Originally Posted by PA59
Months ago I had placed an order for the XMC-1 with upgraded 4K board to replace (as an upgrade) my UMC-1.
I believe enough has been said regarding delivery delays.
Rather than gripe about it and get banned from the Emo forums, I've decided to move on.
I've got a 5.1 system used for movies and music.
Def Tech 9060s.XPA-5 for amp.Oppo 103 and Apple TV.
Anthem AVM 60 looks like a contender to the XMC-1. Possibly the Marantz 8802A?
Looking for any input from owners of these models or suggestins from anyone who has decided to move on from the XMC-1.
If your listening habits involve a fair amount of music, and if you also use an AVR's internal automated room correction software, given a choice between the Anthem AVM 60 and the Marantz AV8802a, I would pick the AVM 60.
The AV8802a is an excellent
piece of hardware, but many (myself included) feel that Audyssey kills
music. Using the Audyssey MultEQ Editor app, those ill-effects can
be mitigated by lowering the frequency range of which EQ correction is applied, but the 8802a is not
compatible with the app (only 2016 and up D&M offerings are).
Anthem Room Correction (ARC) is in an entirely different league (and in my opinion, "maybe
" second only to Dirac) and gives much better results for music than does Audyssey. Since ARC only applies EQ (by default) up to 5kHz (instead of full range), it doesn't have the same ill-effects upon music. If 5kHz still seems to be too much for your liking, the range can be lowered in the ARC software and the filters reapplied. In addition, ARC also generates and applies its filters using a 96kHz sampling frequency, not 48k as does Audyssey and Dirac Live (as found in the XMC-1) and does not down-sample "hi-rez" music files in order to apply room correction.
One caveat regarding ARC is that the software runs on a PC (with no support for MacOS) and the filters are downloaded to the AVP or AVR. ARC does not run internally (like Audyssey).
There are other, less discussed, features of the AVM 60 that I rather like as well. One of those is the ability to program 30 different "virtual" inputs each with their own video input (if any) and speaker profile (you can set up and store up to 4 different "speaker profiles").
One downfall to having up to 30 inputs to choose from is that there are no "direct" input selections on the OEM remote. To use the OEM remote, you're delegated to either using an OSD or "scrolling" using the AVR's display to make a selection. To some, that's a major inconvenience, but, to me, it's not a huge price to pay for having such a flexible feature. However, if you have a Harmony remote, those direct input selections are available in the Hamony database, are downloaded to the Harmony remote, and are selectable from there.
I don't currently own the AVM 60, but I have had plenty of experience setting up (and playing with) a friends. I own a XMC-1 and, like you, have grown very tired of the wait (now 18 months and counting) for an HDMI board that allows me to use my 4K UHD gear without
having to implement workarounds and perform inconvenient cable swaps. So, back in December, I purchased a Marantz AV7703 at clearance pricing that was too good to pass up. Some day, my XMC-1 may see life outside of my storage room, or I may decide to sell it, I've yet to decide.
For HT purposes (movie soundtracks), I can hear NO
discernible difference between the XMC-1 and the AV7703. For music, yes, the XMC-1 is slightly more detailed and "lively" than the AV7703 (even with Audyssey not
correcting much above the relative Schroeder frequency of my room). So, in order to appreciate a Marantz, you also have to be a fan of the more "laid-back" sound of their HDAM output topology. Some folks just simply aren't. I'm okay with it.
One thing I DON'T
like about the D&M offerings is the overly complex video section. All I need is a simple HDMI switch that performs well. No scaling, no I/P conversion, no video "modes" and, certainly, no "legacy" inputs. To get true signal pass-through is cumbersome and you lose the ability to overlay your volume display on screen. And, sorry, but the "porthole" display for an older person, at even a short distance, just doesn't cut it.
If I had to do it again, and (considering the current Anthem promotion) maybe I will, I would buy the AVM 60 and not look back.
The NAD receiver, mentioned earlier in this thread, is also a good option as NADs have always performed well for music and, now, also employs Dirac Live. However, be aware that NAD is also slow to supply those "future-proof" options. Maybe not as slow as Emotiva, but not as fast as most might need them to be. Also, if you plan upon using an AVR as a pre-pro only, check the preamp output voltage carefully. You'll need clean (unclipped) output voltage to drive your amps effectively. Check your amp's specs to see what input voltage it requires to drive it to its full rated output and make sure the AVR can deliver that voltage "cleanly".
Hope this helps...