Originally Posted by rokbyter
hahahaha, sad but true.
I'd like to hear about people's decision process - what they cross-shopped, what their needs were, how this fulfills them or doesn't, what made them go with it over the other products they considered. Their impressions beyond OMG LOVE IT, which tells us nothing really, did they compare it to what they had before, what was better/worse, etc. Technical issues, how they got solved... on-topic stuff. Not this pedantic internet slap fight.
For me, my Onkyo sr806 was having too many problems after 7 years of service. About 5 years of that, the center channel amp relay would not click on for multichannel content. I had an external amp for my mains, but ended up running the mains off the onkyo, and using one of the channels of the stereo amp to power the center channel.
This worked fine for some time. Always had issues with slow HDMI. Always had issues with center channel intelligibility. I could up the center volume, but it just got louder, but it seemed to not ever sound good.
The for the past year, on start up, there would be popping noises on all channels. After heat up, it would go away.
I did the 'heat gun' trick, thinking it was some soldier that might have cracked/etc over time. The heat gun trick seemed to work maybe a day or two at a time where the pops would go away. Anyhow.. I didn't want to deal with it anymore.. didn't want to check caps, etc.
I started shopping, and the main contenders were lowest cost with pre-outs (I wanted to keep using the amps I invested in, regardless if my speakers really didn't need the wattage):
1) Emotiva UMC-200
2) Outlaw 975
3) Yamaha RX-v775
4) Yamaha RX-A830
I think I was really thinking about what would last the longest. Having built-in amp issues with the Onkyo left a bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to go separates. But looking at the pricing, pre/pro + amp these days cost more than all-in-one receiver.
I was agonized that the main CE receivers had ALOT of feature/functionality.
The Emotiva and Outlaw units had SIGNIFICANTLY less features, as far as streaming, sound fields, etc.. AND 5+ channel amps were at least $400+.
The Emotiva and Outlaw units had the 'potential' for better sound? Cleaner? I didn't know. Just had a bunch of threads I read. A bunch of opinions.
Truthfully, I was going to purchase thhe RX-v775 when it was on closeout special for $450.. missed that sale.
I think what made me purchase the UMC-200 + UPA5 amp, was:
1) 5 year warranty. This was only valuable if the features provided were sufficient for me
2) 30 day return policy. Heck, try it, and see for yourself.
3) Reading good reviews about the UPA5.
4) Parametric EQ
5) Tax return, through Turbo Tax, I elected to receive some sum as an Amazon gift card. They gave +10%.
Anyhow, in all honesty, I just BIT THE BULLET, and ordered it all.
With all the testing/QA folks on this board did on the UMC-200, I more or less knew what I was getting into, and the shortcomings/issues.
In all, all said, it works great for me. In all honesty, I could have been even happier with one of the yamahas, or any other new mass market units. I don't know any better at this point, but I'm happy enough with the setup that I'm not feeling I made the wrong decision and generally not even interested in entertaining trying anything else out... for now.
As far as the cost of pre/pro + amp, generally, I am not happy with feature/price the current market presents. But part of me also wanted to support the lower end pre/pro market, and hopefully in time, more units will arise and at even lower price points.
I guess one more thing I was thinking was, I didn't mind buying amps, as they at least usually hold some value for many years.
AV receivers, however, end up almost worthless when the tech in it gets dated. The UMC-200 will likely be technologically worthless by 5 years time perhaps, but the UPA5 should still be sellable with some value.