Okay I'm not here to impress you w/ my audio badassness. This amp just replaced my Monster MPA 2250 for mains. Everything stayed same just switched 5 cords and Bam! In my opinion for 300 bucks this beats anything Rotel, Parasound, or Adcom puts out @ 125 watts. And at 1/2 the price. Yes it's true you can believe the hype on this one. Openness and detail improved greatly for me and get this little emotiva amp has more and better control of the bass? Like I said just replaced my mains. O yeah no fluke I own 3 Monster Mpa's.
Great amp for the $ Great amp period. Just in case you're wondering Denon 4802r, APC h 15, Arcam Alpha 8se, and NHT 2.5i. This thing handles the NHT's w/ ease.
For the money if you want audiophile sound you can't beat this amp period.I have owned serious 2 channel sound before (maggie 3.5, sim audio 4250 power amp) very unfair but true if you compare the money! Home theater v/s two channel v/s balaced, all different worlds. First my system now! B&w 683, B&wcdm center channel, klipsh rs10 surronds,Pioneer vsx 52,Definative super cube 1, Ps 3,Monster and Tara Lab conditioners,KImber 8tc to front bi wired,Tara Master Generation 2 biwired to my center channel....Lets get to it !! My Elite reciever can biamp in which I have been listening to and been very impressed in Ht and music.Bring in Emotiva UPA 2 sound stage Totally more detailed ,open,transparent, with just 125 watts per channel..Highly recommended to anyone that is like me with a budget and a taste for detailed HI END sound..
Bought this amp to drive my L/R speakers in my Marantz 6004 AVR setup. Though I never felt my AVR never lacked any power driving my 4ohm /87db speakers...the low price of $275 for UPA 2 made me wanna give it a try and if I didn't like it, I figured I can pretty much sell it for what I bought it for.
First of all, I want to say build quality is indeed top notch, it's heavy and you can see a big torodial transformer inside.
After hooking up the unit and testing it in 2 channel and HT duties, I can say indeed there was a noticeable/audible improvement adding this outboard amp.
2 channel listening: speakers indeed sound "fuller" and more dynamic especially and really evident when I played classical music. At low levels of volume, there is more background detail in music and really gave my speakers a "boxless" sound. Sonically, I would say amp is neutral with touch of warmth...kinda like the NAD's I had before (but at half the price).
HT listening: surround sound effects/steering indeed was slightly louder, dynamic, faster than just with my AVR. To confirm this, I used a db meter & measured a ~3 decibel jump at previous same volume level. Freeing my AVR to drive only my center and rears, watching movies and playing games really impoves the "you are there" feeling.
To make a long story short, this amp is recommended for anyone (pure 2 channel or HT use) especially for the $300 price range. 5 stars for value and performance because I previously owned a Bryston 2blp at almost double the price and feel it just edges it out in neutrality, and still falls behind the Emotiva in power.
On a side note, high praise goes to my Marantz SR6004 AVR. Yes, the Emotiva outperformed it, but I would only say by ONE car length if they were in a head to head race. In fact, I would say the Marantz had better soundstage than the Emotiva because I was able to biamp my speakers with it. If my speakers were more efficient, I would NOT even bother getting the Emotiva...it's that close in quality.
Well, it was fate. AFTER hearing about Emotiva amd being skeptical to say the least, I saw one of these
on sale for CHRISTMAS for 249$!!! AND i had 300 bucks left from a busted 401k!
The thing arrived the next evening via FED EX, I had it out of the double boxed container in no time and hooked up. I used my Integra 6.9 receiver for the pre-amp, and the mains in my system are B&W 602s2, with the NATILUS tweeter. BEEN around awhile but are still decent.
THE Emotiva runs cool, even at high vollume levels, had these speakers for eight years, but have never heard
them sound like this. Precise, detailed sound, with none of the straining you perceive with even decent receivers.
NEVER was a question of sending this one back. Aways wanted separates but never could justify the price.
Emotiva is a great way for starving audiophiles to get seperates sound on the cheap.
At the start of this is a review comparing this amp to an 1.000 ACCURUS. very unfair, but I
wouldn't be surprized if it acquitted itself nicely.
THE PRICE is back up to 349, but its a bargain even at that point, with toroidal transformer, cool performance,
beautiful sound over the full freq range, a great champaign sound on a beer budget.
Only trouble was when I hooked a pair of Axiom M80S up. They are four ohm speakers, which this amp runs at 200 wpc. THEY SOUNDED REALLY BAD. I mean really really bad! I found out later that some of the speakers in these had been disconnected!! Might have something to do with it.
Anyway, you can't beat these, even at 349$, either as a modest audio only system paired with a decent pre-amp, or part of a HT. Emotiva is coming out with a new digital preamp, bet it would be great hooked up to this.
This is a head to head challenge and one of them is staying home, the other - well tata.
You all should know the specs of the UPA-2 so here are the specs for the A250.
MSRP - $995 in 1992.
power output 8 ohm - 250
power output 4 ohm - 350
s/n ratio 110dB A Weighted
input sensitivity 1.2 volts for full output
1,000 VA toroidal transformer
Pic of guts :
So you may be looking at these specifications and thinking this should be matched up against the XPA-2, but I'm not. Reason being? I paid $325 for it - used (local pickup). I paid $324 (shipped) for the UPA-2. The UPA-2 is clearly the underdog here; So let's let them rumble for a permanent seat in my home. I was getting really tired of hearing how everyone was using this amp for surrounds; I wanted to hear a review with it powering mains. So this is going into the living room where I use 2 channel only.
So If I'm to do this review properly, let's discuss associated equipment.
It's built like a tank, solid 35lbs, it's got I'm mean written all over it. I hook everything up and decide to let her warm up a bit.
Fourplay - Chant
I've seen this used a lot in reviews so I decided it'd be a good place to start. The first thing I notice is the Bass. I mean wow does this thing kick out the power, it slams and vibrates things it shouldn't. I quickly closed the door to our guest room to protect the fish! Great Bass extension, just powerful. The soundstage I noticed was only WIDE not deep, so a linear soundstage. The imaging was OK. I felt the amp was veiling some of the sound, it was hard to put my finger on it. The amp was very fast and very accurate; it had no problem eating whatever was thrown at it. I felt the highs were bright (NOTE: this brightness came down considerably after about an hour of listening; I guess it needed more warm up time).
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - Mr. Pinstripe Suit
I've heard this song through a friend's Mirage OM-9's and those made me feel like I was at the concert; those speakers are amazing so hearing them through the Wharfedale's is almost a disappointment because it doesn't have that magic those OM-9's did. Especially when using the A250 the linear soundstage was just not doing it for me; overly forward sounding and 2D. They did image well; but just not the best I've heard. I'm really hoping the UPA-2 will get closer to the OM-9's in soundstage.
Eagles - Hotel California
Who doesn't know this song? Really? It's a classic and boy did the A250 deliver. Some notes - Big Bass, accurate guitar reproduction, has a musical sound good decay, good channel separation, again wide soundstage but not deep. Overall - I really liked turning this song UP and man did this thing just keep going. The more volume I gave it, the more it just hammered out the music. I really began to worry about the UPA-2 - wondering will it be able to take me to this level?? Read ON!
I think that's enough for the A250 through out various other songs the notes were pretty much the same tune; so let's move on to what you are all waiting for the UPA-2.
After a day of listening to the A250 I felt comfortable to swap in the UPA-2. It arrived very well packaged, was thinner than the A250 - but longer(phsyically). I got her all hooked up and ready to roll.
Fourplay - Chant
I immediately noticed a thinner sound than the A250 - the bass wasn't as authoritative. But I expected this it's half the power! It certainly wouldn't be fair to expect it to slam out the bass as much. Not to say it didn't have any Bass, it was a more average amount actually. However, what happened next was well - my speakers sounded completely different - in a good way. Can you say musical? Fresh? Vibrant and OMG DETAILS what I was missing all along was solid channel separation. The whole time with the A250 I kept thinking - man I need a new DAC, this just isn't cutting it with crisp clean details; then I plug in the UPA-2 and BAM there they are, it was like the veil was lifted off the speakers and I was there jamming with the guys. It was the sound I was after - the welcome to my room, care for a drink guys? No. then keep jamming! The highs were more neutral, the mids just OPENED up like a can of worms that were begging to come out.
Whoever said all amps sound alike? You'd change your tune if you A/B'd these. I guess that THD means something?
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - Mr. Pinstripe Suit
The soundstage was just as wide (if not wider), but hot damn deeper. I'm sure it's not the deepest these speakers can go (XPA-2 anyone?); it sounded worlds closer to the OM-9's (although not quite there). The musicality and dynamics + details was the win for this underdog.
Eagles - Hotel California
Yes Yes Yes - That's all I needed to hear, crisp clean pure signal to speakers. The soundstage again went deep and wide. The channel seperation was huge. A blast in the midrange again with the detail. Almost as though I was hearing the music for the first time. The bass again wasn't as hard hitting or present - but all those lovely nuances were shining without being harsh. The darkness the A250 left was like Gandalf shining in victory at the end of the Two Towers. I have seeen the light and it's name is Emotiva!
It's incredible how these engineers put this amp together and sell it for $300. Are they nuts? For this price and quality, it's nothing short of an astounding performer. Glad they did - because it's awesome.
If I had to summarize - the Acurus A250 would be a more clubbing type amplifier, big sound / bass - will get your foot thumping. Reminded me of thursday nights at Rutgers college - party time type music that served up a great sound for bumping and grinding - beer drinking good times and nobody cares how the music SOUNDS. It was also brutal to expose poorly recorded tracks - older music with less than super ADC's left a lovely hiss.
The emotiva UPA-2 is the audiophile, I want to hear the nuances - the details, I want to expose what the musician intended and make it sound foot tapping good and make you smile music.
FS - Acurus A250 (note: I sold this on craigslist and was gone within the hour)