Where's the talk/reviews on the Emotiva UMC-200?

At $599 (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!) direct from the manufacturer (that's right,..no middleman mark up), Emotiva has a standalone DTS Master/Dolby HD audio 7.1 preamp processor, AND I DON'T HEAR ANYONE TALKING ABOUT IT HERE!Why is that?...
There are surely threads on which AV receiver (yawn) is being used, or which should I buy, this and that. But there's not a hint of talk about what should otherwise be a superior performance option in the Emotiva budget separates!? Again, why is that?
I am personally one who would never spend $1500+ (and would only look to pay $100-250 on one, if I absolutely had to) on a brand new AV receiver, which is likely sonically compromised, in many aspects, for my money. Basically, I want to spend as little as possible if I go the AV receiver route for my system, and would MUCH RATHER spend on quality separates based performance, ESPECIALLY at only a few hundred dollars in cost!
So, here's this Emotiva $599 as advertised processor, and I here nary a word about it...anywhere! I might have seen one brief review in a magazine. But, I see nothing from the faithful here!
Anyone used, heard, demo'd, or have any input on this UMC-200 piece from Emotiva? Any comparisons to other gear you've owned, as for functionality, digital audio sound quality, video up-scaling or pass-through quality, reliability, and so on??? Is this thing the same as the originally offered UMC-1 at same price? I heard that one had lots of bugs and problems??
Anyway, I want to hear from those hear on their thoughts and experiences with this thing, and why isn't this apparent "bargain" of an item being discussed? ...or does most everyone here still think that your standard Chinese built AV surround receiver will offer the same level of performance as what you'd expect from higher end esoteric separates electronics?
Whaaatteeerrrryyyaaall comments here?

Whats the big deal, for not much more money Nuforce has also released a budget priced Preamp/processor with superior sound quality, features and design over the Emotiva.

A dealer friend of mine says this new Nuforce piece sounds more like a $3-4K processor than its $1,095.00 price will dictate.

Most of Emotiva's products are cheap and somewhat nasty souding, and in most cases spending a bit more will get you a far better product.

Here is a news flash, factory direct usually means these products will not compare favorably against the better brands, or they could afford to price their products 20% higher and get a dealer base.

You seem to have a issue with AV surround receivers being built in China. Are you aware that the majority of Emotiva products are built in China as well?
I've listened to several Emotiva products and also own an XPA-200 to power some home brew passive subs. I agree with MOST other folks here on Agon. They offer good products for their rice point which easily compete with just about anything out there for the same price and in many cases competes with gear costing much more. Just my 2 cents
Audiooracle said:

"Here is a news flash, factory direct usually means these products will not compare favorably against the better brands, or they could afford to price their products 20% higher and get a dealer base."

Where do you get your information? Many companies are going factory direct today in order Keep costs down to the consumer, that doesn't mean it's low quality. Case in point, I own some Odyssey Audio equipment and their stuff has been very well reviewed and sounds wonderful.

Sanders also sells factory direct and they also have garnered many fine reviews. There are many other companies that do this as well. My Odyssey amp that I paid 1700.00 for new and built to my particular wants and needs easily blows away amps in the 4K range.

Don't be so quick to diss Emotiva, They offer a lot of bang for the buck and their equipment does not sound cheap by any means. At one time, I had their XDA-1 dac in my system and it sounded great. I paid 299.00 for it. I replaced it with a Wyred4sound DAC-1 (another direct internet company) and although there was a difference, there certainly wasn't a 700.00 difference as the Wyred dac sells for 999.00.

I see direct sales via the internet to be in all of our future.

Odyssey is one of the rare companies, but there stuff isn't as cheap as Emotiva.

Have you heard the Sanders? They beam like crazy, are low in sensitivity, have to be bi-amped and are large and ugly speakers, thanks but no thanks. The press is full of crazy reviews, like $30k single driver systems with no real bass, or treble.

As per everything being factory direct try purchasing a Porsche direct, the factory direct model is only good for cheap products and cheap buyers, people who want quality will save their pennies and buy good gear. Most people want to compare their prospective purchase to the well established players if Emotiva was really competitive they would offer their line to dealers and raise prices by about 20% their gear would still be cheap, but at least you could really do a fair comparison.

Emotiva is good cheap gear, not good gear cheap, if you look at their pricing even factory direct they can't be using particularly great parts, on most of their models.
AudioCurcle wrote: "A dealer friend of mine says this new Nuforce piece sounds more like a $3-4K processor than its $1,095.00 price will dictate."

I have a news flash for you, AC, the NuForce is a re-badged UMC-200. Basically, for you, if it doesn't cost enough it can't be any good. You are clueless, homes...

I have an Emotiva Umc-200 that replaced an oppo 105 just for analogue processing(see threads). The oppo had extreme high end sound that hurt the male mevado sound. At almost a third of the 105, the umc-200 kills the 105 and other processors 2-3 or even four times the price. End of story.
I thought it had similar pre-amp sound qualities to that of what you would find in any midpriced to higher priced receiver with the benefit of being able to add a better power amp, and more flexibility to upgrade. You would be hard pressed to hear any sonic differences between it and most mid-fi receivers. It had a detailed, but more forward sound. I also compared the outlaw in the same price range. Similar quality, but sound wise much more dark and laid back. Not bad, but different.

Now own a marantz av 8801 and the sound difference is significant. More powerful bass, that same detail but a bit warmer.

That said, I'd get the emotiva and or outlaw (depending on your sound preference) along with a nice used or even new amp any day of the week over a receiver. Get one of those and a nice used $500 or so 5 channel amp and it will sound better with more upgrade options than any 2k receiver.
"[09-23-13: Rlwainwright
I have a news flash for you, AC, the NuForce is a re-badged UMC-200. Basically, for you, if it doesn't cost enough it can't be any good. You are clueless, homes...


Its common knowledge that Original Equipment Manufactures (OEM) may produce pre/pro internal components for multiple manufactures. This is usually done to those manufactures specification of parts and materials.

Are you saying that you have observed both the NuForce and the Emotiva as having the exact same pre/pro internal processor, power supplies, and output stages, with the casework being the only difference?
Just for record, my 5 channel power amp is a Theta Dreadnaught 1(200x5) with absolutely clean, dynamic, dead silent channel separation. Two channel is phenomenal. I will be replacing the Theta with an Ead powermaster 2000(20amp) very shortly. Video is done by an Oppo 103 via hdmi. All audio is Emotiva via analogues. XLR sub is extremely better than the RCA.
Good question, Vicdamone.
I've owned 3 Emotiva components, and used to be a big fanboy of theirs. Nobody could tell me different, I'd get into debates about how good their gear sounded. At the time I lived in a condo and couldn't turn it up due to neighbours. Then I moved into a house and started to find weaknesses in sound. They can have a harsh high end, and the imaging is better than a receiver, but that isn't saying much. Good for the money, a decent first system, but if you are after the best sound quality you will eventually look elsewhere.

I also found they don't treat their customers well in some cases. Yes the warranty is great unless you ship internationally, then you are out of luck because they make you pay to ship it back to the U.S. Also, anything they've released in the last 4 years that wasn't amps or speakers had glitches, some very bad. I had to pay to send back my DAC to get the volume fixed.

Then there are the promises of upcoming releases that don't materialize. I waited a year for the XSP-1 then gave up. Some waited 3 years for the UMC-1 only to receive a bug-ridden machine. Parasound was to release a processor based on the same chassis/processor, but decided they couldn't do that to their customers. Now it's the XMC-1 that's over 2 years late, plus the ERC-3 that was supposed to be here in mid-June.

Some like the current UMC-200. It has half the features of a mid level receiver, slow HDMI switching and rudimentary room correction.
Thank you Runnin for your insight into the product line! That sounds about right. You get what you pay for, typically.
I'll likely look at a bit more upscale used products in the near future.
I know that, like the Emotiva UMC-1 -which took YEARS to realease, ultimately - Mondial Audio is supposed to release a current 7.1, HDMI 3D ready Acurus Act 4 processor. That might be interesting. I know the old Act 3 and upgraded same unit, where simply DYNAMITE for budget products! Super dynamic, pretty musical, nice and clear, with very good overall detail for what they were, in their time.
Also used to own the Krell HTS 5.1, Aragon Soundstage, Macintosh MX132, and others like the Act 3. I do need some sort of an upgraded, hi-end sound for my needs.
Sounds like maybe Emotiva isn't the kind of level Im likely looking for.
Audio oracle,

It's illegal in (almost?) all states for Porsche (or any other auto company) to sell factory direct. Tesla ($100k model S, hardly "cheap") is challenging that law and trying to sell factory direct.

It's hard to believe that anyone has missed the impact of the Internet in decimating retail distribution, regardless of product, or product quality. People are increasingly making purchase decisions prior to input from retailers and - over time - factory direct distribution will almost certainly take increasing market share in virtually every corner of retail.

In high end audio, the situation is extreme, since the # of bricks and mortar dealers continues to shrink. Despite the difficulty of competing with its own legacy retail network, Magnepan continues to increase its factory direct options. Newer companies, like Oppo (often cited as among the best choices for digital source components) are naturally gravitating in that direction. Older firms that lack a legacy retail chain (ie. Benchmark, which historically served the pro audio market) are doing the same thing.

Many companies (Ohm, NHT, Rythmik, Von Schweikert, LSA, and SVS come to mind quickly) already offer factory direct options. If you choose to dismiss all of those products out of hand, you might want to consider whether you're just tossing the baby with the bath water.

AFAIK, Emotive may be great, or it may suck - I've never heard a piece - but to assume it sucks due to a factory direct model is presumptuous in the extreme.

Some of the Internet-Direct (ID) companies have some serious talent behind their
products. When Klipsch dismantled Mirage, Andrew Welker who co-designed the
Omnipolar series with Ian Paisley and invented the Omniguide for the next
generation of speakers, went to Axiom and has come out with a target=_blank href=http://www.axiomaudio.com/omnidirectional-
speaker#>flagship omnidirectional design
. It uses DSP to adjust the timing
of the rearward signal so you (reportedly) get pinpoint imaging and room-filling
sound. Although they're ID, they make the speakers in Canada and offer several
custom options including custom paint jobs.

SVS hired Mike Mason as designer and head of production. He comes from 12
years working in those capacities at PSB. SVS recently came out with their Ultra
series, whose series/ultra-tower#.UkyawBY9Xdk>Tower looks to be a serious contender
at $2K. Tekton's founder used to work at Axiom.

As for the notion that these companies go ID because they can't compete side-
by-side, what about Bose? They do retail marketing, but do it in such a way that
it's hard to compare with mainstream speakers. They set up exclusive demo
areas and install in places like Costco and Sam's Club where there is no speaker
competition at all. They also used their advertising budget to shake down
magazines for favorable reviews and to spike negative ones according to target=_blank href=http://www.analogplanet.com/content/dr-amar-bose-
dead-83>Michael Fremer

Most of the ID speaker companies ship free and some even pay for return
shipping. So you can compare in your own setup. Also, it seems that most of the
professional reviewers are pretty frank as to whether they like or don't like
various ID products. Mostly, however, they're value leaders because the ID model
cuts the retail price by around 40%. I think they value the advantage of offering a
$5K speaker for $3K more than whether people can compare them at a store.
The ID companies always have links to the professional reviews.

And some ID mfrs are boutique, such as Salk, Tyler, and Ascend. You get
meticulously crafted products handmade in the USA at affordable prices. Do you
honestly think that Ascend, Tekton, Tyler, and Salk can't compete with the mass
market products in the stores?

Oh, and to answer the OP's question, I bought a UMC-200 about 6 wks ago to
replace a 2006 Pre/Pro that doorstopper. Here was a $599 unit replacing a $2K
unit. For the money I'm very pleased. Out of the box it sounded a bit sterile, but
after a week of burn-in and then running the speaker setup software, it turned
into a nice unit with a lot of clarity and a low noise floor. One way they save
money is that the HDMI video is simply a pass-through. It doesn't offer video
correction or enhancement. However, I rewired my HT with Redmere technology
HDMI cables, which are active, and that made a noticeable improvement in the
picture. The sound is clearer than the old unit was, and it has excellent
dynamics. The only downside is that switching HDMI inputs results in a few
seconds of screen flashes until it settles in on the new source. Other than that,
it's very solid, reliable unit with good sound and decoding.

BTW, it's not so simple to move up from the $599 Emotiva to the $1095 Nuforce
unless you are all digital. The Nuforce saves a bunch of cost by strictly limiting
the inputs to digital--HDMI, S/PDIF, Toslink, and USB. The Emotiva also accepts
analog 7.1 direct (like if you want to take advantage of Oppo's internal decoder)
and four analog stereo pairs. So you can't move up to Nuforce unless you have
no legacy analog to deal with.
I guess I find it pretty hard to take the Emo seriously for $600. Assume for a minute the company has to make a $300 profit on that. Give or take a little. With cost of parts, labor, and shipping, how good can the components really be? I could be wrong, it wouldn't be the first time, but that's my thought process.
lets say that same $600 Emotiva Prepro were sold through traditional retail sales distribution channels. What would the price then be? -probably $899 instead???
That considered, on the other AV receiver side of the market, its actually pretty amazing what relative overall sound quality they can get from a $600-$1000 (non-direct sales, standard retail distribution and associated percentage mark up) AV receiver -which also includes power amp section- in comparison! I mean what kind of profit would be left over, after all the proper channels get paid, the parts costs get factored, the factory overhead n distribution routs costs are considered, advertising dollars calculated, and retail costs added, what profit could be left in that?
Well I know retail markup is typically approximately 30-40% over wholesale on these type of products, from past history experience. So you do the math on a $899 AV receiver, considering all the likely costs n markups along the way!
I figure the Emotiva is likely working on similar price margins as any large scale Receiver manufacturer, in comparison. I mean how far different could profit numbers be at that price range?
AV, I totally agree with what you are saying about the AVR's. I personally wouldn't expect all that much from one in that range either. It really depends on the person and their expectations.
Bringing in other ID companies is misleading in this way. Emotiva has had no serious talent from other companies joining their company as was mentioned with Axiom, SVS, etc. They have also not had a blemish free record of an Oppo or Hsu Research. Emotiva's last 3 processors have been plagued with bugs that took so much resources and time to fix it was painful to watch. In particular, the UMC-1 was praised and the Emo team were actually giddy about it prior to release, which was an unmitigated disaster. This after being about 2 years late on its release. Currently they are over 2 years late on the XMC-1 processor, which has had at least 2 price increases before it's even released yet! TacT tried and failed to implement their room correction on it and currently Dirac is trying. It doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

The XDA-1 DAC had issues throughout its short life and then its replacement, the XDA-2, couldn't work with Macs, something the first model could at least do! Their only amp requiring firmware, the XPA-1L, had firmware bugs that needed updates, requiring new owners to return the amps for service.

They are not the equal of other ID companies in most things besides price. A 600 processor with antiquated room correction and few of the features of a 400 AVR is hardly what ID companies are all about. But at least they try, and maybe one day they will be able to release a processor that is not old technology and laced with bugs, but until then I'd only shop for their amps.
I like the company , no problems. I bought a UMC-1 new 3 years ago with no problems. I also bought a new 2 ch amp with no problems . There is still alot of snob appeal towards outsourcing or low cost companies. Yes I wish they manufactured in the USA , but they are a good company.
Yep yep yep...now I'm thinkin I would probably do just fine choosing from many of the used gear options that are widely available on the internet, rather than to spend "discount" money on some otherwise budget conscious product, from a company with a less than stellar product quality control track history, just fer a "price!"
Anyone know how much a used Krell 7.1 Theater Standard, er whatever, is again???
After reading a post on the emo lounge amplifier forum by Archie questioning who emo uses to produce their components. About to make a large HT purchase he was concerned how emo could offer their products at such far lower pricing compared to other western and Chinese audio manufactures who use Chinese manufacturing and sell direct.

An emo sales rep refused to answer. All but one of the forums minions viciously flamed the guy commensurate with loyal emoism when the forum moderator closed the thread.
I was seriously consedring this product, but I did not like how the bass management works on 7.1 analogue inputs (it is not even available) So for me that pretty well sealed it, plus the high cost of shipping to Canada

and then I read this
I just bought one, we will see how it works. I am expecting it to be better than my Rotel RSP-1570 I'm replacing it with.
I also own a generation II XPA-5 which I love. It replaced 2 McCormacks DNA-1's. I am not saying it is better just I love what it does. I wanted to go from 2 stereo amps to a five channel. Later on I can use the other 2 channels to go from 5.1 to 7.1. My main left/right amp that is also used for main stereo listening is a Musical Fidelity M6PRX. I also own emotiva's mono amps the XPA-100's and a Digital amp the XDA-2. This set up runs sound around the house and outside and yes I love it. This replaced a McCormack TLC-1 and a DNA 0.5 deluxe. So far I have really liked Emo.
FYI - I bought a UMC-200 and it was DOA - really bad hum as soon as I turned the power to stand-by! Emotiva was really good about taking it as a return and it didn't cost me anything, but buyer beware!