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EMOTIVA, UMC-1 - Pops and undesired Noises from the Subwoofer..

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I could not find a NEW direct thread on this very topic.

From everything I have read here and on EMOTIVA-LOUNGE it seems that EMOTIVA just keeps shipping replacement units?
The complaints of the POPPING problem goes back many FW versions ago.. but still doesn't seem to be solved.

I am using a UMC-1 just purchased FW 07.04.00.19
I am having 2 very specific issues that seem to be discussed in prior OLD posts about the UMC-1
But which I do not believe have been addressed yet by EMOTIVA.
Also, with EMOTIVA knowing these issues existed, I am shocked they SOLD IT TO ME without warning me first.. by the way. OUR PRE AMP has some serious bugs.

#1. When playing audio into the CABLE/SAT box and applying any of the processors like NEO:6 I periodically get LOUD POPS or STATIC out of the BACK SURROUND SPEAKERS. . I did not have this problem with My Onkyo or Marantz

#2. The Subwoofer periodically CLICKS or puts out some static. Basically if I have no music playing the subwoofer makes this pop sound periodically. When I turn the UMC-1 OFF, the pops stop.

My concern is they think that by TRICKING people into purchasing the UMC-1 with the discount card for the XMC-1 that we should be happy even if the equipment doesn't work. That is NOT TRUE. I expect the UMC-1 to work at a basic level. And I an promise EMOTIVA that is they can't make the UMC-1 WORK, there is no way they are getting more money for the XMC-1

My equipment is
UMC-1 (tried to use NEO and DTS but scares my with LOUD POPS)
OPPO 93 (USING 7.1 EXT IN, to avoid all processing in the UMC 1 since the loud POPS may damage my speakers).
Velodyne DD 15 SW
Aerial 10T fronts
PSB Center and surround speakers.
post #2 of 44
Call them.
post #3 of 44
Call them?

The reason we have forums like this is to discuss problems we are having and compare with others who might have the same components. Emotiva has not been forthright with the UMC's issues, they just keep releasing firmwares that are hard to install and don't seem to solve all of the problems while creating new ones. If I was the thread starter I'd consider returning it if things aren't resolved to your satisfaction. It's not worth the trouble of trying to fix all the bugs.

With processors it's a better bet to get one from one of the big players instead, like Integra or Marantz.
post #4 of 44
Thread Starter 
The fact is I am very NEW to this whole "buy audiophile grade" stuff..
In the past, I have been so happy with basic systems, but was shown the PROMISE OF AUDIOPHILE AMAZING!

A basic system AVR that came completely with speakers, and all plugged in and played perfectly..
Now that I purchase BETTER EQUIPMENT it seems to be more BUGGY and less reliable.

I had a MARANTZ AV7005 that I just returned because it was OVER DRIVING my VELODYNE..
I know this because when I did 7.1 EXT from the OPPO the speakers and sound were perfect.
When I let the MARANTZ AV7005 do the decoding it made a MESS out of the bass.

I verified and verified and verified and verified my settings, speakers, level, LFE, etc settings
Called Marantz, they couldn't decide why it would do it.. but in the end.. just a PROBLEM with their high end equipment.

Silly ME?, Why did my PIONEER or ONKYO have such problems for 25% of the cost? Plus those were AMPS as well as PREAMP..

The UMC-1 and the MARANTZ AV7005 don't even have to do amplification and they have problems/bugs etc.

The fact is a PREAMP should not be unstable or buggy.... such a product should, well, play music and movies perfectly.
That's what they are supposed to do... that's what they are sold to do, the fact the people spend a most of their LIFE
UPDATING FW over and over is an indication of an INDUSTRY that is far too tolerant of its manufacturers.

I have spent over 30 days FIDDLING with all the bugs in this equipment.. and frankly I am nothing short of disappointed.

So much for investing in AWESOME SPEAKERS and AMPLIFIERS.. who cares when the PREAMP screws everything up.

Sorry to vent.. but come on people. START RETURNING EQUIPMENT and maybe these manufacturers would stop shipping junk for HIGH PRICES.

Sincerely.. frustratedly,

Jeff


PS: The UMC-1 interface is a lot nicer than the Marantz interface.
post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
UPDATE: Today, I spent more time, testing the UMC-1 trying to get the SURROUND SPEAKERS to POP, darned if I could get it to do it again.
I am worried now Emotiva will call me a "faker" but the fact is I have a witness.. Now I just have to wait until a SURPRISE POP comes back..
Maybe it never will? Maybe it was just needing a magical POWER OFF and POWER ON and all will be okay...

At this point I hope so.. of course still lots of speaker popping when changing settings etc.. but that I will/can live with.
Jeff
post #6 of 44
Wow, you've really had a run of bad luck!

I don't know what to tell you except you might want to return the UMC. The Integras seem to have really good track records but they are pretty expensive too, New models are coming from Marantz though that's probably not much comfort.
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

Call them?
The reason we have forums like this is to discuss problems we are having and compare with others who might have the same components. Emotiva has not been forthright with the UMC's issues, they just keep releasing firmwares that are hard to install and don't seem to solve all of the problems while creating new ones. If I was the thread starter I'd consider returning it if things aren't resolved to your satisfaction. It's not worth the trouble of trying to fix all the bugs.
With processors it's a better bet to get one from one of the big players instead, like Integra or Marantz.
Yes call them. IF you bought a new car that was under warranty and it was a lemon would go to a forum or would you contact the dealer?
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by turboswede95 View Post

Yes call them. IF you bought a new car that was under warranty and it was a lemon would go to a forum or would you contact the dealer?

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

Well no duh you call them. That goes without saying. But a forum is partly for owners who have issues to compare notes on what has been tried to fix them. It's been a big help for me on tuning up my room, applying correct settings, etc. If all a person wanted was to call the manufacturer, then they wouldn't start a thread on their problem.
post #9 of 44
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys.. no need to tussle.. the fact is I LOVE HAVING someone to talk with.. and express my issues.
In the end it is like an AA GROUP SUPPORT as much as a technical support..
AA (meaning AUDIOPHILES ANNON.) But none the less.. it can get lonely without someone to share one's challenges with
And for that I am ETERNALLY GRATEFUL for AVSFORUMS and all you GUYS/GALS that are out there..


UPDATE:
I did call Emotiva today and they gave me more TIME CONSUMING DIAGNOSTICS to run.. which I am doing right now.. The awesome part is a HUMAN answered their phone.. being in the computer industry, that is getting to be a bit rare. (note that MARANTZ also answered their phones.. congratulations!!!)

I partly empathize with them as there are SO MANY VARIABLES.. and probably lots of LEARNERS (aka newbies) out there...doing many things wrong.
I can see where LEVEL, LFE/CROSS OVER etc can all cause performance problems as well as badly wired stuff, bad electricity...
And maybe some of my problem is my own.. so I agreed to do the testing.. as requested...
I also made it clear that the NO RETURN POLICY will not work for me if they shipped me something that had previously known problems without full disclosure..
So we will see..

HONESTLY, I like about 99.9% of the EMOTIVA.. and if I can solve the bugs.. probably the best PRE-AMP offering out there under $2000.00.
But that's if it doesn't ACT UP.. so time will tell. .and lots of ISOLATION TESTING will tell more..
post #10 of 44
What amp are you using.
post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Moved from an ONKYO 980 complete HT system to
Edited by Zphvrq - 9/17/12 at 5:57pm
post #12 of 44
Thread Starter 
front r/l : AERIAL 10T
center: PSB C5
surround PSB B6
backs: PSB ALPHA B1

AMP: FRL: Rotel 985 MARK II
AMP: REST: Rotel 991

PREAMP: UMC-1 (was a marantz 7005)

TRANSPORT: OPPO 93 (connected using 7.1 EXT and HDMI)

POWER: POWERWEDGE ii

Projecter: EPSON HOME CINEMA 8350 (love it)
Edited by Zphvrq - 9/17/12 at 5:58pm
post #13 of 44
Thread Starter 
UPDATE: Last night I found that when I unplugged my EPSON 8350 from the UMC-1 that the SUBWOOFER would stop popping every 1 or 2 minutes.
Then, crazy as it sounds, I plugged the EPSON into the POWERWEDGE II that the UMC-1 was plugged into, and the UMC-1 did not POP.
Now, I am not completely 100% sure, this is all true, but I did it 2 times to confirm and I am about 90% sure..
Does this sound possible? Is high end equipment sensitive to such variences?
The POWERWEDGE is plugged into a GFI circuit, and the project is typically plugged into a seperate wall outlet.
Maybe their POLARITY is different (god knows with electricians)? Will find out tomorrow.
Jeff
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zphvrq View Post

UPDATE: Today, I spent more time, testing the UMC-1 trying to get the SURROUND SPEAKERS to POP, darned if I could get it to do it again.
I am worried now Emotiva will call me a "faker" but the fact is I have a witness.. Now I just have to wait until a SURPRISE POP comes back..
Jeff

Interesting, I’m having similar issues, most noticeably when browsing using the Apple TV2 although it’s present with CDs when changing tracks or pausing.
Basically there is a low thump from the surrounds (maybe the fronts also as it comes across more as a click when using my head-amp from Zone 2 or mix out), happens whether the UMC-1 is in stereo, direct or multi-channel mode, with the ATV2 it happens just after choosing a selection, with CDs when changing tracks or pausing, same with using the BDP, it's as if when no audio is present for a second or so the UMC-1 mutes then un-mutes with a low thump.
No EMO-Q or Dolby volume turned on
Thought maybe it was just a quirk with the UMC-1 but it does get bothering after a while, thump, change, thump, pause, thump, play, thump…..etc..etc, but if it is not common then............, but I'll wait for few more to chime in.

And no your not a faker Jeff.



Robert
post #15 of 44
Jeff, have you posted this on the Emotiva lounge?

Robert
post #16 of 44
Separates are not for you if you don't like troubleshooting.
Example: you placed the Emotiva diags in caps like you are angry as they are trying to help you yet, you find it easier just to complain about it here.
I mean, we are going to eventually tell you to start isolating components to find issue here also. This is Audio Visual Science.smile.gif

Anyway, UMC aside, you introduce many more variables when you have multiple boxes vs just one.
Troubleshooting problems, especially intermittent ones as you describe are exponentially harder.
And regardless of what anyone tells you, HDMI has made component matching very difficult. It was much easier when we only had analog.wink.gif
If you are not the type to troubleshoot (nothing wrong with that, so don't take it as a negative per say) stick with simpler one box setups.


Has the unit popped again when watching cable?
Do you notice it more when a commercial comes on and off?
post #17 of 44
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootman_head_fi View Post


And regardless of what anyone tells you, HDMI has made component matching very difficult.

My gut feeling tells me it has a lot to do with the HDMI, although it does not explain my similar issue with CDs.


Robert
Edited by rob80b - 9/18/12 at 7:22am
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob80b View Post

My gut feeling tells me it has a lot to do with the HDMI, although it does not explain my similar issue with CDs.
Robert

I assume via coax/toslink correct?
You get the pops between tracks?

That issue pretty much went away with .19
Did you do the upgrade yourself or was it bought with .19?

It could also be a faulty board somewhere.

When I had the UMC my biggest issue was the pop when stations went from 2ch to DD.
I got rid of that by putting the STB in 2ch only and applying neo to that.
Sounded pretty good for TV.

I have a Pioneer AVR now and that did it also just less frequently, so I just left it as before.
Sadly the UMC sounded better doing neo than the pioneer avr. frown.gif
The price I pay for the family wanting airplay I guess.rolleyes.gif
post #20 of 44
one thing to check is the actual sub level setting on the sub box.
If it is set too low, this could just be on and off popping you hear on the sub itself.
Just a thought and another place to troubleshoot.
post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootman_head_fi View Post

Separates are not for you if you don't like troubleshooting.
Example: you placed the Emotiva diags in caps like you are angry as they are trying to help you yet, you find it easier just to complain about it here.
I mean, we are going to eventually tell you to start isolating components to find issue here also. This is Audio Visual Science.smile.gif
Anyway, UMC aside, you introduce many more variables when you have multiple boxes vs just one.
Troubleshooting problems, especially intermittent ones as you describe are exponentially harder.
And regardless of what anyone tells you, HDMI has made component matching very difficult. It was much easier when we only had analog.wink.gif
If you are not the type to troubleshoot (nothing wrong with that, so don't take it as a negative per say) stick with simpler one box setups.
Has the unit popped again when watching cable?
Do you notice it more when a commercial comes on and off?

I beg to differ on the "Separates are not for you if you don't like troubleshooting" comment. The UMC's awful track record is in no way typical of all separates. And when a product is still popping and such 2 years after it's been released, then it's a dog. One shouldn't have to resort to work arounds because their projector is causing the UMC to pop. That's bizarre, is it not?

I've had 4 different AVRs in my system over the years, and I have never experienced popping when changing channels/sources/tracks. I don't think it's anywhere near common from what I've read.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by runnin' View Post

I beg to differ on the "Separates are not for you if you don't like troubleshooting" comment. The UMC's awful track record is in no way typical of all separates. And when a product is still popping and such 2 years after it's been released, then it's a dog. One shouldn't have to resort to work arounds because their projector is causing the UMC to pop. That's bizarre, is it not?
I've had 4 different AVRs in my system over the years, and I have never experienced popping when changing channels/sources/tracks. I don't think it's anywhere near common from what I've read.

Were those pro-logic AVR's?
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob80b View Post

........, although it does not explain my similar issue with CDs.
Robert
Quote:
Originally Posted by bootman_head_fi View Post

I assume via coax/toslink correct?
You get the pops between tracks?
That issue pretty much went away with .19
Did you do the upgrade yourself or was it bought with .19?
It could also be a faulty board somewhere.

Hi Bootman

I have the Bryston BCD-1 hooked up directly from the analogue outs so no processing going on, what's interesting though is that through the headphones using either the 2 channel fixed out, zone 2, or mixed out to the head-amp or Bryston B60, it is almost as if there was a noise gate of some sorts.
The .19 firmware was done by me, discussed in length on the Emotiva lounge , and the UMC-1 has been trouble free, no other issues.
http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=preamps&action=display&thread=21370&page=7


Set-up.
Bryston BCD-1 analogue input for stereo or direct out
Apple TV2 to HDMI-2 for 5.1 and 2 channel
Sony BDP 550 to HDMI-1, 5.1

UMC-1 outputs

HDMI out to LG PX950 plasma

Audio outputs
FL/FR out to Bryston 4BSST/Dynaudio Special 25s
Centre out to Bryston 2BLP/Dynaudio Contour Centre
SL/SR out to amp section of Bryston B60R/ Dynaudio Contour 1.3MKIIs
Balanced sub out to Velodyne SMS1/SPL1500R

Basically pretty straight forward, no EMO-Q, no Satellite dishes, Cable boxes etc, other than the popping everything is working and sounding fine.
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob80b View Post

I have the Bryston BCD-1 hooked up directly from the analogue outs so no processing going on, what's interesting though is that through the headphones using either the 2 channel fixed out, zone 2, or mixed out to the head-amp or Bryston B60, it is almost as if there was a noise gate of some sorts.
The .19 firmware was done by me, discussed in length on the Emotiva lounge , and the UMC-1 has been trouble free, no other issues.
http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=preamps&action=display&thread=21370&page=7
Set-up.
Bryston BCD-1 analogue input for stereo or direct out
Apple TV2 to HDMI-2 for 5.1 and 2 channel
Sony BDP 550 to HDMI-1, 5.1
UMC-1 outputs
HDMI out to LG PX950 plasma
Audio outputs
FL/FR out to Bryston 4BSST/Dynaudio Special 25s
Centre out to Bryston 2BLP/Dynaudio Contour Centre
SL/SR out to amp section of Bryston B60R/ Dynaudio Contour 1.3MKIIs
Balanced sub out to Velodyne SMS1/SPL1500R
Basically pretty straight forward, no EMO-Q, no Satellite dishes, Cable boxes etc.

Robert,

You have a very nice system there smile.gif. I might have missed it but did you have the issues you are experiencing with any other prepro you have used?

Bill
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

Were those pro-logic AVR's?

You're asking if the 4 AVRs were pro-logic? No, none of them were, I got into the game after that. Although my very first foray into a theater system was a pro logic unit, but that was previous to the 4.
post #26 of 44
how could "separates be any more difficult to troubleshoot"? confused.gif
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post

Robert,
You have a very nice system there smile.gif. I might have missed it but did you have the issues you are experiencing with any other prepro you have used?
Bill

Hi Bill

Forgot to mention that, there are zero problems if I'm using the the Bryston BP25P, which is what I was using for movies in stereo prior to getting the UMC-1 and still do for two channel listening.
But just to recap, with HDMI the low thump from the speakers appears to happen when the UMC-1 defects no audio after a second or so: for example, when I choose a movie from Netflix on the ATV2 just after it gets to the play screen where you engage the play button it produces the audible thump or just after I pause the movie. CD play back is slightly different and harder to describe, the noise floor appears to change on quiet passages with a low click sound, most noticeable through headphones, not your obvious silence between tracks or where a "noise gate" was used in the recording or mastering.


Robert
post #28 of 44
Thread Starter 
Wow... awesome to have such a great group working on such "odd" topics.
1st. I agree that the world of separates and high-end makes things more complicated.
2nd It would be nice if environment/variables were not part of this but it would seem very likely that the ELECTRICAL ground/noise etc. that is being fed back into the circuit through the UMC-1 is very likely real, and not UMC-1'S problem. I will try and perfect the circuit tonight and see if I can get rid of the click FOR SURE by putting everything on the same power.
But that said, with the combination of people, power, cords, recording variables, etc. It is no wonder it is considered an ART / SCIENCE not just a PLUG/PLAY...
Like all HOBBIES they can become consuming and overwhelming. Try and talk with a guy about tying flies for FLY FISHING.. it is almost as complicated as audiophile discussions.
So while I do get frustrated, I feel that each day I get, like my audiophile friends, a bit smarter about what affects what, and how to get the most out of my equipment..
Anyway, what would I do otherwise with all my spare time.. just relax, drink beer, and listen to music ?

Again.. many thanks for all your responses.
Jeff


PS: I spoke again today with Emotiva technical support and he stated that "Pops and Thumps" while changing variables in the playback system is completely normal and acceptable (maybe at least for the UMC-1) and the fact that it is under $1000 makes it unable to contain massive isolation and noise reduction circuits.. I would suspect less of such things from a $5000 preamp? (assume i know what it gets one).
post #29 of 44
Thread Starter 
NOTE: Previous preamp was the Marantz AV7005. The problem I had with it was any time it was DSPing the audio, the BASS was way over driven. Meaning when I did 7.1EXT out, the bass was in perfect alignment with the sound being produced, with the Marantz AV7005 the bass was over active, and sounding when their was no appropriate sound. I called Marantz, and they couldn't explain it.. Now, who knows, it was probably the power from the projector causing it smile.gif
post #30 of 44
[quote name="Zphvrq" url="/t/1429642/emotiva-umc-1-pops-and-undesired-noises-from-the-subwoofer#post_22412713"
PS: I spoke again today with Emotiva technical support and he stated that "Pops and Thumps" while changing variables in the playback system is completely normal and acceptable (maybe at least for the UMC-1) and the fact that it is under $1000 makes it unable to contain massive isolation and noise reduction circuits.. I would suspect less of such things from a $5000 preamp? (assume i know what it gets one).[/quote]

I got to call a little BS on that one from the tech guy.. rolleyes.gif
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