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Emotiva XMC-2 AVP Review (Sample 2)

Rate This AV Processor

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 140 78.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 29 16.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

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

    Votes: 6 3.4%

  • Total voters
    178

SKBubba

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The option to get Dirac DRC is nice, but final cost is going to be a big deal here, specially on the lower end 3800. For sure it won't be free. LOL.

Indeed. Saw a translation of some engineer discussions on another site. One said dirac would be available sometime next year and it would be expensive and also require purchase of a separate microphone. Photos of the back on their website already show the dirac logo.

Other info says amps can be individually turned off/disconnected from pre-amp for any combination of internal/external amplification. All that plus pretty decent aydysseey for <$2000 with the option of dirac for an extra fee makes me wonder if all the other consumer/enthusiast pre-pro manufacturers are worried.
 
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GXAlan

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Denon (and the Marantz SR8015) have pretty much shown that mainstream, available-at-Best Buy home theater products can beat esoteric “audiophile” brands. There is fundamentally too large of an economies of scale when it comes to software licenses and video electronics.

We haven’t seen much in the way of their 2 ch gear though.
 

Dj7675

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You aren't going to be able to hear the difference between 84 and 97 sinad from say a Denon.It is not audible.If it fits your needs it's plenty transparent enough.Really it is.I appreciate the measurements but nothing seems broken.
Are you saying that a SINAD of 84 is transparent under all listening conditions? What are you basing that on? There are 2 situations I could see it being an issue depending on if the SINAD of 84 is mostly noise related…
1-Person using high sensitive speakers. In home theater (intended use here), high sensitive speakers are common.
2-SPL-Many that are into home theater do listen at reference level which for speakers would be peaks of 105dB.
3-If the noise floor of your room is very low. Many dedicated theater spaces are purpose built room‘s to be very quite.
I just don’t see how you can unequivocally state a SINAD of 84 is audibly transparent. My point is it certainly may not be an issue but I don’t think you can say that with any kind of certainty as you have stated without knowing the specifics of a system, listening environment, and listening levels.
 

usersky

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This must be broken. We need another one measured :cool: And wtf is with that filter??
 

juliangst

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You can do that, but the main limitation is all content must come from Apple. People have tested it, and it only works on Apple TV/Music, not local files or other streaming services. So not a great solution for most people. And I doubt Apple will relax this limitation. Apparently, they are using their own spatial audio decoder for this(not the Dolby one). So it's possible they are legally restricted from using standard 3rd party Atmos sources.
That's bad. I hope they'll allow for Netflix& other streaming services in the future through the AppleTV program.
When I finally got the Topping DM7 I will definitely check out dolby atmos on MacOS.
I'm glad that I always purchased my movies on iTunes
 
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Are you saying that a SINAD of 84 is transparent under all listening conditions? What are you basing that on? There are 2 situations I could see it being an issue depending on if the SINAD of 84 is mostly noise related…
1-Person using high sensitive speakers. In home theater (intended use here), high sensitive speakers are common.
2-SPL-Many that are into home theater do listen at reference level which for speakers would be peaks of 105dB.
3-If the noise floor of your room is very low. Many dedicated theater spaces are purpose built room‘s to be very quite.
I just don’t see how you can unequivocally state a SINAD of 84 is audibly transparent. My point is it certainly may not be an issue but I don’t think you can say that with any kind of certainty as you have stated without knowing the specifics of a system, listening environment, and listening levels.
I'm saying you couldn't tell the difference between them in a matched double blind test.Try it
 

Sancus

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You aren't going to be able to hear the difference between 84 and 97 sinad from say a Denon.It is not audible.If it fits your needs it's plenty transparent enough.Really it is.I appreciate the measurements but nothing seems broken.
In most conditions you'll be right, but not all conditions, and there's no excuse for it when a Denon costs far less. ~100dB SINAD is clearly achievable for processors and that would mean that it will be pretty much always be transparent, no need to worry about it. So why shouldn't it be at least equivalent for a $3000 product? It's one thing to compare against DACs with no functionality, but that's not the comparison here.

Of course, the bigger issue is that Emotiva is now on something like the 3rd year of promising DLBC for their processors that never arrives. The company's software work is a complete joke.
 
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In most conditions you'll be right, but not all conditions, and there's no excuse for it when a Denon costs far less. ~100dB SINAD is clearly achievable for processors and that would mean that it will be pretty much always be transparent, no need to worry about it. So why shouldn't it be at least equivalent for a $3000 product? It's one thing to compare against DACs with no functionality, but that's not the comparison here.

Of course, the bigger issue is that Emotiva is now on something like the 3rd year of promising DLBC for their processors that never arrives. The company's software work is a complete joke.
I'm just stating that sinad isn't a reason to buy or not buy this processor.
 

Koeitje

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amirm

amirm

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I'm just stating that sinad isn't a reason to buy or not buy this processor.
It is if you are paying $3,200 because you think you are getting better sound out of the electronics. Countless people opt for processors because they think they are inherently better designed. Measurements are powerful in the way they detect if this is the case or not.
 

Sancus

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I'm just stating that sinad isn't a reason to buy or not buy this processor.
To you it may not be, others are free to buy things based on what they want to buy.

There's more to SINAD than just audibility. If it's not competitive, the question arises: Why? There's rarely any good reason to be below average for your product category other than lazy engineering or not bothering to measure during development. Both of those things can lead to other problems.

And considering the other factors, Emotiva's engineering is definitely either lazy or incompetent. So in fact the poor SINAD is an accurate indicator of poor engineering in this case.
 

warpdrive

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Besides the performance, you are paying for the feature set. One of the selling points is the Dirac Live integration, which is a differentiating factor for many. From my experience Dirac does a better job than what I would get in the Denon. I would look at the overall package before ruling it out.

The complexity of these products is high, and the fact that nobody really seems to get it right is troubling. I would just get the Denon if it was my money, it checks the right boxes for me feature wise.
 

pseudoid

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I wish @amirm had a mobile service !:oops:
I would not mind him coming over and shaming my Rotel RSP-1576 in front of my eyes.
The Rotels have been known to have 'separation anxiety': As a concerned owner, I could not separate my AVpre/pro from the rest of the family for over a week, at most.
Shame, really.
 

Robbo99999

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On pure DAC performance, no. None live up to their price points.
My own intuition on this is that there is more to an AVR than just it's DAC performance, but at the same time I would like to see the SINADS improving, as there is room to grow there (I reckon they could do with being around the 100dB SINAD mark to be totally fine).......as I think there are other factors within an AVR that adds to it value - it's price & features / processing features / room correction features, etc.
 

phoenixdogfan

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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.
Don't know what the specific DRM issue is, but if you have a smart tv like my LG C1 with an EARC passthrough, and if you had a PC/MAC that could receive an EARC feed and do all the codecs (ATMOS, DTS-X, Auro 3D) + Dirac +bass mgt and pass it to USB to a 16 channel DAC, the whole thing could be done on a PC for far less money using far less rack space with far greater fidelity.

I can't believe there isn't a way to protect the content provider (it's only the soundtrack, after all), and provide the Codec licensers their fees. After all, if all those licenses can be done in a $500 receiver, they should not add that great a premium to a PC/MAC, and could perhaps be offered as a software/firmware update option for those interested.

If this could be done, the only losers would be the Denons and the Emotivas of the world, and probably not even them since this kind of upgrade would be for a niche market (which is probably why no one is bothering to offer it in the first place).
 
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amirm

amirm

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Just briefly looking into manual there is so called Reference Stereo Mode.
I have tested both Direct and Stereo modes and response is identical. Here is Reference Stereo:

1663458860001.png
 

Alice of Old Vincennes

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I hate to say it, but Emotiva is probably a company you should avoid. Their marketing plan seems to hint at supplying the real deal at better prices while making mediocre gear. Then change models often enough they can divorce themselves from the shortcomings of their products quickly. Their track record on fixing software issues is not good at all. Some of their past gear made promises it never kept. Their product support does not have the greatest reputation. Or at the very least, don't buy their more expensive products. At lower prices some of this is perhaps something you can overlook to some extent.
Remember XPR? Disappeared. I have a 100 lb doorstop.
 

JDS

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On pure DAC performance, no. None live up to their price points.
Maybe it is time to convince the new performance leaders in China that they are ready to build AV pre-processors. I imagine Topping or SMSL could now deliver a simple 8-channel pre-processor that would shame devices like this, though there is probably a significant cost (and steep learning curve) to adding all the necessary gewgaws (Atmos, Dirac, etc.).

Anyway, I still await a good excuse to recycle my NAD T758.
On pure DAC performance, no. None live up to their price points.
 

dtaylo1066

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Crap. Emotiva seems to have a few good amps, I am not sure after that what is worth it from their lineup.
 
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