The conversation seems to be getting a bit off track and somewhat personal.
I don't currently own an Emotiva product, but an Emotiva Amp is at the top of my list when I finally move from a 2.0 to a 5.1 set up.
You might say that I am an audiophile of sorts. I moved from Mono to Stereo in 1958 and haven't moved to surround yet.
I was very skeptical about Audyssey room correction and firmly believed in not using tone controls. My idea of "room correction" consisted of careful speaker and furniture placement.
Last year, looking forward to a 5.1 system I purchased an AVR that has Audyssey XT. When I set up the AVR I decided to give Audyssey a try. Boy! was I pleasantly surprised! Same source components, same speakers, same amplifier, same speaker and room arrangement and a tremendous improvement in sound quality. If someone had told me what I was going to hear I wouldn't have believed them.
Back on topic.
It is all to easy to underestimate the level of technical expertise required to design and implement an AVR or PrePro. There are several orders of complexity over and above a preamplifier or integrated amp. I have been using, programming and building computers for more than 50 years and there is no way that I would feel comfortable designing and writing firmware for an AVR.
While the UMC-1 may be a fine piece of Analog equipment with excellent digital to analog converters, I am forced to believe that Emotiva has been unable to make many of the promised digital domain features work as "promised." The release of the XMC-1 without some of the promised digital features should be a potential warning to early adopters.
When all is said and done, sound reproduction is a matter of personal preference and we should all let our own ears be the judge. However, it is always a good idea to listen to other systems from time to time. We should take the opportunity to listen to the systems of our friends and acquanteces whenever possible. A trip to your local dealer to listen can also be a worthwhile experience if we can keep a firm grip on our wallet.
I don't think that anyone on this forum is or has been drinking the koolaid. I woul appreciate it if the forum could be more on topic and less personal!
Excellent post. Well written, well reasoned and right on the money!