Byston 7 Bsst mono-block pair MSRP is $8k and Emo XPA1 pair is $2k. You do the math. There is no free lunch, brother.
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People who spend a lot of money on amps prefer to avoid these threads. I've had a lot of SS amps, from Carver to Rotel and recently Odyssey and currently a Manley Stingray II.
The TRUTH is that it all sounded good without exception. The Stingray sounds best, but it's never a night & day swing. Recently I got to try a XPA-3 and had to admit that it did very well for home theater and music. By "very well" I mean that I would have no issue using it with my Definitive Technology/SVS theater system. For more exotic gear that can bring out the smaller nuances you might want the "higher" end power, but 75% of audio is about personal perception and folks rarely agree on what's best. I think a 300 Oppo CD player sounds better than the 1500 dollar Jolida I had. Go figure.
Most likely you will be impressed and happy with an Emotive amp, even if some people snub it's mid-fi range along with Rotel, Parasound, Outlaw and many others that simply make good music.
Mid range can be lifeless on a LOT of good amps when mated to the wrong pre-amp. And most processors are simply weak for musicality. Connected to a Rogue pre-amp the Emotiva does just fine for music. In fact I'm currently about to break in the Emotiva 3 channel model to compare to the well regarded Odyssey.
I eneded up purchasing the XPA-2. For me the XPA-2 is an amazing value for the price. However, I do agree with a lot of what Robbob posted. I am currently using an NAD c350 integrated as a pre amp. I have not noticed any dull or lifelessness in the midrange. What I have noticed is the sheer transparency in the recordings that I did not hear with the previous amp which shall remain nameless. I listened to "Joe Henderson's Greatest Hits" on Bluenote, "The Popular Duke Ellington", "Duke Ellington:Piano Reflections", "Jim Hall & Pat Metheny", "Sam Cooke at the Copa" and finally, "Billie Holiday: The Decca Years". Also, I do need to mention some tracks by Allison Krauss and Union Station, such "Down By The River to Pray", and "Baby,Now That I have Found You". I have listened and re-listened to these recordings over and over for a minimum of 8 hours a day since buying the XPA-2. If there are any problems in the midrange I didn't notice.(Note: My cable situation is precarious at best.) In fact I am astounded by all that I had not heard in these recordings before!!!!! The XPA-2 is the real deal. It delivers quality in spades and some.
I recently got to test the UPA-1 monoblocks from Emotiva and they gave the Odyssey Stratos Extreme a close run for the money. I prefer the extreme to anything from Rotel, Wyred 4 Sound or Parasound and quite a few others. So bottom line is that Emotiva is very much the real deal.
I also ordered their new processor after hearing one against an Onkyo that cost twice as much. Appears that the bugs are now worked out. I'll post a review after I run it for a few days.
I just got the Emotiva UMC-1. Their object was to beat the Integra 9.8/9.9.
I think they did it, at least when it comes to the pre-amp section the Emotiva is impressing me with music. For home theater I doubt anyone could tell the difference.
The only issue is that the UMC-1 continues to have firmware upgrades as they work out the bugs for connectivity. I myself had some issues at first, now all corrected. Main sources are PS3, Oppo and HD Comcast cable. My screen is 10 feet wide.
I plan to post a detailed review, but for now I'll say this: This is a 2000 dollar processor selling for 700 bucks.
My system...ever growing and changing....
It's interesting to find that there is such a wide range of opinions on Emotiva gear. I've read posts where it has been dismissed as entry level budget gear, while others have compared it to much costlier gear. I happen to like the build and sound quality of Emotiva, and I also believe that some of its gear performs way above its price point.
Anyone considering Emotiva, go for it, and if you don't like it, you can return it within 30 days, or sell it quite quickly on the used market.
Entry level gear is not Emotiva. Even with their low prices a good system based on Emotiva amps and processors will cost more than anything "entry level."
Entry level is a Sony, Denon or Onkyo receiver powering some Mirage speakers. And guess what? That can sound pretty good if set up well. But once you get into separates things change and we're not at entry level anymore.
"Entry level gear is not Emotiva. Even with their low prices a good system based on Emotiva amps and processors will cost more than anything "entry level."
Entry level is a Sony, Denon or Onkyo receiver powering some Mirage speakers. And guess what? That can sound pretty good if set up well. But once you get into separates things change and we're not at entry level anymore."
Ditto. Couldn't agree more.
I think their amps are pretty good, but based on my experience with their UMC-1 processor (which I returned), they have a long way to go on designing a good processor. Their room equalization is lightyears behind Audyssey..it uses fixed EQ bands and their signal routing (bass) design is, to be kind, unusual.
Stick to their amps....
Just an observation - there seems to be very little objective comparison in this thread.
In other words, something like "I compared the Emotiva and the McIntosh 402 in the same system and found that even though X, Y and Z, the Emotiva Still did A, B, and C"
Who here has done real A/B comparisons with Emo gear in the same system against much more expensive competition? If so, can you describe the differences in sound?
Honestly I've read all these posts and learned nothing about the original topic.
I compared my upa-1 monoblocks to both my musical fidelity a300 integrated and my a3cr power amp, and in both scenarios, I found the UPA-1's to be smoother in presentation, making the midrange more enjoyable. The UPA's had more air in the highs, while the bass was tight yet plentiful. Although I still enjoy my MF gear for its detail and pace, the UPA's are a little more fun to listen to in my system.
For 2 channel audio I say give the Emotiva USP-1 a shot. It was reviewed here not too long ago by A'gon member Ferrari who did a very detailed and thorough review.
I use it in my 2nd system with very good results. I don't think it can take down Classe or McIntosh but for a little over $300 used and under $500 new it is quite a treat.
Nordic: I received a very quick response from the Sales Department. It was regarding the crossover section of the USP-1, incidentally. Identify yourself as a prospective buyer with follow-up questions to the available literature. I know it's a tech question, but prompt email communication is really a sales thing.
To all I have worked modding electronics for years .For $800 the Xpa 2 is a good deal,BUT it is grainy , if you replace the 7 fuses with Hifitung Supreme fuses for$300 the quality is at least 15% better and worth it .The Odyssey Stratos amp especailly the plus,or extreme is far better even the standards Stratos is .Not as much power but night and day better parts quality and much higher damping factor for control as well as much more current delivery .
I A B these just stock and the Odyssey is far more refined and is 160wpc and 250into 4 ohms.watts mean little the quality and the current capabilitys on demand is far more important ,and this includes NAD too soft,and they also have nowhere the continuous current .The use terms like
peak current meaning for a fraction of a second. The Odyssey is even steady into 2 ohms!!
I don't know about continuous hi-current. Even my power hog Maggies have a 4 amp fuse for mid/hi freqs.
Hi current should be at the expense of voltage, right? How long will output devices last if subjected to 20 or 30 amp peaks too frequently?
But I do agree about parts quality. I think better parts and better build will simply last longer and have more value down the road, even if you intend to be buried in the box it came in.
I did get a response from an Emotiva tech re: the XPA 2 circuit design. He was quite forthcoming. Some sales pitch language was included of course. Can't fault him for that. I am savvy. Since decided not to pursue Emotiva. For what it costs it is probably decent gear. Altho contrary to one poster I think price point and profit margin are achieved by Chinese manufature, low parts cost and not just cutting out the "middle man."
There are lots of reasons why gear is priced the way it is. Sound quality isn't directly what determines price. Indirectly, better parts, layout, and manufacturing techniques should have an influence on sound quality.
Someone mentioned Bryston and paying for a 20 year warranty. That certainly adds to the cost. Also consider that their gear is hand made in Canada by Canadians making an honest living wage. Paying a person say, $30 per hour plus benefits to hand assemble something makes that unit cost far more than a person doing the same thing in a country where they pay workers less than $30 a day with zero benefits. Having to fix something for free 20 years after its been made adds more to the price than a company who has no responsibility after 3 or even 5 years after manufacture. Two amps that have the exact same parts content and made the exact same way would have very different prices if the only difference was employee wages and warranty coverage.
I'm not bashing Emotiva nor anything else made in places where labor is dirt cheap. I'm just trying to get the point across that sound quality isn't really what determines the cost of any gear, nor the actual value of it. Cost and value aren't one in the same.
I haven't heard any Emotiva gear. By most all accounts it's quite hold for the money. I don't doubt it is. If I were in the market for anything they sell at anywhere near their prices, I'd most likely give them a shot. But then again, I'd rather buy from a local dealer who lives and works in my community. One hand washes the other IMO. No offense intended to buyers or makers of Internet direct stuff.