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Thread: Home Theater Computer

  1. #41
    I've had that Emotiva amplifier for over a year now. It was my first experience with separates as well. It's in the living room where the family watches movies more than anything else. That portion of the house is a large open floor plan with one room flowing into the other and 10 foot ceilings, so there is a lot of open-air. My mains and surrounds are older Klipsch speakers I purchased back in 1999 and an SVS PC-13 Ultra subwoofer. I'm satisfied with HT, but I've yet to achieve the sound I'm looking for in music, although it does sound better than any AVR I purchased before for that room. I'm sure the speakers are the weak point, but I'm holding off spending much more money on that system right now. Instead, I'm focusing on a smaller office where I spend most of my time. That's also a portion of the house where I can do pretty much anything I want without worrying about whether or not my wife is going to like it.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by shakey56 View Post
    Consider going with powered monitors then just stream music from your main system into the monitors. I have these http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo...umber=AUENA5PL in my bedroom, and they are impressive. The airmotiv would be a step up.

    Tons of options for streaming, and most will access pandora etc, and many can be run by a smart phone.
    I've heard a lot of good things about those AudioEngine A5+ speakers. The ones with the bamboo finish are gorgeous.I almost pulled the trigger on those for multimedia speakers. You are right, there are tons of options.

  3. #43
    Chass, I'll be very happy if the amp performs as well as what I have. Specs are similar, so it might. The DAC, pre, headphone combo in the XDA-2 is the reason I bought. It will upgrade all 3 areas for me. If the amp is better, I'll be grinnin like a stump freak in an amputee ward. If not, I'll return it. The integrated I'm replacing was a giant killer when it came out around the turn of the century, and if the XPA-200 betters it I'll be very impressed.

    Your buddy might want to check these out...http://emotivapro.com/products/power...s/stealth8.php
    Last edited by shakey56; 01-15-2013 at 08:34 PM.

  4. #44
    What are your thoughts on the XDA-2? I know they just had a sale on them and it seems to offer quite a bit that isn't found in DACs in that price range. Being able to enable or disable upsampling is something very few DACs do without sending big bucks. I was looking hard at those wondering how much of a difference it would make in sound quality by bypassing the integrated sound on my PC. I know it has a remote, but not having the hand function to fondle the knobs and buttons really sucks.

  5. #45
    Will let you know when I get it. It has great promise, but a DAC is much more than just a chip set. How it is implemented into the component really determines the sound quality. Considering the care they have taken with their other stuff, I'm pretty optimistic. Pretty sure it will be better than the DAC in the media streamer I'm now using

    If you are taking your audio straight from your computer, chances are good any outboard DAC will significantly improve your audio. The XDA-2 won't do surround though, just stereo. But the are many ways to work it into a HT setup, if you want to. I'd do a DAC before changing speakers. Easier, cheaper and potentially more impact on stereo sound quality.

    This is really the golden age of speakers though. There are some amazing values out there in all price ranges. My $1800 fronts come awfully close to stuff I auditioned selling at 5-10 times the price. You could have a very nice sounding HT system with either 4 or 6 $200 range monitors and your sub.

  6. #46
    Shakey, could you explain how the XDA-2 would fit in my system and what it could do for me?

    I take the audio out of my computer using a digital optical cable (if I’m just listening to music) or an HDMI cable (if I’m watching anything with video) directly to my UMC-1 surround sound processor. From there, I have 7 RCA cables going to my amplifier for the respective channels, and one XLR cable feeding my subwoofer amplifier. Trying to wrap around how I’d integrate an XDA-2 into that makes.

    Thanks for pointing me toward their new stealth monitors… didn’t realize they had stepped it up to the size/SBL capacity… could be a pretty good set up for my garage?
    I am the Quad in Quadomated. Come read about Life and Technology through the Eyes of a Quad
    http://www.Quadomated.com/

  7. #47
    Plug the digital optical cable into the XDA-2 and use RCA from XDA-2 to the stereo RCA inputs on the UMC-1. That takes the internal DAC in the UMC out of the equation. If the UMC has digital outs you could use those to connect then balanced cable from the XDA to your amp.

    The owners manual for the XDA is pretty sparse in explanation, and i have no idea what option the UMC can provide. Call them for your best option. Ideally you'll be using the XDA as a stereo pre with balanced connection to your amp, and your UMC would be a 5 channel processor for movies.

    I'm thinking abt adding 3 of the powered monitors and a surround processor down the road, but we had a near perfect storm of unexpected expenses last fall, and I need to pay those off first.
    Last edited by shakey56; 01-16-2013 at 03:30 PM.

  8. #48
    Well I got the XDA-2, but the XPA-200 is on back order. Decided not wait and setup the XDA-2 as pre amp and MF as amp. Within 30 min I lost left channel on the amp. Didn't even get a chance to listen to much. Was checking various sources when it died. All I can do now is give my impression of the headphone - DAC. Can't compare since the MF Didn't have a phone out. I use Grado SR-60i , a surprisingly good budget set. I'm hearing a very detailed yet smooth almost liquid quality. No top end harshness with nice extension. Mids are neutral, and bass is fast. Impossible to tell which sonic signature I'm hearing. Could be DAC, HP amp, phones, or a combo and I haven't listened to much yet.

    Amp will ship 2/15, and I'll update when I get it.

  9. #49
    I made a phone call to Emotiva about the differences between the XDA-2 and my UMC-1 handling the incoming optical TOSLINK line. Didn’t seem like the difference would be appreciable enough considering my relatively average listening conditions (lots of hard floors/walls/glass) and the different, but decently good quality DAC built right into the UMC-1. Might as well spend money on what will make the most difference, and for right now that’s paying off my new Braun van ;-)
    I am the Quad in Quadomated. Come read about Life and Technology through the Eyes of a Quad
    http://www.Quadomated.com/

  10. #50
    I too called to explore options for surround systems. Talked to a guy who has been selling audio for decades. We connected on many memories like speaker manufacturers being pissed at Lucas for having to dial back their speakers to get a THX certification when it 1st came out.

    After abt 45 minutes of exploring options and sharing histories I narrowed it down to two options. Improve my 2 channel system or add the UMC-200, the XPA-3 to drive the fronts and center, and their center and monitors for surround. We were talking $1800 without even mentioning the cost of wiring the house. When I mentioned having to wait to audition the XDA-2 since I lost a channel on my amp and the XPA-200 won't ship til 2/15 he offered me a deal on a pair of the XPA-100 mono blocks. At the price he offered for the pair I can do a nice upgrade on my stereo for 2/3 of what I was planning on spending to replace my integrated amp and this combo should be much better than anything I can find in an integrated for 1/3 more. The amps ship on Monday. I'll soon find out how good this stuff is.

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