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Considering an upgrade from Lex DC1 to Meridian for Video System Only - Worthwhile??

1273 Views 63 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Dennis Erskine
I am considering upgrading my Lex DC1 v4.0 processor. I use this processor for my video system only as I maintain a separate preamp (Audio Research REF1) for 2 channel audio. Therefore 2 channel audio / bypass issues do not apply to my situation.

I am using a 5 speaker setup with a single sub.

Question is, for DVD and DSS listening will there be a noticable difference on the audio between my current Lex and the Meridian processors and is it worthwhile to upgrade?

In looking at the Meridian's it seems that 561's can be gotten for about half of the price of a 568.

The differences from a procesing standpoint seem to be:


Analog Inputs=1 x 20bit ADC

Processing=2 x 56002, 1 x 56303

Analog Output=3 x 20bit DAC


Analog Inputs=1 x 24 bit ADC

Processing=2 x 56002, 1 x 56303, 1 x 56007

Analog Output=4 x 24bit DAC

Question is, does the extra procesing power affect non 24/96 material.

As 24/96 material becomes more available (who knows what format we will end up with) will it make more of difference?


[This message has been edited by gages (edited July 21, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by gages (edited July 21, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by gages (edited July 21, 2000).]
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What are you hoping to gain by going from the DC-1 to a Meridian?

And what is the rest of your system like?


Buzz Goddard

TAG MCLAren Audio
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Balance of my system (video only):

Sunfire Cinema Grand 5 Channel Amp


Pioneer DV-05

CI Scaler

DILA Projector

Stewart 54x96 Studiotek 130 Screen

Front speakers - Von Schweikert VR5's

Center channel - B&W HTM 1 going to a Von Schweikert Center channel (to match VR5's)

Rears - Sonance in walls

Sub - Sunfire True MKII

I have not tested the market in a while (having painlessly gone through the various software iterations on the DC1) an researching what improvements are available. Note, my sources for this system are DVD and DSS only.

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I think it is pretty much lateral. And I guess you can count me as highly biased, but I never much cared for the look, feel and ergonomics of the 500 series from Meridian.

But it comes down to very personal tastes. Lot's of people like them and the whole digital system is pretty impressive. Alot of the decision is based on usage habits. For heavy tweaking and futzing with my system, the MC-1 is hard to beat. BUt for day to day, I love the look and feel of my AV32R, so that's what lives in my system. It's just a pleasure to use. And music and video is all about the enjoyment anhd pleasure so...


Buzz Goddard

TAG MCLAren Audio
Jerry is certainly entitled to his opinion, but it is only that. For every claim that Meridian is "better" than Lexicon, you can find posts from Lexicon owners asserting the opposite. Both Meridian and Lexicon are at the forefront of value-added proprietary surround processing, so that isn't a reason to switch.

None of these assertions are particularly useful when comparing equipment in a category where sound quality differences are going to be very small--if any.

Since volume differences as little as .1 dB have been shown to account for perceived superiority even in the *SAME* equipment, it's not likely that any of these claims of sonic superiority are the result of any reliable controlled testing. Unless the two processors were double-blind (or even single-blind) tested with output levels matched within .1 dB (as measured by a voltmeter at the speaker terminals), there is nothing reliable to be drawn these observations. Nebulous claims about one processor or the other "sounding better in every way" etc. are just owners justifying their purchase.

I agree with Buzz--you have a fine processor right now, and any change you make should be for an objective increase in capability. Whatever differences might exist in one area or the other, a Meridian 568 is primarliy a lateral move, and not worth the expense. (Since contrary to prior claims Meridian has now announced the 561 will not be upgradeable to support 24/96 without downconversion, there is zero logic in trading in one obsolete processor for another).

Given the imminent roll-out of the new high-res mutlichannel formats (DVD-A and SACD), it seems a particularly bad time to change unless there is a compelling shortcoming in your present processor. Wait 6 months to see how all the major players are dealing with the evolving formats, and then make a decision. In the meantime, take the money you were going to spend and buy some DVDs.


Philip Brandes
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In some ways it is a lateral move- and Im gonna make an analogy that cant possibly be perfect, but its the best I can do: assuming that the 568 has 99% of the 861s sound, going from the mc-1 to a 568 would be like going from a lexus ls 400 to a bmw 740i. the 740 is a little more expensive but it has a "feel" to it that can not be duplicated in the lexus. About the meridian DD, supposedly thats the case, their DD is in their software and it has been tweaked, or if I was doing the propaganda material Id call it "optimized".

Whatever you do, dont go for the logic of, well, there are so many lexicon proponents on the net. for all you know, one could be better than the other, but how does the number of posts favoring one or the other make that so? it doesnt. this is just information exchange. go find a dealer with both and take a listen; keep in mind that the meridian is probably more expensive so they would probably rather sell you that, although I dont know the exact margins. but the point is, try a comparison. when I did it at home, and when I tried it *at the same levels http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif * I was very surprised.

- Jerry

[This message has been edited by aerialman (edited July 21, 2000).]
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Sonically, I can say for a fact when talking about decoding (the codacs used for Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.) there are no noticable difference between the 561/568/861 processors. In fact, their ads and Meridian will even tell you that. The software for it if you have ever done Meridian upgrades is essentialy the same, just different flash for the perticular product. What is importantant is the software decoding that is written for DD, DTS, etc. is the same software algorythm that is used for the 561/568/861.

Now, this is not to say there are not some differences between the processors. The obvious being the 568 can do 24/96 on the front channels and other small differences too. Then we have the 861 which has it all, including card based design layout. Fully loaded though the 861 sells for $15K or there about.

I have heard all three of them in person at the same store and unless using Meridian 24/96 DSP speakers, 24/96 source material and analog speakers, etc. there are no decoding sonic differences between them (i.e. DD, DTS, etc.)

Right now I'm using a 561 and they are coming out with upgrades all the time just like they do with the 568 and 861. It's just a question of how much money you want to spend and what you want to do. If you can demo them in person you will notice what I mean and can tell if it's worth it to go with a certain unit over the other.

Happy shopping and listening,


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I don't know what you would gain by switching out your DC-1 for a Meridian. If you were going for the whole Meridian digital theater, I could understand that. But I don't see the bang for the buck in changing over given your system. Is there something in particular you are looking for in a new processor? Granted the DC-1 (and really for that matter the 561 and 568) are a little long in the tooth. The use older DSP and DAC's, and are limited in format handling, but it seems to me to be a somewhat lateral move. Or am I missing something here?


Buzz Goddard

TAG MCLAren Audio

[This message has been edited by Buzz Goddard (edited July 21, 2000).]
here we go again..........

my personal experience was going from a mc-1 to an 861. I was not tremendously surprised to discover the 861 sounded so much better for 2 channel sources (either in stereo mode or trifield); but I was very surprised that the 861 actually sounded better with movies as well. why is this relevent to you? because the 568 is supposed to have virturally all of the 861s performance (indeed, had the 568 been out at the time, I would definately have considered it). anyhow, the way I can describe the performance difference is like this: with the mc-1, I could hear a difference between dts and DD, dts sounded "fuller/richer". with the 861, dd and dts sound nearly identical, both sounding very full and rich. I did a head to head comparison with this and I was very surprised.

incidentially, I switched from the dc-1 to the mc-1 and I found the improvement fairly noticeable- especially with the noise floor.

I like the lexicon products very much, and in terms of ease of setup, they cant be beat. My goal here is not to start a flame war of "mines better/bigger" Im sure when the new theta casablanca 2 comes out, were gonna hear about "whose king of the hill now?!" my point here is to relay to you my real experience. by the way, a friend had the exact same experience (he switched his mc-1 for a 561).

- Jerry
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Does Meridian do something to the DD algorithm, different than the algorithm lexicon uses? What would be responsible for the improvement in the DD sound with the Merdian so that it(DD) sounded, to you, similar to DTS?


Buzz Jerry,

So is going from a DC1 to a Meridian 561/568 (once again for movies only) a lateral move or a step up?

Also, in people's experience how does the 561 compare to the 568?

I'm on Jerry's side of the fence on this one. I have been using Lexicon products for around ten years starting from the CP-1 then the CP-3+ to the DC-1 then finally the MC-1. However, I have also owned a complete 500 series componets (6 years ago) then moved up to the 861 about two years ago and also have a 561 in my secondary system. During all these transitions, I have had the pleasure of having both Lexicon and Meridian products side by side in my main A/V room to make comparisons.

So what did I find......The Lexicon products are very easy to set up(probably why many custom installers recommend Lexicon) and once set up sound good on movies but not so great on music. Each upgraded version of a Lexicon unit offered upgraded performance and more user friendliness. The overall sound of the Lex units have great bass extension and power with a flattened soundstage (not very 3-dimensional), there is an edge/grain to the upper mids and highs, steering is very good but there is a problem with main channels sound leaking into the surround channels.

The Meridian starting with the early 500 series was a pain to set up and was a bit buggy. However, once done so offered a spectacular sound that was more balanced than the Lexicon DC-1 I also had at that time. The bass was just as powerful and deep, it offered a huge soundstage with great imaging, didn't have a problem with the mids and highs, and leakage of sound into the surround channels was absent. The sound was much easier on the ears and sounded more musical.

Having traded up my entire 500 series for an 861 with just paying the difference in price after about 4 years was a dramatic improvement (one of those hard to find big big improvements). Everything falls into place and I'm stuck in my room for hours and hours listening to music and watching countless movies. It is way too hard to describe how audio sounds by typing into a computer, and the 861 or the 568 should be listened to at your home to fully appreciate its qualities. Just over a year ago is when I purchased the MC-1 to replace my DC-1 for the other system. Here is where I demoed the MC-1 against the 861 in my main room with less than stellar results with the 861 totally outclassing the MC-1.

After that comparison I traded in the MC-1 for the 561.

So if people can't hear the difference between these units then I suggest that you save yourself some money and buy a receiver because going from a DC-1 to a 568 is no lateral move. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
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Where to start.

I would say that the DC-1 to 561 could be considered a lateral move. (for movies) I would not make that move myself. Now if you were considering moving up to the 568, that is a different story.

The 561 will accept a 48/24 signal on input. The 568/861 will accept a 96/24 signal on input and they both will also upsample to 88.2 and 96k depedning on source.

Meridian has a pretty close relationship with Dolby. (I am sure Lex does too.) and I believe Meridian is the only one's who offer mix mode. (Mix level flag) (THX uses the mix mode. The 565 was used by Lucasfilm for the trilogy special edition and the 861 was used on TPM.)

I too had a CP3+ and have spent a lot of time with a DC-2. I enjoy both companies products. I consider Lex a stellar performer with movie soundtracks. The have also always had a wonderful upgrade program. (or more correctly trade-in program.) As far as setup, both are very similar and both also offer heavy customization.

I can agree with Buzz, Meridian has a unique look for their 500 series. But Lex really has no look, its a basic industrial design. I think Evan described the look of the lex products best when he wrote, "The work for this updated box has been dedicated to the inner workings, clearly not its outside appeal. If this were a blind date, the DC-2 would be described as having a great personality."

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Originally posted by Philip Brandes:

Since volume differences as little as .1 dB have been shown to account for perceived superiority even in the *SAME* equipment, it's not likely that any of these claims of sonic superiority are the result of any reliable controlled testing. Unless the two processors were double-blind (or even single-blind) tested with output levels matched within .1 dB (as measured by a voltmeter at the speaker terminals), there is nothing reliable to be drawn these observations. Nebulous claims about one processor or the other "sounding better in every way" etc. are just owners justifying their purchase.

So true words. I fully agree. These are the words I try to live by.

(Although I would take a sound pressure level meter for matching and a switch board, instead of a volt meter).

As a matter of fact I live the above question "daily".

Two friends own Lexicon, two (including me) own Meridian.

The debate of who is the best is now in its 6th! year.

A couple of years back a first comparision test was done on a 4 channel switch board, between a Meridian 565, a CP-3 plus and a Proceed PAV in Dolby Prologic, with two rears and no center. The outcome was that all sounded almost alike. The LEX won, but not because of it's better sounding, but of it more aggressive surrounds. Some say leackage, some say more aggressive and some don't bother at all.

Now, to me this test doesn't proof anything at all (how can, I own a Meridian, see quote above). In reality too great are subjective perceived differences, many cannot or do not want to hear (the depth of the image, the treble fidelity, etc).

Lexicon created the Logic7 mode, which to some is maybe the most important feature, when opting for a LEX, not matter what can be found on the other side of the river. It is true, the early Meridians had some bugs and got some "bad credit" for it.

I just made my up-grade from a Yamaha DSPA-1 to a Meridian 861.

To me, using cheap stereo amplifiers, there is already an improvement.

It is not necessarily the fidelity, there you need a A/B comparision, but the decoding as mentioned by others. Imaging is to many people just the ability to localise hard pinned sounds, for me it the ability also to make the the speakers disappear. I watched the new Bond two weeks ago and I have never experienced such precise steering as with the Meridian. Objects from the rear left came in and matched so precisely the movements on my 80 inch wide image. It was amazing.

This is probably due to the fact that a Meridian can be set up so precisely and so difficult. Delays, level and phase controll, together with an aspect ratio speaker layout setting made in my case the difference. My setup is more deep than wide, which means the distance between the front speakers is smaller than the distance between front and rear speakers (factor 1:1,4).

Soon "our" debate will go in a final round, then an 861, a DC-1 or MC1 and an EAD will be compared in AC-3 and dts and then we'll see.....

BTW: The 861 was designed to the following aspect as mentioned by Robert Stuart in TPV:

-up to 72 Bit precision

-up to 64 channels

-up to 384 KHz sampling

Also have in mind that the 861 and the 568 offer digital anti jitter buffer, I am not sure about the 561. What about the DC-1 ?.

Things I can note on about the LEX (heard at friend's setups, of course no other processor around for direct comparision):

+ ballanced sound (no direct anomalies, like harsh treble, etc)

+ good surround steering

- front leakage into surround in matrix mode

+ easy operation

+ I recall you can also just set re-eq independantly

I strongly recommend to down-load the Meridian manuals and to study them. Maybe the overall sound of a Meridian betters a LEX, but you would also have to live with a Meridian for quite some time http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif .




unofficial MERIDIAN forum www.softronix.com/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi

[This message has been edited by Andreas (edited July 23, 2000).]
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As Philipe stated, "Given the imminent roll-out of the new high-res mutlichannel formats (DVD-A and SACD), it seems a particularly bad time to change unless there is a compelling shortcoming in your present processor."

To me, the debate of Logic 7 on the Lexicon platform (DC1, DC2, and MC1) versus Meridian, etc. seems secondary to the upgradeability of the platform. The DC1 has run its course from an upgradeability standpoint as related to the limit of its DACs.

While the Lex to Meridian swap at this point in time may be considered a lateral move, the question of what platform will most easily migrate to the new 24/96 formats (DVD-A, and SACD) is paramount. The reason I am considering moving from the Lex would be a step up in processing capability as well as a new platform for growth into the new formats.

As with any audio component a true opinion can only really be formulated with an audition within ones system and environment.

Philipes advice is to "Wait 6 months to see how all the major players are dealing with the evolving formats, and then make a decision."

The real question seems to be:

Is a $6,500 investment in a Meridian 568 a wise choice in terms of choosing a new platform for the future?

If the answer is yes (and the Meridian works for me versus the Lex) then there seems no reason not to move ahead.

If the answer is maybe (or no) than perhaps the answer is to wait.

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When I decided to buy a DC-1 a few years ago, I called Lexicon and they said it would not be obsolete within 3 years. Well, slightly more than 12 months after I bougth the dc-1, the MC-1/DC-2 come out and Lexicon says "we'll continue updates for the DC-1, but it will be phased out and its at our discretion" They have every right to do this, and I dont think they lied to me. They did sell though, so dont think any manufacturer is above this.

As far as future compatability, consider that J. Robert Stewart is the guy who invented MLP, the format of DVD-A. MLP=meridian lossless packing. I the 861 has this already built into it and I just checked with the meridian site and the 568 has it. I think there must still be the question of what kind of connector will be needed and this would be wise to take up with whomever you use. As far as I understand it, lexicon plans to use the 3 ABC digital inputs on the rear of the unit. each is SPDIF, which can carry at most 2 channels of 96/24. Lexicons plan as I understand it is they will make a seperate DVD-A box, it will decode and deencrypt the dvd-a signal to 3 channels of SPDIF, which go to the MC-1. this box would use rs-232 to transfer your bass management settings over to the box which would impose them.

as far as waiting 6 months, thats fine, but technology is here for us- not for us to wait for. its like buying a pc, you wait, you get more, but you waited- IMHO Im not even sure if DVD-A/SACD will take off, my group of techie friends (not experts mind you) all thinks they will take off, but very slowly, much slower than DVD-video.

Now, I cannot let several COMPLETE DISTORTIONS by ABCIII go unnoticed. I apologize for the tone but they are that- distortions. First I will say, he is right that Lexicon has amazing customer service and has in the past had an upgrade program second to none. I have heard several cynical dealers remark that the great MC-1 upgrade program was designed to bring the msrp more in line to 4000 so more people would buy and hold/ increase Lexicon market share. Having compared the MC-1/DC-1 I think this is mostly cynicism- the MC-1 is a big time improvement over the DC-1, but it is better suited to the 4k price level.

To reiterate, there is NO WAy the Meridian in ANY mode can touch the Logic7 mode of the MC-1. Whether it is Logic 7 for music, Dolby Digital 5.1 Logic7, DTS 5.1 Logic7, or any other music logic mode I cannot think of right now, the Lexicon MC-1 has the Meridian 568/562 combo beaten, easily, in my opinion. In fact, I felt after all the auditioning I did that the oonly way, yes, THE ONLY WAY, the Meridian was on par with or a tad better that the Lexicon MC-1 (still cannot top Logic7, not matter what model), is to have the Meridian 861, Meridian DVD Player, Meridian CD Player, Meridian amps, and the Meridian top line digital speakers. ( the speakers are key as the sound of Meridian is really nothing special or reference quality if the 861, etc. are not playing through their own digital speakers.
I spent hours comparing DPL on my system which is a 5.1 system. I compared Logic 7 thx (lexicon's mode to generate steered rears) to Meridian's DPL thx mode. the sources were, hdtv, dvd, and LD. I found both performed very well- both left the impression that you might as well be listening to a discrete 5.1 track--- almost. so, in fact the meridian system does touch the lexicon system. My notes were that the meridian wasnt quite as aggressive as the lexicon. For the record, I preferred Logic 7, but it wasnt by a tremendous streatch.

On to the digital theater- Im sure meridian would appreciate the plug for the entire system, but comparing the entire Meridian Digital Theater to a system using "regular" analog speakers myself and a friend who has a similar setup had the same reaction. its more work, and not quite as elegant, but you dont need the entire meridian digital theater. as a matter of fact we found the then top of the line 6000 speakers sounding a little tinny and a little boomy- not by much and not bad speakers but overall we'd take the analog speakers. as to sources, Ive tried several digital sources with the 861, and they all sound the same- they are a pioneer elite ld/dvd/cd machine, sony es cd changer, panasonic dvd/cd player- Ive tried optical and coax connections, and I detect no difference. I credit the jitter reduction in the 861 for this.

When we tested the Meridian 861 with a DVD movie and the Meridian 5.1 speaker setup, I have to say that the system is about as good as I will ever hear. No question. The ONLY problems I have are looks (hate these looks too), and price. The 861 ALONE is $16,000 depending on what you want, the DVD is around $6000 (give or take $1000) and the speakers and amps are in the $50,000 range. Essentially, it would cost about $70,000 to top the quality of the MC-1.
the 861 is around 10k for the box, then you add cards as needed. street prices are around 12k. it is expensive, however, after comparing the mc-1 (msrp 6k, street 4k) to the 861 (with some typical options msrp 14k/street 12k) I determined that on music it was infinitely better (more than 3x, which if you were doing it on a price basis= 4k x 3= 12k) and on movies it was probably 1.5-2 x better.

THAT is why the MC-1 is such a good value. The Meridian "basic" system 568/562 (or is it 561?)combo costs up to about $10,000. That is $10,000 compared to the Lexicon MC-1 list of $6000. And the $6000 will almost certainly be discounted by a good dealer. Why? Why do you pay such a premium for Meridian if you want it? I am SURE that the Meridian line of products are among the best made and they feel that they are justified in charging a premium price. No other reason. You are buying the NAME as well as the product.
you dont think this is true for Lexicon also? its all the same- they have a certain name recognition. consider this- they are willing to take 1/3 or 30% off their dealer price- how come? whats taking the hit? probably the premium for the name, someone made a decision to leverage that for market share.

That was made crystal clear when I called their customer service with some general questions. Rude, pompous and snobby are not even enough to describe the way they begaved on the phone. In fact, they seem to think that because they work at Meridian that they are better human beings than you. I realize they never really said that, but from what they actually said, that is certainly a possibility.
unfortunately, this is true- sometimes. from the few calls Ive made, Ive had both good and bad experiences. I never got the sense they felt they were superior though.

Like I said, the choice was a very EASY one for me to make
Im glad it was easy for you, Steve has asked our assistence with a decision worth several thousand dollars.

Steve, with this kind of money I think you would be wise to check out others as well, how about EAD, or others? I think Lex and Meridian are probably the leaders for the video side, but ask your questions.

For me, knowing what I know now, I would probably go with the 568 but- you have to be sure you dont need the video switching since the v2 box costs some more money. If you can go direct to your video processor/ display youll get less signal loss anyhow.

- Jerry

[This message has been edited by aerialman (edited July 23, 2000).]
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If you'd like to get rid of that 861 for my 568, no problem! You were saying that now as the 568 is available, for your purposes, you wouldn't buy the 861, you would go for the 568, correct?



you brought a smile to my face http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif I actually expected to get hit pretty hard- something I dont think anyone looks forward to. Every now and then you find something you expect to be a "keeper" the 861 is that for me. just when I went to demo it, the price was very high and I was surprised that I found myself reching for my wallet so quickly! the 568 would have been easier to justify. in my system, the only other things that are true keepers are the aerial speakers- although the cc3 might become a trade for a cc5.....

- Jerry
First, let's clear up a few things here.

One other company that wasn't mentioned that has great customer service, highly upgradable and at the top of line is Krell. Their HTS is fully upgradable, you can put a new chip in it very easy if they come out with a revision or new decoding and it's also card based too. The sound from it will beat anything in it's class and then some, even the Meridian 861 on music. I know this to be true because I have heard in person at the same store the Krell, Meridian 561/861 processors. Other keys incude their CAST techknowledgy which improves sound as well. They certainly are in the top three companies period.

Also, let's clear things up about Meridian customer service. I can't speak for others, but both myself and the dealership have had nothing but exceptional service and support from them. They are very polite on the phone and will spend whatever time it takes to resolve issues or answer questions. Their customer service is top notch in my book and certainly a far cry from what was stated here in my expierence.

Krell and Theta also have excellent customer service that echos much of the same above. They are always willing to help resolve any issues, problems, etc. Don't believe what you read here, it's just not true.

There are really only three companies that from my expierence does the job right and will support and keep them current: Krell, Meridian and Theta. They are indeed the top three, will beat any others and continue to improve and remain at the forefront of thier game. While I have heard the Harmon Kardon stuff, like the Lexicons, Proceed, etc. they will not touch the three companies mentioned above.

Logic 7 is good, but both Krell and Meridian will beat it in the ground with their music modes. If you get a chance to hear each one of these in person and compare it to the Lexicon you will know what I mean.

NOTE: I really encourage an in-person demo no matter what your choice or preference is though. We can all sit here, write about and give our opinions on the matter but that doesn't make it real to you. What you like rather a Lexicon, Meridian, Krell, or Theta is up to you and that is why you can discuss until eternity and it won't give you the expierence. So, my best advice I can give to anyone on theater gear is to stop writing and go shopping. You will be happy you did and besides you get to demo all the geat gear regardless of what you choose!



[This message has been edited by TheaterJeff (edited July 23, 2000).]
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The Lexicon is a solid dependable unit but the Meridians are just far more refined and adjustable for a multichannel setup. The flash software upgrade and computer set-up of all the models (561/568/861) is light years ahead of the Lex in terms of obselecence.

Soundstage/depth and percision are vastly superior in the Meridian Processors.

I do not like their digital speakers (Meridian), but with features like 1Hz adj x-overs and multiple sub outputs how can any of the lex's be called modern.

I never understood why Lex did not look at software driven units esp with the MC-1.

I am of the firm belief, that mgf's who do not look at doing this (flash upgrades)and card based hardware processors will eventually notice falling sales and reviews that reflect their relative lack of upgrade-ability.

Even Japanese companies such as Onkyo are now realising that the consumer is backlashing against the upgrade process. With changes such as HDTV/DVD-A/SACD/Firewire etc etc consumers are scared to spend big dollars on top line equipment that may be outdated within a year.

The only three main high-end companies that realise the potential problems with consumers upgrade blues are Meridian/Theta/Proceed .

We need all high-end mgf's to lead the consumer to feeling as safe as possible in spending their hard earned cash.

If they do not then I believe they will suffer a less than dignified demise as we head into an ever changing format battle.

The future is going to lead us to more channels, more choice on bass management set-up's, digital time and room correction on all channels, more processing power, better DACs and less jitter .So why spend $6000 - $7000 every time a mgf realises that they can not do something new with the circuitry in their processor ? Why not just slide a new board in that has the circuitry rather that through away a processor that is still running fine ? Much like F1 racing the developments must be lead by innovative product's like the 861/Cassablanca/PSD/800/Cassanova/MDT.

561 vs DC-2 even money

568 vs MC-1 Meridian with ease

561 vs DC-2 vs MC-1 vs 861 Meridian 861 by a galaxy and 1/2.

861 vs Cassablanca 11 ??

Question is are you hooked on Multichannel ? If you are and it is a passion get the 861 or even the Cassablanca 11 and save money in the long term.

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