Emotiva MMC-1 AV Processor A/V Preamplifier

Emotiva MMC-1 AV Processor A/V Preamplifier 


The MMC-1 incorporates the same basic system architecture and most of the features of our flagship DMC-1. We packaged it to allow us to bring you top of the line performance and features at a down to earth price point.

True 2-channel analog bypass will please the most discerning audiophile. The MMC-1 also features 8-channel pure analog inputs for SACD and DVD-A sources. Dolby Pro Logic IIx is included for turning your 2-channel sources into 5.1/6.1/7.1. Also provided are two Side-Axis channels.


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[Mar 17, 2008]
Audio Enthusiast


Build Quality
Sound Quality


Only unbalanced outputs except for sub-woofer.

MMC-1 Pre/Pro

This replaced a Rotel RSP-980. The Rotel was $1,300.00 when new ten plus years ago. The MMC-1 was $699.00 new a month ago. The up-to-dated features covers all the latest formats that DVD movies are offered in now a days, as expected. And it does it very well. An added bonus that is not seen very often today is the phono input that is included with the MMC-1. Those of us that have our old LPs from college days can re-unite with them now and not have to buy another device (phono pre-amp) to do so.

The features are all covered in the technical specs, so I will get on with the review of the sound of the MMC-1. First of all, I was taken by the clean, noise free, presentation. I am guessing that because of the age of my Rotel, that the capacitors were showing their age with some derogation resulting in some lack of cleanliness of the presentation. I had grown use to that sound and with the very first notes played on the MMC-1, this was gone and only pristine clean music came through.

The bass management took a little time to figure out. In stereo the MMC-1 comes with the sub-woofer disabled. In other words, only your mains are provided an input when in stereo from a CD and your sub-woofer does not get input. Yet, if you are playing a DVD, your sub-woofer is provided input.

In my case, I want the sub-woofer to play when in stereo as my mains are thin below 70 Hz and needs the re-enforcement of the sub-woofer to provide the full presentation I have grown to enjoy. This is easy to correct with the OSD (On Screen Display). Once the sub-woofer was enabled for the stereo mode from a CD, all was wonderful.

Every CD and DVD I throw at the MMC-1 sounded better. Separation of each individual source was much better defined. It didn’t matter if it was a voice, violin, string bass, drum, or cymbal. Each source was very will defined. The sound stage was a bit deeper and wider. It was easier to listen to voices during movies too.

The MMC-1 has several surround modes and all sound OK. I just fine that I prefer stereo. Others find that they like the Jazz Club or one of the other surround effects. I found the Jazz Club mode to sound like they were playing in a culvert. I think that they over did the effect, but that is only my opinion and others like it, so take it or leave it.

Movies sound great and it is very easy to get immersed in the surround sound for all the special effects. The ease in picking up voices is noticeable over the Rotel. Again the cleanliness of the sound just makes everything sound more real and natural. Being able to pin point where sound sources are made the movie seem more real, more like being there.

Don’t get me wrong, if you have a poorly recorded or engineered CD/DVD, it is going to sound poorly recorded. The MMC-1 reviles all that is recorded. It also reviles all the nuances of the music that you may have been missing with a lesser unit. I was surprise to hear several nuances on CDs that just were not there when played on the Rotel. I would have never thought I was missing this stuff until I heard it for the first time through the MMC-1. I was really shocked.

How do I explain this? It seems as though the MMC-1 has the ability to provide a “black” sonic background that makes the music much easier to pick out. The music being in all other colors other than black. The Rotel didn’t provide the black background, but did provide the music. Some of the music nuances were missed because it was lost in the background noise. (I know, music doesn’t have color, but that is about the best I can explain what I am hearing.)

There is a feature for a Zone II. I some trouble using this as at first I was not aware that on the remote, when you push Zone II that it is only going to be active for Zone II for about ten seconds and then it automatically goes back to Zone I on the remote. I was trying to increase volume for Zone II after the ten seconds and could not figure out why I could not get anything. After re-reading the manual I realized it was operator error and it worked just as it was designed to work.

The video switching through the MMC-1 is great. Picture quality is excellent. The video up-scaling is magic to me. All I know is that the picture quality is improved when I run my DVDs through the MMC-1 as before I ran the DVD player directly to the HDTV.

One feature that some might want more on is the FM/AM tuner that is provided. I just don’t listen to the “radio” anymore. Even in my car, CDs provide music for me there and I just don’t listen to radio. You will have to look at some other source for a review on the tuner feature of the MMC-1.

Other differences I noticed between the Rotel and the Emotiva was the much nicer aluminum faceplate vs. the Rotel. The Rotel has a big plastic volume knob in the center that just screams cheap. Does it make a difference in the sound? I don’t think it has anything to do with the sound but the Emotiva does look much nicer. The remote is aluminum also. It is large and heavy. Not like the small cheap plastic piece that Rotel provided. They both worked, but again the Emotiva gear is nicer in all repects. Emotiva feels like quality.

How can Emotiva offer such a nice piece of gear at such a low price? It is much nicer, both sonically and visually, than the Rotel and at almost half the price. It is made in China, but now a days, what isn’t?

The fact that Emotiva currently only sell directly over the Internet and doesn’t have to pay a middleman has much to do with the lower cost. The quality is a large step up from Rotel and what a great buy.

The rest of the gear:
Power Amp: Citation 7.1 (150 watts X 4 in to 8 ohms) For mains and center channel.
Power Amp: Rotel 970BX (70 watts X 2 in to 8 ohms) for surround speakers.
CD Player/Recorder: Harman Kardon CDR 20
DVD Player/Recorder: Panasonic DMR-ES25
Speakers; Mains PAudio 15s 13.5 cubic ft. bass reflex.
Center speaker: Axiom VP150 v2
Surrounds: Axiom QS8 v2
TV: Mitsubishi HD1080 55” screen.

Similar Products Used:


[Mar 01, 2008]
Audio Enthusiast


Music & Movies sound awesome
Can't beat the price
Solid build quality


None yet

I purchased the Emotiva MMC-1 processor. They recently droppped the price of this unit to $699 from $1,200. This is a great processor at the original price, but an unbelievable deal at $699. Very well built at 25lbs. For video, this unit is great, and projects nice, full sound. But what sets this processor apart is how it handles music. Music is very detailed, and full, with great bass extension. (and I do not have a sub) No hint of over processing, and it also has direct mode.

If you are looking for a great processor at a great price, give the MMC-1 a try. I've owned other processors, and this one is really good. Better that the Outlaw 950, and as good as the Sunfire TG3.

Related equipment:
Cary DVD 6
Sunfire Cinema 7 amp (200w)
Front speakers: Revel Concerta F12
Center: Axiom VP100v.2
Rear: Paradigm Monitor 7 v.5

Similar Products Used:

Lexicon DC-1
Sunfire Theater Grand 3
Outlaw 950
Tag McLaren

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