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Home Theater

Lexicon Home Theater Pt.1

Lexicon’s new MC-8 surround processor was a welcome introduction, though hardly unexpected – the stripped-down, lower-cost version of its flagship MC-12 has been eagerly anticipated since last year, when the company broke with tradition and pre-announced it to reassure customers unable to afford to trade up to the MC-12. The big surprise, however, was Lexicon’s rollout of its stealth RT-10 universal disc player. Lexicon’s Al Flint, Vice President of Lexicon Engineering, and Kristen Beard, who oversaw development of both products, proudly show off the new cosmetically matched members of the Lexicon family. The player and processor are perched atop the seven-channel version of the company’s LX-series of power amplifiers, which are now THX Ultra-certified.

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Slated to retail for $3,495, Lexicon’s RT-10 (top) universal disc transport can play various flavors of CD (including CD-R, CD-RW, Video CD, S-VCD, and MP3), DVD (including DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, DVD-R, and DVD-RW), and Super Audio CD (both stereo and multi-channel); unknown at this time is whether the RT-10 can also handle mini-DVD or MP3 on DVD-R. With its “Pure Cinema” progressive scan video output (a clear indicator of Pioneer component underpinnings), combined with Lexicon’s report that no customization has been made to the video components, the RT-10’s video performance is likely to be comparable to Pioneer’s 47A universal player.

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Like the Pioneer, the RT-10 applies separate PCM and DSD decoding to DVD-A and SACD sources; however, a high RT-10 design priority was upgrading and enhancing the analog audio stage to audiophile performance standards, to complement the 5.1 analog bypass capabilities of the Lexicon MC-12 and MC-8. For its first-generation disc player, Lexicon opted to sit out the uncertainties surrounding high-resolution digital output protocols, so SACD and DVD-A output is analog-only (with no provisions for upgradeability in the design).
Available by March in standard and balanced configurations for $5,999 and $6,999 respectively, the MC-8 controller occupies the same price point as the MC-1, which it replaces (the DC-2 will remain in the Lexicon product line as an entry level option). The non-balanced version retains the MC-1’s compact 2RU form factor (the balanced connector option adds 1.23 inches to the height). However, internally the MC-8 is the long-awaited “baby brother” to the MC-12. The nomenclature signifies scale – the MC-8 accommodates only 8 inputs and 8 outputs for less complex home theater systems. However, the MC-8 shares much of the MC-12’s underlying architecture and processing capabilities.
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Like its big brother, the MC-8 sports four Analog Devices SHARC DSP engines, allowing it to use the MC-12’s software codebase; as a result, the MC-8 runs the same versions of Lexicon’s proprietary Logic 7 processing and other surround modes. Time and advancing technology have even brought a few improvements for the moment over its predecessor: the MC-8 adds the option to configure two banks of 5.1 analog inputs to accommodate separate SACD and DVD-Audio players (however, this will only leave two analog inputs available; a universal player is still a more strategic choice); THX Ultra II processing and the return of Lexicon’s Panorama mode (to be added in a future MC-12 software upgrade); and DTS 96/24 decoding (which would require pricey hardware and software upgrades to implement in the MC-12). []

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Latest additons 7th February 2003:

Panamax Power Conditioning
Xplore Solutions A/V Control
EAD Theatermaster Studio
Focal-JMLab Utopia Loudspeakers
McCormack DVD-Audio/SACD Player
Martin Logan Clarity & Scripti
Artistic Audio & Red Rose Audio
IMF Audio Musica Model 25
Philips, Pioneer & Sharp DVD-R/RW
Opus Distributed Audio
Audio Aero Prestige A/V Player
Philips DVDR80 DVD+RW Recorder
Lexicon Home Theater Products
DVD Entertainment Group Dinner
Universal Remote Control MX-3000
Xantech System Control Products
McIntosh MVP851 DVD-Audio Player
Von Schweikert VR-S/1 Subwoofer
Von Schweikert VR-1 & VR-4SE
Zu Druid 2 & Gallo Acoustics
2003 Panasonic DVD-Video Players
Universal DVD-Audio/SACD Players
Arcam Home Theater Products
Stillpoints Isolation Products
Panasonic e-Wear & LCD Monitor
SACD Press Conference
Clark Synthesis Gold TST329
Guitammer BKA1000-4 Amplifier
Dynaudio Contour Loudspeakers

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Show report last updated: 7th February 2003 ~ 190 original images on-line.


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