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Preamplifier/processor For My Denon Avc-1


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Hi I have been looking into replaceing my Denon AVC-A1 for a while now and I am having trouble parting with 3 to 5k to buy the replacement,someone mentioned to me the other day why don't I buy a Preamplifier/Processor for my AVC-A1 that way I get all the new surround formats and the HDMI I really want,plus the volume button on my amp is no good so it would fix that problem aswell.

I was recommended this UMC-1 to do the job http://emotiva.com/umc1.shtm would that give as good quality sound compared to buying an all new amp like the Denon 4810 and also is there any better alternatives to the UMC-1 you could recommend for my amp.

I think this is the way to go for me but I would like to do it with good quality sound to match the AVC-A1's amps.

Edited by gazman2k3
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Hi gazman ; the umc 1 isnt compatible as you need an avr with power amp in terminals [ is this your back panel ? ; http://www.avland.co.uk/denon/avca1sr/rear.jpg ]

and they went the way of the dodo many moons ago . If you used the ext ins you would have 2 pre amp sections in series which wouldnt be the best for sound quality if even compatible ;) The ext ins are for bd players etc that have lossless decoders and multi analog outs ;so thats another option to get the new lossless codecs without replacing anything before upgrading the avr later if wanted :)

What you need for the umc1 is a power amp ; many options here but an emotiva xpa5 would be a good value match and sell your avc possibly..

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Does anyone else have opinions on the UMC-1 as a processor? Thinking my 1068 is due for replacement, and the Emotiva looks cool, but probably isn't in the same ballpark as Rotel and others? Excuse my ignorance, hadn't heard of Emotiva before. Are they availlable retail in Aus, or do you buy them online, unseen/unheard

Have just seen the Emotiva UMC-1 thread, lots of information there. Still intersted in any opinions of SQ, from a HT pont of view. Am happy with my 2ch setup (gloat gloat)

Edited by M&K Freak
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Does anyone else have opinions on the UMC-1 as a processor? Thinking my 1068 is due for replacement, and the Emotiva looks cool, but probably isn't in the same ballpark as Rotel and others? Excuse my ignorance, hadn't heard of Emotiva before. Are they availlable retail in Aus, or do you buy them online, unseen/unheard

Have just seen the Emotiva UMC-1 thread, lots of information there. Still intersted in any opinions of SQ, from a HT pont of view. Am happy with my 2ch setup (gloat gloat)

I'd be surprised if the UMC isn't atleast on par with the rotel and IMHO I'd be disappointed if it wasn't better. Check out the Emotiva forum. There is a lot of talk re FW bugs (which are being sorted) but most if not all will state that when it boils down to it the AQ is better, much better, than whatever it replaced in their system regardless of cost.

Emotiva build and sell their own product which eliminates many price steps in the chain. Freight > Wholesale > Freight > Sub distributors > freight > retailer wharehouse > freight > retail plus markup for profit etc etc. The also build many of their competitors products which sell for 3x 4x the price using the same or lesser components at times.

They are easily the best product I've added to my HT setup. I now have a preamp, poweramp and CDP with the UMC or XMC to follow soon. Each piece of kit is extraordinarily good. My 2ch system is pure bliss to my ears across a wide range of musical genres. The XPA-5 delivers clean reserves of power to my HT work.

Yes I'm a fan but only because they are that good - seriously

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Hi gazman ; the umc 1 isnt compatible as you need an avr with power amp in terminals [ is this your back panel ? ; http://www.avland.co.uk/denon/avca1sr/rear.jpg ]

and they went the way of the dodo many moons ago . If you used the ext ins you would have 2 pre amp sections in series which wouldnt be the best for sound quality if even compatible ;) The ext ins are for bd players etc that have lossless decoders and multi analog outs ;so thats another option to get the new lossless codecs without replacing anything before upgrading the avr later if wanted :)

What you need for the umc1 is a power amp ; many options here but an emotiva xpa5 would be a good value match and sell your avc possibly..

Hi cwt yeah thanks foe the reply,so looks like it's a no go with my avc-a1 then,yeah it's getting on a bit over 12 years old I think I bought it back it 97 or 98,I spose the only real option is to get the matching power amp for the umc 1 or byte the bullet and get a whole new amp,so really there in nothing I can do with the old avc-1 besides retire the old girl.

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so really there in nothing I can do with the old avc-1 besides retire the old girl.

It would make a great radio in the garage with a couple of speakers!!!

Looks like that's where my old Yamaha will end up too :mellow:

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It would make a great radio in the garage with a couple of speakers!!!

Looks like that's where my old Yamaha will end up too :mellow:

yeah it's pretty sad really sticking it in the shed but I spose I can't complain t much I had 12 good years out of it so got my moneys worth.

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Hi gazman ; the umc 1 isnt compatible as you need an avr with power amp in terminals [ is this your back panel ? ; http://www.avland.co.uk/denon/avca1sr/rear.jpg ]

and they went the way of the dodo many moons ago . If you used the ext ins you would have 2 pre amp sections in series which wouldnt be the best for sound quality if even compatible ;) The ext ins are for bd players etc that have lossless decoders and multi analog outs ;so thats another option to get the new lossless codecs without replacing anything before upgrading the avr later if wanted :)

What you need for the umc1 is a power amp ; many options here but an emotiva xpa5 would be a good value match and sell your avc possibly..

Hi I was just having another look and that photo you posted was a different amp to my avc-a1 that one is the avc-a1sr and mine is the avc-a1 and I just had a look at a photo of the back of my unit and it looks like it does have pre outs on the back,does that mean that I would be able to run that umc-1 pre processor,this is the photo of the back of my avc-a1 you can see it says pre out http://kepfeltoltes.hu/100321/DSCN0625_www...ltoltes.hu_.jpg it's a pretty big picture might take a bit of loading,do you think my amp would be ok now it looks like it has pre outs.

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Hi I was just having another look and that photo you posted was a different amp to my avc-a1 that one is the avc-a1sr and mine is the avc-a1 and I just had a look at a photo of the back of my unit and it looks like it does have pre outs on the back,does that mean that I would be able to run that umc-1 pre processor,this is the photo of the back of my avc-a1 you can see it says pre out http://kepfeltoltes.hu/100321/DSCN0625_www...ltoltes.hu_.jpg it's a pretty big picture might take a bit of loading,do you think my amp would be ok now it looks like it has pre outs.

Gaz - Pre outs go to a PowerAmp. You need EXT.IN or Ext.Decoder In or something like that to use a processor to decode HD audio

Just looked at your pic.

You do have EXT.IN - it is only 5.1 but you can add simply a Bluray (no need neccessarily for a processor) player to get HD codecs. The BRP can decode the audio for you.

Add an OPPO BD83 - decode HD audio internally and send to your AVC-A1 via analogue outs on OPPO to EXT.IN on AVC.

Send the Pic direct to your display or PJ over HDMI.

You can still add the power amp also via the Preouts also.

You can do the OPPO for under $1k and the Emotiva XPA-5 for just over $1k and still haven't spent your $3-$5k you were intially talking!!

Edited by Jutta
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Hi I was just having another look and that photo you posted was a different amp to my avc-a1 that one is the avc-a1sr and mine is the avc-a1 and I just had a look at a photo of the back of my unit and it looks like it does have pre outs on the back,does that mean that I would be able to run that umc-1 pre processor,this is the photo of the back of my avc-a1 you can see it says pre out http://kepfeltoltes.hu/100321/DSCN0625_www...ltoltes.hu_.jpg it's a pretty big picture might take a bit of loading,do you think my amp would be ok now it looks like it has pre outs.

gaz man you could use an external processor, or add use a player like suggested in the oppo. but keep in mind if goign over analog there will be compromises. the oppo is not the best over analog, unless going for the se version which is quite a bit pricier. And decent processors cost decent money not too many cheap option there.

my suggestion the avc was a nice thing back in the day, but dacs and processing has come a long way since. amp wise too the avc wasnt a real power house, with 500w on tap anything denon 3808 and above from today would do as good and bring with it full hdmi & hd audio processing capability. That will allow use of more run of the mill players rather than requiring something more endowed over analog with the compromises of hooking up via that means.

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Hi I was just having another look and that photo you posted was a different amp to my avc-a1 that one is the avc-a1sr and mine is the avc-a1 and I just had a look at a photo of the back of my unit and it looks like it does have pre outs on the back,does that mean that I would be able to run that umc-1 pre processor,this is the photo of the back of my avc-a1 you can see it says pre out http://kepfeltoltes.hu/100321/DSCN0625_www...ltoltes.hu_.jpg it's a pretty big picture might take a bit of loading,do you think my amp would be ok now it looks like it has pre outs.

Hi gaz as Jutta reiterrated the pre outs are for a power amp and the multi ins are for a player with lossless decoders . The back panel I linked was actually the upmarket version of yours with 2 sets of multi ins instead of 1 . Its a matter of buying a bd player like an oppo ;pio etc with lossless decoding and analog outs or go the preferred route of digital decoding in the avr/pre pro with a new avr /pre .

If you go with the umc1 and power amp you get a much wider and cheaper bluray player choice as you wont need the multi analog outs as Al says ; a lot less mucking around with bass management and level balancing too :) As you can see its up to you price wise to compromise with just a new player or do it better with a new pre pro/power or avr ;good luck. Whatever you get make sure its got good room correction circuitry ; something you wont get if you keep the avc1 -_-

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  • 10 months later...

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but this seemed relevant to my own situation.

I have a Denon AVC A1SR that I purchased in 2003 (over $8K at the time), but I now need:

- HDMI 1.4a switching.

- The ability to decode the latest sound formats.

I am currently using a 5/2 HDMI switch, but I doubt whether it will switch HDMI 1.4a for 3D.

I have been considering getting another integrated amp and had short-listed the Onkyo TX-NR5008, Denon AVR 4311, and Pioneer SC-LX83, all but settling on the Denon. However, after researching it for the last couple of days I've been put off by reports of problems (though these seem to have been fixed), and cheap build quality.

Anyway, it got me thinking that perhaps I'd be better off to go with seperate pre/pro & power amp(s). This is less likely to become obsolete in the future, as the power-amp at least is likely to be useful regardless of what happens to audio & video formats in the future.

I am considering pushing the boat out somewhat further than intended & getting the Integra DHC-80.2. I was hoping to be able to use the A1SR as a power amp temporarily, upgrading to a dedicated power amp at some stage in the future. However, from the comments above I understand that this is not ideal.

My question is: despite not being ideal, would it work? The A1SR has external inputs for the 7 channels, and a "Pure Direct" mode in which (if I've understood correctly), all digital sound processing is bypassed, and video processing is switched off.

Would I run into some sort of impedance mismatch problems?

I'd also welcome comments on the Integra DHC-80.2. Is there good support in Australia for this brand?

Thanks for any help, and apologies for the length of the post.

Dave.

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I've only heard good things about the Integra, albeit support from Ambertech (local distributor) is reputedly mediocre (but probably on a par with other local distributors).

Don't know the foibles of your Denon, but can't see how there would be any impedance issues. You would need to be clear on which volume control to use - I'd probably be inclined to set the Denon at a mid level and use the Integra to control volume.

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I've only heard good things about the Integra, albeit support from Ambertech (local distributor) is reputedly mediocre (but probably on a par with other local distributors).

Don't know the foibles of your Denon, but can't see how there would be any impedance issues. You would need to be clear on which volume control to use - I'd probably be inclined to set the Denon at a mid level and use the Integra to control volume.

Thanks for the quick reply Quark.

Sounds like Australia isn't blessed with good distributors. From reading the Denon 4311 thread, owners seem to be less than satisfied with their competence.

Yes, I propose to set the Denon volume control to a suitable level and then do whatever calibration on the Integra. The sub would be connected directly to the Integra.

Edited by dcw
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personally I think coupling avrs as considering will be pretty compromising in setup. can look at a replacement avc as being sold here for $6500,

http://www.classaaudio.com.au/Avreciever.htm

but anything else will be a come down I reckon from the flagship you have.

can consider using a bd player which is decent over analog. but that will only be a bit of a compromise as well. if can make the move over to hdmi with more modern pre power or Mid range to up market avr like the current denon avc , will never look back :)

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Well, I got the chance to get a shop demo 80.2 today for $3,450, so I grabbed it, even though I hadn't completed my research! I thought the price was too good to miss.

I'm sure the coupling I suggested above is rather a compromise but if it doesn't work out, I'll probably just bite the bullet and get a power amp (or 2) and be done with it. I've had 8 years solid use out of the Denon and its never missed a beat.

Was thinking about one or more Emotiva XPAs. They look remarkably good value for the specified power. Are they any good? Can they be purchased here? If from the US, what happens with the voltage?

Dave.

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If anyone's interested, I've now got this set up as I described above, though I haven't calibrated anything yet. To my old cloth ears it all sounds fine and probably definitely an improvement on just having the A1 amp by itself.

I also gain the HDMI 1.4 switching and decoding of latest audio formats, so I'm very pleased with the result.

No doubt there would still be improvements with dedicated power amps, but I expect I'd also have to upgrade speakers, etc, so this will have to wait. Still interested in those Emotiva power amps though. They look fantastic value for money!

Dave

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I've only heard good things about the Integra, albeit support from Ambertech (local distributor) is reputedly mediocre (but probably on a par with other local distributors).

Don't know the foibles of your Denon, but can't see how there would be any impedance issues. You would need to be clear on which volume control to use - I'd probably be inclined to set the Denon at a mid level and use the Integra to control volume.

Agreed re the mediocre support plus greed from Ambertech but the products are pretty reliable and now that they do fw upgrades via internet should be ok. I can put you on to an excellent service centre that specialises in Integra if needed.

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Agreed re the mediocre support plus greed from Ambertech but the products are pretty reliable and now that they do fw upgrades via internet should be ok. I can put you on to an excellent service centre that specialises in Integra if needed.

Cheers Rob

Hopefully that won't be necessary!

Dave.

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I have only had good experience with Integra and thankfully had no requirement to rely on Ambertech.

Having just purchased the PR-SC5508 I am keen to see how it compares (Not 100% sure but I think it's pretty much a 80.2 on spec).

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Well, I got the chance to get a shop demo 80.2 today for $3,450, so I grabbed it, even though I hadn't completed my research! I thought the price was too good to miss.

I'm sure the coupling I suggested above is rather a compromise but if it doesn't work out, I'll probably just bite the bullet and get a power amp (or 2) and be done with it. I've had 8 years solid use out of the Denon and its never missed a beat.

Was thinking about one or more Emotiva XPAs. They look remarkably good value for the specified power. Are they any good? Can they be purchased here? If from the US, what happens with the voltage?

Dave.

I missed your update on the purchase - congratulations! :D

I've only heard one Emotiva product (not sure which model) with some low/midrange speakers in a temporary (uncalibrated?) setup - while it's not a fair evaluation, on the little I heard I couldn't recommend a blind buy - would suggest try to find an owner and audition. No offence intended to Emotiva owners.

If anyone's interested, I've now got this set up as I described above, though I haven't calibrated anything yet. To my old cloth ears it all sounds fine and probably definitely an improvement on just having the A1 amp by itself.

I also gain the HDMI 1.4 switching and decoding of latest audio formats, so I'm very pleased with the result.

No doubt there would still be improvements with dedicated power amps, but I expect I'd also have to upgrade speakers, etc, so this will have to wait. Still interested in those Emotiva power amps though. They look fantastic value for money!

Dave

The Audyssey in the Integra (and other recent processors) can bring some great improvement in the sound. It's definitely worth the effort to set it up and do it right (i.e. take care with positioning the mike at ear level and take multiple samples at the usual listening positions).

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I have only had good experience with Integra and thankfully had no requirement to rely on Ambertech.

Having just purchased the PR-SC5508 I am keen to see how it compares (Not 100% sure but I think it's pretty much a 80.2 on spec).

After reading through the relevant threads over on AVS it seems that internally they are identical.

I missed your update on the purchase - congratulations! :D

I've only heard one Emotiva product (not sure which model) with some low/midrange speakers in a temporary (uncalibrated?) setup - while it's not a fair evaluation, on the little I heard I couldn't recommend a blind buy - would suggest try to find an owner and audition. No offence intended to Emotiva owners.

I am currently running an Emotiva UMC-1 in my system, and while it's room correction is not fantastic, it's sound quality is great, it ended up sounding better than the Denon 3808 that it replaced as a pre pro.

Having said that I have just purchased an onkyo 5508 because I wanted Ausyssey XT32 and specifically the Sub EQ as well as balanced outputs for my Seaton setup. But the Emotiva is fantastic value for money.

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