Lexicon MC12B > Marantz 8801 > what ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 12-28-2013, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Earlier in the year I sold my MC12B and purchased a Marantz 8801. The main reason, besides the hype over the 8801, was HDMI hook-up and how well XT32 integrated my sub into my HT system.

Even though the Marantz is very good it still lacks enough sound quality compared to my Lexicon that I can tell a difference. Even though my sub sounds better the "airiness" , clarity, and top-end I was used to is gone. I am not sure if that is because of the pre-amp section being better or the fact that I was using analog inputs on my Lex.

What should I consider, in the pre-owned market, that wll get me performance equal to the lexicon, and, have a sub EQ? I don't need EQ for the upper ranges just the sub. Maybe a legacy processor plus an out-board EQ device?

My Oppo has HD decoding and analog outputs.

I don't have the time or patience to learn REW or similar software.

David Lynch
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post #2 of 22 Old 12-28-2013, 10:03 PM
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I was in a similar situation. The 8801 is good, but a downgrade from the mc12b. For room coorection/EQ there are not that many good options. If you want to go HTPC route, DIRAC is nice. I ended up going Anthem D2 as the sound is better than mc12b and the ARC room correction is better than audyssey. It's the best you can get IMO without going to something like Theta or Trinnov.
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post #3 of 22 Old 12-29-2013, 06:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion.

Does the anthem D2 output discrete 7.1 audio or is it matrixed?

Also, how well does ARC handle frequencies less than 80hz?

I was thinking about going back to an MC12, but, I would lose discrete 7.1 HD audio, and, would have to use something like an anti mode to handle the bass frequencies. I had no problem using the analog inputs as opposed to HDMI.

David Lynch
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post #4 of 22 Old 12-29-2013, 06:51 AM
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The anthem is not fully set up so I cannot comment on ARC less than 80 hz. Most of the guys in the DIY thread are using a MiniDSP to eq the subs
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-20-2014, 08:09 PM
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Everything on the market today is a compromise. There is very little out there that will satisfy everyone.

There is literally nothing on the market except maybe the datasat which satisfies all my wishes at the moment and I haven't actually heard it.

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post #6 of 22 Old 01-21-2014, 11:08 PM
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JD

Considered a Lexicon MC12HD used ?

Most would say why go to something that old - but if one likes the sound, the room correction, Logic 7 processing then why mess with it. The HD has the HDMI. I have a Lex MC12 and if it dropped dead would go and probably get a 12HD until something more satisfying comes out.

Tarun
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadhaT View Post

JD

Considered a Lexicon MC12HD used ?

Most would say why go to something that old - but if one likes the sound, the room correction, Logic 7 processing then why mess with it. The HD has the HDMI. I have a Lex MC12 and if it dropped dead would go and probably get a 12HD until something more satisfying comes out.

I actually have been looking at the used MC12HD units that occasionally show up. Something else I am considering is a used Theta Casablanca. I don't actually need the HD version since I can simply let my Oppo do the hi-Rez decoding and feed the CB through analog. The only issue that would leave me with is dealing with Bass EQ.

David Lynch
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post

I actually have been looking at the used MC12HD units that occasionally show up. Something else I am considering is a used Theta Casablanca. I don't actually need the HD version since I can simply let my Oppo do the hi-Rez decoding and feed the CB through analog. The only issue that would leave me with is dealing with Bass EQ.
You would need to add a Theta Six Shooter to get 5.1 Analogue with the CB. A lot of cables, no 7.1 without 2 EA. Six Shooters. I love Theta, but I would not go without the HD version. Norm
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post #9 of 22 Old 01-22-2014, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post

I actually have been looking at the used MC12HD units that occasionally show up. Something else I am considering is a used Theta Casablanca. I don't actually need the HD version since I can simply let my Oppo do the hi-Rez decoding and feed the CB through analog. The only issue that would leave me with is dealing with Bass EQ.

WOOPS! Just recently sold my Six Shooter.

If you go that route using analog interconnects, I've got some good ones for a more than fair price. HA!

Though I echo Norm and recommend at minimum going the CB3 HD route.!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-23-2014, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

You would need to add a Theta Six Shooter to get 5.1 Analogue with the CB. A lot of cables, no 7.1 without 2 EA. Six Shooters. I love Theta, but I would not go without the HD version. Norm

Thanks Tyree-

I admit I have some research to do regarding the Casablanca and which of its configurations would best fit my needs.

David Lynch
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post #11 of 22 Old 01-23-2014, 07:58 PM
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If its just for the subs I have had fantastic results with the Marchand Electronics Bassis Parametric EQ.

I was using the Levinson No. 40 SSP and the Bassis made a BIG DIFFERENCE, and if I remember correctly it's not that expensive.

Joey
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-24-2014, 02:44 PM
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"I was thinking about going back to an MC12, but, I would lose discrete 7.1 HD audio,"

I can fix that. wink.gif (in analog bypass mode)

Shawn
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post #13 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 09:17 AM
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jdlynch: I am in the same boat. I sold my Lex and am using the 8801 for several months. I can live with it but it is not as good sounding as the Lexicon. Not for music anyway. I've always been curious about the Casablanca. lf you end up getting one, please post your opinion. Call me overly optimistic, but I am waiting for the release and subsequent user reviews of the Emotiva piece. It reads good on paper, but I guess the company has a legacy to improve upon. We'll see.

 

Mike

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post #14 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spentmuch View Post

jdlynch: I am in the same boat. I sold my Lex and am using the 8801 for several months. I can live with it but it is not as good sounding as the Lexicon. Not for music anyway. I've always been curious about the Casablanca. lf you end up getting one, please post your opinion. Call me overly optimistic, but I am waiting for the release and subsequent user reviews of the Emotiva piece. It reads good on paper, but I guess the company has a legacy to improve upon. We'll see.

Mike

I will soon start looking for a few different units to try in my system. At the moment my contenders are the Theta CB, Mac MX151, Classe SSP800, and the Brston SP3.

David Lynch
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post #15 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post

Earlier in the year I sold my MC12B and purchased a Marantz 8801. The main reason, besides the hype over the 8801, was HDMI hook-up and how well XT32 integrated my sub into my HT system.

Even though the Marantz is very good it still lacks enough sound quality compared to my Lexicon that I can tell a difference. Even though my sub sounds better the "airiness" , clarity, and top-end I was used to is gone. I am not sure if that is because of the pre-amp section being better or the fact that I was using analog inputs on my Lex.

What should I consider, in the pre-owned market, for $4,000 or less that wll get me performance equal to the lexicon, and, have a sub EQ? I don't need EQ for the upper ranges just the sub. Maybe a legacy processor plus an out-board EQ device?

My Oppo has HD decoding and analog outputs.

I don't have the time or patience to learn REW or similar software.

Read the "secrets of hi fi and home theater" website article on pre-pro's in the technical section of their website. Very enlightening.

I like the theta casablanca IV idea except that I really like dts neo X 11.2.

Even better is probabaly the Datasat which I am increasingly tempted by if I could get some S/N and distortion measurements on, no way I am spending upwards of $15000 on a preamp unless the sound quality will beat EVERY other pre-pro for at least a decade.

The depreciation on processors is a serious concern for me and would much prefer something really great on the used market.

None of the mainstream (denon, yamaha, onkyo, integra, marantz) pre-pros deliver truly "state-of-the-art" 2 channel music nor the supposedly technically superior room correction such as Dirac.

The main lesson from the big article on pre-pros on secrets of high fidelity website: 2 channel dac/output is compromised (not state of the art) by the multichannel shenanigans and other "features" in the name of cost containment.

My wish list:
-Great movie sound with room correction
-EXCEPTIONAL 2 channel sound with digital domain bass management and room correction if i need it.
-ESS sabre dacs

A great 2 channel preamp example as a referenece point is the pass labs Xs unit. VERY expensive but "secrets" had an impressive test benc review of it.

Blazar!
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post #16 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post

Earlier in the year I sold my MC12B and purchased a Marantz 8801. The main reason, besides the hype over the 8801, was HDMI hook-up and how well XT32 integrated my sub into my HT system.

Even though the Marantz is very good it still lacks enough sound quality compared to my Lexicon that I can tell a difference. Even though my sub sounds better the "airiness" , clarity, and top-end I was used to is gone. I am not sure if that is because of the pre-amp section being better or the fact that I was using analog inputs on my Lex.

What should I consider, in the pre-owned market, for $4,000 or less that wll get me performance equal to the lexicon, and, have a sub EQ? I don't need EQ for the upper ranges just the sub. Maybe a legacy processor plus an out-board EQ device?

My Oppo has HD decoding and analog outputs.

I don't have the time or patience to learn REW or similar software.

I am somewhat in a similar circumstance. My current preamp is the MC12 B. I am also currently trying a Denon x4000 with XT32 using the preamp outs (have 30 days to return it and I am leaning towards returning it). To me the sound on my MC12B with Logic 7 was just better overall (except for it's poor EQ which was important for me and my room is treated). However the improvement made from using XT32 to correct the frequency part of the sound was significant in that area of the sound. The EQ in the MC12B did not fix the frequency very well in my opinion and if it had I would not be looking for another solution.

So if I do return the Denon x4000 I will be considering a few alternatives:

1. Get the MiniDSP 10x10 to adjust the full frequency domain. Cost is $599 plus $75 for mic and REW software is free. I still have my SVS AS-EQ1 SUB EQ to do the lower end as it appeared to do be doing a great job since I purchased it a few years ago. I had been using the AS-EQ1 with my Lex 12B. (So my problem frequency where above the 80 hz range). Note that you could use the 10x10 to adjust the frequency of the sub and not use something like the SVS AS-EQ1. I would only use the AS-EQ1 as I already own it.

http://www.minidsp.com/products/minidsp-in-a-box/minidsp-10x10-hd

2. Get the MiniDSP nanoAVR. Cost is only $299. Same idea as the MiniDSP10x10 but this is an hdmi in and out solution. Note that due to the fact that the nanoAVR only inputs and outpus LPCM via its hdmi in and out than I cannot use with my Lex MC12 B as it has no hdmi inputs but would work with the Denon X4000 or Anthem MRX510.

http://www.minidsp.com/products/minidsp-in-a-box/nanoavr-8x8

3. Try the Anthem ARC MRX510 using its pre outs. Not sure how this will compares to the Denon X4000 with Audyessy XT32 but from the various sources (spoken to sales people that sell both Denon and Anthem etc.) they say it should be better to much better. However vendors of this unit, higher end single owner audio shops, tend not to offer returns (ie vs Denon that is sold by larger stores like Best Buy)

4. Waiting for the Emotiva XMC-1. But it may be a while and I do not want to be the ginny pig as I suspect there could be issues.

Currently my feeling is that no matter which software (ie ARC, Audyessy etc.) you get (unless maybe the real high end like Trinnov or others) you will need to some small extra EQ adjustments and in some cases that can be significant improvement to the sound. Every room and individual's perceptions will be different.

If you want a very "easy" way start to measure your frequency response before buying or learning about the above noted items I suggest you try using your ipad, assuming you have one, and buy the Studio Six Digital app (about $20 dollars or so). If you keep your ipad in good shape and you have not damaged its mic or there is no dirt blocking the mic etc. than you should get some decent measurement results. This will give you an idea. I have the ipad 3 and have taken many repeatable measurements to my pleasant surprise. I have also compared the spl number to a radio shack meter using pink noise and again the amounts match. You have to understand that you are not using a calibrated mic so you may not want to soley depend on it for EQ adjustment purposes but if you like the software than Studio Six does sell a calibrated mic.

http://studiosixdigital.com/audiotools/
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post #17 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I have revised my original post by removing a price constraint. The more I have researched the more I have realized that many of the units that will meet my requirements cost considerably more than I was originally budgeting. Thanks for all the comments.

David Lynch
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post #18 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post

I have revised my original post by removing a price constraint. The more I have researched the more I have realized that many of the units that will meet my requirements cost considerably more than I was originally budgeting. Thanks for all the comments.

Lol yeah same conclusion for me

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post #19 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 01:52 PM
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Frank D couldn't you run your pre out on the Lex into Denon? Then you could run your source into the Lex apply logic7, I suppose you don't get all the adjustments on the Denon via multi inputs... But at least you may get similar music capability as today, but improved movie HD soundtrack capabilities
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post #20 of 22 Old 02-02-2014, 07:51 PM
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Frank D couldn't you run your pre out on the Lex into Denon? Then you could run your source into the Lex apply logic7, I suppose you don't get all the adjustments on the Denon via multi inputs... But at least you may get similar music capability as today, but improved movie HD soundtrack capabilities

The Denon has no 5.1 multi channel analog inputs just pre outs. However I may be able to use the Denon pre outs to my Lex analog inputs and apply Logic 7. Never tried that. That may actually work. Basically use the Denon for it EQ and hdmi abilities and the Lex for it Logic 7. However the Deon's EQ although very good was not good enough for me. I was hoping to get a flatter EQ curve. With Denon the EQ curve was much better than before but still not flat. I may just end up trying to use the 10x10 miniDSP with the Lex once I return the Denon X4000.
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post #21 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 03:33 AM
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Frank D: I could be wrong about this, but I thought if you use Lexicon's 7.1 analogue inputs, you will bypass most/all processing. No Logic 7. It's been a while since I've read over the manual, but check it out.

 

Michael

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post #22 of 22 Old 02-03-2014, 04:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by spentmuch View Post

Frank D: I could be wrong about this, but I thought if you use Lexicon's 7.1 analogue inputs, you will bypass most/all processing. No Logic 7. It's been a while since I've read over the manual, but check it out.

Michael

The MC12 does allow you to apply digital processing to the 5.1 analog inputs.

David Lynch
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