RTi A9's and XPA-3

adabroadabro Posts: 203
edited December 2009 in Speakers
Sorry to retread a familiar topic, but I'm on the fence and need a push either way..

I have the RTi A9's and a CSi A6 for my front 3 and a TX-NR807 as my receiver. I'm running 5.1 only.

I have heard lots of people here with the A9's say that extra power is great for them and the XPA-3 is a good way to go..(the other amps I looked at are very expensive)

But I also spend time in the hardware threads here and other sites and there seems to be a consensus that an external amp may not do much except in the following situations:

1)You play music/HT really loud 2)You have a very large listening area 3)You have hard to drive or inefficient speakers.

I don't think I meet the criteria (unless the A9's are number 3), but would pay the relatively low price for the XPA-3 if I thought it would have a big impact (mainly at low to moderate volumes).

I am also not unhappy with the current sound, but somewhat obsessed with making it 'better'.

I live in Canada so a try and buy is not a good option.

Thank you for any input, sorry for the long ramble...
Post edited by adabro on

Comments

  • SherardpSherardp Posts: 8,048
    edited December 2009
    Sounds like you want to try out an amp, nothing at all wrong with that. The Emo gear is said to be pretty good for what it is. For the price though I splurge the extra coin and just go for the 5 channel amp. See the link

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?ampsmult&1263901649&/Sunfire-cinema-grand-5-5x-200

    I power Rti12s with a D_Sonic 1000(525x2) and they love it. Worth a shot, and it will give you a little more headroom as well.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!!!

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  • ls7z06ls7z06 Posts: 95
    edited December 2009
    I can tell you that the XPA-3 helps the RTiA series tower speakers at all volume levels. Yes it plays louder cleaner. But it also makes the speakers perform better even at lower volumes....more full, clean, precise, sound that comes from deeper within the speaker. Nothing wrong with the XPA-5 juicing up all of the channels either. But also know that when you take the load off of your AVR for your front 3 channels using an XPA-3, the extra AVR power does make the surrounds sound much better as well. The set up you are considering is exactly what I have and I cound not be more pleased.
  • sTiLlLeArNiNgsTiLlLeArNiNg Posts: 831
    edited December 2009
    Putting the a9's on external power is the best thing you could do! When i first did mine it was like i had new speaker's lol :o

    +1 to everything ls7z06 said ;)

    For the money i think Polk/Emotiva is a hard combo to beat! :D
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  • betaomega04betaomega04 Posts: 10
    edited December 2009
    I too have a pair of the RTi A9's and a CSi A6, and I use Onkyo TX-NR905 pre-outs. Emotiva makes outstanding gear, and a XPA-3 would be a huge step in the right direction. But if I might suggest getting the XPA-5...with it, you'll be able to split your R/L pre-outs into two channels of the amp and bi-amp your RTi A9's for a potential 400 Watts and use the last 200 for your CSi A6.

    This was the route I took until I upgraded to a pair of XPA-1's for my fronts and used the XPA-5 for the center and surrounds (I use 2 sets of RTi8's for now). Believe me when I tell you that the amps are much much much better than anything the Onkyo can produce, though the pre-outs on your Onkyo aren't bad at all. If you're still in the mood to upgrade a year from now, get the XMC-1 and take advantage of the balanced outputs (then you'll get to use your Onkyo for something fun like your computer!)

    If you're not able to afford the XPA-1's at the moment, I honestly think the XPA-5 would be the best route for you. It would balance out a little bit better with your center than the XPA-3 would. Build your system one piece at a time and figure out what will be best for you and let your ears be the final judge.

    Happy Hunting!
  • adabroadabro Posts: 203
    edited December 2009
    OK - it sounds like the way to go - thanks for the advice, now I just have to decide which one will fit my budget..
  • devanidevani Posts: 1,499
    edited December 2009
    XPA-3 will be fine for the fronts, you are staying with 5.1, so 807 can do rear...you can sell XPA-3 and get 5 if you want to power all...
    Video: LG 55LN5100/Samsung LNT4065F
    Receiver: HK AVR445
    Source: OPPO BDP-93
    HT: POLK SPEAKERS RTi6, FXi3, CSi5, VTF-3 MK2
    2Ch system: MC2105, AR-XA, AR-2A, AR9, BX-300, OPPO BDP-83
  • mystik610mystik610 Posts: 700
    edited December 2009
    ls7z06 wrote: »
    I can tell you that the XPA-3 helps the RTiA series tower speakers at all volume levels. Yes it plays louder cleaner. But it also makes the speakers perform better even at lower volumes....more full, clean, precise, sound that comes from deeper within the speaker. Nothing wrong with the XPA-5 juicing up all of the channels either. But also know that when you take the load off of your AVR for your front 3 channels using an XPA-3, the extra AVR power does make the surrounds sound much better as well. The set up you are considering is exactly what I have and I cound not be more pleased.


    Yup.

    Increased dynamic range is the main benefit you get from adding an external amp. Sure it can play louder and get the subs in the RTi A9's moving....but you also benefit greatly from the added detail at lower volumes. Having additional headroom and not pushing an amp to its limits allows it to operate more subtley, sweetly, and smoothly. Details that you were missing out on are all of sudden brought to life across the whole spectrum.

    As efficient as my RTi8's are, they benefitting greatly from a separate amp
    My System Showcase!

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  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 13,277
    edited December 2009
    devani wrote: »
    XPA-3 will be fine for the fronts, you are staying with 5.1, so 807 can do rear...you can sell XPA-3 and get 5 if you want to power all...

    Or he can WAIT & SAVE until he has the money for a XPA5 and just do it once the right way. He won't have to think about amps again for quite some time.

    Emotiva isn't going anywhere, the amp will be there when he has the money needed to get it.

    Adabro, all speakers benefit from more power. It's not just about volume. It's about clarity across the board. It's about allowing your speakers to operate to their full potential since they will have the power whenever they need it. You can keep an amp through all other upgrades to your gear, and it will also allow you to switch over to all separates when your ready or upgrade to harder to drive speakers like the Polk LSI series.

    So get an XPA-5 & enjoy. Welcome to Club Polk.
    Marantz AV-7705 PrePro, Classé 5 ch. 200wpc Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • cstmar01cstmar01 Posts: 4,398
    edited December 2009
    I have the XPA-1 for my front RTIA9's and think they work pretty well. They do make a difference over the AVR I was using (yahama). I would say you will notice a lot more detail and it will just sound better overall, lower volumes as well as higher due to external amplification.
    I also have an XPA-3 which I think is a good little amp as well. To me The XPA-5 is a good choice if you are looking to do all the channel and if you ever wanted then to get a dedicated Pre/pro you can and not have to worry about getting another amp for other channels.
    There are other amps however that you can find on the used market besides Emotiva that also work great as well. Sunfire, Adcom, Rotel, are just a few you could look at that will also get the job done and do it well.
    Good luck choosing.
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