XMC-1? Or something else? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 3 Old 04-30-17, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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XMC-1? Or something else?

Would like to try Dirac and have been eyeballing the XMC-1 for a few years. I've been reading mostly overwhelmingly positive reviews for the XMC-1. Would seem, to me, to be the best $2000-ish pre-pro on the market. However, I have seen a few negative comments about random bugs, clicks/pops from Dirac when sources change, issues with first second or so of streamed music cutting off, and issues with dual subwoofer integration.
So, before I dive in I'd like to hear feedback from XMC-1 owners and former owners to be sure this is the best choice for my needs.

My system currently is 7.2 with an Emotiva A-700 amp for the 7 speakers and a Behringer EP4000 powering dual DIY subs. I have no plan to upgrade/add channels beyond my current setup (e.g., Atmos or other "immersive" audio systems) nor is 4k video a consideration (will make that upgrade eventually, but probably 5+ years away). I'm looking for low noise floor, clean audio, customizable EQ, and good subwoofer integration. I currently have Anthem's MRX 710 and ARC's sub integration is phenomenal though has a only single sub output. I would love to have a good dynamic EQ/loudness implementation similar to Audyssey's, but that seems to be wishful thinking.

How does the XMC-1 stack up to other pre-pro's in it's price range? Any better options?

Is Dirac much better than ARC-2 (which, IMO, is much better than Audyssey XT32)?

Has anyone foregone Dirac in favor of the XMC-1's parametric EQ, which on paper seems to be fantastic?

How well does the Loudness function work? I've seen several reviewer's calling it "unusable" with too much low end emphasis.

How low is noise floor? I bought an Emo XPA-3 a few years ago but sold it because of hiss with my Klipsch Reference set. The A-700 is quiet, but the Anthem has some noise in the preamp stage that makes it unuseabe for me with the A-700.

What are the current bugs/issues? Are these minor annoyances or real dealbreakers?

How is the Android remote app?

Looking forward to everyone's input!

Thanks,
sga2
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-01-17, 08:49 AM
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Re: XMC-1? Or something else?

Quote:
sga2 wrote: View Post
Would like to try Dirac and have been eyeballing the XMC-1 for a few years. I've been reading mostly overwhelmingly positive reviews for the XMC-1. Would seem, to me, to be the best $2000-ish pre-pro on the market. However, I have seen a few negative comments about random bugs, clicks/pops from Dirac when sources change, issues with first second or so of streamed music cutting off, and issues with dual subwoofer integration.
So, before I dive in I'd like to hear feedback from XMC-1 owners and former owners to be sure this is the best choice for my needs.
I bought my XMC-1 for only $1200 on Emotiva's Lifetime Trade-In Program, but I would pay full price if I had to do it over again. It's that good. I've noticed none of the issues you mentioned, but I don't stream and am running only a single sub. I've certainly never heard clicks/pops in any mode.

Quote:
sga2 wrote: View Post
My system currently is 7.2 with an Emotiva A-700 amp for the 7 speakers and a Behringer EP4000 powering dual DIY subs. I have no plan to upgrade/add channels beyond my current setup (e.g., Atmos or other "immersive" audio systems) nor is 4k video a consideration (will make that upgrade eventually, but probably 5+ years away). I'm looking for low noise floor, clean audio, customizable EQ, and good subwoofer integration. I currently have Anthem's MRX 710 and ARC's sub integration is phenomenal though has a only single sub output. I would love to have a good dynamic EQ/loudness implementation similar to Audyssey's, but that seems to be wishful thinking.
Just for reference, my setup is currently 5.1 in a very small room, so no plans to upgrade soon. As for your other concerns:
  • Low Noise Floor - I only hear faint hiss at ref volume with ear to tweeter
  • Clean Audio - Dedicated DACs for movies and music; Impeccable audio specs
  • Customizable EQ - Dirac or REW target curves; User adjustable PEQ; Variable PEQ tone controls
  • Good Subwoofer Integration - Flexible crossover and slope; Logical bass management

Quote:
sga2 wrote: View Post
Is Dirac much better than ARC-2 (which, IMO, is much better than Audyssey XT32)?
Dirac is recognized as a Sound Stage and Imaging champion for music, which also benefits movie soundtracks. It's hard to beat because it uses special mixed-phase filters instead of just traditional ones.

Quote:
sga2 wrote: View Post
Has anyone foregone Dirac in favor of the XMC-1's parametric EQ, which on paper seems to be fantastic?
I've tried manual PEQ to remedy timing issues using REW-generated filters. No contest. Dirac knocks it out of the ballpark.

Quote:
sga2 wrote: View Post
How well does the Loudness function work? I've seen several reviewer's calling it "unusable" with too much low end emphasis.
It's a true Fletcher-Munson loudness control, which I believe starts working as volume is reduced from reference. I use this function sparingly, because it seems to be active at a much higher volume than you'd normally expect. Certain soundtracks will have more full-bodied sound, while others will be a little overwhelmed. I've found that combining the MIDNIGHT function with LOUDNESS helps tame heavier bass tracks.

Quote:
sga2 wrote: View Post
How low is noise floor? I bought an Emo XPA-3 a few years ago but sold it because of hiss with my Klipsch Reference set. The A-700 is quiet, but the Anthem has some noise in the preamp stage that makes it unuseabe for me with the A-700.
As I mentioned above, only very slight hiss could be heard from my tweeters at close range. I've had the same experience with two different sets of speakers, both not particularly efficient.

Quote:
sga2 wrote: View Post
What are the current bugs/issues? Are these minor annoyances or real dealbreakers?
The only complaint I have concerns the on-screen display, which flashes two or three times after changing volume. But that only happens when the front panel display is turned off.

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post #3 of 3 Old 05-01-17, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Lumen, for your detailed reply. Much appreciated!
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