Emotiva LMC-1 & LPA-1 Review

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by gene, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    <P><FONT size=2><FONT face=Arial><A href="http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/avhardware/EmotivaUltraTheaterSerieisp1.php"><IMG style="WIDTH: 125px; HEIGHT: 97px" alt=[emo] hspace=10 src="http://www.audioholics.com/news/thumbs/emo_th.jpg" align=left vspace=5 border=0></A>The Emotiva combo is the best value I have seen in the marketplace.&nbsp; At $899 shipped, it is very hard to find anything to complain about with this separates combo.&nbsp; For all of you out there who have mid-range a/v receivers, this is a much better option in my opinion.&nbsp; The Emotiva Ultra Theater Series combo does indeed fall into the league of big-boy gear.&nbsp; Now, isn't it time you grew up?</FONT></FONT></P>
    <P><FONT size=2><FONT face=Arial>[Read the Review]</FONT></FONT></P>
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2014
    gene,
  2. highfihoney Audioholic Samurai

    highfihoney
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    Hi gene,good review,ive been looking closely at emotiva ever since i came to this site & i like what i see,alot,ive been in touch with their customer support & im waiting on a reply to a few questions i have before i buy.

    Do you know if they offer any in house customizing on their components like replacing all the rca's with xlr's ect?
  3. corysmith01 Senior Audioholic

    corysmith01
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    I find this combo very intriguing and have been on the fence about it for a while . I currently have a Denon AVR-3805 and, while this combo doesn't really give any added bells and whistles over the Denon, it does allow me to move to separates for not much more outlay (I guess I could get about $550 for my Denon). My new speakers are 4 ohm (Onix Ref 1's) so having a separate amp is now pretty important to me, though not absolutely necessary. I wonder how this combo would match up in performance vs. my 3805.

    Great review. Intriguing product. Thanks.
  4. highfihoney Audioholic Samurai

    highfihoney
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    Well im impressed with the response time of emotiva's customer service,less than 12 hours from me emailing them & within 2 hour's of the business day i recieved a response from them answering my questions.

    Look's like i'll be buying some goodies from them soon:D
  5. jcPanny Audioholic Ninja

    jcPanny
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    Emotiva combo

    JWC,
    Great review of the Emotiva ULs. I plan to buy the LPA-1 amp to power my Onix Ref 1 system. I would like feedback on the LMC-1 pre-pro compared to a mid-fi receiver like the Yamaha RX-V659. I have read some coments on the AV123 forum about the Evotiva UL pre-pro being more difificult to use and having problems with initial firmware.

    Also, would it be possible to get some audioholics style bench testing of the Amp and preamp?
  6. Nick250 Audioholic Samurai

    Nick250
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    Good review. Looks to be a very nice setup, especially at that price. I could easily see it in my system, though I am content for now with the 3806.

    The reviewer makes note near the beginning of the review of wanting "clean power". That term is very commonly used to describe products that in reality do nothing to improve the sound quality and are a red flags to me. Two products that use this term and come readily to mind are replacement power cords and power conditioners.

    Would it be too much to ask the reviewer to clarify what he means by "clean power" as it applies to his review? Many thanks.

    Nick
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  7. nhpm510 Audioholic

    nhpm510
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    Where the beef??????

    Review was a bit brief for such a complex product. I've seen bean bag chairs on this site with more in-depth reviews. Am I getting cynically or is it difficult to discuss a product that does everything well?

    Curious as to where the testing data is? Reviews of cheaper AVRs have been more comprehensive. The review did appear a little too gushing, IMHO.

    To echo a previos poster, the review made no mention of the firmware/7.1 implementation problems. :confused:

    In the interest of full disclosure, I own the LPA-1 and the BPA-1. :D
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  8. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    Hi Guys.

    J Clarke works from a remote office and doesn't have the luxury of the 100k+ test gear hosted at the Audioholics Showcase Center. As you could imagine, it’s not a feasible goal to bench test every piece of gear we review. Our goal is to provide more reviews as the alternative would be no review of this fine product.


    As for the firmware issue, J Clarke was not aware of this and I just contacted Emotiva regarding the “issue”:

    The LMC-1 originally shipped with the inability to decode PLIIX for DD 2.0 sources. Emotiva has since then updated the firmware so this feature now works. However, when engaged in PLIIx mode the bass management will default to the highest crossover setting in the triple crossover config. This is transparent if you set the triple xover to one value such as 80Hz.

    FYI; I usually recommend NEVER setting more than a 20Hz xover differential in these type of products.

    In any event, Emotiva has been shipping this processor with the firmware update for the past 6 months. If you have an older unit and want this update, you can ship your unit back to them for the update at no cost to you other than shipping.

    Stay tuned as I am currently reviewing and bench testing the Emotiva Reference Theater Series system.
    gene,
  9. jholtz Audiophyte

    jholtz
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    Hi Paul,

    I'm very interested in the LPA-1 as a replacement for the separate amps I currently have in my system but I'm concerned about the sound quality in 2-channel. Can you comment on the sound quality of the LPA-1 and perhaps offer any comparisons to other equipment you may have owned or heard?

    Thank you!

    Jim
  10. placebo473 Enthusiast

    placebo473
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    With all due respect, what's a experts' review of a pre/pro and/or amp without a bench test? Useless, in my opinion. This review is no more informative than the ULs press release or current Emotiva UL owners' reviews. I count on this site for unbiased expertise and high quality standards. I'm disappointed.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  11. jacobms1 Enthusiast

    jacobms1
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    Gene-
    It appears there are numerous other outstanding issues that emotiva hasn't replied to. I myself had not followed the threads closely until reading the review here this morning. After doing so I headed over to av123 forum for the details (I like others thought this was one very brief/glossy review of a very complex product). Turns out there is a "problem" with the implementation of some of the DTS matrixed functions in 6&7.1 setups as well as (and this to me sounds like the biggest issue) inconsistencies in the way the surround formats are "remembered" by the processor as well as bugs in selecting formats, etc. strictly from the remote (I may not have rephrased these perfectly so I reccomend anyone reading my post to follow up on other forums for themselves).

    I literally headed to the emotiva site this morning after reading the review and purchased this unit. Had I done my homework first I probably would have held off, but the review was so glowing and the ratings so high that I wanted to "get in" before the shipping deal ended.

    Just my humble .02

    Thanks,
    Matt
  12. jacobms1 Enthusiast

    jacobms1
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    Can't seem to edit so I wanted to add:

    It might make sense to ask the reviewer to research some of the "issues" users are experiencing as well as the lack of public response from Emotiva and perhaps ammend the review as necessary(similar to the Olevia reccomended retraction you guys did recently). I really like coming here to "get the goods" on products I want to know about....but telling the whole story is important too.

    Thanks,
    Matt
  13. nhpm510 Audioholic

    nhpm510
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    Maybe we should call this a "test drive" review?

    Or some other term "First Glance". I think CNET does something like that.

    Hopefully, this won't affect my chances of winning the $200 off Emo coupon contest ;-) Which I would use to buy the UL as a matter of fact.

    LPA-1 sounds great in 2 channel. No complaints here. Not as good as my Roksan, but eliminated my 3 amps my Mrs. couldn't stand next to the TV unit. For $499, IT ROCKS! (sorry, no bench test results to back it up-purely subjective) :)


    happy listening
  14. Buckeyefan 1 Audioholic Ninja

    Buckeyefan 1
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    I considered replacing my Denon 3805 with this setup, but after closer review, noticed Emotiva rated the power at 1kHz instead of full bandwidth of 20-20,000 Hz.

    If you don't check the manual in the pdf file, you'd never know this. It's on page 24. The website IMO is a bit misleading posting these figures at 1kHz. The majority of higher end AVR's, as well as most separate components use full bandwidth ratings.

    I don't know how much the power drops into full bandwidth, but if you take 20% off 125 watts per channel, you're now looking at 100 watts per channel. At 25% loss, you're looking at just over 93 watts per channel. Thus, the reason to bench test gear.

    Even though this amp is stable into 4 ohms, I'd like to see a bit more honesty with regards to power ratings being on par with the competition (into full bandwidth). For $899, it appears to be a steal. After closer inspection, it starts to make more sense. Hopefully some future bench tests will make this a true bargain.

    Here's the pdf file (not easy to get to):
    http://emotiva.com/manuals/29_lpa-1_amplifier_manual_v1pt06.pdf
    29_lpa-1_amplifier_manual_v1pt06.pdf (application/pdf Object)

    Here's what the caption says about the LPA1 under "products":

    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  15. nhpm510 Audioholic

    nhpm510
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    Buckeye--

    Based on personal experience with my Denon 2805 and the LPA-1 (my current HT setup), I would have no concerns about the LPA-1 power ratings, although I agree it would benefit the consumer to have uniform specs listed. Yes, I was disappointed not to see bench mark testing as well from AH.

    The guys at Emo are super knowledgeable and helpful and could explain it far better than me. I am driving Rocket AV123 Rocket 450s rated at 87 efficiency (reviewed at Audioholics). Was driving them over 95dbs today in 2 ch and 4 ch for awhile w/o problem or strain. LPA-1 does some special things regarding power in 2 channel mode. Lonnie at Emo can explain it.

    The LPA-1 has far more guts than my Denon rec'r. The Denon is rated at 100 wpc. my 2 cents.
  16. gene Audioholics Master Chief Administrator

    gene
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    The false assumptions flying around in this thread are pretty amazing.

    If you examine their ratings a bit closer you will note their power figures are rated at 0.04% THD + N which is WELL below clipping. Based on the LARGE power supply in this amp, the output devices they are using (all stated in the review), I have NO reason to believe this amp cannot hit its rated power level at full bandwidth with at least 1 or 2 channels driven continuously.

    Common sense to anyone that knows even a little about amp design can see that this amp is definately more robust than ones typically found in a 7.1 $500receiver.

    Their spec seems to actually be based on the classic ACD test that magazines use which makes sense about the 1kHz rating.
    gene,
  17. nhpm510 Audioholic

    nhpm510
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    Gene, you guys (AH) have just set the bar/expectectations too high in previous equipment reviews. Take this review's percieved flak as a compliment. :D

    It was pretty funny when I first saw the UL review, the first thing I did was looked at who did the review before I started reading it and thought, hmmm, who's this guy? (No offense meant to JD) And then, no bench results, I was left scratching my head chimpanze style. As I mentioned earlier, perhaps you need to have a "Test Drive" section for non-benched gear. Still permits lots of non-technical reviews w/o impacting the great expectations your loyal readers have come to believe/expect from AH.

    Looking forward to your results with the other Emo gear and all things electronic--
    Regards,
    Paul
    Vienna, VA
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2007
  18. Nomo Audioholic Samurai

    Nomo
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    I've been very impressed by my LPA-1 so far, and really like the looks of the Emo pre-pros.
    The thing that bothers me about them is their lack of internal EQ. I've learned to trust, within reason, the results of YPAO on my Yamaha 1500 and shutter a bit to think of life without it.
    Balancing speaker levels is certainly not rocket science by any means, but I can't see running an external EQ over all seven channels to compensate for a feature present in the Jap recievers ( Yeah I spelled that wrong on purpose :p ) yet lacking in the Emos.

    I'm curious how you guys who own these pre-pros have dealt with this dilemma.
    Nomo,
  19. highfihoney Audioholic Samurai

    highfihoney
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    As far as what ive seen in their 2 channel line up i wouldnt hesitate one second to buy their gear & im not going to either,at the very least im buying their best 2 channel preamp which at $700 is a steal.
  20. Buckeyefan 1 Audioholic Ninja

    Buckeyefan 1
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    Does this setup feature a bass/midrange/treble control? I would expect at least that much if an internal eq isn't present.

    I was reading where the loss from a bench test of 1kHz to 20-20,000Hz rating is around 15%. That would make this unit roughly 106 watts per channel (1 or 2 channels driven), and seeing the weight of the unit, should be able to drive a majority of speaker systems.

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