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Emotiva XPR-5 Five-Channel Reference Power Amplifier Preview

Emotiva XPR-5 Five-Channel Reference Power Amplifier

Emotiva XPR-5 Five-Channel Reference Power Amplifier


  • Product Name: XPR-5
  • Manufacturer: Emotiva
  • Review Date: July 08, 2012 18:00
  • MSRP: $1999 (currently $1799.10)
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now
  • Topology: Fully discrete, dual differential, high current, short signal path Class A/B amplification with Optimized Class-H™ power supply topology.
  • Number of Channels: 5
  • Power Output (rated power; THD < 0.1%):
    400 watts / channel (x5); all channels driven; into 8 Ohms.
    600 watts / channel (x5); all channels driven; into 4 Ohms.
    500 watts / channel (x2); two channels driven; into 8 Ohms.
    750 watts / channel (x2); two channels driven; into 4 Ohms.
    575 watts / channel (x1); one channel driven; into 8 Ohms.
    1100 watts (1 .1 kW) / channel (x1); one channel driven; into 4 Ohms.
  • Rated Power Bandwidth (at rated power; 8 Ohm load): 20 Hz to 20 kHz + /- 0.01 dB.
  • Minimum Recommended Load Impedance (each channel): 4 Ohms (which equals one 4 Ohm load or two paralleled 8 Ohm loads per channel).
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 80 kHz (+ 0 / - 1 dB).
  • THD + noise: < 0.015%
  • Signal to Noise Ratio (8 Ohm load):
    > 93 dB at 1 watt (A-weighted).
    > 109 dB at rated power (A-weighted).
  • Damping Factor (8 Ohm load): > 500
  • Speaker Output Connections:
    Super heavy duty audiophile speaker binding posts - with clear acrylic insulators and heavy duty gold plated contacts; designed to accept heavy-gauge bare cables, lugs, or banana plugs.
  • Power Supply:
    3.3 kVA toroidal power transformer.
    180,000 uF of storage capacitance.
  • Input sensitivity (for rated power; 8 Ohm load): 1.875 V
  • Gain: 29 dB
  • Input Connections:
    Unbalanced (Tiffany style, audiophile quality, gold plated RCA); one per channel.
    Balanced (XLR); one per channel.
    Each input may be independently switched to either unbalanced or balanced.
  • Input Impedance:
    47 kOhms (unbalanced).
    22 kOhms (balanced).
  • Trigger:
    Trigger Input: 5 - 20 V (AC or DC); <10 mA input current required.
    Trigger Output: 12 VDC; can drive any load up to 50 mA.
  • Power Requirements: 115 VAC or 230 VAC +/- 10% @ 50 / 60 Hz (user selectable).
  • Front Panel Controls and Indicators:
    Standby; push button (changes color to indicate Standby or On).
    Status LEDs (one per channel); illuminate blue for normal operation or red to indicate a fault (may be disabled by rear panel Status LED switch).
  • Rear Panel Controls:
    AC Power switch; rocker switch (switches AC mains power).
    Status LEDs switch; small slide switch on left rear (disables front panel Status LEDs).
  • Protection: The XPR-5 is protected against excessive operating temperature, shorted speaker connections, ground faults, and other common fault conditions. If a fault occurs on one or more channels of the XPR-5, the LED above the Standby button, and the Channel Status LEDs and the LED Bargraph Meter LEDs associated with the channel that is reporting the fault will flash red. Returning the XPR-5 to Standby or switching off the AC Power will reset the protection circuitry.
  • Dimensions:
    unboxed: 17" wide x 9.5" high x 19.5" deep (includes feet and binding posts; requires additional 3-4" of depth clearance to accomodate the power cord).
    (double) boxed: 25" length x 23" width x 16" height
  • Weight: 94 lbs (net); 107 lbs (boxed)

Executive Overview

I wish I was paid by the word. I could just copy and paste "Emotiva Reference Amplifier" about a billion times and retire. Any true Audioholic would read every single word and get a little more excited with each reading. This is Emotiva we're talking about. The company that consistently slaps down their amplifier competition with lower cost amplifiers that outperform all comers. When they decide they are going to be putting out a "reference" product, you better hide your wallet before you money jumps out of it. Amps are about to get serious.

The new Emotiva XPR-5 is a five channel, 400 watt per channel, Class A/B beast that can push up to 575 watts into one channel at 8 Ohms or 1100 watts into one channel driven at 4 Ohms. The 400 watt rating is for all channels into 8 Ohms. The XPR-5 is stable into 4 Ohms and can push 600 watts all channels driven. It does this my pairing five high efficiency Optimized Class A/B amp modules with a Class H power supply  and a hulking 3.3kVA toroidal power supply.   The Class-H topology greatly improves efficiency over conventional Class A/B by modulating the supply rails so that the rails are only a few volts higher than the output signal at any given time.  This keeps the amplifier running cool, delivering maximum power from your wall outlet.  This amplifier approaches Class D efficiency, but without the performance variations typical of Class D amps caused by increased amplifier output impedance from the output filter which is designed to eliminate out of band modulation noise.

Wanna see? Yeah you do.


When you are used to seeing the internal shots of a high end audio device with more empty real estate than one of those man-made islands in Dubai, the Emotiva XPR-5 is a welcome change. The massive power supply and 180,000 uF of storage capacitance means that the XPR-5 has power reserves to meet and exceed any real-world application. The enclosure is constructed out of steel with reinforcement to handle it's 95 pound bulk. Yes, you're going to need a friend to help you move this beast.

Turning the Emotiva XPR-5 around, we see exactly what you'd expect in a high quality amplifier offering.


Each channel has a balanced and unbalanced input with a selection switch between. There are high-quality 5-way binding posts. Users can select between 115 VAC or 230 VAC +/- 10% at 50 or 60 Hz meaning the XPR-5 can be used all over the world with a simple power cord change. Twelve volt trigger in and outs allows seamless interaction with your other components. 

The 25mm billet aluminum, tooled, machined, and engraved faceplate of the Emotiva XPR-5 sports five LED Bargraph meters with selectable ballistics, one for each channel. There is also Channel Status LEDs which will indicate high temperature and fault conditions. The meters, of course, are defeatable for those that don't care to add extra light to their home theater. The readout can also be dimmed as will be the blue accent lights. A standby button on the front will power down the amp and a power button on the back powers it off completely.


Hardcore Emotiva fans may balk at the $2000 price tag for the XPR-5...but they are the only ones. People have gladly paid a lot more for a lot less with other brands. Sporting 400 watts into 8 ohms and 600 watts into 4 ohms all channels driven, the Emotiva XPR-5 redefines the idea of how much power is enough in an amplifier. With a 3.3kVA toroidal power supply and 180,000 uF of storage capacitance, headroom is not a problem. Emotiva promises that the XPR-5 is fully protected from all common fault conditions and it stable with virtually all real-world speakers. If that doesn't reassure buyers, we don't know what will. For a limited time, you can pick up the Emotiva XPR-5 for 10% off ($1799.10) during their summer sale. If you are looking for an amp that will outlast every other bit of gear in your system, this is the one.

For more information, please visit www.emotiva.com.

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About the author:

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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Recent Forum Posts:

kodi41 posts on May 28, 2016 16:48
Hello all, I know this is an older thread, however, I would like to add my experiences. I have been a long time reader, but I have never posted before- until now. I read this entire thread, and I agree with some and disagree with some.

There are very much audible differences in top quality amplifiers. Those that claim other wise are either deaf, or have no real world experience.

I presently own and/or use the follow gear. Krell, Magnepan, Harman Kardon, Cambridge, NAD, B&K, ATI, Denon, Oppo, Audio Refinement, PS Audio, Project, Thorens, Shure, Grado, Linn, Integra Research, Integra, Proton, YBA, JBL, Marantz, Infinity, M&K, Odyssey Audio, DynaCo, Van Alstine, Audio Quest, Kimber, Kenwood, Klipsch, SAE, ClearAudio, Rega, Athena, Thiel, Panasonic Plasma, Visio Razor OLED, Pioneer Elite projector Sony ES, and many others.

Pro Audio - AB International, JBL, Crown, Carver, Mesa Boogie, Orange, Gallien Kruger, Urei, DBX, Revox, Apogee, White Audio Labs, QSC, Cerwin Vega, Wilson Pro- and others.

I'm not trying to brag, really I'm not- audio is / has been a life long passion for me, I guess my dad got me started when I was kid because he was in secret electronic stuff during the Korean war while he was in the Marine Corps, he showed me the value of tube gear- beginning with Fisher.

I spent some time with several bands in my younger years- ah, if only I could relive those years.

Any way, I'm not going to down or comment on any one's post save one- And I already did that up above.

I will tell you this, no joke aside- there is a huge difference between a Krell amplifier, and say NAD. Just as there are large differences between tube and SS- it really is that drastic- the Sonic's are vastly different. That being said the same holds true with PA designed gear, it's all power with no finesse- I have directly compared my Crown K series, AB International, and QSC amps against my Krell, the Krell wins every time no matter the program material. This on both cone speakers and Maggies. One thing to note: a good pre-amp can make ANY amp sound vastly better then it really is - (given volume level of course) keep this in mind.

However, at very high spl, long term usage- the Crowns are better because it's what they are designed for, they sound good, just not spectacular, like good quality home audio gear can and will, set up correctly at lower demands (say under 300/400 wpc).

As for hiss at low volume? Heh, I'd say you have some problems with your equipment, quality equipment doesn't make a sound until you want it to. If it has noise at idle, I can only imagine what it's doing at volume. (vinyl exempt)

Of all the gear I own, or have owned, my favorite's-

Receiver- B&K AVR 507 S, beats the hell out of my NAD T785, Period, I've owned many receivers.
AMP- Krell Evo series, with a special place for my KAV-400xi integrated- so small but huge sound and power. I presently own about 20 different amps.
Speakers- Magnepan 2.7qr and 3.5r, I do really enjoy the 803's but I do not own them, for my pc- Klipsch 2.5's. I presently own 9 pairs of speakers, not including SS speakers.
CD player- Cambridge 851c, an amazing digital source, replaced my YBA. However, my all metal (even the transport) Marantz CD-1 (first ever cd player made) still sounds quite good.
DAC- PS Audio
Blu Ray- Oppo
TT- Thorens TD-2001 / TD 321 with Shure Ultra 400S, and a tweaked Project Tube box w/ bugle boys.
SUBS- M&K I use two MX 5000 series.

What I am trying to get at here is that audio is a never ending experiment, and over the years, friends, family and ebay have been very good to me.

I learned long ago, never hang your hat on any one design, for the time will come, and something else will prove other wise.

I know…. rant.

avliner posts on November 03, 2015 07:32

Most certainly!!
surveyor posts on November 02, 2015 15:24
I guess that audio updating it is a disease caused by Audioholics?
AcuDefTechGuy posts on November 02, 2015 12:36
I need 500WPC because my speakers are 92dB/2.83V/m and I listen to 85dB volume.

No. That's not it. Scratch that. I need 1000WPC because my 92dB/2.83V/m speakers are power HUNGRY. They really open up with more power.
PENG posts on November 02, 2015 09:42
RichB, post: 1101912, member: 11091
Need, when did that figure into purhcasing decisions?

- Rich

Very funny, but true!!
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