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GeorgeK

Double stack ESS pre pro recommendations

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Copying double stack ESS threads. Have Lascall base cabs, Lab Gruppen c10:4x,  Xilica 4080 and a Umik. Considering a refurbished Emotiva XMC-1 @$1200, as I would  like to keep all connections balanced. I'm a total greenhorn with separates and active crossovers. Any suggestions for pre pro?  thanks in advance George K

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I'm using 2-way active speakers with xilica....not AMTs mind you but similar. 

 

I too wanted balanced connections throughout. I bought a Schiit Freya + guessing by the price alone I'd either send it back in the 15 day trial or sell it within 6 months. I'm a big fan of 6SN7 preamps. I've had several.

 

I'm very happy with it. Don't give any thought about trying something else just to see what else is out there. The fact that it has a passive mode is very nice.

 

Search my other posts about it if you want more feedback.

 

Make sure you get the current version, not original if looking used.

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Thanks for your recommendation. Tubes seem like more trouble than solid state. I noticed  the Freya has a 3 months warranty on the tubes. We have terrible power in NW Florida.

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I'd look at the Schiit Freya S (no tubes).  Here's a test report: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/schiit-freya-s-preamplifier-review.10960/

 

More test reviews of many other hardware items here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?pages/Audio_Equipment_Reviews/

 

Just take everything with a grain of salt if the reviewer starts talking about SINAD of -100 dB or more.  That's kind of loopy IMHO. 

 

Chris

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On 10/25/2020 at 8:36 AM, GeorgeK said:

Considering a refurbished Emotiva XMC-1 @$1200, as I would  like to keep all connections balanced.

I've been using one of those since last January-February that I got from a multi-year owner that never even opened the box.  The price was about the same as you quote.

 

It took me a while but I added the extra dollar Dirac full software application (runs on a PC and updates the pre/pro), and updated the firmware--something that I've generally learned to be exceedingly cautious of since this is a way for manufacturers to "take away" from the product via pressure from RIAA and MPAA. (I.e., the PS-3 debacle from 15 years ago--thus taking away Linux capability, ability to play SACDs. The same thing occurred with Oppo 203, with the inability to rip SACDs using freeware, temporarily--it can do it now with updated freeware).  In the case of Emotiva, the firmware update from the out-of-the-box 2015 version was good, and I've found nothing that "takes away" features or capabilities in the firmware update.  The USB port(s) are a little crippled vs. using them as control ports for the entire unit.  You can search for these issues online from Emotiva itself on its forum.

 

Note that even the update firmware isn't what I'd call perfect, but it's a pretty good match for my old Onkyo PR-SC886 that I still own (in storage).  The XMC-1 has audibly and measurably better transparency than the Onkyo, but it is extremely difficult to hear that difference, I've found.  When the unit internal switches surround modes and input stream decoding, sometimes there is an audible "ruffle" noise for much less than a second (not often, as it turns out).  Caveat emptor applies, but I have no significant gripes.

 

I give it a qualified thumbs up.  If there were other pre/pros out there at this price point that were better that I know about, you'd be reading about them here.

 

Chris

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The refurbed has 4k and a 1 yr warranty. I hoped Emotiva has worked the bugs out by now. Audio Science  review was mostly positive. I have a Umik that I've no idea how to use. Would the $100 Dirac upgrade be worthwhile?    thanks for reply George

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3 hours ago, GeorgeK said:

Would the $100 Dirac upgrade be worthwhile?

Yes, it did for my setup, i.e., the difference between using Dirac and not using it.

 

Chris

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