AV123.com is a company that most of us know well. I have reviewed several of their products in the past, mostly speakers, and came away impressed. In fact, some of these speakers are now permanent occupants of my music and home theater systems and Iíve used them as a reference to judge other speakersí performance and value. Thatís how good they are and how highly I regard them!
The Emotiva line marks the companyís venture into
the home-theater electronics world. Knowing Mark Schifter, the president of
AV123.com who seems to always have an abundance of great ideas and, most
importantly, has the energy to realize them, I was not surprised with this
product line expansion. I was happy to get the chance to become acquainted
with these early models.
The DMC-1 and MPS-1 came well packed, as with other AV123 products. Everything was double-boxed and well padded. The MPS-1 was shipped unassembled, meaning the amplifier case (chassis) and the inside amplifier modules were shipped in separate boxes. Hence some assembly is required for the MPS-1.
This was done to avoid the risk of shipping a too-heavy item and also to provide the flexibility to the customers to configure the amplifier to their liking. For example, the MPS-1 can be configured for two, three, four, five, six, or seven channels, depending on the particular customerís need. This is all possible because the MPS-1 employs a monoblock amplifier design.
AV123 has also informed me that a new amplifier module (called the EPM-2150) consisting of two channels of amplification per module is now available. This means that you can have up to 14 channels in an MPS-1 chassis.
The processing engines inside the DMC-1 are quite powerful. It is equipped with 24-bit 192-kHz Analog Devices D/A converters, 24-bit Crystal Semiconductor A/D converters, a 32-bit 20 MHz control microprocessor, and 24-bit 150 MIPS Motorola Symphony DSP processors. But besides this powerful digital processing, the DMC-1 also provides direct two-channel analog bypass to cater to the stereo music purist. The DMC-1 offers balanced as well as unbalanced outputs on all the 7.1 channels. The side-axis channels, however, are only available in unbalanced (RCA) outputs.
If you have a lot of audio-video equipment to connect to the DMC-1, you donít need to worry. It has six A/V inputs and three A/V outputs (each with S-Video/composite video), three audio-only inputs including a phono input (LP player owners should be happy with this inclusion), six coaxial and four optical digital inputs with a pair of coaxial and optical outputs, eight-channel analog inputs, three component video inputs with two outputs, and two tape record outputs.
This processor can convert composite and S-Video signals to component video. Also the DMC-1 offers four subwoofer outputs. So, in case you want to populate your listening room with subwoofers, you are sufficiently accommodated by the DMC-1. Other features offered include Zone 2 outputs, DC triggers, an RS-232 port, and AM/FM tuner with 40 presets.
There are no DVI or HDMI inputs/outputs, so if you need DVI/HDMI switching, you would have to get an outboard switcher, such as the Gefen unit we reviewed in January of this year. Iíve been told that a two-port HDMI switcher that can connect to the RS-232 port is currently under development at AV123.com. The RS-232 integration would ensure that HDMI switching would be automated with the audio switching in the SSP.