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Home Theater

Lexicon Home Theater Pt.2

The reduced number of the MC-8’s input sources and single alternate zone made it possible to return to the simple, elegant remote designs of Lexicons past. This version, however, features a powder coating – in fact, it’s the fuzziest remote I’ve ever had the pleasure to caress.

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The RT-10 remote is, alas, not as fuzzy, but it offers the same simple styling in a logically thought-out arrangement. I particularly like the placement of the less frequently used number keys at the top, allowing easier access for the more common commands.

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Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to think of the MC-8 as a superior or even equivalent product to the MC-12, at a cheaper price point. Despite the common architecture, the MC-8 is a stripped-down version, lacking some significant features of the flagship MC-12. For anyone interested in the differences between the two models, the added cost of an MC-12 buys you:

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(1) more sophisticated bass management, with multiple subwoofer outputs for stereo subs and a dedicated LFE sub (particularly useful for Lexicon’s Bass Enhance function); (2) optional A/D conversion on 5.1 analog inputs (important for time alignment and bass management in systems using less than full-range speakers) where the MC-8 is analog bypass-only; (3) a digital output that will convert analog sources (great for archiving analog sources onto CD, for example), where the MC-8 offers only a pass-through for digital sources (unlikely to change as it would involve expensive hardware modification); (4) a true internally balanced design with dual differential DAC configuration, where the MC-8 offers only supports balanced outputs (though the company claims closely comparable performance measurements); (5) four mic inputs for future capabilities...automatic system setup?...room equalization?...Logic 7 karaoke?...the possibilities are limitless; (6) four component video inputs (vs. three in the MC-8), eight S-Video inputs (vs. five) (7) an additional configurable power trigger; (8) an AES/EBU input and BNC component video outputs; (9) more expandability, not just in the additional expansion slot (3 vs. 2 in the MC-8) but in the internal allocation of various functions to dedicated (and upgradeable) daughtercards vs. an essentially single-card motherboard in the MC-8, although core processing is on a removable card; and (8) an additional zone for independently routing a third source; moreover, each of the MC-12’s alternate zones allow connection of two devices, while the MC-8’s limited back panel real estate allows only a single device connection (you can feed a second zone or a recording device, but not both).
For owners of older Lexicon processors, Lexicon will again offer its liberal trade-in program, allowing dealer credit towards the MC-8 purchase price for any MC-1, DC-2, or DC-1 (provided it was not previously traded-in). Although official credit terms are left to dealer discretion and not released to the public, MC-1 owners should look for somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 (about a third more than the going rate for used units), with the limited-time program starting about a month after the MC-8 starts shipping.
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This unusual second trade-in opportunity (the third for DC-1 owners) signals strong customer commitment on the part of the company, confirmed National Sales Manger Bart Lopiccolo (left, above): “We knew the MC-12 was a big step up in price, and we wanted to do something for those who couldn’t afford the upgrade – especially since we’re now focusing all our development efforts on the new platform. A second trade-in offer towards the MC-8 was a logical solution.”

This has been a busy time for Lexicon’s consumer products developers – compared to single product launches every few years, in the past year the company has delivered a new disc player, surround processor, and two software upgrades for the MC-12. “Right now, our main focus is on consumer products,” said Andrew Clark (right), Vice President of Marketing for the Harman Specialty Group. “Our efforts are split about 80/20 between that and our pro audio side.” On another front, Clark reports that next month BMW-owned Rolls Royce will unveil an all-new Phantom with a Logic 7-equipped Harmon sound system similar to the BMW 7 Series. At a cool $350,000, it makes the MC-12 start to look like a downright bargain! []

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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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