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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting to look for a new processor. Emotiva is certainly interesting, but I have fallen into problems in the past dealing with small businesses.


Anyone know anything about the viability of this company. For amps and speakers it is not as important because the products should not require updates, but processors may require updates.


Thoughts?
 

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They seem to be an outstanding business IMO. I purchased an XPA-5 and an ERM-6.2 from them about two months ago. Their customer service is top notch.
 

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Yeah, I thought they were great until they tried to bring out the new UMC-1. I mean what the hell is wrong with them that they cant post a legitimate update on the delay? I wrote them an email yesterday and got a response today saying they dont have an update at this time. Well, the release date was supposed to be in June, then they were like for sure July, now it is August and no update at all. Whatever I guess.Hey croseiv, do you like the xpa-5? I am wanting to get the UMC-1 and XPA-5 for my new house but as stated before they dont have the umc. Cheers!
 

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i own no emotiva products, so i have no skin in the game... they are privately held, as as such, there's unlikely to be any good solid data on what their actual financials look like... as a small business owner myself, i don't disclose information like that to the general public, and i wouldn't expect them to so either...


that being said...


they appear to be a reasonably solid company that puts out well constructed product at a "value" price... they have developed and cultivated a very vocal and loyal group of followers (like any good id company should)... they do appear to be struggling at this point to get a product out the door with their pre-pro, as it was due out many many moons ago... if i was a potential buyer, that would be a concern, especially if you are thinking about potential product updates down the line...


as with any "small" company, however, all it takes is one big boo-boo for them to really take a beating (see: that company that will remain unnamed that made a big boo-boo with subwoofer amplifiers)...


like they say, "you pays your money and you takes your chances"...
 

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I wouldn't let product delays sway you decision to purchase or not. I'd much rather see a company delay a product, than release one that is buggy.
 

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as i said, it would be a "concern"...


i too would rather have a company delay a product rather than release a buggy one... that being said, an inability to at least come close to hitting release dates (i believe the umc-1 was due to be released over 18 months ago) can't be completely ignored... especially since the op specifically mentioned product updates... while past performance doesn't necessarily predict future results, it also shouldn't be ignored...


like i said, i have no skin in the game... i'm just making observations based upon the data available...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj /forum/post/16928193


as i said, it would be a "concern"...


i too would rather have a company delay a product rather than release a buggy one... that being said, an inability to at least come close to hitting release dates (i believe the umc-1 was due to be released over 18 months ago) can't be completely ignored... especially since the op specifically mentioned product updates... while past performance doesn't necessarily predict future results, it also shouldn't be ignored...

The UMC-1 (originally designated LMC-2) was first announced as "available in March 2008."


From what I understand, the LMC-1 pre-pro had some serious problems when it was released, but Emotiva did address them through updates. I don't have first-hand knowledge of that, though. However, from what I've read on the Emo forum, that bad experience has motivated them to hold the UMC-1 back until they're certain of a smooth launch.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboRay /forum/post/16928643


The UMC-1 (originally designated LMC-2) was first announced as "available in March 2008."


From what I understand, the LMC-1 pre-pro had some serious problems when it was released, but Emotiva did address them through updates. I don't have first-hand knowledge of that, though. However, from what I've read on the Emo forum, that bad experience has motivated them to hold the UMC-1 back until they're certain of a smooth launch.

I was one of the beta testers for the LMC/LPA combo. The LMC pre-pro was buggy. But, I expected that as....well....it was a "beta" unit. Everything was indeed fixed, in due time.


The UMC delays? I have no idea what's going on. I suspect that Dan and Lonnie don't want to go through what they went through with the LMC. That could be part of it.


But, I do think this points out one issue, it's easier to make amps than it is to make pre-pros. Unless you are one of the "big guys" like Denon, Pioneer, Yamaha, etc.....it's a daunting task to develop, and then test for issues like HDMI, codecs, room/speaker correction, source compatibility, etc...and to do so successfully.


With an amp, while not simple, the parameters are fewer, and easier to implement.


I agree with ccotenj. I'm a small business owner, too. I won't divulge finance facts, either. First, I don't want to give any competition a peak into what I do, and how I do it. 2nd, it's none of anyone's business (with the exception of Uncle Sam, and I begrudge even that fact).


As far as EMOTIVA specifically, they've been around for a few years. They started out being marketed through AV123. Then, they branched out on their own, doing their own sales and marketing. They've grown their business even further by going from offering a few products, to offering many, including speakers. From that perspective, it appears they're confident and spreading their wings quite a bit. I view that as a positive. SOP for them is offering performance based products at a value price.


And yes, their customer support is outstanding.
 

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For what it's worth, how do we really know how financially sound any company is? Unless there are some serious warning flags, it's hard to know that kind of information.


I think Emotiva is being very wise not to release a product until they feel that it will perform well. That says a lot about their priorites IMO.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicguy /forum/post/16929210



But, I do think this points out one issue, it's easier to make amps than it is to make pre-pros. Unless you are one of the "big guys" like Denon, Pioneer, Yamaha, etc.....it's a daunting task to develop, and then test for issues like HDMI, codecs, room/speaker correction, source compatibility, etc...and to do so successfully.


With an amp, while not simple, the parameters are fewer, and easier to implement.

bingo... this discussion is going on in another thread (except it's comparing "high end" to "consumer level")... developing a "modern" pre-pro (or avr) is no easy task, regardless of the skill level/devotion/whatever... i don't doubt that emo is trying very hard to get their product "right"... but it simply may be too large of a task for them... many "consumers" don't have much of an understanding how difficult a task development/testing/etc. is...


it bears repeating... i don't "care" one way or the other... the op asked for some input, and when looking at it as a "disinterested third party", i pointed out a few things that i would consider...


and although i've never bought anything, people i trust (vs. people who are merely fanboys of a product) have nothing but good things to say about their customer service... so that's a big positive...
 

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I also don't own any Emotiva products, but I would seriously consider them.

Their amps look very good, especially for the money. If I didn't own the Pioneer flagship receiver with hi-powered Class D amps, I would look very hard at buying Emotiva amps. The stereo pre-amp with HT bypass & CD player look very interesting too.


The prepros I'm not sure about, since I've never owned one & there's so much involved to them, integrating software with hardware. But I wouldn't mind beta testing one & go from there



As independant companies go developing products that compete with the big boys, look how far Oppo has come, so it can be done. Emotiva looks like it's going to be around for quite awhile. What I have read about the company, products & service is top-notch.


ss9001
 

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I do like my MPS-2 and will probably add the UPA2 this Fall to push the Height speakers. And I would not hesitate to get their new 7 channel AMP (MPS-2 replacement?) when it hits as well...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I agree they do not need to prove they are stable but if they are they may want to reassure the customers for the marketing aspect. To often companies grow themselves out of business. I often see private companies advertise that they have no or low debt, which is the key part of a business that can create a death spiral.


Still, it is only a $700 purchase and if it works, then what the heck I will just enjoy what I have.


I have purchased some speakers from a company that went under, no problems there. The drivers can still be purchased if needed. The company was meadowlark speakers, they made some of the most beautifully crafted speakers of all time
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod /forum/post/16929279


Maybe they just need a few really good BETA testers?

joerod.....they know how to contact me.



BTW....thanks for all you do in the BD threads.


IMHO, Emotiva has gone far. They started out with a mid-range pre-pro/amp, and a high end pre-pro/amp. From that, they've grown their business to offering a reference CD player, a reference stereo pre, no less than 6 amp configurations, a (hopefully) soon to be released HT pre-pro in the UMC, and 5 models of speakers.


Even OPPO can't quite make that kind of claim with the depth of products.


If there's one thing I've learned as a small business person, you either grow, or remain stagnant. You take advantage of your small size to move quicker than any of your bigger competitors. That's the competitive advantage small businesses have when competing with behemoths (which is what EMOTIVA is doing). You remain stagnant, you're out of business. Someone, somewhere will eventually catch up, and pass you by.


To the OP, I'd have no qualms whatsoever doing business with EMOTIVA. Lonnie has a wealth of amp design experience. Dan has been in the biz for quite some time, too. Most ID companies are lean and mean. They're cost basis is much lower than that of the bigger guys. But, that also means their resources (for things like development of a pre-pro) are much less, also.


I followed the development of the LMC-2/UMC-1 for awhile. I was waiting for it, but finally gave up. IIRC, it's based on another design, but can't remember which design that is.
 

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I've been in the market for a new pre/pro for about a month now. When I first learned about the UMC-1, I figured that at $700 I couldn't lose, especially after spending big bucks on Lexicon and Anthem units in the past just to have those *futureproof* units outdated within a couple of years. I spent some time reading in the Emotiva forum and soon realized that it could be a very long time before the UMC-1 actually gets released. I mean, on June 29th they claimed that all they needed was "a simple fix that only requires some minor board re-work". I don't know a lot about reworking boards, but it seems to me that that means that the board must be redesigned, then some more prototypes assembled and tested, and THEN they could start manufacturing finished units. That "simple fix" sounds like a pretty big project to me.


In the time I have spent waiting, I weighed the qualities that I might get in the new Emotiva product versus what I can buy right now for a decent (under $2000) price. My conclusion was/is that what I really want is the even further away XMC-1, as it will have balanced outputs, and now that I have lived with balanced outs I doubt that I could ever go back to unbalanced regardless of how good of a deal it is.


So my new plan is to try to locate a used or demo Marantz AV 8003 (anyone got one for sale?
) and wait for the XMC-1 to be released. I figure that by that time Emotiva will have a better knowledge of handling the intricacies of pre/pros and there will be a lot of feedback available on how well the UMC-1 performs. I really hope that Emotiva is as good of a company as it sounds, as they are poised to present reasonable prices in a category (pre/pros, that is) which to me is VERY overpriced. Companies like Yamaha, Sony, Denon, Marantz, etc. that manufacture high end receivers must not only develop high quality pre/pros, but must also build 7 to 11 channels of amplification into the same package. That has just GOT to be more difficult than building a standalone pre/pro.


I wonder why most of those companies do not build standalone processors. It seems to me as if they have already done the lion's share of the work, so why not release their high end receivers as separates?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sorel /forum/post/16930193


I wonder why most of those companies do not build standalone processors. It seems to me as if they have already done the lion's share of the work, so why not release their high end receivers as separates?

my "guess" is that their market research (if they even bothered to do market research on it) revealed that there's a limited market for them...


the market for dedicated pre-pros is pretty small to begin with... and judging by anecdotal evidence here at avs, a goodly portion of the market that is looking for a dedicated pre-pro wouldn't even consider something with a "consumer" brand name attached to it... so they'd be fighting over a small piece of a small pie...
 

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I will check them on D&B on Monday when I am at work - that will tell you their financial status - even for small private companies. Less perfect for smaller companies, but you can usually tell whetever a company is in trouble or not
 

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Quote:
and judging by anecdotal evidence here at avs, a goodly portion of the market that is looking for a dedicated pre-pro wouldn't even consider something with a "consumer" brand name attached to it... so they'd be fighting over a small piece of a small pie...

I wonder if that is true...and the release of the UMC-1 should be a good experiment. Right now I feel that there is a potentially good sized market being overlooked - that of a reasonably priced pre/pro. Take a look at the price tags in the pre/pro sticky thread in this forum. The ONLY entries under $2k are yet to be released (though I am sure that a few models from people like Outlaw have been released in the past). Right now Outlaw and Emotiva are the only ones with proposed sub $2k units in the works. I think a lot more people would be interested in separates if they could buy those separates for a price in the same ballpark as comparable receiver. I mean, I have a custom wired 11 channel setup for my system (6 channels for my biamped fronts and center, 4 channels for my surrounds, and one huge bridged amp for my subwoofer), so receivers are simply out of the question. But I can buy a really good receiver for about the same price as a decent pre/pro...does that make any sense?


I think that a lot of other people would be interested in reasonably priced separates as well. Do you really want to change your amps when you are happy with them and simply need/want the latest in surround decoding? Or you just want a USB media player? Or the newest room correction algorithm? IMHO amps have pretty much gotten as good as they are going to get, but the changes in the front end gear keep happening fast and furiously. I would LOVE to see pre/pro entries from the big players, as they have the resources to do it better than the small companies, and likely for a MUCH smaller price.


Marantz is doing both receivers and separates, though not at the same price level as their receivers. I would be curious to know how well they are doing with their separates, even at the higher price point.
 
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