Emotiva MPS-2 amp and ongoing saga . . .

Hi, again.
I am at a loss and would like to hear any opinions I could. I bought the emotiva mps-2 amp and installed it with blue jeans rca cables this weekend. I spent the last day and a half troubleshooting a buzz/hum in the amp itself. Tried cheater plug on amp - no change, then found an offending floor lamp which when turned off substantially lowered the volume of the amp. I still do not think I can bear the sound of the amp when it is in stand-by waiting to be triggered on. It is just a bit louder than say my hd-dvr who's whirring can also be irritating. And, now upon having listened to vinyl and multi-channel dsd sacd's, I can say that the amp also sounds bright in my system and I don't know if it breaks in or if I have made a mistake (luckily emotiva is a good company that has a 30 day trial so I can send the amp back). Well, here are the details of my current system and maybe you can help me figure out what to do from here. The $1700 was expensive for me for the amp, but I am not averse to spending that on a good used, maybe tubed, amp for just my two-channel listening. I feel HT is fine with or without the amp, but I want the most I can squeeze out of my vinyl and my hi-rez music. Interested in good quality even at medium volumes. Well - here is what I have (and I don't think they are playing well together):

Denon 3808ci receiver (planned to use as pre with amp)

7.1 axiom system: M80s fronts, QS8's surrounds, VP150 center, m22ti's rears, and EP500 sub

Rega tt with VTAF, counterweight, and other upgrades, with either shelter 501 cart or denon dl 103 or goldring mm cart

Jolida phonostage

Oppo 980H universal player

Samsung blu-ray

Also run a simultaneous quadraphonic system anchored by klipsch la scalas and heresys and some mighty fine retro equipment that works wonderfully and is fun (if curious, I know I have written about that system as I've upgraded it and you could read in my other posts from a while back) - but this system is my fun vintage that sounds rich and is not fatiguing at all - glorious quad vinyl and tape!

So, added this emotiva amp and I am finding it forward, bright and even etchy sounding, but don't know if that is because it needs breaking in. Steely Dan ended up lispy and sibilant sounding (Aja - 180 gram vinyl) - never noted that before, but maybe I was playing this new amp louder than I usually run the denon? My ears fatigued after some Al Jarreau, Isaac Hayes, Steely Dan and I usually listen much longer. The speakers range from 4 to 6 to 8 ohm with fronts being 4 ohms.

So, should I have just bought a 2-channel amp? Tubes or no? Used or new? HT sounds fine as I said, but just not "wowed" by the music at this point. I wish I could afford to amp all channels at once, but maybe this was a shortcut. Also, I love the denon, but realize it may not be resolving enough, so was trying to overcome that with the amp. I am trying to have a nice HT that also serves as a wonderful music system. I'm on a teacher's salary, but have caviar tastes I guess. Would like best sound for the buck and equipment that over-achieves for its price. I like my tt setup for now since I've focused on it in past couple of years. Well, sorry this is wordy. I look forward to any opinions/ideas suggestions even if radical like trying different speakers or whatever. Thanks.
I think you need some time on the amp and cable to break in; I don't know the sonic signature of this amp but I have a emotiva dmc-1 processor that did need sometime for breakin.
I would run the heck out of it to see if the sound moves in the direction you are looking for before the 30 day trial period expires; and if it does not change excerise your right of return.
Sounds very reasonable! I am going to turn it back on right now and run it - maybe do some 7 channel stereo to work each module. I appreciate the suggestion.
Second Rleff's take.I may also be leaning toward a used 4Bsst,possibly a 4Bst to better suit your 2-channel tastes.YMMV,Bob
Thanks, Bob. I couldn't live with this horrible hum and am now resigned to packing it up and sending it back (at great expense and disassembling work). I am definitely only looking into probably a 4bst (can't afford the sst at this point) or other suitable amp of that quality. I think that will do what I need and I'll have value for my money. Thanks!
Laura (chapin99)
It seems that you want to have a system for both 2-ch and HT applications. 2-ch performance is important to you. If that is the case, I have gone through a similar journey in the last 4 years. It has been an expensive journey as I have rotated 5 sets of front/2-ch speakers, as well as other gears!

My recommendation is as follows. If budget is a constraint, I would use a HT Receiver (Denon, Marantz, Pioneer Elite, etc.) for center, side, and rear channels. I would get a nice 2-ch system for music playback and L/R channels of HT application. I would also get one or two larger subwoofers (15" or larger) and set all speakers as "small" in the HT receiver.

Additionally, one needs to pay special attention to the interference from HT gears to 2-ch system. This type of interference can be from AC power line and/or interconnect wires between them.

Hope it helps.
Your axioms and probably the room are to blame for the brightness. I am fairly certain you will have the same issue after break-in.
I have heard that Axioms are on the bright sound. Combine that with certain Solid state amps, and it is a recipe for an overly harsh sound. With those speakers I would consider some Tube amps to soften down the system. Some Solid state amps have a tube like sound, Classe, B&K. Changing amps made a huge difference in my system.