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Decky

XMC-1 experiences, anyone?

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I am a bit surprised not to see any reports on Emotiva XMC-1 experiences here. I am assuming that at least a handful of people already received their units in AUS and spent some time with them. I am wondering about first impressions, sound quality, user (un)friendliness and unreported quirks (unpleasant surprises).  

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 Have had one for a little while now.  Very happy with it, great sound quality.

  One box solution now, no more HT bypass with separate analog pre amp anymore.

Think Dirac release is imminent too, so looking forward to that. Speakers are just set by distance and level matching currently so curious what Dirac is going to bring to the party.

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Dirac is interesting. All the computational work (creating of filters) is done by backend servers. It relies on an internet connection, the software takes the readings and sends the data (over the internet), the backend does all the crunching, then sends back the filters for the XMC-1.

I wonder what additional smarts it has, where big thumping backend servers are needed, over a locally installed chip in the unit?

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i enjoyed listening to what the founder of emotiva had to say about his experiences working in the audio industry (as an oem supplier), and what drives his brand,,,,

 

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Interesting video Ozmillsy,

 

I don't much like the bagging Emotiva gets around the place sometimes. I've only had one problem before and that was with my daughter's XSP-1 and Emotiva replied promptly to fix the issue (and then Decky upgraded the PSU for a substantial improvement as an aside). It doesn't really matter that they're in Tennessee: they seem to get things to Sydney faster by Fedex than Australia Post can get things from Melbourne.

 

Emotiva is pretty upfront about the fact that they build to a pricepoint too, which is refreshingly honest.

 

The only problem I see with the XMC-1 is one of cost: once you add shipping and 15% duties there's a fair bit of competition in the price range. 

 

Cheers,

 

Dave

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The only problem I see with the XMC-1 is one of cost: once you add shipping and 15% duties there's a fair bit of competition in the price range. 

 

Hey Dave, yes you are right.   The XMC-1 isnt priced like the rest of the Emotiva range,  it's on par with similar options from other major brands.    

 

From a feature list perspective,  I'd be happier if it had Internet Radio functions included.  

 

But that aside,  there is alot to like about what they have done with it.   This next clip is taken from the same event, but delves into the engineering and features of the XMC-1.   I found it very interesting.

 

 

I'm nearly over the line on it,   maybe if the exchange rate bounces back in the coming months?    I do need a new prepro sometime this year.    If anyone has the Emotiva upgrade offer, and isnt intending to use it,  please send me a PM. 

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The Reference Stereo Mode is interesting. Not sure many Processors (AVR's) pass the analog signal straight to the analog volume control. Good for turntables , Dacs etc

 
Reference Stereo Mode
Reference Stereo Mode provides the purest listening experience, with the fewest options for processing or modifying the signal.
In Reference Stereo Mode:
• The output is always TWO CHANNEL STEREO.
• There is NO bass management, and NOTHING is sent to the subwoofer.
• You CANNOT use the Loudness Control, or the Tone Presets, or the Tone Trims.
• You CANNOT use Dirac Live or the manual Parametric EQ Presets.
• Level Trims, which operate in the analog domain, are still available.
• Speaker Distance adjustments are active for digital inputs but not for analog inputs.
• Stereo analog input signals are passed straight to the Volume Control and the outputs.
• Stereo digital input signals are converted to analog then sent to the Volume Control.
• Surround sound digital signals are decoded, mixed down to stereo (the Center Channel and
LFE signals, if present, are mixed into the stereo output), and converted to analog.
 
Direct Mode
Direct Mode provides a relatively pure listening experience, and eliminates most processing, but still retains bass management.
In Direct Mode:
• The output contains the same number of channels as the input signal.
• No extra channels are synthesized; if the output channel that corresponds to a given input channel is not present, that channel signal is mixed into the appropriate available channels.
Operating the XMC-1
• Bass management IS available and the subwoofer IS active.
• You CANNOT use the Loudness Control, or the Tone Presets, or the Tone Trims
• You CANNOT use Dirac Live or the manual Parametric EQ Presets.
• Level Trims, which operate in the analog domain, are still available.
• Speaker Distance adjustments are available for both analog and digital inputs.
• Stereo digital signals are presented directly to the processor.
• Stereo analog input signals are converted to digital and passed to the processor.
• Surround sound digital signals are decoded, and passed to the processor.
• Multi-channel discrete digital signals (like multi-PCM) are passed directly to the processor.
• All signals receive bass management - but no other processing.
• If an LFE signal is present, and one or two subwoofers are also present, the LFE content will be routed to the subs along with low-frequency content from the main channels
(as determined by the bass management settings).
 
Stereo Mode
Stereo Mode provides a full complement of processing and control options - with a stereo output.
In Stereo Mode:
• The output is always TWO CHANNEL STEREO.
• Bass management IS available and the subwoofer IS active.
• Loudness Control, the Tone Controls, and the Tone Trims are active.
• Dirac Live and the manual Parametric EQ Presets are active.
• Level Trims are active.
• Speaker Distance adjustments are available for both analog and digital inputs.
• Stereo digital signals are presented directly to the processor.
• Stereo analog input signals are converted to digital and passed to the processor.
• Surround sound digital signals are decoded, down-mixed to stereo, and passed to the processor.
• Multi-channel discrete digital signals (like multi-PCM) are down-mixed to stereo and passed to the processor.
• If an LFE signal is present, and one or two subwoofers are also present, the LFE content
will be routed to the subs along with low-frequency content from the main channels
(as determined by the bass management settings).
Edited by rocky500

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I'm nearly over the line on it,   maybe if the exchange rate bounces back in the coming months?  

Ozmillsy, 

 

Do you have a credit card with a good exchange rate/fees for overseas purchases? That will save you a bundle on a purchase like this. 

 

I have a 28degrees credit card. I'm sure there are other options too.

 

Dave

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Hey Rocky, yes the reference stereo mode is definitely a feature that is of interest to me, as my HT system is also a communal audio system for 2ch music.

Its great that they put a full description of what each mode does. The Direct Mode on other receivers does the same thing (convert analog sources to digital).

Dave, no i just have a standard cc from a local bank. Might have to look into that.

Edited by ozmillsy

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I've lived with one of these for a few months now, so some observations (after the latest 3.0 firmware upgrade):

  • Build is solid, and it comes nicely double boxed. Measurement microphone is pretty cool as well.
  • Balanced inputs/outputs as well as RCA. You can use them all at the same time as well.
  • HDMI is 8-in/2-out (slaved), v1.4b. Apparently handles 4K/60 video, but I don't have equipment that would allow me to confirm that.
  • Sound quality is exceptional. I thought it was good before, but the latest update made it even better. Dynamic range is 'kn huge, surround sound (7.1 for me) is great as well. DAC seems to be inkily silent and jitter-free. Also, I'm still trying to work out if I can hear a difference when digitally processing analogue inputs (TT to phono stage, then to analogue inputs on XMC. The preset has just the fronts as full range - no trims or anything else - so the only difference between Reference Stereo mode and Direct mode should be ADC/DAC in direct mode). Can't hear a difference, but only on limited listening so far.
  • If you like playing with options and parameters, there are lots here. 
  • Onboard SACD decoding is very very good. Best mode with my equipment/sources.
  • Same remote as the UMC-1, except with black buttons instead of silver. That is, it's even more useless except when interrupting a burglar, at which time it comes into its own.
  • Dirac sounds good; I've bought the upgrade to the full version but haven't used it yet, however the LE version is pretty good. Looking forward to playing with different house curves and frequency range options.
  • New interface for REW filter uploads (it has 2 presets each with 11 band PEQ per channel, up to 7.2). Haven't tried it yet, but some reports say it's very straightforward.
  • No video processing - overlays an OSD without interfering with anything else. Coming from a pre-pro which didn't have a proper passthrough, I'm calling it a feature.
  • No analogue video inputs. I'm calling that a feature as well. YMMV.
  • Firmware upgrade is via USB, not morse code which is what their previous processors used for updates.
  • They reckon it's hardware upgradable, but we'll see. HDMI 2.0/HDCP2.2 later this year by board changeover, they say. 
  • Made in the US, which I don't really care about except that I didn't need to pay customs duty (had to still pay GST though).

 

I've also noted that the price is going up to $2500 (US) on 1/5. Depending on what people are after, I'd say it will still be good value. Again, YMMV.

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Price hike. What to do!?! [scratches head]

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Price hike. What to do!?! [scratches head]

 

You have until May 1st and then it goes up $500!!

I can offer to buy one for you (you pay me of course :) )as I think the 25% off for life on processors still applies but then you would miss out getting that upgrade for life as they are going to stop it on May 1st too.

Edited by rocky500

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Hey Rocky, I already have the upgrade certificate. My plan was to wait until the ex rate turned around in our favour, and was in no rush - as the UMC-1 has been much better than I expected.

But this looming date changes things.

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Hey Rocky, I already have the upgrade certificate. My plan was to wait until the ex rate turned around in our favour, and was in no rush - as the UMC-1 has been much better than I expected.

But this looming date changes things.

 

I see, you are all covered then.

Yes I doubt the exchange rate will improve before then,

I went from the UMC-1 to the PT-7030 then to the XMC-1. This XMC-1 is the best by far and now with the Dirac full they offer, its great.

The 2CH section is right up there with some good preamps I tried in my system.

Love been able to just have the power button illuminated only until I press a button. Still only the display lights up and not all the lights around all the buttons.

High quality connectors on back with XLR.

But its definitely the sound quality that has me really liking the XMC-1.

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I went from the UMC-1 to the PT-7030 then to the XMC-1. This XMC-1 is the best by far and now with the Dirac full they offer, its great.

I've been reading about Dirac LE, vs the full version. I felt that LE was probably going to be sufficient for my needs.

Did you play with both? What features/functions do you find really valuable in the Full version?

 

But its definitely the sound quality that has me really liking the XMC-1.

Support for native DSD is a big feature for me, that I miss in my UMC. I use my HT to playback surround sound music material, and i have a fair size collection of sacd discs. The dsd2pcm conversion in the Oppo is ok, but streaming native dsd in to my Onkyo sounded better. Its a feature on the XMC that i specifically want.

Looks like a funding submission to the CFO is required this month.

This 1st May date and price increase, makes me feel like they are getting ready for the next major version release.

Edited by ozmillsy

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This 1st May date and price increase, makes me feel like they are getting ready for the next major version release.

 

My thoughts on this are that there are probably some (favourable, of course - aren't they all?) pro reviews around the corner. The only release that's been touted is a new high-speed HDMI board, but that won't be out very soon. My other guess is that there will be a cut-down version to replace the UMC-200, and they need to adjust the XMC price point to fit it in. If it's based on the same platform, there's no way it will be under $1000 even without Dirac and balanced connections.

 

All just speculation of course, second guessing what Emotiva are going to do (and when) is almost a blood sport.

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I've been reading about Dirac LE, vs the full version. I felt that LE was probably going to be sufficient for my needs.

Did you play with both? What features/functions do you find really valuable in the Full version?

 

 

I did not like the results I got with the LE and the Emotiva Mic. I think the Mic is out by a bit but that is debatable by Emotiva. (its designed that way they say) :(

You could just start off with the standard setup and see how it goes for you. Some are very happy but most who use the Full version are amazed.

 

Do not buy the Full version with your order if you do decide to go that way as it will just push your total prce higher and will incure more tax/duty on the way in.

It is just a matter of buying it on online and and a key is sent to your email within 24 hours. Do it later.

 

With the Full version, you can tailor the results on the fly. It looks very powerful. I only did the one sweep so far (with after market Umik Calibrated Mic) and I am impressed BUT it is a little hot for my music.

So it now should be easy for me to adjust this with the Full version easily. When I have some time. I simple drag with the mouse on the graphs I take it.

Even with the Emotiva Mic and Full version, I think the results can be tailored to fantastic results.

post-107190-0-75619000-1427951130_thumb.

Edited by rocky500

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I do not question the features or sound quality but more thinking  about reliability. It is the problem with every Emotiva model that I tried so far. I still doubt that XMC-1 is any different.

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With the Full version, you can tailor the results on the fly. It looks very powerful. I only did the one sweep so far (with after market Umik Calibrated Mic) and I am impressed BUT it is a little hot for my music.

So it now should be easy for me to adjust this with the Full version easily. When I have some time. I simple drag with the mouse on the graphs I take it.

Even with the Emotiva Mic and Full version, I think the results can be tailored to fantastic results.

Thats pretty cool rocky, that we can get that kind of functionality (per channel), for just $100 extra.

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If anyone is on the fence you have a couple of days left before it goes up another $500 US.

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If anyone is on the fence you have a couple of days left before it goes up another $500 US.

I got my order in, at the old price, using my 40% upgrade certificate. Just received a confirmation email this morning, with Dirac installation instructions and code. So i am set, just have to wait.

I plan to play with Dirac LE first, before buying the full version upgrade.

The improved Dirac EQ was a factor, but a bigger reason for the upgrade in my case, was the native support for DSD. I didnt want to rely on dsd2pcm conversions in the Oppo, which does hurt the SQ IME.

Edited by ozmillsy

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I got my order in, at the old price, using my 40% upgrade certificate. Just received a confirmation email this morning, with Dirac installation instructions and code. So i am set, just have to wait.

I plan to play with Dirac LE first, before buying the full version upgrade.

The improved Dirac EQ was a factor, but a bigger reason for the upgrade in my case, was the native support for DSD. I didnt want to rely on dsd2pcm conversions in the Oppo, which does hurt the SQ IME.

 

Quite a wait too, judging by the posts over at Emo Fanboy Central. Nice to be popular.  

 

From my experience, DSD direct (from my oppo) was better than PCM with Dirac, but that was until I got the full Dirac kit and dialled the system in. IMO the curve supplied with Dirac LE is too flat to be pleasant, but once I'd fixed that, PCM with Dirac is better than DSD.

 

At least, it is in my system and to my ears and of course IMO. 

 

 

(You got it for a good price - full price landed here is now the best part of $4K which will put many people off. I wouldn't have bought one for that much.) 

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b97481ee4dfb6302da443663d211fd07.jpg

Just arrived at the office. Another box I will need to explain..........

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