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Emotiva XMC-2 Review (AV Processor)

spiritofjerry

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May 8, 2018
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short version, i "love" my xmc-2 so much that i just ordered a denon 8500HA, the day the 8500 arrives the xmc will go on craigslist, i was about to pull the trigger on the monoprice htp1, but the similarities to the xmc2 has me worried that its another unfinished product

long story.:

i was so happy last xmas when the wife got me an xmc-2 and xpa 11 channel amp, things quickly changed though.

im used to pulling my new toy out of the box and just use it, but the xmc-2 had me waiting almost 2 weeks before dirac was registered and ready to use

i hate this thing so much, its glitchy, its slow, it makes nasty noises when mp3, flac ets changes sampling and or bitrate, god forbid your a little too fast on the humongous remote, and you might just crash it....sometimes theres sound from the tv (ARC) sometimes theres not, sometimes there will be brief sound and then it will go away.....sometimes the tv cant find the amp....result is minutes spent switching input in hopes of not having to crawl on all fours to turn it off, wait 30+ seconds to turn on and then another 2 minutes for it to boot.....

kids and wife are so tired of it, that they just go straight to internal tv speaker (lg cx) if they get no sound, or go to the den and just watch on the crappy vizio and pioneer 503, all of which works every single time. for a while i had the 503 in the movie room as i tried to figure out what was going on, but the pioneer worked great, no issues what so ever...it even calibrated just fine using the XPA amp to drive the 3 fronts freeing up some height channels

i have had many surround receivers through the years (pioneer, onkyo, nad, sony and yamaha) all have worked great, and only got upgraded cause a new codec like atmos came out....i figured the emotiva would be an ok bet, its has the number "2" in its name so most gremlins must have been figured out right ? i saw their forums and theres a lot of activity which i thought was great. so i took a chance bought tons of XLR cables, and other goodies to get it up and running....

customer service is fast to point you to their forums, which on the surface sounds like a good thing. until you realize theres thousands of pages, if you ask a question, it gets moved to one of the hundred pages longs threads. have fun spending endless hours sifting through endless threads that in the end might get you no where or you will be barked at for asking a question that was already dealt with on page 233 out of 400 pages. god forbid you complain or bring awareness to an issue, those posts might just vanish, or the fanbois will come after you (usually telling you that just how it is and all the other brands have issues too)

the Dirac calibration, omg it had me frothing around the mouth....after hours of trying to get the software to find the amp, it finally happened and i could run my first calibration. it took about 45 minutes to through all speakers, and then the amp or raberrypi they use froze, amp had crashed, and a minute later Dirac on the pc crashed and or stopped responding. Finally after spending most of the day trying to get it all done it turns out the amp+rasberrypi has to be freshly rebooted and has to have been off for 30+ seconds for the ethernet to be truly reset, so a quick off wait 5-10 secs like with a pc is a no go......i have tried many calibrations, but my initial manual calibration with db meter and measuring tape still sounds better.

im afraid im going to damage my speakers one day when i loud listen to music and the amp inserts one of it pops/crackles etc

so here i am, i gave the xmc-2 and emotiva a year to see if they could fix/improve their product...but they have not....
Love my Emotiva TA1 pre/amp. I guess I'll stay away from their home theater line and just stick with their basic stereo stuff. Works great, sounds great. Not an issue.
 

CygnusX

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im on 2.3 and i have resorted to a timer that cycles the power around 4am every day, its the only way i can get sound over ARC from my lg oled TV somewhat consistently
 

Loron

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im on 2.3 and i have resorted to a timer that cycles the power around 4am every day, its the only way i can get sound over ARC from my lg oled TV somewhat consistently
I know…Lol. Don’t hold your breath! Maybe they are finally testing…… at -20dBfs !
it is so sad…. Could have been good! Could still be…better late than never.
2.4 will solve the issue…..2.3 was supposed to be faster. It is much slower on my XMC-2.
 

CygnusX

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i understand devices needed to be rebooted once in a while, heck my asus router has an option for rebooting once a day, i guess thats what you have to do when dealing with garbage code and memleaks

i dont understand why the xmc-2 takes 2 minutes too boot, think i read somewhere that the cpu is a texas instruments 1ghz affair, and flash memory is generally fast these days...so why does it take this long

but what really grinds my gears are the pops/crackle/static sound, on a !#¤"%#"!# 3000$ "so called" highend preamp.....honestly the xmc2 boot screen saying "rethink highend" i guess i have to ....cause this aint it........

but the options are few for something similar guess the AT-300
 

Lsc

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i understand devices needed to be rebooted once in a while, heck my asus router has an option for rebooting once a day, i guess thats what you have to do when dealing with garbage code and memleaks

i dont understand why the xmc-2 takes 2 minutes too boot, think i read somewhere that the cpu is a texas instruments 1ghz affair, and flash memory is generally fast these days...so why does it take this long

but what really grinds my gears are the pops/crackle/static sound, on a !#¤"%#"!# 3000$ "so called" highend preamp.....honestly the xmc2 boot screen saying "rethink highend" i guess i have to ....cause this aint it........

but the options are few for something similar guess the AT-300
Someone mentioned that the XMC2 is underpowered so maybe that’s why it takes so long to boot up the Linux based OS. Honestly that doesn’t bother me too much because I reboot maybe 5-6 times a year and use the video remains on mode.

There were some pops especially with the latest firmware but being on the beta of the next version, I haven’t noticed it much. I do notice the robotic voice once in a while where I have to stop Netflix and restart.

Despite these niggles, it’s been pretty trouble free in my case. What bothers me the most is the lack of DLBC and no communication with an ETA.

I still deal with it because regardless of ASR’s review, it’s a great sounding unit. I’m getting my house painted so I had to relocate the XMC2 and my ATI4000 amp to replace the Sony receiver that I have in our basement rec room. I have 7.1 Revel Performa (Gen 1) speakers w an SVS sub The improvement in sound is night and day. So, until I buy my next pre/pro and make the XMC2 a permanent resident in the rec room, it still has its usefulness.
 

Loron

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Someone mentioned that the XMC2 is underpowered so maybe that’s why it takes so long to boot up the Linux based OS. Honestly that doesn’t bother me too much because I reboot maybe 5-6 times a year and use the video remains on mode.

There were some pops especially with the latest firmware but being on the beta of the next version, I haven’t noticed it much. I do notice the robotic voice once in a while where I have to stop Netflix and restart.

Despite these niggles, it’s been pretty trouble free in my case. What bothers me the most is the lack of DLBC and no communication with an ETA.

I still deal with it because regardless of ASR’s review, it’s a great sounding unit. I’m getting my house painted so I had to relocate the XMC2 and my ATI4000 amp to replace the Sony receiver that I have in our basement rec room. I have 7.1 Revel Performa (Gen 1) speakers w an SVS sub The improvement in sound is night and day. So, until I buy my next pre/pro and make the XMC2 a permanent resident in the rec room, it still has its usefulness.
Aren’t you the same LSC who closed the thread on Emotiva lounge? That is probably why you don’t hear the cracks and pop! If you don’t hear them I am sure the CMC-2 sounds good to your ears!
 

Lsc

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Aren’t you the same LSC who closed the thread on Emotiva lounge? That is probably why you don’t hear the cracks and pop! If you don’t hear them I am sure the CMC-2 sounds good to your ears!
I am LSC but I’m not a moderator. Maybe a case of mistaken identity here.

I don’t hear the cracks and pops but maybe I am going deaf. I just want Emotiva to release DLBC and the HDMI 2.1 board…I have about 2.5 years left on the warranty and I don’t plan on keeping my unit too long past that so we will see.
 

Lsc

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Ok I heard a couple pops last night. I haven’t watched Disney+ in a while but there are pops when starting or stopping a show. Also on Netflix, a couple pops when starting a show every once in a while.

So I guess your mileage will vary but this doesn’t bother me too much. I’ve had the XMC1 since 2013 before getting the XMC2 in 2019 so maybe I’m just used it it.

Swapping out my Sony receiver for the XMC2 in the basement while my house is getting painted…it’s a noticeable improvement as it should be. So I’m only 1/2 regretting not getting the Monoprice from the beginning.
 
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Aren’t you the same LSC who closed the thread on Emotiva lounge? That is probably why you don’t hear the cracks and pop! If you don’t hear them I am sure the CMC-2 sounds good to your ears!

You're probably thinking of the moderator "LCSeminole".

I'm in agreement with others here - the lack of communication on the DLBC status as well as the bass management bug is irritating. If I had the money right now, I'd probably be looking for a Monoprice HTP-1. My only wish is that the HTP-1 had on screen volume. That's really the only thing it's missing - if it had that I'd probably just suck it up and spend the money now and upgrade (if I could find one available that is).
 

Yetis

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I just pulled the plug on my trade-in. I know that an alternative will cost more, but I cannot have instability and lose the processor for weeks/months and have other connectivity issues. Will wait for a JBL or Anthem processor, ideally a JBL unit.
 
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I just pulled the plug on my trade-in. I know that an alternative will cost more, but I cannot have instability and lose the processor for weeks/months and have other connectivity issues. Will wait for a JBL or Anthem processor, ideally a JBL unit.

I've head the the JBL's do have some issues of their own but not sure that it's anything deal breaking and the added features you'd get would make for a nice bonus. I would have definitely considered a JBL if I was shopping in that price range.
 

rccarguy

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May 9, 2020
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i understand devices needed to be rebooted once in a while, heck my asus router has an option for rebooting once a day, i guess thats what you have to do when dealing with garbage code and memleaks

i dont understand why the xmc-2 takes 2 minutes too boot, think i read somewhere that the cpu is a texas instruments 1ghz affair, and flash memory is generally fast these days...so why does it take this long

but what really grinds my gears are the pops/crackle/static sound, on a !#¤"%#"!# 3000$ "so called" highend preamp.....honestly the xmc2 boot screen saying "rethink highend" i guess i have to ....cause this aint it........

but the options are few for something similar guess the AT-300

I have the at300. Not a bad AV ore for the money..boot up takes about 20 seconds.

Biggest complaint is auto eq makes my speakers sound tinny and rubbish
 

Loron

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I have the at300. Not a bad AV ore for the money..boot up takes about 20 seconds.

Biggest complaint is auto eq makes my speakers sound tinny and rubbish
Sure would like to hear more about your AT300….or better get one tested by Amir! So curious to see how it would perform.
 

Lsc

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I have the at300. Not a bad AV ore for the money..boot up takes about 20 seconds.

Biggest complaint is auto eq makes my speakers sound tinny and rubbish
This looks like processor that Emotiva just released and available early 2022.
 

Loron

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This looks like processor that Emotiva just released and available early 2022.
Wish they would focus on fixing the ones they already launched! But no….. launch a new cheapy one instead. More firmware to update more bugs to fix…. I guess it will just add more time to fixing the bugs affecting the RMC’s and XMC-2….
 
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Any images of this new AV pre?
You may have already seen it at this point but if not:

BasX_MC1_front_web.png



I think this is going to fill a much needed niche in the market but can't help but wonder if this is why the G3 processors are not getting any fixes because they've been working on this...

Also I think this is a good looking option, I'd probably consider this if it had Dirac (and if I was willing to buy another Emo processor).
 

DonH56

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Six months since the last FW update, bass management and a few other things still a mess... I decided to not trade in my old XMC-1, just not worth it. Be a great deal if the RMC-1(L)/XMC-2 was close to 100%, but with some significant issues yet to be fixed 2+ years after release, I am cutting my losses.
 
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