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Recommended Amp Power with 7.2 Heritage System


cerescobra
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I'm building an all Heritage 7.2 HT system in my soon to be constructed HT. I've purchased La Scala LCRs for the front soundstage and four Heresys for the side and rear surrounds. Now I'm amp shopping. I usually go big, but with these extremely efficient speakers, how much power is too much? I'd usually plan on separates with about 200W per channel, but in this case would separate amps with legitimate 80-125W/channel be plenty? I'm actually looking at Emotiva amps, X-series vs. U-series. There is a pretty significant cost difference and if the X-series would be overkill, I'd be happy to save some $$$ on the U-series. What say you Heritage users?

Thanks,

Chuck

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That does sound like an amazing setup! If you are looking at Emotiva, they have some discontinued amps that would do you perfect and are fairly common and cheap. Be on the lookout for a UPA-7 or a UPA-5/UPA-2 combo to get you to 7 channels. They offer 125 watts per channel, so would be a pretty good middle ground between their x series amps and new upa series amps.

UPA-7 Review

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I've budgeted $3000 for processor, main, surround and sub amps. One objective is to have no fans in the HT electronics to distract from the entertainment experience. I have an Emotiva UMC-1 processor already. What this additional budget would buy is an upgraded XMC-1 processor, an XPA-2 (300W/ch) for L&R, an XPA-5 (200W/ch) for center, side and rear surrounds and a Classdaudio 250W/ch x 2 amp for the pair of Bill Fitzmaurice THT folded horn subwoofers. If I decide to move down a notch to the Emotiva UPA family, I will save about $1000. UPAs would include UPA-200 (125W/ch x2) and UPA-500 (80W/ch x5). The Emotiva ratings are at 0.1% THD or less, depending on the model, with all channels driven, and have been tested and proven to be real.

I guess I could call it my $1000 decision :-)

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Thanks again guys. I spoke with Bob Crites this morning and his opinion is that 100W/channel is a good target. He feels more power is pretty much unusable from a SPL standpoint. But I really don't feel comfortable moving down either. So I'll target the XPA-2/5 combo for now, but might move to the XPA-7 when released. If it has a true 200W/channel x7 with all channels driven, I have no doubt that will be more than enough to make the La Scalas and Heresys happy!

Chuck

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IMO, with the highly efficient system you have, I think you would be better off selecting an amp with a lower noise floor than the Emotiva XPA's. An amp like a B&K Reference 125.7 would be close to perfect. Dead quiet(my experience with B&K) and a "warmish" tone that mates very well with Klipsch Heretige. The B&K 200.7 or 7270 would be perfect if you must have a minimum of 200w/ch. You could also combine one of their 2-channel with a 5-channel.

Bill

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but might move to the XPA-7 when released. If it has a true 200W/channel x7 with all channels driven, I have no doubt that will be more than enough to make the La Scalas and Heresys happy!

Even if it does not have a "true" 200w/ch x 7, say maybe "only" 150w/ch x 7, your statement will still ring true.[;)]

Bill

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Find a Sherbourn 7/2100A 7 channel true mono block and with dual power cords. 7 x 200W I have been running one for a couple of years and it rocks and I am running an almost identical array except I have Cornwalls and Heresy's in the rear. I bought mine used on Audiogon in perfect shape for $1500 in original box, they should be less now since that was a few years ago. B&K also makes great sounding amps! Three Yamaha M-80's and a single channel M-70 would be killer too.

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I agree with Bill, get something that has a low noise floor for Heritage speakers. The Emotiva may not be the best option. My amps are 200 watts and with movies hitting 110 db which is really loud, lol. the meters never go pass 60-80 watt with the loudest peaks.

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Thanks again guys. Based on the comments about low noise floor and Emo's questionable ability to satisfy in that area, I'm now looking at some Class D amps, even a DIY version. The reviews on these are that they have a virtually undetectable noise floor and that they have a warm, tube-like SQ. And Class D amps are great for subwoofers too.

Still pondering......

Chuck

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I'm using an XPA5 to power my 3 LaScalas and 2 Heresies. In someone elses system the noise floor may have presented itself, but it has never in mine. My system is dead quiet. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Emotiva.

Whether or not the power is necessary, I did it for the same reason mentioned earlier. It was worth the money to exterminate the upgrade bug! And trust me, this setup will kill it! However, I don't doubt that the lesser amp would have been fine.

You're going to have one fine system. I had to go with RS62's for my sides due to space constraints, but they do a great job too.

What do you have in mind for subs? edit: oh, I see the pair of Tubas in your sig. What's your room size?

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I think you should start simple and expand from there as needed. Since you mentioned class D amps, look into the Pioneer Elite receivers with the class D amps., one of the higher up the line SC models. If you like the sound you hear from that, then you have only one piece driving everything, except for the subs. If your not happy with the power, get a three channel amp for the fronts and let the receiver drive the surrounds.

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I'm using an XPA5 to power my 3 LaScalas and 2 Heresies. In someone elses system the noise floor may have presented itself, but it has never in mine. My system is dead quiet. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Emotiva.

Whether or not the power is necessary, I did it for the same reason mentioned earlier. It was worth the money to exterminate the upgrade bug! And trust me, this setup will kill it! However, I don't doubt that the lesser amp would have been fine.

You're going to have one fine system. I had to go with RS62's for my sides due to space constraints, but they do a great job too.

What do you have in mind for subs? edit: oh, I see the pair of Tubas in your sig. What's your room size?

The room will be about 3500 cubic feet in size.

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I am intrigued by these, althought I don't really need another amp:

http://www.crownaudio.com/usa/amplifiers/xls-drivecore.html

Pluses for the Crown XLS:

  1. Has RCA and balanced inputs.
  2. Has -20 dB, -10 dB and clip LEDs, so you have an idea of power output.
  3. Presumably has a fan, but presumably can be modded for a quiet one.
  4. Cheap.
  5. 2-ohms rated, something we can't say for Emo amps.


I like that list!
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Check out outlaw. Couldn't be happier. No fan. Runs cool and quiet. No fan needed. Tons of power. 7 x 200 from my 7700. Maybe I'm biased but after reading everything I could find I chose outlaw and don't regret it one bit. Quality product and guys have been running these Amps for years without any problems. Check out their site and forum. You can ask questions and get a quick response. Outlaws love their Amps like Klipsch guys love their speakers.

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