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wilbur_the_goose 01-22-2015 03:55 PM

Reviews of the Emotiva XMC-1
 
Now that it's been out for a few months, are there any reviews of the Emotiva XMC-1 with Dirac?

I've only been able to find one review, but it was written by an employee, so I kind of discounted it.

It's an interesting processor, runs Linux, and is made in the USA (which I think is really cool). But I'd still love an independent review and comparison to other processors.

PS - Emotiva lounge is of limited benefit because they're mostly owners and probably have an emotional attachment and wouldn't necessarily be critical in their reviews.

Info at http://www.xmc-1.com

petew 01-22-2015 04:34 PM

Dirac isn't really done yet since Emotiva has not released the promised upgrade to the full version. Dirac LR (basic version) is limited to one predetermined correction curve. I'd guess third party reviews won't be forthcoming until that part is available.

wilbur_the_goose 02-11-2015 05:59 PM

I freely admit that I was on the fence for a couple of months. I had my Denon AVR-4311 running through an Emotiva XPA-5. Really, really nice.

But my wife and I kept talking about it and last Friday at 4pm ET, I made the call to Emotiva and placed my order for an XMC-1. Today, Wednesday, at 1:32pm ET, UPS came calling with a box fresh from Tennessee.

After dinner, I started disconnecting the Denon and hooking up the Emotiva. From start to end, it took about 2 hours, and honestly, 45 minutes of that was due to the fact that I needed to swap around the HDMI inputs to get them the way I wanted (lesson learned - label the darn things first!). Set the trims and the distances, and I was ready to start playing with my new toy.

So I pop the Joe Bonamassa Live at the Royal Albert Hall BluRay. Put on Sloe Gin and my wife has this silly grin and says, "I've never heard it like that". Smooth, clear, with a punch, AMAZING sound!!!

Play some songs off my HTPC, and started with Level 42 - Great bass, and the XMC-1 shined.

So it was getting late, and my wife loves American Idol. What the heck - give it a shot. So we start watching it off our DirecTV HR24-500. I assure you that even American Idol sounded new, fresh, clean, and just awesome. Bass was right were you want it to be, imaging was spectacular, and video was clean.

I am one happy, happy camper. And my wonderful wife is also a very happy audiophile who loves her new XMC-1!

Thanks to the team in Franklin! You have a WINNER and we're extremely satisfied customers.
Dan and Laura

NorthSky 02-11-2015 08:42 PM

Nice.

zgeneral 02-11-2015 11:12 PM

Atmos support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope
DTS:X Support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope
Auro 3d Support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope

Any proof that it sounds better than their cheaper preamp? Not that I've seen.

NorthSky 02-11-2015 11:16 PM

But it has Dirac Live now. ...Only the LE version though (one memory only); for now. ...Limited Edition Emotiva's own custom implementation.

If it sounds good, that's the main thing for folks interested in a 7.2-channel pre/pro.

MUDCAT45 02-12-2015 02:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zgeneral (Post 31703377)
Atmos support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope
DTS:X Support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope
Auro 3d Support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope

Any proof that it sounds better than their cheaper preamp? Not that I've seen.

Are all or any of the formats listed required/wanted by all consumers? NOPE.
Is there proof other than subjective that any AVR or pre.pro sounds better or worse than another? NOPE.

All that matters is satisfaction with the purchase.

wilbur_the_goose 02-12-2015 04:16 AM

I don't want Atmos, DTS:X or Auro 3d.

RoadRebel 02-12-2015 06:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zgeneral (Post 31703377)
Atmos support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope
DTS:X Support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope
Auro 3d Support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope

Any proof that it sounds better than their cheaper preamp? Not that I've seen.


A quote from you on another thread a couple weeks ago


Quote:

Originally Posted by zgeneral (Post 30994066)
That's not really the topic at hand. Most of the other posts here are as well.

Most likely, 3D sound formats are the future. Though, to fully accommodate both Atmos and Auro you would need 18 speakers with 5 mounted in the ceiling and a yet to exist switch would switch back and forth between the Auro and Atmos sets. DTS:X, from what DTS says, doesn't specify a speaker layout.

It's going to be a mess for a while before it gets sorted. Also, most people don't have the budget, desire or wherewithall to put speakers in the ceiling. They're the future in some way or form, they're just all poorly implemented.


Any relevance in your reply to the original post? Nope
Any added value from your post in here? Nope
Look like you have an ax to grind? Yep

MUDCAT45 02-12-2015 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RoadRebel (Post 31707569)
A quote from you on another thread a couple weeks ago





Any relevance in your reply to the original post? Nope
Any added value from your post in here? Nope
Look like you have an ax to grind? Yep

How about we have a court martial and demote the general to a corporal?:)

smurraybhm 02-12-2015 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 (Post 31708753)
How about we have a court martial and demote the general to a corporal?:)

He jumps from thread to thread bashing whatever the thread is talking about - including Atmos - but now that's relevant to this discusssion. Wilbur were you using Dirac, sorry if I missed that in your post, but I didn't seem to remember you saying for sure it was enabled, just how long the setup took. Thanks.

wilbur_the_goose 02-12-2015 11:41 AM

@smurraybhm - I just set everything up last night. Took about 2 hours from the time I unplugged the Denon until I sat down and started listening. By then it was about 8pm, so I put off Dirac, which I'll probably do over the weekend.

Most of that time was due to making sure everything was right. I didn't properly label the HDMI cables, so once I powered up, I ended up re-ordering them (DirecTV #1 , Oppo #2 , etc). I think set the speaker distances and trims, and I was done for the night. I wanted to keep playing, but it was a long day at work so I settled down to watch some hockey :)

More information - I've NEVER seen a better, more professional job packing the box that the XMC-1 is in. When you remove the top cushioning material, you were presented with a thank you letter signed by the XMC-1 team. Under that were the remote (solid metal), Dirac microphone and Dirac mic cable. The XMC-1 itself was packed just like my Oppo BluRay - in black fabric almost like a curtain. My wife was with me and she was floored at how professionally Emotiva packed the product.

The remote is solid metal. The back cover is attached with strong magnets, and you can't get it off without a small screwdriver acting like a lever. It's very impressive.

Stuff I still need to do:
1. Get a stereo amp to drive my rears. I ordered an Emotiva XPA-200 today (it's on sale) to do the job.
2. Hook up the FM antenna. I doubt I'll get anything, being in the basement, but you never know.
3. Learn and run Dirac (duh!)
4. Recheck the speaker distances (I did a quick & dirty last night)
5. Take time to really learn what this puppy can do.

Lastly, I watched a couple minutes of Godzilla off HBO (or Cinemax....) last night. The audio was better than anything I've ever heard at home or in a movie theater. And I'm a pretty strong critic.

RobertStern 02-12-2015 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wilbur_the_goose (Post 31717801)
@smurraybhm -

Stuff I still need to do:
1. Get a stereo amp to drive my rears. I ordered an Emotiva XPA-200 today (it's on sale) to do the job.
2. Hook up the FM antenna. I doubt I'll get anything, being in the basement, but you never know.
3. Learn and run Dirac (duh!)
4. Recheck the speaker distances (I did a quick & dirty last night)
5. Take time to really learn what this puppy can do.

Lastly, I watched a couple minutes of Godzilla off HBO (or Cinemax....) last night. The audio was better than anything I've ever heard at home or in a movie theater. And I'm a pretty strong critic.

If you run Dirac, it takes care of setting all the levels, distances and the other corrections. If I were you I would make this my number 1 most important thing to do. Dirac really takes this processor to the next level and lets it shine like a diamond.

RobertStern 02-12-2015 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zgeneral (Post 31703377)
Atmos support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope
DTS:X Support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope
Auro 3d Support? Nope. At any point in the future? Nope

Any proof that it sounds better than their cheaper preamp? Not that I've seen.

All these surround formats basically mean your going to have a lot more speakers, amp channels etc. That alone could double the cost of a Home Theater system. The content availability doesn't look to promising, and I don't see Atmos, etc being available through any streaming format. So in the end, those formats are for a very serious Home Theater customer, that probably is spending $50k or more on a dedicated theater. Even 7.1 isn't fully utilized, a lot of movie mixes are still done in 5.1 at the studio.

Their cheaper preamp doesn't have balanced inputs and outputs for home theater, no Dirac (which alone can change a persons life) and isn't built in the USA.

This is specific product, for a specific group of people. For those people, they will be happy. Someone who always wants all the latest bells and whistles, Pioneer, Denon, Yamaha, Marantz will do.

RobertStern 02-12-2015 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wilbur_the_goose (Post 31074882)
Now that it's been out for a few months, are there any reviews of the Emotiva XMC-1 with Dirac?

I've only been able to find one review, but it was written by an employee, so I kind of discounted it.

It's an interesting processor, runs Linux, and is made in the USA (which I think is really cool). But I'd still love an independent review and comparison to other processors.

PS - Emotiva lounge is of limited benefit because they're mostly owners and probably have an emotional attachment and wouldn't necessarily be critical in their reviews.

Info at http://www.xmc-1.com

I replaced a Pioneer SC-77 with the XMC-1 after over 2 years of waiting. The Pioneer sounded so much better than the Onkyo 805THX I had before and I can say the XMC-1 is on the next level up. Its not as cool and friendly to use as the Pioneer, it acts more like a Pro product which is good and takes some getting used too. I really really miss having an iOS app to control it with, but the remote is solid and does the job for now.

Dirac is in a whole different league when it come to room-correction. So, nothing really even comes close except for maybe Trinnov's Optimizer, but that is like $12-15K alone! If you haven't ever heard Dirac or really researched the difference, I advise you check it out. Other room correction is like using a fax machine and dirac is having an iPhone. It's just way advanced technolgy and get room correction right. The Emotiva version of Dirac is just what 90% of us need. If your really a tweaky person and want to play with room curves for 3 months instead of actually watching and listening and enjoying your XMC-1, then wait for the $99 upgrade. Otherwise, run the Dirac, do it right and be done with it, its default room curve sounds fantastic to me. I had some issues with triggers that I didn't have before, but I talked to Emotiva Support and they took care of me and sent me out some gear to fix it. IO had some other HDMI issues, again I don't have before, but these were solved by turing HDM-CEC off on all my gear (at Emotiva's Request) Since then it's been rock solid, works and plays great. My speakers are happy now because they get a balanced cable input, which eliminated some hum and hiss I had prior. At $1999, there really is nothing that come close to the sonic performance of the XMC-1, in the league of Theta, Krell, etc. Try it for yourself, if you don't like it they will refund you within 30 days. No risk.

Oh yeah, and its made in the USA

zgeneral 02-12-2015 04:20 PM

Good apologist retort. Is that Emotiva's spin on why they were completely ignorant to what was going on in home theatre? They are selling this as modular, yet it will never support any of these formats. if you think that only people with $50k dedicated theatres are leveraging these types of technologies then you might want to do some searching on this board. That's definitely not the case.

As for the balanced inputs, there's about a 0.01% chance that you need them. No DIRAC on the lower end, but also nobody who's done a side by side to prove that the XMC-1 can be told apart from whatever Emo calls its low end product.

wilbur_the_goose 02-12-2015 05:07 PM

^^^
Any chance you can leave now? I really don't think you know what you're talking about. Five it a listen and report back?

RobertStern 02-12-2015 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zgeneral (Post 31726721)
Good apologist retort. Is that Emotiva's spin on why they were completely ignorant to what was going on in home theatre? They are selling this as modular, yet it will never support any of these formats. if you think that only people with $50k dedicated theatres are leveraging these types of technologies then you might want to do some searching on this board. That's definitely not the case.

As for the balanced inputs, there's about a 0.01% chance that you need them. No DIRAC on the lower end, but also nobody who's done a side by side to prove that the XMC-1 can be told apart from whatever Emo calls its low end product.

There are definitely people buying Pioneers Atmos setup, speakers and receivers and having a blast with them. I can't imagine too many wife's that will be happy with 11 speakers in their living rooms. While Atmos/auro 3d/DTS-X are great and a lot of fun, these are just a small fraction when compared to the 5.1 and 7.1 market. That being said, I am sure Emotiva has XMC-2 in the works for those who want that sort of thing. Right now this is what this is, the XMC-1. We all know know that what Emotiva says and what actually happens are 2 different things. One thing I will give them credit on is making great products that people seem to love. Having a USA based factory is also pretty nice too.

It had always been my reading that Emotiva's "low-end" product had a great sound. The XSP-1 is a great sounding piece by most accounts. For me the XMC-1 is a Home Theater version of the XSP-1, with some imporvements.

Balanced Inputs will always provide a lower noise floor and better noise rejection. In my case, just this alone made an audible difference as I am using active speakers with only balanced inputs, so I am the .01%.

Have you actually A/B'ed an XMC-1 in your house against whatever your using now? Instead of riding the wrong horse on the wrong track, stay on topic. Unless you have an XMC-1 or have used one, and are reviewing it, I don't know why your in this thread. You can easily start a new thread to talk about everything the XMC-1 is missing and what you wish it had..

zgeneral 02-12-2015 07:43 PM

I'm in the thread because I'm in the forum. You're written a few paragraphs there based on my input, so it's not like I'm bringing up points that are off base now am I? So sad when fanbois can't stand someone pointing out the flaws in what they buy. Wasn't the UMC-2 Fusion their low end? Anyone at Emotiva given customers a side by side between the two? Didn't think so.

wadec22 02-12-2015 09:45 PM

I agree general, your points are not off topic. The thread title leaves the discussion pretty wide open.


Emotiva has clearly found a niche base that likes the XMC-1. It will be interesting to see what professional critics have to say. It's the critic who has the opportunity to regularly A/B products of this nature that I want to weigh in on the sound quality of this product.


As for their lack of the latest DSP listening modes.... They are clearly attempting to follow a similar path to Anthem. They focus on quality and implementation, shrugging off the latest DSP trends. The simplified thought process being great sound over gimmicks.


Not that I necessarily agree, I myself prefer the latest DSP modes. When I read the XMC-1 was to be "modular", I immediately thought they meant to future-proof the DSP/codec features (as apparently you did). Knowing that is not the case, makes this product not for me (or clearly yourself). That does not mean it doesn't have an audience. Whether or not Emotiva's strategy is valid, is something the consumers will decide with their $. If they can deliver great sound quality and outstanding/exclusive (or close to) room correction like Anthem, they'll be selling processors for a long time to come.


Frankly, even though it's not the processor for me, I hope they sell a ton of them. A US company, building their product here and potentially having the processor rep of a company like Anthem... Yes please, even if it's not me buying it.

NorthSky 02-12-2015 09:52 PM

Anthem next batch of receivers are coming with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X ...by the way.

______

And the XMC-1 with Dirac Live is a powerful asset.

wadec22 02-12-2015 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NorthSky (Post 31734649)
Anthem next batch of receivers are coming with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X ...by the way.

That is interesting. You still get my point. :) In the past Anthem has skipped the latest DSP and I think Emotiva is trying to emulate them.


Knowing Anthem is including 3D sound makes you wonder what Emotiva will do. Maybe in the RMC-1? Was that the name of it? I have lost track of what they had/have going on. :)

NorthSky 02-12-2015 10:10 PM

I've lost track too, but I believe you are right.

DTS:X is just too big to not be incorporated in our near 3D sound future. ...It is the new way, or it's the highway. :) ...Truly.

We are @ a new junction in sound radiation.

These are tomorrow's last years.

wilbur_the_goose 02-13-2015 05:01 AM

Point well taken.

I had Front Heights set up on my Denon AR-4311. Tried Audyssey DSX and Dolby PL IIz, and didn't like either.

I also did a check of Atmos. Best Buy/Magnolia had a well-treated room and I gave a listen to the Atmos demo BluRay. To me, the XMC-1 sounded a lot better.

zgeneral - I really think that you should try it out. In my case, it was a snap to set up, and if it doesn't work for you, you can always send it back.

One feature of the XMC-1 that isn't often mentioned is that it's really a Linux computer with modular hardware. I don't think that it's a big stretch to suggest that they could build Atmos-type functionality. Of course, you'd need to amplify those additional channels, but that's a factor for any non-AVR processor.

NorthSky 02-13-2015 06:02 PM

The XMC-1 I am 100% certain is more musical (hi-end sound quality) than all those Japanese receivers and SSPs.

Just for that you are in perfect line with true hi-end.

And Dirac Live is the cherry on the sunday, a grandiose bonus of high pedigree that raises the bar even higher.

So, I raise my glass to you and your excellence in musical taste (the XMC-1 magnificent piece of gear).

LowTech1 02-13-2015 09:21 PM

Its the best looking pre/pro I've seen. Personally, I don't trust it. It was way late to market and for 2k, With all the features it doesn't have, its not worth the money over my Onkyo 818. And Wilbur, you didn't like height channels? Id love to know why. Sounds like your making excuses up for your purchase. I'd love to try the Emo, but I cant sacrifice the tech you get with the Japanese brands. Personally Id rather buy a new Denon and have the choice to use atmos or not. People change their minds. Wilbur, you weren't impressed with Atmos either? I heard it and its crazy good, enjoy your tech that is 2 yrs behind everyone else.

NorthSky 02-13-2015 09:34 PM

...So is Lexicon, Krell, Bryston, Classé, Meridian, Anthem, NAD, Rotel, McIntosh, Simaudio, Ayre, Cary, Parasound, Acurus, and all the other non-Japanese brands, and the other Japanese/Chinese ultra high end brands.
French, Italian, British, German, Russian, ...

Troyd 02-13-2015 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wilbur_the_goose (Post 31737673)
Point well taken.

I had Front Heights set up on my Denon AR-4311. Tried Audyssey DSX and Dolby PL IIz, and didn't like either.

I also did a check of Atmos. Best Buy/Magnolia had a well-treated room and I gave a listen to the Atmos demo BluRay. To me, the XMC-1 sounded a lot better.

zgeneral - I really think that you should try it out. In my case, it was a snap to set up, and if it doesn't work for you, you can always send it back.

One feature of the XMC-1 that isn't often mentioned is that it's really a Linux computer with modular hardware. I don't think that it's a big stretch to suggest that they could build Atmos-type functionality. Of course, you'd need to amplify those additional channels, but that's a factor for any non-AVR processor.

What does linux have to do with it? Everything runs linux now days. Hell my new microwave, all my tvs, everything from minidsp even got a busybox shell from a desk top fan if you can believe that. Wonder if Emotiva will follow any GNU rules and release the sources they've used.

NorthSky 02-13-2015 10:03 PM

I got Intel, dual core, and quad core processing prowess.

wilbur_the_goose 02-14-2015 04:58 AM

I'm not trying to sell people - I'm just relating how I've been amazed at the audio quality. It's been a HUGE step up from my Denon AVR-4311 running through a XPA-5 amp.

Put it this way - I won't be sending it back.

Plus, my Wife Acceptance Factor is very, very high.


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