Do you have any equipment that should be grounded (ie 3 prong plug) plugged into an ungrounded receptacle ? This could cause "grounds" to float and can cause popping.
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If you heard the same pop, but at a lower volume when you used your AR-9's, the level is now louder because the Eros ESL panels are 6-10 dB more efficient. The pop may be intrinsic to your Rotel processor. Be thankful you aren't using ALE or Goto horn systems: at 115 dB/w/m efficiency, the pop would probably sound like dinner theatre night with John Wilkes Booth.
You might consider sending the unit in for an inspection or repair. Popping sounds are caused by arcing 99% of the time in solid state gear - and in your case the arcs are either across the switch(es) or where the soldered leads from the switches meet the pcb. Could be bad/cold solder joints anywhere in that path. The mute function, when activated, "recharges" the arcing process.