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  1. #1
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Life at Six Months with Emotiva

    After eight years of using a NAD receiver for the HT, I decided to upgrade to separates. I wanted HDMI connectivity, more power and the flexibility of separates. I confess that I was initially concerned about quality given the rock bottom pricing they offer. I spent about the same for a UMC-1 processor and XPA-5 amplifier as I had for the T-763 which now serves duty in a bedroom.

    So far, so good. The units were easy to configure and have also been trouble free. I did go through one firmware update for the UMC-1. That was a pretty straight forward procedure although it was somewhat time consuming. Overall, sound quality is a touch better and the amp certainly has more headroom. I realize that I was pushing the NAD at times and it is nice to have ample power even for Shuttle launches!

    While HDMI offers somewhat simpler cabling and access to the higher resolution audio signal from Bluray sources, the need for handshaking sure is a bummer. The processor always wakes up like a drunken sailor. It powers up fine, but then must have its conversation with all the devices. Video flashes, displays "no signal", flash again, displays "no signal", cable box responds, flashes again and finally settles down to viewing. Sometimes, I have to switch on the BR player to make it happy - even if I'm just going to watch cable. So much for the instantaneous switching of "old" technology. I'm certainly glad that audio has moved in the opposite direction with respect to convenience and speed using music server/streamers and downloadable content. I would never buy an HDMI based audio system.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with the Emotiva brand. I cracked the case of the power amp and while it is certainly not high end, the build quality is good. Its modular design should facilitate servicing should it ever require that. Two thumbs up.

    rw

  2. #2
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    Reminds of of how Blueray players work. There are so many stops and starts before the movie actually begins that sometimes I think there is something wrong.

    Many DVD's have too many commercials before the movie begins and no way to skip over them. You could buy a pizza for the movie and finish it before you get to the movie. Oh well...

    Anyway, my XDA-1 Emotiva preamp is nice.

    Apparently the benefits of your system outweighs the bad.

    I was reading the features of the UMC-1 and it looks nice. Bass management appears to be much more controllable compared to my Yamaha.

  3. #3
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    Reminds of of how Blueray players work. There are so many stops and starts before the movie actually begins that sometimes I think there is something wrong.
    I can never get my "Extended Collector's Edition" of Avatar to start at the beginning. After a considerable wait, it finally resumes somewhere in the middle. Then I back it up to the beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    Many DVD's have too many commercials before the movie begins and no way to skip over them.
    Agreed. They certainly embrace the concept of customer disservice. You can usually, however, fast forward through them when the skip function is blocked. Or just refill your beverage and visit the bathroom during all that crap and wait for the main menu. Last night, the wife and I watched a Netflix film where they played the 20th Century Fox intro three times through the many previews. Fortunately, I just had to hit skip four times.

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenSurprenant View Post
    I was reading the features of the UMC-1 and it looks nice. Bass management appears to be much more controllable compared to my Yamaha.
    It allows for both 12 and 24 db/octave slopes and more crossover frequencies to the sub than did the NAD.

    rw

  4. #4
    Ajani
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    'Stat, did you ever try out the Emo in your main system? If so, how did it compare to your VTLs?

  5. #5
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani View Post
    'Stat, did you ever try out the Emo in your main system? If so, how did it compare to your VTLs?
    Sorry, I've been too lazy to schlep the heavy beast upstairs. I really should give it a try just to see how they do. Ironically, I spent more for each of the Harmonic Technology power cords used with the VTLs than for the XPA-5. They're now selling the amps for under $800!

    rw

  6. #6
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat View Post
    Sorry, I've been too lazy to schlep the heavy beast upstairs. I really should give it a try just to see how they do. Ironically, I spent more for each of the Harmonic Technology power cords used with the VTLs than for the XPA-5. They're now selling the amps for under $800!

    rw
    LOL... I'm not surprised you've been reluctant to move it... Having moved my XPA-2 a few times, I know what a pain in the @$$ moving it is. Amps this size really are meant to be set in place once and left there....

  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    C'mon Ajani, I thought you were about 6'5" and about 250lbs!
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
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  8. #8
    Ajani
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    C'mon Ajani, I thought you were about 6'5" and about 250lbs!
    I'm just 6'2" and 250lbs

    Ironically, I just finished weightlifting tonight... But that's a whole different scenario from lugging around an Emo amp... 75lbs with no rack handles (or anywhere to get a good grip) is not much fun to move.... I'm much more likely to throw my back out trying to move the Emo than Bench-pressing 200lb weights..

  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I hear ya. My Parasound weighs in at 60lbs but it has handles on the rear that makes it easier to move around.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    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

  10. #10
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    I know what you mean. I had a Mark Levinson amp that I mailed. It was about 100 pounds. I carried it boxed into the UPS store and stood in line for a while with it on my shoulder until it became uncomfortable, then I lowered it into my arms where it slowly began sinking toward a box belonging to the customer in front of me and began crushing it, that's when I decided to put it down.

    Funny thing, when I first got it, it was mailed to me and I was so excited when I picked it up that it didn't feel heavy at all. I carried it out of the building and into my car like it weighed 30 pounds.

  11. #11
    Ajani
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    The funny part is that the box the XPA-2 came in has very convenient handles (cutouts). So carrying the amp in the box is fine, but once you unbox that brute it's a royal pain to move. I really think manufacturers of large, heavy amps should make handles on the amp standard...

    With handles like the Parasound, lifting the XPA-2 would be OK. Instead of worrying about whether I'm going to drop the amp (because I have a bad grip on it) I could focus on proper lifting form (bending at the knees and keeping my back straight)....
    Last edited by Ajani; 11-13-2011 at 01:55 PM.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular BadAssJazz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ajani View Post
    The funny part is that the box the XPA-2 came in has very convenient handles (cutouts). So carrying the amp in the box is fine, but once you unbox that brute it's a royal pain to move. I really think manufacturers of large, heavy amps should make handles on the amp standard...

    With handles like the Parasound, lifting the XPA-2 would be OK. Instead of worrying about whether I'm going to drop the amp (because I have a bad grip on it) I could focus on proper lifting form (bending at the knees and keeping my back straight)....
    I think I've moved my XPA-2 only once since I got it. I had to carry it up several flights of stairs, but the adrenalin of a having a new toy helped. That sucker is staying right where it is. I've been praying that I never have a reason to service it. It's a keeper.

    For those of you who have not tried the Emotiva amps, they get my highest recommendation in terms of price-performance. I can't vouch for the preamps, digital sources and speakers, but the amps are the real deal. Emotiva is currently having its annual X-mas sale now, so be sure to consider them if you need a little extra "Ooomph!" in your HT.
    *Panasonic 60" Plasma HDTV
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    *Marantz MM7055
    *Oppo Digital BDP-95
    *Silverline Audio Sonatina MK II
    *Silverline Center Stage
    *Silverline Audio SR11
    *SVS SB12

    http://www.panasonic.com
    http://www.marantz.com
    http://www.oppodigital.com
    http://www.silverlineaudio.com
    http://www.svsound.com

  13. #13
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    Good feedback,
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
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    PS Audio Quintet

  14. #14
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    I had back surgery earlier this year partly from moving my amps.

    At the moment, I am getting reacquainted with my old giant killer, the Stratos. Another highly recommended amp that competes with more expensive amps for a good price.
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

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