Anyone else tried the Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-22-2016, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone else tried the Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro?

Ok so I upgraded to a Samsung KS8000 65" TV and wanted a different soundbar to go with it so I blindly ordered a Nakamichi Soundwafe Pro after reading many good reviews on Amazon. It sounds... Terrible. I upgraded the firmware which was supposed to improve some of the DSP settings but it did little. The midrange vocals just sound muddy to the point you can barely decipher them when there is other sounds in the scene. I have it connected using HDMI ARC and tested with a few familiar movies and TV series on Netflix and DirectTV.
Interested to hear other feedback. Maybe mine has an issue? I really don't see how anyone at Nakamichi could release a product that sounds this bad.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-22-2016, 09:54 AM
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Is this what you have? NAKAMICHI SHOCKWAVE PRO 7.1 Ch 45-Inch Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Rear Satellite Speakers. Nakamichi made wonderful audio equipment at one time… I don't know if they still do. However, for the money, and considering the reviews, this looks like a pretty good deal at approximately $500. It wouldn't have occurred to me to think of Nakamichi as my first choice in a soundbar, but that is neither here nor there.


In general, I've found that Amazon customer reviews to be a pretty good guide, as long as you are aware that often Amazon lumps together various models from the same manufacturer together in the same reviews. However, that doesn't seem to be the case here. Your experience does seem to be wildly at variance with what virtually every reviewer has stated about this soundbar. Several of these reviewers talk about very good customer support from Nakamichi. So, I recommend that you contact them today!

Last edited by taichi4; 08-22-2016 at 10:00 AM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-22-2016, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
Is this what you have? NAKAMICHI SHOCKWAVE PRO 7.1 Ch 45-Inch Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Rear Satellite Speakers. Nakamichi made wonderful audio equipment at one time… I don't know if they still do. However, for the money, and considering the reviews, this looks like a pretty good deal at approximately $500. It wouldn't have occurred to me to think of Nakamichi as my first choice in a soundbar, but that is neither here nor there.


In general, I've found that Amazon customer reviews to be a pretty good guide, as long as you are aware that often Amazon lumps together various models from the same manufacturer together in the same reviews. However, that doesn't seem to be the case here. Your experience does seem to be wildly at variance with what virtually every reviewer has stated about this soundbar. Several of these reviewers talk about very good customer support from Nakamichi. So, I recommend that you contact them today!
Yes, that is the one. I do have an email into Nakamichi. I see a few other reviews with the same issue. I also found this review where they had the same issues.
http://www.digitaltrends.com/sound-b...ro-7-1-review/
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-22-2016, 12:01 PM
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That's an interesting review from Digital Trends. There are several possibilities here, although everything points to at the very least a problem with digital signal processing. Is this correctable with firmware updates? That remains to be seen. The one which was provided to you may not be the end of the story, or an effective fix. It's possible, as well, that there are hardware inconsistencies that are appearing in production, or it's possible that some of the reviewers on Amazon haven't pushed their soundbars to the extent that Digital Trends did. I did, of course, see and read the negative reviews on Amazon, but the vast majority were quite good. Hence the mystery. Does Nakamichi have a phone number that you can call? I often find that personal contact by phone is more effective.
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-22-2016, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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After further research I'm not real sure what is going on with Nak. They have no US contact phone number on their site. In fact the only item on their US site is this soundbar. When you go to their corporate site it appears to be the same products from many, many years ago on there. I have a sneaking suspicion this may be some outsourced product they stuck their name on.

Ohh well, it was worth a try. I just picked up a Sony HT-NT5. If I can't get this resolved with Nak then it's going back. Luckily I don't have anything mounted yet so it's easy to swap and return.
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-23-2016, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I heard back from Nak last night. They are aware of the issue and will have a new remote available mid September that allows you to access a DTS EQ mode which "will remove the muddy audio".

I did more listening and adjusting last night as well and it's just really all over the place. Things like game shows and news programs sound fine (not great, but fine), but as soon as you add music into the mix it's like the voices gets suppressed and the background music takes over. Definitely some DSP issues going on. Unfortunately it's just not usable in it's current state and I can't wait a month to hope that a new DSP mode "might" fix it. Then I've lost the ability to return it for a refund.

So, I'll be testing Sony's NT5 tonight and posting a review.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-23-2016, 09:57 AM
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I think you must have connected to an old Nakamichi site, I went to nakamichi.com and saw numerous products, from home theater to car stereo. Did you tell them about your return window? Maybe they can get a beta test of the remote. to you. I would tell them that you're discussing the issue on a public forum. That can help them if they resolve it. They said it was an equalization issue rather than DSP? For much more money ($1500), I'd get the Samsung 5.1.4 Atmos soundbar. It's quite a product.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-23-2016, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
I think you must have connected to an old Nakamichi site, I went to nakamichi.com and saw numerous products, from home theater to car stereo. Did you tell them about your return window? Maybe they can get a beta test of the remote. to you. I would tell them that you're discussing the issue on a public forum. That can help them if they resolve it. They said it was an equalization issue rather than DSP? For much more money ($1500), I'd get the Samsung 5.1.4 Atmos soundbar. It's quite a product.
Same site, Nakamichi.com. Those products on there are all 6-10 years old. I did look at that Samsung Atmos soundbar but this is just a secondary TV in a great room. I have a dedicated theater room for serious movie watching. The goal here was a simple setup that could provide a reasonably decent viewing experience.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-23-2016, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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So I am happy to report the issue with the Nak soundbar is partially resolved. The Samsung KS8000 TV was defaulting it's audio mode to PCM even though the HDMI format was set to bitstream. Apparently the soundbar has an issue with PCM format audio. When I went into the expert sound menu in the Samsung and set Audio Format to Dolby digital it resolved the issue. So just to confirm, HDMI Audio Format needs to be on Bitsteam and Audio Format needs set to Dolby Digital. This needs done for each input.
The sound quality was excellent with these settings.
Once this was working it uncovered another issue though. The CEC control via ARC does not work at all with the Samsung TV. No power control, no volume control. Uggg....
I switched to the Sony NT5 soundbar I'm testing and it works perfect. The Samsung remote controls volume and power through CEC.
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-06-2016, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jallerding View Post
So I am happy to report the issue with the Nak soundbar is partially resolved.
Fascinating that this was the issue.

Thanks for sharing, I also own a KS8000 was trying to decide between the Shockwafe and the Vizio SB4551-D5 and chose to the go with the Vizio -- at least for now -- so I will be following this thread with great interest. (As a kid in the 80s, Nakamichi was THE high-end brand to aspire to; I went with the Vizio to attempt to show the wife that I could spend less )

I believe I read somewhere (maybe Amazon?) that a firmware update was to be released on Sept 1st. If it did go live, does it help the HDMI-CEC issues at all?
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-06-2016, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jallerding View Post
So I am happy to report the issue with the Nak soundbar is partially resolved. The Samsung KS8000 TV was defaulting it's audio mode to PCM even though the HDMI format was set to bitstream. Apparently the soundbar has an issue with PCM format audio. When I went into the expert sound menu in the Samsung and set Audio Format to Dolby digital it resolved the issue. So just to confirm, HDMI Audio Format needs to be on Bitsteam and Audio Format needs set to Dolby Digital. This needs done for each input.
The sound quality was excellent with these settings.
Once this was working it uncovered another issue though. The CEC control via ARC does not work at all with the Samsung TV. No power control, no volume control. Uggg....
I switched to the Sony NT5 soundbar I'm testing and it works perfect. The Samsung remote controls volume and power through CEC.
Apparently the Nak only does DD5.1 (not DD+) and DTS5.1. The Sony has more audio decoding options. The Nak has potential if they can address some startup issues.
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-06-2016, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hanumang View Post
Fascinating that this was the issue.

Thanks for sharing, I also own a KS8000 was trying to decide between the Shockwafe and the Vizio SB4551-D5 and chose to the go with the Vizio -- at least for now -- so I will be following this thread with great interest. (As a kid in the 80s, Nakamichi was THE high-end brand to aspire to; I went with the Vizio to attempt to show the wife that I could spend less )

I believe I read somewhere (maybe Amazon?) that a firmware update was to be released on Sept 1st. If it did go live, does it help the HDMI-CEC issues at all?
I did see a firmware update was being released that was supposed to resolve CEC issues but I returned mine while I could still get a refund. I've been stuck in the forever awaiting firmware fix cycle before and was more interested in just having something that worked right now.
This product does have potential but needs the bugs worked out first.
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-27-2016, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jallerding View Post
So I am happy to report the issue with the Nak soundbar is partially resolved. The Samsung KS8000 TV was defaulting it's audio mode to PCM even though the HDMI format was set to bitstream. Apparently the soundbar has an issue with PCM format audio. When I went into the expert sound menu in the Samsung and set Audio Format to Dolby digital it resolved the issue. So just to confirm, HDMI Audio Format needs to be on Bitsteam and Audio Format needs set to Dolby Digital. This needs done for each input.
The sound quality was excellent with these settings.
Once this was working it uncovered another issue though. The CEC control via ARC does not work at all with the Samsung TV. No power control, no volume control. Uggg....
I switched to the Sony NT5 soundbar I'm testing and it works perfect. The Samsung remote controls volume and power through CEC.
Hi jallerding, I'm Brandon from Nakamichi USA. I'm delighted to hear that you experienced excellent sound quality after changing the settings on your TV. For the CEC control issue, we solved it in our firmware upgrade released on 29 August (http://www.nakamichi-usa.com/firmware-upgrades). Users will now be able to seamlessly control the power and volume control via CEC. We actually just sent you an email to follow up.

We are highly committed to making our customers happy. Looking forward to hearing from you.
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-16-2016, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by hanumang View Post
Fascinating that this was the issue.

Thanks for sharing, I also own a KS8000 was trying to decide between the Shockwafe and the Vizio SB4551-D5 and chose to the go with the Vizio -- at least for now -- so I will be following this thread with great interest. (As a kid in the 80s, Nakamichi was THE high-end brand to aspire to; I went with the Vizio to attempt to show the wife that I could spend less )

I believe I read somewhere (maybe Amazon?) that a firmware update was to be released on Sept 1st. If it did go live, does it help the HDMI-CEC issues at all?


I just bought the same TV and a couple of weeks later bought the Nakamichi Shockwave Pro.
I was underwhelmed and agree that the bar sounded muddy. Further, the satellites seemed useless, and unresponsive to adjusting. To compensate I tried to increase volume and the subwoofer adjustment suffered and turned into that useless "thunderstorm's coming" sound.
I returned it and just started a thread asking advice on the Vizio SB 4551.
The problem all along may very well have been this firmware but, too late now.
After getting some feedback I may try the Vizio.
I haven't heard it but the reviews were good (as we're the Nakamichi) and I do like the very thin panel sub and maybe it will be more toned down.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-29-2016, 11:00 AM
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Looks like the Nakamichi is still being enhanced via firmware per their site...
Firmware 1.4
Corrected all audio anomalies (eg. static, popping, audio breaking up)
Compatible with Dolby TrueHD content via all inputs
Compatible with Dolby Digital plus (DD+) content via optical and coaxial inputs
Higher audio resolution when played through Bluetooth
Volume on the satellite speakers are increased by 25%.
(Firmware 1.4 includes all previous versions.)
Release date: 10 Nov 2016, File Size: 2.13mb
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-15-2017, 01:53 AM
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This sounds really great, Naustin!

I have been leaning toward this soundbar as a temp-budget solution to a full on surround system, which I am not quite ready to dive into yet. I have read a lot of reviews on pro review sites and consumer reviews on places like Amazon, and this system appears to have a lot to recommend it, particularly since the firmware updates seem to have alleviated the problems of the sub being too high, even when turned all the way down, as well as low mid-range muddiness and voices not coming through due to lack of clarity.

I haven't bought the TV yet, but I will be buying a 75" 4K (still looking on that, but leaning toward the Sony 850D or preferably the 940D). Since I know the Nakamichi requires 4K.

Anyway, I have about ten different budget sound systems swirling around by head, and I will probably create a thread in this forum to try and clear some of it up, but since there is already a thread specifically for the Nakamichi already, I will ask a few questions here:

Questions:


Nakamichi recommends that you pass all HDMI signals through the soundbar first and then to the TV. This is problematic, AND if true, may be a deal breaker for me. I plan on at least 4 HDMI signals going to the TV, maybe more. But I think you can see once you add a PS4 and XBOne into the mix, those consoles alone will eat up the 2 HDMI inputs. Add to that the complexity of laptop to TV via HDMI, AND the fact that the PS4 is not backward compatible, so I will also need to hook my PS3 into the TV since many of my favorite games are on that platform and not available for PS4. I think it becomes apparent that even the 4 on my TV won't be adequate for long one I start adding things like Cable/Satellite TV, BD, 3D players, and on and on.

1. If using the Nakamichi, will I be required to manually switch out HDMI inputs every time I want to use a different console or device?

2. Will using an HDMI switching box with 5 or 6 HDMI inputs with a remote BEFORE the Nakamichi cause problems like increased input lag for games, lip sync errors, and so on?

3. All TV's with high processing, especially 4K have higher input lag (gaming) and at least the "potential" for lip sync errors for movies and TV. Are there some devices that can go directly to the Television, and not through the Nakamichi sound bar first, without causing problems?

4. I assume the main reason for Nakamichi recommending that everything pass through the soundbar on the way to the TV is because the sound bar HDMI inputs have ARC, and this will mitigate sound processing errors. But relating to question 3, is this necessary with ALL devices being sent to the TV? Or can you send some things through the sound bar and some directly to the TV to conserve HDMI inputs?

Thanks!

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post #17 of 17 Old 01-11-2018, 11:40 PM
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This sounds really great, Naustin!

I have been leaning toward this soundbar as a temp-budget solution to a full on surround system, which I am not quite ready to dive into yet. I have read a lot of reviews on pro review sites and consumer reviews on places like Amazon, and this system appears to have a lot to recommend it, particularly since the firmware updates seem to have alleviated the problems of the sub being too high, even when turned all the way down, as well as low mid-range muddiness and voices not coming through due to lack of clarity.

I haven't bought the TV yet, but I will be buying a 75" 4K (still looking on that, but leaning toward the Sony 850D or preferably the 940D). Since I know the Nakamichi requires 4K.

Anyway, I have about ten different budget sound systems swirling around by head, and I will probably create a thread in this forum to try and clear some of it up, but since there is already a thread specifically for the Nakamichi already, I will ask a few questions here:

Questions:


Nakamichi recommends that you pass all HDMI signals through the soundbar first and then to the TV. This is problematic, AND if true, may be a deal breaker for me. I plan on at least 4 HDMI signals going to the TV, maybe more. But I think you can see once you add a PS4 and XBOne into the mix, those consoles alone will eat up the 2 HDMI inputs. Add to that the complexity of laptop to TV via HDMI, AND the fact that the PS4 is not backward compatible, so I will also need to hook my PS3 into the TV since many of my favorite games are on that platform and not available for PS4. I think it becomes apparent that even the 4 on my TV won't be adequate for long one I start adding things like Cable/Satellite TV, BD, 3D players, and on and on.

1. If using the Nakamichi, will I be required to manually switch out HDMI inputs every time I want to use a different console or device?

2. Will using an HDMI switching box with 5 or 6 HDMI inputs with a remote BEFORE the Nakamichi cause problems like increased input lag for games, lip sync errors, and so on?

3. All TV's with high processing, especially 4K have higher input lag (gaming) and at least the "potential" for lip sync errors for movies and TV. Are there some devices that can go directly to the Television, and not through the Nakamichi sound bar first, without causing problems?

4. I assume the main reason for Nakamichi recommending that everything pass through the soundbar on the way to the TV is because the sound bar HDMI inputs have ARC, and this will mitigate sound processing errors. But relating to question 3, is this necessary with ALL devices being sent to the TV? Or can you send some things through the sound bar and some directly to the TV to conserve HDMI inputs?

Thanks!
I'm ordering the 7.1 DTS:X to exchange it w/ polk audio magnifi MAX SR (not happy w/ the popping of the sub and muddy voice). However, both bars has HDMI ARC and 4k HR passthru. But to answer your question.

1) The HDMI CEC should auto switch your inputs when it turns on (works w/ the polk)
2) No you can adjust for lip sync if lag is large
3) Going to TV via ARC to bar still will produce lags but it's correctable via lipsync
4) The reason to go thru sound bar because of the full decoding options. whereas ARC only supports normal DTS and DD. If you pass anything higher than DD+ thru the TV than bar the HDMI handshake will force the audio to be 2.0 stereo (I learn this the hard way).
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