Originally Posted by jdlynch
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.
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.
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/Edited by Frank D - 2/2/14 at 11:18am