Some of you know my ridiculous journey with separates over the last year, but here's a quick recap. It started with an Adcom GFA-5503 that I got off eBay that lasted only a month or so before the right channel started crackling. It spent 6 weeks in a local shop and they could never figure out the problem.
Then, I bought a Parasound HCA-2003 from Inspector 24 here at the forum, as well as a Parasound HCA-1206 from swegyptian, thinking I could put all 9 channels on separate amplification. The 2003 seemed to work at first, but quickly developed noise/crackling issues that you could resolve by powering the amp off and back on... though the noise in one channel would reappear after a few hours of use. The 1206 had an obviously bad 5th channel along with a constant low-level hum from the other channels. Not a knock on either member of the forum, as I believe both of them that the amps were in working order when shipped.
So all three amps spent the last few months with a tech, who believed that he had all the issues resolved and returned all three amps to me. The 2003 again seemed fine... for a day or two, at which point the noise came back. The 1206's hum seemed to be gone, but the 5th channel still sounded bad... and then the 2nd channel randomly dropped +10dB in level for no apparent reason. So I swapped the surrounds back to my receiver and put the Adcom back in place... and the right channel is now perfectly fine. However, the LEFT channel is now crackling.
The last few weeks, I have been trying to coordinate with the tech to get the amps back to him, after getting some advice from Parasound on what the problems could be (speaker output relays on the 2003, which is supposedly a cheap fix... and several things to check on the 1206 - Tony with Parasound is awesome). Unfortunately, it looks like it may be several weeks before I can even get the amps back to the tech (he's located an hour away from me and is currently out of town).
So this morning, I said to hell with it and bought an XPA-3 from Emotiva. I figure I'm fine running the surrounds off my AVR, but my mains and center really sound better when given some decent power (as I learned when I first got the Adcom). Perhaps I should have remained blissfully unaware and never ventured into separates in the first place... but after roughly $1,200 of used amps with no joy, I'm determined to have something that works... and the Emo seems like a fair bet, despite all the animosity the name seems to engender here. Not sure what I'm doing with the other three amps yet. I guess I'll give them back to the tech and see if he can get them running. If not, I'm thinking the Gulf of Mexico may get a new amp-based fishing reef.
Of course, given the luck I've had with amps thus far, I'm already steeling myself for the moment when I learn that it was somehow my AVR to blame. I've done everything I could to rule that out... but at this point, it seems I'm just cursed. Will report back when the Emo arrives!