Originally Posted by Rod#S
Very interesting read. I keep on loving my MC-12. It seems no matter how many of my friends' places I go to and I hear their current receivers (Pioneer, Pioneer Elite, Denon, Yamaha, I don't think anyone has an Onkyo though) I always walk away thankful I have not moved on from my MC-12 and unlike myself some of my friends have dedicated HT rooms which are orders of magnitude better acoustical enviroments then my apartment and I think that's what surprises me the most. If the 10 (10+ now maybe) year old MC-12 platform can make my crappy room sound so good what could it do in my friends' room.
I concur with you Rod. I have owned processors for 18 years.. From the fossgate analog to Lexicon DC1 (actually, the fossgate was probably better except it didn't have dolby digital), Lexicon DC2 (bad!) and the Lexicon MC1 (excellent). I used them with JBL synthesis 3 system and subsequently with Bryston 7bst monoblocks for front 3 channels..
When the Integra came out with DTS HD MA, I read rave reviews on this forum and I fell for that! I formed a mistaken opinion that my $5000 lexicon mc1 had become outdated.. Sold it for $500 and bought the Integra receiver (around $1800 to $2100 - I don't remember). Got it home.. with the intent of using it only as a processor.. hooked it up with my Bryston mono block amps etc.... Alas! within the first few minutes, I realised.. what a mistake I made! It sounded like any other typical receiver!!
I tried its audessy and that was even worse (lost fidelity, in my opinion!). Fortunately, I was able to get rid of it quickly (it was actually sold out in the market and there was a waiting list of a couple of weeks at that time! So I didn't lose much money).. and I bought a Lexicon MC12 (non HD). I find the MC12 to be superior to MC1. Even though my MC12 does not process DTS MA HD, considering that 98% of my viewing is TV, I am perfectly happy with it. I have also installed Anthem processors for two of my friends. They were set up with QSC pro amps. Anthem also sounds great - perhaps as good as the MC12 but for 1/2 the price of MC12. If I were in the market today, I would probably buy the Anthem. I heard that Lexicon lost a lot of its original engineers. I am not necessarily writing this because I have a liking for lexicon. As I wrote, I probably would rather buy an Anthem next but the Lexicon MC12 is truly an amazing processor. I find it very surprising that any of the receivers can sound close it it..
Disclaimers: I have not heard the current generation $2000+ range receivers; therefore I could be off base.. but I don't think so.. I do have 17+ years of experience of high end home theater..
I do own a couple of $500 receivers. One of them drives a JBL synthesis center speaker. Those receivers are actually excellent. I think both are by Sony.. The point is, the receivers certainly have come a long way. They do sound great! But frankly, I am not sure that I would find a $3000 receiver to be far superior to the $500 receiver.. again.. based on my prior Integra fiasco! Most were saying similar things.. that it is better than Lexicon MC1 etc.. and its the future.. blah blah!
Granted, it probably is slightly better than a $500 receiver and has many bells and whistles but for my normal usage, I am extremely happy with the sub $500 sony receivers. But having said that, I find that most receivers have certain similarity in sound characteristics, which to me, make them sound like a "typical receiver" - no matter what brand. I guess one brand might well be better or worse than other but over all, they lack the "power and authority" of a system consisting of a separate processor and high power external amps. Even though I used my integra with my high power mono blocks, the resulting sound fidelity (not spl!) was still closer to my $500 receiver than to my MC12.. I have nothing against those who prefer audessy or $3000 receivers.. Just expressing my opinion..
Therefore, I concur with Rod, that the MC12 and its high end bretheren .. whether the Anthem, the Meridian, et al.. do sound quite superior compared to the typical all in one receiver boxes. Are the high end processors worth the $10,000+ prices? Perhaps to others but certainly not to me! $5000 for an MC1 was the most I was willing to spend, for a processor at that time (MC12 was not released). When MC12 came out and was what? 12,000? I thought it was ridiculously priced.. Subsequently, I was able to buy an mc12, used, for $3500 and was thrilled at first sound!
ps: Blazar - I agree with you, about the XLR connections. While I have not really done a/b testing, I would prefer to use xlr. You are using good amps with your integra and if you are happy, thats great.. the 11.4 might give a different dimension - a superior dimension.. and it might make the integra preferable to you.. I can't say that mc12 would be superior to a 11.4 set up.. I am only writing about basic fidelity of sound.. MC12 and anthem do sound quite high end! I hope you will have a chance to audition one, in your own system.. Again, if your primary objective is dts hd ma and 11.4, yes, the mc12 is not for you.. I don't know about current offerings of Anthem. My experience is 5 years old.Edited by audvid - 12/28/12 at 2:55pm