I have tried stereo as well as direct as well as toggling between using the EmoQ EQ settings (that I edited) or using a flat unused EQ. I need to actually play with this a lot more to figure out exactly when I hear distortion but it seemed to be there under most iterations I tried last night. I know this is old information from prior firmware, but someone else posted similar issues a while back and was told by Emotiva to load defaults and recalibrate etc and this 100% fixed the issue for them. I am going to do this first, its very easy to do so no problem whatsoever. Will report back- if its fixed- thank to god it was simple. If its not I will reload firmware etc and try again.
I did a load defaults. Power off Power on Re-entered more or less the EmoQ results from prior calibration. Listened to music again-
Its just odd, some tracks exhibit clear distortion regardless of the attenuation level that I apply to the source, I was thinking that maybe the PS3 is to hot off its analog output but the HDMI also shows distortion and it is independent of the source attenuation (tried 0 to -8 db) all that changing that does is to change the volume knob setting to get a given level of sound, distortion is not effected.
I think I will be calling emotiva to see whats up with this. Seems increasingly to be a hardware issue.
I looked for that, could not find anything on my PS3 to set the output volume, but I have a very old near first production run version that has the PS2 emulation chip on board, so it may not have this option or I may need to look on line in more detail to see if its buried somewhere I missed.
One perhaps interesting thing, and I somehow doubt this will hold up with continued listening, but it seems like the distortion I am hearing is mostly if only present when I am playing back a ripped file from the PS3 hard drive. When I play off CD it seems better... but I need to start shuffling CD's through the system before I believe this. Wonder if that does begin to hint at a PS3 problem with hte strength of the signal, because there is at least one report of this type of problem being related to a hot input signal. Strange though if this is the case, cause lots of people use PS3 and I would think this would be wide spread. I personally have never changed any setting in the PS3 related to this (I cannot even find it) but its just possible the setting exists and the person who owned it first (like 5 years ago) actually did change this- I would of course not know.
I think I can help. When playing the movie press the triangle button and go to the speaker icon. Put it to the middle where it is neither + or -. Before doing all this and before playing the video go to video settings and turn off dyanmic range control. (You don't want automatic). There's also stuff in the Audio section of settings that you can figure out.
Transport: Sony BDP 5100 Blu ray player spdif PC using Musiland Digital Times WASAPI via BNC connection - DAC: DC-1->XLR XPA-1 , RCA->Basx A-100 CD: Denon DCD 600 PCM 61 DAC. RCA Amp: XPA-1 gen 2 using XLR connections. Speakers: Axiom Audio m80 V3, Sennheisser HD700 headphones. two pairs 12 guage each bi-wire speaker cables per monoblock Headphone amp: Basx A-100 (INCREDIBLE VALUE!!)
Other equipment: Asus Xonar essence ST Behringer UCA 202 Sennheiser HD600
Thanks to garbulky I was able to find the output source line volume control on the PS3, which I am embarrassed to admit I had been unaware of for the prior 5 years of my ownership having bought it used. As it turns out the prior owner had that set to +4 (MAX) and setting it to 0 (neutral) indeed appears to have disappeared my distortion. It would appear that I now have a clean signal top to bottom and can hear the UMC-1 clearly, which is to say- NOT AT ALL.
As I stated when I started this review, my feeling was that the UMC-1 was extremely neutral, got out of the way and I had a very very positive feeling about the system but for the software upgrade routine and the distortion.
I can now say that the distortion was caused definitively by a hot source (thanks to this forum for allowing posts good bad and ugly, because I found another person that solved a similar distortion issue by attenuating source volume). Without being able to ask for help and read about all other issues I would not probably have figured this out.
One final addition- I had decided to re-do the system update and although the last time I did this it went smoothly, this final time it was incredibly painful (again- the first attempt required posts to this forum to help me even get it to download without time out errors). So, here is my final opinion on the UMC-1
Sound quality is exceptional for price- period. Software upgrade comm is incredibly broken and barely functional- a very serious black eye. However, when you can manage a successful update you are rewarded.
My advice, get one with the final version of the firmware installed and be happy.
Overall, I would actually get this identical unit again, it was a huge pain to upgrade but I got it for a very good price, I learned a lot about my system, and discovered something I would never have known about on the PS3, and----- its sounding very very very good. That was after all the goal.
Thanks for all the help. When I get my brand spanking new XPA-5 I will address its effect on the system here. That may be a bit- but I am enjoying myself now.
My Brand spanking new XPA-5 (courtesy of the Holiday SALE!) arrived today. Sadly, Its a Christmas present that must sit unattended for a few weeks.
But. I lugged the box down stairs, not so bad actually, I was envisioning needing a cart from some posts but it was easy enough to pick up and walk down stairs to hide it from myself for my wife
I have to say, I have had two real hard core listening sessions with a friend (audiophile) who brought over some really sweet music and tested out my system. The UMC-1 was worth every bit of blood sweat and tears for the upgrade path and getting it dialed in. Very satisfying.
In fact, we both were seriously impressed with how well the Yamaha was powering things using it as ONLY an amp. I am now very very curious to see what new layers of nuance may yet be waiting to spill out of the speakers when driven by a more substantial amp. I have seen a couple of posts from people using the XPA-5 with Paradigm speakers coming from all-in-one receivers and finding improvements to be obvious and worth the upgrade. Look for my 2c here after the holidays.
And... my speaker wire is waiting for the amp, the Anti-cable spade terminations I ordered will not fit on my current receiver (used as an amp) so I think I am going to just throw all the new stuff on and see how it sounds! Thanks for the help- now I know how to accurately set up after EmoQ and will be doing that immediately after plugging everything in (well... at least within a day or two).