Emotiva, BEWARE of emotiva / issue resolved - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 547 Old 11-24-2011, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Guys ,

I'm the editor of a small specialized dutch audio magazine, and i'd like to point out something to all you good folks here :

One of my reviewers went ahead and placed an order with Emotiva 6 weeks ago, and not a very small one :

Umc-1 , XPA 5, ERT-8.3 reference speakers, 4 speaker cables and 5 rca cables, about 2550 dollars.

After some troubles and misinformation with shipmentcosts everything arrived intact in about 14 days after payment.

The first problems were reported back to Emotiva just 3 days after breaking in, which i even helped him setup (not for nothing, the equipment does have a very nice build quality and is quie heavy).

We broke in the system in a 2 channel setup, at first we only used channels one and 5 of the xpa 5. Everything seemed to be fine. After that he bi-amped the ert-8.3's with 4 channels fo the xpa 5, according to a schematic provided by Emotiva.. That's were the first signs of something being wrong appeared. He broke it in 2 days more, and from the first session at higher volume levels there was no mistaking something wrong with the sound. At two thirds of power things got really, really distorted, and there was absolutely no imaging and clarity at lower volume levels.

From the moment he really needed Emotiva's help, he has been played like a sucker.

To find out what was wrong he started contacting Emotiva, and let me be clear, everything i'm gonna explain here can be backed up by mails, if someone would be interested :

The first sign that something was wrong was the the XPA-5 ran seriously hot. ( and i mean cook an egg off hot !). On top of that, suddenly one of the ERT-8 started rattling. He reported this and immediately got accused of abuse, saying that he probably had put the volume level too high (!!), which probably caused damage to the woofer (again !!!), and that he probably didn't remove the binding posts while he was bi amping, and that that would've damaged the xpa 5 !!! . At that point they offered to send another bass driver , to be placed by someone he had to find himself, or ofcourse diy (!!!). Now after some looking he noticed a little screw from the crossover cover had come off, and that only that cover was ratling at some frequencies... after reporting this, and adressing the remaining xpa 5 problems, they didn't reply anything about their previous accusations of abuse, and continued accusing him of still having damaged the xpa 5. Up till now he had been dealing with a guy called Matt Wall. After this, Matt redirected his questions too their CEO, a guy called Dan , and a more technical person called Lonnie something.. Dan also accused him of abuse, and in describing the problem again he stated the my employee probably had bi amped with the binding posts still installed... Then he went on on how important it was that the polarity was correct... So at that point W (as i'll refer to my employee from now on) checked all polarity's by checking the cables bare wire (loosening the banana plug). All cables were installed correctly from the beginning. But then he got one step closer to the problem : completely by accident he now swapped channels, where the bass drivers were first connected to channels 1 and 5, and the mids/high were connected to channels 3-4. The other way around he immediately noticed a big change in the sound. Suddenly there was no more bass, which at first was aplenty, but there was a huuge change in the soundstage, clarity AND he could play much louder without any distortion. From that moment on to me it's very clear there is something wrong with some of the channels, but the people at Emotiva still refuse to be of any real assistance. After he reported this problem, he actually got a mail back from Lonnie stating that now he should hook up the mids-high of one channel in reverse polarity, so that the relative polarity at the listning position would fall into place (!!!!!!). We are both very aware of these methods, but in order to do that u still need 4 working channels i'm guessing...

On top of that, the guy Matt Wall actually suggested to remove the cover, check the fuses, and replace them himself if he thought something was wrong with them... After this my friend kinda got fed up with these practices and the absolute lack of any real solutions being offered. It's a damn shame, because all pieces look very nice in a functional kinda way, and i'm sure they could be great ( it actually doesn't sound bad when only using the outside channels 1 and 5). But since it seems that they are not gonna fix the problem, what good is it. The only thing they should've done 4 weeks ago is apologize for the faulty xpa-5 , ask to send it back, and in a best case scenario just give him another unit... especially since he bought so much from them...

Reading the emails enfuriated me, especially since u read a lot about their so called superb after sales service... He has allways been an audiophile on a budget and actually bought this equipment because of 2 reasons: 1 because so much of our readers where asking about Emotiva, but it was very hard for them to find a review they trusted..2; The whole idea for him was to expand to a 7.1 home cinema system for his next house, and since home cinema sound for him is of lesser importance than 2 channel performance he was happy to take a punt on this, and he was complentating an entire emotiva system... Now i'm afraid we are going to seriously dissapoint much of our readers anticipation if nothing substantially happens in the next few days..

I'm posting here to find if other people ever had this problem, or that maybe we are dealing with the wrong people at Emotiva , and who maybe best to contact over there ... I'm going to do everything i can to assist W. and i hope i can find some other advice here...

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post #2 of 547 Old 11-24-2011, 03:44 PM
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Replacing the fuses might work. I think you talked to the "top" people at Emotiva, I believe Dan owns Emo. Don't know what to say other than I hope the best for your reviewer.
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post #3 of 547 Old 11-24-2011, 03:45 PM
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Sorry that all happened but you but you will find that usually Emotiva customer service is very good and quite helpful. May have just been a fluke.

I do have 1 question though. You are an editor of an audio mag but bi-amp the xpa-5 to the 8.3's? surely you should know that bi-amping does nothing unless you are using separate amps. You don't get double the power as you are drawing from 1 transformer and the transformer would yield the same results bi-amping or running 1 set of wires.

I just see this as odd and makes me question what else you 2 may have done.
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post #4 of 547 Old 11-24-2011, 03:48 PM
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I own several thousand dollars worth of Emotiva gear, and have never had the issues you have had, sorry about that. Its a fluke that you got several products not in perfect condition, but your situation does not happen too often I am sure. From what I have seen they stand very well by their warranty.
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post #5 of 547 Old 11-24-2011, 03:56 PM
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His stuff probably got dropped several times in route over seas. Personally, I am quite pleasd with my XPA-5 and have not had a single issue with it. I also have an ERM 6.2 that I use as a center channel speaker and it sounds great.


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post #6 of 547 Old 11-24-2011, 06:26 PM
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Interesting that they accused you of abuse with the speakers then when you told them that it was the cover on the crossover that was rattling, they didn't back off of their abuse claim.
Sounds to me like they don't want to pay for the shipping back to the US then again to the Netherlands.
Manufacturer's need to own up when they make a mistake.
They've got in their mind that you used the equipment improperly and are unwilling to let it go.
My guess is that the shipping costs to have the amp looked at will negate any profit they would have made and are trying to cut their losses.

Also you would get a better response if your thread title was less condemning of the company.
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post #7 of 547 Old 11-24-2011, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

Sorry that all happened but you but you will find that usually Emotiva customer service is very good and quite helpful. May have just been a fluke.

I do have 1 question though. You are an editor of an audio mag but bi-amp the xpa-5 to the 8.3's? surely you should know that bi-amping does nothing unless you are using separate amps. You don't get double the power as you are drawing from 1 transformer and the transformer would yield the same results bi-amping or running 1 set of wires.

I just see this as odd and makes me question what else you 2 may have done.

Hey, thanx for the reply, i actually agree on that, but W swears he hears a difference in the focus of the soundstage when bi amping this way imho it's just another way of bi wiring actually. Nonetheless, he biamped them with the xpa 5 exactly the way emotiva described it to him. The ERT8's are designed to biamp without an external passive crossover. Anyway, he's not bi amping this way anymore, and is actually left with two correctly working channels while waiting for a solution. What else we've been up to, wel quite a lot actually to really figure out where the problem lied... because ofcourse everything was new and it could've been the speakers, the preamp or the amp. So they've been hooked up to bryston monoblocks, first with two, then biamped with 4 brystons, and i have to tell u, those ERT's are definitely worth every penny, they sang beautifully and have a midrange that put a lot of speakers behind ! The umc has been swapped with a mcintosh preamp to see if that was the problem, but the same thing happened so that's how we figured out it was the amp...

Up till now all he wants is for emotiva to at least admit a problem could exist in stead of denying anything could ever go wrong with their equipment... I actually advised him to try and swap it for an xpa 2...

Again, he's just a good normal little naive young man who's been reviewing budgetaudio for the last two years now and just getting frustrated with the answers he's receiving...
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post #8 of 547 Old 11-24-2011, 08:59 PM
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It totally sucks you are getting the response you are getting. I completely understand how aggravating that can be. The XPA-5 is a great amp, I currently have one and had a xpa-2 but sold it once I started getting into Class D ice modules.
I hope Emotiva does right for you guys. You should even post your story in the www.emotivalounge.com and see if you can get a few more answers that way too.

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post #9 of 547 Old 11-24-2011, 11:11 PM
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It's always a risk buying electronics from abroad directly. Emo checks all the goods before shipping abroad (it says on their website: "Every item shipped internationally is thoroughly tested in our lab before shipping") and makes you pay for insured freight upfront, which should take care of goods damaged during shipping. Even if they don't suggest insurance it is a must. They say on the website they are not responsible for shipping back to the US and again to the destination country. I'm not aware any manufacturer does that. Some don't even honour the warranty once it leaves the native country of purchase.

Should have checked all the channels immediately after unpacking, rather than breaking in only two channels for two days. Surely that's a higher priority than controversial breaking in. The delay could make suspicious that something happened in the meantime and it gets complicated. It's not easy to know what goes on at first without the amp in hand and having only to rely on emails. As to the accusations it's premature to make any judgement without the emails and when there is only one side of the story.

I don't own any Emo (for the reasons outlined in the first paragraph) nor work for Emo. When making a purchase one implicitly agrees with their international sales policy and it's hard to argue with that afterwards. Still, hope something can be worked out in the end.

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post #10 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 02:39 AM
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Buying international is always a potential hazard.
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post #11 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 06:44 AM
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Could be their new help desk policy.


"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #12 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 07:43 AM
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Emo had earned a top notch reputation for value and after sales service.

This took a bit of a hit with the introduction of the UMC-1 processor. It was junk and Emo took the route of defending it; denying problems; etc.

Not sure where the company will go. Sliding on customer service is a slippery slope - just ask the former employees of AV123.

Wait a minute, these two companies were once under common management. Hmmm.
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post #13 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 07:59 AM
 
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Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't think the amp malfunctioning is due to improper break-in of the channels. I've heard of international customers getting bad product right out of the box, which left them wondering what kind of testing Emo did before shipping and it's possible this could be another such case. Or as some have suggested the amp could have been dropped during shipment. The crossover cover on the speaker actually rattling would be a QC issue for sure.

I'm somewhat surprised that Emotiva would recommend bi-amping an XPA-5 in this manner since it won't increase wattage output. But for me the bottom line is that Emotiva has a proven track record of standing behind their products, so I don't think we have to "beware of Emotiva" as the thread title suggests.

In the US if such an incident occurred, the customer could say, "whatever Lonnie, I'm returning this under the 30 day window" and be done with it if no other solution was offered. But I suspect Emo might be a little more flexible in this case. Too bad for international customers, but let's face it, shipping costs become an issue I guess.

Does anyone know if Emo will be shipping out of their European warehouse soon?
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post #14 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 08:16 AM
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Hello,
If the Break In is anything like what Stereophile does where they power up the Amplifier to 1/3rd its Rated Power for 60 Minutes, I can see how the XPA-5 might have been damaged as this is considered a worst case scenario. Many an Amplifier has blown a Fuse and worse during such Testing. Moreover, I am not aware of any Review of the XPA-5 where Break In like this occurs. Obviously, there would be no reason under the sun for a new owner of an XPA-5 to do such a thing.

I only wish Kal Rubinson's excellent Review of the XPA-5 included Measurements. However, "Music in the Round" Reviews tend not to include them. Hopefully, Emotiva's European Distribution and Support is arriving soon so that Post Sales Support will be far easier for European Customers.

I truly feel for those in Europe in respect to the almost universal huge disparity in prices between the US and there. Coupled with the difficulties in getting Support should one choose to import a component from the US that does not have European Distribution, and it really becomes a dicey proposition.

Hopefully, all of these initial problems will be rectified so that the Review can continue. While I do not own a single Emotiva Product, I do respect how well they treat their Customers and very reasonable pricing.
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post #15 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 12:37 PM
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I don't understrand why bi-amping only gets improved sound if the amps are seperate. I thought the point of bi-amping was to get a wider frequency response from each speaker, not to increase volume.

How is bi-amping with 2 channels of a 5 channel amp any different than using 2 seperate amps?
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post #16 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Could be their new help desk policy.


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post #17 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

I don't understrand why bi-amping only gets improved sound if the amps are seperate. I thought the point of bi-amping was to get a wider frequency response from each speaker, not to increase volume.

How is bi-amping with 2 channels of a 5 channel amp any different than using 2 seperate amps?

It's due to the power supplies and not the amps themselves. Kind of like a "passive bi-amping" thingy. In this case all the amps share the same power supply.
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post #18 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

I don't understrand why bi-amping only gets improved sound if the amps are seperate. I thought the point of bi-amping was to get a wider frequency response from each speaker, not to increase volume.

How is bi-amping with 2 channels of a 5 channel amp any different than using 2 seperate amps?

When you are running from 2 channels, the amp is capable of putting out more power to the 2 channels that is would if 4 channels are connected, as it's a common power supply and it can only put out so much juice. Running 2 channels, the amp has more power on reserve for bursts and such. Running 4 channels takes away the ability of the amp to draw on those reserves that it would have if it was in 2 channel mode, thus a lower watt per channel. The amp should be able to put out very close to the same wattage through 2 channels than through 4 because of the extra current on tap running 2 channels.
Running 2 separate amps means that it should have double power on tap at any given time because the dual power supplies have that much extra wattage on tap when needed.
2 channels on 2 separate amps should have close to double the wattage of 4 channels on a single amp. Think of it like having more gas in the tank when you step on it.

Most of the the time you amp is loafing around using 1-5 watts anyways and Bi-amping will have no benefit unless you start to push your system a bit.

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post #19 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

I don't understrand why bi-amping only gets improved sound if the amps are seperate.

That is not a general truth as it depends on the power supply of the given amp and, even then, the advantages are doubtful.

Quote:
I thought the point of bi-amping was to get a wider frequency response from each speaker, not to increase volume.

It cannot possible get you a wider frequency response.

Quote:
How is bi-amping with 2 channels of a 5 channel amp any different than using 2 seperate amps?

Separate amps always have separate power supplies. 5 channel amps can have 5 separate power supplies or they can share them, depending on the design.

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post #20 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 04:38 PM
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Hello,
And very, very few 5 Channel Amplifiers have individual Power Supplies. Off the top of my head, the only one I can think of the is the Bryston 9BSST2 going back to the 9B-ST which I think was the first 9B Series Amplifier. Also, the Theta Multichannel Amplifiers can start off with just 2 Modules and you can add extra Modules as funds or configuration changes.

In some ways, having All Channels share the same Power Supply can be advantageous. For instance, you do get some serious power and current when only driving 2 Channels. Also, as the Surrounds usually do not have near the power responsibilities of the Front Stage (FL, CC, FR), they benefit from the extra headroom from the Surrounds almost always having lesser power responsibilities.

However, most 5 Channel Amplifiers share the same supply as it is far cheaper to build it this way as opposed to having the Channels be totally isolated aside from sharing the same Power Cord.

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post #21 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 05:17 PM
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Hello,
And very, very few 5 Channel Amplifiers have individual Power Supplies. Off the top of my head, the only one I can think of the is the Bryston 9BSST2 going back to the 9B-ST which I think was the first 9B Series Amplifier. Also, the Theta Multichannel Amplifiers can start off with just 2 Modules and you can add extra Modules as funds or configuration changes.

In some ways, having All Channels share the same Power Supply can be advantageous. For instance, you do get some serious power and current when only driving 2 Channels. Also, as the Surrounds usually do not have near the power responsibilities of the Front Stage (FL, CC, FR), they benefit from the extra headroom from the Surrounds almost always having lesser power responsibilities.

However, most 5 Channel Amplifiers share the same supply as it is far cheaper to build it this way as opposed to having the Channels be totally isolated aside from sharing the same Power Cord.

The Sherbourn 5/1500A had 5 monoblocks, each with its own power supply.
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post #22 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

The Sherbourn 5/1500A had 5 monoblocks, each with its own power supply.

I had the Sherbourn 7/2100A that has 7 monoblocks. My back is still not recovered from putting that beast of an amp in my rack. But AD is right in that there are very few M/C amps that have seperate power supplies for each channel. The Sherbourn amps were one of the very few available.

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post #23 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 07:10 PM
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Both the Ips-1 and mps-1 had individual power supplies.
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post #24 of 547 Old 11-25-2011, 09:05 PM
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Hey why are you even stressing out? Pay with a credit card and when you get a POS you simply call the cc company and tell them and you send the stuff back. That simple. Why work on it if you arnt the designer?
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post #25 of 547 Old 11-28-2011, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, they even stopped reacting now, so go figure, they don't care one bit if the end customer is satisfied.
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post #26 of 547 Old 11-28-2011, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denkiedenk View Post

Well, they even stopped reacting now, so go figure, they don't care one bit if the end customer is satisfied.

I call total BS, we have heard your side of a story.How could people on this site know anything about your transaction? How could they possibly know all the things that have transpired? Why does Emotiva have multitudes that confirm they are a company that dates about satisfaction, like them or not?I find crazy that someone can post anything and you'll always have people that go for it.

I have No doubt if this story was legit you would be taken care of, furthermore they have lived up to the agreement, correct?
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post #27 of 547 Old 11-28-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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There is no reason to call BS. This is a legitimate experience someone is having, that is why no one else is doubting it. It might be a poor choice of thread title, however.

Emotiva may have 'multitude' of happy customers, but they also have amp owners with loud hum issues that get told it's normal. UMC owners that get consistent handshake issues, drop outs,etc and have been told for 4 firmwares in a row that this one will solve all your problems. No company is without its faults.
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post #28 of 547 Old 11-28-2011, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

there is no reason to call bs. This is a legitimate experience someone is having, that is why no one else is doubting it. It might be a poor choice of thread title, however.

Emotiva may have 'multitude' of happy customers, but they also have amp owners with loud hum issues that get told it's normal. Umc owners that get consistent handshake issues, drop outs,etc and have been told for 4 firmwares in a row that this one will solve all your problems. No company is without its faults.

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post #29 of 547 Old 11-28-2011, 11:07 AM
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Ive seen far too many threads where a faulty product from emotiva gets the same treatment. Just so they don't have to honor the product or endure shipping costs to send out a new unit...

Sorry but I can't condone this - which is why I'd never do business with them...
It shouldn't matter if you were trying to biamp or power multiple speakers, a signal in and a signal out - zero difference.

I'm sure there are plenty of happy customers but there are also many that got swindled by their angry CS. Call your credit card co and dispute. Don't waste your time on here listening to all the emo fan boys.

Emotiva has been known to delete threads on their own forum of complaints. Guess they don't want anyone to know the truth.... how much honesty is there in that ? Can you say SHADY !!!!!
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post #30 of 547 Old 11-28-2011, 11:16 AM
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I don't think that there are many Emotiva "fanboys" in this forum, they tend to congregate at the Emotiva Lounge. I have three Emo amps that don't hiss, and don't hum. The UMC-1 is a disaster. I have no need for Emo fans, but do enjoy the company of those who enjoy their Emo amps or their Onkyo pre-pros. I think that Emo's CS must have deteriorated and isn't as great as some remember it.
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