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Thread: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    werthliving.com

    I wish. That space is only 8".

    Its amazing how many GD wires it takes to run a blu-ray player, speakers, and two dvr's. Ugh...

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Fast, left TN last night and arrived at 9:30 this morning.

    Comes in baggy like Oppo


    Manual, power cord, spare fuses and 12v trigger cable (I bought a mono one from RS because that is what Denon recommends)


    3 6ft interconnects


    Bottom


    Front (silver trim will be going)


    Top (much of the weight is the transformer; four 10,000uf caps)


    Back

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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Quote Originally Posted by gadgtfreek View Post
    Im starting to read more about that. The one consistency I note in "owner" comments is that a standalone amp of roughly equal power (I figure the UPA-500 and X4000 amps are similar in that regard) offers a more clean sound than an AVR. I do not have a dog in that hunt, but I take it as it does not play "louder", it's just a better sound at the same volumes. I do not know enough about amps to comment on that either way.
    People who buy standalone power amps like to believe this, and they are egged on by manufacturers, magazines, and review sites, but it's rarely true. If the comparison is done carefully (which is not easy -- blind, levels matched to within 0.1 dB, instantaneous randomized switching), they always sound the same so long as noise and distortion are adequately low, frequency response is flat into the load, and neither amplifier is overloaded during the comparison -- conditions that normally are easily met with modern transistor amplifiers. In an uncontrolled comparison, however, it's easy to become convinced that there's some difference, and once you think you hear it, you tend to continue to think it's there, even though it's illusory. There are numerous reasons for this, but a big one is that our memory for sonic detail is very short. Anyhow, such comparisons have been performed many, many times over the years, with uniform results. Which really is as it should be. There is no reason for good, properly designed and functioning audio amplifiers operating within their design limits to sound different.

    I guess the issue is, will the UPA-500 add anything/or take away something vs the Denon 125watt amps on the higher end models? I regularly listen to blu-rays at 0.0db on the Denon volume setting. Many times a 7.1 lossless track requires me to go to +2.0 db.
    The setting of the volume control doesn't really tell you anything about how much power the amplifier is delivering. That will depend on the sensitivity and impedance of the speakers and how the volume control is calibrated.

    None of this is to say that separate power amps are pointless. I've never had anything else in my main system, although that to some extent reflects the state of audio and my state of mind when I first go into audio in the early '70s. If I were starting out today, I might be more disposed to go with a receiver. In any event, the primary reasons for going with a separate amp are that you need (or just want) extremely high power (because you have exceptionally low-sensitivity speakers, for example) or that you have speakers whose impedance characteristics make them atypically hard to drive (something else that was more common years ago). But if you're going to go with a separate power amp, a pre-pro makes more sense as the front end, though I guess it's easier to find a cheap A/V receiver with pre-outs than it is to find a cheap pre-pro.

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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Quote Originally Posted by gadgtfreek View Post
    I also keep hearing about "low noise floor" on stand alone amps, but you might as well be speaking Mandarin lol!
    Just means one amplifier produces less hum and hiss than another. This depends on the circuit design, though, not on whether or not the amp is built into a receiver. Noise doesn't matter if you can't hear it, however, so unless you have ultra-sensitive speakers, this is seldom an issue. To check the noise floor of your receiver's amp, select an unused input, if one is available, and turn the volume control all the way down. (Even better, if the receiver has pre-out/main-in loops, disconnect the preamp section from the power amp section altogether.) Then sit where you'd normally listen from, with the room quiet, and see if you can hear any noise. If not, you're totally good. But even if you hear a faint bit of noise, it will be drowned out by program when you're actually listening to something. Only if the noise is pretty obvious do you have a problem. Note that you will pretty much invariably hear some noise if you put your ear right up to a speaker, regardless of the amp.

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    Administrator CALIBER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    The setting of the volume control doesn't really tell you anything about how much power the amplifier is delivering. That will depend on the sensitivity and impedance of the speakers and how the volume control is calibrated.
    Your right, it doesn't, but when properly calibrated like gadgetfreak has his, 0.0db on the volume dial is reference and reference level is crazy loud!! and requires a good power supply to do so with out clipping or massive distortion. I my self have never been able to achieve reference levels with any avr without gobs of distortion, and that was when using efficient speakers.

    Now that is not to say the UPA 5 will do it, but in order to do it you will need lots of power on tap.

    FYI I am sure gadget freak was not relating the volume dial to the amount of power he was using, he is just saying he is CRAZY and listens to movies at reference level.
    Magnepan, B&K, Emotiva, HSU

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Yeah, its just this room. Im assuming running the Denon at 0.0 for 2 hours on a blu-ray is taxing, but the Klipsch are very effecient. The Denon does get hot. Ill be curious to see how the Emo holds up under the same pressure.

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    Administrator CALIBER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Well it is a class A/B, my experience tells me that thing will be COOKING, especially at the levels you listen at. Every A/B I have had will damn near run you out of the room, however in the winter I never had to run the heat LOL!! I have always had smaller room's though.

    Now the A/B's I ran were older, and not Emo's so who know's?? I am sure you will know soon enough.
    Magnepan, B&K, Emotiva, HSU

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    Super Moderator GOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    I can't freaking wait till you give that thing the gas....and tell us what you think...lmao
    Denon AVR-X4000 * Harmony ONE
    Klipsch RF-82 II front * RC3 center * RP3 surrounds * KEF HTS1001 rear
    Rythmik Audio DS1501 CI sub
    Oppo BDP-103
    Samsung LN46B550 LCD


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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Quote Originally Posted by GOS View Post
    I can't freaking wait till you give that thing the gas....and tell us what you think...lmao
    Yeah . At $399 it's very doable for me right now. It's been awhile since I bought a new toy...( if you don't count my Gaming PC and PS4, I don't lol)
    L2W you will be missed.

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500



    Ignore all the wife frilly nilly stuff...


    Opinion: Since looking at amps, Ive heard a lot of input from both sides of the fence on brands, and the worthiness of separates in general. It's a pretty passionate subject (seems about as bad as Onkyo vs Denon ), and while I don't attempt to be an audiophile (lord knows I'm anal about video), I am still able to note differences. Since buying the Klipsch towers, Ive always loved the horns, but they were harsh to me in the beginning. As I grew accustomed to them I enjoyed the level of detail, and how they could be played loud, but still felt in scenes with a lot going (treble) some of the sounds felt especially squished together.

    Tonight we watched Jack the Giant Slayer in 3D, and I had her cranked, about as much as I could stand. I noticed a change in general in how my setup usually sounds in the loud scenes. IMO, the center has more presence, and the fronts were more clean in scenes with a lot going on. What I mean is, they were still the Klipsch horn sound, and maybe a tad harsh, but all the detail was there and I didn't feel it was being squished. When those action scenes would take off from 0-100, it was loud, all the minor sounds and details amongst the more loud action seemed to still be there and defined. I can't really find the words to describe it, I'll just say that in loud action scenes, the lighter detail sounds (like armor clanking) seem to be well defined, and not lost in the other sound.

    Of course this will take a lot more evaluation, but my initial impression is that when pushing the system, this amp is an improvement over the Denon 3312ci.

    Fact: After the 2 hour movie, the Denon X4000 which was being used as a pre pro, is more hot than the UPA-500

  12. #31
    Casual HD User robsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Do those owls fly away when you start watching your movies.

  13. #32
    Super Moderator GOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Very cool. I think what you describe is very believable. Though, this is the first time I've heard you say the dreaded words....HARSH. I now know for a fact, that you will be selling those and searching for newer, higher priced...SPEAKERS !! LMAO

    Quote Originally Posted by gadgtfreek View Post


    Ignore all the wife frilly nilly stuff...


    Opinion: Since looking at amps, Ive heard a lot of input from both sides of the fence on brands, and the worthiness of separates in general. It's a pretty passionate subject (seems about as bad as Onkyo vs Denon ), and while I don't attempt to be an audiophile (lord knows I'm anal about video), I am still able to note differences. Since buying the Klipsch towers, Ive always loved the horns, but they were harsh to me in the beginning. As I grew accustomed to them I enjoyed the level of detail, and how they could be played loud, but still felt in scenes with a lot going (treble) some of the sounds felt especially squished together.

    Tonight we watched Jack the Giant Slayer in 3D, and I had her cranked, about as much as I could stand. I noticed a change in general in how my setup usually sounds in the loud scenes. IMO, the center has more presence, and the fronts were more clean in scenes with a lot going on. What I mean is, they were still the Klipsch horn sound, and maybe a tad harsh, but all the detail was there and I didn't feel it was being squished. When those action scenes would take off from 0-100, it was loud, all the minor sounds and details amongst the more loud action seemed to still be there and defined. I can't really find the words to describe it, I'll just say that in loud action scenes, the lighter detail sounds (like armor clanking) seem to be well defined, and not lost in the other sound.

    Of course this will take a lot more evaluation, but my initial impression is that when pushing the system, this amp is an improvement over the Denon 3312ci.

    Fact: After the 2 hour movie, the Denon X4000 which was being used as a pre pro, is more hot than the UPA-500
    Denon AVR-X4000 * Harmony ONE
    Klipsch RF-82 II front * RC3 center * RP3 surrounds * KEF HTS1001 rear
    Rythmik Audio DS1501 CI sub
    Oppo BDP-103
    Samsung LN46B550 LCD


  14. #33
    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    LOL. Nah, I love em, even though they can be "harsh". Some people think they are harsh all the time, for me it was just rare scenes when action got out of hand and I had her cranked. Im trying to fill a ridiculous large room, so maybe I was pushing the AVR to the edge I dunno. Best way to describe it is like when people slam cymbals together. Its just a big high pitched clash. Seems like that was happening in action, where is I noticed more detail last night in loud scenes. It's hard to describe, an even though the UPA is probably putting out the same power as the 3312ci, it appears to me there is a positive improvement in SQ. I wonder if it isnt that the Emo has double the cap storage as the Denon's, and can handle taxing scenes better, dunno.

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Quote Originally Posted by robsong View Post
    Do those owls fly away when you start watching your movies.
    I learned, especially for the stuff that sits on the subwoofer.

    I use this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Blu-Tack-Reusa...words=blu-tack

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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Jason what you describe you are hearing since adding the amp is EXACTLY what I noticed too when I started running separates. Most others say the same thing. The highs are just so much cleaner and better defined.

    Glad to hear that the UPA is running cool!!
    Magnepan, B&K, Emotiva, HSU

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    HDJ Platinum Club Member gadgtfreek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Yeah, its hard to explain, but "cleaner" is a good work for it.

    My new problem is that stand is so tight, I can hardly access the back of gear without pulling it out. The stand it built well, but it has those stupid cheap slotted insert backs. Im thinking of buying some black fabric/tablecloth, fire proofing it, and just attaching it along the top back of the stand and letting it hang down. From the front youd never notice and itd be black. When I needed access I could just flip it up over the center channel. Also, as deep as that amp and the avr is, the back panel bunches up the cables on the rear of those devices.

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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Quote Originally Posted by CALIBER View Post
    Your right, it doesn't, but when properly calibrated like gadgetfreak has his, 0.0db on the volume dial is reference and reference level is crazy loud!! and requires a good power supply to do so with out clipping or massive distortion. I my self have never been able to achieve reference levels with any avr without gobs of distortion, and that was when using efficient speakers.
    Theater reference level is very loud at peak program level (too loud at home, really). But I've never had any trouble achieving it with low distortion in a fair-size room using approximately 125-watt amplifiers in the front and a powered subwoofer, even though I have fairly inefficient speakers (86.5 dB). With speakers of 90 dB sensitivity, which is typical these days, you will get 90 dB at 1 meter from 1 watt input. With 10 watts input, you will get 100 dB, and with 100 watts you will get 110 dB, which is absurdly loud -- threshold of pain is 120 dB. And at this point, going to 200 watts just gets you to 113 dB, so the payoff for climbing the ladder is rapidly vanishing. (Higher speaker sensitivities increase the outputs. For a speaker of 93 dB sensitivity, for example, add 3 dB to each of the above. Lower sensitivities reduce output in the same fashion.) When things get loud, usually the fronts, at least, are all playing loud, and their outputs are additive. Plus, if you have a powered subwoofer and are running your main speakers as Small, the sub is likely to be shouldering a significant part of the load on any soundtrack that gets extremely loud. On the other hand, there is some loss with distance from the speakers, but that's going to be just a few dB unless the room is extraordinarily large.

    The original Home THX standard (which is where the idea of calibrating the volume control to theater reference level originated) called for amplifiers rated at 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms and that could drive impedances as low as 3.2 ohms. Reference level is 85 dB SPL with 20 dB of headroom, so the presumed maximum peak level is 105 dB SPL. I believe minimum sensitivity for THX-certified speakers was 88 dB, but my memory is fuzzy on that. In any event, that would about work out. I know that Holman thought most people would be fine with 25 watts per channel in a surround-sound system.

    So, if you were getting distortion and could stand to be in the room, something was wrong somewhere -- maybe a speaker or subwoofer being driven out of its comfort zone. I'm tremendously skeptical that a properly functioning high-power amplifier would be in distress, however. Worth mentioning as well that at extreme levels the ear itself will produce distortion.

    Finally, it appears to me that the Emotiva amplifier he's bought is rated at about two-thirds the power of the amplifier built into his receiver. Nonetheless, he's probably going to think it sounds better, because people usually do. But I can pretty much guarantee that if the comparison were done rigorously, there would be no difference.

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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Quote Originally Posted by gadgtfreek View Post
    Yeah, its just this room. Im assuming running the Denon at 0.0 for 2 hours on a blu-ray is taxing, but the Klipsch are very effecient. The Denon does get hot. Ill be curious to see how the Emo holds up under the same pressure.
    Maximum heat dissipation occurs at about 60% power in a Class AB amplifier. With just about any program, the amplifiers are going to be putting out a watt or less most of the time. You need the extra power only for the small proportion of time that the output level is well above average.

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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500

    Quote Originally Posted by CALIBER View Post
    Well it is a class A/B, my experience tells me that thing will be COOKING, especially at the levels you listen at. Every A/B I have had will damn near run you out of the room, however in the winter I never had to run the heat LOL!! I have always had smaller room's though.

    Now the A/B's I ran were older, and not Emo's so who know's??
    The heat generated by a Class AB amplifier depends mostly on how the output stage is biased. The greater the bias current (that is, the more it runs Class A), the more heat it will throw off. The Outlaw I have now runs pretty cool, but I've had some toasters over the years.

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    Default Re: Ordered a Emotiva UPA-500


    Quote Originally Posted by gadgtfreek View Post
    I wonder if it isnt that the Emo has double the cap storage as the Denon's, and can handle taxing scenes better, dunno.
    Primary function of power-supply capacitors is to filter AC ripple (hum) out of the supply's DC outputs to the circuitry. They don't really affect performance much beyond that. Yes, they do store some current, but if it's enough for the amp to meet its continuous-power spec, it's enough. I once had a Phase Linear 400 and a Dynaco ST-150 that were modified to have massively more power-supply capacitance than stock. You could turn them off, and they would keep playing for a minute or so. Neat trick but not terribly useful!

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