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Short review on Acurus A-250, Harman Kardon Signature 1.5, and Emotiva XPA-2, QSC RMX-1450


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I have the opportunity to own the above amps. The speakers driven by these amps are KLF-20. I like hip hop, so my review is based on that kind of music.

QSC RMX 1450 -- This amp has a better mid than my Onkyo 8050 receiver. At high volume, the Onkyo can sound a little harsh but QSC does not have that problem. However, this amp has a not-so-quite cooling fan. The noise floor is quite high, too. Overall, it is not a huge upgrade from the Onkyo receiver.

Acurus A250 -- I got this amp from a forum member and listened for a week and did not hook it up again. It has more bass than the QSC but it makes my KLF sound like a boom box. The bass just sounds like boom boom. Very un-natural. The highs are very harsh. Not my cup of tea.

Harman Kardon Signature 1.5 -- The moment I hooked up this amp, I can understand what the warm sound people are saying about HK amps. The sound is full and the bass is not overwhelming . Nice balance.

Emotiva XPA-2 -- It is a very heavy amp. This can be a disadvantage if you don't have a sliding rack. The sound is very dynamic. It is a nice sounding amp but it does not sound as warm/laid back as the HK amp.

I am still trying to figure if I want to keep the HK or Emotiva. If the audio quality is closely comparable, I may just keep the HK amp for its lighter weight. My back will thank me :)

By the way, I recently bought a pair of Polk RTI12 to replace my KLF-20. Sorry guys. Fry’s had a deal on them two weeks ago that I could not refuse. Believe or not, the bass from the Polk actually has more punch (very fast) than the KLF-20. Even at high volume, the Polk still sounds very linear. The highs don't have that "live" horn characteristics though. My wife much prefers the Polk to the KLF because of its slim front profile. My next move is probably to compare the RF-83/63 to the Polk.

That is all for now. Happy listening.

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I have the opportunity to own the above amps. The speakers driven by these amps are KLF-20. I like hip hop, so my review is based on that kind of music.

Acurus A250 -- I got this amp from a forum member and listened for a week and did not hook it up again. It has more bass than the QSC but it makes my KLF sound like a boom box. The bass just sounds like boom boom. Very un-natural. The highs are very harsh. Not my cup of tea.

Scott,

Sorry to hear that the A250 didn't jive too well with your KLF's. I have never listened to any KLF's so I have no personal opinion about KLF/Acurus synergy(or lack of) with hip hop. I do know that my older Acurus amps that I have owned(A150, A250) are "brighter"sounding than my newer models(A200, A200FIVE) and less refined. They all do have crazy bass drive but I guess I can see how they might get boomy with KLF's because I experienced a similar "boominess" with my Quartets in my very "live" family room. No such experience with my RF-63's and Heresy's though, very sweet sounding all across the range.

Have you tried powering your new Polks with the Acurus? Neutral/bright amp + warmer/tamed highs speaker = good synergy?

Bill

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Hi Bill,

No, I did not get a chance to pair A250 with the Polk because I sold it on CL after knowing that it was not a good match with KLF. The residual sound drainage is also a big turn-off for me.

KLF-20 has 2 X 10" woofers. It hits lower than the Polk. But the Polk has more bass output and it is a lot tighter. It is probably due to the use of 3 X 7" woofers. But I do miss the "live" sound from horns. That is why I would like to demo RF-83 or RF-63.

Scott

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No, I did not get a chance to pair A250 with the Polk because I sold it on CL after knowing that it was not a good match with KLF.

Glad you were able to sell it. I would have bought it back(for same price of course[;)]) if you would have had a hard time selling it. I hope you did not lose too much $$$.

That is why I would like to demo RF-83 or RF-63.

The RF-63's are my favorite speakers that I have ever owned, and that list includes fortes, Quartets, Heresy's, Heresy II's, RB-35's, and RB-5's. They are smooth and dynamic.

Bill

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