Emotiva equipmet, how good is it?

I don’t have a big budget but need to start making a decent listening system. I have a couple of options open to me for some equipment. All used since I seem to be able to get a better bang for my buck. Wanted to know what people thought, but of course I know opinions don’t matter as much as my ears so just let me know if you have used or heard either of these pieces. Or if you think something is similar toss it out there.
XPA-100. I have a chance to get 2 for just over $500PT-100. Around $200
Someone also suggested I simplify and just buy a new Yamaha A-S801 Integrated Amplifier
Looking at using my current speakers which are Dali Ikon6 and I also have Totem Dreamcatchers. Oh and the room is about a 11 x 16. And yes I saw the opps in the title but it won’t let me fix the spelling of Equipment.

Thanks for your thoughts.
Used NAD like you were considering before or something new-direct from Schiit Audio are going to sound worlds better than the Emotiva or Yamaha IMHE. 
What exactly is your budget. Are you looking for an integrated amp?

Your speakers both are promising and will easily let you hear the benefits of higher quality amplification.
Hopefully, your speakers are on decent stands with spikes, are off the wall behind them and you are giving some thought to basic room acoustic issues(e.g. thick curtains over windows, and a thick rug over hard flooring) if not yet investing in any real room treatment panels, etc.
Emotiva is a lot of amp for the money but it is lower mid fi at best.  What do you expect for something made in the US for 500 bucks?  If you are going new, go with the Yamaha or better yet, look for something used or save a little more money and get something that won't make your ears bleed.
My experience with their processor / pre was poor. Same for Onkyo.

I'd go with NAD instead.
Thank you.  My budget is around $1,000 to $1,200.  I know I won't be going true hi-end but you have to start somewhere so my expectations are not super high, but I do want to hear more than what you get on a Dewalt work radio so to speak.  I used to have the old Advents that half the world owned and up until recently was using a standard dime a dozen system of components that probably was worth $500 new, so going up should be easy. I have been starting to work on building and this is step 2. Step 3 good stands for the Totem, Step 4 upgrade the cables and Step 5 start the cycle again. Main sources will be LP, and online music sources, and the occasional CD ;)
I had a pair of XPA-100 Gen 2 that I used as surround amps for a while.  I also have an XPA-5 driving the surround speakers in my bedroom system.  See a pattern here?  They are OK amps, but I wouldn't use them for critical two channel listening.  I think you could find a nice used integrated amp at your budget.  The Heed Elixir is a very nice unit, just a little over your budget.  Looks like they just bumped the price $200 or it would have fit in your budget.
You can probably find a used Parasound integrated for about $1300 , I don’t think you’ll be able to beat it for sound and function at that price. I owned Emos and the difference was night and day.
Definitely consider used equipment. Your price range would have some very good options. I would recommend the Hegel h80 or h90. They would match well to your speakers and have a very nice natural sound. Bargain with sellers - it’s a buyers market. 
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I think the older Emo stuff is from China most of the new line is at least assembled here  according to their web page.
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It is decent entry level amplifiers not much more grounding is not tops vs a good multi-way star grounding system can hear hum on certain systems. , their $4k processor is very good though , good for the money .their processor is more upper end .

I was using one of their amps I think XPA 5 gen 1 returned it and buy a vintage Harman Kardon signature 1.5 $250 and PA2400 $240 never looks back 
Outlaw Audio is Emotiva main competitor. Check out their 2 channel receivers (2150 old/2160 new). Add external amps later if you like.
Emotiva makes very good amps. Can’t beat them for their price. I have been to couple of Emofests they have at their Franklin, TN HQ.
Give them a try.
A NuForce STA 200 power amp and a Schiit Freya or Saga Preamp would be a nice combination. You can get the NuForce from Audio Advisor for 499.00 and the Schiit Freya for 699.00 or Schiit Saga for 349.00. The detail in the NuForce Amp is amazing for 500 bucks.
Good Luck!
I’ve owned two Emotiva amps. The DR differential series better than their standard xpa. That said I found the amp to cause listening fatigue which is a combo on many things but when I changed the Emotiva it was reduced. They have a home trial. Give them a call to discuss. The Parasound and NAD reccomendation others have made is good too. NAD integrated with Dirac room correction is amazing.  The Music Room has pre owned gear at a great price. You might find something there. Gutenberg at CNET has some good reviews for equipment normal folks can afford and enjoy. At the end of they day an actual demo in your house is the only opinion that matters. Plenty of online store offer generous trial and return policies. Audio Advisor was helpful to me. Good luck. I sold 2 Emotiva’s recently. 
For what is worth I own a pair of Emotiva differential monoblock amps [XPA-1L]  powering a pair of B&W CM1 [84db] and they sound great in my room to my ears. I use an ARC LS28 preamp and the trio is superb. Emotiva is good bang for the buck. Here is a review [https://goo.gl/Gi8hF9]
in the review their most egregious complaint was the finish, but my amps were perfect.
I think Emotiva equipment is excellent. If you don’t have $20K+ speakers you can’t tell the difference. Maybe not even then. Don’t get me started on ABX experiments. Sources and speakers far outweight any amp. Buy them. Try them. Send them back if you don’t like them. Plenty of reviewers have praised the company. Find out for yourself. 
As sbank said, your speakers are definately up to the task - I found a good review on the, this was the conclusion. 
`The Dreamcatchers are very attractive, and are not fussy about set up. They deserve to be mated with high quality electronics despite their diminutive size and moderate price. They are musically involving in a way that makes the listener really want to focus on listening. They are tough speakers to relegate to background music. To sum up, there is certainly lots of competition in the “budget” book shelf speaker market. But I feel the Totem Dreamcatchers are a step ahead of the class when compared to similarly priced models from Paradigm, Epos, B&W, and PSB. If shopping for speakers in the $500-$600 range, the Totem Dreamcatchers are a must listen.`
The Emotiva pieces I have liked the best are their CD players.

In your position, I would consider the following:

Musical Fidelity M2si Integrated amplifier @ $600.  Super deal at the price.  I own this amp and MF products for the last 20 years.  Reliable and nice sounding.  



and here comes the Class D flames.  No matter, great sounding amp.

CDA 250 power amp @$450


with this preamp

Parasound Zphono @ $250


All in at $700.  

I own both set-ups and these would do your speakers justice and allow you add a turntable at some point.

I've had great success with their equipment. I own two mono block amps, their Fusion receiver that I use as a preamp, and two cd players
I'm still a neophyte, but I first heard about Emotiva because of their big XSP-1 preamp, which gets great praise across the board. I follow them somewhat because I am quite interested in their PA-1 Class D monoblocks. It's driven by the same ICE power module that all the big names use, their implementation looks elegant both physically and eletrically, and you can't beat the price. I listened to a set at a dealer attached to some Focal Chorus 716's and a REL T5i and they REALLY sang. At their price point, the only real competition I've seen mentioned are the Outlaw M2200, and the argument for them is generally just that they're Class A/B and handle higher-current equipment, like Maggies, better. From my research, Emotiva exists in a VERY competitive market segment, so most of the arguments against them are going to be in relation to brand loyalty and known synergies, not any black mark against their sound or quality (save the people who've had egregiously bad experiences, of which my research has turned up few).
Wow this is all very helpful. I am going to try and audition a few items at my local shop.  They sell the Emotiva and others.  I like some of the other suggestions and am looking at those too.  I also look at the Cambridge AUDIO CXA80 and wondered if anyone had thoughts on this.

Please keep it coming it is good to be educated. 
I currently own an XSP-1 and I just upgraded from my 2 XPA 2 GEN 2  to 2 XPR 2.  The older Emotiva amps had huge trsnsfomers and lots of headroom.  The newer amps all have switch mode power supplies.  I still have both of my XPA 2s with over 2 years warranty left and transferable if anyone is  interested!
I had 2 Emotiva XPA-1 amps.  My late 1970s Amber Stereo 70s in bridged monoblock mode sonically sounded so much better than the XPA-1s, but the Ambers did not provide extra overall oomph that the higher power XPA-1s delivered in my current larger listening room.  I now use Bryston 7B3s, but for the money, Emotivas deliver a pretty good package for the price point.
I’ve been using an Emotiva setup for 3 years and love it. I have a setup close to the initial system that someone else above started with. It’s their XSP-1 stereo pre-amp and the 2nd gen XPA-2 amplifier. Nothing but love for it. FWIW, which probably isn’t much for the internet, a couple buddies and I did a bunch of component head to head listening events. All blind taste testing for ears. When we did the pre-amps, several people picked my XSP-1 as their favorite, most picked a Spectral as the winner. We demoed like 11 pre-amps that people had in their houses either in active use or storage. The XPA-2 amp was similar. Power in spades though compared to some of the smaller high end stuff that people brought to the get together.

I have the Sherbourn PA-50 which is pretty much they same as the small Emotiva amp you’re looking at. It’s a nice little amp that’ll power most any smaller bookshelf. For its footprint it’s hard to beat.  
 IMHO the difference an amplifier makes in sound is subtle - to my ears. 

 I have 3 power amps - a Emotiva XP2, an old Cambridge 200 watt and an even older Phase Linear 400 S2. Remarkably the old Phase sounds really good powering some Yamaha 1000's running without a preamp as the Phase has volume controls.

I live in TN and spent the better part of an afternoon at Emotiva recently.  They are a great bunch of folks who are dedicated to offer high quality audio components at budget prices.  They would probably earn more respect if they doubled all their prices as we are wired to not believe anything can be of quality if its cheap.  I listened to their high-end 2-channel system with a pair of their older 600 watt mono block amps.  It had their top of the line CD player, Preamp and their larger tower speakers.  It sounded fantastic and I think the retail on the whole system was under $5k.  They offer a 30-day satisfaction return as well.  What you aren't going to get....yet....is a known and stable resale value.  One of my friends has an awesome system with McIntosh Preamp, CD Player & Tuner with PSB speakers.  He has an Emotiva 2-channel amp that sounds fantastic.  My tour ended in the owner's office where he has the least expensive system set up that I think is only around $1500 for everything.  It also sounded great.  I know its a bit of a leap of faith, but if you are a solid state lover, I think you will be happy with their products.  Good luck!
in one of my systems I am running a Cary pre-amp into 2 xpa-1 gen 2 Emotiva monoblocks running in Class A (manual or auto switchable)   I am biased toward hybrid systems I like the power of SS monoblocks,  Very happy with the set-up and the Emotivas have performed flawlessly for several years now.  I work from home and they are on constantly.   In another configuration I have a pair of xpa100s running the surround channels and again every effective in that position.
I've owned three of their amps, and used them with several different sets of speakers.  I think they are really good, and great for the cost.  But, I also found them a little fatiguing.  I think it's because they are a little on the "clinical" side.  In my system, especially with B&W speakers (805N, 803N, 9NT), I found it to be a little bright, and crisp.  You won't describe them as "warm" for sure.

In the end, I think it comes to synergy.  It was a good match, but not best possible match with B&W. They could match well with warmer sounding speakers.  If you can audition them, then there's your answer.
I'll break with the crowd here. I had an XPA 2 Gen 2 for several years. It was a very good amp, sounded as good as amps costing many times more than I paid. The amp was well made with quality parts. The NAD's, Parasounds and such have nothing on the Emotiva's. Keep perspective here, the folks bad mouthing Emotiva are the same folks that will pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars for interconnect  cables, speaker cables, and power cords (wire).
Schwantner as a brief XPA owner who's experience went up in a little puff of smoke I suggest you seriously consider the overall trend of these responses disregarding any positives that do not offer a direct in home comparison.

zerobias' is exactly correct. Those of us who can hear the affects of speaker, interconnect, and power cabling are warning you ("bad mouthing") that with your current speakers its quite possible you will experience the sonic tradeoffs vs cost that this product offers.

When you visit an audio brick and mortar and mention your interest in any particular brand or price point you'll have just done 75% of their work. Do not mention your budget. Convey your readiness to purchase if you hear the presentation your seeking. Using the same recording ask to hear their most extravagant system to give yourself an up to the minute sonic baseline to judge how much your willing to give up sonically. 

If you purchase this product carefully read and follow ALL the guarantee / warrantee information included in the packaging and printed from the website at the time of purchase. Be very clear regarding dissatisfaction as well as functionality and failure procedures for returning and shipping responsibilities. Verbal information is worthless. Any communication with this company should be done by delivery confirmed registered mail within the manufactures timeframes. And remember to have fun.

I have not used any of the Emotive amps but i have used their DACs. About 8 years ago i purchased my first stand alone DAC which was an Emotive XDA-1. I was pleased with it and later added 2 more to my other systems as i started streaming my ripped CDs wirelessly. Later the Emotiva XDA-2 came out and I purchased 3 of them for $200 each and sold the XDA-1s. The XDA-2 was a definite step up from the XDA-1 and could also be used as a preamp. For $200 each they were a steal. I still am using them and over the years I compared them to other DACs costing 5 to 6 times the price and could not really tell a significant difference. I have never had an issue with their DACs with 3 in use for about 8 years.

Regarding the Yamaha A-S801, it is a really nice integrated with a nice built in DAC which would save you money by not having to add a separate DAC. "Accessories for Less" has refurbished ones available at various times. The last time they were $599 for a refurbished unit. One of my sons purchased one for his system and is very pleased with it. It would be a nice fit with your present speakers.
I have had pretty much all the generations of Emotiva amplifiers.  I would say they are very excellent for the money and actually compete at a higher level.  However, everyone likes a slightly different sonic signature.
As far as the comments about "clinical and brightness", I will agree on some situations.  The "Gen 2" switchable Class A/AB circuit had a compromise in the Class AB setting where the bias circuit wasn't optimized and you actually got waveform crossover distortion (when the waveform transitions between positive and negative polarity).  This caused a slight bright edge to the sound.  Also, stock XPA amps were on the bright/harsh side, but this can be fixed with fuse upgrades.  XPR amps were slightly soft and cold sounding due to the stock fuses they had in those amps (but were voiced slightly warmer than the XPA).  Gen 3 is very good, but not as good as previous generations because of switching power supply.  It's lacking the bass punch/power and it just doesn't quite sound as real/there as the previous generation.
You can not go wrong picking up a pair of XPA 100’s. I have a pair in my main system that are being used most of the time. While I can get a better sound with my Pass XA30.5 the XPA’s do quite well holding their own at this price point. Im preamping with a upgraded Sonic Frontiers Line 1 or when using my Modwright LS 100 preamp its a whole different sound that I like much better but I prefer the sophistication of the Line 1’s volume control not to mention that part of the upgrade is better chips for that purpose. The line 1 is better with a tube based amp as it can not "color" the sound as well as the Modwright. In a good way of course. As many will say pairing a tube based amp or pre with solid state amp or pre is often the way to go.   (either the amp or the pre tube and the complimenting unit be the opposite so to speak)I also really like that the Line 1 has the read out screen and much more of an incremental volume control. The modwright is remote controlled although we are talking motorized volume control . At any rate. . The XPA’s are a bargain. Well made. Not a hiccup since Ive bought. Bought them originally to give a bit more power for my ML’s. Finding a pair used would be an even better deal.
As a current owner of a XPA-2 Gen.2 and XSP-2 Gen.2 past three years, I can honestly say, NOBODY can touch them in terms of cost/performance ratios. These are NOT Mid-Fi junk, but well designed, very well built units that compete with older, better known and MUCH more expensive brands. Don't let the "Made in China" scare you, as MANY "high-end" brands outsource their products there also (Krell and Parasound are great examples). China has proven to be a world class manufacturer of electronics. 

The XPA-2 Gen.2 (Discontinued) offers huge power reserves, runs cool even when driven hard and never sounds harsh or strident. In fact, it doesn't sound like anything. It neither adds nor subtracts from the sound as far as I can discern. It performed extremely well with my Magnepan MG-1.7s and my current Source Loudspeaker Technologies 7211 Reed Towers.

The XSP-2 Gen. 2 (Current Product) offers plenty of connectivity, precision stepped ladder volume control, hi-pass/low-pass bass management and is fully balanced. Again, this unit sounds as neutral as anything I have ever heard and is dead quiet.

If I had negative to say about them, is that I hate the blinding blue power button LEDs and the cosmetics are exactly the most beautiful. In fact, they seem a bit too industrial for me. I do prefer the likes of Parasound's HALO series with the soft curves and all.

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The short answer is, excellent. I have the Emotiva 1L monoblocks and the XSP-1 preamp going on three years now. I made a few simple modifications: upgraded the fuses in all three boxes and upgraded the binding posts in the blocks to Furutechs. My front end is PS Audio Direct Stream dac Jr and the PWT (cd transport). Speakers are Kef LS/50 + 2 SVS model 4000 subs. I put a lot of effort into acoustic treatment of the listening room. I once believed that I would need to upgrade to "more expensive" components because $ = sonic improvement. Perhaps it does, but my system sounds so good (especially after the recent PS Audio Snowmass software upgrade for the dac Jr) that I no longer feel the need to spend more money. Not only is Emotiva good value for money, but also on an absolute level, once you tweak it and once you have a good room (room acoustics are 50% of the battle) you'll feel like you no longer need to search and can instead sit back and just relax with your music collection.
My experience with Emotiva was limited to their powered speakers. The good- exceptional sound for the dollar spent and space required. The bad- reliability. One speaker woofer failed in the first 60 days. The Emotiva response was friendly and fast- they sent a new pair. The exchanged pair lasted about 3 months (actually about a calendar year, but these are in a snow bird bedroom system , and are packed away for 9 months a year) before one started smoking. This time it was sent to TN for repair. The turn around was quite good. I used them for another month or so, then traded them in for an NAD D3020 & speakers- very happy.
A friend, who is an accomplished electrical engineer and audiophile/dealer of 40 years, bench tested an Emotiva surround processor/pre and found it to be noisy and of mediocre build (this was about 5 yrs ago).
It seems to me that Emotiva’s forte is power amps and it’s really hard to find anyone who gives you so much power for so little outlay. The comments above may have little relevance in terms of those products or what you are considering.
I would second the recommendation for a Hegel H-80. This amp is open, smooth and capable of driving 4 ohm speakers very well. I also agree that some Chinese built stuff is very well made. My second recommendation for an integrated is such a product - the PrimaLuna Prologue Two. I have had both of these amps for several years. They are built like tanks, easy on the ears and below $1000 (probably substantially).
My only experience was with purchasing their XMC-1 pre/pro and thank goodness for their return policy.  It was simply unlistenable to me.  I did not want to be in the same room with the sound of it... And that's trying both its D/A conversion, and the analog pass through.... even the analog path was not transparent.   I've picked up a used Anthem D2V and LOVE it.... it sounds great, great user interface... and the analog path is very good.  I listen to the analog outs of my OPPO 105.  Yes i know there is better 2-channel out there, but this is fine for this system.
Prefer a new integrated?-
Including a DAC-
Give the Nuprime IDA-8 a listen (if you don’t have a local dealer, check out the Sonic Unity website with a 30 day trial), or the NAD C368, which is the start of their modular designs and has an impressive power upgrade path (also lots of dealers!).

One school of thought- don’t bother with an integral DAC, as this aspect is in a constant stage of flux, just go with the best basic integrated you can.
It has been many years, but I have owned a couple of great sounding integrateds from British Fidelity (which evolved into Musical Fidelity). I saw another contributor’s recommendation of a MF M2si from Upscale Audio. Haven’t heard it, but it looks like a bargain. Kevin Deal at Upscale is also the US distributor for PrimaLuna and a tube guru. 
As an XPA Emotiva amp owner(until I sold it off) I have to differ with some of the comments.

 I had the amp paired with a pair of higher end speakers, and it’s weaknesses showed up.  Not very accurate bass, overly bright at higher volumes and this with laid back speakers.  

I was using the XDA-1( what they billed as a dac/digital pre amp) and really both were mediocre.  I will say that although I think their entry level stuff is still mediocre, I can’t speak to their top of the line stuff these days.

but I’d give most of it a pass, look at Schiit Audio for a pre and amp if you want lots of bang for your buck these days.  They are serious audio heads and design their own stuff, and have it built locally from the ground up.
Emotiva is low-mid-fi at best.
not top quality, some issues, and customer service has been getting worse past couple. Years with so many breakdowns, their service dept can not handle all the bad stuff.

i would skip on then, and look elsewhere. JMHO.
But........I have a pair of monoblocks, if your interested, they come with a special present, 
contact if interested.
If Emotiva stuck the exact same amp as their differential balanced amp in a fancy Dagostino chassis and marked it up 10x, people would be loving it.

Actually, scratch that...the ripoff Dagostino broke on the test bench 2 times in a Stereophile review.  I think the Emotiva would fair even better.

Very few amps are worth more than $5k and when you pay more than $5k, it's mainly for the chassis and heatsinks not actual parts.  Plus, half the markup is due to the distributor and another half for the dealer. 

They also add a premium to trigger people's perception that high cost equals high performance...something that Payless Shoes just exposed in a recent test where they simply marked up their normal shoes 10x and fooled everyone.

Unless you are getting something revolutionary like the Berning amps that nobody else can make (albeit still overpriced), I would recommend Emotiva for virtually any budget if you are buying brand new.

And yes..I have heard/owned many of the other major amps ARC, McIntosh, Parasound, etc and tons of others over the years.

My ultimate favorite for best performance and price is a modified McCormack, but that's off subject.
This is why Odyssey is still the best value around.

 It IS symphonic line in a budget package. 
 It is hard to beat Klaus’s builds.
top tier at a descent cost.

 I have a. Pair of old Stratos amps, 15+ years old, low rating at 150wpc, they sound better than the Emotiva 500w monos. 

Go figure......
@arctikdeth . Where have you been ? Haven’t seen you post in the last year . You still using the Carver Sunfire amp ? Whats your current setup ?
I got rid of my Odyssey and replaced with a Van Alstine  450 which sounds better and he has FAR better service .
I had an Emotiva XDA dac.  It was the brightest and thinness sounding piece of crap I ever heard.  You get what you pay for.  The worst were the very bright and ugly led’s. It could burn holes in your eyeballs.  Never again, I got conned