I have an Emo setup - UMC-1 with XPA-5 - and the sound quality is surprisingly good. The XPA-5 amp is a real powerhouse and drives my Gallo Ref. 3.1s to very satisfactory levels. And the UMC-1 preprocessor, the predecessor of the UMC-200, is a very good-sounding unit with a very rich feature set.
I believe that the Emo gear is a better value than the Outlaw. The Emo UMC-200 has some valuable features that the Outlaw lacks - Automatic room EQ, 11 band manual EQ, etc. - and the UMC-200 has been lauded for its sound quality.
The Emotiva XPA-5 amp is also more powerful than the Outlaw (200 watts/ch. vs. 125 watts/ch.) Granted, the Outlaw has 7 channels of amplification vs. 5 for the Emo. If you absolutely need 7 channels, the Outlaw would be a great choice. Otherwise, I think that the Emo unit is the way to go...
What the hey? The UMC-1 certainly did not have a rich feature set, and neither does the UMC-200. The "1" was dogged with buggy issues for over a year after Emotiva promised a rock solid platform. The UMC-200 is better in that regard, but the room correction is antiquated compared to any mid level receiver, and still doesn't handle the bass frequencies properly.
The EQ may be good, but most people don't have the knowledge or skill set to set it up for best audio. The "XPA-5 is more powerful" comment is puzzling since Outlaw makes 200 watts/channel amps as well with superior specs at rated power. They are also made in the USA while Emotiva stuff is made in China.
Buy what you like, but doing some research always helps the decision process
I've owned a few pieces of Emotiva gear and still have their IPS-1. I'm of the opinion that their amps represent amazing value. Their processors seem to have gone downhill from the early days of products like the MMC-1. The newer units may have more features, but no where near as bug-free as their original releases. Do you need to buy a matching set?
Yakbob: No, I don't need to buy a matching set but, I would save a little money doing it that way. Still trying to decide which one to get. Thanks for your response.
I have had both processors in my family room TV system. I purchased the Outlaw processor first then replaced it with the Emotiva. I give the Emotiva a slight edge in sound quality. Not sure if this is due to the EQ in the Emotiva but I am happy with the Emotiva processor and have sold the Outlaw.
I have no experience with either Outlaw or Emotiva amps as I use a Bel Canto REF150 as a power amp for this system. I use Wyred 4 Sound amps in my big HT system and have been very happy. No need to get an amp from the same manufacturer as the processor.
UMC-200 DOA. YRMV but be forewarned!
I'm not sure how you feel about used equipment, but it might be worth a look in the listings here. There's some decent processor deals in the $550 price point. Cambridge Audio 551, Anthem AVM 2, Denon 4308.
It seems many processor owners are looking to the latest codec for sound improvements rather than buying a processor that sounds great in the first place, even with legacy formats.
I had both the UMC-1, UMC-200 and Outlaw 975 all paired with an Outlaw 7075 multi channel amp and Rega RS-1 speakers. Emotiva had the edge in sound quality but Outlaw had the edge when it came to lack of bugs and easier operation. The Outlaw 975 sounded a little smoother to me but had less dynamics. It also suffered from not quite enough gain, you really had to crank the volume to get decent output. I also think the UMC-1 had a slight edge in sound quality over the UMC-200 actually but of course the UMC-200 had all the latest bells and whistles such as 3D support. In regards to the Outlaw amp I feel the sound is clean, non offensive and well suited for home theatre duty but really nothing special for music.
Bought a UMC200 in July of '13,and has been bug-free. No probs of any kind. has turned into hub for both stereo and surround. Have Parasound A23s as front monoblocks, and xpa3 for other 3 channels(5.0). Pleased with SQ, Like too use prologic 2 for cd playback, somethings sound incredible in surround that software is not available.
I just took delivery of an Emotiva UMC-200 and an UPA-500. Coming from Marantz 6005. The sound is OK, but the UMC-200 is giving me fits as it will not consistently handshake with my HMDI cables, which the Marantz worked with.
Now, it is not working...blue screen of death...no video or audio.
I'll call in the AM...for the second time to discuss and perhaps send back. It is necessary to get Kieth, who knows what he is doing. I'd had less luck with others on their help line.
Final comment: The owners manual could be written more clearly, or with better examples.
Ok. The emotiva equipment is working and burned in. It creates excellent reproduction of what instruments sound like through my MMG speakers wall mounted.
My main audio system is atmosphere ma1s and mp 1 with Maggie 3.7s
I'm complimenting the emotiva. Pre and amp. It is clean. Very clear. Good sound stage. Good separation between people/instruments. It's not the atma sound. But my interconnects cost more than the emotiva. I am happily listening to them now
It sounds like some are saying that they are happy with the Emotiva model they bought, and that is fine, but the question is, which brand is better for HT? Has anyone heard both the UMC-200 and the Outlaw 975?
Emotiva.... had a Outlaw 1070 it died twice, they were kind enough to let me upgrade to a 970 / 7075 but after a few months the 970 got buggy and was never really fixed through firmware patches.... I kind of lost faith in them after that. I had the original Emotiva DAC and that was a killer piece for the money....