So, now that the UMC-200 has been out a while and even undergone its first firmware update, is there any interest in reading a compare/contrast of my experience with the Onkyo 805 (AVR) and the Emotiva UMC-200/Outlaw Audio 7700? Or, would it be more or less redundant at this point?
Last Edit: Jun 25, 2013 16:54:17 GMT -5 by garbulky
Transport: Sony UBP-X700 UHD-Blu ray player spdif PC using Musiland Digital Times WASAPI via BNC connection - DAC: DC-1->XLR XPA-1 , RCA->Basx A-100 CD: Denon DCD 600 PCM 61 DAC. RCA Amp: XPA-1 gen 2 using XLR connections. Speakers: Axiom Audio m80 V3, Sennheisser HD700 headphones. two pairs 12 guage each bi-wire speaker cables per monoblock Headphone amp: Basx A-100 (INCREDIBLE VALUE!!)
Okay then, I will do this basic review in 2 parts. Part 1: brief background, and then a quick description of my out-the-box, make-the-connections, turn-it-on and listen impressions. Part 2: more detailed and thoughtful discussion post speaker placement and Emo-Q adjustments.
About a year and a half ago, I got bit by the upgrade bug--primarily from reading too many posts in the Emotiva Lounge and Outlaw Saloon. In June of 2012, I Pulled the trigger on the 7700, but decided to await the results of the 978 vs. XMC-1 smack down before buying a pre/pro. Well, we all know how that played out . . . Anyway, about a week ago I decided that a still boxed,100-pound amp sitting in my living room was not doing anybody or anything any good. So, I ordered the UMC-200 and some RCA interconnects. Last night I unboxed everything and made all necessary connections, and began to listen/watch from all available sources--with absolutely no tweaking (speakers were no longer even symmetrically situated).
Note: Obviously, this review is based upon subjective opinion and more importantly a combination of two significantly upgraded pieces of equipment.
HDTV (Comcast): Video at least as good as when connected to the Onkyo 805. Sound, via Dolby 2.0 and 5.1 was markedly improved--especially the center speaker and surrounds. Dialog significantly clearer and more realistic; surround speaker output was greater both in terms of volume and material. PS3: I watched and listened to multiple multichannel (DTS, TrueHD, SACD, etc.) source material, and the results were pretty amazing. Sound now had much more clarity and depth (spatial realism?), and was way more enveloping. Streaming/Marantz 7004NA: To me, the streaming results were the most surprising as I expected no discernible difference. However after repeated critical listening sessions, I must say that I perceived another dramatic improvement in overall sound quality. CD: Least noticeable improvement of any source; and which I would probably attribute to the upgraded amp. Radio: Tuned to several local FM stations just to see if the tuner would lock-in (which it did), but I made no attempt at listening to sound quality. Negatives: Okay, what's up with the switching? It takes forever--no joke--compared to my 6 year-old Onkyo 805. Remote? Adequate, but decidedly entry-level. Part 2 to follow (by Sunday evening)