16 Channel Prepros at $5000 or less - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 03:11 AM - Thread Starter
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16 Channel Prepros at $5000 or less

There were quite a few new 16 channel prepros announced or displayed at Cedia this year and I wanted to collect to together details of what is available on the market now or soon for comparison. Common features to all models like Atmos or DTS:X decoding are not included below as I think most of us are more interested in the differences. Additions and corrections are welcome.

Emotiva XMC-2
Room Correction: Dirac Live 2.0 (Promised) / REW Manual
Core DSP: Analog Devices Griffin Lite
DACs: 1 AK4490 for each of front 3 channels, AK4490 for every 2 channels elsewhere
Auro 3D: No
Imax Enhanced: No
DTS:X Pro: Promised ("Early 2020")
HDMI Inputs: 8
HDMI Outputs: 2
EARC: No (Will need HDMI hardware upgrade)
HDMI 2.1 Upgrade Promised: Yes
Digital In: 3 Coax / 3 Optical / 1 AES/EBU
DSD over HDMI: Yes
USB Audio Input: Yes
Analogue In: 3 RCA / 1 XLR
Analogue Bypass: Yes
OSD: Yes
Tuner: FM / AM
Phono: No
Bluetooth: No
Streaming Support: Promised Option
Additional Audio Zones: Z2
12V Triggers: 4 Out
Rackmount Kit: Yes
Price USA: $3000
Price UK: £3200
Release Date: OUT NOW

Monoprice HTP-1
Room Correction: Dirac Live 2.0 / Dirac Bass Management Module (Promised) / REW Manual (Promised)
Core DSP: MDS / TI APM-100 (?)
DACs: 1 AK4493 for every 2 channels
Auro 3D: Yes
Imax Enhanced: No
DTS:X Pro: Promised
HDMI Inputs: 7
HDMI Outputs: 2
EARC: Yes
HDMI 2.1 Upgrade Promised: Yes
Digital In: 3 Coax / 3 Optical / 1 AES/EBU
DSD over HDMI: No
USB Audio Input: Yes
Analogue In: 2 RCA
Analogue Bypass: No
OSD: No
Tuner: No
Phono: No
Bluetooth: No
Streaming Support: Roon, External Chromecast
Additional Audio Zones: Basic Downmix Only (?)
12V Triggers: 4 Out / 1 In
Rackmount Kit: No(?)
Price USA: $4000
Price UK: £4150 (Import)
Release Date: November 2019

Arcam AV40
Room Correction: Dirac Live 2.0 / Bass Management Module (Promised)
Core DSP: MDS / TI APM-100 (?)
DACs: ESS 9026 Pro for every 8 Channels
Auro 3D: Promised
Imax Enhanced: Yes
DTS:X Pro: Promised
HDMI Inputs: 7
HDMI Outputs: 3 (1 Z2)
EARC: Yes
HDMI 2.1 Upgrade Promised: No
Digital In: 4 Coax / 2 Optical
DSD over HDMI: No
USB Audio Input: No
Analogue In: 6 RCA
Analogue Bypass: No
OSD: Yes
Tuner: FM / DAB+
Phono: No
Bluetooth: Yes
Streaming Support: Air Play 2, Chromecast
Additional Audio Zones: Z2
12V Triggers: 4 Out
Rackmount Kit: Yes(?)
Price USA: $4500
Price UK: £3750
Release Date: November 2019

--- Variants ---

Emotiva RMC-1L
Variant Of: Emotiva XMC-2
Differences:
DACs: 1 AK4490 for every channel
Price USA: $4000
Price UK: £4500
Release Date: OUT NOW

Emotiva RMC-1
Variant Of: Emotiva XMC-2
Differences:
DACs: 1 AK4490 for every channel
Other: Module Slots; Promised Modules: MC/MM Phono module, Dual XLR input module, Quad XLR output module
Price USA: $5000
Price UK: £5500
Release Date: OUT NOW

Lexicon ???
Variant Of: Arcam AV40
Differences:
Other: Logic 16 Upmixing
Auro 3D: Yes(?)
Price USA: $5000 (Maybe)
Price UK: ?
Release Date: ?

JBL Synthesis SDP-55
Variant Of: Arcam AV40
Differences:
Other: Logic 16 Upmixing
Other: Dante Digital Output
DACs: ESS 9028 Pro for every 8 Channels
Auro 3D: Yes
Price USA: $6000
Price UK: ?
Release Date: Feb 2020

Audiocontrol X7
Variant Of: Arcam AV40
Differences:
Analogue In: 6 RCA, 2 XLR
Auro 3D: Yes
Price USA: $6600
Price UK: ?
Release Date: December 2019

Audiocontrol X9
Variant Of: Arcam AV40
Differences:
Analogue In: 6 RCA, 2 XLR
Auro 3D: Yes
DAC: ESS9038 Pro for every 8 Channels
Price USA: $9600
Price UK: ?
Release Date: December 2019

Last edited by Krobar; 09-30-2019 at 06:29 AM.
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post #2 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 05:09 AM
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The 8805 isn't 16ch.

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post #3 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 05:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashie Saldana View Post
The 8805 isn't 16ch.
AV8805 removed.
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post #4 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 06:00 AM
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DTS X Pro should be a bullet point inclusion in this list. I’m not sure if all these prepros have promised it. And if they haven’t it’s a big deal since they will be limited to 11 channel output in DTS X. I know the Monoprice has promised it via future firmware update as they are actively working with DTS to make sure it’s possible. However we should not assume all these pre-pros will include DTS X Pro as a free upgrade or that they will even have the hardware capability to provision the upgrade.

HDMI 2.1 upgradability should also be included as a differing characteristic. It allows for higher resolutions (8K) and higher refresh rates (120Hz) and most importantly Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) for gamers which is a much smoother gaming experience when the display and source sync on display on each refreshed frame and it is flexible between a large range of Hz. (Think FreeSync and G-Sync implementation in PC gaming monitors - but it’s the next open standard for displays and included in the HDMI 2.1 spec). I think the RMC-1 and XMC-1 have promised the future upgrade option (at a cost), by replacing their modular HDMI board. I’m not sure about the others.

Both particular emissions will be a deal breaker for many, and are big enough requirements for upcoming tech that they should be accounted for in the listings - at least as info becomes available. I will not be buying anything new unless it includes these two features, as they are both very important.

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post #5 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 06:38 AM
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I know its above the $5000 mark but at $6000 the new JBL SDP-55 should be a contender for anyone already looking to spend $5000.

Right now I'm thinking Monoprice or JBL.
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post #6 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post
DTS X Pro should be a bullet point inclusion in this list. I’m not sure if all these prepros have promised it. And if they haven’t it’s a big deal since they will be limited to 11 channel output in DTS X. I know the Monoprice has promised it via future firmware update as they are actively working with DTS to make sure it’s possible. However we should not assume all these pre-pros will include DTS X Pro as a free upgrade or that they will even have the hardware capability to provision the upgrade.

HDMI 2.1 upgradability should also be included as a differing characteristic. It allows for higher resolutions (8K) and higher refresh rates (120Hz) and most importantly Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) for gamers which is a much smoother gaming experience when the display and source sync on display on each refreshed frame and it is flexible between a large range of Hz. (Think FreeSync and G-Sync implementation in PC gaming monitors - but it’s the next open standard for displays and included in the HDMI 2.1 spec). I think the RMC-1 and XMC-1 have promised the future upgrade option (at a cost), by replacing their modular HDMI board. I’m not sure about the others.

Both particular emissions will be a deal breaker for many, and are big enough requirements for upcoming tech that they should be accounted for in the listings - at least as info becomes available. I will not be buying anything new unless it includes these two features, as they are both very important.
DTS:X Pro added. HDMI 2.1 upgrade was already there.
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post #7 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rec head View Post
I know its above the $5000 mark but at $6000 the new JBL SDP-55 should be a contender for anyone already looking to spend $5000.

Right now I'm thinking Monoprice or JBL.
Added for informational purposes since it is closely related to the Arcam.
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post #8 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 07:33 AM
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jbl sdp-55 and arcam av40 have OSD.
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post #9 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 07:34 AM
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[QUOTE=leboche;58560314]jbl sdp-55 and arcam av40 have OSD.

thank you for answer.
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post #10 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 07:34 AM
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jbl sdp-55 and arcam av40 have OSD.

thank you for answer.[/QUOTE]
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post #11 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 07:35 AM
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jbl sdp-55 and arcam av 40 have OSD.

thank you for answer.
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post #12 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leboche View Post
jbl sdp-55 and arcam av 40 have OSD.

thank you for answer.
Thanks, updated.
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post #13 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post
DTS X Pro should be a bullet point inclusion in this list. I’m not sure if all these prepros have promised it. And if they haven’t it’s a big deal since they will be limited to 11 channel output in DTS X. I know the Monoprice has promised it via future firmware update as they are actively working with DTS to make sure it’s possible. However we should not assume all these pre-pros will include DTS X Pro as a free upgrade or that they will even have the hardware capability to provision the upgrade.

HDMI 2.1 upgradability should also be included as a differing characteristic. It allows for higher resolutions (8K) and higher refresh rates (120Hz) and most importantly Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) for gamers which is a much smoother gaming experience when the display and source sync on display on each refreshed frame and it is flexible between a large range of Hz. (Think FreeSync and G-Sync implementation in PC gaming monitors - but it’s the next open standard for displays and included in the HDMI 2.1 spec). I think the RMC-1 and XMC-1 have promised the future upgrade option (at a cost), by replacing their modular HDMI board. I’m not sure about the others.

Both particular omissions will be a deal breaker for many, and are big enough requirements for upcoming tech that they should be accounted for in the listings - at least as info becomes available. I will not be buying anything new unless it includes these two features, as they are both very important.

At least on one front, Monoprice said that the HTP-1 will have an upgraded HDMI 2.1 board available. I'm sure you have to ship it back for installation and once the boards are readily available, all future HTP-1's will have HDMI 2.1 included in the box.


It is getting a DTS: X Pro firmware update (basically just Neural: X upmixing to address more speakers) at the same time as every other manufacturer who signed up for DTS: X Pro. Supposedly, the debut is early next year.

Listen up, studios! Dolby Atmos Lite™ print-outs must stop!!
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post #14 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 08:09 AM
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From the HTP-1 thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonolithGuy View Post
The HTP-1 will have a Pure/Straight mode that disables all processing.
Is this not analogue bypass?

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Last edited by crossrh; 09-15-2019 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Rearranged phrases for clarity
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post #15 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossrh View Post
From the HTP-1 thread:



Is this not analogue bypass?
It is not. A later post explained it disabled all processing but it still does ADC and DAC on the analogue inputs regardless.
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post #16 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossrh View Post
From the HTP-1 thread:



Is this not analogue bypass?

I think it just means room correction and bass management and DSP modes are left out of the chain and it's a straight decode of whatever is being fed into the HTP-1. It's still a digital processor.

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post #17 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 09:12 AM
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Got it. Thanks.

Now, about the rack mounts...

Zaph Audio SB12.3 mains, ZD3C center (all DIY), FI IB318 (2 ea.) 18" IB Subs
Denon AVR-X4000 (used as pre-amp), Monolith 7 x 200 watt (for LCR and subs)
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post #18 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossrh View Post
Got it. Thanks.

Now, about the rack mounts...
Largely immaterial with rack shelf options right?

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post #19 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post
Largely immaterial with rack shelf options right?

https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-...gateway&sr=8-4
Not as neat or secure as a proper rack mount kit.
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post #20 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 09:58 AM
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I agree, Krobar.

If the chassis height of the HTP-1 without the feet is 5 1/4" or less, that'll use up only 3RU. Any more than 5 1/4" and we're stuck using 4RU, and wasting space, which makes a difference in my rack.

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post #21 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 12:34 PM
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Indy Audio Muse should be added to the list, though its extra-cost ASPEQT EQ (~$2.5k) puts it way over $wise.


Quote:
Originally Posted by leboche View Post
jbl sdp-55 and arcam av40 have OSD.
Interesting, and good.

IIRC losing OSD is due to difficulty of implementing along with 4k.

I wonder how JBL gets around that.

Noah
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post #22 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 12:38 PM
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HDMI 2.1 included eARC but since some processors support eARC in HDMI 2.0, I think it should be included.
Emotiva processors do not support eARC.

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post #23 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 01:14 PM
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I think a very important aspect as well is how many discrete subwoofer preouts will these have and does it support the new Dirac Bass Module? For me at least that would be one of the majors reasons to upgrade.
I found this of the AV40 which I'm most interested in. I'm not sure what conclusions can be drawn? I've heard of the possibility to redesignate channels to whatever.

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post #24 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 02:44 PM
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Here is another to consider but NOT 16 channels. I mention it due to cost.

ARCAM AVR390 (yes it is an AVR but you can use RCA preout). Price will be reduced to $1,495

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post #25 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 02:45 PM
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^^^

Yes, DiRac and bass management position has been corrected. It was a “BM” early on.

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post #26 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Dirac Bass module is already included in the list and so is E-ARC. I agree that having the number of individually adjustable sub outputs would be useful but clear info on that is only available for Emotiva right now; will add it once the info becomes available for the others. Other interesting bits we wont likely know without a manual include support for odd Auro/Atmos combos and if some additional speaker positions will be supported for DTS:X Pro.
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post #27 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmiles View Post
Here is another to consider but NOT 16 channels. I mention it due to cost.

ARCAM AVR390 (yes it is an AVR but you can use RCA preout). Price will be reduced to $1,495
Sorry, I've already removed the AV8805 for not having 16 channels, here in the UK quite a few people use the cheapest NAD receiver as a prepro too. The AVR20 is a touch cheaper than the AV40 if you are going down that route with 16 channels but is not a dedicated prepro.
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post #28 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 02:56 PM
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I only mentioned it because of DiRac.

But I got you.

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post #29 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
Indy Audio Muse should be added to the list, though its extra-cost ASPEQT EQ (~$2.5k) puts it way over $wise.




Interesting, and good.

IIRC losing OSD is due to difficulty of implementing along with 4k.

I wonder how JBL gets around that.
Strictly speaking the Muse is $5500 so is too expensive. If other's feel it should be added let me know.
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post #30 of 236 Old 09-15-2019, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmiles View Post
Here is another to consider but NOT 16 channels. I mention it due to cost.

ARCAM AVR390 (yes it is an AVR but you can use RCA preout). Price will be reduced to $1,495
Yes, it's a great AVR and I'm using one right now

Room| Treated | Sound| Front: Ino Audio i32s, Center: Ino Audio i16s, Surrounds: 6 x Ino a2, 6 x Ino a1, Subs: 6 x Ino Infra-Y|
Picture | Epson TW9300, Seymour Center Stage UF 130.4" retractable 2.35:1 |
Electronics | Arcam AVR390(Dirac Live), 3x Ncore nc400 monoblocks, Emotiva XPA-2 Gen2, EP4000, Panasonic UB700, Allo Katana + Isolator 1.2(Roon bridge/DAC), ATV 4K |
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