Nuvo Essentia + Music Port -- vs. -- Russound MCA-C3 + DMS 3.1 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-17-2014, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Nuvo Essentia + Music Port -- vs. -- Russound MCA-C3 + DMS 3.1

Built house; moved in 1 yr ago. I have ~10K ft. of almost every kind of media/data wire ran throughout. Have a server room in basement, rack, centralized sat. boxes, 5.1 systems, ect...

Last piece of puzzle is whole-home audio. I wired 4 zones, each with a pair of speakers and single cat5e for keypad.

I'm tore between Nuvo Essentia and Russound MCA-C3. I def. want an FM tuner and SiriusXM streaming capability.

I found several Essentia systems online and they seem much cheaper & easier to find than Russound. Cost is impt. to me, my wife is about to loose it with my structured wiring! Also, I've done all wiring up to this pt. by myself and do not want to start down installer/contractor route; I'm fully capable.

Pros:
-Essentia easier to find and several new/used Amps for relatively cheap online
-Russound MCA-C3 has built-in web server, web config option
-Russound free iOS/Android app
-MCA-C3 built-in FM Tuner
-MCA-C3 No extra control ports necessary; RJ45's in the AMP, which works nicely with my already-installed patch panel.

Cons:
-Russound seems difficult to find w/out going through distributor
-Some negative reviews of Russound DMS 3.1 and lack of future support potential from Russound.
-RS-232 config/programming of Essentia; no web server config.
- Essentia would require both Media Port streamer and FM tuner since it doesn't not have built-in tuner
-Essentia paid iOS app?


Anyone have other thoughts/recommendations?
thanks!

Last edited by pecker88; 06-17-2014 at 01:51 PM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-17-2014, 02:12 PM
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You probably don't need an FM tuner - either system will stream Internet Radio, and most stations stream their content on the web (and more!). You can check in advance by looking for your stations at RadioTime...

The RS232 programming of the Essentia is a one-time thing and I wouldn't base your decision on a one-time operation.

NuVo also made the MusicPort App (iOS/Andriod) free now...

There is a new firmware / software release coming (may already be out) for the MusicPort - there's some web training event next week to talk about "v5".


Jeff

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post #3 of 5 Old 06-17-2014, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post
You probably don't need an FM tuner - either system will stream Internet Radio, and most stations stream their content on the web (and more!). You can check in advance by looking for your stations at RadioTime...

The RS232 programming of the Essentia is a one-time thing and I wouldn't base your decision on a one-time operation.

NuVo also made the MusicPort App (iOS/Andriod) free now...

There is a new firmware / software release coming (may already be out) for the MusicPort - there's some web training event next week to talk about "v5".


Jeff
what about firmware updates, bug fixes? I think it would be a pain to hardwire to the amp. I guess I'm just struggling that the Amp isn't IP-ready almost all new hardware has an etherent port and can work over http.

Are you aware of any keypad limitations NV-E6GCP-DC (single gang) vs. NV-I8GCP(dual gang) when it comes to controlling the music port? Are both models able to change stations and sources on the music port?
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-17-2014, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecker88 View Post
what about firmware updates, bug fixes? I think it would be a pain to hardwire to the amp. I guess I'm just struggling that the Amp isn't IP-ready almost all new hardware has an etherent port and can work over http.
Correct, it's not a new design, but the bulk of firmware/software updates would occur in the MusicPort anyway (which is updated over Ethernet). The Essentia/Grand Concerto controllers themselves have needed very few updates over the years. They are very stable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pecker88 View Post
Are you aware of any keypad limitations NV-E6GCP-DC (single gang) vs. NV-I8GCP(dual gang) when it comes to controlling the music port? Are both models able to change stations and sources on the music port?
They have the same functionality in terms of menus and functionality. The dual-gang display is super nice and easily readable from across the room. You can mix and match - I would consider using the dual-gang in primary areas if you can. You can pick up 'extra' keypads on eBay for ~$100-150...


Jeff

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-08-2014, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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ended up going with the Russound MCA-C3, just got it installed last night.
I got a lightly used unit with no keypads for $700.

Reasoning for not going with Nuvo:
-The Nuvo controller can't be accessed over IP
-The Nuvo controller cannot be accessed with iOS/Android app, Media Port ($1800) required for app control
-The Nuvo does not have a built-in FM tuner

So, assuming I could have found a Nuvo Essentia used for $700 it would have been useless w/out spending more.

With the Russound that was not the case. I configured all the zones, then threw it in my rack. Plugged it into my router, and accessed it via Browser and hit the "firmware update" button and in 10 mins, it was up to the latest fw.

Got the myRussound app on phone, and about 1 hour later, I was running all the zones in the house, listening to FM radio.

Pretty sweet!!
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