đź”· Emotiva BasX A-100

This is the official thread for the Emotiva BasX A-100. This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • High Noise Floor
  • 8wpc at 50Ω
  • Can also power speakers…

:red_circle: HifiGuides Homepage link



I’m excited this monster got its own thread! I’m about to buy one and in preparation am getting RCA cables for my Mayflower ARC to do a “pre-out to powered speakers” connection to it.

Going by how the ARC works in Z’s review I think I can put them next to each other and plug my easy cans into the ARC, or unplug from there and plug the hard ones into the A-100, and I get my choice of speakers, blistering power for the Argons (with ARC acting as the DAC only), or normal driving with the ARC (though unsure if I can use mic in while using the A-100 headphone out). Might also do a JDS Labs OL Switcher to attenuate -40dB to the A-100 (per good ideas on the head-fi thread) so I could do all driving from the A-100 with more safe play on the dial. These all sound like words but I don’t know what the heck I’m doing yet, haha. All I know is to mark that volume dial and keep it low!

Anyone using this in the wild? What are you driving? What does your stack look like?

EDIT: And as a side bonus, I see the size of this absolute unit is just about as big a footprint as a “shoebox” SFF computer case… I would love to see a case sitting on top of one if it doesn’t make it too hot. That’d be a heck of a stack!

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I own the A-100, but only use it to power some Infinity R152 speakers and occasionally my Audio Technica ATH-M50’s. This is one amazing amp. I bought this to replace my Sony 90W per channel receiver, and somehow this 50W per channel amp opened up the sound in a way I can’t explain (mostly because I suck at explaining things). It’s a great amp and fits well on my large desk. It’s definitely overkill for my M50’s, but still sounds great nonetheless. You don’t have to worry about it overpowering any of your headphones if you have not removed the jumpers, but without them removed, I believe they can still deliver some decent power. You cannot use a mic with this amp, it will not work. Also, I wouldn’t try putting your PC case on it, but it is pretty heavy duty and it has not overheated once in my care. It has a heatsink and a fan and I haven’t seen the fan kick on once and the amp is always cool to the touch.

Would this one of the best price to performance amps for Argons?

If you want pure power, then yeah imo. That being said, I actually think the Asgard 3 can do a better job sound quality wise and would rather have that for 200 imo

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What kind of difference does it make in sound? Just curious. I really want to get a Fostex mod in the future so I just like to plan ahead lol.

So while the emotiva has buckets of power, it’s not really refined and lacking finesse, so it ends up sounding a bit sloppy and not that detailed. The Asgard 3 has enough power to satisfy them and has good driving qualities as well, so it ends up sounding a fair bit better to me on the a3

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Gotcha. And I suppose something like the THX 789 wouldn’t be as good because it lacks power compared to that?

Well something like the 789 and 887 would also be great imo if you get a balanced version, as they have more power than the a3 and are a bit higher tier. The smsl sp200 might be the better thx choice if you don’t have a balanced argon

There’s definitely a difference in sound. I would describe it as warmer, maybe more “analog,” it just sounds good. My other solid state amps sound boring when listening to music compared to the BasX now that I’m used to it. I haven’t tried a lot of amps though.

T50RPs go great with it in jumper mode but you will hear the noise floor if you try to use more efficient headphones, Grados for example. Without the jumpers it’s fine for everything though.


Yeah the 887 looks a little more powerful than the 789. I would definitely try to get a balanced cable/mod for Argons if I ever get them.

I personally think this amp is in the wrong section of the site, and it should be noted that it is a speaker amp first, and they decided to also use the amp to power headphones. But the amp is engineered to power speakers first, and for that purpose it is excellent.

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Hold on lemme fix that lol, done


I hope im not the only one that recognizes that fact :rofl:

Mine arrived an hour ago.
Chunky little machine.

However: Without anything but power plugged in, there is very audible white noise on the outputs

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What speakers are you using with them? If they are pretty sensitive that will happen

Yep, there is a present noise floor. Also the lower OHMs your headphones are the more audible it will be. I find 150/300ohm and above play quietest, along w/ lower sensitivity speakers. My 87db speakers have less hiss than the 96db’s.

I don’t have any speakers here.


Also if tou add the jumpers be aware the headphone hiss will just about double and only the most stubborn headphones will appreciate the extra power. Gives a vintage feel to the music…

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Ahhh ok with headphones yeah there will be a noticable noise floor especially on full amp mode