Problem with a new Emotiva XPS-1 TT pre-amp: THUMP, THUMP, THUMP...

Hi, I just added an Emotiva XPS-1 phono pre to bring my old/only TT (Kenwood KD-38R) into my new Raven Audio Blackhawk amplifier. (Please, no hurtful jokes...)

Anyway, sometimes when I lift the needle, I hear (*loud*) 60Hz popping, actually a continuous THUMP, THUMP, THUMP. It occurs whether the platter is still spinning/needle lifted or platter/stopped. The pop stops when I drop the needle,  however, and starts again when I lift the needle.

I didn't have this problem with TT connected to built-in pre on Denon AVR3802. Is it the Emotiva? Is this a "burn-in" issue? (BTW, any suggestions on burning-in this unit that is supposed to be left on all the time?) I'm not panicked - should i be? 

  • Note 1: everything (Amp, Pre, TT) is plugged into a common 3-wire power strip. Ground wire connected from TT to Pre. Both XPS-1 and TT are 2-terminal power cable though.
  • When I unplug/replug Emotiva XPS-1 back in, the popping stops  until I lift the needle again.
  • I tried plugging into different outlets...
  • TT is grounded to Emotiva XPS-1

That said, the sound experience appears to be improving with each LP (but Day 1).  Any ideas what's going on with this preamp?  Thanks for reading!

(FWIW, here are the first LP's I played to christen my system: Rush/Permanent Waves; Michael Hedges/Aerial Boundaries; Freda Payne/Golden Archive Series; the dB's/The Sound of Music; and Yes/Big Generator.)
OK, if I disconnect TT inputs to XPS-1, thumping is still there - so not the TT. If I lift the ground (from TT to XPS-1), no change to cyclical thumping. Actually, the thumping is about 1/2 speed if one or both TT inputs are removed.

There's no thumping if needle is down/playing, only when no "signal" is coming through.

I plugged XPS-1 into a different outlet, no change. So I think I have either a bad unit or its DC converter is bad. I won't be able to discuss with them until Monday. 
I haven't found anyone describing this type of issue, only one other poster who had to swap-out DC converters 2x in one year for the XPS-1. Will update what I find.

Just curious, I am considering Raven's Reflection integrated tube amp.  How do you like the Blackhawk?

I like it, a lot. I replied to your original post about Raven. My preference: tonal balance, deep sound stage, and clarity - all of which the Blackhawk provides. I experience no listening tiredness with it.

I have a NAD M51 DAC and I have my iMac and Sony SACD connected optically to the DAC. I was attempting to bring my TT to the Blackhawk via the XPS-1 preamp - which each LP, the sound was better (during burn-in). At times, it sounded just awesome. I just think I've got a bad XPS-1 or converted unit. 

My main amp/receiver was Denon AVR3802 before the Blackhawk.  I still use it for surround sound/DVDs. Never going back though for music.

I also like the customer experience of Raven and Dave whose passion for the products is clear and shared.
BTW, there's a significant discussion on Raven Audio at steve hoffman forums with exchanges with Dave - I recommend you check it out.
Solved! Thanks to suggestions from WaynerN and mprince on AK, I simply moved the adapter as far away as possible and plugged into a separate outlet. No more pulsing! I don't think this was a TT interaction because the XPS-1 would pulse even with TT unplugged.

I can report plenty of gain with the XPS-1 (in my MM TT) - my Raven Audio Blackhawk is at 9 o'clock position, about 2.5 and gain is about the same as my digital source (NAD M51 which I keep at 0dB). The XPS-1/Blackhawk is clear and quiet. I'm happy with the combination. Now, on with the TT upgrade research after 27 years.... :^)