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I am an owner of a XPA-5 Power Amplifier, which I purchased in Feb 2012. I have to say the purchasing experience was truly exemplary and the unit was delivered to my doorstep in Australia mind you, within a week. The amplifier itself is a pretty impressive unit – well built and satisfyingly heavy. Connecting it to the pre amp section of my receiver was easy. The power cable provided was an American one but I used a US/AUS adaptor to plug into the wall socket.


The amp ran faultlessly in my set up for many months. I had my LCR and Surround back speakers running through the amp. In September 2012 the amp, started to go into protection mode at start up. At power up all 5 LED’s would cycle through in red, turn blue (correct cycle) and then make a loud ‘thunk’ and blink red. The power switch logo surround would also turn orange and blink. I searched the Emotiva forums (very active forum) for answers and a few presented themselves.

One was to run a hair dryer over the vents since sometimes the protection circuit would kick in if the amp was too cold or hot. So I ran a hair dryer over the vents for a few mins and it started fine! I was a bit perplexed since my theatre room is a dedicated, climate controlled environment and my house is brand new. During this time I emailed Emotiva technical support for assistance but by the time they responded I had already ‘fixed it’, so I thought.

After about a week of flawless performance the amp started to trip its protection circuit again. The forums suggested that the amp be plugged to a completely isolated circuit since power draw issues may trip the protection circuit. So I plugged it into an isolated circuit which was not used by any other electrical device. Same result. The strange thing is the amp would start up normally on some days and hit the protection circuit at start up on other days. Also, I’ll be watching a movie and it will work perfectly and suddenly go into protection mode. During this time the amp was not running hot nor was the volume high (receiver showing -35 max). The amp is driving pretty efficient speakers (Paradigm Monitor 11 V6 mains, Paradigm CC390 centre and Paradigm Titan Pro V6 Surrounds; all speakers have higher than 90db sensitivity). The receiver is a brand new Yamaha Aventage A2010.

After researching this issue on the Emotiva forums I came across members who have experienced similar issues due to faulty/sub standard RCA interconnects. I was using Cambridge Audio Arctic interconnects which are well regarded and produce a clean signal. However I purchased some new shielded interconnects and tried them. Same result. I then purchased some Neotech dual shielded interconnects with individual ballasts. Same result. Mind you, when it does work it works perfectly, no strange noises, smells or erratic behaviour.

I then checked the speaker connections using a multimeter to see if there were any shorts but couldn’t find any. Checked the ends for any fraying, couldn’t find none. Connected the speakers directly to the receiver and they ran perfectly. I contacted Emotiva technical support via e-mail to obtain some advice and help. This is where I encountered one of the worst customer service experiences I ever had the displeasure of receiving.

In my initial email I documented the entire experience I have had with the amp. I included details of my set up, granular details of the symptoms and different solutions I tried and then the results. I got a cut/paste response from an agent who was most probably using some standardised template. No effort was made to read through my e-mail and understand the situation. The questions he raised were already answered in my original email. I wrote back and explained the situation again and answered all the questions. After a week of no response I queried them and then got another email asking me to change the power source. Then the interconnects. Then the speaker wiring. Again I responded back stating that I have tried all these solutions and the results were already provided. I waited for nearly a month with no response back from Emotiva. I kept on emailing them back for a response but to no avail. In frustration I threatened to expose the substandard customer service I have received on AVS and other forums.

A few days later I received an email from another person who said that the original administrator has resigned and somehow my query had ‘fallen through the cracks’. I was amused as I have been cc’ing the general tech support email address in all my correspondence. The new person again sent me a standard template response, asking me questions that were already answered to previously by me. If she had scrolled down the email she would’ve found the answers.

Also, the quality of response was spectacularly poor. The correspondence did not have any salutation nor sign off. Abrupt and short. One line responses. All in all this left a very bad taste.

After numerous emails were traded with no solution in sight over more than a month I lost my cool and went hard at them requesting an immediate replacement or my money back. This prompted a quick response from this person who said that she will send a new protection circuit board since they think it maybe the actual protection circuit that’s at fault. Happy with the outcome I waited for this so called board to arrive. After nearly a 3 weeks of waiting I queried again as to what the status of my delivery was. It was still not issued. After sending them another harshly worded email the board was finally issued and was delivered within a few weeks. This was Feb 2013.

Once received I installed the board, pretty simple really. I switched the amp on and it cycled through all LED’s, made a soft thunk and only Channel 1 lit up as active. I checked the board connections again and restarted. Same result. Never the less, I ran a signal to each channel and connected a speaker and lo and behold all 5 channels are working! I checked the status LED switch in the back and it is still set to On. I plugged the amp into my system and did some testing over a few weeks. It performed beautifully with no further protection issues. In the end I emailed Emotiva and told them of the situation and asked them for their opinion – should I keep it as is or should I get another board since it’s not a 100% rectification, albeit cosmetically. She stated that it shouldn’t be a problem and if it was her, she’ll stick with the current board. I did request her to lodge this issue under my warranty claim so in future if the amp develops another problem due to a potentially faulty board it was due to their replacement part.

Anyway, I thought I should post this on the forum to share my experience with any potential buyers of Emotiva gear in the future. I love the amp (when its working), it is a grunty beast of a thing that is effortless and clean in its operation. From a value perspective it is an absolute killer deal. I come from a Rotel background and the Emotiva has way more headroom and matches very well with my receiver. However I believe their quality of customer service leaves much to be desired. In actual fact it is shoddy beyond measure. Fingers crossed I don’t have to experience this again.
 

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Funny I came across this. I've been debating since last night whether to get the XPA 5 or dig deeper into my pockets for a "nicer" amp. Maybe a 2 or 3 channel one instead and let my Anthem MRX 300 power the surrounds. (5.1 setup).


One thing that has me worried is I've come across some people saying they thing the Emotiva amps are "bright / harsh" .. did you get this impression at all? Specially since you came from Rotel.


Thanks for sharing your experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Coresare, I found the amps to be quite clean and they transmit the signal with in a well balanced fashion. Yes, they do seem ever so slightly brighter than the rotels but not too overt. For example, when I run my speakers (Paradigms, which are on the brighter side) via the receiver I find the sound to be a bit too bright for my liking. However, through the XPA5 it sounds very well balanced. I must say the XPA5 does wonders to your lower level frequencies (much more than my rotels ever did) and I feel this balances out the overall SQ.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmu16  /t/1466630/my-experience-with-emotiva-customer-service#post_23165892


Coresare, I found the amps to be quite clean and they transmit the signal with in a well balanced fashion. Yes, they do seem ever so slightly brighter than the rotels but not too overt. For example, when I run my speakers (Paradigms, which are on the brighter side) via the receiver I find the sound to be a bit too bright for my liking. However, through the XPA5 it sounds very well balanced. I must say the XPA5 does wonders to your lower level frequencies (much more than my rotels ever did) and I feel this balances out the overall SQ.

sorry to hear of the problems you had... mostly ive read about good customer service from emotiva..


especially on there forums... recently they recalled a new amp lunch xpa 1l.. and for some people they sent out replacement

amps while they waited for a fix free of charge.. pretty cool.. they are now reship the new amps out..

took a week or 2 to work the bug out..


ive had no problem with my 30 day old xpa 3 and sound amazing on my paradigm studio 100s..

just wish i had some cash for mono blocks.. like the xpa 1 l or xpa 1


emotiva has big big news today


taking over the Carver tube amp company..


Bob Carver will join! Taking over some of the designing and creation along with Lonnie! Tubes! At ID prices (presumed)




very cool well maybe i will want this one..


cheers


if you have another problem might suggest posting it on the emotiva forums...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
wow that's pretty amazing news! Getting someone like Bob Carver on board will definitely influence new amp designs - wonder when the new product cycle comes out!
 
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