Emotiva XMC-1 Chat Thread: technical talk only please - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
I thought, BICBW, that at their Atlanta show they said they couldn't get Dirac working because of a problem with the hotel Internet connection.

Am I right in thinking that - anyone else remember it? They didn’t mention that maybe they couldn't get Dirac working because Dirac wasn't actually implemented yet.

Just checked - I was right...

KeithL said. on July 2nd, 2014:

"One of the code updates we made in response to the results of testing caused a minor - but somewhat unexpected - glitch in the communications between the Dirac software and the XMC-1. This made it unlikely that we could get both to work together properly over a hotel's limited network. Since the whole point of Dirac is being able to make corrections that are specific to your room, and we weren't at all sure we could get it to run a proper curve for the room at the hotel, we decided there wasn't much point in "demoing" it with a curve that was run somewhere else (and so was wrong for that room)."

Here is the link to that post: http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/post/649317
The Dirac PC software requires an internet connection to verify your license. I assume once a filter is computed and uploaded to the xmc-1, a connection is no longer necessary, but a filter for another room would probable do more harm than good. Their story seems plausible to me. Too bad they didn't have a mobile phone with wifi sharing, or something like that.
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post #32 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 09:26 AM
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From the emotiva forum here:

The Dirac room correction engine is fully functional and working fine. There is no chance that Dirac will not be implemented at this point.

We are finishing up the firmware that allows verification, updates, and communication, etc. with Dirac. That's all.

The Dirac system requires a real time connection with Dirac HQ to perform the final optimization of the filter design and authentication of the license. This only occurs during the measurement phase. After that the unit is self contained with the correction coefficients held in memory.

We're almost done with this work.

There is nothing needed from a hardware standpoint to implement Dirac, Units shipped now will need a quick USB flash and be ready to go.

If you do not want the XMC-1 until the Dirac is loaded, just sit tight. You will not lose your place in line.

We are not putting anyone on the spot. Either you want it now or you don't.

I find it amusing that there are units out there for $10k that don't do half as much as the XMC-1 does right now and no one has an issue with them. Oh well.

In the meantime, let the planets collide as they will. We're doing our best to give you a remarkable product and we'll just keep at it.
Cheers,
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post #33 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
The Dirac PC software requires an internet connection to verify your license.
Network connection problems at the hotel was their excuse for Dirac not working at their road show but doesn't explain why it isn't working on units that are supposed to be shipping soon.
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post #34 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
The Dirac PC software requires an internet connection to verify your license. I assume once a filter is computed and uploaded to the xmc-1, a connection is no longer necessary, but a filter for another room would probable do more harm than good. Their story seems plausible to me. Too bad they didn't have a mobile phone with wifi sharing, or something like that.
But how is it plausible if their unit doesn't have Dirac in it?
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post #35 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
But how is it plausible if their unit doesn't have Dirac in it?
I assume it had a work-in-progress version, without final authentication, updates, etc, like they said.
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post #36 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
I assume it had a work-in-progress version, without final authentication, updates, etc, like they said.
That isn't what they said. If they had a WIP version that didn’t have the ability to connect to the net for some reason, then presumably that is what they would have said. But they said they couldn't demo Dirac because of the hotel Internet service.
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post #37 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
I thought, BICBW, that at their Atlanta show they said they couldn't get Dirac working because of a problem with the hotel Internet connection.

Am I right in thinking that - anyone else remember it? They didn’t mention that maybe they couldn't get Dirac working because Dirac wasn't actually implemented yet.

Just checked - I was right...

KeithL said. on July 2nd, 2014:

"One of the code updates we made in response to the results of testing caused a minor - but somewhat unexpected - glitch in the communications between the Dirac software and the XMC-1. This made it unlikely that we could get both to work together properly over a hotel's limited network. Since the whole point of Dirac is being able to make corrections that are specific to your room, and we weren't at all sure we could get it to run a proper curve for the room at the hotel, we decided there wasn't much point in "demoing" it with a curve that was run somewhere else (and so was wrong for that room)."

Here is the link to that post: http://emotivalounge.proboards.com/post/649317
Keith,

You make a good point. How can an Emotiva employee claim Dirac wasn't working due to the hotel not having the proper internet connection when now it is announced Dirac isn't ready at all. This is just another reason one has to question the validity of anything Emotiva posts online. I'm far from an Emotiva "hater" but the BS just keeps flowing .

Bill
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post #38 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post
Keith,

You make a good point. How can an Emotiva employee claim Dirac wasn't working due to the hotel not having the proper internet connection when now it is announced Dirac isn't ready at all. This is just another reason one has to question the validity of anything Emotiva posts online. I'm far from an Emotiva "hater" but the BS just keeps flowing .

Bill
Sadly, it seems so. And unfortunately there has been so much of it that now everything they say is questioned and doubted.

Nonetheless, I am still hopeful that the unit will "surpass expectations" (maybe that isn't too hard now?) and especially that their version of Dirac will be an interesting contender in the affordable REQ stakes. I'd like to see something give Audyssey a kick up the ass - they seem to have ceased development of XT32. And if Dirac are successful in the XMC-1, my hope is that it might then find its way into the units of the mainstream manufacturers. The first authoritative reviews from someone like Kal will be very interesting, especially if they do a comparison with XT32 and the others, with objective results as well as subjective ones.
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post #39 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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In fact, re-reading Dan's post quoted above, maybe we are being too harsh. If the units in Atlanta were installed with Dirac, but this FW issue was preventing them from connecting to the net, then maybe they have a bit of maneuvering room. Mind you, that still isn’t what they said - they didn’t say "we can't run Dirac because our current FW doesn't allow us to connect to the net". They said "The hotel Internet is so poor it is preventing us connecting to the net". That does seem to be rather economical with the truth.

It would have been more honest to say the former - but then that would have raised questions such as "when will it be ready?" or "will it delay the launch?" and so on, which I can understand them not wanting to answer.
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post #40 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 01:50 PM
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I think EmoKeith implied they were having trouble connecting to Dirac servers in the lab and didn't want to attempt it on a flaky, unknown hotel network. At least that's the impression that I got from his comments.

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post #41 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 02:04 PM
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I think EmoKeith implied they were having trouble connecting to Dirac servers in the lab and didn't want to attempt it on a flaky, unknown hotel network. At least that's the impression that I got from his comments.
Similar interpretation here. I assumed that for some reason, the Dirac licensing software wasn't able to connect through the hotel's internet connection. Not that they didn't want to try, but that they tried, but it didn't work. It's true that hotel internet can be flaky, and perhaps the Dirac security code isn't very tolerant of unreliable, high latency networks or fickle firewalls.

Also, it's possible that they had a prototype version that worked, which was fine for a demo unit that was physically secure. A publicly available unit would need to have the final version with final security measures intended for public consumption. It's not the same thing.

Aside from their optimistic predictions of dates, I haven't seen any indication that they are liars. With the dates, I suspect that they believed their own promises, which is different than lying. So, why not give them the benefit of the doubt, and interpret what they are saying a little more generously?

If there is some indication that they were intentionally lying about something, rather than just terribly unreliable about dates, then I could understand a more skeptical interpretation.
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post #42 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
They said "The hotel Internet is so poor it is preventing us connecting to the net". That does seem to be rather economical with the truth.
That is totally plausible. There are a lot of things that can interfere with internet communication, and many of them tend to happen in hotels with the worst possible timing.
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post #43 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 02:29 PM
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BTW, once you guys start getting XMC-1s with Dirac, make sure you get the option for custom target curves. I'm currently using Dirac Live for PC, and spending some time experimenting with custom target curves is essential for good results.
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post #44 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 02:33 PM
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....and spending some time experimenting with custom target curves is essential for good results.
Absolutely positively.
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post #45 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 03:35 PM
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I have an XSP-1 and I would have added myself to the wait list but I'm glad I didn't as it has been 11 months since then.

I love my XSP-1 and Oppo 105 to death, it has flawless sound IMO, I couldn't even imagine better SQ (I doubt it would even be perceivable.)

That said, I'm really really curious to see how it would perform relative to the XSP-1 and UMC-200 for SQ; assuming everything is clean it probably comes down to the DAC and power supply ripple.
I hope they will post AP charts the frequency and distortion profile.

The coolest feature TO ME is the 7.2 channels of XLR outputs as all my amps are XLR ONLY, and I hope they measure flat to 3hz because the CleanBox XLR converters I'm using now on the Oppo 105 rolloff like crazy in the single digits, it would be great to gain back what I'm losing ATM; otherwise I don't see the point of me upgrading to an XMC-1. I'll probably skip it and ride the storm for a debugged XMC-2 or RMC-1 with HDMI 2.0 processing and TRUE 11.2 outputs. Unfortunately the XMC-1 is a little toooooo late to join the party, especially for $2000...

chalugadp in your opinion and from memory, what did you think of my XSP-1/105 combo compared to your 103/umc-200 when we were at jbrown's on his JTR's and the Tempest 12's with his highpowered Sherbourn amp?


I know you've said you have woodwooker-ears, but I have to ask regardless...

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post #46 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 04:34 PM
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That said, I'm really really curious to see how it would perform relative to the XSP-1 and UMC-200 for SQ
If you have a PC source, I'd encourage you to try the Dirac Live free trial to get a taste:
http://www.dirac.se/en/consumer-products/dirac-rcs.aspx

(I can't speak to the DAC, other than what was in that report they published.)
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post #47 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
I applaud Emotiva for publishing that 90 page Audio Precision report. I hope someone with a technical background will be able to comment on the most important parts of it. I have had a quick look and as far as I am able to understand, all the relevant parameters seem to be covered. I have already seen one comment elsewhere along the lines of "Wow! Look at that SNR rating" when indeed the SNR was very good, but as it was also well beyond the threshold of human audibility, in reality it is no better than any other unit which has a decent SNR.
WOAH. I just saw the report. It measures better than the XSP-1!!!

How is this possible? Did they screw up the XSP-1 or is their (new?) AP unit now less of a bottleneck?

How can a digital processor beat a device that only has 2-channels in pure analog? How can they ADD stuff to the signal path and get BETTER RESULTS? Something isn't right here...
They are either lying about the XMC-1's performance or the AP unit is broken or they fixed a (IMO) MAJOR defect of the XSP-1 inside the XMC-1 analog path!

The scaling on the charts are different so it makes it hard to compare, but the XSP-1 has a better impulse and frequency response profile but 10db more noise and 20degrees worse phase than the XMC-1 in their analog modes; and in the digital mode of the XMC-1 they measure nearly the same.

That said, I am happy to see that they are only -0.1db @ 5hz, that's awesome.

If these AP charts are true, then I can now replace my CleanBoxes and get to a proper 3hz on the LFE and surround channels!!!
Not only that but I don't think ANYONE will be complaining of it's lack of SQ, and I can replace my XSP-1 altogether with this thing!

That said, I'm a bit disheartened to see that the XSP-1 (their most PURE direct feed device, for which I bought it for) is not so 100% PURE after all!

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post #48 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 05:38 PM
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I think this preprocessor may be of value at $1k for the balanced outputs (2 channels fully balanced) for those of us running pro amps...but at $2k its a stretch. With or without Diriac I am not thinking its worth the cost, I have yet to hear any automated room EQ system I can live with long term. I prefer using REW and measuring - a lot more work for sure but for me it is worth it in the end.

I also dont like all the bling on the unit....looks like Symphonic brand console unit my buddies parents owned in 80's. All the script font and blue lights don't do it for me.

Looks like the new Denon 5200 may be in my future.

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post #49 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 05:39 PM
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I have an XSP-1 and I would have added myself to the wait list but I'm glad I didn't as it has been 11 months since then.

I love my XSP-1 and Oppo 105 to death, it has flawless sound IMO, I couldn't even imagine better SQ (I doubt it would even be perceivable.)

That said, I'm really really curious to see how it would perform relative to the XSP-1 and UMC-200 for SQ; assuming everything is clean it probably comes down to the DAC and power supply ripple.
I hope they will post AP charts the frequency and distortion profile.

The coolest feature TO ME is the 7.2 channels of XLR outputs as all my amps are XLR ONLY, and I hope they measure flat to 3hz because the CleanBox XLR converters I'm using now on the Oppo 105 rolloff like crazy in the single digits, it would be great to gain back what I'm losing ATM; otherwise I don't see the point of me upgrading to an XMC-1. I'll probably skip it and ride the storm for a debugged XMC-2 or RMC-1 with HDMI 2.0 processing and TRUE 11.2 outputs. Unfortunately the XMC-1 is a little toooooo late to join the party, especially for $2000...

chalugadp in your opinion and from memory, what did you think of my XSP-1/105 combo compared to your 103/umc-200 when we were at jbrown's on his JTR's and the Tempest 12's with his highpowered Sherbourn amp?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63iVw6o_TUU

I know you've said you have woodwooker-ears, but I have to ask regardless...
wasn't enough of music to hear to give a full review but it sounded very clean. if I was to guess I'd say 5-10 % better then my umc200 but wouldn't put that in writing.
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post #50 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 07:46 PM
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With or without Diriac I am not thinking its worth the cost, I have yet to hear any automated room EQ system I can live with long term.
Seriously, you should give the free Dirac demo a try.
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post #51 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 07:55 PM
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I'm pretty sure this $2000 processor is fully deferentially balanced on all 9 outputs (it would be beyond stupid if it didn't at that price). [Say it ain't so? ]
I could see people complaining about the missing 7 fully deferentially balanced analog inputs it lacks, but how many people does that apply to beyond the 2 that it has? Probably less than 0.00001% of Emotiva buyers; I don't need it, so certainly not me...

As for Dirac, I could care less... I tried their 2-ch PC version and it was something not-desirable to me (not hi-fi). [I will reserve final judgement for when I hear a DataSat or XMC-1 7.1 hardware-solution].

Even with the XMC-1's spectacular 7.2 noisefloor and <5hz response sporting XLR, it is still too-little-too-late for me.
The XMC-1 is what the UMC-1 should have been 4 years ago... a (hopefully) stable/sleek product; unlike the UMC-1 which is a turd (Yes I can call it that, because I OWN one).

I will wait for the RMC-1 to come out.
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post #52 of 698 Old 07-12-2014, 08:01 PM
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As for Dirac, I could careless... I tried their 2-ch PC version and it was something not-desirable to me (not hi-fi). [I will reserve final judgement for when I hear a DataSat or XMC-1 7.1 hardware-solution].
I can't imagine why a hardware solution would be any better. I think the only big factors would be the measurements and your target curve (including correction limits).
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post #53 of 698 Old 07-13-2014, 01:39 AM
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I haven't seen any indication that they are liars.
In their June podcast Big Dan said: "We've got pilot pieces out being tested and banged on and we'll be letting them out in the wild very, very shortly."

So they sent out beta units for testing but, instead of simply stating that, they instead made a conscious decision to tell folks "The first Emotiva XMC-1s shipped in April 2014." (It's still on the XMC-1 website.) Something they themselves knew at the time wasn't true at all.
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post #54 of 698 Old 07-13-2014, 03:34 AM - Thread Starter
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WOAH. I just saw the report. It measures better than the XSP-1!!!

How is this possible? Did they screw up the XSP-1 or is their (new?) AP unit now less of a bottleneck?

How can a digital processor beat a device that only has 2-channels in pure analog? How can they ADD stuff to the signal path and get BETTER RESULTS? Something isn't right here...
They are either lying about the XMC-1's performance or the AP unit is broken or they fixed a (IMO) MAJOR defect of the XSP-1 inside the XMC-1 analog path!

The scaling on the charts are different so it makes it hard to compare, but the XSP-1 has a better impulse and frequency response profile but 10db more noise and 20degrees worse phase than the XMC-1 in their analog modes; and in the digital mode of the XMC-1 they measure nearly the same.

That said, I am happy to see that they are only -0.1db @ 5hz, that's awesome.

If these AP charts are true, then I can now replace my CleanBoxes and get to a proper 3hz on the LFE and surround channels!!!
Not only that but I don't think ANYONE will be complaining of it's lack of SQ, and I can replace my XSP-1 altogether with this thing!

That said, I'm a bit disheartened to see that the XSP-1 (their most PURE direct feed device, for which I bought it for) is not so 100% PURE after all!
Remember that measurable improvements only matter if the improvements make for an audible difference. If the threshold of human hearing for a given parameter is 0.1, then 'improving' that parameter to 0.01 looks good on paper but makes no difference at all to the listening experience.

HST, it is, of course, very good that the XMC-1 measures well.
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post #55 of 698 Old 07-13-2014, 03:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NWCgrad View Post
I think this preprocessor may be of value at $1k for the balanced outputs (2 channels fully balanced) for those of us running pro amps...but at $2k its a stretch. With or without Diriac I am not thinking its worth the cost, I have yet to hear any automated room EQ system I can live with long term. I prefer using REW and measuring - a lot more work for sure but for me it is worth it in the end.
It's true that the manual approach can bring terrific gains, but as you say, it is a lot of work and requires a lot of time, patience and knowledge. Not everyone has all of those in abundance. The XMC-1 also allows for manual EQ-ing, I believe, in the form of a fairly decent PEQ facility.

I have found that, despite having a highly treated room and having spent numerous hours with REW, I still benefit from some automated electronic EQ (in the form of Audyssey Xt32 + Pro), which adds the icing on the cake.
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post #56 of 698 Old 07-13-2014, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
In their June podcast Big Dan said: "We've got pilot pieces out being tested and banged on and we'll be letting them out in the wild very, very shortly."

So they sent out beta units for testing but, instead of simply stating that, they instead made a conscious decision to tell folks "The first Emotiva XMC-1s shipped in April 2014." (It's still on the XMC-1 website.) Something they themselves knew at the time wasn't true at all.
It was also sub-optimal to announce the release of the unit, IMO, without mentioning that it was incomplete. Maybe not a lie, but a sleight of hand which could only mislead. Dan later said that it was included in the email to those on the waiting list and said that they were the only people who needed to know. Really? The lack of Dirac at launch was revealed in that way for the benefit of the customers?

It now seems that all that will be needed to fully enable Dirac in the units sent out is a quick FW update via USB, which is fine - but why try to keep this quiet? It was inevitable that the news would hit the Internet the moment the first email was received. All the dissembling, which is clearly STILL going on, has done nothing to enhance Dan's personal reputation nor, sadly, that of his company. So much so that people are now openly questioning IF this FW update will arrive on time, IF it will work as stated and so on. It is a great pity.
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post #57 of 698 Old 07-13-2014, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
In their June podcast Big Dan said: "We've got pilot pieces out being tested and banged on and we'll be letting them out in the wild very, very shortly."

So they sent out beta units for testing but, instead of simply stating that, they instead made a conscious decision to tell folks "The first Emotiva XMC-1s shipped in April 2014." (It's still on the XMC-1 website.) Something they themselves knew at the time wasn't true at all.
Good point.

The date stuff could just be optimism, but the "shipped" stuff was intentionally misleading.
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post #58 of 698 Old 07-13-2014, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
It was also sub-optimal to announce the release of the unit, IMO, without mentioning that it was incomplete. Maybe not a lie, but a sleight of hand which could only mislead. Dan later said that it was included in the email to those on the waiting list and said that they were the only people who needed to know. Really? The lack of Dirac at launch was revealed in that way for the benefit of the customers?

It now seems that all that will be needed to fully enable Dirac in the units sent out is a quick FW update via USB, which is fine - but why try to keep this quiet? It was inevitable that the news would hit the Internet the moment the first email was received. All the dissembling, which is clearly STILL going on, has done nothing to enhance Dan's personal reputation nor, sadly, that of his company. So much so that people are now openly questioning IF this FW update will arrive on time, IF it will work as stated and so on. It is a great pity.
Also a good point. More up front would have been better.
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post #59 of 698 Old 07-13-2014, 05:22 AM
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It's true that the manual approach can bring terrific gains, but as you say, it is a lot of work and requires a lot of time, patience and knowledge. Not everyone has all of those in abundance. The XMC-1 also allows for manual EQ-ing, I believe, in the form of a fairly decent PEQ facility.

I have found that, despite having a highly treated room and having spent numerous hours with REW, I still benefit from some automated electronic EQ (in the form of Audyssey Xt32 + Pro), which adds the icing on the cake.
Dirac also corrects the impulse response. I'm not sure what Audyssey is capable of in that department, but for whatever reason, I preferred the results I got with Dirac. YMMV.
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post #60 of 698 Old 07-13-2014, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Also a good point. More up front would have been better.
Sure would. Nonetheless, the unit is now on its way to customers, albeit initially without Dirac, and that can only be a good thing. If Dirac is addable by a simple USB FW update in the next 60 days (or maybe even less) then that will finally give us all the opportunity to read reviews of the unit, from owners and, hopefully, independent and respected 'professional' reviewers on the net or in the dead tree press.

I still don't really understand the point of releasing it without its one really great feature, but owners will at least get the chance to play with it and familiarise themselves with the menus and the manual and so on. BTW, Andrew Robinson over at the Lounge said they would post the manual this week, so that is a positive move forwards too.
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