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Lexicon MC-1 vs Meridian 568.2?

Discussion in 'Audio Processors & Power Amps' started by tk2001, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. tk2001

    tk2001 Member

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    Having taken ownership of the Meridian 565 for over a week, I must say that it was an excellent processor - just very slightly better than the Denon KAVC-A1SE.

    I now have a Lexicon MC-1 which I have been using for just over a month and although it is definitely a slight step-up from the 565 for movies, for music it isn't quite as good as the 565 or the Denon KAVC-A1SE I had before it.

    Right now for listening to stereo music, I use my Toshiba SD900E's DAC's by bypassing the MC-1 DAC's and it sound alot more detailed and crisper - definitely on par with the A1SE.

    My question is this. Has anyone carried out a direct comparison between the MC-1 vs the Meridian 568.2 and does the 568.2 come out the winner in every department?

    For movies, I cannot fault the MC-1 at all for it is absolutely stunning and has this ability of enveloping the listener by creating this enormously detailed soundstage, especially so with DTS soundtracks. Does the 568.2 better the MC-1 in this regard?

    Whats the cheapest price for a 568.2 these days and is there any chance of a home demo by any chance lol?
  2. buns

    buns New Member

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    The meridian I have always been told is a step up, on a par with the likes of the dual pro tag/bryston (you get the idea), so in a totally different league to the MC1. I've also been told they are going way down in price with new arrivals due..... i think mid 2k is probably not unreasonable

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  3. garmtz

    garmtz Member

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    How would you bypass the MC-1 A/D convertors?
  4. NicolasB

    NicolasB Active Member

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    I've not listened to an MC-1 and a 568.2 side by side, but I've heard them separately. If you did do a direct comparison I would be surprised if the 568.2 failed to utterly demolish every aspect of the MC-1's performance.

    The only exception would be connectivity issues - the 568.2 can't do video switching, and is rather lacking in terms of analogue inputs. (This can be rectified by adding a 562 controller, but that's starting to get expensive).

    There might be some people who feel that the MC-1's implementation of Logic 7 is a clincher, of course.

    I would agree with buns that the 568.2 is on a par with the Tag AV192R and Bryston SP1.7 for sound quality. The next level down would be Arcam AV8, and Tag AV32R bp192. Next level down again would be Naim AV2. IMO the MC-1 is probably somewhere between the Naim and Arcam models for movies, rather below the Naim for stereo music.

    AFAIK you can't - but then the 568.2 doesn't have an analogue bypass either.
  5. Spligsey

    Spligsey Member

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    Meridian make the best dual purpose machines.

    I've been saying it for ages, and i still haven't changed my mind.


    Adz
  6. tk2001

    tk2001 Member

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    The MC-1 has an expansion port consisting of 3 coaxial digital audio inputs capable of accepting stereo signals upto 24bit/96khz. These inputs completely bypass the digital signal processing path, including the cross-overs and effects, passing the audio signal directly to the front left & right channels.
  7. tk2001

    tk2001 Member

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    Does the Meridian 568.2 version offer a slightly better performance than the standard 568 version?

    Didn't Nic Rhodes a while back home demo a standard Tag AV32 against a Lexicon MC-1 and a Meridian 568 and prefered the sound of the Tag and the Lexicon for movies?
  8. Gary Palmer

    Gary Palmer Member

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    Hi Tk2001

    You can't bypass the MC-1 DACs.

    What you are doing is digitising at the analogue inputs and then sending this back out through the MC-1's DACs.

    It will sound much better if you use the MC-1 as a DAC and do not use the analogue outputs of your Tosh.

    The lack of a proper analogue bypass on the MC-1 is it's biggest weakness. But it should sound pretty good if you avoid the unecessary ADC-DAC conversion you are using now....

    Gary
  9. tk2001

    tk2001 Member

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    Gary,

    Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    When I have my Toshiba SD900E dvd-player connected to my MC-1 via a digital-coaxial cable and choose the 2-channel mode when playing music CD's, I'm not impressed by the sound I get.

    However, like I said, if I connect my dvd-player to the MC-1's expansion port via coaxial and push the bypass button on the remote, it sounds noticably better - much more clearer, defined, and detailed. It sounds exactly the same as if I connected my active speakers directly to the outputs of my dvd-player.
  10. Gary Palmer

    Gary Palmer Member

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    Hi Tk2001,

    Sorry, I missed the bit where you said you were using the expansion ports...

    I'm surprised it sounds better than the standard coax input. Is your tosh outputing better than 44KHz/16bit (i.e. upsampling) ?

    If it is then that would explain why it sounds better.

    If not I'm puzzled why it sounds better..

    The MC-12 sounds better in analogue pass through than when all that digital stuff gets used ;-)
  11. tk2001

    tk2001 Member

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    I know someone who is selling a standard Meridian 568 for around £1700. Does anything think this is too expensive and how much do you think I should oay for it?

    Does the 568.2 version offer a substantial improvement in sound over the 568?
  12. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc Active Member

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    I think you should be able to get the vanilla 568 for a liitle less than £1700 now, and if you are prepared to pay £2k then the 568.2 would be a better buy imho. There is a free download out any day now for Proligic IIx and it will only be available on the .2, the .2 also upsamples all channels rather than the front 3 on the 568.
    You can only add a 598 or one of the g series dvd audio players with the .2 as well as the 568 cant take the MHR.

    Maybe worth trying Audio T in Epsom and ask for Paul, they had 1 568.2 with the MHR already installed, he had it down to around £2700 and I left him thinking about doing it for £2200, I didnt go for it because somone I know sold me his instead.

    I havent stopped grinning like a loon since I got mine, cant recommend them enough, was really worried that I wouldn't notice much of a difference from my DC1 v4 (24 bit dacs, late model) but there is deffinitely a difference. Not as big a jump as when I went from a denon A1-SE to the lexicon, but the differences are there, more subtle and some people might not get it, but if you do you won't be dissapointed.
  13. tk2001

    tk2001 Member

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    Thanks for the advice gizlaroc.

    In your post you said that you noticed a definite difference from the Lexicon DC1 v4 to your new Meridian 568.2 but isn't there suppose to big step-up in performance from a DC1 v4 to a MC-1? Would that not pitch the MC-1 around the same performance level as the 568.2?
  14. rags

    rags Member

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    Not sure if it's indicative but a 568 went for £1,500 on ebay recently from a seller with good feedback (if that means anything!!) and described as being in very good condition.

    Only one bid, but the starting price was £1,500.
  15. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc Active Member

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    OK I was trying to not get over excited because I am going to be selling the DC-1 when I get round to it (or when my brother decides whether he wants it or not is more to the point :rolleyes: ) and I dont want to put down the DC-1.

    The meridian is a truly stunning bit of kit, and it works better in my system to my ears than the lexicon or the tags, heard the dual processor tag btw.
    The MC-1 is a jump up from the DC series yeah and at the moment it is nearly twice the price so you would hope it was better.
    The meridian was half as much again over the MC-1 and I could have got a dual tag for near enough the same money as the 568.2, but the tag was not for me, when at reference level the tag, like the lexicon, I would be reaching for the remote and knocking it down a touch.
    With the 568.2 when I have it at the same volume I am grinning like a moron and knocking it up a notch.
    Oh and trifield ;) Now I have all kef in wall speakers and I cant change this because the room dictates them, and for the first time I have really enjoyed listening to music in my cinema room, and I definitely could not do this with the lexicon, it is for films as far as I am concerned and thats it, end of story, ok better than most intergrated av set ups but my quad 77 intergrated beat it.

    My wife noticed I had changed somthing :rolleyes: her words were it sounds lovely and full. make of that what you want.

    Is there not anywhere where you can listen to one ???
  16. Spligsey

    Spligsey Member

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    The Meridian 568.2 is a step above the MC-1

    Somewhere, somehow, someone suggested that the 568.2 isn't a 'movie' machine.

    That is nonsense. Listen to one & draw your own conclusions.


    Adz
  17. tk2001

    tk2001 Member

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    gizlaroc,

    Have you carried out an A/B test between the 568.2 vs the MC-1 and if so, then which processor came out on top for movies - more cinematic, dynamic, detailed?
  18. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc Active Member

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    I did not do an A/B test on my system, I took my DC-1 and compared it on another system agaisnt a 568 and an MC-1, the MC-1 was similar to the DC-1 but was definitely more open and a definite improvement, the 568 was more detailed and dry, but it was also fuller and not so edgy at higher volumes, from this I took a gamble and tracked down a 568.2 as I felt it had the characteristics I was looking for from a processor whithin my system.
    This was purly on film material, as I think it is accepted that the meridian wipes the floor with the lexicon on the music side. Reading a couple of the forums out there it seems
    that there are alot of guys who use the 568 in a music only enviroment as it is held so highly as a 2 or 3 channel pre.

    Like any bit of kit though try and listen to it, you are in a lucky enough position to already have an MC-1 so you only have to find a dealer with a 568 and you can hear the differences, these are not differences that you will have to struggle to hear, they will be startlingly obvious, which one you prefer will be the decider.

    My Kef speakers could get a little edgy at higher levels so the dry fuller sound of the 568 I felt would suit my system better. If I move and change my speakers I may return to Lexicon.

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