I have an XMC-1 currently in my system with Bryston amplification and Aerial Speakers.... Previously, had a Anthem AV50 pre, UMC-1, Denon high end receiver. The XMC-1 is proving to be a a real winner in several areas: 1) HDMI switching (no problems here), 2) dual stereo subwoofer flexibility, 3) great and easy menu system and last but not least sound quality. I listen also to a lot of digital music and the only area that doesnt have me super excited is the USB input on the XMC1 for using the pre as a DAC. The drivers that Emotiva use (C-media) are a pain in the a^^ and the sound is ok but not in the league of some mid-range stand alone DACs, imo. The Emotiva is an excellent stand alone stereo pre in reference mode but unfortunately my HT speakers are not full range so you have to use the sub integration which takes it back into the digital domain on the Pre hence the reason for using the Emotiva USB input.
Also, from a sound quality perspective, the Anthem is every bit as good as the Emotiva and I cant say that I really would prefer Dirac over ARC, both are great. Just the feature set on the Anthem is very dated.