Upgrade path suggestions re: integrated amp / power amp

jy999

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Feb 9, 2024
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Hi all! I posted some of my exploration earlier but I think this now warrants a new thread.

Equipment
Klipsch RP-280f
Audiolab 6000A (50w/channel)
SVS-PB 1000

Recently I upgraded my old repurposesd Denon 900-level AVR to the Audiolab 6000A, and I have gotten the bug, I have been completely blown away by the sound quality improvement and have been listening to music a lot more. I have some funds and a savings trajectory and am planning on doing some upgrading. I'd like opinions and exploration ideas on amps. Unfortunately I don't have listening rooms where I live.

For my speakers, I really am happy with the Klipsch sound and balance for what I'm listening to, so I want to save for the Klipsch RF-7 IIIs. Open to alternatives, but my plan is for better/more of the same direction.

My current pinch point however is my amp. While I love the 6000A, it sounds great at low/moderate volumes, and becomes harsh at higher volumes. I'm thinking its something to do with the 50w/ch, especially given that the amp is full range and, even with a sub, it sends full bass range to my 280fs. I am considering
- Audiolab 9000A (100w/ch @ 8ohm)
- 2 x Audiolab 8300MB (250w / ch @ 8 ohm). possibly overkill
- Audiolab 8300XP (140w/ch @ 8 ohm) - my likely path.

I'm not set on Audiolab but I like the sound of what I have. Also, their customer service sucks <expletive> and so there's that.

What would you do? other brands, options? Do I have options I'm not seeing for rolling off the bass to my mains to make my sub take more of the load? (the Audiolab 6000A does have a send/receive loop, for example).

Any input, ideas, and rants, would be greatly appreciated :)
 

jy999

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Feb 9, 2024
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A thought. I stream using a WiiM pro via optical cable to my Audiolab, using the audiolabs DAC. I just noticed the WiiM can do digital EQ. Maybe I can scoop the bass and turn up the sub with as little crossover tuning, to reduce the burden on the amp. I'll try that out...
 
Do I have options I'm not seeing for rolling off the bass to my mains to make my sub take more of the load? (the Audiolab 6000A does have a send/receive loop, for example).
Yes you do. See if you can connect as SVS suggest. If you can high pass to your main speakers you’ll discover if the harshness you hear is amplifier strain or just unrefined output from the Klipsch.

 
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jy999

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Feb 9, 2024
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Yes you do. See if you can connect as SVS suggest. If you can high pass to your main speakers you’ll discover if the harshness you hear is amplifier strain or just unrefined output from the Klipsch.

OOooooohhh. I noticed the speaker level inputs only, not outs, and assumed it didn't have the feature. It has line-level out with the high pass. I think I can use this in the 6000A as it has a send/receive style circuit to let me split the pre / power amps. Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try
 

jy999

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Feb 9, 2024
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So that worked. Indeed, by offloading the bass the speakers stayed less harsh louder. It's also very convenient that the 6000A lets me go between pre+amp and integrated

But! It doesn't sound as tight. The sub has a 80hz high pass filter fixed, but it seems like I needed to put the sub at more like 120 to match and keep it blended. Even then I felt like a mid scoop and less tightness in this model than in the straight integrated. And I spent the last 45 minutes tweaking and tuning.

I have a calibrated mic kicking around somewhere, maybe I'll pull that out to help me set the phase, cutoff, etc. But for now, it sounds a lot better integrated without the sub than with the sub, just gets harsh at louder volumes. I'll keep it as is and relegate the sub to ultra low frequencies.
 
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So that worked. Indeed, by offloading the bass the speakers stayed less harsh louder. It's also very convenient that the 6000A lets me go between pre+amp and integrated

But! It doesn't sound as tight. The sub has a 80hz high pass filter fixed, but it seems like I needed to put the sub at more like 120 to match and keep it blended. Even then I felt like a mid scoop and less tightness in this model than in the straight integrated. And I spent the last 45 minutes tweaking and tuning.

I have a calibrated mic kicking around somewhere, maybe I'll pull that out to help me set the phase, cutoff, etc. But for now, it sounds a lot better integrated without the sub than with the sub, just gets harsh at louder volumes. I'll keep it as is and relegate the sub to ultra low frequencies.
Now you can begin matching the sub level and tailoring roll off, not to mention room positioning.
 

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