What is the Lyngdorf MP-60?
The Lyngdorf MP-60 is a 16-channel high-end AV processor with RoomPerfect room correction. It's the latest addition to the Danish manufacturer’s line-up, replacing the 12-channel MP-50, and not only includes 16-channels of processing but also decodes Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro, and Auro-3D to take full advantage of all those extra speakers.
The Lyngdorf MP-60 is available for £11,995 as at the time of writing (May 2020), which puts this AV processor up against similar high-end models from Trinnov, Datasat, Acurus, Anthem and Focal. Since I have reviewed versions of all these processors, I’m perfectly positioned to compare and contrast the performance of the MP-60 against its competitors.
The Lyngdorf MP-60 is a gorgeous piece of industrial design, combining elegant clean edges with cool Scandinavian styling. The minimalist front panel uses a combination of gloss black glass and matte black aluminium, with a large display on the left that’s clear, informative and easy to read. There’s a standby button in the bottom right hand corner, a source select knob in the centre, and a large volume dial on the right.
There’s no denying this is a high-end product, with a full-metal chassis that’s extremely well made. The entire unit has a nicely engineered feel to it, and there’s a pleasing resistance to the volume dial. The MP-60 measures 450 x 147 x 370mm (WxHxD) and weighs in at 9kg. This processor is just too pretty to be hidden away in an equipment room, but it comes with the necessary brackets for installation in a rack.
It's a gorgeous piece of industrial design, with a full-metal chassis, clean lines and plenty of Scandinavian cool
Should you have the MP-60 on display in the room with you, the good news is unlike many of its competitors this processor is completely silent. It doesn’t generate much heat, and as a result only needs basic ventilation to keep cool, rather than noisy fans. This might seem like a small point, but there’s nothing more annoying than a processor that sounds like a Harrier jump jet.
Connections and Control
The Lyngdorf MP-60 houses all its connections on the rear panel, which is dominated by 16 channels of outputs, all of which use balanced XLR connectors. There are also eight HDMI 2.0b inputs, two HDMI 2.0b outputs, one of which supports eARC (with dynamic lip-sync and quick media switching), and an HDBaseT output. The MP-60 HDMI connections can pass a full 18Gbps signal with support for 4K/60p, 12-bit, 4:4:4, BT.2020, high dynamic range (HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision), 3D, and HDCP 2.2.
Unfortunately, the MP-60 can’t pass HDR10+, due to the chipset being unable to handle the large InfoFrames used. This, along with the lack of HDMI 2.1 support, might seem disappointing but the former has been eclipsed by Dolby Vision, and the latter is hardly a priority at the moment. Should things change, Lyngdorf could offer an HDMI upgrade path in the future, just like it did for the MP-50.
In terms of the audio connections there are three coaxial and four optical digital inputs, a coaxial digital output for a second zone, a USB B port, two USB A ports, and an AES/EBU XLR input. There’s also a host of custom install features like two IR inputs, an IR output, a 12V trigger input, four 12V trigger outputs, an RS232 serial connector, and an Ethernet port. There are also optional upgrades for 16-channel DB-25 inputs and outputs, and a 16-channel RJ45 output.
There are 16 balanced XLR outputs, 8 HDMI inputs, and 2 HDMI outputs, one of which supports eARC
At the rear there’s also an SD memory card slot, with a card already inserted. This is for storing back-ups of your system settings and RoomPerfect measurements. This is useful not only for reloading your setup if it was lost for some reason, but also for loading your settings into another MP-60, should you need to replace your unit.
The MP-60 comes with a dedicated remote control that’s as sleek and stylish as the processor itself. It’s slender in shape, keeps the number of buttons to a sensible level, and is intuitively laid out. It also offers a choice of IR or RF control, which is a nice touch. I used the RF option since the processor is behind me, and it worked without a hitch. My only complaint is the lack of a backlight, meaning you need to remember where the buttons are located when using the remote in the dark. Thankfully, volume, source and mute are the three bottom controls, making them easy to find.
The sleek and stylish remote is well designed but lacks a backlight, while the web-based interface is highly effective
The MP-60 is primarily aimed at the custom install market, hence the remote's lack of a backlight, and it supports systems like Control4. There’s also an excellent web-based interface, which provides access to a home page for control, along with all the setup menus. There’s no Wi-Fi, so you’ll need an Ethernet connection, but it’s great being able to perform a detailed setup and run RoomPerfect remotely.
If the MP-60 is connected to your network, you can also use Lyngdorf’s remote app (iOS and Android) for basic functions like input selection and volume level, along with direct control of a built-in media player, which supports Spotify, vTuner, and AirPlay, with Roon to be added soon.
Features and Specs
The Lyngdorf MP-60’s headline feature is RoomPerfect room correction, but I’ll cover that in detail in a separate section. The other big feature is the processor’s ability to decode a total of 16 channels, compared to the MP-50’s 12-channel capability. The inclusion of 16 channels of decoding also allows the MP-60 to support Dolby Atmos up to 9.1.6, DTS:X Pro up to 15.1 and Auro-3D up to 15.1 channels.
DTS:X Pro will be added via a firmware update in the summer, so for the purposes of this review I used a 7.1.4 layout for basic DTS:X. Since the MP-60 now forms part of my reference review system, I’ll update this review with my thoughts on DTS:X Pro once it's been added. The MP-60 currently supports every Atmos, DTS:X and Auro variant, with the exception of IMAX Enhanced DTS:X; although the latter will be added soon via a firmware update.
The MP-60 supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro and Auro-3D, with processing for up to 15.1 channels
The USB audio input supports up to 32-bits at a 192kHz sample rate, while all other digital audio inputs operate at 24-bits and 192kHz, except the optical digital inputs which max out at 96kHz. The audio specifications include a claimed frequency response of ±0.5dB from 20Hz to 20kHz, and a total harmonic distortion of 0.005% max from 20Hz to 20kHz. The MP-60 can also upscale all lower resolution video to 4K, but can’t downscale 4K video to lower resolutions.
Setup and Operation
The Lyngdorf MP-60 is surprisingly easy to setup considering its complexity, and this is primarily due to a clear and intuitive menu system. You can access these menus by either pressing the setup button on the remote for the on-screen version or by using the web-based interface. I initially used the web-based version for setup, but because the MP-60 wasn’t always wired into my network, I also used the on-screen menus for tweaking.
The MP-60 ships pre-configured to 11.1 channels with four auxiliary outputs, but you’re free to select any layout you want within the limitation of 15.1 channels of processing. That means you can go all the way up to 9.1.6 channels with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Pro, or 15.1 if you choose the less conventional Auro-3D speaker layout.
I chose a 9.2.4-channel layout with three MK Sound S150 monitor speakers at the front, a pair of S150T tripole speakers at the sides, and another pair at the rear. For the width speakers I used a pair of MK Sound LCR750 speakers, there were four JBL Control Ones overhead, and a pair of MK Sound V12 subwoofers at the front of the room (one in each corner).
The entire system was driven by a combination of the Emotiva XPA-11 11-channel and Lyngdorf SDA-2400 two-channel power amps. The Lyngdorf handled the front left and right channels, while the Emotiva took care of everything else. The MP-60 was connected to the power amps using balanced XLR cables. My sources were an Apple TV 4K media player, a Panasonic DP-UB9000 4K Blu-ray player and an Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player.
Setup is surprisingly easy thanks to a clearly laid-out menu system and intuitive interface
RoomPerfect aside, which I’ll cover in detail in the next section, the remaining setup menus are all fairly self explanatory: Source; System Configuration; Video Setup; Zone B; Audio Setup; and Manage Software. In reality you probably won’t need to change most of these settings, but the MP-60 offers plenty of flexibility in terms of connected sources and general setup. If the processor is connected to your wireless network it’s also easy to update the firmware, although you can also perform this using a USB thumb drive.
As well as the setup menus, the remote control also offers two direct access buttons: Audio and Trim. The Audio sub-menu allows you to select the options in the post-processing menu, while the Trim sub-menu provides access to miscellaneous settings such as lip sync.
The MP-60 is easy to operate on a day-to-day basis, although aside from the setup menu, there’s no information shown on screen. In order to see what the volume control is actually set to, you’ll either need to look at front display or be using the web-based interface or remote app.
The Lyngdorf MP-60’s big selling point is the inclusion of the company’s RoomPerfect room correction system. Founder and audio legend Peter Lyngdorf began developing room correction 30 years ago, and released the first full-range digital room correction system back in 1993. So it’s fair to say the company has been a pioneer in this area, with plenty of time to refine the process.
That first system took a similar approach to those currently used by other manufacturers, but Lyngdorf realised this type of measurement didn’t capture the distinctive sound of the speakers being used. These systems work by ‘correcting’ the sound of the speakers to match a pre-determined response, thus making all speakers sound the same.
A conventional room correction system places an upward-firing mic at the main listening position and takes a measurement, before repeating this process across the seating area. Firing a mic at the ceiling from the seating position will typically measure less than 10% of the sound coming directly from the speakers themselves.
Lyngdorf's goal was to develop a system that corrects for the room without changing the characteristics of the speakers
As the characteristics of the speakers haven’t been captured, the system cannot preserve them, and the correction applied will change the sound of the speakers to mimic a pre-determined target curve. RoomPerfect is the result of 20 years of development, and is designed to eliminate the negative acoustical aspects of a room while retaining the sonic signature of the speakers.
RoomPerfect’s approach is based around four key aspects:
Focus Speaker Measurement – the first measurement points the microphone directly at the front speakers. This measures the speakers with minimal additions from the room, thus allowing RoomPerfect to differentiate the room from the speaker and preserve the characteristics of the latter, rather than simply changing it to match a pre-determined curve.
Room Measurements – The acoustic errors a room creates are a complex three-dimensional problem. To fully understand them requires measuring throughout the full height, width and length of room. To achieve this, RoomPerfect takes random measurements throughout the room until a ‘room knowledge’ of at least 98% has been achieved.
Bass Management with Combined Speaker and Woofer Measurement – Correcting each speaker and woofer for the adverse effects of the room won’t guarantee optimal results. As a result, RoomPerfect measures each speaker in conjunction with each subwoofer, creating a seamless blend between the speakers and woofers for the best possible bass response from every speaker.
Optimal Power Response – Lyngdorf believes smoothing out errors in the frequency response is insufficient to reproduce music faithfully. By optimising the power response of the speaker to the room, RoomPerfect ensures bass is felt as well as heard. In systems with dual subwoofers, stereo bass is also created with seamless integration of the speakers on each side of the room.
Despite its sophistication, RoomPerfect is incredibly easy to use. I think this is one of its biggest strengths of the system, because anyone can successfully run through the process and get fantastic results. Other systems might offer more options for tweaking, but they tend to be overly complex, often requiring training courses and dealer setup.
Despite its sophistication and complexity RoomPerfect is incredibly easy to use, making it accessible to everyone
For RoomPerfect, all I needed to do was select my speaker layout (9.2.4), and choose the appropriate crossover. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to speaker size, with options for XS, S, M, L, XL, and XXL, and Lyngdorf specifies the crossover point for each of these sizes as follows: 120, 100, 80, 40, Full Range, and Full Range + LFE if no subwoofer is in the system.
In addition to those options, there is a Custom setting that allows you to select some other crossover frequency. The MP-60 supports up to four subwoofers, and you can choose between these being daisy-chained LFE subs using the dedicated LFE output, or individual subs connected to specific channels (front left and right, and rear left and right).
Assigning two or more of the auxiliary outputs to subs leaves less channels available for the other speakers. So assigning four subs would leave 12 channels of processing, which means you can’t run a 9.4.6 system. In my system, I’m running a 9.2.4 configuration, with two subs up front as a stereo pair. If I decide to go to 9.1.6, I’ll have to use the LFE output and daisy chain the subs.
It’s worth pointing out that the more attention you pay to the initial placement of your speakers, and particularly the subs, the easier it is for any room correction system. However, Lyngdorf claim RoomPerfect can handle any type of room, channel configuration and speaker placement, and still deliver exceptional results. We shall see…
Once you’ve decided on the speaker layout, subs and crossovers, simply measure the distance from the focus microphone position to all the speakers and subs using a laser measure. You then load these measurements into the MP-60, and you’re ready to run RoomPerfect.
The MP-60 comes with a calibrated microphone, which you connect using an included and pleasingly-long XLR cable to a dedicated input at the rear. There’s also an included microphone stand, which isn’t that great to be honest. I used a professional mic stand of my own, which made taking random measurements at different heights around the room much easier.
Initially, you position the mic at the focus point, which is basically the ear-level sweet spot, and point it directly forwards. RoomPerfect creates test tones to measure each speaker and sub from this focus position, and these tones use a frequency resolution of 1/12 octave, which corresponds to no less than 121 pure tones for covering the range from 20Hz to 20kHz.
The first 50 tones, which cover a frequency range from 20 to 350Hz, form the “low frequency test signal", while the remaining 71 tones form the “high frequency test signal”. The first 50 are on for approximately 25 seconds in each loudspeaker, and the other 71 are on for about five seconds in each loudspeaker due to lower background noise levels at higher frequencies.
Once RoomPerfect has measured the initial focus position, it tells you to keep taking measurements from random locations in the room, at various heights and with the mic pointing in different directions (up, down, sideways) until the system has built up a complete acoustical picture of the room. Lyngdorf refers to this as ‘room knowledge’, and for optimal results you should keep taking measurements until it reaches 95%. You can then take two final measurements close to the boundary walls to give the system a final ‘look’ at the sonic environment, resulting in a final room knowledge of 98%.
RoomPerfect is designed to ensure the subs are seamlessly integrated with the other speakers in the system, creating a tight and responsive foundation of bass. The calibration process produces Focus and Global settings: the first is optimised for the main listening position; while the second is designed to ensure those who aren't sat at the sweet spot can still enjoy a superior sonic experience. You can cycle through Focus, Global and Bypass to compare the before and after impact of RoomPerfect on your system.
Lyngdorf’s approach to room correction doesn’t go for the graphical representation favoured by other systems. However, it does provide the opportunity to adjust the 'voicing' (as Lyngdorf calls it) using pre-loaded curves that amplify or attenuate certain frequencies. You can also create your own voicing equaliser filters according to personal preference. After some experimentation I preferred using the Neutral settings, but it could be a useful feature for others.
While RoomPerfect is amazingly user-friendly, it’s also quite a time-consuming process. It took me over two hours from start to finish, with over ten different random mic positions, but when you consider I was measuring for 13 speakers and two subwoofers it was never going to be quick. Right, that’s enough theory, the real question is how does the MP-60 and RoomPerfect sound?
The Lyngdorf MP-60 is obviously a multi-channel processor, but I actually started testing it as a stereo system in conjunction with the SDA-2400, a pair of MK S150 speakers and two V12 subs. I ran RoomPerfect, kicked back, and started to listen to some two-channel music.
I have a copy of the 1992 album Amused to Death by Roger Waters in 24-bit/96kHz uncompressed stereo, which is capable of exceptional detail and dynamics. The MP-60 expertly handles the complex mix, with the sounds of monkeys erupting at the start of What God Wants, before the driving drum beat kicks in and Jeff Beck’s guitar weaves its way through the song. The speakers and subs are so perfectly integrated that they simply disappear, leaving nothing but the music.
I then moved on to the full multi-channel system by listening to a high-resolution 5.1 version of the same album, allowing the MP-60 to fill the soundstage with a fantastically immersive lossless surround mix. Instruments are placed around the room with exacting precision, the bass is incredibly tight, and the treble incredibly clean. The processor orchestrates the amplification at its disposal to produce remarkable dynamic range, especially during the explosion in the song Late Home Tonight.
Once I’d finish listening to a bunch of my favourite albums, I was already beginning to realise how good the MP-60 is at both correcting for the room and integrating the speakers with the subs. It was now time to start testing with some movies, so I reached for House of Flying Daggers and its iconic drum sequence.
RoomPerfect does what it says on the tin - eliminating the room and perfectly integrating the bass
The MP-60 integrates the two subs with the available speakers to render the 5.1 soundtrack with exceptional precision and detail. The bass is incredibly tight, and perfectly timed as each pebble hits a drum. The steering is also remarkable, not only tracking each pebble, but also the corresponding drum, causing a pleasing percussive thump wherever it is in the room. What really impressed was how the Lyngdorf seemed able to direct bass around the room in a way that I'd never heard before, it was undoubtedly the best this sequence had ever sounded in my room.
I'm obviously familiar with my room, and I've positioned the speakers and subs as closely as I can to their best locations. However, I haven't used any treatments aside from black velvet on the walls and ceiling, and while this is primarily there to turn the room into a bat cave, it also dampens reflections a little. However, RoomPerfect is so good at eliminating the negative aspects of the room that I found myself wondering why anyone would really need to use acoustic treatments?
I also know there is a fairly big null in my room at about 50Hz, something that causes many room correction systems to struggle. This is not the case with RoomPerfect, and toggling between Focused, Global and Bypass I'm able to assess the impact of the acoustic correction. The bass is perfectly integrated, and the resulting sound-field is well defined, with a detailed, cohesive and balanced presence.
Edge of Tomorrow has a superb 7.1-channel mix, with the initial beach landing using every available channel to deliver an all-out assault on the senses. The MP-60 handles it with style, immersing you in the drop ship as the fuselage buckles and creaks all around you. As Tom Cruise tumbles to the ground, missiles are steered from speaker to speaker with remarkable precision.
The processor makes full use of the available headroom to ensure this sequence remains a visceral experience, with a big and powerful soundstage that delivers explosions with the impact of a sledgehammer. And yet this processor also manages to retrieve every detail in the sound design, ensuring the voices and dialogue remain intelligible despite the carnage all around.
If you want to make the most of all your speakers with non-immersive soundtracks, you can also choose between the Dolby Surround, DTS Neural:X and Auro-3D Auromatic upmixers. These can be very effective, but at present Dolby and DTS require that their upmixing apply only to their specific soundtracks. This mandate should be relaxed when the DTS:X Pro update is released.
Although I’m not using an Auro-3D speaker layout, I did watch some of Pixels just to check the MP-60 actually does decode the format. It had no problem identifying the Auro soundtrack, and it automatically mapped the audio to my 9.2.4-channel configuration. As a result, I was enveloped in sound, with plenty of action overhead as the height channels were redirected to the top speakers.
It was now time for some Dolby Atmos. So I reached for Le Mans '66, which I was expecting to sound good. I wasn't disappointed. The racing sequences are dominated by the sounds of roaring engines, which the MP-60 delivered with a driving intensity. As race cars tear across the room, from side-to-side and front-to-back, the sounds move from speaker-to-speaker with a seamless precision. There's also a sense of scale to the delivery, with the ceiling speakers joining the surrounds to create a wall of crowd noise on either side at the race tracks.
The MP-60 delivered 1917's highly directional Dolby Atmos soundtrack with pin-point accuracy
The film 1917 uses a highly-directional Dolby Atmos soundtrack to enhance its single-take premise, and the Lyngdorf expertly moves the various audio objects around in three-dimensional space. A trip across no-man's land is accompanied by the sounds of buzzing flies filling the air as our heroes pass rotting corpses. As two bi-planes fly overhead, you can distinctly hear them both moving from the rear to front top speakers. Somehow the MP-60 seems able to redirect bass in way that you feel the weight of a collapsing bunker above you, and as flares fall through the sky during a nighttime scene, you can hear them moving above with pin-point precision.
To test the DTS:X capabilities of the MP-60, I immediately turned to an all-time favourite – Jurassic Park. The film is a masterclass in sound design, and none more so than the T-Rex attack. The LFE impact of the approaching dinosaur is perfectly timed with the rings in the cup of water, while rain lashes down from the overhead channels. As the T-Rex makes its presence felt with an ear-splitting roar, the perfectly integrated subs give the animal greater weight and scale.
Jumanji: The Next Level also boasts a DTS:X soundtrack, and the pounding drums that announce a new challenge in the game reverberate around the room with depth and clarity. A charging herd of ostriches surround our heroes, with the sound of their jostling bodies sounds blasting from the side and rear speakers. When a character is re-spawned there’s a ping overhead, before they come crashing to the ground. A challenge involving rope bridges at different heights allows sounds to be moved up and down in unison with the characters, and as a zeppelin drifts overhead, the MP-60 places you within a sonic hemisphere of effects.
- Incredible sonic performance
- RoomPerfect does exactly that
- Flexible setup and easy to operate
- Highly effective control options
- Extensive inputs and outputs
- Elegant contemporary design
- Superb level of build quality
- Silent in operation
- Not the cheapest option
- No HDR10+ passthrough
- Remote lacks a backlight
Lyngdorf MP-60 AV Processor Review
Should I buy one?
The Lyngdorf MP-60 delivers the best performance I have heard from any AV processor to date – and I’ve heard them all. The reason I can confidently make such a sweeping statement is RoomPerfect, which immediately elevates an already impressive product to the top of my list of best processors.
RoomPerfect is nothing short of a revelation. But despite its sophistication, it’s also incredibly easy to use. As a result, anyone can get a fantastic level of sound quality without needing any detailed acoustic knowledge or training. The closely guarded processes at the heart of Lyngdorf’s room correction system border on magic, producing a system that is convincing, transparent and cohesive.
The room disappears, and the speakers merge into a single tonally balanced whole with a frequency response that seamlessly ranges from 20Hz to 20kHz. The subs are integrated with exceptional precision, and sound effects are seamlessly steered from speaker to speaker. The result is a sonic experience that’s utterly compelling and completely spell-binding.
However, the MP-60 doesn’t just sound good, it also looks great thanks to an elegant design. The build quality is superb, and this processor is completely silent in operation. There are plenty of connections (including support for eARC), some highly effective control options, and an extensive set of features that includes 15.1-channel processing for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro, and Auro-3D.
There are a few minor complaints: the remote lacks a backlight, aside from the setup menu there aren’t any on-screen displays, and the HDMI connections can’t pass HDR10+. The MP-60 also lacks HDMI 2.1, but as far as I’m aware no processor currently supports this type of connection, and Lyngdorf might offer an upgrade path in the future.
Ultimately, there are plenty of high-end AV processors available, but in my opinion the Lyngdorf MP-60's simplicity puts it in a class of its own with a performance that's best described as perfect.
What are my alternatives?
If you’re looking for an alternative in a similar price bracket, the obvious choice is the Trinnov Audio Altitude16. It’s slightly more expensive at £13,000, but offers a nearly identical set of features, with 15.1 channels of processing and support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro and Auro-3D. It’s attractively designed, well made, and has similar selection of connections.
What really separates the two processors is their room correction systems. The Altitude16 uses Trinnov’s proprietary Optimiser, which evolved out of the company’s professional heritage. As such it’s incredibly sophisticated and flexible, but should really be setup by a suitably trained dealer. You need to know what you’re doing to get the best out of the Trinnov, although anyone who enjoys tweaking will have a field day.
There are other high-end options, but none are as good as the Lyngdorf and Trinnov processors. The Datasat LS10 also costs £13,000, uses Dirac Live room correction and supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D. However, it’s restricted to 13.1 channels of processing and is starting to look outdated. The Acurus ACT 4 is another good AV processor, but is also restricted to 13.1 channels and has no built-in room correction system. All of which makes its £12,300 price tag a bit steep.
If you’re on a tighter budget, you could consider the Anthem AVM60 AV processor. It currently costs £3,899, but only supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, plus it's restricted to 11.1 channel processing. It does support ARC Genesis, which is the latest version of Anthem’s room correction system and, while this is excellent, the processor itself is looking decidedly long in the tooth.
The best choice at this end of the market is probably the Arcam AV40 AV processor. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, can process up to 15.1 channels and includes Dirac Live. It also has some handy new features like eARC, and will ‘only’ set you back £3,749. Phil will hopefully be reviewing this product in the near future.
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