No experience with this pre, but a friend of mine has their UMC-200 prepro and is not thrilled with it. It had problems that required him to send it back to the company to fix (which they did), and the interface was overly complicated and not very user friendly (and he's very tech savvy, but this may not apply to a 2-channel pre as much). This is just one data point and may not be representative of all Emotiva preamps, but the UMC-200 doesn't seem like a polished product and just something to keep in mind as you explore options. Best of luck.
Thanks Soix. Hope there will be some reviews soon.
I just set up my UMC-200 and I will say off the top I am very pleased in particular with the SQ.
I agree on difficulty with the menus. I've had a lot of gear over the years, some with rather involved setups, etc. but this one has to be one of the more unfriendly interfaces I've had to deal with.
There are only 2 "official" published reviews at this stage, and no one mentions any issue with navigating the menus.
I will just say the end result was worth the frustration in the end.
Mine is teamed with an Emotiva XPA-5 and this was a marriage meant to be made.
The step up from a nice Onkyo Receiver in the role of a pre/processor was noticeable right away.
If you need a lot control over video signals, and would not be happy with a processor that only switches out what video you give it (and does so faithfully), this may not be your processor.
I own this preamp. At the moment, I sent four E-mails to Emotiva because the preamps balanced inputs seem to bypass the tape monitor loop/processor loop and I can find nothing in Emotivas on-line quick owners manual that addresses this, and Emotiva has not responded to any of my E-mails. Emotiva keeps refering to a full version owners manual on their site which does not exist. As far as the sound goes, if you are used to tube preamps, you will quickly notice that this is an solid state preamp. Somewhat grainy, bright, and flat sounding. Its bass does not match that of my YS Audio A2SE preamp. In fact, it sounds rather thin compared to my YS Audio preamp and what I remembered from the sound quality of the tubes4hifi SP14 preamp I owned not too long ago. I like the features of the Emotiva preamp, but all that for just $899.00, and high sound quality too????? No, not happening. At least not in this case. I have never seen a company that has been more of a mess than Emotiva. They keep changing the dates of availability of some of their gear. They sell there customers products which were not ready to be released. It seems as if they are using there customers as beta testers.
Have you tried posting your XSP-1 preamp questions in Emotiva's Lounge/Forum. Maybe there can be some people there who can help you with your problems with the XSP-1. Emotiva employees check there periodically and are more than willing to help.
No, maybe I should do that and see what happens. Thanks.
Thanks for all the nice opinions. I am still expecting more reviews before I make up my decision.
The preamp is starting to open up. The thin sound quality is now sounding much fuller. The soundstage has opened up. The bass, while still not the equal to my YS Audio Balanced A2SE, has improved nicely. It's sounding much less like a solid state preamp and becoming very enjoyable. I also changed my CD player which has helped to improve the sound. My first report was when the preamp had about three hours on it. Now it has about 25. I still don't care for the looks of it. Very cheap looking. And it actually looks heavier than it is.
I ended up selling this preamp. The YS Audio Balanced A2SE is a far better preamp than the Emotiva XSP-1. The McIntosh MCD201 CD player made the Emotiva sound better, but I just couldn't get passed the Emotivas' dry two-dimensional sterile sound. Very poor customer service too.
I own the UMC-200 and find it extremely high quality sound. The DAC's are superb even comparing to the Oppo 105 DAC's. besides the qwercky menus I would say this is topnotch. I think people should look out for the XMC-1 coming. If it surpasses the UMC-200 it will be huge. Especially If including the TACT calibration and better processing.
You mean the XMC that was promised last June? It's still not released, and after re-promising it before the end of 2012(without room correction which would come separately later) Emotiva has been silent on a release date. I wouldn't go near it until it's been in owner's hands for at least a couple of months.
Too many horror stories from the UMC.
Runnin makes a solid point. i had an mmc-1 processor that worked flawlessly in the time that I owned it, and still have an emotiva IPS-1 amp that is fantastic, but I would be hesitant to go back to one of their processors afer the UMC debacle. I'm sure they're working hard to make sure the XMC is done right, but the delays sure are telling.
I think Emotiva redeeemed themselves with the UMC-200. I think as they are spending the extra time with the XMC-1 it will turn out great in the final product. WE HOPE!!!!
I have spent. Lot of time with the xsp-1 preamp my brother bought it in June it has gotton better and better. In fact it was thin and grain the first 2 weeks once it got to over 150 hours it starting smoothing out .
Roughly 300 hours are needed to fully breakn this preamp
It may not be warm like a tube but the type of transistors and circuit
Give it. Big soundstage with nice balance. This is at least one professional
Review out there and their findings were very similar to my observations.
Also my brother leaves the unit on all the time to keep the circuit at optimum operating temperature, there is also owners manual on their site
And if you have any questions ,call their technical support they are allways
Available,emails are slow and sometimes emails get sent to the junk folder
Depending on your email setup,I saw a comment on no return emails
That could be why,just Call Them.p.s they give you a full month to
Audition the unit ,and with a 5 year transferrable warranty it is better then most even at several times it 's cost,and with free shipping a great deal and very versatile.try it yourself
I myself plan on buying one ,and spend the money on a Good power cord
Signal cables Silver Copper PC are excellent !!