Recommendations for 8Ch DACs/AVRs/PROs for music SQ, $4k price range

Hi folks,

Currently looking at ExaSound e38 with the Teddy Pardo bundle -
https://www.exasound.com/e38/e38DACOverview.aspx

I was wondering which other options would you recommend for a $4k price range?

More about my use case which might help you help me :stuck_out_tongue: -

  1. I’m doing everything I can on the PC (Upsampling, Room Correction, etc)
  2. I’m interested only in music SQ
  3. I use the PC for videos as well, but care less about video quality or even audio in movie quality.
  4. I’ve been using the UMC-200 connected to the PC’s HDMI for years and it has been very convenient.
  5. If I go with ExaSound, I plan to connect the DAC to the Analog 7.1 (direct mode) section of the UMC-200, a compromise since I also have a PS4 I still want to use with the same system.

Wondering what is your opinion over doing this versus purchasing something like the Emotiva XMC-1 to simply replace the UMC-200 and stay with HDMI connection or any other DAC/AVR/PrePro alternative in this price range.

What do you think?

No matter what you do in terms of a preamp/amp, you’re going to need to use the 7.1 analog inputs to it. There is no option with the e38 for HDMI and even if there was, you wouldn’t want to use it, as that defeats the whole purpose of having the e38 DAC in the first place. Have you thought about getting an Oppo 203/5 for handling multi-channel audio?

You didn’t mention your sources - are they MCH SACDs or digital rips? Also you mention room correction and upsampling - can the software you have for this handle MCH?

I don’t know the Emotiva line that well but it seems like a lot of the features of the XMC-1 like room correction would be redundant to what you already have on the PC.

I do have MCH digital rips for the likes of Pink Floyd, Steven Wilson / Porcupine Tree, Electronic music and others.

But - the main reason for MCH is that Bass Management for Stereo (Subwoofer channel creation) before the Room correction so that the Subwoofer channel will be RC treated.

Yes, Dirac Live is multichannel.

I have!
Unfortunately, it’s USB connection supports only 2 channels and I’m not convinced it’s HDMI connection will be much superior to the UMC-200’s (In an audible way. Well… I’m not convinced the e38 will be much superior in an audible way but I sure do hope so and at least know it is somewhat “end of the line” :slight_smile: )

My thoughts exactly.
Seems big and redundant to me. Also, the cost is ought to be distributed thinly across features and connections I don’t need/already have versus the e38 which is focused solely on USB DAC SQ.
Having said that, it doe’s cost considerably less and have more features…