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Pre/Pro suggestions - forced upgrade


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16 replies to this topic

#1 of 17 OFFLINE   wazzelby

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Posted July 14 2011 - 03:52 AM

I hate to make my first post a "help me decide" post but here goes. Last week my house was struck by lightning and my entire home theater fried. I'm replacing it all this week and need to make a decision this afternoon on what to get. I'm coming from a Yamaha receiver as my processor/amp and figure this is a good time to go separates. I'm considering the Emotiva UMC-1 with a couple of amps. But have been reading a lot about the Integra DHC-40.2 and Marantz AV 7005. Does anyone have any input on these choices? I know the Integra and Marantz are almost twice as much for the processor, is it really worth it? Also, can anyone recommend a good place to actually shop for the Integra and Marantz? Thanks in advance for any help!!

#2 of 17 OFFLINE   David_Rivshin

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Posted July 14 2011 - 02:54 PM

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. I was recently in the market for a pre/pro myself, and I ended up getting an Onkyo TX-NR3008. The main reason for me was that I wanted Audyssey XT32, and very few AVRs or pre/pro's have that right now. The nr3008 happened to be the least expensive of those, and I didn't feel any of the others were worth the extra few hundred dollars premium, especially since I'm using separate amps, and hoping to replace it with an Outlaw 998 in a few years (if it ever sees the light of day). Now, there are a few downsides I should warn you about. I believe all of the 2010 Onkyo lineup (and I'm assuming this applies to the Integra equivalents) have the following qualities:
  • The HDMI/video processing board gets very hot. This has been common to Onkyos for years, from what I understand.
  • There are loud relays which click whenever the speaker configuration changes. This can generally be avoided by appropriate setup of the audio modes.
  • There is a quieter relay which clicks whenever subwoofer output is on and the audio stream drops out. This one is very hard to avoid, but I've gotten used to it enough that it really isn't bothersome anymore
  • There is a heavily discussed failure mode that basically involves a bad cable/connector assembly that fails over time. Onkyo/Integra has issued a press release saying that if the symptoms appear they'll fix it even if it's out of warranty. I'm not sure how common the problem really is.
I'm sure that list sound scary, but I personally don't have any regrets for the price I paid. You'll obviously have to weigh the pros/cons of the various options yourself, but in my opinion the XT32 EQ was a must-have, which disqualified the DHC-40.2, AV7005, and UMC-1. Plus, I hated the AV7005's front panel due to the lack of information displayed, and the UMC-1 had alot of negatives from a feature and reliability standpoint when I looked at it. I should note, that Newegg has a sale every weekend on the Onkyo AVRs. The NR3008 was still $1149 there last I knew. That made it significantly cheaper than the Denon 4311, which I also considered. BTW, if you're concerned about the internal amps have a negative impact on heat or sound quality, I found that it's possible (even easy) to disconnect power from the amps. Hope this helps, and good luck rebuilding your HT! -- Dave

#3 of 17 OFFLINE   winniw

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Posted July 14 2011 - 06:43 PM

Hey Allen, I gotta know... were you using any surge protection on that system?  If so, which brand and model?

#4 of 17 OFFLINE   wazzelby

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Posted July 15 2011 - 01:23 AM

David, thanks a ton for the info!! I'll check into that Onkyo and see if it fits my needs. I did find a deal on the Denon online for about $1150 so it's a hard choice. Nick, I did have Monster surge protectors on everything, unfortunately I didn't have them on my cat-5 cable which is where it came in. It went through my modem, router, switch then everything attached to that and the things attached to those. I will be investing in a new surge protector with coax and cat-5 protection this time :)

#5 of 17 OFFLINE   winniw

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Posted July 15 2011 - 04:39 AM

Allen, thanks for your reply to my power surge question.  When you look for a new surge protector, check out the APC HC15.  It is a surge protector, power conditioner and voltage regulator.  It is well made and very reasonably priced compared to Monster and Panamax (currently $230 at Amazon).


I have one in my system... huge bang for the buck.


http://www.amazon.co...10747785&sr=8-1 



#6 of 17 OFFLINE   David_Rivshin

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Posted July 15 2011 - 06:23 AM

Honestly, if the 4311CI had been $1150 at the time, I would probably have gotten that instead of the NR3008. There are a few ways in which the 4311CI seemed better in my research:
  • No worries about relays clicking being annoying
  • Has an easy way to use the Audyssey "flat" EQ target, vs the default (which rolls off the highs abit)
  • Has a 12V trigger output for the main zone
  • Has a "preamp" mode that removes signal (but apparently not power) from the internal amps
  • It's physically smaller, and so easier to integrate into the HT
Those concerns just weren't enough to justify the $200-300 difference in price, though. I will say that after having used the NR3008 for the last few months, I really like its flexible setup options for audio and video modes. I have an MX-700 universal remote, and their database of discrete codes for Onkyo AVRs is much more extensive than I would have expected. Essentially every audio and video setting has a discrete code. That's not something I've ended up using much, but I could imagine it'd be very useful for some people. I don't really know how the 4311CI stacks up in that area, though, so I can't say if it's a reason to prefer one or the other. -- Dave

#7 of 17 OFFLINE   wazzelby

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Posted July 18 2011 - 01:18 AM

Well, apparently the Denon deal was a bust.. After talking to Emotiva for a while and a few recent buyers I decided to give the UMC-1 a try. Emotiva was really helpful and said if I didn't like it then they would do a 100% refund. Figure it's worth a try. For $699 you really can't go wrong. From what I was reading and the few people I talked to it looks like the latest firmware has resolved most of the software issues they were having early on. I should be receiving the amps and processor on Wednesday so I'll report back with the results. Thanks everyone for all your input, I'm thinking I'll be lurking these forums for a while :)

#8 of 17 OFFLINE   wazzelby

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Posted July 21 2011 - 08:27 AM

Well, i figured I'd report in with what I ended up doing and some impressions. Still haven't received my projector so I couldn't' do any setup but I ended up going with 3 emotiva amps and the UMC-1. Just hooking it up and playing a blue ray (with no picture) the sound quality is amazing!! I haven't even been able to configure anything yet but right out of the box it sounds clean! I tried switching inputs, turning things off and on, etc.. couldn't find any issues with the software in the short time I played with it. So I'm thinking that they sorted out the software issues. I should have the projector back by this weekend so I can actually take some time and set up the processor and see how it really does.

#9 of 17 OFFLINE   winniw

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Posted July 21 2011 - 10:58 AM

Hey Allen, Thanks for the update.  I am waiting for more! I had actually considered the UMC-1 myself, with anXPA-5.  The only reason that I did not go with that setup was because it did not have hdmi 1.4, nor HD radio.  I wound up getting a Marantz SR7005 which drives some Mirage Nanosats.  If Emotiva upgrades to  1.4 hdmi and adds HD radio, I may move my SR7005 and Nanosats to the bedroom to make room for the Emotiva and some unknown speakers in my living room. Which speakers are you using?  If you mentioned that somewhere, I missed it.

#10 of 17 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 24 2011 - 06:05 AM

Well, i figured I'd report in with what I ended up doing and some impressions. Still haven't received my projector so I couldn't' do any setup but I ended up going with 3 emotiva amps and the UMC-1. Just hooking it up and playing a blue ray (with no picture) the sound quality is amazing!! I haven't even been able to configure anything yet but right out of the box it sounds clean! I tried switching inputs, turning things off and on, etc.. couldn't find any issues with the software in the short time I played with it. So I'm thinking that they sorted out the software issues. I should have the projector back by this weekend so I can actually take some time and set up the processor and see how it really does.

Which 3 amps are you using?

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#11 of 17 OFFLINE   wazzelby

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Posted July 25 2011 - 01:38 AM

John, I picked up the Emotiva amps - a XPA-3 and 2 UPA-2's. The projector should be back today or tomorrow so I'll finally get to start tuning everything, but even right out of the box it sounded awesome!! I never really believed that you could hear a noticeable difference between an receiver and separates, but I was totally wrong!!

#12 of 17 OFFLINE   wazzelby

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Posted July 25 2011 - 01:45 AM

Hey Allen,


Thanks for the update.  I am waiting for more!

I had actually considered the UMC-1 myself, with anXPA-5.  The only reason that I did not go with that setup was because it did not have hdmi 1.4, nor HD radio.  I wound up getting a Marantz SR7005 which drives some Mirage Nanosats.  If Emotiva upgrades to  1.4 hdmi and adds HD radio, I may move my SR7005 and Nanosats to the bedroom to make room for the Emotiva and some unknown speakers in my living room.


Which speakers are you using?  If you mentioned that somewhere, I missed it.

The speakers I'm using are as follows: Front L&R - Polk TSi-400 Center - Polk CSi A4 Side surround and rears - Polk FXi A4 Subs - Pinnacle Sonic 500's

#13 of 17 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 25 2011 - 02:26 AM

I'm curious why you went that way rather than just an XPA-5.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#14 of 17 OFFLINE   wazzelby

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Posted July 25 2011 - 03:27 AM

I originally was going to go with the XPA-5 but they were sold out and weren't sure when they were going to get more in. Since I wouldn't have another amp to use for the surrounds, I didn't feel like waiting. Another reason was that if I went with the XPA-5, I would have a left over channel, plus I saved like $200 going with the 2 UPA-2's.

#15 of 17 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 25 2011 - 03:53 AM

So, you already had the XPA-3?

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#16 of 17 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted July 25 2011 - 03:54 AM

Oh, I read that wrong, I thought you said you got 2 UPS-1's, not 2s. Never mind.

The Hybrid System

The Music Part: Emotiva XSP-1, Thiel CS 3.6, Emotiva XPA-2, Marantz SA8004, Emotiva ERC-3, SVS PB-12 Plus 2

The Surround Part: Sherbourn PT-7030, Thiel SCS3, Emotiva XPA-5, Polk & Emotiva Surrounds.


#17 of 17 OFFLINE   wazzelby

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Posted July 26 2011 - 01:14 AM

Yes, I already had the XPA-3 (Christmas gift from the wife). So I just added the 2- 2channel amps to finish it off. The projector should be back today so I'll be able to hook everything up and do some calibration finally!!!




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