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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking into getting into audiophile grade separates for the first time. I have a 5 speaker setup with nice Klipsch cf-4 mains and center, and Boston Acoustic rears. I want great movie surround AND 2 channel music. I want the best I can get without being taken to the cleaners. I ain’t made of money damnit! I am leaning towards the Anthem AVM20 with either a Sherbourn or classic Parasound amp which would set me back a little less than 5K all together and I am sure I would be happy with it. I am not convinced that getting into the slightly higher priced Aragon, Halo, or Proceed models would be worth the money. However, I can get the revered Lexicon brand MS8s and LX5 amp for 7.5K. This is more than I want to spend AND there would be some sacrifices: less hookups, no tuner, no universal remote. But if the sound for movies and 2 channel music would be noticeably improved and reach the ‘high end’ promise land I am tempted to make those sacrifices.


Unfortunately, it is impossible for me to sample all these delicious products in my home. I am going to have to base part of my decision on the ‘buzz’ and the generosity of info of you audiophile vets’ knowledge. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 

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In a word YES, I just got an MC-1 for 1599$ which was more than i wanted to spend but for this unit it was a steal. The MC-8 will get a lot of future upgrade and you will be able to trade it in on newer Lexicon units when the time comes, You might be able to recover most of your MC-8 costs on a future upgrade. Also once you use Logic 7 will not use any other DSP parameter ever and will become addicted to what it does with 2 channel stereo. I was a Sony ES user for 10 years and was pretty happy but this older Lexicon has blown me away.


The MC-8 has much better Logic 7 then my unit and I can't imagine it getting much better. It would be a wise choice to buy into the Lexicon line and I'm sure you will not regret it.
 

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I have heard great things about the Parasound and the Sherborn they seem to match well with Lexicon pre/pro's. That may be a good options for you. I'm currently using a Sony TAN9000es whihc is what I hade with my Sony ES receiver and it sounds wonderfull even though this amp is not considered great or anything.
 

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"Why not save a few bucks and the get the parasound or sherbourn?"


No reason not too. If you decide to go with a Lexicon also consider bumping your system up to 7 channels if you can. Possibly even planning ahead with a 7 channel amp. L7 is great with 5 speakers but it is even better with 7.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's ironic and confusing to me that my audiophile friends (not the generous responders to this thread) tell me that the amp is more important than the processor yet I get great recommendations for
 

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" tell me that the amp is more important than the processor"


I think there are for more differences in processors then there are in amps. Processors vary by all sorts of factors from the mundane things like # and types of inputs/oututs, general useage, function nd operating ease. The big differences really start when you get into the differences in the processing between them. Lots of processors can't do any above and beyond the standards. A very few companies try to push the state of the art in processing for music and movies.


That state of the art processing has done more for my enjoyment of music then any amp change has ever done.


Shawn
 

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My input is that if you are truly "breaking the bank" that it is not worth it. I will be buying a $1000-$1300 reciever for my next system and while I am sure that it will have it's limitations, it will perform well enough. What I find is that yo spend a certain amount, and you get so much, but the money you can spend grows exponentially while the gains only grow by increments after that. Now I know I can appreciate separates, but I cannot afford them, so I don't want to even hear them so that I don't know what I am missing. I'm sure my system will one day include separates, but right now a reciever will have to do. And I am thankful that I am fortunate enough to be able to afford what I can. Don't over extend yourself buying super expensive brands that are for rich people when you are not. But maybe you're a doctor, I don't know your situation, you have to make spending decisions for yourself. I would love to own an MC-12, but right now, a DA-4ES or 7ES is wonderful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am personally inclinded to agree with you sfogg. However I'll be the deviles adocate. Although functionality and processing matters. there is something to be said for the end result. There is obviously more variation in the processor than the amp ( which makes the processor more fun ) but that doesn't prove the processor is more important than the amp
 

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"but that doesn't prove the processor is more important than the amp"


Only way you are going to be able to 'prove' it to yourself is to compare the differences between a bunch of amps then contrast that to the differences between a bunch of processors.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Shahram72, with all sincerity, thank you for your concern and sanity that I once knew. Unfortunately, I am too late for that. I have already sampled the B&K separates for a couple of months and I know now why a receiver will never do and why people spend so much money on these things. I am past the point of no return, beyond the abyss. I advise you to never sample separates in your own home. Except for the Outlaw. Of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sfogg, point well taken but your suggestion is a practical impossibility. I am simply trying to educate myself as best I can through this thread. I wish I could sample everything I am considering but I can’t. Cut me some slack. I am not an audiophile making a stand. I'm just an ignaranous searching for info. Lighten up.
 

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PJ,

Perhaps I can put a some perspective on things. You have to look at the overall resolving power of your system, and then look at what it will take to maximize what you have. If you have difficult to drive speakers or very expensive highly resolving speakers then the amp will make a huge difference. In most cases, the order of impact on sound will be from greatest to least:

Speakers

Processor

Amplifier


I understand that some may disagree and their are notable exceptions to this rule, but in the majority of cases this is true. Therefore, with efficent Klipsch speakers I think an excellent starting point is more reasonably priced amplifier. With the more difficult to drive KEF Reference 207s that I currently have, the amplifier makes as much difference as the processor. I also feel that the personality of the sound of the processor must be matched to your speakers, your needs, and the resolving power of the speaker system, sources, and cables. I personally think for your system any of the processors you mention would be a great choice. I have had the Krell Showcase, Anthem, Integra RDC-7, Parasound Halo C2 in my system over the past several months (and am about to put the McIntosh in), and I could not tell you not to buy any one of them. At this price level, I would expect that your dealer would let you demo one at home for a day, or at the very least audition one extensively. With budgetary limitations, I personally would be tempted to spend a bit less on the electronics, and spend the rest on sources, upgrading speakers, or cables.


Hope this little bit of perspective helps...
 

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Balance!!! your system or you are tossing money.


Your speakers (" I have a 5 speaker setup with nice Klipsch cf-4 mains and center, and Boston Acoustic rears.") are nice, but not top of the line stuff. So why by top of the line sources for those speakers.


You probably will not notice the difference with that set of speakers between the top notch HT separates vs. high mid line stuff.
 

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" Cut me some slack. I am not an audiophile making a stand. I'm just an ignaranous searching for info. Lighten up."


Relax. I was just trying to save you a lot of doubt and questioning later on down the road. If you don't get the experience and decide for yourself which is the right answer for you then somewhere down the line after you either spring for the $$$ processor or the $$$ amp you are going to be questioning 'what if' about that choice and will drive yourself nuts about it. At that point you will go out and sample more and find out that you either made a good choice or a bad choice on your initial purchase. If you made a good choice you are golden, if you decide you made a bad choice then you have probably spent money in the wrong area and will feel it was somewhat 'wasted.' Welcome to Audiophile nervosa... been there done that.


The only way out of this loop is to do as much research and experience as you can then be sure you will be satisfied with the purchase before you make it. Then after you have it you get to kick back and just enjoy the heck out of your gear.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
MM629, and scottatl, thanks very much for your response. The main jist I get from you is that I would probably most benefit from my initial instincts. Get the Anthem processor and either the parasound or sherbourn 5/200W amp and not obsess over higher end sh.. .
 

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The Anthem is nice but I'd get the MC-8 then build around it. With the MC-8 you will get years of upgrades and then you will be able to trade it in on the MC-12 or Lexicon's next flagship. I'd consider the MC-8 to be the anchor and just upgrade around it.


And Logic 7 puts every other DSP mode to shame, DTS-EX, THX-Ultra2, DLPII, Anthem Logic, none of these DSP's gives you the Discrete all channel sound out of any source like Logic 7.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
sfogg, your a good man. I apprienciate your input. The questions still remains. Is more for less better or is less more better. Given my gear, I get the impression that less is better. Go with the Anthem avm20 and parasound or sherbourn rather than spending much more $$$ on the Lexicon because my current infrastructure wont adequately take advantage of it. Is this wrong?
 

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pjfool,

I am visiting the processors thread after several months now just to see what is going on here. I was in your shoes, not any more. I got a Lexicon MC-1 and (2) Citatation 7.1s and I am set. I don't think I will change this setup for at least 3 years. That should tell you how happy I am with these awesome products. There is a citation 7.1 on audiogon for $800. I got mine for $900 each some months ago.


Here is a suggestion

Used Lexicon MC-1 ($1800)

2 Used Citation 7.1 (check audioreviews.com for reviews) $1800


$3600 and you have a killer 7.1 setup. For 2 channel, I use the optional expansion slots in the MC-1 and it acts as a pure DAC with volume control. This is as transparent as it gets with an MC-1, if you want more, you can get a Rogue Magnum 66 to integrate with the MC-1 for 2 channel and use the passthru on the Magnum 66 for HT. In that case you will be thinking of an outboard DAC....and yes this adds up quickly. Here is my setup


MC-1 and Citation 7.1

Monarchy DIP with supernova glass toslink cable and DH-labs D-75 cable. The DIP converts optical to coax and also acts as a jitter reducer. The coax goes to optional expansion slot A of the MC-1. When I want pure unprocessed 2 channel music, I just press 2-ch on the remote and I get pure 2 channel music. When I want HT, I simply use the other processing modes (my fav is obviously Logic 7 for movies and Music logic for some CDs). With this combination, you still have some room for other important tweaks like an external crossover (marchand) and subwoofer eq (behringer etc). Hope this helps.

-Jai
 

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to answer your original question, IMO, the lexicon is not worth the money, you can get a parasound halo c2 or a sunfire theater grande 3, anthem 20 for thousands less and with balanced inputs, a better remote etc, sound wise they are all very close, I am not knocking lexicon, it is a fine prepro, I am just saying that you can spend a lot less for similar performance, good luck
 
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