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#250086 - 03/03/09 08:49 PM Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions
chapin99 Offline
buff

Registered: 04/21/06
Posts: 41
Loc: South Carolina
Hi, all.
I jumped in a bought this amp without first contacting Axiom. Well, it has a buzz and I'm (painfully slowly) working with emotiva to help me solve it, but I wanted to ask some opinions.

Here is the situation: I have a 7.1 channel axiom setup (m80s
front, qs8s surrounds, m22is rears, vp150 center and ep500sub). I use a denon 3808ci receiver and listen to hi-res sacd's dvd-as as well as 2-channel analog with a rega tt, shelter 501 cart, jolida phono preamp, oppo universal player and regular cd player and blu-ray player. I am trying out an emotiva mps-2 amplifier.

I am not loving this amp and thought I would, but this is probably tainted by the unresolved buzz. I wanted more quality and a lower noise floor, blacker background and all that from an amp. It does seem to play louder at equal volumes when compared to my denon 3808ci when it was used alone to drive the speakers. But. . . the amp is making a buzz/hum sound (lower now that I turned off a floor lamp, but still not what I like - wanted silent and expected silent, but maybe I'm ignorant about amps),
that is not acceptable to me. To me, the amp is not rich or warm
and maybe doesn't play well with my fairly bright seeming system. Have you any suggestions as to what will make me get the "wow" factor? The $1700 of this "bargain" amp is a lot to me. So, questions:
1. Am I expecting too much to have it at the least be quiet?
2. I'm on my third day with it and it seems to be growing on me in a way meaning I think I'd not like to go back to just the denon driving speakers (the sound is opened up a bit and seems to have plenty of power in reserve - just a feeling). Are my ears adjusting to it or the other way around? Still, listening to albums over the weekend, the amp made steely dan's donald fagan seem like he had a lisp as sibilance seemed to be showing through on Aja. I got fatigued (though maybe from dealing with amp issues and not being in the mood to listen to albums). Something was just a bit bright, but maybe the amp is allowing the axioms to show some brightness? Maybe the denon used to correct for this? I don't know.
3. If you were to advise me, what would you suggest I do? Anything to break it in? I saw how sirquack had substantial problems with it (ugh! after the fact of buying it myself!) Should I run some adventure movies through it to see if I'm going to have that problem too?
4. Should i look at different, better matched amps?
5. Will the axioms hold up as I go down this upgrade path? People on forums often suggest upgrading my speakers, though I have enjoyed the m80s particularly since I got them.
6. Could you just give me your opinions/ideas/suggestions based on your knowledge of axioms? I want more quality and to eke out every bit of music resolution I can. HT seems fine either way, but music is where I want to hear it all. Do you think my amp is damaged or that my home just has bad wiring (buzz
problem) and that any amp will be a problem? I am using blue jeans rca cables from the receiver to the amp if that helps. Thanks in advance for any help. I am quite frustrated at the moment. Finally - I sent much of this email to Alan and he kindly responded with a way to test the amp to see if it is an amp problem and gave me much perspective, but he suggested I post here as well, so here I am. Hope y'all can help. Thanks in advance. Wish I'd read here first, but made that impulsive leap.
Laura

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#250088 - 03/03/09 09:02 PM Re: Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions [Re: chapin99]
SRoode Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/20/08
Posts: 1200
Loc: Fishers, Indiana, USA
It's not an Axiom problem since the buzz did not exist with the Denon. It could be a ground loop, it could be a bad connection, it could be a bad amp. I would suggest you work it out with Emotiva. I'm sure they'll take care of you.
_________________________
2 M80s, 1 VP180, 4 QS8s, 2 EP800s, 4 Algonquins, 2 M3 VaSSallos

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#250091 - 03/03/09 09:14 PM Re: Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions [Re: SRoode]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

I would start disconnecting every component one at a time and see if the hum/buzz stops. Is the amp itself making a noise if you put you ear right next to it?
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#250102 - 03/03/09 10:08 PM Re: Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions [Re: Wid]
Zimm Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/08/08
Posts: 1361
Loc: New Orleans
For $1700 you should get more than "I hope I can get used to this." You can get a good selection of Amps used for that much - Bryston, Krell, etc. And I can't see why your home wiring would be the problem given your use of a powerful amp via the Denon before this Emotiva.
_________________________
Panny 3000 PJ, 118" Carada, Denon 3300, PS3, Axiom QS8, PSB 5T, B&W sub, levitating speaker wire

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#250106 - 03/03/09 10:20 PM Re: Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions [Re: chapin99]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10383
Laura, if even a floor lamp is contributing significantly to this buzz/hum, it would seem to indicate a shielding problem in the amplifier. An inaudibly low noise floor(which I assume is synonymous with "blacker background")should be routine with any competently designed modern receiver or separate amplifier, regardless of cost. The least expensive of my receivers(factory refurb, $151 delivered)has such an inaudibly low noise level and overall superb performance as an amplifier. It's unlikely that different amplification is something that will improve your overall sound quality, as that is determined almost entirely by the recorded material, as affected by your speakers and listening room.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#250107 - 03/03/09 10:28 PM Re: Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions [Re: Zimm]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
You mention, rich, warm, and bright. It is one thing for people to say a speaker is bright, warm, chocolaty, etc. Speakers are probably the least accurate part of the sound reproduction chain, and can be designed with a particular voicing. Again preamps/receivers can EQ or have tone controls that will have some effect on the sound. The amp should be the thing that adds nothing to the signal. It has one purpose, to take in input and output it louder. An amp may make the bass tighter or transients snapper, but if you are expecting tone shaping you're looking in the wrong place.

The only thing which should have less affect on the sound is the cables. ;\)
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#250137 - 03/04/09 06:18 AM Re: Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions [Re: Wid]
chapin99 Offline
buff

Registered: 04/21/06
Posts: 41
Loc: South Carolina
Sorry - forgot to mention - the buzz is coming from the amp itself, not the speakers. Have reported all to emotiva and am waiting for some help from them. I appreciate the help in isolating the problem and will have to invest some time in this or invest in packing in up to send back. The connections are good (took my time in setting it up), but I have to move all the furniture back out to remove component after component. I have plugged it in different places and tried a cheater plug on it, but no change. Just now trying to see if it might just be one or more of the modules or what. Anyway, thanks for your help.

At this point in my ignorance/frustration, I think I am more interested in opinions on the value of amps with this system and the matching of amps to this system and perhaps any suggestions on a different way to go like a dedicated analog preamp with some sort of HTbypass and incorporating just a two-channel amp. Of course that may not help my sacd's/dvd-a's multichannel, sound better. Just asking as I should have on the front end - but I tend to learn by experience and learn well! Thanks for continued insight if you have some regarding this system and what I was hoping for.
Laura

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#250138 - 03/04/09 06:24 AM Re: Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions [Re: ClubNeon]
chapin99 Offline
buff

Registered: 04/21/06
Posts: 41
Loc: South Carolina
 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
You mention, rich, warm, and bright. It is one thing for people to say a speaker is bright, warm, chocolaty, etc. Speakers are probably the least accurate part of the sound reproduction chain, and can be designed with a particular voicing. Again preamps/receivers can EQ or have tone controls that will have some effect on the sound. The amp should be the thing that adds nothing to the signal. It has one purpose, to take in input and output it louder. An amp may make the bass tighter or transients snapper, but if you are expecting tone shaping you're looking in the wrong place.

The only thing which should have less affect on the sound is the cables. ;\)


THanks clubneon(also to Johnk and Zimm). Good info. to ponder as I think on this and plan for what to do next. Do any of y'all use amps in a denon setup or does the denon do it all for you? Maybe what I'm after in music would just be a very small improvement for too high a price? And, regarding speaker voicing, i have read that axioms are voiced more for HT, but I think that is from people who don't know axiom. Anyway - thanks for helping think through this.

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#250148 - 03/04/09 08:39 AM Re: Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions [Re: chapin99]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13331
Loc: Iowa
First of all, why do you think you need an Amp, how loud are you listening and how big is your room. I have monoblocks for my 80's, but my room is 900 Sq Ft in size. That Denon should be totally adequate. Also, a speaker is not designed for music or HT applications, that includes Axioms. They are great for both. ;\)

I remember when my MPS-1 made my system buzz when I had the closet lights on, remember that everyone. MarkSJ?



Anyway, they sent me new amps with some reduced settings and it went away. Of course, I ended up sending the MPS-1 back as it kept having shutdown issues with the easy to drive m80's. \:\)
_________________________
M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#250155 - 03/04/09 10:47 AM Re: Emotiva MPS-2 Amp hum/buzz questions [Re: chapin99]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Axiom designs their speakers to be flat, to not emphasize any one part of the audio band over another.

If the amp is buzzing, that is almost always the transformer. The power entering the amp is not a smooth sine wave, and the harmonics are causing the transformer to vibrate. Some amp makers will embed the transformer in epoxy, or attempt to dampen it some way. Others say, "use clean power". If it is exceptionally loud there may be a physical defect either from manufacturing or something got jarred loose in shipping. Definitely see what Emotiva has to say.

The 3808 should be able to run everything just fine. What is it that you're not getting that you hoped the amp would add? Chances are you can improve things greatly by adjusting your speaker layout, and adding some simple treatments to the room.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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