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Anyone else tried the Nakamichi Shockwafe Pro?

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Post time 2017-5-11 15:24:04 | Show all posts |Read mode
Ok so I upgraded to a Samsung KS8000 65" TV and wanted a different soundbar to go with it so I blindly ordered a Nakamichi Soundwafe Pro after reading many good reviews on Amazon. It sounds... Terrible. I upgraded the firmware which was supposed to improve some of the DSP settings but it did little. The midrange vocals just sound muddy to the point you can barely decipher them when there is other sounds in the scene. I have it connected using HDMI ARC and tested with a few familiar movies and TV series on Netflix and DirectTV.
Interested to hear other feedback. Maybe mine has an issue? I really don't see how anyone at Nakamichi could release a product that sounds this bad.
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Post time 2017-5-11 15:24:54 | Show all posts
Is this what you have?  NAKAMICHI SHOCKWAVE PRO 7.1 Ch 45-Inch Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Rear Satellite Speakers.      Nakamichi made wonderful audio equipment at one time…  I don't know if they still do.  However, for the money, and considering the reviews, this looks like a pretty good deal at approximately $500.  It wouldn't have occurred to me to think of Nakamichi as my first choice in a soundbar, but that is neither here nor there.     
In general, I've found that Amazon customer reviews to be a pretty good guide, as long as you are aware that often Amazon lumps together various models from the same manufacturer together in the same reviews.  However, that doesn't seem to be the case here.  Your experience does seem to be wildly at variance with what virtually every reviewer has stated about this soundbar.  Several of these reviewers talk about very good customer support from Nakamichi.  So, I recommend that you contact them today!
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 Author| Post time 2017-5-11 15:25:29 | Show all posts

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Post time 2017-5-11 15:26:06 | Show all posts
That's an interesting review from Digital Trends.  There are several possibilities here, although everything points to at the very least a problem with digital signal processing.    Is this correctable with firmware updates?  That remains to be seen.  The one which was provided to you may not be the end of the story, or an effective fix.  It's possible, as well, that there are hardware inconsistencies that are appearing in production, or it's possible that some of the reviewers on Amazon haven't pushed their soundbars to the extent that Digital Trends did.    I did, of course, see and read the negative reviews on Amazon, but the vast majority were quite good.  Hence the mystery.  Does Nakamichi have a phone number that you can call?  I often find that personal contact by phone is more effective.
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 Author| Post time 2017-5-11 15:26:54 | Show all posts
After further research I'm not real sure what is going on with Nak. They have no US contact phone number on their site. In fact the only item on their US site is this soundbar. When you go to their corporate site it appears to be the same products from many, many years ago on there. I have a sneaking suspicion this may be some outsourced product they stuck their name on.
Ohh well, it was worth a try. I just picked up a Sony HT-NT5. If I can't get this resolved with Nak then it's going back. Luckily I don't have anything mounted yet so it's easy to swap and return.
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 Author| Post time 2017-5-11 15:27:31 | Show all posts
I heard back from Nak last night. They are aware of the issue and will have a new remote available mid September that allows you to access a DTS EQ mode which "will remove the muddy audio".
I did more listening and adjusting last night as well and it's just really all over the place. Things like game shows and news programs sound fine (not great, but fine), but as soon as you add music into the mix it's like the voices gets suppressed and the background music takes over. Definitely some DSP issues going on. Unfortunately it's just not usable in it's current state and I can't wait a month to hope that a new DSP mode "might" fix it. Then I've lost the ability to return it for a refund.
So, I'll be testing Sony's NT5 tonight and posting a review.
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Post time 2017-5-11 15:28:06 | Show all posts
I think you must have connected to an old Nakamichi site,  I went to nakamichi.com and saw numerous products, from home theater to car stereo.  Did you tell them about your return window?  Maybe they can get a beta test of the remote. to you.  I would tell them that you're discussing the issue on a public forum.  That can help them if they resolve it.  They said it was an equalization issue rather than DSP?  For much more money ($1500), I'd get the Samsung 5.1.4 Atmos soundbar. It's quite a product.
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 Author| Post time 2017-5-11 15:28:36 | Show all posts

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 Author| Post time 2017-5-11 15:29:07 | Show all posts
So I am happy to report the issue with the Nak soundbar is partially resolved. The Samsung KS8000 TV was defaulting it's audio mode to PCM even though the HDMI format was set to bitstream. Apparently the soundbar has an issue with PCM format audio. When I went into the expert sound menu in the Samsung and set Audio Format to Dolby digital it resolved the issue. So just to confirm, HDMI Audio Format needs to be on Bitsteam and Audio Format needs set to Dolby Digital. This needs done for each input.
The sound quality was excellent with these settings.
Once this was working it uncovered another issue though. The CEC control via ARC does not work at all with the Samsung TV. No power control, no volume control. Uggg....
I switched to the Sony NT5 soundbar I'm testing and it works perfect. The Samsung remote controls volume and power through CEC.
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Post time 2016-6-9 12:16:00 | Show all posts

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