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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so heres the deal.

I recently changed out some of my electronics. I was previously running (and still am as a pre-amp) a Pioneer VSX-1015TX As my main AVR, but its out of date at this point, no HDMI, no coaxial out (only toslink), the receiver is THX select 2 rated, and can drive a 4 ohm load, as i've been running it on a pair of cerwin vega m100's. Its rated at 120w RMS/Channel, this was totally untrue. The receiver only pulled a maximum of 500w off the wall.

I'm moving onto an actively crossed over set of front towers, and as far as designs go, i can't say much, just that theyre roughly 100db efficient all the way down to 60hz. The amp i bought is twelve channels. So heres my list of requirements.

The Processor MUST have:
A minimum of 4 HDMI inputs, Two outputs would be a dream, but isnt required.
A Coaxial SPDIF out as i will be connecting this to a behringer DCX2496, after using an impedance transformer to make up for the fact that the DCX uses a 110 ohm termination point instead of 75.
Needs some video upscaling and a decent EQ.
Adjustable crossover frequencies, i'd like to aim for 60hz for my sub, my current receiver only goes 50-80-100-150-200... and this is a pain in the .
*Nice but not needed* a set of balanced pre-outs.

Right now the Emotiva UMC-1 Seems to fit most of this. But i am open to other options. I hear onkyo makes a good processor.
 

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For the money the Emotiva UMC-1 is a great deal however it does not offer much of any surround modes or other options You would be far better off getting a good receiver like this Onkyo 3007 and just use it as a processor. You will get far more options than any expensive pre pro along with THX certification, Auddessy room eq and a plethora of other surround modes.
Another option is to look at Integra as they also make a great pre pro but you will pay more.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Well, i've got to be honest, Surround modes don't excite me. Theyre 99% gimmick. THX certification is usually for the amp portion of the receiver. The only real thing it has to handle are the new Blu-Ray formats. My computer has a DTS output through toslink or coaxial spdif. Emotiva seems to be in its own price category as well.

One thing that is also a factor for me, is electrical draw. And i beleive a true processor uses far less power than an AVR. I'm running on a 15 amp breaker. As it stands now, i can trip the breaker. I'd like the processor to draw less than 500w off the wall. (doesnt seem like a difficult task for a dedicated processor)

UMC-1 also draws a max of about 240w. which is less than half of my current power draw. Its all about getting the max out of my 15amps. lol.
 

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THX surround modes are a huge bonus (I use them exclusively) and I know may other here also do. Audessey is also a must or at least some other auto room EQ and 90% of pre pros do not have any.
To get the new uncompressed audio formats from BluRay you must have HDMI output from your computer Toslink will not do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lol i keep forgetting that i do have HDMI for my pc.

The room eq is important i agree, and doesnt the Emotiva have Emo-Q or whatever they called it?

But surround "modes" is usually effects right? if i want unaltered 7.1 signal from the blu-ray i wouldnt use these modes would i?

I'm still new to the newest formats. This THX mode intrigues me. My current AVR has a THX mode and all i ever noticed out of it was excessive bass reproduction and not much change elsewhere. Maybe things have changed since 5 years ago.

However my current setup almost exclusively sits in DTS NEO:6 mode as thats what my pc likes to feed it, or Stereo mode for music listening. I do not like the added "effects" of any of the other settings. Seems like a lot to pay for if i'm not going to use it.
 

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yes, you are correct pre-pro's draws little current compared to AVR. But power amps draw much power than mid to hi-end receivers.

there are lots of new models of prepro that fits to your requirements but it's a great investment for a piece of electronics that could become outdated by the fast changing audio and video formats.
 

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if you want to go with a 7.1 system then you will need to use some sort of mode that will expand the signal to the rear channels as 90% of even BluRay movies still only have 5.1 audio.
THX cinema and ultra 7.1 are great modes and really help make it sound like a real theater.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
AHA! see thats the kind of information im talking about, i was under the impression that most blu-ray was already pushing the 7.1 envelope which is why 9.2 came out. lol.

So a THX mode is what i need to get my rear channels working?
Thanks for the direction guys.

Does anyone know if the Emotiva UMC-1 has these kind of modes? I know its not THX, but does it have modes to fill in 7.1?
 

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AHA! see thats the kind of information im talking about, i was under the impression that most blu-ray was already pushing the 7.1 envelope which is why 9.2 came out. lol.

So a THX mode is what i need to get my rear channels working?
Not a THX mode but DPL IIx.

Does anyone know if the Emotiva UMC-1 has these kind of modes? I know its not THX, but does it have modes to fill in 7.1?
Almost all modern prepros have this or similar modes so it is likely that the Emotiva does. OTOH, I have doubts about the efficacy of its Room EQ.
 

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DPL IIx or DPL IIz are available on all receivers or pre prose as far as I know however they dont stack up to the THX modes. Most anybody who has used them will agree. Now dont get me wrong the Emotiva is a great prePro and for the money its a great deal but you loose out of many good features.
 

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Look at the Marantz AV-7005 as it is the next lowest cost pre-amp and provides tremendous performance. I would have to look and see what the draw is as I haven't bothered to look into that. I have used both the UMC-1 and the AV-7005 and the AV-7005 is better, but it should be at more than double the cost. That said I was happy with my time with the UMC-1 other than a few small bugs which all should be able to finally be worked out via firmware.
 

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I would also suggest the Onkyo 5508. I just got it and am loving it more everyday. Check it out. Pm me for price and where to get.
 

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I disagree with the majority on the need for surround processing modes, The synthetic rear channel sund leaves me unimpressed. I generally use the 7.1 analog outs from my disc player even with 5.1 DVDs.
I'd go with the Emotiva pre-pro.:eek:lddude:
 

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Leaving surround processing out of the equation. Another thing to think about is room equalization.
I don't want to get off topic; but it is important for overall sound field.
I'm personally using audyssey and have used Trinnov in the past year with a Sherwood Newcastle R-972. I've set up Yamaha's YPAO and Pioneer's MCACC. I'm not going to get into what I think is best. Just that they are necessary for proper room surround imaging.
Emotiva just can't offer this in there Pre-amp. Although they use there own equalization system; I don't believe it comes close to the other manufacturers. Just watching Emotiva's video of a set-up of a UMC-1 will confirm it's short comings.
For the money I love Emotiva's amps. They are however an inexpensive product and I'm not sure yet about there longevity. I had a blue led stop working on my XPA-5 after 3 months.....It still works great though!

Stick with a major manufacturer for your pre-amp.
Another thing to consider is HDMI switching.
Some manufacturer just plain have this figured out better than others.
Yamaha probable does this the best!
Integra is loud; but works. Not sure about Onkyo?
Sherwood Newcastle was hit and miss with my set-up!
Pioneer seems to play nice with others!
Not sure about UMC-1 and how it will HDMI hand shake with other products?

Just some other thoughts to think about!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So i've spent time researching all kinds of options.

Onkyo TX-NR3008, and 5008. - Nice receiver, i don't want/need/care about the amp section, so the power draw is rather large. It seems to have all the options as well as Audyssey XT32, but heres the kicker. NO SPDIF output! so how am i going to get this to my Behringer DCX in the digital stage, if it doesnt have spdif. (i would have taken coaxial or optical!) Due to this, these are no longer being considered. I LOVE the idea of audyssey XT32, with SUB EQ HT!

Onkyo -SC5508 - SAME SPDIF PROBLEM! GRR!

Marantz AV7005 - This seems to be the best candidate. Its got an optical out. it has the least power draw at 60w, has balanced xlr and unbalanced outs (this is a bonus), all the surround modes, and it happens to be one of the nicest looking units i've been looking at, i don't like that all onkyo receivers look the same.

Emotiva UMC-1 - Not even in the question. After the review Sonnie gave it, i won't touch it. I don't have an outboard EQ to deal with this units horrible bass management. Who in their right mind would have it sum the Equalized output for the subwoofer!?
(for anyone who wasnt paying attention, this means that if you've got 4 small speakers that can't play full range, they get eqed to try to play full range, and then get crossed over, and then all of the boosted signal gets summed, and then sent to the sub. This means that if you've got +3db per speakers at 50hz, then its going to give you a +12db at 50hz. Sonnie verified this is how it works. its dumb, but i guess theres a reason the unit is about half the price of the competetion, only half of it makes sense)

Integra only makes units similar to the onkyo.

So i'm pretty much tapping out all the resources i have.

Oh the note above about the sherwood r-972, how did you test that!? it never got released other than engineering samples... i know this because i really wanted to see trinnov in action, and i followed Outlaw who was making a separates setup with that technology and then sherwood basically screwed em over on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I see the review, but I cant find the product. This is what led me to believe that it was only ever engineering samples that were sent out for review, but the rest of this product is vaporware. For a receiver that was first announced in 2008, it seems a little odd.
 

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So i've spent time researching all kinds of options.

Onkyo TX-NR3008, and 5008. - Nice receiver, i don't want/need/care about the amp section, so the power draw is rather large. It seems to have all the options as well as Audyssey XT32, but heres the kicker. NO SPDIF output! so how am i going to get this to my Behringer DCX in the digital stage, if it doesnt have spdif. (i would have taken coaxial or optical!) Due to this, these are no longer being considered. I LOVE the idea of audyssey XT32, with SUB EQ HT!

Onkyo -SC5508 - SAME SPDIF PROBLEM! GRR!

Marantz AV7005 - This seems to be the best candidate. Its got an optical out. it has the least power draw at 60w, has balanced xlr and unbalanced outs (this is a bonus), all the surround modes, and it happens to be one of the nicest looking units i've been looking at, i don't like that all onkyo receivers look the same.

Emotiva UMC-1 - Not even in the question. After the review Sonnie gave it, i won't touch it. I don't have an outboard EQ to deal with this units horrible bass management. Who in their right mind would have it sum the Equalized output for the subwoofer!?
(for anyone who wasnt paying attention, this means that if you've got 4 small speakers that can't play full range, they get eqed to try to play full range, and then get crossed over, and then all of the boosted signal gets summed, and then sent to the sub. This means that if you've got +3db per speakers at 50hz, then its going to give you a +12db at 50hz. Sonnie verified this is how it works. its dumb, but i guess theres a reason the unit is about half the price of the competetion, only half of it makes sense)

Integra only makes units similar to the onkyo.

So i'm pretty much tapping out all the resources i have.

Oh the note above about the sherwood r-972, how did you test that!? it never got released other than engineering samples... i know this because i really wanted to see trinnov in action, and i followed Outlaw who was making a separates setup with that technology and then sherwood basically screwed em over on it.
Hello,
You might want to look at the Denon AVR-4311. It offers a Preamp Only Mode where it turns off the Amplifier Stage and offers XT32. Moreover, I am pretty sure it offers a SPDIF Output. Just went to the Website and it does have an Optical Digital Output.

For a while there were some issues with video (purple rain), and Audio Dropouts, but the latest Firmware seems to have corrected all of these issues. With the Preamp Only Mode you get the Energy Savings just like from using an SSP and have an emergency backup if your amps go out.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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I see the review, but I cant find the product. This is what led me to believe that it was only ever engineering samples that were sent out for review, but the rest of this product is vaporware. For a receiver that was first announced in 2008, it seems a little odd.
Well, I do not know where one draws the line between distribution of samples and general release. There are people with them who have posted on various forums so I know they have been purchased at retail but they had too much time/trouble in being born and they seem to be hard to find.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
it is not uncommon for a manufacturer to use tighter tolerance parts on their "engineering samples" that get sent out for reviews, and then to reduce production cost after the unit is measured, they will cut tolerances to say 3% instead of 1%.

I'm going to have to look into the Denon, as i have experience with their AVRs and a few of the high end ones were good when i played with them. The ability to turn the amp section off = amazing! i would hope is a physical disconnect on the internals of the unit so that no power would just run through the sections for the sake of running through them, but doubt that it would be that way.

It really is too bad that no one can seem to make a set of separates that can match a stupid avr. I don't get it, the amp section must raise the production cost by 40% or more, but the units themselves have the same price tag as the receiver variants!?

Best example is onkyo, the receiver is CHEAPER than the pre, but the pre does NOTHING that the receiver doesnt... I'm not sure why having less items in a chassis, makes it cost more? anyone else confused? seems to me its more supply an demand, than actual production costs.
 
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