What speakers will work best with a Emotiva XPR-5 power amp

Kaos_vauxhall

Novice Member
Hi,

I'm looking at purchasing the emotiva XPR-5 power amp,

Just to clear the air before people say that's too much power lol

1. Room size for this personal home theatre will be big enough (Length 10m X Width 6M) being built.
2. Completely Isolated and sound proofed (done by me)
3. Power supply is direct from the mains board separate circuit to rest of house.
4. My ears are immune to bleeding out from loud volumes.
5. I have been saving for this for over 5 years and now is the time to live the dream!

The amp has a power handling of 400 Watts RMS per channel so I'm looking at either running 2 speakers per channel or single speaker per channel (preferred method).

I would like to have a 7.4 sound channel setup so it would be great if the speakers could accommodate this, more may be needed to accommodate the seating arrangements.

My budget it £5000 for the Surround speakers MAX (Not including the subs) and there will be 3 tiered rows of sets of 4 seats.

Don't mind pushing the speaker budget to £6000 if the speakers are epically great value.

So after all that being said, what surround sound speakers would compliment this beast of an amp, seating arrangement and the 7.4 surround.

Any advice will be much appreciated.

Many thanks
 

jason shep

Well-known Member
My MK MP150's sounded superb on my XPR-5 but in you're size cinema I'd suggest the new MK 300 series.

I don't think Emotiva currently ship the XPR series to the UK though.

Edit
Sorry,just realised I've blown your budget on just the LCR's ! Doh
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Why are you wanting 7.4 surround, 4 subwoofers is going to eat up a big chunk of your budget as even 4 lower end but decent quality subwoofers such as BK XXLS400/Monoliths will set you back £2k. Probably better to get 2 better subs but even that will be £2k+.

I would be looking at speakers from MK or KK if you want a subwoofer satellite speaker system that are particularly good for movies or music. These brands have various models and their front 3 speakers would cost around £3k with the surrounds costing perhaps another £2-3k for making up a seven set array.

MK speakers have a couple of places that you can get demo's one near Newbury or in the North near Leeds.I would suggest a visit to their premises to get an idea how dynamic and spectacular they can sound.

The KK brand are not available directly from here as they come from Norway but do have a guy in Cambridge where you could possibly visit for a demo although they do do a buy & try 45 day demo at home. If you are not happy with them you send them back for a refund less shipping.

Both these two brands IMV are the best options if it is specifically movies you have in mind although they also handle music very well, there are others though to consider including teh brand below.

XTZ are a well respected speaker brand and they are bringing out a new range of speakers called their cinema range which are slightly cheaper than the MK/KK and would certainly be worth considering if their other speakers are anything to go by.

Home Cinema Speakers & Loudspeakers - MK Loudspeakers

XTZ Cinema Series - Compact hifi cinema experience.

Hope that helps.

Cheers

Keith
 

Kaos_vauxhall

Novice Member
wow! these speakers look the part for sure, prices are serious too!

I already have 4 subs and they are amazing
SVS PB12 Plus (2) (800 watts RMS each)
Vibe Zeta 15" (2) (300 watts RMS each)

In my opinion I may only need 2 replacements for the vibe Zeta ones (which were a cheap quick fix impulse buy before the SVS PB12's) I must say the Vibe Zeta 15's definitely balance out the sound and give a HUGE low bass rumbling for those batman moments. I genuinely believe I may have caused some damage to to my living room walls.

The budget is just for the surround speakers so the MK do sound good especially the ones you both have been recommending.

I had a look at the XTZ they look great and seem to have good specs not sure if they will be suitable with the amplifier(being too powerful). The pricing point is definitely a good starter though. Issue is I cant do the buy and try with the XTZ as the room will be slightly designed around the speaker requirements (with some give here and there)

I will do some homework and comparisons, hopefully I will have a better idea after this research.

Cheers guys,
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
Your room is large and the MK S300's would be best choice but at £6k for the front 3 they are a bit pricey. The S150's or the MP150's would be ok and they are around £3k for the front 3. You may struggle slightly to hit ref level though at the rear of the room from the front 3.

The SVS PB12+ are decent subs and will do the low end but maybe look at putting in a couple of sealed subs in with them to give more slam factor which is the area where the SVS seem to lack (I had a PC+ cylinder myself till last year).

A couple of USC15's would sort that out for around £2300 for the pair.
 

Arcam_boy

Distinguished Member
I don't think you have to worry about having too much power, 99% of the time speakers are damaged by not enough power!

Considering you're in the design/build stage of the room, what's the plans? By this I mean are you going for an acoustic projector screen with speakers behind, do you want some discrete in walls or floorstanding speakers?

MK / KK is a good call and they're certainly decent enough for home cinema however don't overlook stuff like PMC's / B&W / Kef etc etc they all offer some stunning speaker packages.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
There is never too much power, only too much volume.

I think you need to think long and hard about what it is you are trying to accomplish. It sound like this is a pure Home Cinema system, but even at that you still have a choice of one of two directions.

The first choice, and it would be my choice, is to build on good HiFi speakers. In short, large (or modest) floorstanding speakers. They are going to move some serious air.

The second choice, is speakers specifically made for Home Theater surround systems like the MK or perhaps the Kreisel speakers. Though both tend to be on the expensive side.

You already have 4 subwoofers, so that additional expense is out of the equation, thankfully. So, what you really need is a 7.0 speakers system in roughly the £5000 to £6000 price range.

If music is a consideration, then in my personal view, that moves the decision away from Home Cinema speakers, it doesn't eliminate then, it simply shifts the weight of consideration.

Next we have to consider the available space. Not just the size of the room, but space along side the (assumed) projection screen. Many people make their screen so big, they don't leave any room for speakers. Also, how much room at the side and back for Surround speakers? Can bookshelf project out from the walls? If so, how far before people are bumping their heads on them? Do you feel you will need Bi/Di-pole speakers at the Side and Rear? They are generally thinner. Here is a photo just to illustrate what I mean by a Bi-Si-pole speaker -

Rear Surround Speakers Monitor Audio GXFX | hifix.co.uk

Shallow profile, front/rear facing speakers (from this perspective, side facing), diffused sound.

Persumably since you are building a dedicated Home Cinema, you have given due consideration to room acoustics. AV Receiver EQ can improve a good room, but it simply can not fix a bad room.

While others are advising you to go with Home Cinema speakers like the MK. I still lean toward large floorstanding speakers with a matching Center.

I'm guessing about half your budget on the Front speakers, though with the MK 150 series, an additional MK S150 will work very well for the Center speaker. The MP 150 would probably work well on the side as they have a lower profile. But each one of the Series 150 has about a £1000 each price tag. So you are looking at closer to a £7000 price tag for just those 7 speakers. It would be impressive. But there are equally other impressive systems.

So, a best guess break down, simply to lend perspective, about £2000 to £2500 for the Front, and about £500 for the Center, and an additional £500/pr for the Side and Rear. That gives you a rough total of about (2500 + 500 + 500 + 500) £4500. So, you have some flexibility in the budget based on those ratios.

Now knowing I have a bias for a completely different type of speaker, this is more like what I would consider -

Focal Aria 948 Speakers (Pair) for £2,798.00 in Speakers

Focal Aria 906 Speakers (Pair) for £758.00 in Speakers

Focal Aria CC 900 Centre Speaker for £2,798.00 in Speakers

The price on that Center speaker is completely wrong, it should be closer to £800. I've written them about this. So, using round numbers, we have -

£2800/pr = Focal Aria 948 (2x 8" bass)
£_800/ea = Focal Aria CC 900 Center
£1600/set = 2 x £800/pr = Focal 906 bookshelf
------------------------
£5200 = TOTAL

Ultra-clear detailed system, move a huge amount of air for serious impact from the sound.

Again a lot of things will dictate your decision. The available space to place the speakers being a big factor.

Again, you need to give a detailed consideration to the available space both on the sides and rear in addition to space at the front.

Then you need to consider your philosophy. What is it you are trying to accomplish, and how you want to accomplish it?

I'm not against the approach of others, I simply have a slightly different approach.

It sounds like you will have a very very good system in the end no matter which direction you choose.

Just one man's opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Just to comment that if you did go for the MK option you should stick with exactly the same model for LCR rather than mix and match. While it's been said that the S150 and MP150 sound the same there is a considerable difference in cabinet volume which might come into effect at higher listening levels. If mounted behind an acoustically transparent screen (as a 'proper' dedicated room ought to have) then the minute saving (less than £200) of choosing the MP150 for left/right speakers over S150s wouldn't be worth it IMHO.

With quality 'satellite' speakers like the MK or KK options combined with 4 subwoofers then there really is no need to buy floorstanding speakers to 'move air'. I have the more modest MP150 on walls and S150T surrounds with a pair of 15" sealed DIY subs and it sounds like I'm surrounded by floorstanders (and yes I know what floorstanders sound like as I have owned them in the past ;) ).

Just another man's opinion. :)
 

Kaos_vauxhall

Novice Member
Hi Kelvin / BlueWizard, All

Thank your for your opinions

Both are valued, there are some really great suggestions on this thread and I will be picking and choosing from them eventually.

:suicide: Painfully my budget has been cut to nothing :( so I will need to put this on hold.
Need a new boiler and I already tried arguing/persuading the case with the wife ..."

Me...":D We can use the kettle and heat our bath water, like in the good old days :D"
Wife...":devil:If you make us do that I'll drown you in it first chance I get!!!"
Me...":eek:"

So to not make me pull my hair out I have to spin this and keep telling myself...This just gives me more time which is good Time = Research :facepalm:

Plus you guys know just as well as I do, If I made the other half do that, the cinema room will have a taint on it, either through its long life or my short one! every time we sat in there I would have to endure and hear the sacrifices she made for it like some kind of Jesus, totally over looking my sleepless nights of tuning, cabling and OCD'ing over the room ;)

Thanks guys I will post back hopefully soon with a progress and some fundage to spalsh :)
 

lokyc

Well-known Member
Let me add to the misery....perhaps.

Given the size of the room, you would be better off running a 7.1 system to start with. Therefore you might consider using an XPR-3 to drive the front stage.

I'm the grateful new owner of Jason's XPR-5 and I'm driving B&W CM*/CMC2/CM1 is a tiny living room. But its well worth it.

Power is about control, not volume.

I do not know how the XPA series compares, but the overall architecture of the XPR is in the big league. I use a 12V trigger to turn it on/off from standby. No pops/thumps etc. Even my AVR can give a small pop.

Don't worry, no one on this thread will judge you for overkill. In fact, given your room, I was gonna suggest using a pair of Emo XPR-1 differential drive monoblocks. The whole XPR PSU and chassis used to drive 1 channel at 1kw. Its only overkill if you don't get good speakers.

The MKs and KKs are highly rated. Their matching subs superb. Sat speakers also allow you to add height channels later for Aura 3D or Dolby Amos.

Yea, I know. But good to plan ahead.

The other advantage of the MK/KK sats are they can be mounted flush on the wall, making placement and WAF better.

Reviews of the MK/KKs also praise them for their musical qualities.

Personally, I would go for the CMs or Diamonds if money is no object.
 

MemX

Well-known Member
Hey all,

Just resurrecting this thread as I have recently become the owner of a very nice XPR-5 ;) and I am so far very impressed with it :thumbsup: but this morning I was attempting 'Dredd' at Reference and I think I was bottoming out the mids on my S85s... :eek: lol

I turned it down to -6 and all was fine, and I'm aware Dredd is mixed very 'hot', but I think I have now triggered an urge to upgrade my speakers, just when I thought I was all done... :facepalm: LOL

I am still confused by whether one needs to match speaker ratings to amp power output, as it seems that it's best to have a higher rated amp than the speakers (which the XPR-5 definitely is for everything bar S300s, seemingly?!) but I'm not sure whether I just need to have more control with the volume knob or whether I need to look at something like the S150s or similar, secondhand-but-quality speakers. I really need/want a set of S300s for something like £500 max, but I'm not sure that's going to happen :p lol
 

mattkhan

Distinguished Member
I am still confused by whether one needs to match speaker ratings to amp power output, as it seems that it's best to have a higher rated amp than the speakers (which the XPR-5 definitely is for everything bar S300s, seemingly?!) but I'm not sure whether I just need to have more control with the volume knob or whether I need to look at something like the S150s or similar, secondhand-but-quality speakers. I really need/want a set of S300s for something like £500 max, but I'm not sure that's going to happen :p lol
in output terms alone...

you need your speakers to be capable of generating the output you desire
you need enough power to cleanly drive your speakers so that they produce that output
you need the self control to stick to the known limits of your system

If you want high output for that sort of money then you are looking at the high efficiency DIY route which is a) pretty cheap, b) needs v large boxes, c) involves building it yourself.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I all honesty, your budget is short of what it is going to take to fill a dedicated Home Cinema Room with 7.4 sound. It will probably take about £2000 just for the subwoofers.

You specified the Emotiva XPA-5 amp is a 5-channel Power Amp. You need two more channels. The amps are actually rated at 200w/ch to 8 ohms. Price US$1000 plus shipping and import tax. Still a very good amp even with the additional cost. One option is to get the Emotiva XPA-7 with 7-channels, priced at US$1500; still 200w/ch.

Emotiva XPA-5, 5-channel Power Amp, 200w/ch, US$999 -
Emotiva

Emotica XPA-7, 7-channel Power Amp, 200w/ch, US$1599 -
Emotiva

However, though less compact, a better choice would be a Emotiva Stereo amp plus the XPA-5 for a total of 7-channels. The stereo amp would drive the Front Left/Right channels, and the 5-channel would drive the Center and 4 Surround Channels.

Emotiva XPA-2, 2-channel, 300w/ch, US$899 -
Emotiva

Or -

Emotiva XPA-200, 2-channel, 150w/ch, US$399-
Emotiva

You will also need a AV Surround Pre-Amp/Processor of, most likely, 7.2 channels.

Emotiva XMC-1, 7.2-channel AV Pre-Amp/Processor, US$1999 -
Emotiva

With only £6000 max for a 7.0 speaker only system, I think we would need to give more consideration to the details of the room. Though I think we have enough to speculate on.

MK S150 MKII THX Ultra 2 Speakers are £1095 each -

Ideal - AV ... Home Cinema, Audio Video Equipment, Projectors, Screens, Speakers

You would need three to go across the front - left/center/right.

At the Side and Rear, which speakers will best serve you is unclear, but you do have some options -

Ideal - AV ... Home Cinema, Audio Video Equipment, Projectors, Screens, Speakers

Ideal - AV ... Home Cinema, Audio Video Equipment, Projectors, Screens, Speakers

Ideal - AV ... Home Cinema, Audio Video Equipment, Projectors, Screens, Speakers

Ideal - AV ... Home Cinema, Audio Video Equipment, Projectors, Screens, Speakers

Putting together a hypothetical system -

£3285/st = (3x) MK S150 Front/Center
£3980/st = (4x) MK 95T Surround
----------------------
£7265 = Total

XTZ of Sweden has come out with a new Home Cinema line of speakers, that you might want to look at -

XTZ Cinema Series - Compact hifi cinema experience.

XTZ Shop EU

Note on the XTZ Cinema M6, these come in specific Left and Right speakers. You need to oder 1 left and 1 right. XTZ also has a fine collection of Sub including this very substantial Subwoofer -

SUB 3X12 Matt/Studio Black

Putting together a hypothetical 7.0 system based around the XTZ -

€2250/st = (3x) XTZ Cinema M6 - Front/Center Speakers
€2000/st = (4x) XTZ Cinema S5 - Surrounds
----------------------
€4250 = TOTAL (note: Price is in EUROs)

€100 Euro = £78.31 Pounds

€4250 = £3328

There is a UK dealer for XTZ products, let me see if I can find it -

EPIC Home Cinema -
XTZ Speakers and Products- UK Exclusive

SUB 3X12 Matt/Studio Black

Personally, I would be more inclined to go with something like this -

Focal Aria 936 or Focal 948 -

Focal Aria 936 Speakers (Pair) at Audio Affair

Focal Aria 948 Speakers (Pair) at Audio Affair

For Center, Focal Aria CC 900 -

Focal Aria CC 900 Centre Speaker at Audio Affair

For Surround, Focal Aria 906 -

Focal Aria 906 Speakers (Pair) at Audio Affair

Putting together a hypothetical 7.0 system -

£2798/pr = Focal 948 - Front
£_499/ea = Focal CC 900 -Center
£1516/st = (2xpair) Focal 906 - Surround
--------------------
£4816 = Total

Continuing with my own preference for floorstanding -

Monitor Audio GX300, 2x6.5", 30hz, £2999/pr -
Floor Standing Speakers Monitor Audio GX300 | hifix.co.uk

Monitor Audio GX Center -

Centre Speakers Monitor Audio GXC150 | hifix.co.uk

Centre Speakers Monitor Audio GXC350 | hifix.co.uk

Monitor Audio GX Surround -

Bookshelf Speakers Monitor Audio GX50 | hifix.co.uk

Rear Surround Speakers Monitor Audio GXFX | hifix.co.uk

Putting together the best of this system -

£2999/pr = Monitor Audio GX300 - Front
£_999/ea = Monitor Audio GXC350 - Center
£_699/pr = Monitor Audio GXFX - Surround
£_900/pr = Monitor Audio GX50 - Surround
--------------------------
£5597 = Total

This just illustrates a few of the possibilities.

Though I have to admit you have a pretty big room (19.7ft x 32.8ft, 6m x 10m).

For the tiers, I would not make them any higher than necessary. Just enough to see over the head or chairs of the people in front. For normal low back chairs, I would guess 8" to 10" would be enough. That would raise the last tier up 16" to 20", make sure your ceilings are high enough.

Don't make the screen so big that there is no room to place the speakers. Unless you have an acoustically transparent screen, then you can place the speakers behind the screen.

Don't make the speakers too large for the viewing distance. There are may charts and formulas on the Internet for determining either seating distance for a give screen, or screen size for a given seating distance. Also, consider the height of the screen relative to the tiered seating locations. If the scree is too high or too low, either can cause problems.

Steve/bluewizard
 

mattkhan

Distinguished Member
@MemX FWIW I would say you do now have way more power than those speakers need/can handle. I think the manual says 200W max and you're at multiples of that. Clearly an upgrade is in your future :p
 

MemX

Well-known Member
@MemX FWIW I would say you do now have way more power than those speakers need/can handle. I think the manual says 200W max and you're at multiples of that. Clearly an upgrade is in your future :p
Er... Mayyyyyybeeee... :facepalm: :laugh:

I should have known I couldn't just be done and dusted, AV is worse than cars for chasing weakest links round the system, it seems! :facepalm:
 

lokyc

Well-known Member
As I read somewhere, its better to have an amp ticking over than stressed to the max.
 

kbfern

Distinguished Member
That is true but most folks don't run their avr's to the max from what I see on here. Lots seem to listen @ -10db to -20db for most of the time so even a decent avr on it's own should do under those conditions.
 
Bit of a strange question.

"What speakers will work best with a Emotiva XPR-5 power amp"

Pretty much any speaker? From bookshelf, to floorstander, 4-8ohm, low and high sensivity..

Also quite funny this site, and avs totally different as you get three vocal guys saying 8W is plenty
 

lokyc

Well-known Member
Those 3 only listen to test tones. 8W is overkill.
 

MemX

Well-known Member
That is true but most folks don't run their avr's to the max from what I see on here. Lots seem to listen @ -10db to -20db for most of the time so even a decent avr on it's own should do under those conditions.
I agree with the above - the 818 is/was fine for up to about -6 on most films, IME, but stuff like Dredd is a ridiculous ask for an AVR rated at 180w 1-chennl driven :laugh: even well below Reference! It had the whole stack of LEDs on the front of the XPR for each of the channels lit up like a christmas tree at -6, and I saw some red in them! :eek:

Bit of a strange question.

"What speakers will work best with a Emotiva XPR-5 power amp"

Pretty much any speaker? From bookshelf, to floorstander, 4-8ohm, low and high sensivity..

Also quite funny this site, and avs totally different as you get three vocal guys saying 8W is plenty
I still am not sure I understand how it all works but in my head that power amps for speakers are the same principle as over-specifying subwoofer amps - having larger capacitors ready and waiting to dump power to speakers at short notice, and with more power capacity over longer periods, must mean it all works less hard and the output is truer to the input as amp isn't introducing unintentional clipping or anything like that, meaning it sounds smoother. And as the power capabilities of the XPR are high, bigger/better sp0eaers must be needed to cope with its power outputs during those sharp bursts of loudness?

I think...??

I better start the lookout for some bargain 150s or look at the XTZ stuff... :facepalm: lol
 
Last edited:

mattkhan

Distinguished Member
I still am not sure I understand how it all works but in my head that power amps for speakers are the same principle as over-specifying subwoofer amps - having larger capacitors ready and waiting to dump power to speakers at short notice, and with more power capacity over longer periods, must mean it all works less hard and the output is truer to the input as amp isn't introducing unintentional clipping or anything like that, meaning it sounds smoother. And as the power capabilities of the XPR are high, bigger/better sp0eaers must be needed to cope with its power outputs during those sharp bursts of loudness?

I think...??
one article that talks about the disparity between typical power and peak power -> Cordell Audio: RMAF Workshops: Workshop #5 (The Peak Power Demands of Well-recorded Music)
 

lokyc

Well-known Member
As I mentioned before, its the speakers that demand the power. The speakers are like variable speed electric motors. As the motors move, with varying amplitude and frequencies, the impedence change as well. This varies from speaker to speaker. But typically, on high energy frequencies such as loud bass passages. Gun shots for example.

For the same voltage, a lower impedence requires more current to maintain the same voltage. Simplistically, just consider the signal form as voltage values. Impedence and current interchange to maintain that voltage. The perfect storm occurs when there is a voltage spike, such as a gunshot. which given the same impedence, will mean a huge current draw. But if the impedence drops too, then there is ad added demand of current. Hence the need for capaciatnce. Tobe able to dump all this current out to maintain signal/voltage fidelity.

You will only damage the speakers if you push the volume so high, such that the voltage gain is so great, the movement demanded on the cones/domes so immense that it hits the excursion limits. When that happens, its like an electric motor with the brakes on but ower still supplied. The energy becomes dissipated as heat. And the drivers burn out.

Poorly designed amps will lead to abberant current spikes or even start supplying DC type signals when clipping. And that's usually because it is underpowered.

Your problem with the Emo is you can keep pushing it louder and louder, until your speakers blow.

But the bottemline as others have already pointed out, is your speakers can't output the power you want.

Its simple physics. Loudness is determined by volume of air shifted. Its like displacement in a car gengine. Displacement in a reciprocating engine is determined by bore and stroke. In speaker terms, excursion and cone area.

Again to use the car energy. Its all fine to have apowerful engine. But you need the tyre grip to transfer the power to the ground and make the car go faster.
 

MemX

Well-known Member
I like the car analogies :thumbsup:

Your problem with the Emo is you can keep pushing it louder and louder, until your speakers blow.

But the bottemline as others have already pointed out, is your speakers can't output the power you want.
I think this might be the problem... lol

Speech no longer is 'grating' at high volume, it just sounds the same as lower volumes but louder, so unless someone's yelling in the film (which can cause a slight wince at high volume, for obvious reasons) then it all sounds fine at Reference!

I was honestly unconvinced by the argument for power amps before I got this one, but it really does make an amazing difference at higher volumes :) If you only ever go up to something like -10 at the most, no, I don't think they are needed (in my limited experience!) but over that then so far, from what I've heard, they are a good investment :)

It looks like around -6 is the safe sort of maximum I now have, but as the bass is separately dealt with, I might just up the crossovers from the 70Hz Audyssey set the centre at (which seems low) to around 100. Hopefully that will remove bass loads from the speakers and protect the mid drivers better! It would certainly be cheaper than new speakers... lol
 

lokyc

Well-known Member
Seems like a sensible idea. The Q85s are probably better run as conventional satelites.

It may reach a test tone that low, but struggle to produce meaningful sound. Even my CM10s are crossed at 80Hz.
 

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