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Emotiva MC-1 Review (Home Theater Processor)

Rate this AV Processor

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 92 36.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 126 50.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 25 10.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 7 2.8%

  • Total voters
    250

rccarguy

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FL &FR tekton double impact
5 other speakers are Jamo concert 777 or 707 full range speakers. These have isobatic duel 8 inch woofers inside the tower speaker. I am using cherry amps, yamaha mx1000, and adcom amp for floor set up. Nice clean high currant power. Old school amplifiers and speakers still working , producing good hi fi music.

Do you have the specs of those speakers?
 

newmedia

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These will go low to 20hz. They need high power amplifier to make them sound good. Other than mc1 freezing up 2 times I had it, sound is good enough for me at this time. TV, movies, and music all sound better than lexicon.
 
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newmedia

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I made mistake on speaker for center and 4 surround speaker set up. The speakers are jamo cencert VII.
 

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rccarguy

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I made mistake on speaker for center and 4 surround speaker set up. The speakers are jamo cencert VII.

No +/- figure on that FR so probably not that low.

Ie standmount speakers are 20hz-20khz +/- 30db

Plot a response to get a idea what you are really gettingm
 

newmedia

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I have few sets of 5.1 speakers at home. I switched to slightly more efficient Yamaha ns 777 and ns555 towers for surround sides and back speakers. I have reset the crossover to between 60hz to 80hz. I also have infinity cascade 5.1 speakers in a storage room.. I may try them later but the infinity speakers are less efficient.
.
 

XzCraftP

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I was wonder if it's reasonable to hack it and improve it's performance, as it should be do-able.

Since Emotiva MC-1 has a lot of similarity to Tonewinner AT-300, and AT-300 also shares it's core board to other line of product,
I was able to find the diagrams of AT-2300, and it shows signal path was transmitted from ADSP-21753 into CS42518 via I2S.
CS42518 being a multi-purpose codec, might be one of culprit this machine performs not as expected (along with basic power supply and reasons).

▼ Diagrams of AT-2300 audio path (Original page)
20200811090954_60895.jpg


But since the DSP is outputting I2S signal, and the pinout easily tracked thanks to the datasheet, we could tap out the signal and hook up to external DAC for better quality,
say ES9038Q2M DIY HAT kit to make everything internal, and with reclock buffer in between to reduce jitter (FIFO Reclock),
though everything will still be resampled to 48KHz as the DSP is programmed that way,
We can even hook up to external DSP eg. ADAU1701 via I2S, to digitally EQ and distribute, say 4 subwoofer outputs.

▼ Dual ES9038Q2M balanced output kit using I2S input
O1CN01sKt9IV1c1pGT1UNsG_!!2006923541.jpg


The only thing I'm concerning with this hack is, at the near end of diagrams, there's NJU72340A whose job is volume control, and I'm not sure if it interact with TRIM feature or just master volume or even just mixing, so you might need to route the output back into the circuit, requiring some scary bit of cutting circuit and such.
Hence the title of my question, is it reasonable to do this hack if I want to improve the performance of this machine?
 

Sal1950

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Hence the title of my question, is it reasonable to do this hack if I want to improve the performance of this machine?
I wouldn't. If it bricks the unit, then what?
 

voodooless

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Hence the title of my question, is it reasonable to do this hack if I want to improve the performance of this machine?
Only if you’re desperate ;) It’s a lot of hassle and a big gamble. Ideally you would tap the I2C from the volume control and convert that to volume control commands from the ESS board. That way you can bypass the whole section.
 

WilliamO

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To buy or not to buy? I'm down to this, the new Sony ES5000, NAD T778, Marantz 50. Leaning towards Marantz or Sony for HDMI 2.1. All external amplification and DAC for digital 2ch audio. I have (2) Outlaw Audio 2220 on L/R and an Outlaw Audio 7000x on C and surrounds - 7.2.4. (2) REL subwoofers, Cambridge Audio 851N. Speakers are (3) DALI M-375 and (6) DALI H-50.
 

newmedia

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Other than video games, does any TV shows or movies use HDMI 2.1 120hz video content?
 

rccarguy

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Only if you’re desperate ;) It’s a lot of hassle and a big gamble. Ideally you would tap the I2C from the volume control and convert that to volume control commands from the ESS board. That way you can bypass the whole section.

I have a Tonewinner AT-300 it's virtually the same AV pre. I'm ok with it, for the price I can't complain.

Just be aware it's quite basic in configuration, for example it doesn't have settings per input, and settings per DSP. Nor does it have speaker profiles like Denon, Marantz and Anthem.

Also other AV pres have a mix of ceiling/top/atmos in config, in the AT-300 it's universal. So if you have height fronts, with upfirers rear you can't choose front/rear types you'll have to choose either relective/ceiling.

Auto room EQ is pretty bad, but if you are ok with manual I suppose it's more powerful than automatic EQ.
 

Spkrdctr

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I wouldn't. If it bricks the unit, then what?
Then you have to send it to Restorer John or Doodski. Neither will be cheap with the current sky high shipping rates of UPS. Sal, is bring up the main issue, listen wisely grasshopper. (Old Kung Fu show term us old geezers know.)
 

Pudik

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None. You will notice no change. Twenty-four bit depth is useful for mixing and mastering, but not for playback, as humans have a dynamic range envelope spanning ~80dB at any given time. Sixteen bit is capable of 97dB. You cannot hear everything a redbook CD is capable of holding. And, the loudness wars have compressed recordings into ever lower dynamic range envelopes.

Similarly, 44.1KHz sampling rate is beyond what humans can hear. Most of the content above 24KHz is actually noise that was pushed out of the range of human hearing.

There are great quantities of research explaining both of the above points, and @amirm has produced some nice videos exploring the contents of these files to demonstrate whether they are worth the cost (they are not).

Also, if you study the test results on this site, you will soon discover a great many consumer products, especially amps, cannot reproduce even 16 bits dynamic range. Why feed it 24 bits, when it can only play 14?

What you may hear, if you have truly golden ears, is aliasing or other artifacts from the resampling algorithm used in the product. This is mostly a solved problem by now, but it does still refuse to die in some instances.

My money is on a Denon AVR with the amps turned off. You get a solid product with better objective performance and a decent warranty that is a known quantity and probably less buggy than any given Emotiva. You also get Audyssey XT32.
Yes, if one's only listening to rock. However, the downfall of any audio equipment is orchestral music (in film included). It's one thing to record 6-7 people playing at maximum levels (and make them even louder, i.e. loudness wars) and completely different when 80+ ppl are playing (let alone when a quoir and soloists are added) from whisper quiet to wall shaking levels. Since some orchestral instruments' harmonics go way beyond 22.05 khz, testing at say 24 bit/48khz or even 96khz wouldn't hurt. It is very important to mention that keeping the specific acoustic characteristics of instruments much depends on the presence of the very high order harmonics at recording/playback time that some of these instruments reach. Otherwise, the discussions on this forum, albeit very competent on technical aspects, remain limited to only certain musical genres.

Here, i also have question: if we are to turn the amps off, then why spend a couple grand,or more, on a receiver? If this was to happen, then why not a pre pro and an amp? And, btw, what multichannel amp are you using in combination with your x4700?

Thanks, John.
 

frabor

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It would be interesting to test Tonewinner AT-300, I believe it shares many parts with this Emotiva model.
For what I've seen in videos of teardown, they processing unit seems to be the same and the Io is different. Tonewinner is the OEM that built both units. As such, i expect that the performance will be more similar than different.
 

Sal1950

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There's just something about this Tonewinner gear that scares me.
The old "if it seems too got to be true it probably is" just keeps coming to mind.
Time will tell I guess.
 

rccarguy

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There's just something about this Tonewinner gear that scares me.
The old "if it seems too got to be true it probably is" just keeps coming to mind.
Time will tell I guess.
Nah the AT-300 is fine. it's stable, good sound, minimalist menus,does what I need. Yeah world class room EQ would be great but it's only £1000
 

Chrispy

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Nah the AT-300 is fine. it's stable, good sound, minimalist menus,does what I need. Yeah world class room EQ would be great but it's only £1000
How is warranty there? IIRC you have retailer required warranty whereas here in US it would be more manufacturer generally, but with TW you get Summit HiFi instead (and only 2 years from a glance at a few amps). That may be enough for most electronics (maybe not so much for stores) but if it were 5 years it would be more attractive.
 

USAudio

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It's been 22 months since @amirm did this review of the MC-1.
Is anyone aware of any hardware/firmware revisions applied by Emotiva to address any of the issues identified?
Or has anyone from Emotiva responded to any of the issues?
Thanks!
 
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