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Topping PA5 Review (Amplifier)

IPunchCholla

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How do you know?
Based on where the volume knob is. It is theoretically linear. I’ll measure when I get a chance.
 

typericey

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Really keen on getting this amp. Has any owner reported any bugs or issues with it?
 

Lambda

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Based on where the volume knob is. It is theoretically linear. I’ll measure when I get a chance.
Even if it wold be "Linear" (actually logarithmic) this is not how it Works.
This is not a "power" regulator.

This would kind of sort of work your DAC(source) peak output is Equal the the AMPs sensitivity.
even in this Case Voltage is not power, power depends on Speaker impedance...
And even if...
Halve "volume" is by no means halve power.

Manufactures and marketing knows many people think like you and they build amplifiers intentionally to be "louder" at lower volume knob levels.

For example of the PA5 and the suggested 4Vrms DAC it reaches clipping Before the volume knob is at 12 o clock.
This gives the illusion oh headroom.
 

gfinlays

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Really keen on getting this amp. Has any owner reported any bugs or issues with it?
Apart from one owner in this thread, no. As I mentioned earlier, it's more 'revealing' (apologies for the audiophile speak) than the £5500 behemoth hybrid integrated amp that I own with, technically, some of the best tubes available ( Russian Reflector 6H23N-EB) in the input stage (gain and bias matched), coupled with a monster SS output stage (again bias measured and matched and DC offset minimised into non-existence).

Back to back, the PA5 digs out more detail, offers up a wider and deeper 'soundstage' and is ruthless in exposing crappy recordings. Subjectively, purely from initial listening impressions, I think it's very close to Benchmark's AHB2.

If you want to hear spectacular '3D' soundstage, instrument placement and separation to test out an amp and speaker's capabilities, try 'Get A Move On' by Kansas Smitty's House Band - https://www.discogs.com/master/1644317-The-Kansas-Smittys-House-Band-The-Kansas-Smittys-House-Band I saw them live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club a few years ago and it was hands down one of the best live gigs I've ever been to. Maybe topped (just) by Melody Gardot's Jazz Fest Wien performance at the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera) in 2018. The acoustics in there are nothing short of magical.

Unfortunately, prior to Melody coming on stage, we had to endure 'Astrian Crooner', Louie Austen's support act. He was spectacularly awful and insisted on recounting numerous times the story of 'Wann George Benson hat mich angerufen' ('when George Benson called me')

The Austrian audience applauded him immensely - to this day, I'm still not sure whether they were just being typically polite, or whether indeed, they actually thought he was that good....
 
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tonycollinet

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If you want to hear spectacular '3D' soundstage, instrument placement and separation to test out an amp and speaker's capabilities, try 'Get A Move On' by Kansas Smitty's House Band - ....

Well that was impressive. I can't say I'm a big listener of "soundstages" but that might be the first time I've heard separate positions for many instruments.

And I'm not using a PA5 - just a lowly pioneer AVR, into Dali Oberon 5's. Compressed amazon music too (whatever the standard is for their non "unlimited" offering is.
 

gfinlays

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Well that was impressive. I can't say I'm a big listener of "soundstages" but that might be the first time I've heard separate positions for many instruments.

Every time I listen to that track, it takes me back to Ronnie Scott's - I can 'see' the band's arrangement in front of me. The musicians' timing is absolutely perfect. Hats off to the recording and mastering engineers who pulled off a recording that's so lifelike.

And I'm not using a PA5 - just a lowly pioneer AVR, into Dali Oberon 5's. Compressed amazon music too (whatever the standard is for their non "unlimited" offering is.

As has been evidenced many a time here on ASR, you don't need to spend a fortune to achieve great sound. And as far as the Dali Oberon 5's go, I've yet to see anything less than a stellar review!
 
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Pdxwayne

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Every time I listen to that track, it takes me back to Ronnie Scott's - I can 'see' the band's arrangement in front of me. The musicians' timing is absolutely perfect. Hats off to the recording and mastering engineers who pulled off a recording that's so lifelike.



As has been evidenced many a time here on ASR, you don't need to spend a fortune to achieve great sound. And as far as the Dali Oberon 5's go, I've yet to see anything less than a stellar review!
Thanks! I can enjoy the song.

I listened with my stereo setup one time before my family members were back from a walk. Thus, can't play again. ; )

My initial impression is that left to right separations are nice. I get impression of sound coming from many feet left of my left speakers. However, the right side seems a bit congested and I don't get the impression of sound coming from many feets right of my right speakers.

The cymbals seems too strong on the right and blended with instruments there. Thus I am not getting the correct back to front depth illusion.
 

IPunchCholla

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Even if it wold be "Linear" (actually logarithmic) this is not how it Works.
This is not a "power" regulator.

This would kind of sort of work your DAC(source) peak output is Equal the the AMPs sensitivity.
even in this Case Voltage is not power, power depends on Speaker impedance...
And even if...
Halve "volume" is by no means halve power.

Manufactures and marketing knows many people think like you and they build amplifiers intentionally to be "louder" at lower volume knob levels.

For example of the PA5 and the suggested 4Vrms DAC it reaches clipping Before the volume knob is at 12 o clock.
This gives the illusion oh headroom.
Ok. measured. For my 70dB average listening point, I am running 2.4 volts at the amp speaker terminals. Full power is 23.42 volts. This is into 8 ohm speakers.

1 kHZ tone at 0 dB.
 
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AudioArchitech

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I have noticed this too, center image is more to the right for sure.

to clarify, a hint of imaging
 
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Doodski

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Ok. measured. For my 70dB average listening point, I am running 2.4 volts at the amp speaker terminals. Full power is 23.42 volts. This is into 8 ohm speakers.

1 kHZ tone at 0 dB.
Are those RMS voltages, peak to peak?
 

IPunchCholla

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Doodski

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index.php

index.php
 

IPunchCholla

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= 0.7 W RMS.


= 68.6 W RMS
Yes. So my 85 dB peaks (at my listening position) are 0.7 watts? Most of the time I don’t even see that. I would seem to have a little room before hitting that 48 watt threshold in Amir’s measurement.

I’m a bit new to all of this measurement stuff.

What I hear is better clarity at higher volume than my previous amp. To put it more poetically: you know that horn fade/repeat in the middle of the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th? Right before the chorus punches in full throttle? One of the best moments I’ve had in recent days was listening to that. (London Symphony, 1960 recording). Clear horn fading to silence. Clear chorus crashing in at a volume that felt like I was in the hall.
 

Doodski

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Yes. So my 85 dB peaks (at my listening position) are 0.7 watts? Most of the time I don’t even see that. I would seem to have a little room before hitting that 48 watt threshold in Amir’s measurement.

I’m a bit new to all of this measurement stuff.

What I hear is better clarity at higher volume than my previous amp. To put it more poetically: you know that horn fade/repeat in the middle of the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th? Right before the chorus punches in full throttle? One of the best moments I’ve had in recent days was listening to that. (London Symphony, 1960 recording). Clear horn fading to silence. Clear chorus crashing in at a volume that felt like I was in the hall.
Nice to hear you hear good stuff. :D I'm not a classical guy but I do delve in it from time to time if it is busy and interesting.
 

tonycollinet

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Yes. So my 85 dB peaks (at my listening position) are 0.7 watts? Most of the time I don’t even see that. I would seem to have a little room before hitting that 48 watt threshold in Amir’s measurement.

I’m a bit new to all of this measurement stuff.

What I hear is better clarity at higher volume than my previous amp. To put it more poetically: you know that horn fade/repeat in the middle of the final movement of Beethoven’s 9th? Right before the chorus punches in full throttle? One of the best moments I’ve had in recent days was listening to that. (London Symphony, 1960 recording). Clear horn fading to silence. Clear chorus crashing in at a volume that felt like I was in the hall.
If you're average listening level is 0.7W then the peaks/crescendos will be higher. Probably as much as 10x higher. Possibly as much as 20x for classical.
 

JSmith

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@JohnYang1997 I think I recall you mentioning a more powerful version of this was on the cards... any news on that or is my memory not serving me correctly?


JSmith
 

MarkWinston

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I want a PA9 that has 200w @ 8 ohms, double that at 4 and possibly double that at 2 again. Because its never bad to have too puch power. POWAAAAAAAH! Ill gladly pay 1k for that, my money is already yours. Oh and a HPF too. Pretty please.
 

gfinlays

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For you guys who find the centre image is shifted, how are your speakers set up within the room and where is your seating position relative to them?

Mine are as symmetrically placed as I can get them (they're in the lounge), about 1m clear of the rear walls, equally toed in towards the listening position (centre of the sofa), angled identically and at the same distance +/- 2mm. My Mrs. is relatively forgiving of my speaker placement obsession
 
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