Seeking AV preamp for Emotiva XPR-5


I'm crestfallen. I bought the Onkyo TX-NR515 only to discover through this forum that I can't connect it to my Emotiva XPR-5 power amp because it doesn't have any pre-outs.

I've spent thousands and I still haven't heard the system! When I tell my wife this is absolutely essential equipment and much more important than the car or the bills - she doesn't understand :) so I have to get this right.

Can anyone recommend a preamp or receiver with preouts that will connect to my power amp? I'm sure I'll be happy with anything that has at least 3 HDMI inputs and can read MP3s from flash memory or a USB hard drive.

My speakers are all 4 ohm Magnaplanars:

MG 1.6 Front
MG CC2 Center
MG MC1 Rear

Her understanding is at a very low ebb right now so my budget is down to about $600.

Thanks - rev

Lucky for you the mistake was with your least expensive piece of equipment (the Onkyo).

Can we factor in any of the "to be sold" TX-NR515 money in your budget? I'm guessing it would net about $150 used.

The need for 3 HDMI and USB inputs will likely limit you to the big box store type units.

If you're willing to forgo USB, lots of owners are unloading their Emotiva UMC-1s in anticipation of the XMC-1. They're going for about $350 used. This, and your Onkyo sale would leave you with enough leftover to take the wife out for a nice dinner...or fixing that car...or paying those bills.

I'd also recommend the Emotiva MMC-1 if you can find one. Has HDMI pass through only, but certainly a reliable unit and an excellent value.
I think I've answered my own question:

Onkyo TX-NR717 or higher model has the necessary pre-outs. So does my Rotel 1065 but that model doesn't support anything digital.

Thanks - rev
Emotiva is having a "secret" sale on their UMC-1 preprocessor: $399 incl. shipping. Comes with 5 year warranty AND a 40% discount card for any future processor purchases from Emo. Get one while you can, this is a *smokin'* deal!

A very technically astute friend of mine bought the Emotiva prepro about a year ago. He said setup was very user unfriendly, and he's already had a problem and had to send the unit back for a repair and would not purchase one again. Sounds to me like they didn't get this one right and might be better to look for something else. I'd look for a used Anthem or something like that since I think your amp is good enough to deserve better than the preamp section of a mid-fi receiver. FWIW and best of luck.
I bought the NR515 at less than a lot of places are selling it for so I'm going to try for the $300 I paid. It's absolutely brand new, never had a current through it.

The UMC-1 looks fine but when I talked to the sales dude at Emotiva and he said they had nothing compatible. I've asked him why but not had a response yet. Maybe he just wanted to plug the upcoming new one, but it's out of my range.