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  • Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

    With my Onkyo recently suffering the dreaded HDMI failure, I got to thinking about a replacement should it completely kaput later. I did receive it back a couple of days ago and it's working but i dont have much faith in Onkyo anymore. My other Onkyo AVR had intermittent HDMI board issues also so I'm just waiting for that one to go too.
    I was mainly looking at major brands and mostly considered Yamaha and Marantz. But browsing Emotiva I found the 8100 AVR.for $500. What's everyone's take on the 8100 and how does it compare to similarly priced major brands? I like thst it has preouts for every channel but not sure how it stacks up with the typical giant feature list of the major brands.
    Nichikuros - Peerless 831735 Nomex + Vifa NE25VTA
    Digger8 - Small compact 8" sub with F3 = 20Hz
    Madison-D and Madison-R - Tang Band W4-1720 + Vifa BC25SC06 or Beston RT003C (TM and MTM)
    Jeffrey - Tang Band W5-704D + Beston RT003C
    Jasmine - Fountek FW146 + Fountek NeoCD3.0 Ribbon in Pioneer BS21 Cabinet

  • #2
    Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

    I would take a look at Sherbourn SR-8100 reviews. Judging from the appearance and name I think Emotiva pretty much just rebranded it after they bought Sherbourn.

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    • #3
      Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

      I have one of these and am happy with it, but if you're looking for features it's not the receiver to choose.

      I have it hooked up to an older 720p TV and if I connect something at 720p the quality is atrocious, it looks blocky like an 8 bit video game. 1080i works fine, but I would prefer being able to use 720p which does work perfectly if I connect devices directly. Also the on screen display occasionally appears and won't go away until you close it manually with the remote. I keep the OSD disabled, which seems like a strange option to have... unless perhaps they know about this issue. I haven't updated my firmware, so there's a chance this isn't a problem anymore.

      Other than those issues, it's been rock solid for the 6 months I've had it. It's quiet, drives a pair of 4 ohm speakers without complaining, sounds great and doesn't require me to spend hours poking through menus configuring and troubleshooting things (largely because there's nothing to configure or break).

      Emotiva has photos of the internals and at a glance it looks like nothing more than a UMC-200 pre-processor stuffed in a box with a UMC-700 7 channel amp, but with a smaller power supply. Which is also exactly what the Sherbourn mentioned above looks like. Though the front panel is different, if I remember right, and the fusion probably comes with newer firmware.

      As far as I can tell, it seems like a decent product, but it's dated and won't be to everyone's liking.
      FPGraphTracer

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      • #4
        Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

        Originally posted by Exarch View Post
        I would take a look at Sherbourn SR-8100 reviews. Judging from the appearance and name I think Emotiva pretty much just rebranded it after they bought Sherbourn.
        I believe that Sherbourn is no longer in business.

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        • #5
          Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

          Sherbourn and Emotiva were both owned by Jade. Sherbourn was more for professional installs and Emotiva was for consumer installs. In other words, Sherbourn wasn't as consumer user friendly to install and setup... you had to know what you were doing instead of be the guy that goes to Best Buy and buys color coded cables or needs to push one button to setup the whole system. The decision was made about 18 months (my memory of when this happened may be off) ago to join Sherbourn and Emotiva. Basically brought the best of both into the new Emotiva lines.

          If you are looking at the Fusion AVR and you don't care about all the smoke and mirror tricks other brands use, then I would recommend the Fusion 8100 AVR. The amp section will be as good or better than any AVR on the market unless you are comparing it to some Anthem or other really high priced gear. The processing is amazing at the price point. You won't find anything that touches it. It does lack 'features' like Airplay, Netflix, blah blah blah. But the room correction is solid, the amps are very good, the processing and DAC's are amazing at the price point. Long story short, if your budget is $400-$700 and you don't care if your AVR does things other pieces of gear in your rack may already do, it's a no-brainier. I've had two friend buy the 8100 and I'm shocked at the price and the performance when compared to a $600 Denon AVR I purchased for my living room. If the wife didn't need Airplay to know how to stream music or if I ever buy an AppleTV for that system the Denon will be replaced with the Fusion.

          One last note. The 8100 does work with a bluetooth module for streaming music. My wife isn't as tech savvy and literally knows how to stream nothing unless it uses Airplay.
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          • #6
            Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

            I read some early reviews and the only complaints were HDMI handshake related.
            I have not read newer reviews to see if that has been fixed.
            It looks like a great value AVR with the right options (multichannel in, preamp out, room correction with manual edit.).
            My Statement monitors
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            • #7
              Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

              Thanks for the info guys. Is the 8100 considered "old" only because it lacks things like DLNA, Pandora/Spotify support, Apple support, etc.? I don't use any of those features on my Onkyos. Never tried DLNA, don't stream using Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, etc. (sometimes I stream using Jango on my phone or tablet and plug the output to AVR), don't need iPod/Phone control (not an Apple person). Don't see myself needing 4K support for quite some time.

              The only things that the 8100 may lack for me is a USB input (don't think the rear Type-B one works with USB sticks/memory to play music (FLAC, mp3, WAV)?), LAN connection (easy firmware updates), and upscaling and upconverting from various sources (a feature I really do like with my Onkyos...assuming no HDMI board failures). The USB and upscaling/upconverting I use all the time. Not sure if those are available on the 8100.

              HDMI handshake issues would bother me. My Onkyos have problems with my old plasma Philips TV with HDMI handshaking it appears. Sometimes picture just cuts out or doesn't show a picture on start up (and not being Onkyo fault). I'd rather not feed HDMI direct to TV. Must easier to use the AVR as a central hub for me.
              Nichikuros - Peerless 831735 Nomex + Vifa NE25VTA
              Digger8 - Small compact 8" sub with F3 = 20Hz
              Madison-D and Madison-R - Tang Band W4-1720 + Vifa BC25SC06 or Beston RT003C (TM and MTM)
              Jeffrey - Tang Band W5-704D + Beston RT003C
              Jasmine - Fountek FW146 + Fountek NeoCD3.0 Ribbon in Pioneer BS21 Cabinet

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

                I would not call it "old", just different approach for features. I do not see any mention of up-scaling.
                It does say that the USB is only for firmware upgrade.
                My old Philips TV (720p before HD tuners...) is also having video problems, but not only with HDMI, general problems :p
                My Statement monitors
                My Piccolatas
                My LM3886 amp

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                • #9
                  Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

                  Internally the 8100 is a UMC-200 with an integrated amplifier. I own the UMC-200 which is a pretty nice unit. HDMI is pretty much pass through, it strips the audio out for processing. Has a very nice EQ that is pretty complicated to set up without the aid of a mic. That being said, there is tutorials for using REW with the UMC-200, as well the Omnimic can do the same for setting up the EQ to combat room modes. It lacks all the extra nonsense that you get with most commercial AVR's, no audessey, Netflix, Pandora, bluetooth is an extra, no integrated media player, etc.

                  The audio quality is above average, though I'd suspect the amplifier built in to the 8100 is nothing to write home about. Like most receiver amps, the power supply and output stage are too small to be taken seriously. However for the price it is very good value, and unlike every AVR in its price range, it has a full 7.1 output for adding external amps.
                  Don't waste your money on a new set of speakers, you get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers. Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways it's still rock and roll to me!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

                    I can't see the 8100 being a UMC-200 + amp for $100 less than a UMC-200, it just doesn't make sense.. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

                      Probably irrelevant but I did the cap replacement on my Onkyo 876 and it worked great after that. Just a thought.
                      Builds - C-Killa - Speedsters - LithMTM - Talking Sticks - Pocket Rockets - Khanspires - Dayton RS Center - RS225/28A - Kairos - Adelphos - SEOS TD12X - Dayton 8 - Needles - 871S - eD6c - Overnight Sensations - Tritrix (ported) - Lineup F4 - Stentorians - The Cheapies - Tub Thumpers - Barbells - Tuba HT - Numerous subwoofers - probably missing a few...... :p

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                      • #12
                        Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

                        Originally posted by Exarch View Post
                        I can't see the 8100 being a UMC-200 + amp for $100 less than a UMC-200, it just doesn't make sense.. Correct me if I'm wrong.
                        The old Sherbourn unit was actually more closely related to the UMC-1. The UMC-200 was a reboot and redesign from lessons learned on those units. The Fusion 8100 basically combined the UMC-200 and the UPA-700 - hence, "Fusion." Sorta. As mentioned, there's a smaller power supply (that's big $$ savings). Also, it's one less case/chassis (also big $$ savings). And the majority of development was already done from the UMC-200, so there wasn't much overhead necessary to create the Fusion. I have a feeling they may have reduced cost a few other places (e.g. downgrading opamps) - all conjecture though...

                        I have the UMC-200 and am super happy with it. It clearly bested my Outlaw 950 in sound quality, which surprised me - I was expecting it to be roughly the same.
                        That said, the XMC-1 blows it out of the water... but at ~3.5x the price. Is the XMC-1 worth it? Yes. The XMC-1 is good enough for a really high end 2-channel setup; so, you don't "need" a separate 2-channel setup, kill 2 birds with one sweet pre/pro. Despite using a totally different DAC, the XMC-1 comes down to incredibly small minutia of differences when compared to the Stealth DC-1's performance... and that's saying something.

                        As mentioned, for audio performance, the Fusion 8100 is gonna best other AVRs up to 4x its price. Bells and whistles, it doesn't have much.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

                          Originally posted by Exarch View Post
                          I can't see the 8100 being a UMC-200 + amp for $100 less than a UMC-200, it just doesn't make sense.. Correct me if I'm wrong.
                          The 8100 is currently on sale, the UMC-200 isn't. Usually the 8100 is $100 more than the UMC-200. It's not hard to tell that there is the same processor board in there, they show photos of the internals right on their website. Also, the layout of the rear panel is identical, with the only addition being the amplifier speaker outputs.
                          Don't waste your money on a new set of speakers, you get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers. Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways it's still rock and roll to me!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

                            Originally posted by dcibel View Post
                            The 8100 is currently on sale, the UMC-200 isn't. Usually the 8100 is $100 more than the UMC-200. It's not hard to tell that there is the same processor board in there, they show photos of the internals right on their website. Also, the layout of the rear panel is identical, with the only addition being the amplifier speaker outputs.
                            Huh. I didn't look at the pictures closely until now. Makes me wish I had considered selling my UPA-500 and grabbing the Fusion instead of getting an older receiver with pre-outs (which I am setting up right now).

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                            • #15
                              Re: Emotiva 8100 AVR? Good?

                              Youll be happy to know that the UPA-500 is a bigger better amplifier than what is in the 8100 ;)
                              Don't waste your money on a new set of speakers, you get more mileage from a cheap pair of sneakers. Next phase, new wave, dance craze, anyways it's still rock and roll to me!

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