyers believing that the XPR amps are capable of less than they truly are.
thanks Tony for ur insight. As far as doubling power from 8/4 ohms, there are other high power amps that come close to that spec and provide high current, so I agree with you.
Yeah, not much info on these amps, but what I find so funny about the Emotiva website is read how many times they use the term "audiophile" in their descriptions of their products.
Funny. Mitch, I'm sorry your speakers make both people and intimate objects cry. That doesn't sound very nice at all. And calling my preference regarding amps "laughable" isn't very nice either. I know you're into your hungry, inefficient speakers. And I know you rightly appreciate your full loom of Pass power plants. That's cool. I get it. But assuming that everyone is running absurdly inefficient speakers and that anything churning out less than 500 wpc is a toy just makes you sound willfully ignorant. Or congenitally stupid. And strangely proud about it, in the process. I know none of those things are true. At all. So let's take the rhetoric down a notch.

I would absolutely prefer 50 wpc of class A, high current refinement -- and the Plinius is exceptional, as would be, for example, a Pass Aleph -- to any 150lb, 500-1,000 wpc monster, Emotiva or otherwise. In fact, I think the reflex for bigger, hotter, more is a little silly, at best, and likely just the tail end of a particularly insidious marketing push over the past couple decades (which has been written about here, by myself and others, over the years).

I'm not saying you're wrong. At all. I'd love to hear your setup. But let's all agree not to pretend there only one side to this story. We have no idea what the OP was even talking about, what he might want to feed with it, or anything. Yet the rhetoric has polarized around the old and hackneyed false dichotomy of crushing, hungry more v. inferior little toys. Come on. We all know better.
Mezz, Ouch!! Ok, ok...my apologies if I offended anyone with my comments. Purely unintentional. I only meant to disagree, I had no intention of being disagreeable.

After being on the 'Gon for 11 or 12 years, I've seen a lot of bashing of mfgs that were not members of the venerable audio upper crust. While spending serious cash to create my own system, with absolutely no regrets on the money I've spent, I can't help but wonder if folk like Emotiva have found a way to do great hifi without charging insane amounts of money.

When I look at my own system, sometimes I think to myself, I spent $9k for a cd player?? Don't get me wrong, I have no regrets. I'm actually saving my money to get their newest one that sells for $13k. Because I love audio, I'll spend the money and won't look back...never have. But something in the back of my head keeps asking me, 'do you really have to spend this kind of money to get great sound?'.

In the next 12 to 18 months I'm planning on revamping my system. I'm considering the Magnepan 20.7. They need serious amplification. Because of this, I've been looking long and hard at the new kids on the block...class D amps. Serious power in a small box with a small price and a smaller electric bill.

Basic human nature hates change. We have to be dragged kicking and screaming to change to something new and different. Audiophiles are no different. We tend to cling to the tried and true. The vinyl guys, bash cd. The cd guys refuse to move on to music stored on a hard drive. Emotiva shows up with all of these products at insanely comparatively low prices, and the audio enthusiast establishment looks at them as interlopers. How dare they sell directly at such low prices?

If you look at my system page, you'll see that my room is 22 feet wide and 70 feet long with a 22 foot high ceiling. That kind of room demands prodigious power and oversized speaker displacement. That is the reason I was asking for a comparison to the Emotiva monoblocs. No offense, but a 50 wpc amp would be laughable in my place. So...no 50 wpc amplifier is ever going to play a speaker that I'll own in this room. For those enthusiasts with conventional sized rooms..a 50 wpc amp may be more than enough. I lived for years in a much smaller place with a 40 wpc reciever (Sansui 771)and it was more than enough.

I have my eye on a pair of Pass Labs X-600.5 monoblocs when I upgrade. They sell for $8k-10k a pair used. The Emotiva 1,000 wpc monoblocs sell for $2500 a pair. So, I believe a mfg like Emotiva has to be given a fair chance. When I get ready to make changes, I will have to give the XPR-1 monoblocs a try. Free 30 day trial, I have nothing to lose.

At those prices and the free 30 day trial, I have to give the new kid on the block a fair audition.

All of that being said, I will always own an Audio Research Reference preamp of some model, price be damned.

Again, I apologize if I ruffled any feathers..I did not intend to be insulting, a smartass or condescending.

There is surprisingly little info about the XPR, or I just didn't find it. I did a little looking during some downtime at work and didn't find much in the form of reviews.

What I have run across is a pic of the inside of an XPR-1...


I've also found out that the XPR-1 is actually two amps running in bridged mode running to a bank of 24 10KuF caps that are manufactured by Emotiva for the XPR line.

Many are raving about them on the Emotiva boards. They are also saying that the XPR amps are apparently a healthy step up from the XPA line.

It looks like a beast under the hood.

What I'd really like to know is how many of those watts are available in pure Class A.
Sometimes the best part of the upper crust is the flakiest.
Tony, that's good research. Reviews of the XPA have been very mixed, but the XPR looks like a step forward. Funny...I was wondering about the Class A wattage myself.
Yeah, I ran across a post in a thread that said that the XPR actually does less than 1 watt in class A before it switches to class H, whatever that is.

At this point, however, I'm not willing to discount any advancement in technology, in light of what has been accomplished with class D technology.

Now you'll have to excuse my ignorance, but isn't it not so good to put the caps so far away from the amp modules? I don't know. I wish someone would chime in with some first hand experience.

Oh, I also ran across a couple of posts in the Emotiva forums that were made by Emotiva employees and according to them, they had to specify a dedicated 20 amp line because it was necessary to accommodate the amount of current drawn during testing. They said that in real world use it was very unlikely that a dedicated 20 amp line would be necessary.
I was expecting about 10 watts class A from an amp that massive.
From when I was researching Bob Carver designs; an explanation...

Class G amplifiers (which use "rail switching" to decrease power consumption and increase efficiency) are more efficient than class AB amplifiers. These amplifiers provide several power rails at different voltages and switch between them as the signal output approaches each level. Thus, the amplifier increases efficiency by reducing the wasted power at the output transistors.

Class H amplifiers take the idea of class G one step further creating an infinitely variable supply rail. This is done by modulating the supply rails so that the rails are only a few volts larger than the output signal at any given time. The output stage operates at its maximum efficiency all the time. Switched-mode power supplies can be used to create the tracking rails. Significant efficiency gains can be achieved but with the drawback of more complicated supply design and reduced THD performance.
The link you graciously provided to us , is actually of the XPR-2 .I know that because I own one,I just purchased one,the xpr-1 has four push buttons on the faceplate,among other differences. The XPR-2 is a great amp and has a lot of power,in fact I had the cops at my door the first weekend I played it,somebody in the neighbourhood was annoyed at how loud the music was played and called the police ,they just told me to lower the volume. I am seriously considering the XPR-1's for my reference system.
Emotiva...mid fi, or upper mid fi stuff, really. But yeah, good for the money. I think a lot of people are exaggerating when it comes to sound and in comparison to many high end brands. Probably because of the low price, high power, and because it's a "hot" product at the moment. Believe me, I've argued plenty with Emotiva-heads on You Tube and what not. They get quite rambunctious when you give your opinion! I got one guy, who thinks all amps sound the same, telling me Emotiva is equivalent to Pass Labs, McIntosh, and Accuphase. Ridiculous b.s., imo. One things for sure, there hasn't been a product like this that has polarized audiophiles in a long time. I guess you either love it or hate it.
And I don't think that Emotiva will wipe out or make a mockery of high end audio. People seem to think so, but I don't see any evidence, really.
Considering these maybe one day if my current amp (NAD) does not prove a good match with my OMD28 speakers.
When I first got into Hifi a few years ago I purchased the Emotiva XPA-1's.The speakers that I was using were VMPS Audio RM-40. I had the amps for about 9 months then I read a review where the reviewer was comparing them to the Pass Labs XA 30.5 and said the 30 watt little fellow blew them away in terms of sound quality. After reading that I purchased a used Pass Labs X250. When I got it I was stunned by the difference in sound. The Pass had more air around the instruments, more detail and a fluid mid-range. I would get listener fatigue with the Emotiva. I could listen to the Pass 24 hours a day. Emo is good bang for the buck and a good entry level product but if you have a highly resolving system then it is no contest. It can't compete with the big boys in terms of harmonics in my opinion.
I came across this thread a year after the fact. But here is my take after 10 months of owning the Emotiva XPR-1.
Motivation: I built a house last year and wanted a secondary system for a Home Theater application, a dedicated cinema room for the family. It was my way to listen to music in my primary music room in peace.
Opinion: I've been a hobbyist for almost 25 years, my primary music room has well over $70K worth of top brands in hi-fi world and audio royalty (Audio Research,Cary,VTL, Ayre, Theta digital,Parasound, VPI turntables, Wadia digital, Apogee, Quad, Canton Ref. speakers, Stax headphones, etc.)
Result: A few months after I installed the HT system, my family and friends were telling me how fantastic the home theater sounds (none are audiophiles) so i began to audition the system for music and I now completely agree with their instinctive assessment. The Emotiva big amps impressed me so much that I replaced my Anthem amp with Emotiva 3 channel amp for the surround sound!
Normally, I would not have considered such low cost gear as a serious contender for high fidelity sound, however, I'd say these amplifiers are as musically satisfying as any other top gear I have had the pleasure to own in my systems.
The good news is that the music reproduction technology has now evolve to a point that the budget gear can and do sound awesome. I was contemplating upgrading my Totem speakers however, the music reproduction is now so perfectly sublime that I don't want to risk interrupting the balance of the system. BTW, by elevating the Emotiva mono amps I'm by no means diminishing the quality of the top amplifiers but emphasizing the value proposition of Emotiva.
I admit, I've never been part of the crowd who believes there is a "ghost in the machine" that alters reality, or an audio jewelry enthusiast; but I'm someone who has been committed to supporting excellence in music reproduction.
There are drawbacks to the XPR-1, the mono amp's enclosure has an inferior and substandard quality. Every expense Has Been spared to make them as cheap as possible. I'd have been perfectly happy to drop an extra grand or two for better aesthetics. All in all I highly recommend these mono amplifiers.

Music is the answer,

My HT Gear:
Pre/pro: Krell S1200
Oppo BDP 105
Emotiva XPR-1 mono
Originally Anthem MCA30 and later replaced by Emotiva XPA-3 multi-channel!
Apple TV/laptop music server
Totem Forest and Totem surround speakers, plus Velodyne 15" subwoofer
Richard Gray 1200 Power Conditioner
Dedicated 20 AMP line into the home theater
Over $2k worth of interconnect cables/wires

"Any good" covers a lot of ground. If you don't mind how and where it's manufactured for the sake of unexplainable low cost, then you'll be in a large fan club.

You'll be able to wallow in countless positive owner reviews that wax on about fabulous performance for the cost as in this thread. The microscopic few negative reviews will be by audio hobbyist who took the time to actually compare their products.

My personal experience with their big stereo amplifier began with finding glaring sonic shortcomings during comparative listening. Within weeks a channel failure lead to a look under the hood which revealed laughable build and component quality and a rapid return of the amplifier.

Wandering around the back pages of the companies Lounge forum a potential home theater customer questioned their products extremely low pricing and asked about the companies labor and manufacturing practices. A quick response by a company representative refused to answer followed by a few pages of juvenile berating by fanbois ending with an administrated lock of the thread. I don't think I've ever read a Troll hit a nerve as sharp as this hapless HT customer did with a simple question.

Any good? I will say their limited return policy worked flawlessly but that's it.
"You'll be able to wallow in countless positive owner reviews that wax on about fabulous performance for the cost as in this thread. The microscopic few negative reviews will be by audio hobbyist who took the time to actually compare their products."

" The Emotiva big amps impressed me so much that I replaced my Anthem amp with Emotiva 3 channel amp for the surround sound!"

Not that you're owed an explanation.


You're offending people with your positive comments. Can you please keep it negative!!
. +1 Zd542

It is amazing the amount of fear & paranoia around here of a product being good and inexpensive. It's almost like a superstitious cult. Relax, good inexpensive gear does not devalue your high-priced stuff..you're safe and you shouldn't feel threatened.
Fear? Hardly. Emotiva makes budget amps and crappy processors. I've owned 3 of their products, and couldn't understand why I'd get listener fatigue with an amp, preamp and cd player all from emotiva. Finally I tried an old Denon theater receiver, and was shocked that it sounded on par with the Emotiva gear, but warmer. That started me on my journey to realize that all amps do not sound the same as is popular among the Emotiva fanbois.

That said, they are a decent step up from most receivers, but you can do a lot better. They are decent for the money spent, but that's really not saying much.
Runnin...well, that's ONE man's opinion.

Do an Emotiva search on the Members Systems section here on
Audiogon and you will find satisfied members pairing Emotiva
successfully with respected names like Audio Research,
Wilson, Pass Labs, Zu, Revel, Von Schweikert, Magnepan,
Tekton, Rel Acoustics, Martin Logan, Rega, Sumiko, Thiel,
Anthem, B&W, JM Labs and several more. The proof is in
successful systems right here on Audiogon.
Call it what you will. We've covered this ground before in the "Emotiva Challenge" thread. Like Archie from the Lounge forum my concerns regarding their manufacture remain.


By the way, when I first read that locked thread the moniker, "Seeker Of Truth," was not present under the original posters name. I have to assume that only a moderator would be able to make such an edit. This company just can't help itself from bringin' it on.
I have Emotiva mono-blocks (XPA-1L) and a pre-amp (XSP-1). For the price, it has slightly exceeded my expectations. I listen to them in my home office where I stream music via spotify at 320 kbps. If I had a home theater system I would think that they would be fine. I would not, and do not, use them in my two channel vinyl system for critical listening, however. I did try them with my Vandersteen Treos with the San Francisco Symphony's 180g pressing of Gustav Mahler's 7th Symphony. Too me the sound was not accurate. Also when listening to rock, for example the Foo Fighter's Pretender, I found the bass speed to be a tad slow.
M-db: Thank you for directing me to the other thread. I am not an engineer and cannot comment on the internal build quality and associated materials. I did find the external build quality to be okay (not great). I don't share your view that this is because of the place of manufacturing, and I also gave up on ideology of place of manufacturing decades ago. For example my cheap Yamaha A/V receiver (purchased at Fryes) for my television was assembled in China and is superior in overall external build quality. Rather I look directly to Emotiva and their internal quality control procedures and product procurement/sourcing program for consciously producing this level of product quality. My overall assessment is that Emotiva is building an inexpensive component which produces sound quality just above the offerings at the big box retailers. For my $500 I got a 250W single channel amplifier. Others, including you, may disagree but I think it is great for listening to compressed digital music. It is not mid-fi (e.g., Krell) but it does fulfill a purpose.
Do an Emotiva search on the Members Systems section here on
Audiogon and you will find satisfied members pairing Emotiva
successfully with respected names like Audio Research,
Wilson, Pass Labs, Zu, Revel, Von Schweikert, Magnepan,
Tekton, Rel Acoustics, Martin Logan, Rega, Sumiko, Thiel,
Anthem, B&W, JM Labs and several more. The proof is in
successful systems right here on Audiogon.

Mitch, what people do or do not own is not really a trustworthy indication on what a person should go with, as hundreds of different brands are owned, and system synergy plays a key role. The main reason people tend to mention when buying Emotiva is price, and there is nothing wrong with that, but it won't help someone trying to get the last 5% out of their system.

Also, it doesn't really help further the conversation when you use phrases like "fear and paranoia", which amounts to a school yard taunt.
"The main reason people tend to mention when buying Emotiva is price, and there is nothing wrong with that, but it won't help someone trying to get the last 5% out of their system."

How do you come up with 5%? How do you know that there's not 10% or 20% left in a system to be gotten?
Krell is mid-fi now?
My point is, people looking to get that last 5% percent out of their system will not be helped by buying Emotiva. Personally I'd suggest even 10% percent, but I used 5 to be conservative. Certainly there are systems that need more help than that, though.