Would an amp help?

My current setup is a Pioneer elite sc-63, pair of RTI8, and a hsu stf-2 in a 25'x25' with a 15'ft ceiling room. I use it for music, mainly classical and rock. Have this setup for about 3 years now.

Sorry if I sound ignorant(still new to the terms), but hoping for a bit more warmer/powerful(not louder) sound if that makes sense. I am thinking of adding an Emotiva XPA-2($900). Would that help? Or any other recommendations? Thanks!

Comments

  • MrBuhl
    MrBuhl Posts: 2,419
    I have not heard the Emotiva amps, but my understanding is they are not regarded as warmer. For that you might want to look at B&K or Parasound. (only experience with the B&K personally).

    A separate amp IMO will likely assist you in in your quest for better (not louder) power if you select wisely.
    VA HT HK AVR20II, Sony S9000ES CD/DVD/SACD, Polk Audio RC80i / Polk Audio CSi3, 60" Panasonic Plasma, Nordost / Signal Cable A2 / Wireworld / Pangea / Magic Power
    VA 2 Channel Focal Electra 926 speakers, Pass Labs X150.5 Amp, Eastern Electric MiniMax Preamp (Tutay mods), Eastern Electric Minimax CDP (Scott Nixon mods), Music Hall mmf 5.1 Turntable, Parks Audio Budgie Phono Pre , Audioengine B1 streamer, MIT S3 IC's / MIT Shotgun S3 Speaker Cables / PS Audio power cables
    Noggin Schiit Valhalla, Pangea, Phillips Fidelio X1, Polk UF8000

    Polk SDA1c modded
    Polk CRS+ 4.1TL modded (need veneer)
    Polk SDA2BTL (fully modded)
    A/L 1000VA Dreadnought Canare 4s11 SDA cable
    SACD Marantz DV8300
    Sony S9000ES CD/DVD/SACD
    Yamaha YP-D6
    Soundcraftsmen PCR800
    Audible Illusions L1 Preamp
    Vincent MFA based Cocci Tube Preamp
    Pho-700 Phono Pre
    Signal Cable Silver Resolution IC's






  • Nightfall
    Nightfall Posts: 9,402
    What do you mean by powerful? Better dynamics? More slam you in the chest feeling?
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • Thanks for both comments! That's what I'm afraid of, I heard that emotiva has brighter sounds. I heard of parasound, but aren't they around the $2k and up range?

    To nightfall, yes to both.
  • MrBuhl
    MrBuhl Posts: 2,419
    Oh - I think if you don't mind the preowned market, you can get into some of the Parasound very reasonably. New, you might be right.
    VA HT HK AVR20II, Sony S9000ES CD/DVD/SACD, Polk Audio RC80i / Polk Audio CSi3, 60" Panasonic Plasma, Nordost / Signal Cable A2 / Wireworld / Pangea / Magic Power
    VA 2 Channel Focal Electra 926 speakers, Pass Labs X150.5 Amp, Eastern Electric MiniMax Preamp (Tutay mods), Eastern Electric Minimax CDP (Scott Nixon mods), Music Hall mmf 5.1 Turntable, Parks Audio Budgie Phono Pre , Audioengine B1 streamer, MIT S3 IC's / MIT Shotgun S3 Speaker Cables / PS Audio power cables
    Noggin Schiit Valhalla, Pangea, Phillips Fidelio X1, Polk UF8000

    Polk SDA1c modded
    Polk CRS+ 4.1TL modded (need veneer)
    Polk SDA2BTL (fully modded)
    A/L 1000VA Dreadnought Canare 4s11 SDA cable
    SACD Marantz DV8300
    Sony S9000ES CD/DVD/SACD
    Yamaha YP-D6
    Soundcraftsmen PCR800
    Audible Illusions L1 Preamp
    Vincent MFA based Cocci Tube Preamp
    Pho-700 Phono Pre
    Signal Cable Silver Resolution IC's






  • Thanks! Looks like ill save up a bit more to get a parasound 2250.
  • cfrizz
    cfrizz Posts: 13,414
    Welcome to Club Polk CF, the Parasound will make your speakers come alive and be very happy with your set up for years to come.
    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
  • Toolfan66
    Toolfan66 Posts: 14,602
    Get a more musical speaker... The RTi8 would not be my choice for a music only speaker, yes the amp will give you more slam, and the Parasound will be a better warmer amp over the Emotiva but the RTi8 will still be a bright and boomy speaker..

  • msg
    msg Posts: 6,449
    edited October 2015
    sounds like you're looking for a fuller, smoother sound?
    I agree with TF above; a different speaker might be the better route.

    That seems like a tough space you're working with. Seems like the room may be diffusing a lot of the sound, which could be making things sound even emptier. Is it carpeted and furnished? Otherwise filled? Do you have a specific listening/viewing space in this room?

    Since you're already familiar with HSU, at first I was going to say I've found their HB-1 bookshelf speakers are pretty smooth sounding. I had RTi10's, and found the HB-1's to be smoother in comparison, but given the room size, I feel like you'd need a bunch of them to fill it out.

    A pair of vintage Polk speakers - one of the models with several drivers - might fill out the room a bit more, and they'd be more musical and smoother sounding than the RTi series.
    I disabled signatures.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,233
    CaptFail wrote: »
    My current setup is a Pioneer elite sc-63, pair of RTI8, and a hsu stf-2 in a 25'x25' with a 15'ft ceiling room. I use it for music, mainly classical and rock. Have this setup for about 3 years now.

    Sorry if I sound ignorant(still new to the terms), but hoping for a bit more warmer/powerful(not louder) sound if that makes sense. I am thinking of adding an Emotiva XPA-2($900). Would that help? Or any other recommendations? Thanks!

    That's a fairly big volume of space in that room for the RTI8's. I would imagine you find yourself turning up the volume and that's when the music starts sounding bright and maybe a tad irritating.

    You need a bigger speaker for that room imho. If you can find some decent SDA speakers, they have a more smooth and enveloping sound to them. Used Parasound amps can be had for 400 bucks, specifically the 1200 or 1500 series. Used B&k amps are also good as well as McCormack amps.

    Also your cables and source for music will play into this as well. If you have brighter speakers and gear that's on the bright or neutral side, a warmer cable like Kimber may be your cup of tea. Are you using a CD player or digital music stored on some other device ?
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • Wow, all great posts, thanks! To msg, yes on the fuller, smoother sound too. The room is carpeted, with furniture, but then part of the size I mentioned is the kitchen, which is tile. Behind the speakers, are all tall windows. Then actually the room opens up even more to the individual rooms upstairs(when the doors are open) so I guess that could play an effect into it too?

    Hi Tonyb! Yes, that's exactly what I find it doing! Need to turn it louder, especially during classical music, but then it sounds bright and almost a bit distorted too. Yes, my setup is in the corner of the room.(family room) I'll have to do some more research into speakers too, thanks!

    My source is a media pc with the soundblaster Z connected to the pioneer by optical cable(have the EQ settings in software turned off). Mostly play from spotify or streaming from various stations on the web(lol). I'm still using 12AWG shielded speaker cables(forgot brand) that I bought off of amazon(lol) Maybe I should finally get better cables too..

    I did run the room correction(with a guide from online) on the sc-63 when everything was dead silent in the beginning too.
  • cfrizz
    cfrizz Posts: 13,414
    Get an amp first just so you know what your speakers can truly sound like when operating to their full potential. Let that settle for a while, and then if you think it is needed, get other speakers. But keep the amp since it can be used with whatever speakers you have/get.

    So many people want to blame the speakers, when it just might be the fact that they are underpowered for whatever space they are in.
    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
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,897
    CaptFail that is a whole lot of space to conquer. I have Lsim 707 amped in a lot less space and it sometimes seem like I need bigger speakers or something
  • Dang, I almost bought Lsim 705s on the last friends and family 50% sale.
  • dhart86
    dhart86 Posts: 1,584
    CaptFail wrote: »
    Dang, I almost bought Lsim 705s on the last friends and family 50% sale.

    You shoulda....they are great speakers!
    I agree with the Parasound.......B&K.....................McCormack amp selections
    Main Rig:
    Antipodes DX > Roon > PS Audio Directstream Jr.>deHavilland Ultraverve 3 >Belles Reference 150a >Harbeth C7 ES3


    Second Rig:
    Roon> PS Audio Directstream Jr Bridge II > EE Minimax pre (Tutay mods) >Belles 150A Ref >Monitor 5 (Westmassguy-modded)


  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,226
    Get a bigger subwoofer. Your woofer is underpowered for that space. The speakers are bright and not as musical as better speakers can be but I think with a few tweaks you can get the most out of it.
    I'd start with a killer sub, so many choice well above what you currently own.
    The Receiver you have has enough power to fill that room nicely with a proper setup. Run the 8's in small crossover over at 80hz and let the subwoofer do the heavy lifting. What this does is free up usuable power. It will sound much better and fuller believe it or not taking out the bass from the 8's and letting the sub do the rest.
    Using the X curve feature of the Elite receiver will also help greatly in getting a warmer sound out of the 8's. They are bright and and difficult to tame in larger rooms with high ceilings. They tend to get slightly out of control. I have a great deal of experience setting up many different RT polk system in many different kinds shapes and size rooms I have learned a great deal of how to get the most out of them.
    Adding an amp isn't a bad Idea but I don't think thats the best idea for your issues. Your not going to change he RTi8's enough with just an amp to satisfy your needs as posted.
    The sub and X curve settings is going to shed much better results.

    Now if your also looking for a more honest opinion, sell the RTi8's and look into a warmer sounding speaker like the newer LSIM series. They sound worlds better then the RTi series ever did and really can make music sound like music. Much higher level of balanced detail and depth. At this point the SC-63 will be peaked out and more power may be desired. The SC-63 can and will drive the LSIM's but more power would shed more dynamic range and control. This is when I would start considering adding an external amp to drive them and new I'd strongly consider NAD. Nothing on the market IMO is better then NAD in that price point. Yes there are tons of great amps out there and sound amazing but compared to NAD, I feel they all fall to the waste side until you start spending more money. And at that point you have to consider all the other pieces in your system , are they on par with such a higher end amp? The madness begins here.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,897
    CaptFail wrote: »
    Dang, I almost bought Lsim 705s on the last friends and family 50% sale.
    I almost bought Lsim 705s too but the sent 707s. go figure
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,897
    DSkip wrote: »
    afterburnt wrote: »
    CaptFail wrote: »
    Dang, I almost bought Lsim 705s on the last friends and family 50% sale.
    I almost bought Lsim 705s too but the sent 707s. go figure

    Technically, you DID buy the 705's... you just never received them.

    True, true... I guess I will always wonder unless the is an FF sale and I lose my mind all over again lol.

    While you are on the line, does not the Captain have a "open space" issue?
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,897
    CaptFail wrote: »
    Dang, I almost bought Lsim 705s on the last friends and family 50% sale.

    CaptFail, I should qualify that with: I have my little room so jam packed with stuff that I can not even angle my mains optimally. I am not at all unhappy with my speakers it is the room that is the problem. Maybe you need a new house, I know I do.
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,897
    Cap don't get me. Wrong I @m pretty happy with thes sneakers. They are great and mostly more than I need. It may be that the recordind9 in my collection are in need
  • Yes, I have an open space issue lol. Thanks mantis! My speakers were on small and 80 cross over , but realized xcurve was off. Will give it a try. I was eyeing an hsu uls-15 mk2 at first, but decided that maybe I should get the most out of my speakers first. Now I will really have to look at all suggestions thoroughly! Too many choices!
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,897
    FWIW I am talking 2 channel no sub and these 707s cary the day
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,897
    Mu bias is that cream disraily gears still sounds like carp on these:(
  • ken brydson
    ken brydson Posts: 8,018
    edited October 2015
    afterburnt wrote: »
    Cap don't get me. Wrong I @m pretty happy with thes sneakers. They are great and mostly more than I need. It may be that the recordind9 in my collection are in need

    Somebody been drinkin'? Pretty happy with my sneakers as well with proper "toe in" . And then there's this... Mu bias is that cream disraily gears still sounds like carp on these:(
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall Posts: 9,402
    Somebody been drinkin'? Pretty happy with my sneakers as well with proper "toe in" . And then there's this... Mu bias is that cream disraily gears still sounds like carp on these:(

    Pharmaceuticals
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • I have borrowed my best friends Rti8 for a week(we traded lol)and was paired with my Parasound 1200II. He is using a pioneer SC1222 driving them. To be honest I noticed a more notable difference with my RT16 and Rti10 using a separate amplifier j

    Yes, the Rti8 sounded great with amp. A little more Bass, dynamic. In my honest opinion it was not enough to warrant an separate amplifier. The Pioneer Class D did a great job driving as-is.
    Polk Lsi9
    Polk LsiC
    Polk Fxi3
    Pioneer SC-1222
    Parasound 1200 II w/ Kimber Kable HERO + 4TC
    SVS PB12-NSD (Bash)
    PS4
    Sharp Aquos 55"


    "If your BOLD enough to try it,
    your BOLD enough to make it happen"
  • afterburnt
    afterburnt Posts: 7,897
    edited October 2015
    afterburnt wrote: »
    Cap don't get me. Wrong I @m pretty happy with thes sneakers. They are great and mostly more than I need. It may be that the recordind9 in my collection are in need

    Somebody been drinkin'? Pretty happy with my sneakers as well with proper "toe in" . And then there's this... Mu bias is that cream disraily gears still sounds like carp on these:(

    lol exactly

    actually that is tablet ease. I can't see what I am typing until it is too late lol
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall Posts: 9,402
    edited October 2015
    afterburnt wrote: »
    afterburnt wrote: »
    Cap don't get me. Wrong I @m pretty happy with thes sneakers. They are great and mostly more than I need. It may be that the recordind9 in my collection are in need

    Somebody been drinkin'? Pretty happy with my sneakers as well with proper "toe in" . And then there's this... Mu bias is that cream disraily gears still sounds like carp on these:(

    lol exactly

    actually that is tablet ease. I can't see what I am typing until it is too late lol

    ...and a lot of times the auto correct turns your word into nothing close to what you were attempting.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • msg
    msg Posts: 6,449
    CaptFail wrote: »
    Wow, all great posts, thanks! To msg, yes on the fuller, smoother sound too. The room is carpeted, with furniture, but then part of the size I mentioned is the kitchen, which is tile. Behind the speakers, are all tall windows. Then actually the room opens up even more to the individual rooms upstairs(when the doors are open) so I guess that could play an effect into it too?.
    yes, absolutely. I had/have a similar issue in my main space, but have made some adjustments since I first got started. In the beginning, I was running RTi10's off really cheap AVR. Highs were shrill and painful. Mids relatively non-existent. Bass was lacking, unless I used the Sound Retriever function to artificially boost everything. Exposed concrete floors made things worse. My ears bled daily. Tile will be similar.

    So, yeah, combination issues here - the space itself seems cavernous, so you're probably losing a lot of the mids and lows, which I think work best when a space can be pressurized? Especially true for lows, but I think mids would be affected profoundly, as well. Also reflections.

    After I got a decent amp and preamp, and still not feeling satisfied, I ended up going with LSiM703's, which at first didn't impress me with smoothness, aside from the output for their size. Remarkably bassy for their size, but I was a bit disappointed because I was hoping for greater fill and smoother sound. (Side note here, I would end up coming back to the 703's to great satisfaction; they're some of my favorites now, but...) During this time, I had an opportunity to try some vintage SDA's at the recommendation of a trusted senior member, and they, by far made the biggest difference to me. One night, for the first time since I'd begun this hobby/process, I found myself completely zoned, just enjoying the music. That moment took me 6 months of frustration to reach, during which time I tried different amps and preamps with the RTi10's. Nothing I tried got them smooth enough to be listenable. I even tried going back to them after a while when my ears settled down. Same; barely listenable. So I was able to confirm that they just weren't for me. That's just me though. Others here seem to enjoy their RTi's tremendously. SDA's and LSiM are my favorites so far in my limited experience with Polk speakers.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    CaptFail that is a whole lot of space to conquer. I have Lsim 707 amped in a lot less space and it sometimes seem like I need bigger speakers or something
    Bruce - you DO need bigger speakers. Hop to :)
    mantis wrote: »
    Get a bigger subwoofer. Your woofer is underpowered for that space. The speakers are bright and not as musical as better speakers can be but I think with a few tweaks you can get the most out of it.
    I agree here on the sub as well, but I'd prob address this later on as I think what you're missing more is fuller sound and trying to tame the highs a bit.
    CaptFail wrote: »
    Yes, I have an open space issue lol. Thanks mantis! My speakers were on small and 80 cross over , but realized xcurve was off. Will give it a try. I was eyeing an hsu uls-15 mk2 at first, but decided that maybe I should get the most out of my speakers first. Now I will really have to look at all suggestions thoroughly! Too many choices!
    If you talk to HSU they'll tell you that there is no such thing as too much sub. I think the idea is that you can tune one back, but you can't really stretch one that's undersized. They may Rx TWO of those HSU ULS-15 MK2's!!! I use the VTF-15, and I like it, but I can definitely see how two subs would be even better.

    All that said, I think my favorite space is a small spare room, about 11x11; it doesn't take much to pressurize that space, and it's got plush carpet and furniture in it. Amp, preamp, speakers, cables and room - all of these things factor in. When you finally get things settled though, really nice - totally worth it.

    There is obviously the risk of getting carried away here. It's all very exciting. I got lost in it pretty quickly. It's been a great learning experience so far, but man has it been expensive and frustrating getting here.
    I disabled signatures.
  • Man, talk about getting carried away! Haha. Thanks for the report quick! Now with that being said, I might head towards getting an ULS-15 instead first(cheaper too, hehe)

    I Set the xcurve to -3 today, and I do notice they're a bit warmer(thanks to those who suggested!) but still wish it was warmer.

    Oh, I wonder if this is a safe volume for the receiver? I have my source at 100% and on the receiver(lowest/none volume is at -80 and max is at 0) I often listen at -40 but go no louder than -35 sitting about 8ft away.
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