Troubleshooting balance issues

I'm hoping to get help troubleshooting balance issues I'm having with my system.  

Pre Amp is Parasound Halo P5.  Amplifier is Emotiva XPA-200.

I'm getting between 1.5-6dB less on the right channel than the left.

Below are the troubleshooting steps I've taken. I'm hoping you might have a couple other ideas:

  • All testing either with Mono recordings or single channel pink noise
  • Tried different interconnects
  • Ensured all connections good
  • Tried balanced and unbalanced connections into the emotiva amp
  • Tried through two different preamps
  • Swapped L/R output from amp to speaker and balance issue stayed on R output and switched to other speaker
  • Moved/swapped L speaker to the R side and vice versa
  • Measured L and R put with single channel pink noise
  • Swapped L/R 
Occasionally on a power cycle on the amp it will come back centered. Occasionally I'll get a full day centered. More often than not the R channel will be off -1.5 to -6 dB. The about of gain loss seems to stay stable (i.e. If -1.5 it will stay -1.5 for a while).

Would appreciate any additional ideas!!  

Thanks :)
Possible issues:

  • Room acoustics
  • Ear wax
  • Misalignment of speakers, vertically or horizontally.

First happens when you have one speaker closer to a wall, or one speaker has a wall and the other does not. This can be ameliorated somewhat by adding very thick panels on the existing wall, or relocating the speakers. Also look for reflections behind your listening location.  Despite common mythology, first reflections are NOT the main cause of this. Uneven reflection/absorption along the way often causes this.

Second is best treated by a doctor, but for this reason I use Nivea body wash, it does the best at regularly cleaning out ear wax. Without it my right ear tends to get waxy build up first. Based on your message, of having centering happen for a while and then gone, I think this is more likely your problem.

You can confirm the second by using headphones via any other device. A laptop, or phone.


I use a laser level to precisely align my speakers. Placing them symmetrically about a point in 3D is important as is aligning them with your listening location.

Carpets can make this difficult, so speakers with adjustable feet work really well.
Appreciate the response however each of those three fall apart when I swap switch the L / R output from the amp.  

If i put the L speaker cable in the R output from the amp the gain loss moves to the other side of the room.  Which would point to the R output from the amp being the issue, no?

Is it possible electronically to have one channel with inconsistent issues like that?
Well it’s not a problem with the OPs ears if it moves speaker when the channels are swapped 😉

i had the same problem in my system and it turned out to be worn out tubes in my phono stage. I suspect you have a hardware problem, especially given what you say about power cycling. Unfortunately this likely means a repair is necessary, and yes one channel can fail before the other
Ear wax drops followed by gently injecting warm water with an ear wash bulb works for me…for decades…recommended by my doctor after my complaining about wax build up when gigging as a too loud guitar player. Highly recommended.
If it changes with speaker cable swap, then it must be before the speakers.  The next thing I'd do is actually swap the whole speaker cable....disconnect the cable and reconnect them with the former left on the right etc.  If it is the same, then go to swapping cables from the preamp to the amp, then if no satisfaction...from the source, to the preamp.  I went nuts with the same issue and found the problem in my turntable setup....the azimuth was off.  I know it sucks, but don't give up.
Sounds like you’ve eliminated the speakers the speaker wires and the sources so that only leaves your amp. I’d suggest giving the manufacturer a call and send it in if it’s still under warranty. If not the find a reputable tech locally and have them check it out. Could be something simple as the dc off set out or transistor bias. I’ve had an amp do similar things and it was the bias out on one channel also could be a cold solder joint. 
I've not seen anything that suggests that the interconnect cables have been swapped at the input of the amp. If so, then that is the next step.

If the problem moves => amp is off the hook
If the problem does not move => amp problem

Rebooting the OP, did you solve this? Did you test this using headphones too?

I've experienced something similar using the P5 Preamp with active speakers. Noticed unbalanced sound in different pairs of headphones (but assuming that's a P5 headphone amp issue).