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Emotiva UPA-500 Five Channel Power Amplifier Listening Tests


Fourplay - Chant

I use this song to test how prone a speaker is to bottoming out, but it’s also a good indicator of an amplifier's ability to deliver sustained low end bass. The UPA-500 provided plenty of power to drive the Infiniti's to the limits where I heard the speakers begin to compress. Bass was well controlled and there was good clarity. I did, however, feel that my much more expensive Marantz PM-11S2 Integrated amp drove these speakers more pristinely but, at nearly 12X the price of this little Emotiva, that shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Pat Metheny / John Scofield - Say the Brother's Name

I love the reverb of Pat Metheny’s guitar in this song. A really good audio system will instantly transport you into a small jazz club in NY. The Infinity P363’s put forth a valiant effort at placing me there and the Emotiva UPA-500 was right at home supplying the power to make it happen. The brushes on the high hats were very detailed and forward and the reverb from the guitar was smooth. Switching to 4CH stereo, I gave the UPA-500 quite a workout in my large room, but it still didn’t falter. It was quite impressive to hear such an inexpensive and compact multi-channel amp belting out this much muscle to a moderately efficient speaker system in a large listening space.

Spock's Beard: SnowNext, I deviated a bit from my reference disc and just hand selected some great tunes off my Yamaha MCX-2000 MusicCast media server. I cued up a few Marc Anthony tracks, starting with “Ahora Quien”. The UPA-500 showed off its power and fineness, delivering all of the detail of this complex recording with very good stereo separation. The trumpets sounded a bit edgy but that was more a blame of the speakers than the amp. “Tu Amor Me Hace Bien”, another classic Marc Anthony song showcased the UPA-500’s ability to extract all of the subtle details of the recording. The percussion in this track sounded fabulous and I didn’t fear cranking the volume up as there was headroom to spare. The stereo separation of the trumpets and shakers was particularly excellent.

CD: Spock’s Beard – Snow

I took a liking to this band after my brother told me to take a listen to their concept album called Snow. They have clear influenced progressive roots from the likes of 70’s era Genesis and Yes along with very spiritual and deep lyrics to compliment their extraordinary musicianship. “Solitary Soul” is my favorite track on the double disc set. This track builds on the constant theme in the album about a young albino priest with special healing powers struggling to find his way into the world. The acoustical guitars were reproduced with excellent separation. Hearing the singer repeat the hook “love beyond words” just sent chills down my spine. What a moving song and the Emotiva amp powering the Infinity speakers made you really feel the emotion. This 7:34 minute masterpiece just flew by.


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Recent Forum Posts:

Gmoney posts on April 24, 2021 23:27
gene, post: 899749, member: 4348
The Marantz SR6004 isn't a wimpy department store A/V receiver. I was referring to a typical $400-500 A/V receiver. The UPA-500 would be an upgrade to that.

I only used the SR6004 as a preamp because it was the least expensive receiver/preamp I had at my disposal when testing the UPA-500.

To get a substantial upgrade in power from the SR6004 in the Emotiva line, one would have to look at the Emotiva XPA series of amps.
@gene ( Isn't a Wimpy department store AV receiver) Lolo, Them was some good days back in 2012. To bad I was rehabbing my knee. @PENG ( I know no one can read my mind) Gene, using (Wimpy) lolo Good stuff guys!! lol
Gmoney posts on April 24, 2021 23:17
PENG, post: 908928, member: 6097
Actually there is no disagreement in this regard because when I mention AVRs, in my mind (I know no one can read my mind) I am thinking mid range ones such as the Yamaha RX-A or V 2XXX, Denon AVR-3XXX and up. Also I said I had not seen many, but I have certainly seen some, just not too many, that advertise in ways that people could be misled.. And I always refer to the manufacturer's ads, not resellers.

You are so right about it is not the manufacturer who does this, not in this case but again I have seen some who does though.

The following is copied from yamaha.ca for the RX-V373:

Amplifier Section

Channel 5.1
Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven)
100W (8ohms, 0.9% THD)

Rated Output Power (1kHz, 2ch driven)
85W (8ohms, 0.9% THD)

Dynamic Power per Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms)

Never said anything about ACD.
@PENG (I know no one can read my mind) that right there some funny Sh$t! after all these year's lolo. Still slamming them.
PENG posts on August 07, 2017 16:28
nickwin, post: 1202703, member: 76936
PENG, to me its pretty clear that all those quotes on THX spec are saying IF you calibrate an individual channel to 85db @ -20DBSF, that channel will be asked to produce up to 105db (peak, whatever that means in this case) in playback. I certainly don't see anything to the contrary. We may have to agree to disagree on this one. I say again though, if you make the assumption your making, and your wrong, your in for a world of hurt because that makes a massive difference on wattage needs.

As far as being derailed I just mean that this thread has gone far from being about the UPA500. ill start a more general thread and send you a link

Seriously, last post this time haha.

Before you leave, let me try to make my point clear one more time.

I am saying, in fact have been saying, that during calibration setup (Audyssey, YPAO, MCACC or manually for that matter), each speaker/channel will be set up to produce 85 dB average and 105 dB peak at the main mic position.

THX will likely, and logic tells me they do, test each individual channel during the certification process for the same reason that the calibration/set up does. So what exactly are we to agree to disagree?

I am also saying that just because calibration and testing are done on each channel, does not mean in real world movie playback each individual channel has to produce 105 dB peak on their own. I own quite a few movies, and watch a lot on Netflix. I just don't recall a single movie that has contents demanding 105 dB peak all produced by one single channel. In fact, during such high peak spl moments, not only more than one channel would be peaking, the LFE channel does too, and often contribute the lion's share of those peaks. So I suppose this is the point, and probably the only point, that we can agree to disagree.

Even if I am wrong, I won't be in a world of hurt because I run separates and have much more power reserve than I would ever need in my 2000 cu ft room. I also can't stand reference level as I find it much too loud for enjoyment. Even if I can tolerate the level, I won't because I don't want to risk hearing loss but that's just me.
Steve81 posts on August 07, 2017 10:57
nickwin, post: 1202710, member: 76936
So your saying the 105db is peak as in the peak of the waveform? This would be equivalent to 102db RMS, right?

That's my understanding of it. THX doesn't exactly go out of their way to release technical documentation, but looking at how AH does its room rating protocol for subwoofers, that also ties into 105dB (or 115dB for LFE as the case may be) being an instantaneous peak figure, as opposed to a short term RMS number.
nickwin posts on August 07, 2017 10:48
Steve81, post: 1202707, member: 61173
AFAIK, that's the commonly accepted understanding of how it works, i.e. 0dBFS = 105dB peak, not RMS. Indeed, the example given here:
lines up almost perfectly with a simple mix and match of other THX Ultra 2 hardware:
90dB sensitive, 6 ohm nominal
155W into 2 ch @ 8 ohms w/ 0.1% THD+N / 230W into 2 ch @ 4 ohms w/ 0.1% THD+N

Even if you bump up to the 1% numbers for the amp, you're not getting another 3dB worth of headroom out of it.

Just when I think I'm out… They pull me right back in hahaha

So your saying the 105db is peak as in the peak of the waveform? This would be equivalent to 102db RMS, right?
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