Emotiva UMC-1... Still a science-lab affair?

Hi, I'm new to Audiogon, and hi-fi in general. I started my journey on Audiogon looking for a new AVR to replace my beginner, entry-level Yamaha with something that will do my new speakers justice:

B&W CDM 7 Special Edition
B&W CDM C center channel

I picked out the Marantz SR6005, but asked a very knowledgable friend of mine about all of this and he suggested instead the Emotiva UMC-1 and a 2-channel amp for now; later I can buy another amp and pick up the rear channels. He said I can't beat the value for dollar, and the sound will be much better than the SR6005 that I am auditioning right now.

Whatever I get, I want to run in 2 channel (plus sub) most of the time and later do 5.1 when my theatre room is ready.

Problem is, my initial research on the UMC-1 is that most owners are really having to tinker with it to resolve bugs or get it to function properly. I can't tell if the bugs are worked out or not. I really don't want to live on a forum to see if "my issue is normal" or "do I need to update the software yet again."

His advice is probably very good, but should I stay away from the UMC-1?
I was not happy with my Emotiva processor experience. Very buggy and not intuitive operationally. As a company though they did honor a return with full refund.

When I crashed my Anthem AVM-2 moving I chose to go with an older Merdian 561 which as only about $200 on a well known auction site. I run it for audio only in a surround system with the video run HDMI directly from the DVD (Denon 2930) to a 50" plasma. It also sounds decent in 2 channel.

Lots of great sounding older high end 5 channel AV processors out there that can be had cheaply - Parasound, Lexicon, Proceed etc. if you are willing to run the video around them or if you still want to use component video or S-video.
I think the amps are terrific for the money and for home theatre.

I think they are still working out the bugs on the processors.

As a company, they really do stand behind their products.
Yesterday I received the Emotiva XDA-1 DAC. It works great and it built very well. I have played all day on a loop from a new 2011 Mach2Music Mac Mini. I got home from work and figured it should burn in a little and sound better than right out of the box. It was fully warmed up. I do not think I am going to keep it. I was going to use it in a second system but the HRT Music Streamer Pro and my spare Music Streamer II+ beat it by a huge margin. I am going to send it back. I thought I could plug it directly to my XA30.5 which run a pair of ultra high efficiency home brew speakers with a pair Fostex 208sigmas and Aurum Cantus 2 GSI tweeters and a pair of 12" Rythmic servo Subs on an open baffle. It is crazy how efficient my home brew speakers are but Emotiva DAC with it volume control could not drive the Pass Labs XA30.5 and speakers like the Music Streamers could using the volume control from the computer. Sonically the Emotiva XDA-1 was very poor compared to other lower priced DACs.
I'd get a decent 2 channel integrated now with a home theater bypass and add the receiver (which will depreciate faster than a banana) later if you really want good 2 channel sound. I started with a receiver based system, and now I hardly ever turn it on, but then I'm not too excited about 5.1 use.
My opinion.

I love Emotiva XPA amps. Amazing value

The UMC 1 is not a wise investment. Buy a used Anthem 30, B&K 50 s2, Krell Showcase, etc the same like money and run HD audio analog out of a oppo blu ray player. The UMC been around along time, and still buggy. Bass management is broken. Pop noises, audio dropouts + more are present too. A Onkyo 866 is under $600 shipped now on audiogon, I would easily recommend going that route over the UMC
I just received my Emotiva UMC 1 along with the xpa 5 amplifier. I'm running this with a Theta data basic cd transport, Theta DS pro prime II digital signal processor, apple tv and ps3 for the blu ray. My speakers are Vienna acoustics hadyn grands for the front and rears along with the theatro center. My sub is a pair of velodyne dd10's, along with a dls 3750 which is wired directly to the center speaker. Prior to the emotivas arrival, I used a parasound 1205a amp and the sunfire cinema grand IV preamp and this was a great sounding system to me. I'm not saying that the emotiva sounds better, but my friends and I are very impressed. I read as much as I could about emotiva and did what I could to get around the bass management issues which I experienced as soon as the system was up and running. I utilized the UMC 1's equalizer and made sure that all the speakers were flat below 80 hz. The amp has endless power and remains cool compared to the parasound. I've only used this system for several days now, but I'm throwing everything at it that I possibly can. No sound drops, no problems distinguishing sound fields, no problems returning to the correct settings, no problems switching from blu ray ect... Maybe emotiva has made improvements or it's possible that I received a unit that was well built. Movies, music (cd's and apple tv itunes) and hd tv are all great to hear and see. Very easy to spend hours ifo the system. I believe that everyone has a system or sound that is great to that individual. This may not be for some people, but is sure is perfect for me.
thanks audio and music lovers
I have had my UMC-1 for a while now. I also read about all of the problems. It seems that Emotiva made a huge error by releasing a buggy product. By the time I had ordered mine a year ago most of the bugs were fixed. I have no trouble at all with it and I have a fairly big theater system in a dedicated room. Sonically it's better than the Marantz and Onkyo units, which I also owned. It also does a nice job on two channel when I don't want to play with my 2nd, tube based system.
My buddy paid 2K for his Onkyo and we agreed the UMC-1 was not as nicely designed, harder to set up and tweak....but nicer sounding when we got it dialed in. I also have the upgrade card that will give me 50% off on the new Processor from Emotiva that comes with the UMC-1. I find that any time a low cost product threatens higher priced ones there is some disenchantment, but that's part of the audio hobby. You don't always get what you pay for. Some times less....sometimes more.

I have just taken delivery of the XDA-1 DAC.
My system consists of:
Denon AVR 3300
Rotell 991 Audiophile Edition
x Carver a500x amps (mono mode
DCM Time Window 7 (signatures)
Monster power source

the XDA made a HUGE difference in my digital music, all those ripped CD's, even in Loss Less mode, still sounded amazing w/the XDA and my CD Player...Much warmer, Diana Krall never sounded that good!
BUT, (yup there is a but)...I placed the unit on top of my AVR, and althogh the AVR is only being used as preamp, it does get hot and the XDA's bottom gets hot so the heat sandwiched in there broke something on the USB connection. USB wouldn't work, 4 windows computers, and 1 mac later..I gave up..called Emotiva and they're sending me a new one.

when funds become available, i'm going for their reference XPA1 amp. 1000wpc in 4 ohm, will be very nice for the DCM Time Window 7's :) and their next gen XSP 1 preamp. unless I learn and understand more about tube then I'll go tube.