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Emotiva Ultra Theater Series LMC-1 & LPA-1 Review

by February 28, 2007
  • Product Name: LMC-1 Preamplifier/Processor; LPA-1 7-Channel Power Amplifier
  • Manufacturer: Emotiva
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: February 28, 2007 18:00
  • MSRP: $ 899 (both)
  • Buy Now

LMC-1 Preamplifier/Processor
24-bit/192kHz Digital Processing
24-bit, 80 Mhz Crystal Semiconductor DSP
On Screen Display
AM/FM tuner with 40 presets
3 DTS decoding modes
3 Dolby decoding modes
8 DSP modes
Gold plated input and output connectors
4 coaxial digital inputs
3 optical digital inputs
7 analog audio inputs
7.1 analog input for DVD-A/SACD
3 component video inputs, 1 component video out
Automatic video upconversion to 480i component
Built in 25 watt x 2 Zone 2 amplifier
Trigger output for external amplifiers
Steel chassis with milled aluminum faceplate

LPA-1 Power Amplifier
Six 125 watt channels
(one channel config. for 2 channel operation)
Low noise 1.2 KVA torrid power transformer
Status indicators for standby, operate and fault
Configurable power output options:
125 watts/8 ohms x 6 channels or
125 watts/8 ohms x 5 channels plus 2 x 50                watts/8 ohms x 2 channels
Completely stable into 4 ohm loads
Signal to Noise Ratio is greater than 100dB
THD .03% at rated power, 20Hz-20kHz
Fully protected from all fault conditions
Soft start circuitry
External trigger on
Soft touch power switch
4RU chassis w/solid milled aluminum faceplate
IEC power inlet, 120/230 VAC configurable


  • Incredible value
  • Awesome power
  • Audiophile-grade build quality
  • Free HDMI switcher upgrade


  • Remote lacks backlighting
  • HDMI only available through outboard switcher


Emotiva LMC-1 & LPA-1 Introduction

A couple of years ago, I had an epiphany of sorts. After years of lusting after and owning several Japanese a/v receivers with tons of features and DSP modes, I was ready for something different. I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted, or maybe more precisely, what I didn't want. I wanted clean power, excellent build quality, and maybe most of all, simplicity.

The truth was, even though it seemed cool to know that I could listen to music in a "cathedral" mode, or a movie in "70mm Cinema" mode, I always ended up listening to the pure Dolby Digital or DTS modes. And when listening to music, I wanted to hear it in 2 channel stereo, with my subwoofer turned off. While my receivers were capable of this, it occurred to me that they were not focused on these things, not to mention that they were impossible for my wife to figure out how to use.

So the idea of separates has always been appealing, with one major exception - price. Most any Audioholic has drooled over a matched pre/pro and amp, only to be scared away by a price tag. Emotiva has broken the price barrier with an impressive home theater combo. But at $899, can this combo really move you into the leagues of big-boy gear performance?

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About the author:

Over the years J. has constantly found himself to be an "early-adopter," spending way too much money on "new" technologies such as Compact Disc, LaserDisc, and DVD. He is one of the few people who actually purchased (and still owns) a CORE programmable remote control (bonus points if you remember this product).

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