I got interested in Emotiva when they announced the UMC-1. That product has turned out to be a pretty big disappointment so I'd not recommend a pre-amp from them. Their amps have a far better on-line reputation. Emotiva also has good reputation for customer service and a very liberal return policy so an amp may be well worth checking-out.
IMO its worth a shot. The USP-1 sells for $399 with free shipping. Emotiva has a 30 day, no questions asked return policy. The worst thing that can happen is that you hate it. You'd only be out the cost of return shipping to Tennessee if that happens.