Emotiva XPA-5 vs. Parasound A51?

I can get a brand new Emotiva XPA-5 for $850, OR, I can get a used Parasound A51 (without warranty) for $2,200.

Without listening to these amps, I am having a very hard time justifying paying almost 3x more for the used Parasound that just offers 50 watts of additional power per channel, which I frankly don't think I need.

Powering B&W 804s as the main speakers. Upgrading to a B&W center channel, and thinking about using Emotiva for the in-ceiling surrounds.

Will spend time 50/50 for music / movies.

I've never used either one myself. In your case, it seems like a no brainer to try the Emotiva. If you like it, problem solved. If not, you send it back within 30 days. I typically wouldn't say something like this, but you really have little to lose.
Yep, Zydo is right - make use of Emo's 30 day trial period. I'm betting you will not send it back...

Having heard both amps in more than a few systems I'll tell you why it is not a 'no-brainer' (shouldn't we, at least have experienced/listened to the amps before declaring it a no-brainer?) The XPA is a good value, has plenty of power for demanding speakers where it comes up short is in the mid range and up detail and dynamics.
The Parasound is one of the best 5 channel amps I have ever heard, it does so many things right. You won't be disappointed with the Parasound and it has great resale value.
Forget about the 50 watts, they will both drive your speakers with authority.

If you don't like the Parasound you can easily sell it for what you paid. You'll take a bigger hit with the Emotiva.
That said I would never buy an amp without hearing it with my speakers.

I agree with much of what you said. I'm basically saying he can demo the Emo, with no financial risk. That IS his chance to hear it. In my mind, I expect the Parasound to be a better amp. Is it nearly 3 times the price, with no warranty better? Only he can decide that.

The price difference is considerable. The fact that he is even asking about the Emo, tells me it's most likely at least a small concern. If it wasn't, it probably wouldn't be on his list.

He may very well be able to sell the Parasound with no loss. Maybe not too. You could sit on it for weeks or months. There is no "hit" on sending the Emo back. (shipping I guess) I was simply pointing out that it is a bargain (price wise) and he can get out of it for sure, if he wants to. Hence, "no brainer"
What Zenblaster said +1. IME, The differences will be audible on the 804's, more so with well recorded music than for movies.

If we knew what amp you are using now we would have a better idea of what quality level you are currently at. Also what, if anything, are you trying to improve upon?
My old system - JM Labs Chorus 716 mains, Chorus CC and surrounds - were all run from an Emo UPA-5 (200x5 into 8ohms). My speakers are a bit more sensitive than the B&Ws, but the Emo made them come to life.

I don't think you have anything to lose by trying Emotiva, and I think you may be pleased.
I agree with Zen. I just added a used Parasound myself; I'm now using my Pioneer Elite receiver as a Processor. It's been a great upgrade. I've also been using the two channel version of the Parasound in my main system for 2 years.
I've never heard an Emotiva product, so I can't compare. The reviews that I have read have been mixed, and there seem to be a lot of product service/reliability issues withi Emotiva in forums that I have perused. I've been very happy with the two Parasound products that I have.
I've had amps from both companies and concur with the superior midrange/highs detail. Also, the Parasound doesn't have the glare or harsh highs at upper volumes that the Emotiva did with my speakers, I actually got repeatable sibilance.

If the 804's are a forward sounding speaker, and I've heard some B&W products are, it might be a bad mix. Only one way to be sure, but be aware that if you want to return the Emotiva you will lose the shipping costs of a 100 or so.
Thanks guys. I decided it spend 2.5x more and get the parasound. It's an investment in high quality gear that will last for a long time.

Emotiva is just too new, focused on competing on price and not quality, plus I've heard their components have had longevity issues.

Thanks again for the commentary.
Glad to help out, let us know your impressions on the new amp.
Aman, let me be a spoiler of sorts. There's currently an A'gon auction running for a pair of Paradigm Tributes. The current bid is around $3K+, but the reserve has not been met.

I heard the Tributes last year at a dealer while comparing an A'gon favorite brand (X). The Tributes were being driven by an ARC VS-115 tube amp and sounded SPECTACULAR! They cleaned the floor up with brand X. IMO of course.

I own the Paradigm S8s (v3) and think the Tributes sound almost as good as the S8s. Check Paradigm's web site for a review of the Tributes. I generally agree with the reviewer's comments and observations based on my experiences with the S8s and comparing the Tributes with brand X.

This is a gorgeous++ looking and sounding speaker. Sure wish there were more B&M stores that carried a lot of different speaker brands. Buying expensive gear is a tough job.

Anyway, sorry to shift the discussion, but maybe other members will weigh in with some helpful observations about the Tributes and the Paradigm's Signature line.

Good luck.

Sorry Aman. My last post was intended to be in your thread asking for advice about Revel vs Cremona vs B&W speakers. I reposted my comments there. So please ignore the post above.