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Interestingly enough, Mark Levinson uses the same topology for their No40, two AD1853 in dual-differential mode. I am sure the implemetation is quite different since there is such a big difference in price.


Another interesting point is that Proceed AVP2 uses the same AD1853 DAC for the front two channel, but in a less costly one DAC per channel configuration. According to Todd Sutherland from Madrigal, the 2 DAC per channel dual differential implementation is very costly and they cannot afford to do that in AVP2. Just curious how different is the implementations between Mark Levinson and Lexicon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm curious about the differences as well. I should be receiving my new MC12B by the end of the week and will be interested to see how it compares to the AVP that it is replacing. If I have a chance, I might A/B them before I send in the AVP for trade-in.


According to Analog Devices website, the 1853 DAC costs $9 apiece in lots of 100. Perhaps there are implementation costs, but w/the AVP, I've always assumed that the rear DACs used were not so much about cost savings, but more about differentiating the product from the more expensive PAV/PDSD combo which used the top quality dac's throughout. This logic follows with the AVP2 vs. the ML 40
 

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rblnr, can you please compare the MC12B to the AVP before you send the AVP in? I have the AVP right now and contemplating to upgrade to AVP2 or sell it and go to another brand. Unfortunately, I do not have $5K to trade up to the MC12B :(


I am sure a lot of people out there would be very interested in a direct comparison between the MC12B and the AVP.


Thanks.
 

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"Interestingly enough, Mark Levinson uses the same topology for their No40, two AD1853 in dual-differential mode."


Will be interesting to find out if the ML does dual differential the 'right' way or the 'wrong' way. The Lex does it the right way, that being summing the outputs right after the DAC to cancel common mode noise in the DACs. Which is the whole reason for running dual differential dacs.


"I am sure the implemetation is quite different since there is such a big difference in price. "


It may it may not, price alone doesn't mean much. For example both units run 4 SHARCs for processing. The ML # 40 I believe can have an additional 4 (or maybe it was 8) SHARCs added to it down the line to increase its processing power. The MC-12 can have at least another dozen SHARCs added if needed. The digital section of the #40 sounds very much like a scaled down (in expansion ability) MC-12.


Shawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll try to compare and let you know. Maybe I can find a simple coax switcher for the digital out on my transport so I can alternate between the two on the fly. Alternatively, I use a Monarchy DIP between my transport and AVP -- it has both balanced and coax out and I think it outputs the two simultaneously which means I could hook both the AVP and MC12 to it, though the different input systems would compromise the comparison somewhat.
 

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How about connecting the transport to the MC12B and the AVP to the remote zone digital output of the MC12B? I think this will give you what you need. But how are you going to connect both MC12 and AVP to your amps? It may be easier to listen to the AVP, then swap in the MC12 and compare that way. I know this may not be the best way to perform a comparison, but everyone has to make comprise, right? :)


Thanks for the help.
 

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The advantage of using DAC's in a properly implemented dual differential mode (as Shawn described) is to not only cancel common mode signals and noise but this arrangement improves Signal to Noise (S/N) ratio. Since noise is random in nature the differential summing has the effect of reducing noise, thus improving the S/N ratio by 3dB. The Lex is a very quiet processor because it uses very quiet AD1853 DAC's in dual differential mode for each of its 12 outputs (in the Main zone).


The original AVP used PCM1702 ladder DACs for it's L&R main ouputs only. This was a very decent MONO DAC (for it's time) but the chip does not include a digital filter. This meant that an additional Digital Filter chip had to be used prior to the 1702. The other channels on the AVP used a "less expensive" STEREO DAC for the remaining ouputs and those DACs (I forget the part number off hand) included Digital Filtering on the same die. These DACs require far less real estate and provide a significant parts count reduction, which translates to cost savings. Since the AD1853 DAC is Stereo and includes the digital filtering I'm not sure what Proceed bought by switching to a different DAC for the other channels. Does anyone know what DACs the AVP2 uses for the non L&R output channels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'll hook the MC12 and AVP to two channels each of my five identical channels of amplification. My system is revealing (Waveform speakers, Llano hybrid amps) -- I'm curious to see what kind of performance difference I get by going to the MC12. Hopefully a clear improvement.
 

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Quote:
'm curious to see what kind of performance difference I get by going to the MC12. Hopefully a clear improvement.
More detail, less warmth (by some ears). The MC12 really shines on surround tho.

I too will be interested in your impressions...
 

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Quote:
Will be interesting to find out if the ML does dual differential the 'right' way or the 'wrong' way. The Lex does it the right way,..
As someone who has listened to both the No.40 and the MC12B (though not side by side, and only 2-ch audio), I can comment that the No.40 did give me the impression of sounding as quite, but more transparent, of greater depth and musicality (whether its worth the difference in $ is another matter).


Does ML do dual-differential the "wrong" way? I suspect not many people will care when they hear the unit (and when they compare it to the MC12B).


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The ML # 40 I believe can have an additional 4 (or maybe it was 8) SHARCs added to it down the line to increase its processing power. The MC-12 can have at least another dozen SHARCs added if needed. The digital section of the #40 sounds very much like a scaled down (in expansion ability) MC-12.
Please.


Dissapointing to see a "mine is bigger than yours war" type of comment from someone you like Shawn.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by anupmc



Dissapointing to see a "mine is bigger than yours war" type of comment from someone you like Shawn.



I am not here to speak for Shawn but I believe he was just trying to illustrate the differences, in terms of upgradeable processing power, between the two.


If there was a hint of sarcasm in his posting it was because there are many people in the industry who have been less than impressed, for the amount of R+D invested and MSRP, with the ML. For years they had been talking about this product and all that it would do. Having looked at what it does do all I can say is it better sound damn good cause the Lex has it beat in far too many areas than it should for the price differential.


It does not really matter as the ML will sell because it is ML and there are plenty of rich people out there who only buy what costs the most. I should start work on a 8 channel 80k processor. I bet it would do well out in the Hamptons.


Chris
 

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"As someone who has listened to both the No.40 and the MC12B (though not side by side, and only 2-ch audio)"


Without comparing them side by side and level matched it is awfully hard to get any sort of accurate conclusions... esp. if they systems and rooms they were used in were different.


"Dissapointing to see a "mine is bigger than yours war" type of comment "


That wasn't what the comment was about at all. It was demonstrating that price alone doesn't automatically make something 'the best.' Those that base comparisons/purchases stricktly on price and weight are definitly in the 'mine is bigger then yours' race.


Shawn
 

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Hi,


The MC-12 also uses Xilinx semiconductors, FPGAs, which are field programmable (that's my day job). Bottom line, with the dacs and the related chip set in the MC-12, it's got plenty of power today, and plenty for tomorrow. ...


Eric
 

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Quote:
Without comparing them side by side and level matched it is awfully hard to get any sort of accurate conclusions...
Not a good idea to jump to conclusions without knowing the facts.


The room was the same, the levels were matched, the speakers were the same, the amps were the same, and the sources were the same.


Only, my auditions were done on different days (because I had to wait to borrow a friend's MC12B by which time the No.40 was no longer available). Hence my "impression", meaning it was based on my notes and memory of a piece of music I'm intimately familiar with.


In anycase, I'm not interested in your opinions of my audition, nor am I interested to fan any flames of the No.40 vs the MC12. My impressions and opinions are mine alone, take it or leave it as is.


Using the example of the capacity of SHARC processors on the MC12 vs. the No.40 was very badly chosen one to explain that price alone doesn't mean much. And one that was unecessary in the context of this thread.
 

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Quote:
Not a good idea to jump to conclusions without knowing the facts.
But Shawn was accurate with the facts: by your own admission you weren't comparing the two units but instead comparing one unit to just your memory of the other unit.
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My impressions and opinions are mine alone, take it or leave it as is.
Why? This opinion that is your's "alone" is one that you are voluntarily sharing with the rest of us. Is it so wrong to ask what the basis of your opinion is?
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Using the example of the capacity of SHARC processors on the MC12 vs. the No.40 was very badly chosen one to explain that price alone doesn't mean much.
Quite the opposite: the MC-12 and No.40 are both surround processors, so their processing power does "mean much"; not to mention how expandable that processing power will be down the road (especially at a time when 'future-proofing' is an important selling point).


Best,

Sanjay
 

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But Shawn was accurate with the facts: by your own admission you weren't comparing the two units but instead comparing one unit to just your memory of the other unit.
You do realise how silly your statement is don't you? If you don't thats okay :)


I live in the real world where circumstances drive choices. I don't know which world you live in. Comparisons made against memory and notes happen in the real world (which by the way was A/B/A/B).


If you don't think thats valid, thats your prerogative, not necessarily the holy truth.

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Why? This opinion that is your's "alone" is one that you are voluntarily sharing with the rest of us. Is it so wrong to ask what the basis of your opinion is?
"ask"? Where did he ask anything? He didn't ask what was the basis of my opinion, instead he jumped to conclusions about the room and levels, and made a statement about it (go read his reply again)


By the way, I recall reading your skepticism on the No.40 as well - judging the unit based on whats not written in the manual (very smart indeed :D )


In anycase, I'm not sure I understand your urge to come to Shawn's defence, I'm sure Shawn can stand up for himself if he feels the need to, hes a smart guy.
 

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"instead he jumped to conclusions about the room and levels, and made a statement about it (go read his reply again) "


Please do, I didn't jump to any conclusions.... I simply said:


"Without comparing them side by side and level matched it is awfully hard to get any sort of accurate conclusions... esp. if they systems and rooms they were used in were different. "


And I stand by that.


Besides, nothing in that sentence is incorrect. You didn't compare them side by side and level matched. You said they were level matched... how closely were they matched and how did you do it? Not that that means much when they aren't also side by side compared. Audio 'memory' is vague. I certainly wouldn't trust it when making a purchase choice on a $25k product. YMMV.


Not to mention mood/disposition between sessions can effect the listening outcome, I have first hand knowledge of this.


Shawn
 

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Quote:
You do realise how silly your statement is don't you?
Why don't you elaborate? Please explain why you think a valid and accurate comparison can be had by comparing actual hearing to memory.
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By the way, I recall reading your skepticism on the No.40 as well - judging the unit based on whats not written in the manual (very smart indeed :D )
Thanks. I continue to remain skeptical of the No.40. Production delays aside, for the price it is simply not a good value. For less money (much less) you can find surround processors with greater upgradeability, better surround processing, more flexibility, etc. As for me judging the No.40, what exactly did I refer to that was "not written in the manual"?


Best,

Sanjay
 
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