What's the latest word on the Emotiva UMC-1?

I just bought the Oppo 83 blu-ray player, and now see the Emotiva website says the UMC-1 processor is in initial shipping mode. At only $700, is this processor really of great quality and a bargain compared to the likes of more expensive units from Onkyo, Integra, Marantz, Rotel, etc? I'm looking to spend under $3,000. For strictly home theater use, would you go for the UMC-1 or what other product?

I thought about that unit but came to the conclusion that just for me, I want or definitely prefer stateside support, whenever possible. Physical repairs, configuration suport, etc. True too, I prefer to gbuy stateside products first and/or whenever possible. I'd extend that criteria to all of North America made products.

Only budgetary constraints force me to look offshore, and in that regard Japanese electronics have a long and proven track record of good performance and on shore repair facilities.

Given the price tag too, a preowned unit in the same category as the Motiva isn't much higher priced. Ala Onkyo, INtegra, etc.
I am on the pre-order list for the UMC-1. I have an audyssey multiEQ stand alone box, so I don't need any room Eq in the processor.....and even thought the UMC-1 has room equalization, I'm hoping I can bypass it because the price is terrific. Dolby Volume plus my audyssey unit should be a great combination.

Having said that, I think that the jury is out on room EQ on the UMC-1...no one knows. Audyssey in the Onkyo/Integra/Denon/Marantz/.... is pretty proven and in most cases it significantly improves the sound. The worse your room is acoustically, the more Audyssey helps. Will the UMC-1 do as well.....who knows?

As far as repairs and support, I wouldn't count on any company...all have horror stories. This type of equipment either works or it doesn't...and you'll know within 7 days. I wouldn't make any decision based on my estimate of support/repairs/locality.

You won't go wrong with an Onkyo or Integra....you can wait for the Outlaw 997 or you can give the UMC-1 a try and if it doesn't work, I'm sure EBAY will be your friend.
The UMC-1 is the best deal in audio, period. Don't let the low price fool you, this is a very goos AV pre-pro. Plus, Emotiva gives you 30 days to evaluate, your only risk is the shipping cost, about $25...

Please give us an update on the performance of the UMC-1 once anyone gets it setup.
user reviews are in the emotiva processors/preamps section of the forums on their site.
01-20-10: Ghstudio
Wrote: "user reviews are in the emotiva processors/preamps section of the forums on their site."

If there's a negative review, will emotiva leave it there?
I would be surprised!

Even if it might be fun to read, I don't give much credibily to this emotiva's fans forum.
I am on the pre order list for this unit, but had no idea when it would become available. I've owned other Emotiva products, and really like them. I have their CD player and it ist great. However, I got tired of waiting and not knowing the status, so I just purchased a used Integra DTC-9.8 processor. It offers all of the same options with the exception of the Dolbly Volume.

So if you have time to wait, I would recommend Emotiva products. They currently have a demo video on the UMC-1 on their site. Its pretty cool.
Spoke to Lonnie at Emotiva. He said they are working on final software tweaks and it should be out soon. I will hear it next month and I am looking forward to it. As far as Japanese goes. Emotiva is an OEM to some really high end components for many good companies. They are US based and designed in the US. The labor to piece together is in China. I would call them a hybrid company and for the dollar they are really tough to compete with.

Jury is out on the internal bass management. I believe Audyssey is a bit more thorough. I hope it is good enough to facilitate room correction for many subs.
Any 2 channels guys happy with their performance of their preamp but want to run this bad boy thru a imput for HT only??
Is anyone worried that this is unbalanced??
Emotiva are state side based...Tennessee. Built offshore for savings but under strict supervision/guidance. They do repairs state side and/or replace the unit. I'm waiting for a full blown review or two concerning the umc1 and the xmc1 which is, don't quote me. supposed to offer balanced outs/ins and a hopped up phono section. Nonetheless, I'm not put off by the price at all. A friend of mine has their xpa2 and xpa3 amps. They are effortless in operation. Can't imagine wanting or needing more juice than these things put out. The amps offer balanced inputs and are built like tanks. And yes, they sound very good...far better than their price would suggest.
Is it a big deal though hat the UMC-1 is not balanced??? Is is better to wait for the XMC1???
The latest word? bug, bug, bugssssssssssss

That what I have read from used-to-be-happy-to-be-on-the-preorder-list buyer. Most of them are returning their unit.

That's what sometimes happen when ones buy from a list of written specs.
I think it is way too early to say one way or another.... Are there any official reviews out yet???
they've said only 2 units have been returned, so don't know where you're getting your information from. I've been ejoying mine for the past couple of weeks.
Companies are not interested to give you the whole truth when their product have probel, are defective. Emotiva is no different than others, Toyota neither.

You can believe the company or believe displeased customers.

where did I get my information? From a Quebec forum where people were praising the UMC-1. It was almost chearleading.
which one would receive is UMC-1, which one was on the pre-order list. It was the best thing on earth.

Then they started to received their cherist umc-i promising to give a full review.

Nice looking, solidly built...shit I'm unable to use this and that. "I email the company and they told me it was a firmware issue and that it would be fix in 2 to 3 days.

They finally return their emotiva. I think it's sad for them.

Finally, from AVS:

Negatives ----
1. Sub sounds like King Kong is on rampage most of the time with most bass (this is not Calibration related and not good for tinnitus)
2. EmoQ does not seem to work correctly!
3. Locks up frequently (first 3 times powered on but don't hold the front button 5 seconds as it seems to set defaults just toggle power switch)
4. There are more just check the Emo forum but keep in mind there are many cheerleaders and folks can get banned and their posts deleted for being to blunt. And I have experienced most of the other verifyed bugs.
5. Levels seemed to be off and going back to level calibration confirmed this.
6. Long in the tooth in some ways at release.

Positives +++
1. The video processor in my situation was very nice.
2. Sound was very clean and with sparkle
3. With bug fixes would be right there with the big guys?
4. Emo staff are great and the return policy cant be beat.
5. No-brainer if you are upgrade eligible.

Why am I sending back?
1. My current unit is solid and working now
2. Paid full price and a even blind man could have seen the bugs before shipping.
3. Bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs.


So beleive people or companies it's your choice.
Speavler, I'm glad that your's work as you were expecting. Enjoy.
Lol. This cracks me up! Two years of waits, promises, and garnered expectency for so many "sounds good features", and for what?!
If I ever touch the piece on the used market (shear morbid curiosity), I'll wait till they've had it reviewed, fixed all the bugs at least 2 or 3 times, after send backs, and I know it's some little great deal prepro, er whatever. Otherwise, I'll just sit back and laugh at the results they put out, having waited through the circus show they errected since early 2008!!!
Emotiva is in the US, unless Nashville left for Canada. Virtually ALL electronic products are assembled or manufactured in China in some part. Try to make capacitors in the US. The EPA will have a field day with you. Do not let that bother you. Emotiva has made or is making parts for companies such as Krell, Sunfire, etc for years. They have great state side support. For the buck hard to beat.....
Sometimes you get what you pay for and there is no such thing as a free lunch. This has to be the worst pruduct roll out in history and I think we will have to wait a couple years to see if they are worth it.

it's too bad things are as slow as they have been for this co. other companies have had some release issues too regarding projected shipping dates... Oppo comes to mind for one. their BDP turned out to await nearly a year from it's orig ship date. They had some issues to with firmware updates & bug fixes. however they do seem to be more 'with it' with respect to achieveing a resolution.

The statement about getting what one pays for is apt way more often than not, and sometimes subjectively overpaying becomes the rule for less eventful ownership.

Then again, such are the ongoings for brandy new products that are ushered out prematurely. I say prematurely as it appears insufficient testing and a need for revenue immediacy gained more import.

it could also be timing. Poor judgement of the time frame for all to be implemented well. Time too probably will remedy things eventually. I just find it in poor practice to promote a debut which was severely shortsighted at the on set. Promises like those put off more than warm up.
Well, looks like Sherbourn is pumping out their new processor which is basically a re-badged UMC-1 with XLR outputs.

Sherbourn is selling their new processor for a $2,470 msrp.

Everybody still think that "you get what you pay for" mantra still holds in this situation?

Product review is on Audioholics for reference.


I’d ask first though how many Sherbourn procs have been having trouble via input into their forums?

Adding another $2k to the price tag if the above is true sure seems like a poor deal to me…. At first sight, IF indeed there are no changes what so ever besides the name plate. Or those differences don’t amount to anyting near $2K…. well. Someone will buy it.

The thing is this, sub contracting out production doesn’t always indicate the piece is an identical copy when it is finished. This and that part or design change could well have been implemented.

ATI makes or did, Lexicon amps… among several other brands. It’s just what they do.

Are all those other name brands the same identical amps that ATI sells under it’s own banner?

Simply altering the parts of a power supply will alter the sound… we all should know that by now. Change wiring, ckt boards, even the solder being used could make significant changes.

Which ever way this works out is fine by me. Buy & wait for the orig, or get a modified one made by them for someone else for mo’ money.

Or as was said, select something else where you perceive better performance and value to be. Being smart about buying is always the responsibility of the buyer as has always been the case. Cat Emperor!
Good points, thought I don't know what the return rate for Sherbourn has been.

I would suspect that Sherbourn would have to install their own version of GUI and other programming features into their re-badged UMC-1. That's probably where Emotiva is lacking, their hardware design is very experienced, but they may be outsourcing their software design to an unexperienced company.

Hence the price differential.
As speculation goes, that's a good enough one by me.... my thinking, after perusing the review was that Emo thru it's resources was all in on delivering units to Sherborne and perhaps others FIRST. That's ready cash. Single unit sales are catch as catch can.

at any rate, some miscalculating or unforseen items have certainly come up for ol' Emo', apparently.

The TN portion gained my interest though... for a bit.

there's lots of out sourcing going on these days I'd think with many well known makers and that's ok with me. I've seen enough of fresh entries into the market to know it's best to wait a while and try not to live on the "bleeding edge " nearly as much as I used to. And so conservative actions have settled in now.
Old saying goes, "be anxious for nothing". If you absolutely must have it, you likely paid to much, didn't get the best deal, or had too many down-sides, likely. Seems to ring true here. I also presume the outsourced units have their share of issues also. Lol- at least with the Emo, you paid a bit less for your sins. Hehe. Still, non functioning features, burps, and glitches don't sound like my kind of bag. I think waiting to see what sorts out on all this is the better bet.

Always. Well said. Overcoming that impulsive 'first on the block' streak is a tuff one. A few blisters usually fixes it though.... that or getting older.
So do they have all the bugs fixed/figured out yet, er what?
That sure would be a shame if they finally got em all tied down and addressed, by the time all the technology becomes outdated and the unit's obsolete.
But heck, they released the darn thing KNOWING that there were issues to begin with! Just boggles the immagination.
At this point I'd feel better just getting some av receiver, and use it as a pre-pro with an amp, before ever considering buying into a bunch of glitches, and functionality issues. Fer me anyway.
The UMC-1 is a pre-amp....It does all the processing, but no amplifying.
It has lots of features for a very good price. A good bargain.
Ok, my perspective thus far:
"The UMC-1 is a preamp (that includes bugs)...It does all the processing (with several bugs), but no amplifying (thank goodness, cause if it did offer amplification, it would undoubtedly have a few bugs mixed in). It has lots of features (currently, riddles with - yep, you guessed it...) for a very good price. A good bargain (if you can deal with a few glitches and bugs here and there).

Now I just might be a bit too opinionated here. But In my nearly 20 years around the AV profession, I've never seen such a catastrophe as the UMC-1! - Not even from some branded product that was built in some 3rd world country, and assembled where they likely don’t even have running water!!
I think it's a disgrace personally. That and they keep taking orders for the failure, to further the debacle.
But hey, this is just my pespective.
I was on the waiting list but passed when my time came up. I wanted room correction and it looks like the one they are using doesn't work well/has problems.
I have a new baby and will be lucky to have 30 free minutes to run the Audyssey program, let alone keep installing firmware upgrades/ bug fixes.
I opted for an Integra 9.8 used with warranty{ refurb} for $850.
BTW, i am replacing a b&K ref 30 pro, so i will report back to how much improvement there is with all the new technology next week when i get it.
Anyone know if they worked out all the bugs yet? Toyota has been working on their product's issues. I'm just wondering if Emotiva is still shipping things "as is" to whoever will shell out the money?! They're trying to reach me to place an order - lol.
Yeah, I'm definitely passing if nothing's changed

Seems like Goober laufman didn't get it quite right this time either. I suppose the faithful will just have to wait a little while longer.
Can anyone who's been interested in audio gear, for at least couple decades or so, ever remember anything like this ever happening in the audio world? I can't for the life of me ever remember an empisode ever remotely close to this ever occuring! It's quite shocking to me, really.
I mean, basically, what they should have done - in my opinion - would have been to realize they had a failure in the works, aborted the whole project, appologized to all those they had hangin around, and simply offered a great discount on their other products, to those who waited!
That to me would have at least seemed more professional and, in the long term, looked better for their rep.
Better would have been in they had not decided to even anounce such a product to begin with, before they had a finished - perfectly functioning, btw - product to begin with!
Seems like they anounced to the world that they were going to start trying to piece together this project from the get go; did so early to keep people from buying elsewhere, begun figuring out a way to get the darn thing put together (outsource?), began the process, found problems after problems - and then more problems, continued on, and then started packaging the piece, and tried to collect on it all! All the while they had try and make room for all the problems that inevitably were not going away!
Bizar...poorly planned and executed?...greedy?...bad business?...stupid decision making? Whatever.
All I can say is I don't think this kind of thing has ever happened to the degree that this project, by any other company in the history of hi-fi/audio video!
If anyone can bring up an instance that was similar, worse, or otherwise - which trumps this catastrophic failure in AV history (or 2 channel), I'd sure like to hear about it! Cuase I don't remember anything the likes of this.
I gave up and bought an Integra 9.8 and couldn't be happier. It was reconditioned b stock with 2 yr warranty for $850.
Give me the equivalent of an old Acurus Act 3, only up to date with all the latest, and I'd be happy for my movie setup! Throw in an EQ, and keep that same dynamic, clear detailed, clean sound, and I'll have another processor for a decade or so.
Well here we are folks. We are now well into the next phase of AV technology, that being 3d video on blu-ray and high def programming. And as far as the current method of interfacing this technology with an AV processor goes, HDMI 1.4 appears to be the standard method of connecting everything all up - which something like the Emotiva UMC-1 does not offer, of course!
So here this fiasco finally gets released after several years of prommised delivery, has all these troubles and functionality issues - which never really all got ironed out anyway - and we are already onto the next technology. The UMC-1 never got it all woeking, and IS ALREADY OBSOLETE!!! This HAS TO BE the greatest fiasco in the history of consumer AV! I'm sorry.
In looking back it really is hard to actually believe that this actdually went down like it did. We all waited, it came all crippled and botched up, never worked as promised, and is already passe!...history...insignificato.
Wow! You must have a bone to pick with Emotiva. I have little interest in HDMI 1.4...in fact 1.3 is one of the worst standards because devices just don't work well together due to the looseness of the standard. I'll be happy with 1.3 working (and almost all mfg's have problems by the way).

The UMC-1 is on it's third beta and there are still some bugs being worked out. For the $'s, if they get it fully working it's one of the bargains in the HiFi world today.

I wonder how many folks had to buy a TV with Deep Color....even though there is no content published today in deep color. How many have 1080p HDTV's and only watch HDTV over cable which is at most 1080i.

Don't get all hung up on the latest and greatest.

If you are in the market for a pre/pro you could do far worse than an Emotiva UMC-1. And for lots more $'s, you could do better.
See why I've become more cynical than my usual idealistic self when it comes to the new kids on the block over achieving, under priced, latest greatest slam bang gizmos?

They do it to themselves.

it do pay to stay with proven standards a good bit of the time.

business is tough to get a segment of a market, and tougher to apparently just bring to that market.

Economics and failures such as this one have caused me to slide from 'Bleeding edge' down to the 'I can smell the edge' for acquiring newly released tech.
"...if they get it fully working it's one of the bargains in the HiFi world today."

Lol! This statement really cracks me up. I'm sorry! You gotta appreciate the humor in that response. "if they ever get it working".
Come on people. Do we as consumers really need to be supporting products that aren't actually working? Has hard times brought us to this?!
One would think our standards would at least come to accept only products that actually, well um, work!!
But then again, maybe it's just me. I like to pay hundreds for products that actually function. And, to make it worse, you can see these features in the products menu and display, but you apparently can't get to em, or get them working, it seems. Um, ok...

And, yes, I do have a bone to pick. Because Emotiva strung me along for almost a year and a half, while I waited on their list, only to be presented with the current offering.
Yeah, I'm carrying a little pissy-stick, sure.
First, I have loaned money to Emotiva..if it doesn't work the way I want in the final release, I can return it for full money back (30 days from when the software is final).

There are many companies who have used "early announcements" to hold potential buyers from buying a competitive product...Emotiva is no different. (think microsoft; Sony; and let's not forget the infamous Outlaw 997) The nearest competitor I know of today is the integra DHC-40.1 at $300 more, and it has it's own problems with HDMI sync.

So..if they get the software sorted out, I'll gladly keep mine and I will have a bargain at $699. If I decide not to wait, I'll return it and probably buy a 40.1. If it weren't for the heat output of the last Integra/Onkyo processors, I'd probably already own one of them....Lot's of choices, lots of trade-offs.
THat's true about the heat output on the Integra's...man it heats up my little equipt closet!
I waited forever for the 997... I'm not even interested in the 998 after all the hype.
06-23-10: Oddiofyl
I waited forever for the 997... I'm not even interested in the 998 after all the hype.
Outlaw hasn't successfully designed their own pre/pro since their initial Model 950, developed 7-8 years ago! The next-gen (970?) was sourced from Sherwood-Newcastle and Outlaw hasn't been able to bring an HDMI-based AVP out at all.

Onkyo's been offering them for three years.
Queefee...man you are really fired up over a $799 piece of gear!!
Give me the equivalent of an old Acurus Act 3, only up to date with all the latest, and I'd be happy for my movie setup! Throw in an EQ, and keep that same dynamic, clear detailed, clean sound, and I'll have another processor for a decade or so.

You wish may be answered in October. One of my distributors has sent me pricing on both Acurus and Aragon gear coming from Indy Labs in what looks like OCT.

It appears to inlcude an updated Acurus Act 3
Cajunpepe, I THINK it's only $699(?)...and, yes, I'm sounding off. Hey, did someone just say the Act 3 is coming out as a different piece? YYYYAAAAAAAAH! Dare to dream. Hope, hope, hope, hope...
Um, yeah, I waited a year and a half on this Umc-1 turkey, and am mearly piping off on all this. I really don't care anymore.
I'm probably going to stick with my HK354 as a preamp to a multi-channel amp, and be happy with it for now. I really need the EQ - which apparenly is non-functioning on the Emotiva anyway. No dolby EQ or volume anyway. No 1.4 hdmi either.
Oh well. Guess you could chase all of this forever, and upgrade every other month.
Anyway, you're obviously getting what you've been promised to pay for with a $699 fishing lure. Even if it sounds great, overall, my room acoustics issues won't get dealt with properly, with no EQ on the Emo. I will be left with lots of bumps and modal ringing in my ears, with my small room. The Emo's not gunna help anyway. Better overall sonics with an EQ equiped unit, thank you.
Well, I hope all who buy the umc-1 enjoy it. Let us all know how it worked out.
Maybe I'll wait to see what the ACT 3 has to offer....
Hey, someone send me a link on the ACT3!!!
"...I've tried the emotiva umc-1 surround processor. Sounds good but it had bugs. It would lock-up. So it was returned." (Drake719)

Perhaps I've been a little hard on Emotiva. And perhaps I've simply had "unrealistic" expectation regarding the performance (or lack thereof) of the UMC-1.
I mean I suppose it's entirely possible that to expect my audio gear to not LOCK UP during normal payback would simply be asking too much. Perhaps I should likely just settle, and be satisified with being interupted during my favorite music, or a critical movie scene!
I mean hey, after all, just because someont holds out for nearly years, waiting to purchase some representation of cutting-edge technology at rock bottom price points does not mean, afterall, that one should expect basic necessities, such as, say the "EQ" to work as assumed... nor I suspect should we necessarily expect it to recognize or latch onto a digital signal properly...and of course having features that either don't work or show up as "non-existent" are probably acceptable issues, as well. Yes, I feel I'm being a bit "needy", me thinks...
There used to be a skit on FOX's "Mad Tv" called "Lowered Expectations!" Immages of familiar scenes from that show come flooding back to the forefront of my inconvenient memory with this one! I just can't help it.
Well I guess sometimes it must be true to say, "if it looks good, and it sounds good...then there's a damn good chance that it also just might not work good, too!
Hey, it happens...
Are they still even selling this POJ?! Oh wait, I see on their website that they are! They thought saddens me, really.
Hey is there even a professional review out yet on this "veritable bargain of electronics nightmares?" I mean if this thing, afterall, is the proposed "rock-bottom-deal", "steal of the century", audiophile grade av pre that it should be, shouldn't some pro review mag have gone and reviewed it by now?
I'm sorry. but if any electronoics company, which spent years (yes, that's right- years!) keeping the world in suspense with their highly anticipated and readily announced product, isn't getting a professional review after their prized baby had been finally been released to the general republic after all this time, to that I'd have to say EVERYONE,RUN FOR THE HILLS!!...ABANDON SHIP!
Wisdom surely has to say here, "buyer beware!" Wouldn't you think?
Well then again I guess they did, afterall, sell a bunch of Gremlins and Pacers back in the mid 70's to a bunch of unsuspecting buyers- quasi-successfully -it seems (I know, I actuall saw them on the road).
Oh and my wife still thinks Bose is the end-all of high end audio!
So there you are!...
Hi Queefee

Emotiva is still working through the issues with the UMC-1. Per their forum they are up to firmware version W7.02.00.00. They are working through the problems and I'm sure they will get through it. It will be a really long frustrating journey for some but I'm sure it will get better.

Man you really have a bone to pick with them. I think you should get a punching bag and put an Emotiva logo on it and go to town on it to work out your anger with them. Yes they could have done things a bit differently but they did what they thought was right and tried to put out an agressively priced feature packed pre/pro. As for me I'm still on the fence with the latest and greatest HT processors. I'm using my Outlaw 990 till the dust settles or I get a bigger HT room.