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Emotiva XMC-2 AVP Review (Sample 2)

Rate This AV Processor

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 139 79.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 28 15.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 3 1.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 6 3.4%

  • Total voters
    176

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the second sample of Emotiva XMC-2 AV Processor. It costs and US $3,199 and was kindly supplied by a member.
index.php


Please see my sample 1 review of XMC-2 for details. Here, I am going to focus on measurements only. For simplicity and giving the maximum benefit of doubt to the unit, I am using Toslink input for all the measurements. Unit was reset to factory (was new anyway) and firmware is the latest 2.5.

Emotiva XMC-2 Measurements
Let's start with our dashboard:
Emotiva XMC-2 Measurements XLR Balanced Coax Toslink AV Processor.png


The channel offset issue I found in the first sample is gone. Sadly, the high noise floor remains at low frequencies as does harmonic distortion. So ranking stays the same as before:
index.php


Changing output level doesn't help you:

Emotiva XMC-2 Measurements XLR Balanced THD vs Level Toslink AV Processor.png


Filter cut off is standard affair but the large hump is not:
Emotiva XMC-2 Measurements XLR Balanced Filter Toslink AV Processor.png


Jitter is much improved:
Emotiva XMC-2 Measurements XLR Balanced Jitter Toslink AV Processor.png


Linearity is very good:
Emotiva XMC-2 Measurements XLR Balanced Linearity Toslink AV Processor.png


IMD is not unfortunately:
Emotiva XMC-2 Measurements XLR Balanced IMD Toslink AV Processor.png


Nor is distortion+noise sweep relative to frequency:
Emotiva XMC-2 Measurements XLR Balanced THD vs frequency Toslink AV Processor.png


Conclusions
This sample is a bit better than the original due to likely bug fixes. But it doesn't change the overall picture of the unit. It still has unacceptable low frequency noise and high distortion. At this price point, we would expect near perfection even grading on a curve for AV products. But we don't have it.

Hopefully the company is retooling for its next generation products to be much better.

As is, I continue to not recommend the Emotiva XMC-2 AV Processor.

----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

msmucr

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Hi Amir,
thanks for the measurement of the second XMC-2 sample. Under your original review I mentioned, the issue with observed LF junk, which naturally affects lot of metrics, is there probably due to straightforward single precision filtering (likely used for bass management).
Is there a chance you can defeat it for test? Just briefly looking into manual there is so called Reference Stereo Mode.

On one hand most users will use it with everything enabled (bass mgmt, Dirac etc.), so that mode won't represent typical use case. On the other hand it could prove, whether that's software/DSP issue (with arguably small chance to fix by vendor in the future) or some inherent implementation issue elsewhere.

Michal
 

Sal1950

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Once again Emo disappoints. :(
That is a shame, personally I'd love to see them do well
A US based corp who's product design I normally find quite handsome and would enjoy seeing in my gear rack.
BUT, much of it falls down in the area of measurements plus in my experience on the internet, their stuff just seems to
suffer from problems in final design execution. IE lots of reported operational bugs the never seem to get properly solved.
Maybe they try too hard to keep the costs down and aren't putting the right people in the right places?
Come-on guys, the folks at Sound United are making a monkey out of you with their Denon/Marantz line of HiFi toys
Thanks @amirm for all the hard work you put into these boat anchors.
 

juliangst

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Too bad that there aren’t any good measuring Pre/Pros.
I think the only way to go is getting an interface like the MOTU ultralite mk5 or a topping DM7 and do everything with a home theatre PC
 

muslhead

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One highlight to the units poor performance ... it stands head and shoulders above their product support :facepalm:

Not bashing, just enlightening from my first hand experience with this unit.
Like Sal above, i, too would love to see them do well. With their current direction, I do not see how they will keep up with the competition or survive.
Thanks for the follow up test, Amir
 

GWolfman

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They should provide all their licensing fees and paperwork (e.g., Dolby, HDMI, etc.) to @JohnYang1997 (Topping) so he doesn't have to deal with that and give him free range on the DAC design. Or shoot, spend some money and pay him a consulting fee to tell you where your products suck (or mediocre performance) and how to fix them. Money well spent!

Finally, for heavens sakes, stop hiding behind A-weighted measurements!
 

Vincentponcet

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Too bad that there aren’t any good measuring Pre/Pros.
I think the only way to go is getting an interface like the MOTU ultralite mk5 or a topping DM7 and do everything with a home theatre PC
Do we have HDR, Dolby vision and Atmos from streaming app when going through a PC ?
What about rip reading?
 

Sancus

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Too bad that there aren’t any good measuring Pre/Pros.
I think the only way to go is getting an interface like the MOTU ultralite mk5 or a topping DM7 and do everything with a home theatre PC
You give up Atmos to do that which ruins the whole idea. There are some workarounds like using a Mac and getting all your content from Apple only but there is no way to get general Atmos decoding on a PC.

Realistically the measured performance of a Denon X3700H is more than good enough for speakers in a domestic room. The embarrassment here is charging almost 3x more and delivering far less.

Emotiva also has a history of serious software problems. But so do many processors in this price range including the even more expensive JBL ones.
 

respice finem

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They should provide all their licensing fees and paperwork (e.g., Dolby, HDMI, etc.) to @JohnYang1997 (Topping) so he doesn't have to deal with that and give him free range on the DAC design. Or shoot, spend some money and pay him a consulting fee to tell you where your products suck (or mediocre performance) and how to fix them. Money well spent!

Finally, for heavens sakes, stop hiding behind A-weighted measurements!
Would be nice, but IMHO isn't likely to happen.
What could happen one day is a device directly from Topping, topping (no pun intended) the whole bunch...
 

Dwander

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Sep 25, 2020
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I had one of these for about 5 months and I was back and forth on whether to keep it or not. There were a few annoying functionality issues that was the main factor in my consideration. However, ultimately I started to think that if there are all these issues I am aware of then there has to be other issues that I’m not aware of. Also, I couldn’t stand their customer service on the phone. Anyway, these reviews are a good example of what I was worried about and definitely reinforces my thought process. Can’t give the benefit of the doubt in this hobby I guess.
 

frabor

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it's kind of insane that from the denon 3700h all the way to storm audio and trinov, there is nothing on the middle. av processors that measure well are priced in excess of 10K, some of them in the 20k+ range. matrix audio is a great concept, but out of the price range of most. if you look at trinov, and i like their products, 15k buys you a case with a multichannel dac , an i7 pc and some dolby licenses, the same licenses you can get in an entry level yamaha/pioneer/denon for 500 dollars. i do not know if young yang / topping is the solution to all maladies, but i find hard to believe that no one in the industry sees an opportunity in the barren av processing lands from 1000 to 10k dollars, since emotiva cannot deliver and there are almost no other options.
 
Last edited:

EBrumbaugh

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Joined
Jan 9, 2022
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This is a review and detailed measurements of the second sample of Emotiva XMC-2 AV Processor. It costs and US $3,199 and was kindly supplied by a member.
index.php


Please see my sample 1 review of XMC-2 for details. Here, I am going to focus on measurements only. For simplicity and giving the maximum benefit of doubt to the unit, I am using Toslink input for all the measurements. Unit was reset to factory (was new anyway) and firmware is the latest 2.5.

Emotiva XMC-2 Measurements
Let's start with our dashboard:
View attachment 231435

The channel offset issue I found in the first sample is gone. Sadly, the high noise floor remains at low frequencies as does harmonic distortion. So ranking stays the same as before:
index.php


Changing output level doesn't help you:

View attachment 231436

Filter cut off is standard affair but the large hump is not:
View attachment 231437

Jitter is much improved:
View attachment 231438

Linearity is very good:
View attachment 231439

IMD is not unfortunately:
View attachment 231440

Nor is distortion+noise sweep relative to frequency:
View attachment 231442

Conclusions
This sample is a bit better than the original due to likely bug fixes. But it doesn't change the overall picture of the unit. It still has unacceptable low frequency noise and high distortion. At this price point, we would expect near perfection even grading on a curve for AV products. But we don't have it.

Hopefully the company is retooling for its next generation products to be much better.

As is, I continue to not recommend the Emotiva XMC-2 AV Processor.

----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
As always, enjoy your reviews. In general, I'm a fan of Emotiva, but for the cost of this unit, very poor performance. I'd certainly steer clear ...
 

JasonC331

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The new Anthem MRX that I have has been measured By Audiohoilcs and seems to do quite well. I got it when it came out for 2300.00, Now they have a 8k version that is out.
 
Last edited:

Russ_L

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Jan 27, 2020
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Puzzling as the RMC-1 you tested measured much much better than the XMC-2 but both have the exact same circuitry (for all practical purposes).

Russ
 
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