Escient E40 E120 DVD Players

E40 E120

ALL YOUR MUSIC ON ONE INTERFACE. How it works… Put all your CDs into up to 3 connected mega CD changers and/or "rip" them to the hard drive. FireBall E-40 / 120 automatically finds and displays the information.

User Reviews (1)

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brunob00   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 13, 2005]

- You get a lot for the money - Great user interface on both the TV and the touch panel - Great combination of Digital & CD management/playback capabilities - Wife friendly! - Rock solid software/hardware


After using the unit, for what is does, there appear to be no weaknesses. But there are features that are missing, and which would make this awesome... - Software Upgrades. Escient does not appear to offer upgrades to previously released units (unless there is something wrong I guess). Little updates happen occasionally... like I noticed we got new icons for Rock, Pop, etc.... but the cool stuff does not seem to flow down. So the H-40, E-40, and E-120 don't get all the benefits of the E2 series. No built-in webserver, no improved E2 interface, no backup capability. - Backup. Once you burn all those MP3s, there is no backup option for the H-40, E-40 or E-120 Fireballs. A freeware program called Conduit ( can do the job, but Escient should really have done this. - Noise. This unit is actually a PC with a hard drive and cooling fan. If you like your home theater quiet, put this behind glass or in a rack in the closet. - The screen saver option displays the current playing cover and song title in random spots on screen. Visualizations or other types of screen savers would have been nice. - No direct ethernet port is provided. You need a USB ethernet adapter. Escient doesn't make any suggestions due to continual changes by the manufacturers, so you are on your own to find one that works. I tried a Belkin 10/100 adapter and it works great. - Multi-zone. Escient doesn't have a good multi-zone strategy. They need one unit with multiple zone outputs. With their current configuration... each room would require its own Fireball or one Fireball and multiple MP-100s. Even though this is pricey, it is still cheaper than a multi-zone Request system. An Escient competitor to the Russound SMS-3 would be nice.

Summary: This may be the best digital and physical music manager out there for the money. This review is for the older H-40 version of the Fireball. It is the same unit as the E-40, except it does not have an ethernet port. Some argue that you can get the same functionality from iTunes + a PC/Mac or from a media PC... but from a pure simplicity and ease of use... the Escient brings digital music management straight to the family room. The Fireball supports an Internet connection to identify all CDs and songs just like MP3 music managers do, like iTunes. It allows you to organize your music into categories and playlists, and provides an automated connection to multiple CD changers to play the music. Features: ----------- - Does everything the Tunebase 200 does for CD jukebox management - Can act as a digital transport - Play uncompressed music and send the Toslink output to your favorite DAC for processing to bypass the Escient DACs. - The unit looks good and fits right in your rack with the rest of your equipment. - This is not some cobbled together media PC like the Imerge S1000. Open this up and there is a simple integrated motherboard. Very reliable too... this thing never crashes. Music: ------- - Multiple options for MP3 recording quality including uncompressed lossless WAV file so you get the equivalent of real CD playback. Each quality setting has a large impact on the amount of songs you can record. So the better the quality, the fewer the songs. - Keeps track of disk usage in bar chart and hour metrics so you know how full the Fireball is. - Escient taps Gracenote for music information just like iTunes, and a separate database for cover art. It correctly identified and cataloged almost 100% of my collection which was mainly rock, pop, soundtracks. The cover art hit rate is near 100% for pop and rock, but 60% or less with soundtracks or other compilation CDs. The user interface does give you the ability to tweak the Artist and Title information (spelling, wording, etc.) to get the right cover. - H-40 Fireballs can share song lists and stream music to each other. So if you have two, you basically double your storage capacity. Control: --------- - All controls you need are provided on the front of the unit. - A nice blue multi-line display is provided on the front to view what's playing (Artist and Title), and to see menus and song lists when selecting something to play. - The system can be controlled with the supplied remote, an included wireless keyboard, or an optional touch panel. The Keyboard provides a very easy way to enter updates to track and title information. The touch panel (Escient ETP-1000) works great. The display changes slightly to require fewer touches. Nice feature. - Searching is easy. Use the remote to specify a letter and the Titles scroll right down to that letter. - The graphic interface is great! Much better than competitors Xiva (iMerge, Marantz, Sonance, etc.) and Audio Request. Lots of information. Intuitive menus and movement. Access CDs by cover photo, title, songs, artists, playlists or group/genre. The ability to access 2 dimensions on a single screen is what really makes the interface work... scroll down to see the songs, scroll right/left to apply filters like Rock, Pop, etc. Try one of the competing products, and you realize the Escient strength. - The system also integrates with AMX and Crestron via RS-232. In addition to RS-232, AMX provides a Phast SAM module to support quick integration with Landmark Phast systems. - Escient Pipeline software lets you manage and print lists of your CDs and MP3s. Even lets you transfer MP3s from your PC to the Fireball.

Similar Products Used: Escient Tunebase 100 Escient Powerplay Escient Fireball Imerge S1000
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