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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
correction: Thanks to the help of a fellow member (sfoff - shawn), I had a pleasant surprise: My SDDP-3 Unit is actually a Lexcin MC1 not a DC2. I am correcting my post accordingly.


I have a Synthesis SDP-3 (same as lexicon MC1) with 3.x software. It is working very well (their logic 7 is excellent) but the "upgrade bug" has hit me.


By the way, I did pay and subscribe to the "for sale" forum but I did not post the Lexicon DC2 being for sale there, yet, only because I would like more information before I make a decision (and I do not want to sell unless the meridian 561 is still available for sale).



At this point, the cost to trade up value is not determined. The seller of the merridian would prefer a cash sale than a trade of course.


Is it worth it to spend $900 for the meridian and is it actually an "upgrade"?


My application is 100% for movies. Just a brief note about my personal preferenes: I had owned an Onkyo 9xx (dislike most "normal" receivers for lack of depth of sound in movies - they are loud but just don't sound like a fosgate did or the DC2 does), Fosgate (excellent), Lexicon DC2 (not good. too digital - actually the older Fosgate was much better) and now a MC1. Of course, I wrote these opinionated comments not to debate (I concede to the more knowledgeable) but just to express my own preferences to help you make suggestions accordingly.


Comments from those who have heard/experienced both these systems would be appreciated.


Thank you.
 

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Do you have a 5.1 or a 7.1 setup with the Lexicon? If 7.1 you can't do that with the 561 with your existing speakers as it only has 6 channels of analog outputs. The other two channels you would need to use Meridian digital speakers to get up to 7.1.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am using the dc2 with a 7.1 set up. I prefer their logic 7. It works quite well actually.


I thought I saw in the 561 online manual that it has side and rear speaker outputs. Would it not mean that it too has 7 channels of output, excluding sub woofers?
 

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You better check this out. I know the Meridan has 7.1 outputs, but as noted (depending on the model) those two additional channels may have to be mated with digital speakers, such as Meridians.


From Home Cinema Review:


"Normally, the 561 is a 5.1-channel processor, but when connected to a Meridian digital system through the digital outputs, it can handle up to eight speakers, typically left, centre right, two side speakers, two rears and a subwoofer."


By the way, what Fosgate processor did you have?
 

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Yup, I know about Logic 7 as I have an MC-12 and a MC-1 and DC-1 before it.


"Would it not mean that it too has 7 channels of output, excluding sub woofers?"


It has 8 channels of outputs *only* on its digital outputs... which must be used with Meridians diigtal speakers. For analog outputs it only has 6 channels worth. IOW, with your existing setup it can only be used in a 5.1 speaker configuration. IMO that would be a big step backwards.


See the section Inputs and Outputs at:

http://www.meridian-audio.com/p_561.htm


Also see:

http://www.softronix.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000388.html


Which suggests you would have to use the Meridian DSP speakers for your mains.


Shawn
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by goldear
You better check this out. I know the Meridan has 7.1 outputs, but as noted (depending on the model) those two additional channels may have to be mated with digital speakers, such as Meridians.


From Home Cinema Review:


"Normally, the 561 is a 5.1-channel processor, but when connected to a Meridian digital system through the digital outputs, it can handle up to eight speakers, typically left, centre right, two side speakers, two rears and a subwoofer."


By the way, what Fosgate processor did you have?
this is correct.

561 requires "digital" speakers for 7.1 set up.

it doesn't have logic 7 similar mode.

it doesn't support DTS-ES at all (they don't like it).


currently 561 can't be upgraded for DVD-A.


i think you have to auduiton 561 at home for at least a weekend.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Croc
this is correct.

561 requires "digital" speakers for 7.1 set up.

it doesn't have logic 7 similar mode.

it doesn't support DTS-ES at all (they don't like it).


currently 561 can't be upgraded for DVD-A.
Meridian has Trifield, which for music, is arguably the best 2ch to multi-channel surround format (not in terms of making believe you are there (leave that for Ambisonic), but to improve the frontal soundstage and imaging). But for his 100% HT usage, it is probably irrelevent.


Meridian has EZ, their implementaion of EX which gives better imaging, applicable on THX-EX and DTS-ES source.


Nobody asked about DVD-A, since he is 100% HT.
 

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"Meridian has EZ, their implementaion of EX which gives better imaging, applicable on THX-EX and DTS-ES source. "


And like has been mentioned to use that on a 561 he would have to upgrade to Meridian DSP speakers for his mains.


Do you have any examples of scenes in movies where and how you feel EZ improves compared to THX EX or DTS-ES decoding?


Shawn
 

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Actually the SDP-3 is a rebadged MC-1 not a DC-2. This will make a big difference in the resale value of the unit. Used DC-2's are going for 900-1300 used MC-1's are going for $1600-2400
 

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The 561 is an out-of-production contemporary/competitor to the Lexicon DC-1. Moving to it from a DC-2/MC-1 would be a step backwards, not even lateral (568 v1 would be the lateral move, v2 is arguably an upgrade, but quite a bit pricier). In addition to the inherent limitations of the DSP engines and DACs that forced Meridian to retire the product, as well as the lack of 7.1 support, the 561 only supports two analog inputs--anything more than that requires the outboard switcher unit which sold for another third the price of the 561 itself, if you can find one. While appreciate the lure of the upgrade bug, the logic of downgrading for the sake of something different escapes me. Lwang's observations are entertaining as always, but as he points out, irrelevant (where they are not erroneous).


Cheers,

Philip Brandes
 

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Philip,


"the 561 only supports two analog inputs--"


The 561 has 7 sets of analog inputs. It was the earlier 565 which was really limited on inputs.. it had just a single analog pair. Though it did have 8 channels worth of analog outputs.


Shawn
 

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Ther erroreous Lwang says the 561 is not obsolete. You might be thinking of the 565. Also, errereously saying the 565 was limited in its input is like saying a preamp is too limited in driving speakers. Its intention was to pair up with the 562 or 562v, which would allow the two to work in conjunction with each other and allow much more flexibility in switching options.


I don't have a 7.1 setup (magies too big to do that) but a good friend of mine who has the Meridian setup thinks EZ is much better than the generic 7.1. He went from a DC-1 to a DC-2 to a MC-1 before jumping to a 568. He thought about the MC-12B, but it will only his delay in getting the 861.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the feed back.


DVD audio is not a factor. As I wrote, mine is a pure Movies application.


Goldear: I forgot the fossgate model number (actually it too was a synthesis). For a non Dolby Digital, it was excellent.


I personally prefer the side + rear channel situation. Could I simply connect both rear and side to the same "rear" channel ouput at pre-amp's output?


What most of your comments seem to be implying is that 561 is really not superior to my DC2. Yes, I think it is a DC2. Yes it does say SDP3 on its front face. Even then, I would not sell it as an MC1. Better to be safe and let people know that it actually os a DC2. I would certainly not want to sell it as being an MC1.

Correction: Based on Shawn/Sfogg's suggestions, I did follow up. The pictures seems to indicate that I have an MC1 for the following reasons:

My previous unit had orange display (as in DC2)

My current unit has Blue display (as in MC1)

My unit has 3 Svideo outputs as in MC1 specs vs 2 Svide as in DC2 specs.

Anyway, is it fair to assume that Meridian 561 is not an "upgrade" to a MC1?


Thank you all for your comments.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by audvid
I personally prefer the side + rear channel situation. Could I simply connect both rear and side to the same "rear" channel ouput at pre-amp's output?
Yes, you could run your rears and sides in parallel by connecting them to the same outputs. But why would you give up rear vs side surround imaging in order to have the same sound coming from the rears and sides? Your current processor decodes to 4 independent surround channels, with each of those 4 channels receiving unique content (i.e., none of the speaker pairs are run as dual-mono). Is there a particular reason why you are interested in giving that up?


Best,

Sanjay
 

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Lwang,


"I thought Meridian has also said no more updates will be available for the 561 since it was limited in memory or something like that. "


How many inputs are on the 565? One analog and four digital and it has one composite video input. That is limited in inputs.


To get around the limitation you need to buy an external switcher... that being the 562.


"I don't have a 7.1 setup (magies too big to do that) but a good friend of mine who has the Meridian setup thinks EZ is much better than the generic 7.1."


Logic 7 is most times is better then the standard THX Surround EX and DTS-ES decoding. Nice thing about Lexicon is it offers the standards (THX Surround EX, DD EX, DTS-ES, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1..etc..etc...) as well as their enhancements to it so you can listen for yourself and decide which you prefer. You don't have to go by second hand information when you can experience it yourself.



Audvid,


"Yes, I think it is a DC2. "


Is the front panel display orange or blue? If blue it is a MC-1. If that still doesn't convince you compare the the number of inputs between the SDP-3 and the DC-2 and MC-1.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Shawn:


RE: "Is the front panel display orange or blue? If blue it is a MC-1. "


I assume you are talking about the LCD display: It is not orange. I think it is green/blue (I will check again). Do you know how many inputs the MC1 is supposed to have?


It seems that you know more about the SDP-3 than I do. I appreciate what you are saying. If I were to ever sell this, I will ask the buyer to do the homework to decide whether it is mc1 or dc2. I saw the picture on the current jbl synthesis website. It does look my own processor but the picture is too small to say for sure.



Anyway, the $900 question is, should I trade in my SDP-3 and get the 561!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sfogg

Lwang,Logic 7 is most times is better then the standard THX Surround EX and DTS-ES decoding. Nice thing about Lexicon is it offers the standards (THX Surround EX, DD EX, DTS-ES, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1..etc..etc...) as well as their enhancements to it so you can listen for yourself and decide which you prefer. You don't have to go by second hand information when you can experience it yourself.

I'm not getting 2nd hand information, since I've had plenty of experience listening to his system through all its iterations and variations (Shahinians/Kharmas/Meridian DSP speakers, Classe/Lamm/Brystons amps, Mark Levinson/Meridian transports, etc). When I first hear Music 7, I didn't think it was all that great (it didn't do much to frontal imaging etc), but I didn't want to hurt his feelings and kept it to myself.
 

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"I'm not getting 2nd hand information"


You were the one who said:


" but a good friend of mine who has the Meridian setup thinks EZ is much better than the generic 7.1."


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
By the way, the rest of my system, for your consideration of suggestions regarding Lexicon DC2 Vs Meridian 561.


3 Bryston Monoblocks (7bst) for front 3 channels

2 Bryston 4bst 2 channel for side & Surrounds

Electrovoice Pro Horn speakers for front

JBL Synthesis 3 Audio system with amps, subs. I am using the Synthesis main speakers as rears and their dipole surrounds for the side.

Kinergetics passive Subs (8" drivers for these subs)


Again, application is Movies only and no music/dvd audio capabilities are required.


Thank you for your feed back.
 
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