Originally Posted by David Susilo
I hope I can find value in the UMC-200 (or any other items I review), but from spec and price alone, unless you live in the USA, I can't seem to find the value just yet.
What made me interested in the UMC-200 was the PEQ. I have tried several auto EQs but the spectral balance always left me wanting to tweak it further. Anthem has no target curve editor, and XT-32 requires a Pro license, assuming it offers enough tweaking range. Dirac is sufficiently adjustable, but the RS-20i is off the table. So I gravitate to PEQ.
There's the Rotel RSP-1572 ($2,200) and its sibling Sherbourn PT-7030 ($1,800) that have the same Cirrus PEQ as the '200 ($600), which is just one third the price, so it could be a real value if it performs well.
The '200 has some bugs that disqualify it for me. I assume that such bugs would be addressed in the normal course of updates, but Keith stated the first firmware update would hopefully be the last, and they did not address these (and several other) issues even though they were reported months before the code release.
One is that the PEQ is not supported for the rear speakers in a 7.1 setup. The other is that the headphone output has bizarre frequency responses because it doesn't defeat the speaker crossovers or surround modes. The response changes with various settings, but this will give you an idea:
Keith's response to the latter -- "what load and signal levels was it measured with?" The proper response would have been: "We measured it and confirm (or fail to confirm) these results." His post
does not instill much confidence that there is any eagerness to resolve the issue.
Of course listening test, setup test etc will determine the end result of my review. But at least I will be able to quench my curiosity about the UMC-200.
If it looks cheap, feels cheap, will you still do a listening test? I did not see any comments on sound quality for the Outlaw 975 at your blog.
Did you look inside the 975? It's sometimes informative to peek under the bonnet. Compare it with the build quality of the UMC-200. It speaks to the value question.