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RoadRunner6
06-05-2009, 11:12 PM
My new Emotiva Reference ERC-1 CD player arrived yesterday two weeks after my new Oppo BDP-83 universal player. Emotiva had the ERC-1 out the door and shipped less than three hours after I placed my order. I have been curious to compare the two in standard Redbook CD playback performance. Some think I might be wasting my time because they presume the Emo would sound much better.

I have always been on the skeptical and objective side when it comes to other than speakers and cartridges sounding differently (amps do sound differently when driven to significant distortion or clipping). I have been very impressed with the specs and photos of the ERC-1. I can honestly say I'm not sure if I will hear a difference between the ERC-1 and Oppo 83. My presumption is that there will be either a very slight improvement from the ERC-1 or that I will hear no difference. I don't think it will be a significant difference. (these were my honest thoughts before I started this review)

http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr101/chuckienut/EmoERC-1001-1.jpg

Packing ..... The packing on the ERC-1 is the best I have every seen in an electronics product. Both of the double boxes are extremely thick, heavy and strong. The inner padding was excellent. The packing materials weigh 8 lbs!

Appearance ..... Aesthetics are always subject to personal observations. I think the ERC-1 and remote control are simpling stunning. I could not have designed a more attractive component for my tastes. The ERC-1 is handsome with its brushed satin black finish with silver highlights. The blue lights add the perfect glow. (I always loved the look of McIntosh equipment) The control buttons are the perfect size and color.

Build Quality ..... This is simply one well built machine. Every thing about this player sings high quality from the heavy outside panels, the front and rear controls and connections, to the inner circuitry. It appears to be constructed of top quality parts throughout. This is a very hefty player.

Functionality ..... I was very pleased with the organized and clearly written owner's manual. The specifications in the manual contain one small typo. The frequency response should read "20Hz - 20kHz (+/-0.1dB)" instead of (+0/-1dB).

The operation of the front panel controls are simple and precise. I found the display prompts just a little confusing at first. From turn on to loading a disk you see, .....EMOTIVA.....LOADING.....NO DISC.....READY...... Without reading the manual first I might have been tempted to try to load the disc when I saw LOADING instead of waiting for Ready. I feel maybe [i].....EMOTIVA.....WHUS UP BRO?.....WAIT.....NO DISC.....LOAD.....[i] might have been more clear. The back panel is perfectly designed and includes balanced outputs.

Loading a disc is a little different than the only other slot loading player I have used which is in my car. If you look carefully with a flash light there are two micro leprechauns inside that actually do the loading. The load slot is covered with a felt like cover with a slit in the middle. You can her this as you begin to slide the disc in. When the disc is in several inches the leprechauns grab it and load the disc. After several loads I became very comfortable with the process.

Remote Control ..... The remote control looks like a piece of metal art work you might see displayed in the Louvre. It is the classiest looking remote I have ever laid eyes on. It appears to be made from a very heavy (it weighs a ton!) and satin brushed aluminum with shiny silver buttons. Control operation is very precise. I found the buttons slightly small for my hands and would have preferred the buttons were the same satin appearance as the end caps.

http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr101/chuckienut/EmoERC-1014.jpg

Pre-Test Comments ..... Before I even inserted the first CD there was no doubt in my nit-picky/frugal mind that the ERC-1 was a permanent member of my Audio/Home Theater Club. In my opinion it is simply a beautiful piece of electronics design. I have been slightly nit-picky in some of my above comments. I had to look hard to find any suggestions for improvement. I don't hesitate for a second to send a piece of equipment back when I am not fully satisfied. This is probably the first component I ever knew was a keeper before I even tested its performance.

Comparison Test Setup ..... I hooked up both the ERC-1 and the Oppo 83 to my Sony STR-DA4ES (used until my new pre/pro arrives) with identical brand new IXOS .5 meter RCA cables from the player's analog outs. I used the "analog direct" mode (pure direct) on the Sony with side by side inputs on the function selector. Two channel stereo sound (sub was turned off) was played using a 5 channel Emotiva XPA-5 amp (2 channels driven: 275 watts/8 ohms and 450 watts/4 ohms) through two Axiom Audio model M2 bookshelf speakers (Freq Resp +/-3dB (Hz): 70 - 22kHz). This speaker uses the same 1" titanium tweeter as Axiom's top of the line M80 and is very neutral sounding with a 5.25" aluminum mid/bass driver. The M2's have excellent off axis response and were placed about 6" apart. My seat was about 7' away. Later I listened again to some tracks closer and farther away and came to the same conclusions.

I calibrated both players to the exact same volume level using the volume control on the Oppo. This was set with a Radio Shack analog sound meter on a tripod and two tracks from the Stryke's Bass Zone Test CD. Track one was a 1KHz tone and track two was pink noise. Both players output exactly 89dB's with track one and 81dB's with track two. I again checked the output after my tests and they were still identical. (One has to be very careful doing this so that the body does not interfere with the sound reflecting to the back to the meter).

Initially I wanted to do a blind test but found it too difficult with my equipment. Switching inputs from one player to the other caused a 2-3 second delay which made an instantaneous switch on the same music clip impossible. Instead I decided to use a 3 second additional delay for a total of approximately 6 seconds. This allowed me to listen to one player for about a 3 second clip and then switch inputs and listen to the same 3 seconds on the other player. I then reversed the lead player and the test CD's half way though the test. I first practiced many times so I had this down to a smooth process and I could just concentrate on the comparison of the music. I choose 3 second passages that allowed me to check for clarity and definition, imaging and sound stage. I choose passages containing acapella singing, closed and far miked instruments and solo vocals, choral singing, spread out instrument placements and delicate tones from cymbals and other percussion instruments.

http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr101/chuckienut/EmoERC-1016.jpg

Music Test Tracks ..... I made two identical test CD's on new Taiyo Yuden (high quality Japanese blanks) CD-R's. I switched test CD's in the two players half way thru the test.

R. Kelly ..... Gotham City ..... Jive Records (I did not make this up)
The Beatles ..... Because (acapella) ..... Capitol
Nora Jones ..... The Nearness Of You ..... Blue Note Records
The Gipsy Kings ..... Volare ..... Nonesuch
Diane Schuur ..... Funny (But I Still Love You) ..... GRP Records
Lyle Lovett ..... She makes Me Feel Good ..... MCA/Curb
Ambrosian Singers ..... O Tannenbaum ..... Columbia
Ben Webster/Ella Fitzgerald ..... In A Mellow Tone ..... Verve
Voices Of Ascension ..... Sicut Cervus ..... TDK
Pete Fountain ..... A Closer Walk ..... Decca
Sara K. ..... Oh Well ..... Chesky
Dave's True Story ..... Dear Miss Lucy ..... Chesky
Steve Porcaro and David Paich ..... She ..... Sheffield Lab
LA Chamber Orchestra ..... Water Music/Handel ..... Delos
Scott Hamilton ..... That's All ..... Concord Records
Jerry Hadley ..... All I Ask Of You ..... RCA Victor
Clark Terry ..... Pennies From Heaven ..... Chesky
Rahsaan Roland Kirk ..... In A Mellow Tone ..... Warner
Oscar Peterson ..... North York ..... Telarc

More Pre-Test Comments (man will this dude ever get to the good stuff?) ..... I spent a lot of time preparing for this listening test. I wanted whatever conclusions I found to be objective as possible. The listening was a very tiring and a concentration filled exercise as well as a lot of fun. There was approximately 72 minutes of music. I conducted a shortened version of the comparison last night at lower levels and then today the full test in which the music was usually in the 70-80 decibel level.

Conclusions ..... I choose passages to compare that were filled with very defined sound. I listened to passages with the trumpet on the right, the drums in the middle and the piano of the left ... or passages that had a soloist up front and the drums behind her ... and on and on ... to see if I could detect any difference in soundstage or imaging. I checked and checked to make sure the sound volume level was precisely matched. I took a long break half way though.

The Oppo machine has impressed me on BD, DVD, SACD/DVD-Audio and now CD playback. I don't think one could get better sound quality from a universal player in this range or even far more expensive. I simply have no negatives about the fine sound I heard from this player. The Oppo 83 is a very solid machine and a great bargain at $499.

In every way the Emotive ERC-1 is on a higher level compared to the Opp player including build quality, functionality and customer service. I feel the ERC-1 is simply a steel at the amazing price of $399. The sound of the Emo ERC-1 was simply superb, from definition to imaging to soundstage. I have listened to many high end CD players in our local dealers. I have never heard a player that sounded better than the ERC-1, period!.

I think this is a compliment to the CD performance of the Oppo. It is also a compliment to Emotiva who has produced an obviously great product that I have absolutely no hesitation recommending highly. The ERC-1 CD player is in a class by itself for price/performance.

I definitely will keep both players. They will only be able to pry my EMO ERC-1 from my cold dead hands.

RR6

http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr101/chuckienut/EmoERC-1015.jpg

Feanor
06-06-2009, 03:52 AM
RR6, thanks for the great, in-depth review.

My CDP buying days are over, I think. I'm into computer playback nowadays so I'd go for a DAC, neverthless.

Chacun son got, but I find the Emotiva a bit garish -- I'm not keen on those piercing blue LEDs.

As for sound differences, well, I'm not surprised that you hear basically no difference. Other people, such as Mr Peabody, seem to have an almost magical ability to hear tiny differences, but me not so much. In my case I admit my hearing is relatively poor: I'm actually deaf about 10 kHz.

Anyway, I find that digital sources tend to sound highly similar. Recently I compare the analog out from my M-Audio Revolution 7.1 sound card to digital out played via my Assemblage DAC 1.5. Somewhat to my surprise it seemed clear after 5 minutes or so that the direct analog sounded sounded resolved and airier. So I switched back to the Assemblage and my opinion seemed confirmed. However I didn't bother with a series of A-Bs to further confirm my impression.

But there's the thing. I don't claim that I'm absolutely, positively sure I actually heard a difference: it was just my impression. Unlike so many 'philes I don't entirely trust my own ears.

kexodusc
06-06-2009, 04:08 AM
Chacun son got, but I find the Emotiva a bit garish -- I'm not keen on those piercing blue LEDs.
That's also my only complaint about my Emotiva piece...though the lights aren't nearly as bright in person as the pictures here suggest, I'd still prefer none at all. It is distinctive and my non-audio friends are captivated by the glowing lights as much as the sound.


But there's the thing. I don't claim that I'm absolutely, positively sure I actually heard a difference: it was just my impression. Unlike so many 'philes I don't entirely trust my own ears.
Feanor...you are wise.

kexodusc
06-06-2009, 04:13 AM
I know there will be many who might be surprised with my no difference conclusion (I was also, to be honest) and probably many who will flat out think I am deaf!

Not me....I can compare several CD playin' pieces in my system across a fairly wide-band of prices and in the digital realm they all so similar that I would have a hard time recommending my preferred CD player to someone without first looking for a better place to spend the money.

I really enjoyed your review...well thought out and to the point. Not as ramblin' and patchworky as my hack efforts. Good job RR6...mebbe I'll get you to help me with one of mine in the near future....

Mr Peabody
06-06-2009, 05:02 AM
A couple thoughts, you might give the ERC some burn in time and try the test again. I really have not noticed a significant difference in players from new to several hours but it may have been gradual and not noticed. Many reviewers give burn in and it may be more apparent when you first listen and then leave it playing for several hours and come back.

I also found it interesting that a cheap cable advocate would use Ixos. I'd recommend doing the test again using the BJC. In my comparison I feel Ixos suck. The BJC are not the best I've heard but they are definitely preferred over Ixos. I would not ever use Ixos in a system.

A 3 second snip is not enough information to do a comparison. If you want to keep it short maybe do one minute but 3 seconds that's merely a few notes. Any difference would have to be significant to pick it up in 3 seconds.

If you have a good pair of headphones you might try a listening test that way.Maybe,there isn't, much difference.

When I compare I usually will go back and forth with the same disc and track several times. I try at first just to concentrate on one aspect of a song. Like first I might just listen closely to the bass line, next maybe a certain instrument, the overall sound stage, tonal quality (any difference in the delivery of a horn etc), do either seem to separate multiple vocals better. Overall I think you did a fine set up just maybe take your time and extend your samples.

If there is no difference, $300.00 is $300.00, why not send the ERC back? If no difference why use it? Would a thrifty person as yourself keep it in the rack because it's pretty?

If you did decide to keep it, here's something to consider, I currently have two DAC's and can spare my Audio Note, I will send that to you to test if you send me the ERC. Just for a couple weeks to listen. This way I can hear the ERC and you can see if you hear any difference in a $1,500.00 DAC. PM or email if you are interested.

LeRoy
06-06-2009, 05:08 AM
RoadRunner6, what a review! Thanks for sharing your findings and for setting a benchmark in reporting the results. Great job.

RoadRunner6
06-06-2009, 11:57 AM
Clarification. I wrote the review very late last night. My audiophile friend at work read it today and made some very constructive suggestions (even for a possible retest that he would help with...oh no, I don't have time). In hindsight I realized my ending comments were not as I had intended. The possible conclusion that I felt these players were equal was not accurate.

I modified my review above in my conclusions section to clarify my thoughts. Sorry, if I have confused anyone.

If you do find that you still confused then please double or even triple your dose of Focus Factor!

I am completely 100% thrilled with this purchase! I am a person who wants audio/HT equipment that looks as great as it performs. My wife loves the looks of our equipment with our black piano gloss custom finished speakers, the wall paint custom matched surrounds, the satin black sub with the glossy black Plexiglas inlaid top, the beautiful but subtle XPA-5 with the sexy blue lights, our gorgeous wood, glass, metal Bello component rack and our Panny plasma with the satin black bezel. When she gets home from Japan on Monday there is no doubt in my mind that she will think the ERC-1 is stunning.

RR6

PS: The blues lights don't photograph well with my little camera. They are not quite as bright as they look in the photo. There is a dim button on the remote to turn them off although the power button light remains on.

blackraven
06-06-2009, 01:46 PM
Here's a nice video demonstration and review of the ERC-1 and other Emotiva products.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XflLmNQEtU4

RoadRunner6
06-06-2009, 03:02 PM
I don't think I made my switching procedure clear enough. I could have gone on for pages. Understand that half way thru my test CD I took a long break and reversed the test CD's and the play order of the two units. I had made the test CD over a week before the ERC-1 arrived and had listened to it over and over. More than half of the song were old time favorites that I was very familiar with. I programmed a 20 second gap between each track for a little rest period and to makes notes.

I didn't come up with the 3 second delay idea until I did some pre-testing. I did in fact spend some time with no delay where I just switched back and forth every 10, 30 seconds or more and also where I did quick switches every several seconds or so. I felt my comparative acoustic memory (for lack of a better term) was better with the final procedure I ended up with.

I cued up both players with player B in a 3 second delay not counting the switch delay. I then started both players and ran the music non-stop. So I was listening to player A and waited until I heard a part that I thought was extra defined, this might be 10 seconds or 60 seconds. I would then make the switch. The last 3 seconds on player A would be the first 3 seconds I heard on player B, allowing for a direct comparison of what I thought was a critical part of the music. However, I would continue listening to player B usually until the character of the music changed (this could be 5, 10, 30 seconds or more) and then switch back to player A for the next comparison. So I was not just listening to short 3 second clips only but much longer sections on both players with the 3 second clips back to back due to the delay.

Mr Peabody
06-06-2009, 06:10 PM
Ah, I got it now. Good job on the set up, a lot of thought and work put into it.

I'd still do a temp swap with you.

TheHills44060
06-08-2009, 05:37 AM
Hopefully the slot loading mechanism is gentle. If it's anything like most car cd players it will eventually take its toll on the cd's (scratches). Not sure why in the world Emotiva would think this is a better way of inserting a disc than a traditional drawer.

EDIT:
lol just read your leprechaun comments...

audio amateur
06-08-2009, 12:06 PM
They're not the only ones to have introduce the slot mechanism I can think of Cyrus who use it too. I suspect they are virtually harmless to CDs.

blackraven
06-08-2009, 12:10 PM
I would bet the slot loading is cheaper than a standard mechanism.

I would like to see some professional reviews comparing it to the Cambridge 740c and 840c in detail and resolution.
.
The Emotiva seems too good to be true at that price point.

By the way, how does it compare in CD sound to the Oppo?

audio amateur
06-08-2009, 02:37 PM
By the way, how does it compare in CD sound to the Oppo?
I thought this was the point of this thread. Did you not read post no.1?

02audionoob
06-08-2009, 03:43 PM
Speaking of loading mechanisms...I'd like to see more manual mechanisms, like Naim's pivot drawer and Rega's flip-top hopper.

RoadRunner6
06-08-2009, 05:47 PM
The loading trays have always been so $50 K-Martish to me. With the 5 year warranty on the ERC-1 I don't really worry too much about the reliability.

Mr. Peabody, sorry but a swap wouldn't work for me. However, you might consider testing it on their 30 day satisfaction guarantee. The shipping costs if you don't like it would not be much more than several pairs of Monoprice cables. :biggrin5:

Let me mention that I don't jump on bandwagons untill I've done my homework and I mean a lots of homework. I usually do months of research before I send a dime for any purchase. Whether the ERC-1 is up to your sound standards is up to you to determine. But I can assure you this company's business plan is for real and the prices are within reason and not too good to be true. If you have experience in factory to retail operations you will see how one can produce a CD player that might sell for thousands and sell for $399 from an operation like Emotiva.

There are no pro reviews for this ERC-1 CD player yet. Emotiva is a small company and it is unlikely you will see any reviews in the big magazines. Look to Audioholics or Secrets of HT, etc. for reviews.

One user review does not hold much water but there are a number of ERC-1 owner's who have already posted sound comparisons with previous players (far more expensive) that they have owned. Should be enough to at least stir some interest. I list one user review below.

BTW, my wife just got home today, took one look at the ERC-1 and said: "Cool, wow, that is really cool looking." Seems that I might get lucky. :arf:

Here is a short review by poster ny1pr2009

"..........If you want to know about comparing expensive players to the ERC-1 here is my list. I have owned the following CD or SACD players and so far the ERC-1 is better player than those.

Sony SCD-1. A $5000 50lbs beast and supposed to be at the time the best SACD/CD player out there. The ERC-1 sounds more detailed and more involving than this player during redbook cd playing. Since the ERC-1 is not a SACD player I will not be able to make a comparison regarding SACD playing.

Marantz SA-1. This was Marantz first state of the art SACD player. At $7000 was supposed to be a true reference player. I think that the SA-1 was slightly better than the Sony SCD-1 in both SACD and CD playing but in Redbook CD playing the Emotiva ERC-1 is a more detailed and natural sounding CD player.

Denon 5910ci. A $3500 Universal player and while it was ok playing CDs or SACD's it does not justified the price. It is a great DVD player. No doubt about that but as a cd player it was just mediocre. The Emotiva ERC-1 will eat this unit for breakfast anytime at playing redbook cds.

Sony SCD-XA777ES. $3000 CD player. Very good player. In fact I founded to be better than the SCD-1 specially in Multichannel SACD playing. In Redbook Cd playing was much better than the Marantz but again the ERC-1 is a more detailed and involving cd player.

Sony SCD-XA9000ES . A $3500 SACD/CD player. Was supposed to be better than the SCD-XA777ES which it replaced,with better dacs but in my personal opinion the SCD-XA777ES was a better sounding unit. The SCD-XA777ES was a more neutral souding with better soundstage but not as good as the Emotiva ERC-1.

I can go on and on with the list of other cd players that I have owned previously and the ERC-1 still is a better cd player.

The only player that I have considered to be the best CD/SACD player so far is the Musical Fidelity Trivista. This player is such a detailed,natural and so involving cd player that I am yet to find a player that can sound this good. Its a $6500 CD player and I think it was worth every penny. It is also a Tube CD player so it will not be fair for me to make a fair comparison to the ERC-1. But the Emotiva ERC-1 is the closest player that has ever come to the Musical Fidelity Trivista while playing Redbook Cds.

The best way that I can described the ERC-1 is an amazing CD player that delivers enhanced linearity, dynamic range and distortion-free response in the most beautiful way possible.

The sound is so unbelievably crisp, so undeniably clear and so completely pristine, it will change the way you listen forever.

For Redbook CD playing I don't think that you will find a more involving and detailed sounding CD player under the $3000 price range..........."

blackraven
06-08-2009, 08:03 PM
I thought this was the point of this thread. Did you not read post no.1?

The review did not say how it was better sound wise compared to the Oppo!

RoadRunner6
06-10-2009, 01:52 AM
I find a lot of sceptical and negative remarks about Emotiva and my purchases of their products. I actually find these quite reasonable comments for those who have not done the extensive research I did before I bought them. There are lots of companies that have come out with amazing prices only to find their products are second or third rate or worse. So I understand the initial reaction that the Emotiva product descriptions and specification claims versus the prices are just "too good to be true."

I don't know if this will change anyone's mind but I think is certainly food for thought. I feel most people at least feel that the Carver line of products are of very good performance and value. In fact I have seen people state in posts that there is no way the Emotiva products would match Sunfire amps or pre's with similar specifications at 1/2 to 1/3 the price or less.

Here are some photos of the rear panel and the remote control of the Emotiva's DMC-1 Audio/Video Processor, which sold for $1499, 5 year warranty (discontinued).

http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr101/chuckienut/DMC-1.jpg

http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr101/chuckienut/dmc1_4_thumbremote.jpg

Here are some photos of the rear panel and the remote control of the Sunfire Theater Grand III Surround Sound Processor, which sold for $3495, 2 year warranty (discontinued).

http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr101/chuckienut/sunfire_theatergrandiii_rear2.jpg

http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr101/chuckienut/sunfire_theatergrandiii_remote.jpg

Look closely, do you see any similarities? Think they look like they are the same exact unit? Bingo!

Now understand I'm not saying these were two great products, there were some cons. I think this was in fact Emotiva's first pre/pro. The point I want to make with this comparison is that we have the Sunfire sold by traditional methods thru retail outlets at $3495 and the Emotiva factory direct at $1499! (I believe the prices later went up on both units, the Sunfire about $4000 or so and the Emo around $2400 or so, still a big difference ..... I think Emotiva has further increased their efficiency in manufacturing and costs and have even a greater price advantage).

So next time anyone thinks that an Emotiva price seems too good to be true, think again.

RR6 :biggrin5:

(sorry, don't know how this little photo sneaked in right below me?)

kexodusc
06-10-2009, 03:39 AM
Hi, RR,

Wow your enthusiasm is contagious. It's always fun to bring home new pleasing gear. Hope the ERC-1 serves you well for many years.

Are you on the UMC-1 wait list?

Mr Peabody
06-10-2009, 05:29 AM
I would have been more convinced if you hadn't compared it to Sunfire, and especially Carver, I know same difference. I hope Emotiva does better than that. I know their are Carver/Sunfire fans but for the life of me I can't understand why. If Emotiva proves to be reliable maybe Bob needs to switch to their factory. If you are incenuating that they are the same thing by comparing then I know I will stay away from Emotiva.

I don't know if I'd consider the comments here negative, I think people were wanting you to say more than "the ERC is better than Oppo in every way", which by the way was your second thought. It sounds to me like some are wanting you to say how, in regards to sound is the ERC better.

RoadRunner6
06-10-2009, 08:35 AM
Once again you read my post Mr. Peabody and failed to get the point.

"..........The point I want to make with this comparison is that we have the Sunfire sold by traditional methods thru retail outlets at $3495 and the Emotiva factory direct at $1499!.........."

"..........Now understand I'm not saying these were two great products.........."

This was a general side comment about Emotiva's low prices I was throwing in this thread based on poster's comments about Emotiva in general (on this and other threads) and not being able to believe the low prices. It was not about the perfomance of these two identical two units. These were the same pre/pro but at a big difference in price, get it now?

Please double your dose of Focus Factor! :biggrin5:

RR6

RoadRunner6
06-10-2009, 08:42 AM
Hi, RR,

Wow your enthusiasm is contagious. It's always fun to bring home new pleasing gear. Hope the ERC-1 serves you well for many years.

Are you on the UMC-1 wait list?

KEX, I'm on the waiting list for the upgraded XMC-1 ($999). It has some extra goodies I want,such as the phono preamp.

XMC-1 versus UMC-1

...Dual video zones, instead of a single video zone.
...Headphone output front panel. UMC-1 has no headphone output.
...Balanced (XLR) line outputs. UMC-1 has unbalanced outputs.
...Analog Devices 24/192 DACs & ADCs instead of CS42518.
...8 - HDMI inputs and 3 HDMI outputs. 2 main, 1 Zone 2. The UMC-1 has 5 in 1 out.
...1 - Precision phono input with MC/MM capability, UMC-1 has no phono input.
...1 - composite video input (RCA), the UMC-1 has 3.
...1 - S-video input (S-video mini DIN), the UMC-1 has 3.
...2 - component video outputs (RCA) main and Zone 2. UMC-1 has 1.
...1 - stereo XLR input. UMC-1 has unbalanced only.
...4 - assignable trigger outputs Movie/Music/Ampx2 (3.5mm mini). UMC-1 has 3.
...3 RU chassis. UMC-1 is 2RU?

RR6 :D

blackraven
06-10-2009, 03:12 PM
RR, I have no doubt that Emotiva products are good and a great bargain. Its just that I have no reference of comparison. I would love to see several reviews by users and professionals comparing the CD player and amps to more expensive products. How does the detail, resolution, clarity, bass, ect. compare to the Rega Apollo, Cambridge Audio 740c, 840c for example. Sonically, how does the ERC-1 sound better than the Oppo.

I can tell you that if I was wanting to build a system of separates and not want to spend a ton of money that I would certainly give Emotiva a look. For most of us its about getting the most bang for the buck and it looks like thats were Emotiva products are aimed at.

RoadRunner6
06-10-2009, 04:44 PM
The ERC-1 was just released and no pro reviews. I suggest you visit the Emotiva Forum under Emotiva Products - Media/Sources or under User Reviews - Media Sources Reviews for early user reviews and comments.

There are quite a few comparisons to high end CD players.

winston
06-10-2009, 05:17 PM
WELL..RR6 THIS IS ONE KICK A$$ REVIEW

its well written IMO...I CAN FEEL THE PASSION,LOVE,AND HONESTY YOU PUT IN IT AS I READ IT..KEX,say it best'Wow your enthusiasm is contagious.

that been said your COMPARISON WITH THE..EMOTIVA & SUNFIRE... so what" at least the DOG would not recognized which remote is the HIGH END OR THE EXPENSIVE ONE, well if he can read that's a another ball game... or he might just eat them both...! enjoy your emotiva's bro..... Win.

blackraven
06-10-2009, 07:11 PM
I've just gone through the reviews of the ERC-1 on the Emotiva forums and no one there really tells how this player is sonically superior and very few have compared it to more expensive older CD players. I guess it will take some time for other people to compare it to high end CD players. The problem is that most people buying the ERC-1 do not own $1500+ CDP's or DAC's to compare it to.

RoadRunner6
06-11-2009, 12:27 AM
RR, I have no doubt that Emotiva products are good and a great bargain. Its just that I have no reference of comparison. I would love to see several reviews by users and professionals comparing the CD player and amps to more expensive products.

Blackraven also said: "The problem is that most people buying the ERC-1 do not own $1500+ CDP's or DAC's to compare it to." He wants to buy a $399 player that is superior in sound to players $1500 an up ... gee, wouldn't that be worth a small fee for shipping to try it out himself for 30 days and perhaps save $1100 or more ... instead, he is going to trust some guy who says my ERC-1 blew away the $2500 ABC player and was way superior sonically to my neighbors $4000 XYZ player? ... I RR6, did it myself rather than trust someone else's probably very subjective evaluation ... I trust that my evaluation was very objective and controlled ... sorry if I did not write a creative writing thesis on the sonic characteristics of the ERC-1 ... I could find no hint of distortion, poor soundstage or imaging or less than ultra clean sound that I could confidently attribute to the ERC-1. If you are looking for me to describe in flowery details the differences between the ERC-1 and the Oppo or any other players I have heard in other locations ... well, I just don't have that big of an imagination.

Blackraven, maybe you didn't see post # 16 above or maybe those player don't meet with your standards. You could go to Emotiva's forum and write that guy a PM and get his more detailed evauations of the ERC-1 comparedf to those players in more detail. I'm not sure exactly how long the ERC-1 player has been out, not much more than a month or two. Maybe you should try to be patient. Hey, why don't you go over to the Emotiva forum and get them stirred up to write some owner reviews. Explain that you are interested in the ERC-1 but want to know how it compares sonically to the Rega, Cambridge, etc. I'm almost sure I saw a comparison to a Rega player but I figure it's your job to go there and hunt it down. Maybe you can use the search feature to find it.

I would let them know that you are getting impatient for someone to do a comparison to the players that you highly regard. Maybe you could give them a list of 5-10 players. Or you could just call and ask to speak with Big Dan, the owner or to Lonnie one of his right hand men. This is not a huge company, if they are in the office they will be happy to chat about the ERC-1 with you. I called today to ask about a speaker I had ordered for comparison and Cathy, Dan's wife ansered the phone. She is a very friendly woman and most helpful.

If all else fails you could actually order one yourself and do the tests. They only charge $18 shipping. That's half of what the sales tax would cost on a $400 player in my state. If you do return it you would be out only about $35. That is less that it costs for some BJ cables. You yourself could do the tests and write the review in your own golden ear audiophile vernacular. Throw in one of Mr. P's favorite terms like synergy (you know how he describes that he hears synergy between certain amps and certain speakers...what an amazing talent.. I can't even sometimes hear synergy between my left and right speakers :lol:) and lots of other poetic and spophisicated sounding adjectives to describe the sound. Check with a thesaurus if you need help.

Just hope some smart ass doesn't respond to your review thread and ask a question like, hey BR, how do you know that all the magnificant or unmagnificant things you heard were 100% due to the sonic characteristics of the player and were not actually from the source disc, audio cables, speaker wire, speakers, speaker stands, amplifier, pre, line conditioner, power cord, anti-vibration accessories, room acoustics or that you forgot to rub some of the green felt marking pen around the perimeter of the disc.

Oh and be sure you don't compare the ERC-1 to any CD players you have heard anywhere but in the room in which you tested them against the ERC-1. No comparisons with other players you heard at any dealers, friends or neighbors house because I'm sure that you realize these would be irrelevant and invalid due to the fact that the other parts of the puzzle like I mention above "source disc, audio cables, speaker wire, speakers, speaker stands, amplifier, pre, line conditioner, power cord, anti-vibration accessories, room acoustics or that you forgot to rub some of the green felt marking pen around the perimiter of the disc" could have affected your sonic evaluation and you wouldn't know what was the real source of those adjectives.

Oh yeah, and of course be sure you make this an objective, blind test so there is no possiblity of your subconscious leanings coloring your sonic perceptions. Please list in detail your testing procedures and source CD's.

Thanks, I'll be looking forward to reading your review. I'd be happy to send you a copy of my 19 track test CD.

Please can you do this in the next several weeks if you have time. Emotiva has plenty of the ERC-1's in stock. However, know that last year they sold out a whole projected year's supply of there pre/pro in 2 months, so don't wait too long.

RR6 :D

RoadRunner6
06-11-2009, 12:34 AM
Thanks Win I appreciate the kind words. I do a lot of research before I jump on any company's bandwagon. Emotiva has been around for more than 5 years I think. They seem to have their act together and I'm extremely happy so far with my purchases. When I find some great deals like I have found I like to spread the word, my nature.

basite
06-11-2009, 01:00 AM
Look closely, do you see any similarities? Think they look like they are the same exact unit? Bingo!

Now understand I'm not saying these were two great products, there were some cons. I think this was in fact Emotiva's first pre/pro. The point I want to make with this comparison is that we have the Sunfire sold by traditional methods thru retail outlets at $3495 and the Emotiva factory direct at $1499! (I believe the prices later went up on both units, the Sunfire about $4000 or so and the Emo around $2400 or so, still a big difference ..... I think Emotiva has further increased their efficiency in manufacturing and costs and have even a greater price advantage).

So next time anyone thinks that an Emotiva price seems too good to be true, think again


just as this brand called 'Vincent' shamlessly copied Mark levinson and Classe products. and yes, their price sounded to good to true too. And in fact, it was too good to be true, since Vincent used lesser quality parts, and cheaper, less reliable production methods. Apart from that, the research costs are also pretty low, since all you do is copy the other product, which also lowers the price of the product.

the point that I'm making here is that even when it looks the same, it just don't really means that it is the same.

And I'm not saying that Emotiva still copies all it's products from other (succesfull) brands, but the fact that they did, could make one sceptical.

Keep them spinning,
Bert.

RoadRunner6
06-11-2009, 01:39 AM
Sorry basite, but that's nonsense. Emotiva was in their first several years (I think they split off from AV123 maybe later) and sold a product that was identical to the Sunfire and Shelburne. Happens frequently in this business. Emotiva did not copy Sunfire's product but legally made an identical product. They apparently came off the same assembly line as the Shelburne and probably the Sunfire too with different face plates.

Then the stories start that they are made with inferior parts, BS! The dealers spread that type of nonsense about the Panny products sold at Costco. Another one is that the Integra components use hand parts of the assembly line and the rest go into the Onkyo components. Who do you suppose started that one, the Integra reps and dealers? Right, you're catching on! The reps did lot of story telling. But perhaps one of the greatest sales/marketing con jobs of all time was from the Advent headquarters. "Hey men the big boss wants us to double sales this year...holy sh1t boss, how are we going to do that?...well, Joe here came up with at great idea...he says an old friend taught him a trick...if you take two of the same speakers and put one on top of the other one and invert the top speaker and hook them up in parallel, ugh, or is it series?...oh well I'll have Fred the engineer explain the exact hookup...it sounds better than just the one speaker, duh...so we get the dumb asses over at Absolute Baloney to buy it and they wright a review that it sounds better than sliced bread and voila!...everybody and his borther will want "double Advents" and we can double our sales, simply brilliant boys...hey boss, what about triple Advents?...oh now there's an even better idea..........

One reason the cost advantage of Emotiva has even gotten better is that now they are actually designing and building and testing their own products.

From Audioholics:

"..........the Emotiva DMC-1 is most definitely an Audiophile product..........Due to multiple requests about the similarities between the various processors utilizing Bob Carver/Sunfire platform we felt it important to provide some perspective on the three main units available to consumers. Sherbourn Technologies and Emotiva both are able to have their products made through a manufacturer in China who is licensed to make these products based on the Bob Carver/Sunfire platform...........As you can see, the units are essentially identical, except for cosmetics, pricing, warranty and some small details.........."

Tthe units are "essentially identical."

basite
06-11-2009, 04:40 AM
Sorry basite, but that's nonsense. Emotiva was in their first several years (I think they split off from AV123 maybe later) and sold a product that was identical to the Sunfire and Shelburne. Happens frequently in this business. Emotiva did not copy Sunfire's product but legally made an identical product. They apparently came off the same assembly line as the Shelburne and probably the Sunfire too with different face plates.

apparently...

So, if they're 'essentially identical' products, how are you going to clarify that they cost 2k less?
buying direct from the factory makes a difference, but definately not 2k. especially since they come from the same factoryas 'the original'! add to that that sunfire gets a share of the price, since it would be plain idiocy if you let some other company build products identical to yours, and then sell them for half the price...


could very well be that Emotiva designs & tests it's own products, and that is very good. And it could very well be that those products sound great. But 'building an essentially identical product', while not being related to the other company, is something that makes me sceptical. If I ever gained any interest in Emotiva products, I (personally...) would proceed with caution.


But perhaps one of the greatest sales/marketing con jobs of all time was from the Advent headquarters. "Hey men the big boss wants us to double sales this year...holy sh1t boss, how are we going to do that?...well, Joe here came up with at great idea...he says an old friend taught him a trick...if you take two of the same speakers and put one on top of the other one and invert the top speaker and hook them up in parallel, ugh, or is it series?...oh well I'll have Fred the engineer explain the exact hookup...it sounds better than just the one speaker, duh...so we get the dumb asses over at Absolute Baloney to buy it and they wright a review that it sounds better than sliced bread and voila!...everybody and his borther will want "double Advents" and we can double our sales, simply brilliant boys...hey boss, what about triple Advents?...oh now there's an even better idea..........


usually marketing tricks don't really have any proof behind them that they actually make a difference.
What a double advent system basically does is making them a D'appolito design, a theory that you also often find with high end speaker manufacturers, even today.
They did this with the advents because they had excellent drivers (given their price...), and their price also allowed people to actually buy 4 advents, not having to rob a bank.
That, and the fact that almost every single review said that they sounded way better than just single advents, does not make it 'just a marketing trick'.


Keep them spinning,
Bert.

Feanor
06-11-2009, 05:21 AM
...

So, if they're 'essentially identical' products, how are you going to clarify that they cost 2k less?
buying direct from the factory makes a difference, but definately not 2k. especially since they come from the same factoryas 'the original'! add to that that sunfire gets a share of the price, since it would be plain idiocy if you let some other company build products identical to yours, and then sell them for half the price
...


Bear in mind, Bert, that the relationship between manufacturing cost and selling price is very loose. You concede that a longer distribution channel definitely adds to cost. But marketing strategy has a lot of tricks to play to increase the selling price without appreciable increasing costs at all.

For a start, a well-know brand name enhances the perceived value of a product. We know that some well-know brands, such as 'GE', have been tarnished in the eye of the general product by sell rights to use the brand to other marketers who want to sell stuff that isn't actually made by the ultimate owner of the brand. General Electric doesn't make TVs for instance.

The the prestige of the 'Carver' name can boost the price of the Shelburne/Emotiva/Carver product. Did the legendary Bob Carver actually design the aforementioned AV processor? Highly unlikely.

Other things have the as similar effect, such as fancy face plate. While millled aluminum face plate might cost $20 to produce, it's a small price to pay for a $200 price increase -- or a $1000 price increase when used in conjunction with a prestige brand name.


...
could very well be that Emotiva designs & tests it's own products, and that is very good. And it could very well be that those products sound great. But 'building an essentially identical product', while not being related to the other company, is something that makes me sceptical. If I ever gained any interest in Emotiva products, I (personally...) would proceed with caution.
...
Bert.

It's naive to suppose that brand owners build their all their own products. In fact the opposite is true, especially and increasingly nowadays that so much production happens in China, Malasia, etc. In these case the actual producer often negociates to produce off-brand versions of the product to be sold in different markets or through different marketing channels. Or sometime they do it without benefit of actual, legal agreements.

However it's also quite true that identical designs can be built in different ways. Not only a cheaper face plate but cheaper (and perhaps counterfeit) internal components can be substituted during some runs of the production line without any significant distruption of the process. Where the brand owner's qualtiy control is weak, conterfeit components can end up in the prestige-brand product.

winston
06-11-2009, 05:53 AM
true Word's Feanor

blackraven
06-11-2009, 03:14 PM
Whoa there birdman! I'm not dissing the ERC-1. I'm interested in buying it for my basement system to use with my MMG's. I just saying that I would like to see a review with a head to head comparison with more expensive players and I would like to see several people tell what the sonic attributes are. I believe there are inexpensive players and other audio equipment that can compare to more expensive equipment. The 840c is one such player as is the Music Hall 25.2, Oppo Universal players etc. I'm a big believer that most high end audio equipment is way over priced. My father was an electrical engineer and designed and built computers for the aerospace industry and he used to tell us how much electronic equipment was over priced.

Before I buy one to audition I would like more info.. I sorry if I hurt your feelings.

Cheers!

Mr Peabody
06-11-2009, 07:04 PM
Thanks Win I appreciate the kind words. I do a lot of research before I jump on any company's bandwagon. Emotiva has been around for more than 5 years I think. They seem to have their act together and I'm extremely happy so far with my purchases. When I find some great deals like I have found I like to spread the word, my nature.

So much research I have to say "I think". You like to spread it around alright.

The Sunfire and Emotiva may or may not be exactly the same but because two units come out of the same factory don't make them the same. The manufacturer still has to build the unit per the companies specs whose name goes on it. Hence, Denon and Marantz receivers built in the same factory and even under the same umbrella but both have their own sound. I have some Denon and I was actually surprised at how different my Marantz pieces are. The NAD Blu-ray player has the same chasis as an LG model, I wonder at $1500.00 if it's the same piece. You'd really never know unless you took the hood off and knew what you were looking at.

I'm ashamed to say that even Krell now has their KAV stuff built in China. Arcam has done this for a few years. One difference in these high end companies they farm out the lower series while keeping the higher end stuff in house. I understand Arcam isn't offering receivers any more. I don't know what their game plan is, maybe to remain devoted to only high end. Oddly though it was the great performing budget gear that made them now they are abandoning it. Arcam used to be like Cambridge is today. Boy did I get off on a tangent... reaching for the Focus Factor. Will he make it in time? Can he reach it? Will he remember what he is getting? Tune in next time, same AR forum, same AR thread.....

RoadRunner6
06-12-2009, 12:48 AM
"..........As you can see, the units are essentially identical, except for cosmetics, pricing, warranty and some small details.........."

Maybe try reading this above one more time (is it not clear?) if you're not too busy reading your bible. A little more fact and less fiction might help.

RoadRunner6
06-12-2009, 01:18 AM
http://i474.photobucket.com/albums/rr101/chuckienut/intermission-2.jpg

gmartan
07-27-2009, 05:30 PM
The only player that I have considered to be the best CD/SACD player so far is the Musical Fidelity Trivista. This player is such a detailed,natural and so involving cd player that I am yet to find a player that can sound this good. Its a $6500 CD player and I think it was worth every penny. It is also a Tube CD player so it will not be fair for me to make a fair comparison to the ERC-1. But the Emotiva ERC-1 is the closest player that has ever come to the Musical Fidelity Trivista while playing Redbook Cds........"

I agree about the MF Tri-Vista. Unfortunately, all the transports failed and Philips provided no replacements. There were several other high end manufacturers that got burned along with the people that bought those units. Now I don't even buy a Philips light bulb.

I now have a McIntosh CDP500 and the Oppo BP-83 is completely lifeless in comparison. It is of course 10 times as much.

frahengeo
08-04-2009, 08:10 AM
I have always been on the skeptical and objective side when it comes to other than speakers and cartridges
My presumption is that there will be either a very slight improvement from the ERC-1 or that I will hear no difference. I don't think it will be a significant difference. (these were my honest thoughts before I started this review)

**************************

Isn't your statement somewhat contradicting? Being objective would mean no presumption, assumptions, or preconceived notions, no? Just a thought.

Could you have done a blind test by having a friend or spouse switch the sources for you while you unknowingly listened? Again, just a thought.

Other than that, those two companies have been the talk of the town. Its refreshing to see companies like Oppo and Emotiva bring quality products for the mass audience.

Majestyk
09-10-2009, 05:57 AM
Just thought I'd bring this back to life. There's a lot of nice info about the ERC-1 in the review but not much on the actual comparison to that of the Oppo. I was hoping the 'Conclusion' would state what the listener found different between the BD-83 and ERC-1.

Anyway, I have made comparisons between the Oppo BD-83 and the 20 year old Denon DCD-1560...No mods and no external DACS. I won't get in to details yet, as I'd rather start a new thread, either here or another forum, but I will say the Oppo has a cold, hollow sound compared to the Denon. I hadn't listened to either player before making my comparisons. I used a pair of Sony MDR-7506 headphones and to make an analogy, I'd say the sound from the Denon was like listening to it in an acoustically treated room, where the Oppo was in an untreated, empty room. The Oppo does have nice detail and a neutral sound but that's all I can give it. Like the reviewer stated, it's good as a Universal player, but by no means audiophile material.

I'm hoping some day I can compare the Emotiva with the Denon.

M

audiodaze74
11-28-2009, 01:45 AM
anyone anywhere have any clue when the Emotiva UMC-1 is finally going to be available to buy...i have been on that "waiting list" for ages. :rolleyes:

Mr Peabody
11-28-2009, 10:17 AM
Last I heard they are still tweaking it and won't let it out until they are satisfied. My suggestion would be to email Emotiva directly That way you get the latest and most accurate update.