Refining the Best: Lexicon Bows
Preamp/Processor Elevates Benchmarks
Bedford, MA (November 1998): Since its introduction some two years ago, Lexicon's DC-1 digital surround processor has been universally acknowledged as defining state of the technology for multi-channel music and soundtrack reproduction. Now, building on this enviable reputation while exploiting its unique experience of more than 25 years at the forefront of digital audio technologies for both professional and consumer audio, Lexicon has debuted a newly refined DC-2 Digital Controller, the latest evolution of its modular, upgradeable surround sound processor/system controller.
Conceived and optimized for the most advanced home theater and multi-zone entertainment systems, the DC-2 introduces a number of upgraded features and functions, focusing both on sonic performance and on the ergonomic ease-of-use issues Lexicon believes are every bit as important. According to Lexicon's Vice President of Consumer Products, Buzz Goddard, "The DC-2 builds upon the power and flexibility of the DC-1 with enhanced input and output facilities, and significantly refined ergonomics. Lexicon has long provided the very best surround decoding and processing. With the DC-2 we now offer a design that is among the most flexible and real-world-usable controllers available."
The DC-2's radically redesigned remote controller features three function "layers," permitting a substantially simpler and more intuitive "look and feel" to DC-2 operations. Everyday functions are easily scanned and simply operated from the "top layer" while less frequently needed controls and setup options reside in the "deeper" ones.
On-screen displays have been re-written to be more thoroughly self-prompting and easily understood. To make this easy but powerful controller useful under all conditions, a glow-in-the-dark key ensures visibility in even the darkest home-theater; when keyed, it illuminates all handset controls with warm, soft amber light (which also matches the front-panel display).
The DC-2 also features new five-speaker enhancement processing, extensive low frequency enhancements, and a newly refined version of Lexicon's proprietary LOGIC-7 surround system, widely praised as the industry's finest overall surround system for film and pure-music listening.
The Lexicon DC-2 is available in three variations: DC-2/THX®, DC-2/Dolby Digital", and DC-2/DTS". The DC-2/THX® performs superbly accurate digital-domain Dolby Surround Pro-logic" decoding with full Home-THX®enhancements for center, surround, and subwoofer outputs. Of course, the DC-2/THX® also includes the full complement of Lexicon surround and ambiance-enhancement. Every mode is extensively customizable by owners and system designer/installers to suit room acoustics, system configurations, and individual preferences, with multiple memory options to remember favored settings and balances. The DC-2/THX® incorporates THX-specification subwoofer crossovers and fully stereo surround outputs, plus digital-domain equalization and loudness compensation.
To these functions Lexicon's DC-2/Dolby Digital" model adds Dolby Digital" decoding for fully discrete-digital "5.1-channel" surround from DVD and Laserdiscs, andeventuallydigital-satellite and terrestrial-DTV broadcasts. The DC-2/DTS" is identical to the DC-2/Dolby Digital" version with the addition of the DTS" discrete-digital 5.1-channel surround mode. (DTS" recordings are available on DTS" CDs, Laserdiscs, and DVDs.) The result is a surround processor/controller that is able to manage the full panoply of surround modes currently available from discs, tapes, and broadcasts.
Discrete digital-buss architecture assures an easy upgrade path: An initial DC-2/THX® purchase may easily be dealer-upgraded to DC-2/Dolby Digital" or /DTS" status (there is also an upgrade available to take the DC-2 from /Dolby Digital" to /DTS" versions.) In all cases, no cost penalty is imposed for upgrades, allowing enthusiasts to invest in Lexicon excellence and build up system according to individual needs. And since each DC-2 variation employs individual DSP "engines" for each on-board surround audio format, and for each major family of "native" audio-DSP functions, up to a total of five individual DSP LSIs in the DC-2/DTS". This ensures ideally optimized processing accuracy for each mode, and implements the fastest, most glitch-free switch-over possible. Of course, the DC-2 is fully auto-sensing, automatically selecting the highest-performing surround mode compatible with the current recording.
Each DC-2 version maintains the same high level of intrinsic audio quality. All employ the same eight-output architecture for 7.1-surround capability, and implements very-high-speed precision digital signal processing to perform all surround decoding, whether Dolby Pro-logic"/THX®, Dolby Digital", or DTS" formats, or one of Lexicon's proprietary ambience modes such as LOGIC-7. The DC-2 also incorporates leading-edge equalization options, including soundtrack-optimized "tilt" control and loudness compensation and low-frequency enhancement algorithms derived from new psychoacoustic research.
This unrivaled quality and depth of digital processing is complemented by Lexicon's use of exceedingly accurate 24 bit delta-sigma digital-to-analog converters for all eight channels. And the DC-2's digital and analog circuit designs and topologies were newly refined to produce sound quality rivaling the that of the very best "esoteric" stand-alone, two-channel D/A converters. In short, the newest Lexicon processor promises the best possible playback of any incoming audio signal, whether it is an historical monaural 78 RPM recording or the latest 5.1-channel digital-surround DVD.
All of Lexicon's DC-2 variations offer inputs for eight analog audio sources, and five video inputs. All five video positions are equipped with both conventional composite-video (RCA-jack) and S-Video (mini-DIN) signal paths (the DC-1 included only three S-Video paths). There are no fewer than eight digital audio inputs, doubling the DC-1's complement: five coaxial and three optical. An optional digital output may be added for systems with a digital-recording component, such as a MiniDisc or CD-R deck. What's more, internal six-channel digital expansion ports ensure that the DC-2 is upgradeable to maintain compatibility with any future developments.
Each of the DC-2's source-component audio and video inputs is fully programmable and can be combined in numerous ways, with fully customizable labeling displayed by front-panel and on-screen displays. As with the DC-1, the DC-2 may easily be set up such that input selection activates processing modes and video routings. For example, choosing "DVD" might automatically select an optical-digital input and a particular S-video connection while simultaneously invoking Dolby Digital" processing; or, choosing "CD" might select a coaxial-digital input and defeat surround processing altogether. Bottom line: Virtually any system configuration and combination of components can be seamlessly integrated.
Further aiding system integration are the DC-2's two individual, regulated 12-volt "trigger" blocks, a direct infrared-data input, and an RS-232 serial port . Together these provide an unexcelled range of remote functions, ranging from simple on/off sensing to sophisticated, full-system remote operations when integrated with whole-house media controllers or home-automation systems. All DC-2 versions feature an independently configurable Zone 2/Record output for use in multi-zone multiroom systems or in media-dubbing. Used for remote room listening/viewing this incorporates fully independent source selection and volume control, permitting remote users to freely select a second source and control its "local" playback volume, without affecting "home room" operations.
The DC-2 is meticulously constructed on its all-metal chassis by Lexicon in its Massachusetts facilities.
Lexicon, Inc., a Harman International Company, has been producing landmark electronics for both the professional audio and consumer markets for over twenty-five years. Today, Lexicon continues to lead the way with acclaimed professional and consumer audio/video products taking the art and technology of sound reproduction another significant step into the future.
Available: January 1999
For additional information, visit Lexicons web site at http://www.lexicon.com/