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.
[This message has been edited by aerialman (edited July 23, 2000).]