Independent Power Supplies? Worth it?

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by roshi, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. roshi Audioholic

    roshi
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    So I was at a local audio dealer the other day and I was asking him if he had ever heard of Emotiva. He said he didn't, but then started to basch any and every online-only company there is.
    Later he took a look at Emotiva's website, more specifically the DMR-1 and started to give me a spiel about how bad online-only companies are, since they want to sell you junk for a high price. He did all that on the point that the DMR-1 does not have independent power supplies.
    So I guess my question is how valid his remarks are. Are independent power supplies important and worth it? As well as what are your guys' thoughts on online-only companies? (I'm thinking about buying from Emotiva as well as HSU)
    Thanks for your thoughts...
  2. roshi Audioholic

    roshi
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    Oh, and the other thing he criticized were the poorly documented specs on Emotiva's website. I kind of have to agree with him on that one.
  3. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    I'll say upfront that I'm no amp expert, but I'd like to share an excerpt from an e-mail response that I got from Outlaw Audio. This particular section was addressing their amps versus the Emotiva MPS-1:

    "In addition, our multi-channel amplifiers utilize a partial monoblock design. This means that each amp channel is separate from the next. However, unlike a full monoblock design, each of our amp modules share a common power supply. The benefit of this approach is readily apparent in real world applications. When just one or two channels in a particular movie or music soundtrack requires a sudden but continued, high level output, the loaded channels will draw additional current from the shared transformers (this is not possible in a monoblock design as each module is limited to the output that its transformer can deliver)."

    IMO, it comes down to how the amp is designed, not whether or not it has independent or shared power supplies. Either design can be good or bad.

    As for internet-only companies, I tried two this year: SVS and Emotiva. There are pluses and minuses. Customer service has been pretty good, although e-mail responses from Emotiva (if I even get one) have taken days. They are better on the phone, but I don't always have time for that during their business hours. SVS e-mail responses have always been within a day, including nights and weekends. My first amp from Emotiva was a dud, but they shipped me out a new one and provided a pre-paid return label for the first one, so that all worked out fine. My first sub from SVS was damaged in shipping, but they also shipped out a new one and gave me a pre-paid label for the first one. A benefit is generally lower cost for performance versus big name brands and regular stores, and a disadvantage is the hassle of dealing with shipping (having to be home when it arrives and/or dealing with shipping it back). I don't regret buying from them. The Emotiva amp is good, and the SVS sub sounds great. I'm still waiting on a replacement amp for my sub (the original design has a flaw), but that's supposed to arrive within about a month. As a frame of reference for me, when I bought a defective sub from a local audio dealer, they lied to me for two years and said that it was fine until I got the manufacturer involved...SVS and Emotiva never gave me any grief at all when it came to fixing a problem.
    Adam,
  4. Haoleb Audioholic Field Marshall

    Haoleb
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    Independent power supplies per channel are always a good thing. Although there are tons of amps that share the same power supply that are simply superb. I am rather partial to dual mono and monoblock type amps myself but you cannot call something crap because it has a single power supply.
  5. highfihoney Audioholic Samurai

    highfihoney
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    I also believe that independant power supplies make for a better amp & is one of the big reasons why i bought the amps that i did,still i have to agree with Haloeb,calling a peice of gear junk because it dont have independant power supplies is ignorant & in this dealers case self serving.

    Ive met lots of dealers like this shmuk,it all boils down to what they are selling in their store,everything else is inferior:rolleyes:
  6. MDS Audioholic Spartan

    MDS
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    Note that nearly all receivers, even those costing $1k+, have a single power supply. It's yet another reason why 'all channels driven' is a mostly worthless rating'.

    As per the Outlaw response to Adam, with the single power supply, the power can be allocated to the channels that need it. That is why receivers that are not rated for all channels driven often can achieve far greater dynamic power as they can allocate the power as necessary to the channels that need it.
    MDS,
  7. fmw Audioholic Samurai

    fmw
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    I think sales people have learned some bad habits from politicians. In my opinion, selling by bashing the competition is a bad idea. To me it indicates fear of the competition rather than one's own superiority. But, apparently it works for politicians, so I guess times have changed and most people don't feel like I do.

    Having separate power supplies for each channel is better than sharing power supplies, however, so I would disagree with Emotiva there. I suppose if you were to compare a single shared strong and powerful supply to individual inadequate supplies then you could make a case for what they said. Individual adequate power supplies are better than shared adequate power supplies, though, so what they say is basically wrong.

    But I read wrong things all the time from the audio industry. Nothing unusual there. ;)
    fmw,
  8. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    The DMR-1 is a receiver, not many receivers have more than one power supply. Emotiva's amplifiers other than the lower end LPA-1 and BPA-1, have independant power supplies for all channels. Shove that in the guy's face and watch him come up with more reasons why the brands they carry in the store are better than Emotiva's products.
  9. cfrizz Senior Audioholic

    cfrizz
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    It's a shame he felt necessary to put down all internet companies to try to make his store seem more attractive.

    I understand why he did it, the B & M stores are struggling as it is, so the extra competition from the internet isn't helping them to survive.

    But it doesn't make it right.
  10. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    What products was he pushing? How was his amp or receiver better? Having two power supplies may or may not matter.
    Receivers and multi channel amps are rated with 2 ch driven to full power at a certain THD and some frequency band as specified. So the power supply it has will do what is speced.
    Unless his amps/receivers are rated better, it isn't.
  11. roshi Audioholic

    roshi
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    He wasn't particularly pushing any product, he just started ranting as soon as I said online-only. The place he is at sells primarily Rotel (and Classe), Yamaha and Marantz and they are phasing out their Denons, supposedly since Marantz and Denon are owned by the same company now and the Marantz are better. (Not so sure about that myself).
    They have two stores in town and I never like that guy. I went to their other store once and a guy there gave me a 10% off straight from the beginning. When I asked that guy he wouldn't give me anything. Oh well, I for sure won't buy from him!
    Thanks for all your replies!
  12. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Interesting. But, in essence he was pushing his products implying, otherwise he is a fool, that his products have independent power supplies on each channel. That would be interesting to research if that is the case for any of them;)
    At least it seems you will not go back to this person. Stick with the other store if you need to visit them:D
  13. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    Marantz and Denon are owned by the same holding company, they share certain features and patents, but the similarities stop there. Marantz is driven toward audiophiles. They skimp on newer features to keep the audiophiles happy it seems (mostly less circuitry, less interference mumbo jumbo). I have not been impressed by either's offerings as of late.:cool: So the dealer will have Marantz for the audiophiles and Yamaha for the features. Yamaha typically has tons of features per dollar.:)

    I will assume this store also carries B&W speakers.:D

    The guy probably knows nothing about Emotiva, and he seems to know very little about electronics.;)
  14. 100r1 Junior Audioholic

    100r1
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    To maximize a amplifier's duel power supply would you not have to have each plugged into a different circuit ?

    Most home 110v circuits are 15 amp maybe 20 amp if someone upgraded for a certain electrical requirement. Most people would just plug it all into the same outlet, not utilizing the full potential of a duel power amplifier by running 2 dedicated circuits. How many would even be savy enough to even understand the need for 2 circuits? I bet the salesman does not know but only saw something on a website to try and sway a sale in his direction.

    As far as being worth it, If you really need it then yes it will provide the required power when driving the amp to it's limits.
  15. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    Using two power supplies instead of one larger one could save space and allow the manufacturer to put the same size amplifier in a small enclosure. It also is like having two amplifiers in one box as well. As far as being on seperate circuits, typically not necessary. It depends on the volt amp rating of that power transformer.
  16. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    Purely from power reserve stand point, a large single one rated for say 1000 VA is better than a 2X500 VA one simply because the larger one can provide up to twice (theorectically) the VA to the channel that needs it. Two independent power supplies of half the size of the single one may offer other advantages, but not more power.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
    PENG,
  17. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    that sums up the email Adam got from Outlaw.:)
  18. PENG Audioholic Warlord

    PENG
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    Thanks, so my response is redundant, I was going to delete it but it is too late!:eek:
    PENG,
  19. Seth=L Audioholic Overlord

    Seth=L
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    Not really, it was shorter and more to the point.:D

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