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Review and Measurements of Paradigm PW Amp

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#61
I don't know if someone at ASR knows where I can get a ARC 101 course.
Have you read Anthem's overview on ARC? https://www.anthemarc.com/arc-genesis/advanced-settings/index.php
I have found it incredibly useful, especially the parts on microphone placement and adjusting targets. Also it explains the different settings you may have questions about.

My PW Amp has also stopped beeping when I try to toggle ARC on and off. I did not know you can toggle ARC in the software. I will give that a try.

Regarding the PW Link, its major disadvantage to me is it lacks a sub-woofer output.
 

GGroch

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#62
I just got a pair of the new Micca RB42 bookshelf speakers to play with, so I have moved my PW/Amp from my main system to my computer desktop.
I expected the RB42s to be terrible in this location - a bass emphasized speaker with rear ports that fire into an enclosed cave in the desk. They did not disappoint - absolutely unlistenable bass boom. Not their fault, its not the use they were designed for.

5 minutes of ARC test tones and they are transformed. Attached is the ARC3 EQ graph. In this case, as you can tell, the difference is not subtle.
I like the fact that I can measure once, save the result, and then play with the parameters. In this case I increased the top adjustment frequency to 10k to get rid of the HF drop there. I am not sure I heard that adjustment, but the difference in bass and balance is phenomenal. What a fun toy.

RE: PW Link Subwoofer Out. I will be setting up a friends system that has 2 powered subs with the PW/Link next week. I do not think it will be a problem. The ARC 3 software includes a "Quick Measure" function which should let me balance levels, turnover, and phase manually....getting things close before ARC measurement. I expect the normal ARC functions to work pretty much the same with or without a sub output.
RB42 Micca.jpg
 
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jhaider

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#63
Use as a power amp alone shows very much sub-par performance. It is clear no attention was put in designing a clean amplifier. When a company can farm out a design to get a clean amp and Paradigm can't, you know there is trouble.
That's too bad. I believe the same amp modules are used to drive rear channels in the current Anthem AVR lineup.

Posted on the LINK thread. Disappointed by the numbers on the AMP but not really unexpected. I will say though that for the addition of ARC to integrate a satellite - sub set-up may make up for the poorer measurements via analog only input.
I think that's right. As I see it there are unfortunately only two small integrateds worth recommending today: the MartinLogan Forte (better version of PW AMP - accepts Airplay streams) and ELAC EA-101EQ-G/DS-A101-G. Maybe when my Yarra 3DX comes in - allegedly in about a month - I'll send in the ELAC EA in my office to Amir for testing. I was only able to do a subjective review and confirm the acoustic performance of its room correction.

The key value add for these is room correction. ARC has gotten a nice enhancement in Genesis. ELAC is more bandwidth limited (up to 200Hz) and basically automates what a smart manual calibrator would do.

As Amir wrote, if you do your room correction upstream there are other options.
 

estuardo4

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#64
I've been using my PWAmp for two weeks now. What I like the most about this amp is the room correction. I know I don't have the best power amp, but the room correction software has allowed me to move my speakers from their audiophile suggested position to their new position closer to the front wall, so now I have more space in my room. Subjective listening, after two weeks of breaking in my ears to the new sound stage, I find my listening sessions really enjoyable. But yes, the amp sound at higher volume is harsh. Good thing I rarely listen at higher volume.

Listening to my speakers in their new position without ARC is unbearable, as the speakers output a really bad boomy bass.

Anyway, I'm enjoying my setup enormously right now. It is a good thing for us that Paradigm decided to ship this amp with play-fi software, as the fiasco allowed us people with no budget to be able to purchase this amp at a more affordable price a couple of years after its launch.
 

MSNWatch

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#65
I have always used 80Hz as the subwoofer frequency extension in the speaker panel and also switched the sub crossover frequency to the same 80Hz and graphically it looks like a 4th order transition but in my communication with paradigm technical support as well as the primer they recommend leaving the 80Hz in the speaker panel and let the software set the sub crossover frequency automatically. I have uploaded the printouts both ways (dualsub being the paradigm recommendation and dualsub2 being 80hz for both) and to me setting 80hz for both looks like the correct method. But would love input here.
 

Attachments

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May 15, 2019
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#66
I have always used 80Hz as the subwoofer frequency extension in the speaker panel and also switched the sub crossover frequency to the same 80Hz and graphically it looks like a 4th order transition but in my communication with paradigm technical support as well as the primer they recommend leaving the 80Hz in the speaker panel and let the software set the sub crossover frequency automatically. I have uploaded the printouts both ways (dualsub being the paradigm recommendation and dualsub2 being 80hz for both) and to me setting 80hz for both looks like the correct method. But would love input here.
Setting 80hz on both looks correct to me as well. Looks like those graphs should cross properly.
 
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#67
I've been using my PWAmp for two weeks now. What I like the most about this amp is the room correction. I know I don't have the best power amp, but the room correction software has allowed me to move my speakers from their audiophile suggested position to their new position closer to the front wall, so now I have more space in my room. Subjective listening, after two weeks of breaking in my ears to the new sound stage, I find my listening sessions really enjoyable. But yes, the amp sound at higher volume is harsh. Good thing I rarely listen at higher volume.

Listening to my speakers in their new position without ARC is unbearable, as the speakers output a really bad boomy bass.

Anyway, I'm enjoying my setup enormously right now. It is a good thing for us that Paradigm decided to ship this amp with play-fi software, as the fiasco allowed us people with no budget to be able to purchase this amp at a more affordable price a couple of years after its launch.
To add my 2 cents, I tried a PW Link , like what I heard so got an Amp + another link to swap into all the bedrooms.
While the devices may not be perfect but I think ARC makes a huge (and I am not being hyperbolic - It actually is a lot more than subtle ) difference - I have been using room correction on multi-channel for many years now but never realized it could be so useful in a stereo setup too,
At least to me , this difference is enough to offset any other compromises being made.

I have always used 80Hz as the subwoofer frequency extension in the speaker panel and also switched the sub crossover frequency to the same 80Hz and graphically it looks like a 4th order transition but in my communication with paradigm technical support as well as the primer they recommend leaving the 80Hz in the speaker panel and let the software set the sub crossover frequency automatically. I have uploaded the printouts both ways (dualsub being the paradigm recommendation and dualsub2 being 80hz for both) and to me setting 80hz for both looks like the correct method. But would love input here.
I have setup the sub crossover for my PW Amp at the highest with the assumption that the Amp will take care of the X-over frequency.
Are you saying Paradigm suggests setting the physical x-over to the number recommended by ARC?
 
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#68
I have setup the sub crossover for my PW Amp at the highest with the assumption that the Amp will take care of the X-over frequency.
Are you saying Paradigm suggests setting the physical x-over to the number recommended by ARC?
I have set my subwoofer to "Bypass" which bypasses the crossover in my subwoofer and I let the PW Amp handle the crossover in the ARC software. The results are amazing to me whether I let ARC set the subwoofer crossover frequency or I manually adjust the frequency lower in ARC. Setting the crossover in ARC allows much more customization. Probably too much!;) I don't believe you are meant to set the crossover in the subwoofer to what ARC recommends.

Just to geek out, a recent trend in high end audio is to not utilize any analog crossovers after amplification and instead use digital filters in DSP to manage crossover frequencies for each driver and then amplifying each speaker driver separately. A highly regarded example of this is the KEF LS50 Wireless and LSX speakers. What is neat about the PW Amp is it allows you to essentially do form of this, especially if you have a single driver speaker (I have the Gallo A'Divas) and a powered subwoofer with a crossover bypass.
 

MSNWatch

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#69
To add my 2 cents, I tried a PW Link , like what I heard so got an Amp + another link to swap into all the bedrooms.
While the devices may not be perfect but I think ARC makes a huge (and I am not being hyperbolic - It actually is a lot more than subtle ) difference - I have been using room correction on multi-channel for many years now but never realized it could be so useful in a stereo setup too,
At least to me , this difference is enough to offset any other compromises being made.



I have setup the sub crossover for my PW Amp at the highest with the assumption that the Amp will take care of the X-over frequency.
Are you saying Paradigm suggests setting the physical x-over to the number recommended by ARC?
Paradigm suggests using the auto setting but the tracings as I printed look wrong to me. When David Rich reviewed an earlier version of the ARC software he was clear to use the same frequency for both.
 
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#70
So after barely a month of use, my PW Amp appears to be dead. Came in in the morning to it shut down, and it won't power up. Checked the connections and they're fine; it's just a brick.
 

GGroch

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#71
So after barely a month of use, my PW Amp appears to be dead. Came in in the morning to it shut down, and it won't power up.......
That sucks. Hopefully you have a warranty. One thing to try. Leave it totally unplugged from AC power for a couple of hours and then try to start it up again. I have had it happen to mine when it would not respond, and then would after being unplugged for an extended time. However, I also had a PW/Amp that would not start and I had to return/exchange it. Good Luck.
 
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#72
That sucks. Hopefully you have a warranty. One thing to try. Leave it totally unplugged from AC power for a couple of hours and then try to start it up again. I have had it happen to mine when it would not respond, and then would after being unplugged for an extended time. However, I also had a PW/Amp that would not start and I had to return/exchange it. Good Luck.
Thanks, I'll try that. If not, it should be under warranty. Fortunately I held only my old SMSL for the meantime!
 
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#73
Is there a way to turn off the auto standby? When doin late night listening my PW Amps are shutting down and require a loud blast to get going again.
 

estuardo4

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#74
Is there a way to turn off the auto standby? When doin late night listening my PW Amps are shutting down and require a loud blast to get going again.
I hate that "feature" on the PWAmp.

If I turn the volume all the way up to the max, I've encounter less standbys at night. The downside is that I'm getting a lot of noise and artifacts coming from my speakers at normal listening levels. So I've opted to turn the volume to the middle at normal hours, and turn the volume to the max for listening late at night (and lower the volume using my preamp). But sometimes the amp goes to standby mode anyway.
 
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#75
I would imagine you are best turning the volume of your power amp down and your pre-amp up as this will give the best gain match and lowest S/N and most (apparent) volume to the amp.

But even better would be to be able to turn the damn thing off.
 

estuardo4

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#76
I would imagine you are best turning the volume of your power amp down and your pre-amp up as this will give the best gain match and lowest S/N and most (apparent) volume to the amp.

But even better would be to be able to turn the damn thing off.
There's been a lot of debate here about the statement you make. Some people argues that it is better to turn all volume up on the power amp and control the volume with the preamp. Other says that it is better to put it at half volume .

I'm still waiting for a definitive answer about this.

Obviously, it would be excellent if we can bypass the volume selector on the PWAmp.
 
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#77
I'm also interested in answer to this, turn all volume up or set it at half.
I'm considering using my PW Amp as power amp for my Marantz NR1509 (L&R pre-out), because of the benefit with ARC. I will only be running 2.1.
 
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#78
I'm using my PW Amp as a power amp fed by an Emotiva MC700. The new ARC Genesis works very well. It is much easier to use and more accurate than ARC on the MRX700 I used to own.

However, this auto standby is becoming a real problem.

I have the amp set to Fixed Volume (not in the manual, but details in the Martin Logan Forte manual) so I don't have to dick around with adjusting the volume to match my sub and surround speakers.

But I'm still getting shutdowns when listening at lower volumes and my wife thinks it is broken.

In pro audio it is common practice to gain match your source and your power amps to lower system noise. Usually this means running your source as close to maximum output as possible without clipping and turning down the gain in your amp.

If Amir's results are correct, this should be best for sound, and should help the standby bug, but I don't think the PW Amp remembers volume settings so every time I turn it off I have to readjust the volume.

If you are using it for streaming this isn't a problem (I believe) as streaming turns it on.

But I'm not streaming and it is driving me mad.

I've sent Paradigm an email, so we'll see if they respond.
 
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estuardo4

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#79
I'm using my PW Amp as a power amp fed by an Emotiva MC700. The new ARC Genesis works very well. It is much easier to use and more accurate than ARC on the MRX700 I used to own.

However, this auto standby is becoming a real problem.

I have the amp set to Fixed Volume (not in the manual, but details in the Martin Logan Forte manual) so I don't have to dick around with adjusting the volume to match my sub and surround speakers.

But I'm still getting shutdowns when listening at lower volumes and my wife thinks it is broken.

In pro audio it is common practice to gain match your source and your power amps to lower system noise. Usually this means running your source as close to maximum output as possible without clipping and turning down the gain in your amp.

If Amir's results are correct, this should be best for sound, and should help the standby bug, but I don't think the PW Amp remembers volume settings so every time I turn it off I have to readjust the volume.

If you are using it for streaming this isn't a problem (I believe) as streaming turns it on.

But I'm not streaming and it is driving me mad.

I've sent Paradigm an email, so we'll see if they respond.
And as the amp does not have a visual cue to know at what volume is working, I have to turn the volume all the way down or up and count the clicks up or down. Also, as there is no remote, if you are using it for streaming, you have to click the source button manually. And the volume you have it at streaming does not translate to the analog entry.

I hope Paradigm gives you an answer, but I'm not holding my breath.

But to have all the benefits of ARC software at this price, compensates all these troubles. But if I've paid full retail price, I'd already have returned the unit for sure.
 

estuardo4

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#80
The new Play-Fi update brings a Remote Volume Control where you can finally adjust the volume of the PWAmp using your phone. For me, it is excelent news. Now I'm really happy.
 
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