Emotiva XMC-1 Chat Thread: technical talk only please - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skylinestar View Post
Although I love Audyssey and Atmos in 7.1.4, I would buy the XMC-1 in 7.1 if it has the Dirac that can really excel.
I might consider it too, if I was primarily interested in music and if independent reviews showed it to be a well-conceived, problem-free unit.

But for movies, for me anyway, having now heard Atmos for Home Theater for myself, Atmos would trump Dirac. But I have a well-treated room and optimized speaker and sub placement and, for me, XT32 + Pro does the job. I can see people in different circumstances with different priorities might take a different view though.

The bottom line is, we won't know how Dirac performs in the XMC-1 for quite some time, so final judgement has to be reserved.
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post #182 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SoundKernel View Post
...with excellent DAC (sabre) is a huge add...
Just for clarity, the DACs in the XMC-1 are the TI/Burr Brown DSD 1793 which is certainly a decent part but it is also not at the high-end range of TI/BB or in the same league as the ESS Sabre and other similar parts with dynamic range and S/N over 120dB. (This part's spec sheet shows 113dB as the dynamic range).

Of course, the truth is in the listening. Neither the specs or the tests Emo has posted tell the story -- it is hearing it in action that makes the difference. Or Not. However, from a strict "spec-to-spec" comparison I wouldn't call the DSD 1793 an "excellent" part particularly when compared to what are in use in other competitive products with a $2K price.
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post #183 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 08:00 PM
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Sorry to butt in and give my two cents, but I'm kinda saddened around all the negativity towards Emotiva, I'm not massively pro-Emotiva (I only have an XPA5 linked to my AV8801), but it really does seem that people want them to fail.

Yeah, it sounds like Emotiva have screwed up a lot and their customer service and forum policies may be a bit suspect but shouldn't we be cheering them on? We've got an American company that's trying to innovate, sell us decent quality gear at more than decent prices, they're trying to manufacture in the states, give us upgrade paths / money off vouchers etc. etc.

Looking at my position, I've got an AV8801 and I'm really happy with it. However with all this talk of Atmos (sorry to say that dreaded word here), I'm kinda unhappy that an upgrade board won't be offered to give me HDMI2.0 and upgrade the DSPs so it can process Atmos. That's Marantz's business model and I bought into that system when I bought the unit. C'est la vie as they say.

However Emotiva are trying to do things a bit differently, possibly upgrade boards will be offered in future (they do mention a modular system) and at the very least you get a cash discount on your next purchase. Sounds good to me.

If Emotiva were to disppear, then we'd lose a source of pressure on the other manufacturers (Denon, Marantz, Onkyo et al) to step up their game and offer better value for money. Competition is always good, and if you don't like the company, don't buy their products.

Regarding the 60 day wait to get Dirac, is it really the end of the world? How many years have people been waiting for the XMC-1? Like people have said, you can get it now and play with it a bit while waiting. I'd rather they took their time and ironed out all the bugs (hoping it won't be riddled with bugs in 60 days), than to rush it out and get you guys to beta test it for them. Although to be fair since I'm not in the immediate market for an XMC-1, it's easy for me to say all this!

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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
This is from the Datasat LS,
thread If you go further down a few post djnickuk takes a few specs from the xmc, not too sure where he got it at the time frame, but he shows the processing power and compares them to the LS10 DSP chip power, and it's a whole different ball game! Well you can see wide margin in number of processing chips Vs the Emo

Surely is understandable between the prices difference of course, but it looks like I answered my own question.

Djoel

.
Regarding DSP horsepower, I doubt it's really as simple as 2x300MHz DSPs in the XMC-1 vs 8x400MHz (2 used for Dirac) in the RS20i. As much as I'd love a Datasat, I think the I could put my kids through a decent private school for that money! Anyway, it's a mistake to think that higher MHz numbers are everything. It's similar to Intel's megahertz race in the late 90s. There's more factors involved such as how many instructions does it crunch per MHz, efficiency of the code, how specialised the chip is to crunch that code, single / dual / quad core and so on. I don't pretend to know much about DSPs but the XMC could be running newer / more efficient DSPs and Dirac could've streamlined their software. Obviously the Datasat has more channels, so it'll need more horsepower. It's just some food for thought

A question I did have was, are the initial calculations crunched on the XMC-1 itself, or can you do them on a PC?
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post #184 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bootman_head_fi View Post
Not sure what you mean. (and that font was hard to read)

As I understand it for the XMC the calculations for the curves are done in the cloud.
So given that, how much processing power do you need to maintain the curve data after the calculations are done?
Now it is my understanding that in the datasat unit this is done internally.

So I think what you want to ask is "if given the same room, will I get the same curves using the datasat's internal processing vs the XMC's cloud implementation?"

That I have no clue until someone with a datasat and a XMC in the same room does the test.
And if they are different, that really would be a question for Dirac since they are doing the processing at their cloud servers, no?

At least that is how I logically think of it.
(with my flawed logic as it is)
I forgot about the cloud base implementations which seems very clever from Emo's perspective ( Me thinks).

I was more concerned about the lack of processing power from the two chip of the xmc-1 versus the 8 from the Datasat which is quite impressive yet "emasculating" Lol.

The truths is I'm not very knowledgeable when it come to these things, and was taking the processing numbers at face value, and assume the LS10 look like the crusher on paper.
Not to mention I was under the impression there were different tiers of Dirac (eg. ARC) implementations being shared, Strong, extra strong. and light. Not knowing on how it is the Dirac sells their licensing, I simply imagine the Emo would be slap with ultra light duties without thinking cloud abilities!

I sure hope I don't get my bubble pop from here on end, and get hit with another surprise which I can see happening with the lack of understanding , lack of info, lack of real world testing, concerning Dirac at the moment.

Ot
Hey Bootman didn't I buy a DVDO Edge processor from you years ago? I think it was over at the Lounge.

Weird about the font, I copy and paste from work, I don't want to have the AVS forum open too long at work, as they( IT dept) look at these things.

Cheers

Dan
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post #185 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaorin View Post
Sorry to butt in and give my two cents, but I'm kinda saddened around all the negativity towards Emotiva, I'm not massively pro-Emotiva (I only have an XPA5 linked to my AV8801), but it really does seem that people want them to fail.

Yeah, it sounds like Emotiva have screwed up a lot and their customer service and forum policies may be a bit suspect but shouldn't we be cheering them on? We've got an American company that's trying to innovate, sell us decent quality gear at more than decent prices, they're trying to manufacture in the states, give us upgrade paths / money off vouchers etc. etc.

Looking at my position, I've got an AV8801 and I'm really happy with it. However with all this talk of Atmos (sorry to say that dreaded word here), I'm kinda unhappy that an upgrade board won't be offered to give me HDMI2.0 and upgrade the DSPs so it can process Atmos. That's Marantz's business model and I bought into that system when I bought the unit. C'est la vie as they say.

However Emotiva are trying to do things a bit differently, possibly upgrade boards will be offered in future (they do mention a modular system) and at the very least you get a cash discount on your next purchase. Sounds good to me.

If Emotiva were to disppear, then we'd lose a source of pressure on the other manufacturers (Denon, Marantz, Onkyo et al) to step up their game and offer better value for money. Competition is always good, and if you don't like the company, don't buy their products.

Regarding the 60 day wait to get Dirac, is it really the end of the world? How many years have people been waiting for the XMC-1? Like people have said, you can get it now and play with it a bit while waiting. I'd rather they took their time and ironed out all the bugs (hoping it won't be riddled with bugs in 60 days), than to rush it out and get you guys to beta test it for them. Although to be fair since I'm not in the immediate market for an XMC-1, it's easy for me to say all this!



Regarding DSP horsepower, I doubt it's really as simple as 2x300MHz DSPs in the XMC-1 vs 8x400MHz (2 used for Dirac) in the RS20i. As much as I'd love a Datasat, I think the I could put my kids through a decent private school for that money! Anyway, it's a mistake to think that higher MHz numbers are everything. It's similar to Intel's megahertz race in the late 90s. There's more factors involved such as how many instructions does it crunch per MHz, efficiency of the code, how specialised the chip is to crunch that code, single / dual / quad core and so on. I don't pretend to know much about DSPs but the XMC could be running newer / more efficient DSPs and Dirac could've streamlined their software. Obviously the Datasat has more channels, so it'll need more horsepower. It's just some food for thought

A question I did have was, are the initial calculations crunched on the XMC-1 itself, or can you do them on a PC?
Thanks for you assessment about the DSP processing power which I do get the specs do not tell the whole story, as I was really at a lost as to what version of Dirac I was going to get in the xmc and if it was going to be the same as the Datasat. All at a lost here.

I'm incredibly interested in the Emo, and would like to get as much info as possible, I do no have the same cash flow as few years ago, and what I'm looking for is a SSP that can give me at least 5 + blissful years out of it.

Thanks

Djoel
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post #186 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
I forgot about the cloud base implementations which seems very clever from Emo's perspective ( Me thinks).
Just a FYI, it was Dirac's decision to do filter calculations in the cloud (they had already been doing that with the Theta Casablanca IV).

Sanjay
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post #187 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
Thanks for you assessment about the DSP processing power which I do get the specs do not tell the whole story, as I was really at a lost as to what version of Dirac I was going to get in the xmc and if it was going to be the same as the Datasat. All at a lost here.

I'm incredibly interested in the Emo, and would like to get as much info as possible, I do no have the same cash flow as few years ago, and what I'm looking for is a SSP that can give me at least 5 + blissful years out of it.

Thanks

Djoel
No worries. I'm in completely the same boat. Unless I win the lottery I'll never have enough money for the RS20i, so I need to temper my expectations to something more realistic. Denon / Marantz and Onkyo make fine stuff but I'm a PC builder at heart and I wanna be able to upgrade it down the line. Emotiva's mindset suits me fine. It seems such a waste to chuck the processor in a landfill when it only needs a new HDMI / CPU board. As long as it has enough XLRs on the back, it should last 10+ years.

However, I would like Emotiva to spend a little more of their budget on the design and looks of their stuff.

I think we just need to play the waiting game and see what versions of Dirac turn up. It may just be differentiated by the number of channels
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post #188 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Just a FYI, it was Dirac's decision to do filter calculations in the cloud (they had already been doing that with the Theta Casablanca IV).

I wasn't aware Theta even use Dirac I see the world Classe being thrown around at the lounge as well, do they use Dirac too?

Djoel
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post #189 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Djoel View Post
I see the world Classe being thrown around at the lounge as well, do they use Dirac too?
Classe uses manual parametric equalization, which the XMC-1 has as well.

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post #190 of 2020 Old 07-17-2014, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
Classe uses manual parametric equalization, which the XMC-1 has as well.
Yep, Roger likes it a lot; does good work for his four subs. ...His subs, they have parametric EQ as well?
* Where is he going to get Dolby Atmos from? ...A new SSP?
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post #191 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 12:12 AM
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No, I don't have and I don't want; I was going by Glen's review, by what others who had a chance to listen to it said, and by Lonnie's comments plus the amazing set of measurements (pdf file).

Supposedly it sounds better than their own two-channel pre/pro (measures better too) and equals or beats their own best separate DAC.
I'm talking about the analog section here. ...Clean as a whistle.

Some people are willing to put that two grands just for that; an analog multichannel pre-amp. ...Their latest one.
That's what I was saying.

* This thread is not about the UMC-1 of yesterday.
So, you are saying that - at $2k, nothing beats the XMC-1 as a stereo preamp (DAC, analog performance)?
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post #192 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 12:21 AM
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ok so reading over the "preliminary" () manual and following along with some of the chatter in the various xmc-1 threads both here and on the lounge, it looks as if the xmc-1 has a strike against it for me - besides not having dirac that is.

I use a USB hard drive loaded with flac files plugged into a USB port on my onkyo for my music listening. I navigate either with the onkyo app on my phone or the onkyo's remote. well the xmc-1 not only has two USB ports, one being on the front of the darn thing that are only able to to be used for firmware updates....why two useless USB ports??? the manual clearly states that these USB inputs cannot play files off a USB flash drive or hard drive or serve any other purpose beyond emotiva's own firmware updates. I know my solution for listening to flac files is not everyone's, but it is simple, efficient and affective for me. now if i were to get the xmc-1 i'd have to come up with another solution for my flac music library....which means spending even more money.

I find it lame that this supposedly feature rich and cutting edge () processor doesn't have a basic feature that entry level sub $300 avr's have. ridiculousness...utter ridiculousness....two completely useless USB inputs.
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post #193 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by bo130 View Post
So, you are saying that - at $2k, nothing beats the XMC-1 as a stereo preamp (DAC, analog performance)?
It's the best in the world! ...And I just don't want it.

Kidding of course. ...No, I just told you; Emotiva build some nice products, just reread what I said - my prior post, direct reply to you, it is very very clear what I said in it, read it very carefully, not what you just said above that I did not say. That's it, there's no more to it, it is as simple as that.

You want it, or you don't. ...But it don't come with Dirac, only in the next 60 days or so, if you believe.

Cheers,
R

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post #194 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 02:49 AM
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With respect to any differences in how Dirac is managed between the Datasat and the XMC-1, a laptop does the crunching when calibrating the RS20i. Once the laptop processes all the information and establishes the final equalisation result this result (or 'coefficient') is then downloaded to the unit. As such I don't think the RS20i operates much differently to the XMC-1 but I would like to think that the end results of how it sounds would better the XMC-1 (but so it should considering the huge price difference even though the price difference is also accounted for by the significantly greater functionality of the RS20i).
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post #195 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 2MuchHT View Post
Just for clarity, the DACs in the XMC-1 are the TI/Burr Brown DSD 1793 which is certainly a decent part but it is also not at the high-end range of TI/BB or in the same league as the ESS Sabre and other similar parts with dynamic range and S/N over 120dB. (This part's spec sheet shows 113dB as the dynamic range).

Of course, the truth is in the listening. Neither the specs or the tests Emo has posted tell the story -- it is hearing it in action that makes the difference. Or Not. However, from a strict "spec-to-spec" comparison I wouldn't call the DSD 1793 an "excellent" part particularly when compared to what are in use in other competitive products with a $2K price.
The question is, can humans hear the difference between SNR of 120dB and SNR of 113dB. If not, then there is no difference that matters.
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post #196 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 05:27 AM
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The question is, can humans hear the difference between SNR of 120dB and SNR of 113dB. If not, then there is no difference that matters.
I would also add that the analog implementation after the DACS have as much if not more to do with the sound than the actual DAC used.
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post #197 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Yep, Roger likes it a lot; does good work for his four subs. ...His subs, they have parametric EQ as well?
* Where is he going to get Dolby Atmos from? ...A new SSP?
Or with a new Atmos bluray player with analog outs.

If OPPO came out with one many would not bother with a AVR especially if they already have $$$ invested in a nice system.
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post #198 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
Yep, Roger likes it a lot; does good work for his four subs. ...His subs, they have parametric EQ as well?
* Where is he going to get Dolby Atmos from? ...A new SSP?
Roger's subs are Seaton SubMersives and they do not have any parametric EQ but the Classe does.

EDIT: My bad: Roger has HSU's. I was thinking of a particular video reviewer.

New Theater

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post #199 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by 67jason View Post
ok so reading over the "preliminary" () manual and following along with some of the chatter in the various xmc-1 threads both here and on the lounge, it looks as if the xmc-1 has a strike against it for me - besides not having dirac that is.

I use a USB hard drive loaded with flac files plugged into a USB port on my onkyo for my music listening. I navigate either with the onkyo app on my phone or the onkyo's remote. well the xmc-1 not only has two USB ports, one being on the front of the darn thing that are only able to to be used for firmware updates....why two useless USB ports??? the manual clearly states that these USB inputs cannot play files off a USB flash drive or hard drive or serve any other purpose beyond emotiva's own firmware updates. I know my solution for listening to flac files is not everyone's, but it is simple, efficient and affective for me. now if i were to get the xmc-1 i'd have to come up with another solution for my flac music library....which means spending even more money.

I find it lame that this supposedly feature rich and cutting edge () processor doesn't have a basic feature that entry level sub $300 avr's have. ridiculousness...utter ridiculousness....two completely useless USB inputs.
I think you can use the USB-B connection on the back as a DAC for your HTPC.

I probably will not be purchasing this unit because the lack of Atmos. Luckily for me (well not really so lucky, I am without a theater), we moved into a new house and I have not had the new room converted into a home theater yet. I am probably looking at starting that project in the fall/winter, so I have some time to see how things shake out. Ideally I would like to see a RMC-1 with support for 7.1 plus 6 Atmos height channels (hopefully they can get something like that built sooner rather than later, since it should be based on the XMC-1). I have high hopes for Dirac, but also enjoyed the XT32 on my previous Integra 80.3
If that does not pan out I will look at something from D&M.

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post #200 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 07:19 AM
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I think you can use the USB-B connection on the back as a DAC for your HTPC.
if only i had an htpc to connect to it...my pc is in another room and is really not set up for HT duty...like i said no matter what i will have to spend more money because if i were to get an xmc-1 i cannot play my flac library as i do now. its simple and works well for me, but the powers that be at emotiva have decided not to allow a simple USB input in such a way as the most basic avrs on the market do.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #201 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 07:24 AM
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if only i had an htpc to connect to it...my pc is in another room and is really not set up for HT duty...like i said no matter what i will have to spend more money because if i were to get an xmc-1 i cannot play my flac library as i do now. its simple and works well for me, but the powers that be at emotiva have decided not to allow a simple USB input in such a way as the most basic avrs on the market do.
That is too bad, maybe that is something that can be updated (though I would not hold my breath).
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post #202 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 07:26 AM
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That is too bad, maybe that is something that can be updated (though I would not hold my breath).
umm yeah...lets see if dirac meets the 60 day timeline first.

i still find it odd and poor design decision to include two USB ports that are essentially useless....and ones on the front i assume for convenience.....i dont get it.

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post #203 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by stephenbr View Post
With respect to any differences in how Dirac is managed between the Datasat and the XMC-1, a laptop does the crunching when calibrating the RS20i. Once the laptop processes all the information and establishes the final equalisation result this result (or 'coefficient') is then downloaded to the unit. As such I don't think the RS20i operates much differently to the XMC-1 but I would like to think that the end results of how it sounds would better the XMC-1 (but so it should considering the huge price difference even though the price difference is also accounted for by the significantly greater functionality of the RS20i).

The Datasat's extra DSP horsepower allows it to run Dirac at 96 kHz, where as the XMC-1 will run at 48 kHz.


I placed my order the for XMC-1 yesterday, and yes I'm disappointed that Dirac is delayed 60 days and I'm well aware of the features that the new AVR's are coming out with this fall, but this should be one slick processor once Dirac is enabled. I will definitely be purchasing the full Dirac Live suite for $100 when that is available too.

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post #204 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 07:48 AM
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if only i had an htpc to connect to it...my pc is in another room and is really not set up for HT duty...like i said no matter what i will have to spend more money because if i were to get an xmc-1 i cannot play my flac library as i do now. its simple and works well for me, but the powers that be at emotiva have decided not to allow a simple USB input in such a way as the most basic avrs on the market do.
Call me old fashioned, but the handling of source materials should be left up to the source (whatever that may be) vs the AVR.
Formats are always changing and it should be up to the players to keep up not the preamp/amp section.

So I get the design choice (which this appears to be) of using the USB as a "soundcard" for a PC based source that then handles any format you wish to play.
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post #205 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 07:51 AM
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post #206 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Guinness77 View Post
That is too bad, maybe that is something that can be updated (though I would not hold my breath).
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Originally Posted by bootman_head_fi View Post
Call me old fashioned, but the handling of source materials should be left up to the source (whatever that may be) vs the AVR.
Formats are always changing and it should be up to the players to keep up not the preamp/amp section.

So I get the design choice (which this appears to be) of using the USB as a "soundcard" for a PC based source that then handles any format you wish to play.
ok i understand that. but the simplicity, and ease of use of a hard drive plugged directly into the avr/pre is a worthy feature for me. there is no sonic difference with my current onkyo playing my music this way vs playing my music from my pc connected to the avr or playing my cd player. it works and its nice and easy. even though i have used my pc connected to my current onkyo it is just not convenient for my household. so now i have to purchase/build another pc/laptop or NAS or get some sort of media streamer. all options here are not overly expensive, but inconvenient and additional expense i have to factor in if i choose to get an xmc-1....and it still boggles my mind as to why there are two usb ports that are pretty much useless.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #207 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 67jason View Post
ok i understand that. but the simplicity, and ease of use of a hard drive plugged directly into the avr/pre is a worthy feature for me. there is no sonic difference with my current onkyo playing my music this way vs playing my music from my pc connected to the avr or playing my cd player. it works and its nice and easy. even though i have used my pc connected to my current onkyo it is just not convenient for my household. so now i have to purchase/build another pc/laptop or NAS or get some sort of media streamer. all options here are not overly expensive, but inconvenient and additional expense i have to factor in if i choose to get an xmc-1....and it still boggles my mind as to why there are two usb ports that are pretty much useless.
As a user I get that too, but they have chosen a design path that lays the playing duties on a separate player. (with better playback capabilities etc)
If it doesn't fit into how you want to play your media, thank god there are many choices available to you.
(and if it did say play flac directly we would be arguing about the interface and how it doesn't display titles like we expect, etc)

For me personally, it isn't a big deal since I have a media player I plug into a usb port for that vs just a simple harddrive that i view just as a storage/archive medium.

One view is just as valid as another.

Last edited by bootman_head_fi; 07-18-2014 at 11:59 AM.
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post #208 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 09:43 AM
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Correct. I was thinking of someone else. My bad!!

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post #209 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 67jason View Post
umm yeah...lets see if dirac meets the 60 day timeline first.
If it does, will that be an Emotiva 'first'?
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post #210 of 2020 Old 07-18-2014, 12:03 PM
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What was the reason for the delay?
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