So you gushed over the Emotiva amps and have now had a change of heart and have decided to gush over the Parasound amp. Interesting. And you go to a a show and listen to other amps that are not connected to your system and you're able to tell that they are not as good as your Parasound. Even more interesting...
There's no way to do a realistic comparison of amplifiers if they're not actually in your system with your own associated electronics etc. To use the car scenario you seem comfortable with, if you got on a track in a Farrari and Tony Stewart was on the same track in a Chevy Camaro, he'd probably kick your butt, not because of the car but because of his driving abilities. Your ability to hear the difference between a Parasound and Emotiva amp may be valid (neither of which are truely high end amps) but the true test is having the ability to hear and appreciate the subtle difference between a tube based single ended 18 watt pure class A amplifier and a 100 wpc solid state class A/B amp. My guess is you'd prefer the solid state amp at this point... When you understand and appreciate that difference, you'll look back in retrospect on this Emotiva revelation and laugh... No disrespect but we've all been there at some point in our audio evolution... Keep listening and enjoy the ride!!
I believe he said he demoed the A21 against more expensive amps in store sound rooms.
Anyway, I've had a similar experience with Emotiva and Parasound. I had an XPA amp and was getting distortion with high frequencies at volume levels above 80 db. Nothing I tried got rid of it until after researching Parasound, tried the A21.
In my room and system, the Halo amp was head and shoulders above the Emotiva. More accurate bass, better soundstage, no distortion at higher volumes and gorgeous vocals. It was no contest.
I still think Emotiva makes okay entry level amps for home theater if your speakers are on the warm side, but for the better music reproduction I really had a bad experience with them. Mind you, that was with TOTL Paradigm speakers.
Emotiva amps are only good on paper and reviews as suspected. It's a highly promoted brand and highly advertised. For many adventurers it's the first amp uptill they'll listen to something descent.
The Emotiva isn't that bad after all since it's priced reasonably to the performance that isn't any higher or lower per expected price(you've got exactly what you've paid for). There are certainly and most-definitely more amps that have substantially better performance per price paid ratio and your Parasound apperently one of them. I have the same feeling about my Sunfire 300 amp.
What is a good preamp to go with the parasound Halo A21
I'm confused!?!?! Did you like the Parasound amp???? LOL.
Congrats! Good stuff for sure!
I used to have Emotiva amps, and I've owned several Parasound Halo amps, the A21 & others. True, the Parasound Halos beat the Emotiva by a large margin.
I have compared the Halo A21 to my BAT VK-6200, and Mark Levinson 432. The BAT & ML amps are dead equals in my opinion. Very different sounding, with their own strengths, but overall...equals. The BAT & ML amp beat the Halo, by an equally huge margin (perhaps even more so), than the Halo A21 beat the Emotiva amp. They should beat the Halo, as they are much more money...just like the Halo is much more than the Emotiva. They are all, great bang for your $ spent on the used market.
I use Analysis Plus silver oval speaker wire, with Cary SLP-05 pre, Bryston DAC, and Lexicon RT-20 as transport. Speakers are Tyler Linbrook Supertowers, with custom 15" subs, with Velodyne SMS-1 for bass management.
Emotiva is a great bang for the buck and a lot of people are attracted to the price first then performance IMO. Through my observations I notice a lot of people who acquire Emotiva amps pair them with Klipsch and Polk. There must be some nice synergy with those products.
I just don't like the way they market their products as a High End with their famous motto, "Rethink Highend" They market their products as thousands less with the same performance. Quotes like, "The first generation XPA-2 set the bar for power and finesse at a price thousands less than the competition." They have slick marketing campaigns and in a way make it sound other products are overpriced. A while ago, they had used words like "Pure Class A" in their previous XPA-2 description so my friend ordered one. He kept on claiming it was pure class A when I had told him that it was a biased amp and really is a A/B amp. But he kept on insisting that it was all class A. He really tried to make me feel as if I overspent my money but I know I didn't . Its this type of advertising that convinces people of their products. IMO, they almost sound like every other amp is a waste of money over their product.
With that being said, I have the Parasound A21 and the A23. I enjoy both amps and will continue to hold on to them. I also agree that there are better sounding amps than the Parasound.
Alright then,any other Emotiva haters ,please come forward.
I'm glad you like your equipment, but it's very hard to take anyone who uses the word "cuz" seriously. Remember, audio is a journey. You liked the Emotiva yesterday, you like the Parasound today. Tomorrow - who knows?
You are so very right! It depends where in the journey you are and if you see a piece of equipment as "worth" the improvement, for the price paid.
I'm happy to see someone willing to tell the truth about Emotiva; that it's a mid fi brand. Nothing more, nothing less.
Enjoy your Parasound...
Telescope_trade i love the parasound A21 and even more now after the 130 hours breaking, this amp is really the real deal, i don't understand how people say that i can get better sound quality than this, i'm super happy with the sound quality of the parasound, i'm going to stick with HALO line, plus i'm not planning to spent 10,000 dollars for a amp.
Peace and keep listening
Wwchange i did side by side comparison btw the emotiva and the halo, the halo is very musical, the fidelity is pristine it's just superb, the bass response and the control the halo has over my speakers drives is unbelievable, the bass got smoother and has more impact and control, the halo just do everything better than the emotiva, i had the emotiva for almost a year and it served me well for that time, but i was getting listening fatigue from my speakers, and the bass wasn't controlled, to me emotiva is for someone who like Rock and hard music that just want to crank the volume and party all night, for someone who wants to make a lot noise, but emotiva is not for a real audiophile, don't get me wrong i'm not taking anything away from emotiva, but i was a believer of emotiva and now that i know what is the real deal. i have a better understanding of what Audiophile means.
Brownsugar...you had a Emotiva XPA, then you went and spent three times the cost of the XPA and boast about how much better your new amp is. Dude, that formula works with just about everything. I could spend three times the amount of your Parasound on another amp and make your Parasound sound pale in comparison. Try comparing the Parasound to something in its price range...then come back here and report it.
excuse Mitch4t but the only reason why i compared the emotiva is because i believed the hyper cuz they claim HIGH END so that's why i did the comparison with emotiva for what i believed Rethink HIGH END!!! and of course you can get a better performance of what the halo does with other amps, but you would have to spent 10,000 to 12,000 dollars to just get 2 or 5% gain in performance, so the differences in performances doesn't justify price differences.
Marketing will usually claim in some form that the product, regardless of price, is the best, but bears no relation to actual performance. This becomes evident in comparison.
To all The emotiva lovers, please don't take it personal, i'm just being honest here, emotiva is a good value mid-hifi entry level, but please they not even close to high end performance, i don't know about the XPR line, i saw the review of XPR-1 mono blocks in audioholics and they are insane according to the review, but anyway i'm gonna stay with HALO forever, i'm not buying Emo again.
if anything i would buy another brand like krell, pass lab or jeff rowland, but just class A amplification, in class A is where the magic happens. Happy listening
I will concur w/ Brownsugar-
even the older Parasound power amps are still excellent. I found the best pairing w/ a Pass Labs XP-10 or XP-20 preamp for outstanding results. For those who cannot afford this level of performance, Emotiva or Vincent offers great value.
I use a couple Emotiva amps and, if you look at my systems, it's not because money is an object.
Granted...I use one of their big amps for just low frequency drivers on my Wisdom speakers and another Emotiva for just rear channels in my HT.
However, I've tried the XPA2 amp in other capacities and it's gives very strong performance on a super modest budget. If you try to pick this thing up, you quickly realize it's not your typical cheapo product. It has a big toroid transformer, good heat sinks, and speaker terminals/switches/connectors that compare well with virtually anything out there. Some parts could be improved internally, but you can say that about many amps charging $5k+
Their pre/processor is a bit clunky and "cheap" with the interface, but it actually sounds very nice, which is what I value most.
If you've got better speakers that are more resolving of differences in equipment than my Wisdoms or Maggies...plus a dedicated room with full treatments...and an active crossover/room correction like mine for even more refinement...more power to you.
Here's the problem with threads like these.
First, the original poster never mentions which Emotiva model he tried. Was it the same power rating?
He never mentions which preamp is feeding the amp. Parasound is a great value brand just like Emotiva, but I once made their JC1's sound terrible by driving them from a high quality Resolution Audio CDP that supposedly could go direct to amps. On other amps, it worked fine, but not the JC1s with the cables we were using. This is just one example of why these clowns who make categoric statements about brands without providing any details earn my "clown" title.
Next, he mentions using these amps on Sonus Faber Venere. I find it odd that someone would choose a solid state amp versus a tube amp for this speaker, but nevertheless, it is also very sensitive to setup and listening axis. Thus...just like the JC1s...I could easily make this speaker sound horrible with even $100k amplification.
Few people realize how much a speaker crossover impacts the sound from the amplifier. A tube amp can sound terrible on Speaker ABC which needs lots of current, but sound great on one that needs an amp to swing voltage.
Even without the drastic difference of tubes versus solid state, you can have large swings in performance within solid state and tube categories based strictly on the speaker.
For example, my McIntosh amp is rated at 250watts per channel. It will mate great with almost any speaker...especially because it has an autoformer. Thus, it has outperformed amps well above its price on many speakers.
Conversely, my modified Mccormack amps are among the best sounding (super transparent, liquid, and detailed) solid state amps I've heard...yet...they only do 125watts and can sound much less impressive when asked to drive certain demanding speakers full-range.
In short, be careful who you listen to and be wary of anyone making categoric statements with little experience or details.
Also, for the record, Benchmark, PSB, Emotiva, and Parasound are my recommendations for "best-bang-for-the-buck" brands.
I've had 3 Emotiva products, including an amp that I compared with an A21. Emotiva is certainly not the equal of Halo amps any way you want to slice it. The point is, Emotiva is out there claiming that they are High End and why pay more, and once claimed in an ad that their UMC-200 was the equal of a $4,000 processor. People are going to call them on their wild claims, and don't be surprised if you come across another thread or two like this, Labtec.
I used to consider them good bang for the bucks spent at the 5-999 price points. But after I was able to clearly hear the difference with the A21, and got treated like an idiot at their forum btw, I don't consider them a particularly good buy at all.
I don't doubt you might prefer a Parasound product to Emotiva. I mentioned that Parasound was one of the best bang for the buck brands out there.
However, did the products you compared sell for the same price?
What find surprising is how many threads like to call out Emotiva for their claims, yet there are tons of brands making even more outlandish claims and charging 10x more than Emotiva.
I guarantee your Parasound will outperform many amps that cost 2-5x what you paid...Why do people call out the brand that sells for much less instead of the real phonies who charge much more.
If you don't find Emotiva a "particularly good buy at all", I wonder if you've ever looked under the hood of most other amplifier brands that sell products for the same price or much more. Most have nothing better than a fancier machined aluminum casing and worse measurements on a test bench.
In fact, I would take an Emotiva amp over the $100k Siltech amp based on the horrible measurements and defects in the recent Stereophile review.
Not saying this applies to everybody, but I think some Emotiva haters are just people who spent way too much on their mediocre products and would rather speak negatively on the products that cost less, than those that cost more.
Here's my litmus test for a legitimate Emotiva criticism...Do they list better products at the same price or do they only compare them to more expensive?
No doubt there are some Emo bashers out there.
You asked if the Emo (XPA-3) amp I had was the same price as the A21? But that's my point, Emotiva claims their products are the equal of much more expensive brands, but they aren't. True, I haven't tested other brands claims, only the components I buy. The XPA's used to be measured by Emotiva at .1% THD to get to rated power. Most other amp companies are at .0-something when reaching rated power. That means they have more useful headroom, because they're not already rising. Emo also has smallish power supplies and caps for rated output. They save a lot by doing this.
I've looked under the hood of many amps. I put Emotiva on par with Adcom build quality, the Halo products are in another class altogether. Mind you, I've never owned any XPR amps from Emotiva, they could be better. But the 5 or 600 watt per channel output is really overkill for me. I've never seen under the hood of anything more expensive than Halo except online.
Why can't Emotiva owners(fanboys) accept the limitations of that gear. They will never have the detail/resolution/speed of Spectral or the 3D presentation of VAC/VTL/Lamm regardless of what is spewed in that rat infested lounge! If you want an affordable "mainstream" product, purchase a Marantz PM-11/1/2/3 and start your way into the HEA journey and kick Emotiva to the curb!!!
Everything has it's own place in life. I absolutely love my A21. But is that the best? I am sure it is not. But for me , in my situation right now, it is the best bang for buck and every time I listen to my music I am amazed how my system plays the music. For me the amps in $10-$15k range are a bit too much for their asking price - TODAY. But if my financial situation changes, I will definitely not think twice about spending that much on a pair of amps. So, I believe Emotiva and Parasound have their own place in this audio food chain. Chill out guys!
Please chill out, it's not a big deal! I'm a former owner of the Emotiva XPA-2 Gen2 and XPA-5 Gen2, I have compared both with the Halo A21 and the halo blew them away in every single area PERIOD! it doesn't really matter xpa2 or 5 the XPA line sounds pretty much the same, I wrote this review because emotiva claims to be HIGH END with the famous Motto Rethink high end, so I was completely disappointed when I found out what emotiva is all about, to me emotiva is a good entry level product for those peoples who like ROCK and electronic music to go extremely loud and crank their speakers and make a lot of noise, but if you want real detail and exceptional sound quality emotiva is not for you, but emotiva offer a good bang for your buck but it doesn't sound high end at all.
thank you guys for all your comments and thoughts, like I always say everybody is entitled to their own opinion and mi opinion is that emotiva is not even close to high end performance.
Peace and Keep listening
I've had the same experience with Emotiva. I wanted to like them - tried their XPA-5, 2, and 1 monos and then the XPR-2. ALL of these amps had a upper-mid/high frequency glare to their sound, although less noticeable with the XPR-2. The XPR-2 was significantly better than the XPA line (Gen 1), with a wider deeper soundstage and lower noise floor. Still, I couldn't live with it, and sent it back before the end of the trial period.
In your recent post among other things you mention the rock and electronic music.What is wrong with rock music,95 per cent of people listen to rock.Jazz is good to go to sleep and classical is bowring.
Get your facts straight,also I got the XPR-2 and under the hood is same or equivalent to Mcintosh at 1/10th the cost.
I haven,t heard the JC1 but I assure you they look very mediocre and low fi at least the XPR line looks the business .
Yioryos excuse me i'm not taking anything away from Emotiva, like everybody here in this Threads has mentioned, why emotiva claims to be high end when they are not, but emotiva does a pretty decent JOB for the money, but just don't compare emotiva with high end Gear and a pair of JC1 will blow away you XPR, no question about it, and we not talking about how the amp look inside, we talking about sound quality performance, i'm sure even my A21 will blow away the XPR 2.
it's what it's, emotiva is good but not so good, i don't think is a good buy at all, i will never buy emotiva again for me it's a waste of money, but probably in the future i will get Krell or Mark Levinson.
I guess my point didnt come through with you.I am saying that it is not fair to compare the Emotiva gear with other brands that cost 3-4-6 and 10 times the cost.
For the money the Emotiva holds very well.
If you look at the internals of a Bryston 14b-sst and XPR-2 you will notice they are very similar.
The Bryston is over 10000 dollars and the Emotiva is 1700 dollars.
I do own Mark Levinson now and had Krells before and still own some Krell gear and Bryston. I have been in the audio for many many many years.
The XPR-2 (actually I own two) are in a secondary system for parties where high wattage is desirable.
For critical listening I use different pedigree,
Emotiva is a counter balance to all other high dollar brands and offers quality sound to more people,its a good thing.
I wish them many years of success.
Yioyos, you state that it is not fair to compare the Emotiva amps with brands costing several times the cost. But then your supporting argument seems to support the idea that it IS fair to compare. Perhaps I am missing something?
At any rate, I agree with the idea that since Emotiva themselves state that their gear is as good as the much more expensive stuff, that it is fair to compare. And Emotiva's gear does not measure up. Their processors have been buggy, clunky and several years behind the feature set of a $600-700 receiver. The first 2 generations of their DAC and CD player units had various weaknesses and bugs/issues that would have made a third generation off the table had it been any other manufacturer.
Their attempts at subwoofers were likewise weak offerings. Frequency response that starts dropping below 50 Hz? My HSU sub is flat down to 20 Hz. Their UPA and XPA amps have smallish power supplies and capacitor banks. They rate these amps at 1% or .1% at rated power. That means they are already climbing into distortion and have less usable headroom than an amp achieving rated power at .01%. My point here is, it's much cheaper to make an amp with the above specifications as Emotiva does. And it shows up in sound quality.
The XPR amps may be better, that is true. The XPR weighs 102 lbs and has 600 wpc. 99.5% of people don't need 600 watts or even have speakers that can handle 600 watts. But if one does, Emotiva is the only game in town. Just don't pull a muscle trying to get that boat anchor into place!
I can't believe people are still wasting time bad mouthing under $1k amps compared with all the snake oil and over-priced products in this hobby.
XPA amps were measured by a third party who does this for a living and doesn't live in the snake oil delusional world that many do. Here is just one of their measurements - http://www.audioholics.com/amplifier-reviews/emotiva-xpa-2/xpa-2-measurements
Like I said before, I use them as low frequency amps on my Wisdom speakers and surrounds in my HT. I can easily afford much more expensive amps, but they measure perfectly fine for these applications and would be more than suitable for any budget audiophile system.
In fact, I could spend $5k on most any tube amp and it would do a worse job controlling the low frequencies.
Of course, I'm sure there will be 1,000 excuses for ignoring measurements and more wasted time claiming that this $800 amp isn't worthy of comparison to $5k amps.
1. A company using normal fluff marketing to hail their products as competitors with more expensive options?
2. A company charging much more for essentially no better product.
I see tons of people bashing Emotiva, but how often do you see anyone bashing this $9500 CDP with the same parts as a $100 CDP - http://homepage1.nifty.com/iberia/column_audio_goldmund-e.htm
What's even more criminal are speakers costing the same as a car, yet not even giving you an active crossover (which is superior to a passive in every way)!
I seriously question the motives of this criticism. Emotiva creates products for almost any budget, with no distributor and dealer markup. They give you a liberal return policy, yet people on hear still like to bash them.
And again for the record, Parasound is another quality company with great value for the money, but, in most cases, it is more than double the cost of Emotiva equivalents.
Labtec, Emotiva IS snake oil.
Audioholic's owner has admitted that he's friends with Dan Laufman. I mean, whatever, but the thing is, Audioholics has NEVER had a critical review of an Emotiva product, even the piece of crap UMC-1, when a large percentage of owners of the UMC were having major problems with it. The last Emotiva sub Audioholics reviewed started dropping below 50 Hz. Audioholics called it a best buy when they were critical of the HSU Research sub, VTF-15H, which outperforms the Emo sub in every category. They lost me after that review.
I have a Parasound A21 2 channel amp and compared it side by side with an Emotiva XPA-3 amp. The A21 is in another class, but hey, there's no free lunch.
It would help to know what the rest of Brownsugar's system is composed of. What's his preamp and sources, along with cabling? Also, what music he auditions equipment with.
Also, I'm not clear from his review if the Parasound is the second amp he has ever owned. If so, how is this any different than his first rave review of the Emotiva?
Statements like this don't help - "you can get a better performance of what the halo does with other amps, but you would have to spent 10,000 to 12,000 dollars to just get 2 or 5% gain in performance"
I own a Parasound A21 and I submit it's very good, not great. It does very little wrong and is on the dark side of neutral to "my ears." There are better/different amps that many may prefer over the Parasound A21. I purchased the A21 because it was within my budget and I like what it does for the money.
Runnin & Brownsugar, your Parasound 2 channel amp sells for $2500. You compared it against an Emotiva $679 home theater amp and you show up here thumping your chest.
Why don't you compare your amp to the $1600 Emotiva XPR stereo amp? It is still nearly $1k less than what you paid. I'd like to see the results of that comparison.
Or, you could get real and test it against a $3k pair of Emotiva XPR monoblocs and compare them against your $2500 Parasound...that's more of a fair dollar per dollar comparison.
Get real. Do a real dollar per dollar comparison. Comparing your amp to one that costs one third the price is empty, ridiculous and holds no water.
I know I'm in the minority here, but I like Brownsugar's enthusiasm. We were ALL here at one point... believing we had a great system only to hear a new component which made us re-evaluate what was possible, and what we considered "great".
Browbeating him for sharing his enthusiasm is not at all what this hobby needs.
Hk, Brownsugar's enthusiasm is one thing, but to bash another manufacturer in an unequal comparison is clearly another thing.
Neither does the hobby need hobbyists unfairly bashing manufacturers.
Mitch, you still seem to be missing the point. Emotiva makes wild claims and their fanboys make wild claims. I am simply holding them to account. The XPR line may be the equal of the Halo series, but based on the build quality of the XPA line and every Emotiva product I have owned, I have my doubts.
I was where Brownsugar was when I started out in Audio, but I wish I would have made the switch to Parasound much sooner. I am satisfied at this level of refinement. With good speakers and cables, it's really quite impressive, but it's like Ricred1 said, there is better than Parasound Halo. I'm not interested in spending to get there though.
Runnin,in regards to your comment pulling a muscle lifting the XPR-2 , don,t you worry.
After over 22 years in the gym lifting weights,I can sure lift an amp at 100 lbs.
As the matter of fact I just returned back from my gym routine,tonight was chest routine.
My biggest effort was when a few years ago I moved up three flights of stairs my Rogue Zeus,that bad boy weights 220 lbs.
If you search my posts it is there posted somewhere.
Emotiva makes wild claims and their fanboys make wild claims.
Ain't that the truth...
There's an overall sense in audiophile circles that to be a truly "high end" products it must be expensive and made by a small, discreet manufacturer who eschews mass-market sales or promotion. Consequently, I think there's a lot of reflexive bashing of manufacturers (e.g. Polk, Yamaha) who sell a lot of gear and/or price or position their stuff for mass consumption. I suspect if Emotiva weren't as popular or aggressive in its marketing, we wouldn't see as many derisive comments; on its own terms it's very good bang-for-the-buck.
Emotiva makes very good products for the buck, they have a great value, but they are not exceptional in performance as they claim to be, they are not bad for audiophile beginners who are starting their journey in this expensive hobby.
If you want the best performance out of you speakers
Emotiva is not the way to go, I'm sorry but it's what its.
Chill out guys its not a big deal
NAD/Onkyo and Yamaha have recently made products of exceptional price/performance ratio but have NEVER claimed SOTA performance. Emotiva is trying to brainwash potential buyers into believing nothing is better which is the same SNAKE OIL many Emotiva buyers fear(lol)!
emotiva AMPS are priced EXACTLY where they should be. If they sounded close to, or "99% as good as" a parasound a21, Emotiva would raise the price. You get what you pay for.
I feel so naive. For a while, I thought that Emotiva's amps were essentially just as good as the others. They look impressive. They are heavy. They're well made. They have TONS of power.
The parasound advantage is its grace and nuance. It has clarity beyond Emotiva's wildest dreams, but expresses feeling. It does more than hit a bass note. It convinces you that someone's thumb just plucked a string, and makes you lean back in your chair as you feel the sound. You don't hear a snare drum. You visualize the technique that the drummer is using. I looked around for someone to brag to when Norah Jones was IN my living room--singing to me about lost love.
I wish so badly that Emotiva amps were good enough. The last thing I wanted to do was spend this much money on an amplifier. But to say that the two amplifiers are close in performance is to say that they are both, indeed, amplifiers.
like i said before you can't get the performances of a mercedes benz AMG 63 with a toyota corolla LOL
I'm just glad to see someone using the word "eschews."
Emotiva is trying to brainwash potential buyers into believing nothing is better
Not only that, but the same people who criticize high end companies for overpricing and slick marketing have succumbed to the same marketing(minus the high prices to be fair) ploys via Emotiva.
Definitely a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Even though this is another thread for another time, most real and true high companies don't overmarket or slap their logo on everything that doesn't have to do with audio. The money they make goes to r&d and engineering in general.
Trying to power Tyler Acoustic's D1x speakers has led me through quite a journey with amps .Although they are 90 db efficient , to get the bass drivers to move they need power .I have tried many ss amps straight wired and bi amped also and have fianally settled on an XPR 2. This amp takes control of those 4 nine inch drivers per channel and makes me think my subs are on .Mind you that it takes along time for this amp to settle down and not sound to bright . I liked it well enough to order another XPR 2 and verticly Bi Amp my speakers .
The truth will set you free!!!
Nice,I am doing the very same with my two XPR-2.
Vertical bi-amp into JBL L7 , th XPR amps require 20A line for optimum performance.