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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,


I am in the market for a pre-amp and have seen a used Lexicon MV-5 for 1500.00. Unfortunately I have not seen too many reviews on it and am wondering if there may be a better option for the same money. I will be using for both surround and two-channel listening. I am currently running my Oppo BDP-83 through a Theta DtoA with Vandersteen 2C speakers along with a Pioneer Elite 60" display.


I believe one of the benefits to Lexicon was the ability to bypass any processing to give a clean two-channel signal. Is this still the case?


Thoughts about the MV-5 or is there a better option out there?


Thanks,


Ed
 

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If you do a search for the MV-5, either here or on Google you will probably find information that the MV-5 is not a true Lexicon processor but rather a Harman Kardon based unit with a Lexicon faceplate that is made in Asia and intended to fill the need for an affordable HDMI switching AVP from Lexicon. That doesn't mean it is not a good component, just that you should not expect the same high quality of processing as you get from a standard Lexicon AVP. If you don't need HDMI switching then IMO you will be far better served getting a used MC-4 or the JBL AV-1 equivalent (what I have) for the same price or less. The MC-4/AV-1 are essentially a smaller, lesser featured version of the MC-12. Compare the specs of all these units at the Lexicon website. HDMI switchers are inexpensive (check the good one at Monoprice) if you just need more inputs.


Now, as for a clean bypass, I don't know about the MC-12, but the 2 ch bypass in the MC-4/AV-1 is okay but not of audiophile quality (nor do I epxect it to be), and I expect the MV-5 to be even less so (again see the specs). If you love 2 ch audio then I recommend you look for a good stereo analog preamp with an HT/processor/unity gain input that suits your taste, and run the front LR channels through it. That's what I do using a Citation 7.0. I tried many high priced AVPs, including Lexicon, Bryston, Cary, Proceed, Aragon, and a few lesser brands, and none really sounded good enough in 2 ch analog for me. Correction - the Proceed AVP2 had a nice, if somewhat lean, analog section, but it's DD and DPLII processing were no better than a cheap receiver, and fell way short of Lexicon. I did like the Bel Canto Pre6 (multichannel analog) and I suspect the Bel Canto PrePro will give you much the same great analog sound quality if you can find one in good condition. You can sometimes find BC PrePros selling at Audiogon for not much more than the MV-5 these days, and it is a vastly superior piece of audio equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the information. I did see some references that the MV-5 had a closer build with Harman than the other Lexicons. I'm not quite sure how beneficial the HDMI switching or input is. I'm still somewhat old school, as I connect all of my sources directly to the output. For example, my DVD player for audio is connected to the D-to-A converter and then to the receiver. I was using the component out for video from the DVD player to the display, until I got the Oppo which has HDMI. Still using a direct connection for the video just now using HDMI. Haven't done an A-to-B between HDMI or component on my system.


This being said, what benefits would I gain with a processor that has HDMI?


Ed
 

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Depending on the flavor of HDMI, you'd get one cable digital transmission of high def video and lossless audio, including SACD.


Well worth it, IMHO.
 

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The MV-5 is a derivative preamp/processor of the RV-8, and both models were based on the Harman/Kardon AVR745 plus some component revs done for Lexicon. Its HDMI version is 1.1, both models were solid performers..


Just my $0.01..
 

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I have an MV-5 and I like it for the most part. It sounds really good with movies to me. I do not like it a whole lot for music. There are a few other things I do not like about it such as only hdmi 1.1, 2 hdmi inputs, and it will only pass up to a 1080i signal. I have had mine a little over 2 years and it has been solid in the respect that it has not given me any problems and I have enjoyed it for many hours. I am planning on upgrading to something else as soon as I can.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyost /forum/post/18136059


This being said, what benefits would I gain with a processor that has HDMI?


Ed

I am not an expert on HDMI, but as I understand it v1.3 and later will pass 7.1 channels of lossless HD audio from a BD player with decoder in PCM form. This means you can get multichannel lossless audio from a BD player to your audio processor using a single cable without needing the HD codecs in your AVP. That is why Lexicon did not bother to add HD audio processing in your high end AVP - they just added the needed HDMI inputs. From a video standpoint HDMI enables you to send both video and audio to a compatible display using a single cable (but you still need a cable to the audio processor for sound). HDMI has the potential to provide the best digital video signal and allow digital video processing without compromise except that it requires both source and receiver to be HDPC compliant for copyright purposes. I may be wrong but I believe HDMI is the only video connector that will pass 1080p (SDI might also - not sure). Here is a link for more information:

http://www.hdmi.org/learningcenter/faq.aspx
 

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I bought a new JBL AV-2, which is the fraternal twin of the MV-5, but with a black JBL faceplate. JBL is currently discounting this model through its high end dealers (like JBL Synthesis® dealers). For well under $1500 one can have a NIB unit with a full warranty.


I use mine in place of my older JBL SDP-5 (Lexicon MC-8) in a Synthesis® One Array system. I wanted HDMI and I wanted 7.1 analog in, both of which it has while the SDP-5 does not. Plus it has PLIIx; the SDP-5 has PLII.


I can now send DVD-A, SACD, and HD audio direct to the analog inputs from an Oppo BDP-83SE or run audio via HDMI.


I run 1080p video straight to the PJ from the Oppo via HDMI.


I consider it a good stopgap piece until the HDMI folks and the licensees figure out what HDMI will be when it grows up. There are so many potential advantages to the technology, I have my fingers crossed that they won't continue to handicap it with nonsensical restrictions.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 /forum/post/18138920


I am not an expert on HDMI, but as I understand it v1.3 and later will pass 7.1 channels of lossless HD audio from a BD player with decoder in PCM form. This means you can get multichannel lossless audio from a BD player to your audio processor using a single cable without needing the HD codecs in your AVP. That is why Lexicon did not bother to add HD audio processing in your high end AVP - they just added the needed HDMI inputs.

Correction..

Multi-channel PCM through HDMI was available from 1.1, at least 5.1 whether or not it could handle 7.1 depended upon the processor's firmware. Also the mentioned MV5/AVP2 and RV8 had the unique feature of an 8-channel digitizer so it could take a 6/8 channel analog input and run it through the DSP for bass managment and post-processing..


Just my $0.01..
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code /forum/post/18139315


it could take a 6/8 channel analog input and run it through the DSP for bass managment and post-processing..

Some of the "less is more" crowd (I'm an occasional member) feel this is a disadvantage due to the introduction of another conversion step. However, in these models I feel it's a definite plus and have used it to great advantage.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by filecat13 /forum/post/18139536


Some of the "less is more" crowd (I'm an occasional member) feel this is a disadvantage due to the introduction of another conversion step. However, in these models I feel it's a definite plus and have used it to great advantage.


The 6/8 channel digitizer was an interesting feature because a few years back many optical players had poor bass managers or nothing..

If not needed, just siwtch it out..


But yes, you are correct many users believe less processing is better..


Just my $0.01..
 
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