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Anyone heard the Lexicon MC8?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by mattmarsden, May 16, 2003.

  1. mattmarsden

    mattmarsden
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    Has anyone heard the MC8 yet? If so, how does it compare sonically to the MC12. As far as I can make out it should sound almost identical.

    Any views would be much appreciated.
     
  2. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Ye-es, although it was rather an unsatisfactory demo for all sorts of reasons. The L&R speakers were OK - Kef Reference 205 - but the centre was the Kef Ref 202, which really isn't much cop, and the surrounds weren't too good either. (That was partly my fault - I ought to have asked them to go and fetch some Kef Ref 201s, but they were already running late by half an hour and I was getting bored).

    Starting with an Arcam AV8, the levels were off, too. Initially the surround speakers were a good 6dB higher than the fronts (being that much closer). After protesting that it was a lot of effort to adjust them because as soon as you put different speakers on, it throws the levels off again (by 6 or 7 dB? not convinced) the guy rather grudgingly went and found an SPL meter - then calibrated all the speakers with the meter mic resting on the arm of the sofa and pointing directly at the left front speaker. Unsurprisingly this still left the surrounds too loud (although not as bad) but I really couldn't be bothered to grumble any more.

    Amp was an Arcam P7. DVD player was some £1400 thing from Marantz, I didn't get the model number.

    I think there may have been something else wrong on top of all the stuff I've already mentioned. I was comparing an Arcam AV8 (because I'm used to it - gives me a handle on the speakers and room accoustics) with an MC8 and MC12, and I can't help but feel that music being played using the MC12's DACs in straight stereo via an Arcam P7 into Kef Ref 205s really ought to have sounded better than it did.

    However, with all of those disclaimers, if we assume for the moment that the comparison was actually valid - the tonal quality of the AV8 was about what I've come to expect - then I would have to say that the MC8 was rather a dissappointment. The gap between it and the MC12 was substantially greater than I'd anticipated, with the MC12 sounding just that much clearer and purer all round.

    Don't get me wrong, the MC8 was very good, and a big step up from the Arcam. Put it this way: the AV8 costs £3K, the MC8 £5K, the MC12, £8.1K, and the MC12B, £9K. I would say that the MC8 is at about the right point on the price scale in terms of the sound quality it was delivering and how that compares with the others.

    But you should probably audition one yourself before you make your mind up.

    Incidentally, the sales guy (who had brightened up and become more helpful by this time) reckoned that, if anything, the MC8B sounds slightly worse than the plain MC8 unless you're using long cable runs and there's interference - this, he thought, was rather a contrast with the more expensive model in that the MC12B is really quite a perceptible improvement over the MC12. I have heard an MC12B, but not at the same time as any other Lexicon kit, so I can't confirm or deny that.
     
  3. mattmarsden

    mattmarsden
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    How fair is this test? I mean this environment is not ideal. How would you be able to compare it to the MC12?
     
  4. sounddog

    sounddog
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    matt ... sorry if this is out of place to say this ... but your last message does seam a little ungreatful.

    You ask for peoples experience and opinions of the MC8 compared to the MC12 ... and then when someone does give some views of it ... you critisise them for how those views were compiled.

    Vikki
     
  5. mattmarsden

    mattmarsden
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    Sorry, I didn't mean to sound ungrateful, sorry Nicolas if this is how it came across. I was just wondering if an MC12 in the same setup would have sounded the same. Really, what I wanted to know was why you said the MC12 was far better. Had you heard it in a similar setup, or was it still very easy to hear the MC8 was not as good.

    Apologies if I came across rude.
     
  6. martintyler

    martintyler
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    Nic, I wasnt sure from your post whether you listened to the MC12 aswell as the MC8 and AV8 in that demo? or was the comparison to the MC12 from memory?
     
  7. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    My apologies if that wasn't clear.

    At a previous demo I had listened to a Bryston SP1.7 and a Lexicon MC12B, both on the same system, same room, same source material. On that occasion the amp was a Bryston 9B-ST and the speakers PMCs.

    On the "MC8" occasion I listened to an Arcam AV8, Lexicon MC8, and Lexicon MC12, again all on the same system, same room, same source material.

    On the first occasion the MC12B had a slight advantage in that it was plugged into the amplifier's balanced inputs where the Bryston was using its phono outputs and the amp's phono inputs; but I doubt that would have made a huge difference.

    On the second occasion the only difference was the processors (and possibly their settings).

    Incidentally, I thought the Bryston held up pretty well against the MC12B. You might have expected that with the prices being £4250 and £9000 it wouldn't even be worth making the comparison, but actually it was. The MC12B was, obviously, better in every respect except the quality of the analogue bypass. The biggest advantage the MC12B had was in the surround channels. One of my standard audition pieces is the opening of "Monsters, Inc" including the bit where the shutter goes up ("simulation terminated!") and the dialogue following it. With the MC12B you could really hear the faint echoes in the background that told you the characters were speaking inside a really huge building, something the size of an aircraft hangar.

    MC12B was also extremely impressive playing stereo music with its own DACs. The SP1.7, as I said, was much better in analogue bypass mode - but not as good as the MC12B doing its own conversion. (Player was an Arcam DV27 - I would expect a high-end CD player to sound significantly better).

    The difference between the MC8 and MC12 on the second occasion was more about clarity and purity than a difference in the basic signal, although of course the MC8 does have a simplified version of bass management compared to the MC12.
     

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