Well, I finally joined the family! My RSP-2 arrived 2 days after my order was placed in excellent condition. Upon opening the box, I was very impressed not to see a plastic bag, but a nice cloth sack protecting my new pre-amp! Nice touch indeed. Upon further inspection the unit was cosmetically perfect except for the alignment of the bass, treble , and balance controls located on the right. Their indents are shifted off center and towards the right side of the unit instead of pointing straight up as one would except. No biggie, but it does distract from an otherwise beautiful build quality. Ok, I'm from old school components, and find the three knobs mentioned above to be very small in diameter, and much to short to grab for my tastes, but seeing how they are rarely used this really doesn't bother me. The manual needs some work in the spelling, and grammar department. I know another nit pic, but I feel the manual is a very important part of the purchase, and it's quality can say a lot to me about the product, and company I'm buying from. I feel the mistakes should be correct in future shipments to help reinforce a quality feel all around. Just me opinion.
Now lets get to it. Upon installing my new pre-amp, I decided it was time to replace all my cables just to make sure I was getting the full benefit from my purchase, so I re-wired the entire setup. So far so good. After doing this it was time for the launch sequence to begin. I made sure the cartridge selector in the back was set to MM so my Shure V15 would cooperate with my test run, then I ever so lightly flicked the power switch on in the back of the unit, and carefully pressed the power button. What do you know.......... it turned on! I then played my first CD, sat back in my listening chair, and began my dare I say .............. listening for every little defect, problem, annoyance, and reason I should send this underpriced, over hyped unit back, review. Well, was I surprised! I had not realized just how much my Crown IC-150 has deteriorated over it's 37 years of uninterrupted service. The top end opened up with silky smooth detail! The mid lows were much more punchy, the overall presentation was breathtaking! The unit mated very well with my new Crown XTI-2000 power amp. After listening to a couple cd's I thought it was time to move on to records.
This is where some issues began. I immediately noticed an increase in hiss! With no record playing and the volume cranked to 3/4, I could hear hiss about 11 feet back from my speakers. With my Crown I could hear hiss no further than 3 feet. This is in a dead silent, very live room. The other inputs are dead silent at full volume. I will have to speak with Lonnie about this issue. I can easily live with this as the in between record track noise floor almost totally masks any hiss, but I would like to confirm if this is normal operation.
I then began to start playing around with the remote, and noticed the volume control acting peculiar! It seem to operate the volume knob in an intermittent fashion. The knob feels fine. I think the remote seems to be the problem because if I hold the volume button down on the remote, and the communication light on the front panel pauses, so does the knob,. It's like the remote is sending an intermittent signal. Dann already said he would send out a new remote today. His quick, and courteous response was appreciated. I just really hope the entire unit won't have to go back for something so minor. Other than these two issue's, I'm extremely pleased with my purchase. Dealing with Emotiva has been nothing less than a pleasurable experience. The quality build, and sound of this product simply does not jive with it's small price tag. I was a little hesitant as some of you know to purchase this, because of an issue I had with a very well known high end Chinese tube headphone amplifier. Am glad I bought this pre-amp? Sure am! Would I buy another Emotiva product.......... in a heart beat.
So far the RSP-2 is a class act, and Dann, and Lonnie are wonderful, passionate, business men, who pay close attention to the smallest details. I can't say enough about working with them so far. The preamp is worth the price just based on the support alone. Their are very few products I have been this satisfied with, in a world where service, and quality are much to often a distant memory. As a business owner myself, I applaud Emotiva for it's passion in producing a top flight, quality product at a price most can afford.
Hi thought I'd fill you all in on my replacement RSP-2. Yes the entire unit was replaced! I received my new RSP-2 today, and hooked it up. The volume works fine now. You can see that it's pulsed, as Lonnie said, but it doesn't pause like the other one. It now glides up nicely. There was definitely something wrong with my phono stage on the old unit. This one can barely be heard at 3/4 volume, where the old one was very noticeable! Working with Emotiva has been a joy, and the preamp sounds superb! Very happy!