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  1. #1
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    Emotiva Ultra 12, 1st impressions

    The Ultra 12's look great and everything about them seems to be quality. The grill is one of the most substantial I've seen on any sub, the frame is thick and heavy. You get a set of both rubber feet AND spikes. I used the rubber feet that screw in. They are cone shape with point down. You don't get a lot of fancy features but you do get the basics like auto turn on, phase control, you can use a single or dual RCA connection, you even get an XLR input, and the crossover bypass switch. The only thing I noticed not quite top notch, the power cord is a bit of a loose fit but seems to stay in fine. Already a 12" sub with this type of power and fit, even if it has average performance it's already a good deal for the price.

    Here's what I did and this is only about a 14x14 room, I have my Krell integrated driving a pair of Klipsch, Heresy. From the pre out I connected a Ultra 12 to each channel. I also wanted to elevate the Heresy, so I sat each Heresy on a sub. My crossover point was probably around 60Hz. In this set up the Heresy will still get full range. In deed, the Emo subs can perform. I like them for music better than I did my Velodyne but that really isn't saying much as I thought the Velodyne was terrible for music. They don't seem to be as fast and invisible as my SVS but there is significant price difference. Here's what they did though, with something like Marcus Miller with good low end the subs did not distort and the SPL was unreal. I could feel the bass pounding my body like at a Rock concert. The Ultra 12's have some beefy output to keep up with a 250x2 Krell driving 98dB sensitive speakers, the sub's volume is slightly over 12 o'clock. I took the volume around to full and the amp has plenty of additional headroom from where I have my volume set. They seemed to play low with a CD they does a frequency sweep I will have to put more music to them tomorrow. By the time I got them set up and ran some music it was already getting late. Didn't think the wife and kids would appreciate that type of SPL on through the night.

    I doubt you can buy a better sub for the money. They're cheap enough I'd recommend two just because you can and the SPL I experienced was a thrill. It's too much hassle to put these in my HT set up just for fun but based on the power and low distortion the Ultra 12 should make an excellent sub for HT.

  2. #2
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. I see the amp is only a 300 watt RMS unit. I love it when manufacturers focus on the driver instead of just throwing more wattage at the system with big 1000 watt + amps. My own 15" designs use but 240 watt amps. I rarely listen to music louder than an average of 90 dB + dynamic peaks, and could probably get away with half that power if I knew the amps could handle the impedance. Wonder what the driver sensitivity is?

    What's the internal bracing like? Can you tap on the cabinet and identify where braces are?

    I finally have some down time this weekend, maybe I'll post a thorough review of the UMC-1 if anyone's interested...

  3. #3
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    Sounds great Mr P. If you have the chance, try what I just did by getting the subs up a few inches. I am continuing to be amazed with every disk I play. Clear tight bass with notes of proper tone yet still deep and rumbling through your body.

    As far as the power cord, I have wrapped several of my loose ones with 1 layer of black electrical tape which made the fit much better and secure feeling.

    Have fun with the subs!

  4. #4
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    Kex, I couldn't tell where the bracing was, the cabinet seems very solid. It would almost have to be to house a 12" driver in such a small box.

    The Ultra 12 is much more musical and better built than mass market subs I had experience with. I haven't opened one and don't intend to but I have opened my Velodyne SPL 12 when it quit working. The Emo has a die cast woofer where the Velodyne had a stamped frame woofer. The Emo will give higher priced subs a run for the money.

  5. #5
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody

    I doubt you can buy a better sub for the money. They're cheap enough I'd recommend two just because you can and the SPL I experienced was a thrill. It's too much hassle to put these in my HT set up just for fun but based on the power and low distortion the Ultra 12 should make an excellent sub for HT.

    Do you now about the Ultra 12's cousin.

    http://www.av123.com//index.php?page...mart&Itemid=37




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    At one time before Emotiva launched there own product, the lead person at Emotiva was a partner over at AV123. They made some nice gear and speakers back then....and they may still share some ideas I assume.
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  6. #6
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    I did not realize that Frenchmon.

  7. #7
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Yeah...infact MrP...AV123 also had Outlaw audio and Swan speakers under its umbrella as well before they branched out. Apparently Mr , Dan Laufman, the senior partner in Emotiva who use to work for Mark Schiftner at AV123 branch off on his own and would not support faulty product that was sold under AV123 and it started a big fight between Mark Schiftner and Dan Laufman...with Mark going to his friends over at Outlaw audio for help in taking care of those who had purchased the LMC-1 that Mr Laufman would not support. Read about it here.



    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&#post11145140
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  8. #8
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Wow....I cant wait!

    Look what I found out today MrP about Mark Schiftner.


    Exciting Changes- Its People and Products PDF Print E-mail


    With so many new developments at AV123, we feel it’s very important to cover some topics of importance that we’re sure many of you are interested in.

    Its People

    Below you’ll find the resignation letter from our former President, Mark L. Schifter. Although Mark resigned from AV123 several weeks ago, he asked that his letter be included in our newsletter. We know that Mark would like to thank the many of you that have shown both him and AV123 a world of support. Below is his official letter of resignation. We wish him the very best as he moves forward.


    Dear Friends:

    Effective immediately, I am announcing my resignation as President of av123.

    My family and I have decided that it’s best if I step back from my administrative role with av123 and concentrate my complete efforts on the development of the new products. This break will allow me to better focus on all of the issues before me now, and in doing so bring about positive changes for av123.

    I am stepping back in order to “step up” in several areas. I’m fully prepared to do so – and you’ll see confirmation of that in our new products in the days and weeks to come.

    Mark L. Schifter

    Its Products

    We also would like to take a moment and explain that our decision to begin building all of our products here in America was born out of our desire to “get it right”, and do so here in our own backyard. We have always appreciated the advantages of building products in China and/or Colombia , but we have learned through some very painful lessons that ultimately the only way we can impact the quality of our products in the way we’d like (or need to) is to proactively be a part of that process day in and day out. Our decision was a very difficult one, but one that had to be made. We are so excited to be working with artisians right here in Colorado who will be handcrafting our products with the highest level of quality and care. We hope you will enjoy the beauty of these Made in the USA products.

    We have made changes to management and have decidedly moved forward in a new direction with products made close to home that still represent the heritage set forth by the original founders of this company. Nothing about that will change. The manner in which we go to market with these incredible products has been “re-engineered” to focus on quality and delivery in a timely and predictable fashion. Our new management here at AV123 has set us on this new course, and we are carefully managing those processes every day.

    We are here to serve you and we shall endeavor to do so each and every day with our valuable customer always in mind. With each new decision, with each new change or course correction, we do so to better our connection to you and your needs, now and on into the future.


    You can read it at his web site.

    http://www.av123.com//index.php?opti...200&Itemid=153
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  9. #9
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Didn't Mark Shiftner step down because of his indictment for charity fraud? Seems like they're spinning this into a happy progressive story when it's perhaps not?
    http://www.coloradoattorneygeneral.g...rnet_charitabl

    Too much drama in this industry...I hope Av123 does well, some of their speakers are fantastic.

  10. #10
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Wow...I think he is in more than a little trouble....He scammed people. I wonder why he would do that....the report said it started in 2004 so it had nothing to do with his company because he was really doing well then...at least it seemed. Must have been funding his company with the charities.

    I wonder what new product they are coming out with....maybe just a spin because they are going to be out of business for a while..at least until this thing is over.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  11. #11
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    Every one I read raves about the customer service from Emo so if Dan didn't stand behind the LMC he had a reason. Or, learned a lesson. There's always two sides to a story.

  12. #12
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    It would be nice to see somebody actually making products in the U.S. again.

  13. #13
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    I don't do business with friends when I can help it. When money gets involved, people can lose their rationality. There was obviously some frustration that led to mud-slinging later.

    I'd buy from either company still because there's lots of satisfied customers to go around.

  14. #14
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    Thanks Mr. Peabody for a nice review here and over at the Emotiva forum. I was initially a little skeptical about the new Emo subs not because of lack of quality but because of the inherent lack of performance (low bass extension) in the small form subs. It sounds like they do indeed perform very well. I'm not a big fan of the squared off corners and vinyl covers so I look forward to their introduction of the higher series of subs they plan to roll out in the future. The sale price on the Ultra 12's was an absolute steal. Great feedback!

    As far as Emo and AV123 there is zero connection between them now as far as I know. When it comes to Dan Laufman and Mark Schiftner, that's like comparing apples to rotten apples, IMO. Concerning Mr. Laufman, we don't see eye to eye on all, but he runs a very ethical and customer service oriented firm and is introducing more quality products. The UMC-1 pre-pro is turning out to be a jewel and the new in wall, ceiling and outdoor speakers are very impressive. The soon to be introduced, new Emotiva XDA-1, DAC looks like a winner.

    RR6
    Last edited by RoadRunner6; 07-13-2010 at 10:58 AM.

  15. #15
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Road runner!! Good to hear from you, your input has been missed. How are things with you, feeling better?

  16. #16
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    Thanks RR6. I wonder if they will stick with the same sound for the XDA they went with on the ERC.

    I could conceiveably have an all Emo 2nd system. Looking forward to test driving the USP & XPA2.

    RR6, what do you hear about the Emo speakers since they lost their driver manufacturer? I know they have a new manufacturer now but it's hard to believe a different maker can make the exact product made by another.

  17. #17
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    They are using the same DAC as in the ERC-1 but better drive and output stages. Here is an up to date sheet on the current information by Bill Bauman with quotes from Lonnie. We might see it in August. There is a lot of talk about this new unit at the Emo Lounge as a ERC-1/XDA-1/USP-1 combo and also using the ERC-1/XDA-1directly into an amp. You might also consider the UPA-1 mono-blocks. There are lot of folks raving about them unless you need the additional power of the XPA-2.

    http://emonatics.com/XDA-1.shtml

    I haven't heard any more than you about the new driver source. Emo management seems to be very good at getting the best parts for their needs. Mr. Laufman seems to have plenty of connections over their so I wouldn't worry that they will be able to match the excellent quality drivers I see in my 5 Emo speakers. I continue to be very pleased with their performance. I just turned on Baraka (DTS-HD-MA) the other day and was simply amazed again at the sound driven with my Oppo BDP-83 and XPA-5.

    Thanks Poppachubby. I retired at the end of October, had some surgery and promptly got blood clots in my legs and had to lay around for the better part of three months. I'm doing great now and enjoying retirement. Spent a month in Japan in April/May and had a great time. I'm still waiting for Emotiva to come out with their top pre-pro, XMC-1, to complete my system (at least for now ).

    RR6

  18. #18
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    Thanks Poppachubby. I retired at the end of October, had some surgery and promptly got blood clots in my legs and had to lay around for the better part of three months. I'm doing great now and enjoying retirement. Spent a month in Japan in April/May and had a great time. I'm still waiting for Emotiva to come out with their top pre-pro, XMC-1, to complete my system (at least for now ).

    RR6
    Good to hear. Don't be a stranger!

  19. #19
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    I'm skeptical of emotiva due to the lack of neutral or negative feedback/reviews. I've somewhat followed the company since 07 and have browsed their forums on many occasions, but i always see 'glowing' reviews.

    I was considering the XPA3 amp and ultimately decided to get a Anthem PV amp instead.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular winston's Avatar
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    happy "rumbling" Mr Peabody
    great 1st impression, Its nice to hear that those "ULTRA 12s working out for you (more bass to you man) enjoy
    Chet Baker-Trumpet
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    (....ALONE TOGETHER....) DEC. 30 1958
    produced by...Orrin Keepnews...

  21. #21
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    I'm skeptical of emotiva due to the lack of neutral or negative feedback/reviews. I've somewhat followed the company since 07 and have browsed their forums on many occasions, but i always see 'glowing' reviews.

    I was considering the XPA3 amp and ultimately decided to get a Anthem PV amp instead.
    Well I cant speak to the amps and pre's but I can vouch for the ERC-1 CDP...Its a goodn.

    I can also vouch for the Anthem...its a very goodn.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  22. #22
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    I'm skeptical of emotiva due to the lack of neutral or negative feedback/reviews. I've somewhat followed the company since 07 and have browsed their forums on many occasions, but i always see 'glowing' reviews.

    I was considering the XPA3 amp and ultimately decided to get a Anthem PV amp instead.

    I've been a little skeptical as well but I'm becoming a convert that Emotiva is a lot of bang for the buck. The problem with many (not all) Emotiva owners is that they are buying Emotiva gear as an upgrade over receivers and cheaper gear so they have no frame of reference with higher end gear. However, some of the people on this forum have compared the Emotiva gear to higher end equipment and there have been favorable reviews. But I see your point about there being relatively few bad reviews and many glowing reviews. Even $20K amps have had some not so favorable reviews.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  23. #23
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    When considering reviews of Emo vs a $20k amp and when keeping in mind the price per performance ratio, one would expect to be blown away by a $20k amp, a $399.00 CDP your expectations aren't as high. So when you get a $399.00 CDP that can hold it's own against much more expensive units, what do you expect? For instance, the ERC-1, I can't think of anything off the top of my head that I'd buy instead under, say $700.00. Excluding close outs of higher priced gear. Now, when comparing that unit to more expensive units it comes up short to me, I like more musicality and tonal quality. I was sceptical as well, especially when you see people saying an Emo amp is better than a Mac or Krell. Also, if all reviews are glowing, can they all be wrong? Like I said in my U12 review, it kicks butt for the price and hundreds more over but if you have $1400.00 the U12 isn't as good as my SVS PC13U. So keep a perspective when reading Emo reviews. You are getting quite a value. I mean I have nothing to gain from Emo, I bought a couple pieces and found the hype to be true. In fact, a historical search will show I was an Emo sceptic. Certain people thought me to be a basher but I didn't think so, just being logical. Several people here have used their amps and I'd think if it had flaws some one would say so. Especially Ajani or Kex.

    I have my ERC-1 connected to a Krell 500i via XLR, if it was a bad player I couldn't stand it through the Krell. But the ERC's high output and neutral (lack of emotion) makes it a pretty good match.

  24. #24
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    The XDA will be a good price and I love the multiple inputs. It's said to be better sounding than the ERC it will be interesting to see what they mean by that. My only criticism of the ERC is a certain sound characteristic, I don't know how to describe it. I guess "sterile" for lack of anything better, it comes off a bit matallic. It reminds me a bit of the sound character I don't like in some ARC gear I've heard. The ERC needs some flaws though, I mean it's only $399.00, if it did subtle detail better and had tonal richness then what would happen The reviews are already unbelieveable.

  25. #25
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    When considering reviews of Emo vs a $20k amp and when keeping in mind the price per performance ratio, one would expect to be blown away by a $20k amp, a $399.00 CDP your expectations aren't as high. So when you get a $399.00 CDP that can hold it's own against much more expensive units, what do you expect? For instance, the ERC-1, I can't think of anything off the top of my head that I'd buy instead under, say $700.00. Excluding close outs of higher priced gear. Now, when comparing that unit to more expensive units it comes up short to me, I like more musicality and tonal quality. I was sceptical as well, especially when you see people saying an Emo amp is better than a Mac or Krell. Also, if all reviews are glowing, can they all be wrong? Like I said in my U12 review, it kicks butt for the price and hundreds more over but if you have $1400.00 the U12 isn't as good as my SVS PC13U. So keep a perspective when reading Emo reviews. You are getting quite a value. I mean I have nothing to gain from Emo, I bought a couple pieces and found the hype to be true. In fact, a historical search will show I was an Emo sceptic. Certain people thought me to be a basher but I didn't think so, just being logical. Several people here have used their amps and I'd think if it had flaws some one would say so. Especially Ajani or Kex.

    I have my ERC-1 connected to a Krell 500i via XLR, if it was a bad player I couldn't stand it through the Krell. But the ERC's high output and neutral (lack of emotion) makes it a pretty good match.
    Yep, I think the reason we see so many raves for Emo gear is simply based on value for money. Emo doesn't make the world's finest audio gear, but they do make gear that is exceptionally fine value for money. So while you can find loads of products that exceed the performance of an Emo product, it is hard not to be impressed with what Emo offers you for the money.

    l doubt that my XPA-2 amp would outperform Krell/Musical Fidelity/Mac/Other high end brands, but at $800 it doesn't have to. I believe it compares favorably to other high powered amps from budget/mid-tier specialists like Rotel, NAD and Cambridge Audio. Emo has more power and it does that at half the price or less - which is a truly significant accomplishment considering those brands are regarded as budget leaders.

    I can't wait to read Mr. Peabody's thoughts on the XPA-2...

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