I thought I would post this here since this is where my story started. Caution=long post.
Some of you tried to warn me, but like an idiot I wouldn't listen. The reviews and price point of the RPA-2 was just too tempting.
Anyway, I was really, really impressed when I got my RPA-2 back in Jan. Posted a glowing review and everything. I think it was about a month later the problems started with the amp.
While I had no heat or shutdown issues with the RPA-2 like some others, my amp just completely died. The left channel completely went out, nothing, nada, gone. Now the weird thing is when I went to sleep that Saturday night (after listening most of the day)the amp was fine. It went into standby mode and I went to bed.
The next morning I woke up, walked into the living room and noticed the solid red LED was on. I powered up everything and the left channel on the RPA-2 was gone. After doing some trouble shooting, I had to call Emotiva.
Now I will say one thing. Emo was very professional and provided excellent customer service. They shipped a new one out asap and issued a call tag for the defective one. Fedex showed up 2 days later, swapped the boxes out and I had a new RPA-2.
So...while I was a little (actually alot) freaked out the first amp failing after only a month, I now had a new one. I'm thinking to myself "Darn, I new I shouldn't have went with Emo" but was also thinking what was the chances of 2 new amps failing back to back. I remember when Randy (sirquack) warned me of his emo issues.
Well, 4 weeks later after receiving the 2nd amp...catastrophe! While cranking some Gary Moore, BAM! Left channel GONE! AGAIN! I couldn't freakin believe it. I called Emo and asked for Lonnie. I explained to Lonnie what has happen to me and questioned him again about the "pairing of axiom M80's and emotiva". At this point I wanted a different amp, XPA or something, I just didn't want to go thru this again.
Lonnie was very understanding and calmed me down. He also told me there was probably something wrong with my left speaker for this to happen twice with the left channel. He said I had to have a "short" in the left speaker and one of the drivers just had to be defective. Telling me something to the effect that a driver was shorting out for a "split micro-second" (which was why I couldn't audibly hear any problems) thus blowing the left channel out on the RPA-2. I was like what? you're kidding me? right? Now, it's Axioms fault?
My 6 year old Yamaha plays fine and even when cranked to loud volumes, my yammy never faulted once! He then explained to me that most receivers have built in "limiters" and "protection circuits" and the RPA-2 did not. Thus causing the failure. Again, he mentioned the M80's ohms dropping too low as well. We've all heard that story before. I say bull****! They even told me I should send the left speaker back to Axiom to have them check it for a defect.
I did call Axiom and talked to JC. Now, Emo has me thinking there was actually an issue with my left speaker. I just didn't buy that logic cause I didn't understand why my old yammy drove the M80's and the RPA-2 would not, built in limiter/protection, whatever, I didn't care. I just wanted a 2 channel amp with no problems!
So, Lonnie told me to send the 2nd failed RPA-2 back to him and he would personally checked it out. I sent the amp back and they had it for 3 1/2 weeks. Lonnie and I spoke a couple times while my 2nd amp was being repaired. I told him to make absolutely 100% sure they checked it out and do a thorough burn in testing before they sent it back to me. He also told me to make sure I switched the left/right speakers. This way, he says if that "one" (left one) speaker was shorting out, then it would obviously blow the "right" channel of the amp this time. If the right channel blows this time, then we would know for sure it's a defective speaker driver causing the amp to fail. I agreed, as I definitely wanted to know. He even suggested I try setting the M80's to small and route all LFE to the sub only! Explaining that this setting in my receiver would prevent the low HZ from dropping the speakers ohms "too low" and blowing the amp. Again, in my mind I'm saying Bull****! I want my receiver set the way "I want it". To have to have "special" settings to accommodate any amplifier is ludicrous!
Also, I wanted to mention that sometime during this 2nd amp disaster, Emotiva actually discontinues the RPA-2, which just came out in Jan 2009. I think they only had it for sale the first couple months of this year. Emo states somewhere on their forums that the parts, cost of production, etc. became too expensive and they just couldn't offer the RPA-2 anymore, it didn't "fit" into their Business model and marketing strategy or whatever. I found that extremely ironic.
Back to the story. After 3 weeks I called Emo and asked how much longer to repair it, couple days later they ship it back to me. The amp arrives and I unpack it. At this point I just stop, didn't even hook it up or plug it in. I know at this point I'm just gonna put this thing on Audiogon or ebay & get rid of it. My mind was set on getting a completely different amp.
I go back to work and call Lonnie. This whole thing has just driven me crazy and I wanted Lonnie to explain to me "exactly" what failed in the amp before I sell it. Funny thing, he states he was just about to call me and make me an offer. He told me that he looked at the first amp that failed on me and said that on "both failed amps" the exact same resister fried. He said that "those M80's just go so low in ohms" (cough,bull****,cough), that any of his amps would just keep failing because none of the emo amps have a "limiter" built in. He said he would be glad to refund my money, send me a call tag to have it shipped back to him and we can both be done with this. I freaking jumped at his offer! I wanted my money back now and I could go buy a different amp.
A week later...got my refund in full. Right now, you all might want to take restroom break, grab a bite to eat or a coffee refill.
The story continues...
So while my second RPA-2 was being repaired I had been relentlessly researching different amps. Knowing I was going to wash my hands of this Emotiva amp one way or another. I was tired of this emo/axiom pairing issue, almost sick to my stomach of it. I was determined to find an amp that would blow my balls right off!
I must have read thousands of forum posts, reviews, audiogon listings, more reviews, more posts, more, more, more...even convincing myself I was going to just get a AVR and be done with it. I researched every freakin AVR and amplifier to no end. My eyes where hurting at this point.
Frustrated and weary, I went back to my very first post here on the Axiom Forums...http://www.axiomaudio.com/boards/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=241765&fpart=1
As I was reading the thread again, noticing again that both Randy and Sean had oddysey amps and I had already read every odyssey review I could find. I gave Klaus a call. As Sean and Randy had told me to do from the very beginning! God, how I wish I would have listened to you guys. I'm such an idiot!
As at least a couple of you know, Klaus is a class act. After a couple weeks and several conversations with Klaus and figuring my budget, I had Klaus start building me a pair Stratos monoblocks with board, cap, resistor and wiring upgrades, in Khartago cases. And then the long 5 week wait began.
As usual, Klaus found out exactly what my needs were, making it clear that my huge priority was pristine sound quality at levels that will, well...you know...blow my balls off! (been married for 24 years, so I have no need for them anyway
So the mono's finally arrived last Friday June 5th. They have been running 24 hours a day since.
Now, I won't go into how great they are. I have already done that with my RPA-2 posting and we can all see what that has done to me. Who knows, maybe these will blow up too. As Klaus put it, amplifiers are electronic and sometimes, electronic equipment just fails.
I will say this about my Odyssey monos. So far...(fingers crossed)...
my balls are gone, they came completely & cleanly off, no pain, no snags, nothing, just gone. I have been searching the house for them the last few days. I miss them dearly now...
I think the dogs got them, they both have strange, sort of "revengeful" smile on their faces.
Hope you all enjoyed my story...and I hope this may or may not be viewed as advice for future amplifier purchasers, not sure, it's just one guys experience.
And special thanks to Randy and Sean for leading me to Klaus, as they both tried to do in the beginning.