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Just picked up a Emotiva XPA-5 - Giggity! (1 Viewer)


Oct 28, 2015
Real Name
Got my XPA-5 last night and hooked up 3 of the channels (fronts and center), popped in Dream Theater: Breaking the Fourth Wall concert bluray, and after a few minutes, the amp shut down. I removed the center channel from the amp so it's only driving my fronts and everything seems to be okay, even at very high volumes. It appears that my 20amp dedicated circuit is insufficient. I have the following equipment plugged into a CyberPower CPS1215RMS rackmount PDU (15amp 1800VA)

Pioneer Elite SC-95
Emotiva XPA-5
LG Bluray player
Roku 3
Verizon FIOS box
Sewell Direct BlastIR
Netgear Router
2 Servers (Intel-based) + 2 monitors (FreeNAS and NAS4Free)
TP-Link 24 port gigabit managed switch

Heh, as I typed the CyberPower sentence, I realized that THAT is probably my culprit... (although, 20amps may still be insufficient) It only handles 15amps and I'm pumping a ton of power-hungry gear through it to a 20amp circuit. I did some quick math and that Emotiva draws between 10-15amps by itself. I've got another 15amp circuit nearby that only has my projector on it. I think I'm going to add another PDU and move my servers and receiver onto that... Or, if my electrician used 12gauge wire, maybe I'll swap out the 20amp breaker with a 30amp and buy a new PDU that supports that!

More importantly, and of more interest to you guys (most likely anyway) is how awesome the Emotiva is. After I dropped it to two channels driving my fronts, it hummed like a bird (figuratively. If it makes any noise at all, which it doesn't, I wouldn't know because it's on the other side of a sound-deadened wall). The Pioneer Elite SC-95 that used to drive all my speakers sounded okay, but after hooking up the XPA-5 the sound was so much more crisp and clear. I've never owned a separate amp before and I have to say WOW! I didn't expect to have such a marked improvement in sound quality. I figured a modest one at best. In addition to the sound quality, cranking up the volume is well supported. My Pioneer would shutdown (in surround mode, in stereo mode it was fine) when cranked to -10dB. The Emotiva doesn't even blink regardless of sound mode.

Bottom line, I love it driving two channels. This amp has earned 4 out of 5 Giggities from me. Once I sort out my power issues and have all 5 channels going, it's sure to earn that 5th Giggity.

Phil A

Senior HTF Member
Oct 1, 2000
Central FL
Real Name
It's even worse if you have arc fault circuit breakers (electrical code for the last 15 years or so) as they tend to trip. I have 50 amps for the main AV system. I have a 20 amp circuit with a 20 amp Torus Power Conditioner into it (and my main 2 channel amp) and two 15 amp circuits each on its own receptacle. It didn't like a 3-channel amp I had (would trip about half the time upon start up) and if I took an extension cord and plugged the amp into a 20 amp circuit in the kitchen nook it was fine. So I sold it and got a Wyred4Sound monoblock for the center channel (the receiver can drive the rest) and it is fine. I have my subs plugged into other circuits so there is plenty of power available. Learned my lesson in the last house when besides the normal outlets I had one 15 amp circuit extra on a single receptacle and found that was barely enough.

Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 1999
Corpus Christi, TX
Real Name

Congrats on the new amp, Charleyp1! The Pioneer SC-95 has Class D amps, which may account for at least some of the sound quality difference. I expect that Class D is the “wave of the future,” but for now it’s still a relatively new technology.

Regarding the shut down, you forgot to mention a couple of important piece to the puzzle, for instance what speakers you’re using. If they’re a low-efficiency design or a difficult load, that could account for the shut down. Or perhaps you stuck the amp in a cabinet with inadequate ventilation.

Either could account for the amp shutting down more readily than an inadequate circuit. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an amp shutting down because of a voltage sag, but it’s typically best to plug them directly into the wall. CyberPower’s specs say the CPS1215 is a straight-through device with no filtering that could choke down current. But is the power cord on the XPA5 thicker than that on the CyberPower? That could certainly limit current delivery, especially if it’s being shared with a multitude of other devices.

BTW, a 30-amp circuit requires 10 ga. wiring, so don’t expect your electrician to change that breaker. It would be a hazard, and he isn’t going to sign up for a potential house fire. You didn’t say you’re having a problem with breakers tripping, so you aren’t over-taxing the capacity of your 20-amp circuit as it is. Maximum current deliver is determined with the size (gauge) of the wiring, so “upgrading” to a 30-amp breaker isn’t going to magically make a difference.


Wayne A. Pflughaupt



Bounded In a Nutshell
Senior HTF Member
Jun 20, 2000
A Mile High
Real Name
It's not a problem with lack of incoming power. As Wayne is alluding to, that would trip a breaker, not shut down the amp. I have a lot of Emotiva gear, as you can see in my sig. I run the entire system on (2) 15 amp circuits without trouble, and I draw a LOT of power, especially with my Thiels, which are notorious power hogs. Emotiva strongly recommends against using any kind of power source. Plug the amp directly into the wall. See if that fixes things.

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