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Lyngdorf MP-50 Surround Sound Processor Review

orange55

Well-known Member
Lyngdorf MP-50 Surround Sound Processor Review

Firstly I would like to thank Richard at SeriouslyCinema for arranging the demo unit of the Lyngdorf MP-50 Surround Sound Processor. I am currently engaged with SeriouslyCinema on the design and equipment selection for our media room upgrade. We are moving from floor standing speakers to in-wall speakers and have already chosen to go for M&K Sound in-wall speakers and subwoofers in a 5.2.4 configuration.

I ran the Lyngdorf MP-50 in my media room for a three week period with my existing equipment, therefore it was a room and set-up I was intimately familiar with and ideal for establishing whether as Lyngdorf claim the MP-50 is ‘The Ultimate Experience’.


System Set-up
The system in my media room is based around Linn speakers, Linn Akurate 242 MK2 as the mains, Linn Katan and Tritan as surround and centre respectably. For this demo session I was using an M&K Sound X10 subwoofer, Tag Mclaren 100x5r amplifier and sources were Oppo 103, Sky HD, NAS Drive and Tag Mclaren DVD32r as the CD transport.

My current processor is a Tag Mclaren AV192r which in its specification was just under £13,000 new in 2004. It does have room correction, however this is manual and has limitations plus being designed in the early 2000’s both technology and software development have moved on.

Prior to the Lyngdorf MP-50 I had demo the top of the range Anthem processor in the same room a week before and then a week of the Tag AV192r before the MP-50 arrived. Richard from SeriouslyCinema came and did the set-up of the MP-50, ran RoomPerfect and tested it sounded right before leaving.


Performance
If I cover the effect of the Anthem processor first to set the scene, in my room it changed the sound of my system. Overall the Anthem Room Correct (ARC) did a good job on movies the full range EQ gave movies more bite to the sound and there was more impact from the mid-bass area. This was clearly the sophistication of ARC compared to the manual EQ setting in the Tag AV192r.

However, over longer listening and switching to music content I know very well it became clear there was a level of detail missing from the sound. This is the subtle reverb on sounds, location queues on live Blu-rays discs, backing singers which sounded like there was only one of them whereas on the Tag AV192r I can clearly hear there are multiple singers.

In order to try and compare the Anthem and the Tag I reduced the frequency that ARC was EQ’ing in order for the natural sound of the Linn speakers to come through. This would show if it was the way in which ARC was EQ’ing the high frequencies was causing the loss of perceived detail. I configured ARC to not correct any frequency over 200hz, which is the lowest setting you can have without disabling it. Despite this the detail failed to materialise and I therefore concluded that for my music preference the Anthem did not deliver the level of detail I was getting from my Tag AV192r despite the fact ARC was clearly very good and for movies was very impressive.

To the Lygndorf MP-50, in short it transformed the sound in the room. Having spent many hours listening, I have never heard the level of detail on offer in my room even on content I have been playing for years. To be honest, I cannot remember ever hearing my music in this much detail or enjoyment in anything I have listened to in any demo systems over the years, be it 2 or 5 channel, including when I purchased my beloved Linn Akruate speakers which were driven by some very high-end Linn gear in the dealers demo room.

The integration between all of the speakers was seemless, even when you compare to the very impressive Anthem Room Correction. The bass detail was very impressive and I have only heard bass detail like this once before at a HiFi show in Bristol on a dedicated two channel system which was a Wilson Benesch system running a Torus Infrasonic Generator (Ie: Subwoofer). Since then I have loyally carried Annie Lennox No More I love You’s with me to demo sessions trying to hear the type of bass detail I heard that day in Bristol. 11 years later and many demos, the Lyngdorf MP-50 and M&K Sound X10 are the first candidates to recreate such detail and the fact it was in my own home is quite impressive.

Spend a little time with the MP-50 and you quickly realise there is some kind of magic going on as the level of detail and coherence of the sound is on another level. Magic may not be the most technical word for describing something, but once you hear the sound it just sounds so right and you can increase the volume to extreme levels and it never waivers. There is one side effect, because the sound is soo clear and lacks any kind of ringing effect you can push the levels up without realising how loud it is. I found this when other members of the family complained as they thought the airplane in the opening sequence of Unbrocken was outside the house not in our media room!

During my time with the MP-50 I listened to many hours of music, watched Blu-rays, Netflix and Sky TV and every piece of content sounded amazing. Although the MP-50 is very transparent and revealing it is also forgiving and does not go out of its way to make poor quality content sound bad, but in turn it does not smooth things over either.

Here is some of the content which stood out for me;

Unbrocken

The opening sequence of the movie, the opening music slowly lifts in volume as the airplanes fly into sight and then you get the full on airplane engines as they prepare to drop the bombs. The contrast between the singing, the metallic sound of the engines and the bomber planes flying sounds stunning and so lifelike. Thanks to Rob at Geko for introducing this demo scene to me.

Oblivion
A favourite demo disc, the whole movie sounds simply stunning from the take-off in the first scene and the lighting storm to the pinging of the droids. The scene where Jack goes into the hole to find the droid and they try to capture him. The MP-50 reproduces the vastness of the location to a breath-taking level with the pinging around the room as jack investigates is hypnotic.

BBC TV
Master Chef was one of the standout programs as with all BBC cooking programmes there is always a good sound track. But it was Master Chef that showed off the bass integration, there was some kind of full on multiple drums going on in the background, having listen to the same show on the Anthem and my Tag AV192r neither could separate out the various types of drums being played, you could hear it as only one or two types.


RoomPerfect
For those of you who are not familiar with Lyngdorf, RoomPerfect is the name of the room correct software built into the Lyngdorf MP-50.

If I were to compare RoomPerfect to Anthem Room Correction (ARC) I would say that ARC 'corrects' the signal to a specific sound. RoomPerfect preserves the native sound of your speakers in the room, but makes them sound 'perfect'. Every pun intended. This means on first listen the sound was familiar to my Tag, but only because neither the Tag nor the Lyndgdorf were not trying to 'correct' the natural sound of the speakers.

For those true anoraks’ like me I did measure the frequency response of the Lyngdorf MP-50 and as reported on number of other threads there is no flat response like you get with ARC, which simply adds weight to my use of the word ‘Magic’ earlier in the review.


The Biggest Surprise
The Internal Media Player in the MP-50 is amazing and the biggest surprise to me, purely because of all the information I read beforehand I only saw one mention of the fact the MP-50 is an amazing DAC and that was not on the manufactures web site.

I am fortunate to already have all my CD's on my network and a media server running, so the MP-50 just picked it up and was ready to go. I have auditioned a number of high end media streamers over the past couple of years in the hope of getting rid of my CD player, including Linn, Naim and other high-end brands. The Linn is the only thing that came close to my CD player in my system for detail, but that was £5k and it was not better it was close. My CD player wiped the floor on detail for all the other streamers.

With the MP-50 playing media off my network I was unable to tell the difference between my CD player and the internal media player, however comparing the Oppo playing music it did not match the MP-50 or my CD player.

I also found despite its transparency it was not harsh on low quality files, it made most things sound great but not in a way that it was smoothing things off like some brands do. It's a shame Lyngdorf haven't put the media player in the TDAI-2170, that would be a real value add as most users are music lovers.


What’s Missing?
As we all know nothing is ever perfect even at £12,000. With the Lyndorf everything it does it does very well and there are only a couple of things that for me are missing.

  • A native Mobile app for controlling the Internal Media Player of the MP-50 would make the whole experience slicker. You can use ‘mconnect’ the popular mobile app to browser your music library and push the songs to the MP-50 using AirPlay, but you suffer the drop in quality AirPlay introduces even on CD quality files.

  • Native CD quality streaming service support such as Tidal etc; You can use Spotify Connect but it’s just not high quality enough. Being able to use Tidal natively on the MP-50 even without the MQA hires would be amazing based on the quality of the Internal Media Player.

  • The ability to map multiple HDMI inputs as sources, for example, the audio from one HDMI input and the video from another HDMI input to give a fully matrix’d system. Some people may ask why, for me I do like to have Sky News pictures on in the evening yet listen to music. If I am using HDMI for music to get Tidal then I cannot watch TV also, I need to bypass the MP-50 as a HDMI switcher to achieve this. For the record I use a Lumagen Video processor to HDMI switch and achieve this with my Tag AV192r at present, as the Tag does not support HDMI.


Summary
I should start with a word of warning, if you do not know how you would fund the purchase of such an expensive piece of hardware, don’t take it for a home demo as you won’t want to let it leave. You have been warned!

If you love music and movies and want ‘The Ultimate Experience’ the Lygdorf MP-50 will give it to you with bells one. I put music before movies as it is so good with music that being able to deliver 16 channels of surround is just a bonus.

If I was going for a cinema only room then Anthem and ARC would be perfect due to the sound it creates, it is only when I start to listen to music, that for me I need the extra level you get from the Lyngdorf MP-50 and RoomPerfect.

I conclude by saying I have specified the ‘Magic’ Lyngdorf MP-50 for my new media room with SeriouslyCinema and now just have to wait for the building work to start next year. Good things come to those who wait!
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi Julian,

A fantastic and honest review. I absolutely believe that the MP-50 is the best stand alone 16 channel processor available, regardless of price. This is why I run one in my own personal media room.

Wait until we get a pair of MK X Series subs into your room. What the MP-50’s bass management does is nothing short of spectacular.

The media player is an often overlooked feature. It really is superb. We stream Tidal directly to the MP-50 via Control4 which works flawlessly. This also allows the Control4 app on iOS devices to work seamlessly with the MP-50 as well as the Control4 portable and wall mounted touch screens.

We can demonstrate the MP-50 in 4 different cinema systems ranging in price points.

Thank you once again for your thoughts on the MP-50 Julian and Iooking forward to starting work on your media room next year.

[email protected]
 

Rock Danger

Member
I told you it was good.
 

nospam

Active Member
Great write-up! Which Oppo player are you referring to in your review?

I have owned the MP-50 for a few months now and would just like to make some comments.

What’s Missing?
As we all know nothing is ever perfect even at £12,000. With the Lyndorf everything it does it does very well and there are only a couple of things that for me are missing.

  • A native Mobile app for controlling the Internal Media Player of the MP-50 would make the whole experience slicker. You can use ‘mconnect’ the popular mobile app to browser your music library and push the songs to the MP-50 using AirPlay, but you suffer the drop in quality AirPlay introduces even on CD quality files.
The MP-50 needs no mobile application. This is because the its internal web server provided a HTML interface that works wonderfully on PCs, Tablets, and Mobile Displays. It mirros the layout of the OSD so there is no additional interface to learn.
Web Applications like this are the future (vs traditional platform specific apps).
  • The ability to map multiple HDMI inputs as sources, for example, the audio from one HDMI input and the video from another HDMI input to give a fully matrix’d system. Some people may ask why, for me I do like to have Sky News pictures on in the evening yet listen to music. If I am using HDMI for music to get Tidal then I cannot watch TV also, I need to bypass the MP-50 as a HDMI switcher to achieve this. For the record I use a Lumagen Video processor to HDMI switch and achieve this with my Tag AV192r at present, as the Tag does not support HDMI.
Actually, yes it can. There are two ways to accomplish this.
  1. Edit the existing Input and change the default HDMI inputs to desired inputs.
  2. You can create custom inputs with any combination of video and audio sources. You can even delete default inputs. Very flexible!



- Marc Alexander
 
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scoc

Well-known Member
Sorry but having to use a HTML browser interface for controlling a streamer is not ideal and is slower in navigating and offers less control then a native app. An alternative would be they offer Roon end point support. But in any case the media player is not the key feature for this processor. Almost all other streamers support either native apps or 3rd party apps as controllers.
 

nospam

Active Member
Sorry but having to use a HTML browser interface for controlling a streamer is not ideal and is slower in navigating and offers less control then a native app. An alternative would be they offer Roon end point support. But in any case the media player is not the key feature for this processor. Almost all other streamers support either native apps or 3rd party apps as controllers.
Have you tried it? What's missing? It is no slower than my Heos, Tidal or Spotify apps. It is much better than the Denon and Marantz AVR apps.

A web application runs the same as it would a native apo downloaded from an app store. On the MP-50 home screen just click Media Player at the bottom to access the app.

Also the MP-50 works with any DLNA/UPnP app.
 
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orange55

Well-known Member

orange55

Well-known Member
Actually, yes it can. There are two ways to accomplish this.
  1. Edit the existing Input and change the default HDMI inputs to desired inputs.
  2. You can create custom inputs with any combination of video and audio sources. You can even delete default inputs. Very flexible!



- Marc Alexander
Are you able to show an example with Audio Input at HDMI3 and Video Input as HDMI1? That is what I wanted to achieve as I was able to do what you have shown above.

Thanks
 

nospam

Active Member
Are you able to show an example with Audio Input at HDMI3 and Video Input as HDMI1? That is what I wanted to achieve as I was able to do what you have shown above.

Thanks
Oh, I understand what you wanted to do.

You are correct. You cannot select two separate HDMI inputs and combine them to one HDMI output. I do not believe the HDMI standard allows this. I'm sure HDCP does not. Do you know of any device that does this? I don't think one exists.

There is a solution however. Simply connect HDMI-2 output to your display as well. That way you can listen to HDMI-1 audio while viewing HDMI-2. I have verified that this works. If Rich is installing, they can make it happen for you.

Marc
 

Rock Danger

Member
Sorry but having to use a HTML browser interface for controlling a streamer is not ideal and is slower in navigating and offers less control then a native app.
It's absolutely fine on mobile or desktop - if someone didn't tell you it wasn't a dedicated app you'd be none the wiser. I was able to lounge on the couch and set up everything rather than fanny around with a dedicated app - it's just not needed.
 

orange55

Well-known Member
It's absolutely fine on mobile or desktop - if someone didn't tell you it wasn't a dedicated app you'd be none the wiser. I was able to lounge on the couch and set up everything rather than fanny around with a dedicated app - it's just not needed.
I agree with the set-up. It’s the music side I had issues with and I was using the internal player as the key music source daily.

1. The scrolling is not smooth on a iPhone or iPad.

2. The web app would forget where you had drilled down to after a while. So you go back to your album selection and it defaults back to the root of your media. That’s the biggest gripe from me.

3. There is no album artwork when looking at the list of albums. Maybe I’m shallow but I like to see the covers as it makes it easier to identify albums when you have a lot. Such as the Hed Kandi series which are all called Beach House.

4. If you scroll down lists you have the scroll back up to go up a level or drill down in another route. You can’t just tap and be back at the top of the list.

I think one of the things is we have become use the way native apps work and things like above have become the norm.
 

orange55

Well-known Member
Oh, I understand what you wanted to do.

You are correct. You cannot select two separate HDMI inputs and combine them to one HDMI output. I do not believe the HDMI standard allows this. I'm sure HDCP does not. Do you know of any device that does this? I don't think one exists.

There is a solution however. Simply connect HDMI-2 output to your display as well. That way you can listen to HDMI-1 audio while viewing HDMI-2. I have verified that this works. If Rich is installing, they can make it happen for you.

Marc
Think your right about HDMI standards.
 

nospam

Active Member
I agree with the set-up. It’s the music side I had issues with and I was using the internal player as the key music source daily.

1. The scrolling is not smooth on a iPhone or iPad.

2. The web app would forget where you had drilled down to after a while. So you go back to your album selection and it defaults back to the root of your media. That’s the biggest gripe from me.

3. There is no album artwork when looking at the list of albums. Maybe I’m shallow but I like to see the covers as it makes it easier to identify albums when you have a lot. Such as the Hed Kandi series which are all called Beach House.

4. If you scroll down lists you have the scroll back up to go up a level or drill down in another route. You can’t just tap and be back at the top of the list.

I think one of the things is we have become use the way native apps work and things like above have become the norm.
The point I want you to understand is that web applications are the future and will become the norm. The Web application is the "native app". There should be no difference in the user experience.

Feedback [like you have given] should be sent to Lyngdorf to improve the app (same as any other app). I think you've identified improvements that could and should be implemented. Let Rich know what's most important as his voice is much more important than mine.

I use a Samsung S7e Android as well as an iPad mini. Scrolling is smooth on both but I will check Safari as I use Chrome instead.

I played around with the HEOS app accessing my local NAS/server. Loading of album covers is convenient but a bit slow. However, it only has to load them at the beginning of a session. I think the MP-50 app could do this. Even better would be the ability to cache album covers to prevent reloading at the start of every session.
 

scoc

Well-known Member
A web based application cannot support the complete same user experience as a native app. Furthermore some very specific user interface and/or api options can only be used when using native apps on ios or Android etc. A web based application is always a compromise to make it work across devices and desktops and cannot support native features provided by ios or Android. If web based applications are the future why are there several thousand of apps available on the market? Why are all the large companies and banks offering apps to provide the best user experience?
 

orange55

Well-known Member
Feedback [like you have given] should be sent to Lyngdorf to improve the app (same as any other app). I think you've identified improvements that could and should be implemented. Let Rich know what's most important as his voice is much more important than mine.
It would be good to understand the roadmap for the software of mp-50. The current implementation of the web app strikes me as a beta version to see how it goes. Rather than something that has been properly prioritised.

I speak with Richard about it when next in front of a MP-50 together, then I can write some feedback on the web app that an experience design and software developer can work with. :)
 

nospam

Active Member
[MENTION]orange55[/MENTION] [MENTION]Seriously Ltd[/MENTION] was this demo unit running revision 2.14 or 3.0.0?
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
[MENTION]orange55[/MENTION] [MENTION]Seriously Ltd[/MENTION] was this demo unit running revision 2.14 or 3.0.0?
Hi Marc,

3.0.0
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
MP-50 HDMI board upgrade announced.
IMG_0733.jpg
 

markymiles

Distinguished Member
Could you make the font a big bigger :)
 

felty99

Member
Lyngdorf MP-50 Surround Sound Processor Review

Firstly I would like to thank Richard at SeriouslyCinema for arranging the demo unit of the Lyngdorf MP-50 Surround Sound Processor. I am currently engaged with SeriouslyCinema on the design and equipment selection for our media room upgrade. We are moving from floor standing speakers to in-wall speakers and have already chosen to go for M&K Sound in-wall speakers and subwoofers in a 5.2.4 configuration.

I ran the Lyngdorf MP-50 in my media room for a three week period with my existing equipment, therefore it was a room and set-up I was intimately familiar with and ideal for establishing whether as Lyngdorf claim the MP-50 is ‘The Ultimate Experience’.


System Set-up
The system in my media room is based around Linn speakers, Linn Akurate 242 MK2 as the mains, Linn Katan and Tritan as surround and centre respectably. For this demo session I was using an M&K Sound X10 subwoofer, Tag Mclaren 100x5r amplifier and sources were Oppo 103, Sky HD, NAS Drive and Tag Mclaren DVD32r as the CD transport.

My current processor is a Tag Mclaren AV192r which in its specification was just under £13,000 new in 2004. It does have room correction, however this is manual and has limitations plus being designed in the early 2000’s both technology and software development have moved on.

Prior to the Lyngdorf MP-50 I had demo the top of the range Anthem processor in the same room a week before and then a week of the Tag AV192r before the MP-50 arrived. Richard from SeriouslyCinema came and did the set-up of the MP-50, ran RoomPerfect and tested it sounded right before leaving.


Performance
If I cover the effect of the Anthem processor first to set the scene, in my room it changed the sound of my system. Overall the Anthem Room Correct (ARC) did a good job on movies the full range EQ gave movies more bite to the sound and there was more impact from the mid-bass area. This was clearly the sophistication of ARC compared to the manual EQ setting in the Tag AV192r.

However, over longer listening and switching to music content I know very well it became clear there was a level of detail missing from the sound. This is the subtle reverb on sounds, location queues on live Blu-rays discs, backing singers which sounded like there was only one of them whereas on the Tag AV192r I can clearly hear there are multiple singers.

In order to try and compare the Anthem and the Tag I reduced the frequency that ARC was EQ’ing in order for the natural sound of the Linn speakers to come through. This would show if it was the way in which ARC was EQ’ing the high frequencies was causing the loss of perceived detail. I configured ARC to not correct any frequency over 200hz, which is the lowest setting you can have without disabling it. Despite this the detail failed to materialise and I therefore concluded that for my music preference the Anthem did not deliver the level of detail I was getting from my Tag AV192r despite the fact ARC was clearly very good and for movies was very impressive.

To the Lygndorf MP-50, in short it transformed the sound in the room. Having spent many hours listening, I have never heard the level of detail on offer in my room even on content I have been playing for years. To be honest, I cannot remember ever hearing my music in this much detail or enjoyment in anything I have listened to in any demo systems over the years, be it 2 or 5 channel, including when I purchased my beloved Linn Akruate speakers which were driven by some very high-end Linn gear in the dealers demo room.

The integration between all of the speakers was seemless, even when you compare to the very impressive Anthem Room Correction. The bass detail was very impressive and I have only heard bass detail like this once before at a HiFi show in Bristol on a dedicated two channel system which was a Wilson Benesch system running a Torus Infrasonic Generator (Ie: Subwoofer). Since then I have loyally carried Annie Lennox No More I love You’s with me to demo sessions trying to hear the type of bass detail I heard that day in Bristol. 11 years later and many demos, the Lyngdorf MP-50 and M&K Sound X10 are the first candidates to recreate such detail and the fact it was in my own home is quite impressive.

Spend a little time with the MP-50 and you quickly realise there is some kind of magic going on as the level of detail and coherence of the sound is on another level. Magic may not be the most technical word for describing something, but once you hear the sound it just sounds so right and you can increase the volume to extreme levels and it never waivers. There is one side effect, because the sound is soo clear and lacks any kind of ringing effect you can push the levels up without realising how loud it is. I found this when other members of the family complained as they thought the airplane in the opening sequence of Unbrocken was outside the house not in our media room!

During my time with the MP-50 I listened to many hours of music, watched Blu-rays, Netflix and Sky TV and every piece of content sounded amazing. Although the MP-50 is very transparent and revealing it is also forgiving and does not go out of its way to make poor quality content sound bad, but in turn it does not smooth things over either.

Here is some of the content which stood out for me;

Unbrocken

The opening sequence of the movie, the opening music slowly lifts in volume as the airplanes fly into sight and then you get the full on airplane engines as they prepare to drop the bombs. The contrast between the singing, the metallic sound of the engines and the bomber planes flying sounds stunning and so lifelike. Thanks to Rob at Geko for introducing this demo scene to me.

Oblivion
A favourite demo disc, the whole movie sounds simply stunning from the take-off in the first scene and the lighting storm to the pinging of the droids. The scene where Jack goes into the hole to find the droid and they try to capture him. The MP-50 reproduces the vastness of the location to a breath-taking level with the pinging around the room as jack investigates is hypnotic.

BBC TV
Master Chef was one of the standout programs as with all BBC cooking programmes there is always a good sound track. But it was Master Chef that showed off the bass integration, there was some kind of full on multiple drums going on in the background, having listen to the same show on the Anthem and my Tag AV192r neither could separate out the various types of drums being played, you could hear it as only one or two types.


RoomPerfect
For those of you who are not familiar with Lyngdorf, RoomPerfect is the name of the room correct software built into the Lyngdorf MP-50.

If I were to compare RoomPerfect to Anthem Room Correction (ARC) I would say that ARC 'corrects' the signal to a specific sound. RoomPerfect preserves the native sound of your speakers in the room, but makes them sound 'perfect'. Every pun intended. This means on first listen the sound was familiar to my Tag, but only because neither the Tag nor the Lyndgdorf were not trying to 'correct' the natural sound of the speakers.

For those true anoraks’ like me I did measure the frequency response of the Lyngdorf MP-50 and as reported on number of other threads there is no flat response like you get with ARC, which simply adds weight to my use of the word ‘Magic’ earlier in the review.


The Biggest Surprise
The Internal Media Player in the MP-50 is amazing and the biggest surprise to me, purely because of all the information I read beforehand I only saw one mention of the fact the MP-50 is an amazing DAC and that was not on the manufactures web site.

I am fortunate to already have all my CD's on my network and a media server running, so the MP-50 just picked it up and was ready to go. I have auditioned a number of high end media streamers over the past couple of years in the hope of getting rid of my CD player, including Linn, Naim and other high-end brands. The Linn is the only thing that came close to my CD player in my system for detail, but that was £5k and it was not better it was close. My CD player wiped the floor on detail for all the other streamers.

With the MP-50 playing media off my network I was unable to tell the difference between my CD player and the internal media player, however comparing the Oppo playing music it did not match the MP-50 or my CD player.

I also found despite its transparency it was not harsh on low quality files, it made most things sound great but not in a way that it was smoothing things off like some brands do. It's a shame Lyngdorf haven't put the media player in the TDAI-2170, that would be a real value add as most users are music lovers.


What’s Missing?
As we all know nothing is ever perfect even at £12,000. With the Lyndorf everything it does it does very well and there are only a couple of things that for me are missing.

  • A native Mobile app for controlling the Internal Media Player of the MP-50 would make the whole experience slicker. You can use ‘mconnect’ the popular mobile app to browser your music library and push the songs to the MP-50 using AirPlay, but you suffer the drop in quality AirPlay introduces even on CD quality files.

  • Native CD quality streaming service support such as Tidal etc; You can use Spotify Connect but it’s just not high quality enough. Being able to use Tidal natively on the MP-50 even without the MQA hires would be amazing based on the quality of the Internal Media Player.

  • The ability to map multiple HDMI inputs as sources, for example, the audio from one HDMI input and the video from another HDMI input to give a fully matrix’d system. Some people may ask why, for me I do like to have Sky News pictures on in the evening yet listen to music. If I am using HDMI for music to get Tidal then I cannot watch TV also, I need to bypass the MP-50 as a HDMI switcher to achieve this. For the record I use a Lumagen Video processor to HDMI switch and achieve this with my Tag AV192r at present, as the Tag does not support HDMI.


Summary
I should start with a word of warning, if you do not know how you would fund the purchase of such an expensive piece of hardware, don’t take it for a home demo as you won’t want to let it leave. You have been warned!

If you love music and movies and want ‘The Ultimate Experience’ the Lygdorf MP-50 will give it to you with bells one. I put music before movies as it is so good with music that being able to deliver 16 channels of surround is just a bonus.

If I was going for a cinema only room then Anthem and ARC would be perfect due to the sound it creates, it is only when I start to listen to music, that for me I need the extra level you get from the Lyngdorf MP-50 and RoomPerfect.

I conclude by saying I have specified the ‘Magic’ Lyngdorf MP-50 for my new media room with SeriouslyCinema and now just have to wait for the building work to start next year. Good things come to those who wait!
Always great to see some in-depth AV processor reviews in comparison to other products, thanks. It seems fewer (prospective) buyers have time or inclination to post these types of write-ups which is a real shame.

The MP-50 is something I'm interested in hearing compared to my Classe Sigma SSP, particularly as Classe appear to have ruled out further development of the Sigma or SSP-800 ranges in terms of HDMI 2.1 and/or full Dolby Atmos systems.

One potential niggle may be configuring the XLR outputs from the MP-50 with my Naim power amps because of their unusual DIN/XLR inputs.

Did you ever compare performance with vs without RoomPerfect EQ and if so, was the latter also a noticeable step-up from the Anthem with ARC disengaged?

PS I wonder if this thread is better being merged with the main Lyngdorf processor thread so other buyers don't miss it in a few months time when it's probably less active?
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I have two systems here using the MP50/SDA2400’s and in the cinema set up I‘ve found that the recent firmware update has made a big difference.

This set up is a 7.6.4 system with the height speakers being used configured as middle top (MKS300T Tripoles on the ceiling) and front height (MK MP300s) at high level on the end wall.

Initially I had all four height speakers on the ceiling, two in front and two behind the listening position. In my room, I found the rear height speakers adding nothing to the system. I think this is because I’m using Tripoles on the ceiling and they spread sound front to back in the room very effectively on their own.

By adding the extra height channels, I was aiming for a bigger height soundstage like you get in an IMAX. This room is quite high but the extra height speakers had little effect until the latest firmware update. Now with DTS-X recordings in particular the sense of height in the recording is superb.

Also, Lyngdorf finally seemed to have cracked multi channel sound from stereo sources with Neural X.
 

MikeSSV

Active Member
Thanks for the review Orange55.
I've been thinking of what to use when I have a dedicated room, but good to see the Anthem fared well as I'll be using my 1120 in a secondary room.
 

bandyka

Well-known Member
Lyngdorf MP-50 Surround Sound Processor Review

Firstly I would like to thank Richard at SeriouslyCinema for arranging the demo unit of the Lyngdorf MP-50 Surround Sound Processor. I am currently engaged with SeriouslyCinema on the design and equipment selection for our media room upgrade. We are moving from floor standing speakers to in-wall speakers and have already chosen to go for M&K Sound in-wall speakers and subwoofers in a 5.2.4 configuration.

I ran the Lyngdorf MP-50 in my media room for a three week period with my existing equipment, therefore it was a room and set-up I was intimately familiar with and ideal for establishing whether as Lyngdorf claim the MP-50 is ‘The Ultimate Experience’.


System Set-up
The system in my media room is based around Linn speakers, Linn Akurate 242 MK2 as the mains, Linn Katan and Tritan as surround and centre respectably. For this demo session I was using an M&K Sound X10 subwoofer, Tag Mclaren 100x5r amplifier and sources were Oppo 103, Sky HD, NAS Drive and Tag Mclaren DVD32r as the CD transport.

My current processor is a Tag Mclaren AV192r which in its specification was just under £13,000 new in 2004. It does have room correction, however this is manual and has limitations plus being designed in the early 2000’s both technology and software development have moved on.

Prior to the Lyngdorf MP-50 I had demo the top of the range Anthem processor in the same room a week before and then a week of the Tag AV192r before the MP-50 arrived. Richard from SeriouslyCinema came and did the set-up of the MP-50, ran RoomPerfect and tested it sounded right before leaving.


Performance
If I cover the effect of the Anthem processor first to set the scene, in my room it changed the sound of my system. Overall the Anthem Room Correct (ARC) did a good job on movies the full range EQ gave movies more bite to the sound and there was more impact from the mid-bass area. This was clearly the sophistication of ARC compared to the manual EQ setting in the Tag AV192r.

However, over longer listening and switching to music content I know very well it became clear there was a level of detail missing from the sound. This is the subtle reverb on sounds, location queues on live Blu-rays discs, backing singers which sounded like there was only one of them whereas on the Tag AV192r I can clearly hear there are multiple singers.

In order to try and compare the Anthem and the Tag I reduced the frequency that ARC was EQ’ing in order for the natural sound of the Linn speakers to come through. This would show if it was the way in which ARC was EQ’ing the high frequencies was causing the loss of perceived detail. I configured ARC to not correct any frequency over 200hz, which is the lowest setting you can have without disabling it. Despite this the detail failed to materialise and I therefore concluded that for my music preference the Anthem did not deliver the level of detail I was getting from my Tag AV192r despite the fact ARC was clearly very good and for movies was very impressive.

To the Lygndorf MP-50, in short it transformed the sound in the room. Having spent many hours listening, I have never heard the level of detail on offer in my room even on content I have been playing for years. To be honest, I cannot remember ever hearing my music in this much detail or enjoyment in anything I have listened to in any demo systems over the years, be it 2 or 5 channel, including when I purchased my beloved Linn Akruate speakers which were driven by some very high-end Linn gear in the dealers demo room.

The integration between all of the speakers was seemless, even when you compare to the very impressive Anthem Room Correction. The bass detail was very impressive and I have only heard bass detail like this once before at a HiFi show in Bristol on a dedicated two channel system which was a Wilson Benesch system running a Torus Infrasonic Generator (Ie: Subwoofer). Since then I have loyally carried Annie Lennox No More I love You’s with me to demo sessions trying to hear the type of bass detail I heard that day in Bristol. 11 years later and many demos, the Lyngdorf MP-50 and M&K Sound X10 are the first candidates to recreate such detail and the fact it was in my own home is quite impressive.

Spend a little time with the MP-50 and you quickly realise there is some kind of magic going on as the level of detail and coherence of the sound is on another level. Magic may not be the most technical word for describing something, but once you hear the sound it just sounds so right and you can increase the volume to extreme levels and it never waivers. There is one side effect, because the sound is soo clear and lacks any kind of ringing effect you can push the levels up without realising how loud it is. I found this when other members of the family complained as they thought the airplane in the opening sequence of Unbrocken was outside the house not in our media room!

During my time with the MP-50 I listened to many hours of music, watched Blu-rays, Netflix and Sky TV and every piece of content sounded amazing. Although the MP-50 is very transparent and revealing it is also forgiving and does not go out of its way to make poor quality content sound bad, but in turn it does not smooth things over either.

Here is some of the content which stood out for me;

Unbrocken

The opening sequence of the movie, the opening music slowly lifts in volume as the airplanes fly into sight and then you get the full on airplane engines as they prepare to drop the bombs. The contrast between the singing, the metallic sound of the engines and the bomber planes flying sounds stunning and so lifelike. Thanks to Rob at Geko for introducing this demo scene to me.

Oblivion
A favourite demo disc, the whole movie sounds simply stunning from the take-off in the first scene and the lighting storm to the pinging of the droids. The scene where Jack goes into the hole to find the droid and they try to capture him. The MP-50 reproduces the vastness of the location to a breath-taking level with the pinging around the room as jack investigates is hypnotic.

BBC TV
Master Chef was one of the standout programs as with all BBC cooking programmes there is always a good sound track. But it was Master Chef that showed off the bass integration, there was some kind of full on multiple drums going on in the background, having listen to the same show on the Anthem and my Tag AV192r neither could separate out the various types of drums being played, you could hear it as only one or two types.


RoomPerfect
For those of you who are not familiar with Lyngdorf, RoomPerfect is the name of the room correct software built into the Lyngdorf MP-50.

If I were to compare RoomPerfect to Anthem Room Correction (ARC) I would say that ARC 'corrects' the signal to a specific sound. RoomPerfect preserves the native sound of your speakers in the room, but makes them sound 'perfect'. Every pun intended. This means on first listen the sound was familiar to my Tag, but only because neither the Tag nor the Lyndgdorf were not trying to 'correct' the natural sound of the speakers.

For those true anoraks’ like me I did measure the frequency response of the Lyngdorf MP-50 and as reported on number of other threads there is no flat response like you get with ARC, which simply adds weight to my use of the word ‘Magic’ earlier in the review.


The Biggest Surprise
The Internal Media Player in the MP-50 is amazing and the biggest surprise to me, purely because of all the information I read beforehand I only saw one mention of the fact the MP-50 is an amazing DAC and that was not on the manufactures web site.

I am fortunate to already have all my CD's on my network and a media server running, so the MP-50 just picked it up and was ready to go. I have auditioned a number of high end media streamers over the past couple of years in the hope of getting rid of my CD player, including Linn, Naim and other high-end brands. The Linn is the only thing that came close to my CD player in my system for detail, but that was £5k and it was not better it was close. My CD player wiped the floor on detail for all the other streamers.

With the MP-50 playing media off my network I was unable to tell the difference between my CD player and the internal media player, however comparing the Oppo playing music it did not match the MP-50 or my CD player.

I also found despite its transparency it was not harsh on low quality files, it made most things sound great but not in a way that it was smoothing things off like some brands do. It's a shame Lyngdorf haven't put the media player in the TDAI-2170, that would be a real value add as most users are music lovers.


What’s Missing?
As we all know nothing is ever perfect even at £12,000. With the Lyndorf everything it does it does very well and there are only a couple of things that for me are missing.

  • A native Mobile app for controlling the Internal Media Player of the MP-50 would make the whole experience slicker. You can use ‘mconnect’ the popular mobile app to browser your music library and push the songs to the MP-50 using AirPlay, but you suffer the drop in quality AirPlay introduces even on CD quality files.

  • Native CD quality streaming service support such as Tidal etc; You can use Spotify Connect but it’s just not high quality enough. Being able to use Tidal natively on the MP-50 even without the MQA hires would be amazing based on the quality of the Internal Media Player.

  • The ability to map multiple HDMI inputs as sources, for example, the audio from one HDMI input and the video from another HDMI input to give a fully matrix’d system. Some people may ask why, for me I do like to have Sky News pictures on in the evening yet listen to music. If I am using HDMI for music to get Tidal then I cannot watch TV also, I need to bypass the MP-50 as a HDMI switcher to achieve this. For the record I use a Lumagen Video processor to HDMI switch and achieve this with my Tag AV192r at present, as the Tag does not support HDMI.


Summary
I should start with a word of warning, if you do not know how you would fund the purchase of such an expensive piece of hardware, don’t take it for a home demo as you won’t want to let it leave. You have been warned!

If you love music and movies and want ‘The Ultimate Experience’ the Lygdorf MP-50 will give it to you with bells one. I put music before movies as it is so good with music that being able to deliver 16 channels of surround is just a bonus.

If I was going for a cinema only room then Anthem and ARC would be perfect due to the sound it creates, it is only when I start to listen to music, that for me I need the extra level you get from the Lyngdorf MP-50 and RoomPerfect.

I conclude by saying I have specified the ‘Magic’ Lyngdorf MP-50 for my new media room with SeriouslyCinema and now just have to wait for the building work to start next year. Good things come to those who wait!
Thank you for this review this is precisely what I was looking for as I have an Anthem processor and I have the same gripe as you something is missing when ARC is on so I don't use it at all, the difference is I can clearly hear the difference with movies too.
I've heard the MP 50 a few times and was struck by the clarity and detail on tap. Now I just need to come up with an excuse to get one :)
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The MP-50 is all about clarity and detail.
 

bandyka

Well-known Member

orange55

Well-known Member

Rock Danger

Member
Rich at Seriouslycinema is your man. [emoji3]
He's a smidge out of the way. Not sure who does Lyngdorf in oz tho... I'm amazed they have electricity, frankly.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
We have calibrated lots of Lyngdorf and Steinway Lyngdorf recently and the response has been incredible, but one thing that is often said is that the systems doesn’t sound as loud as they were expecting.

Here is my 2c’s worth on what’s different with a Lyngdorf/ Steinway Lyngdorf system.

LOUDNESS – DISTORTION & VOLUME LEVEL

In a conventional audio system, you are used to turning the system up until it sounds a little uncomfortable and then turning it down a touch. This is the point where we can hear the amps or speakers distorting. For parties and Blockbuster movies, many people would often listen to the system just below this level.

Listening above this level will damage equipment and eventually your hearing. At lower volume levels there is a loss of dynamics as you become more aware of the background noise in the system. This means you have a sweet spot on your volume dial where things sound as good as they can.

With Steinway Lyngdorf and to a lesser extent, Lyngdorf systems, as the equipment adds so little background noise, so you can still hear everything even at very low levels.

When you turn the system up to very high-volume levels there is still no distortion, so you can listen at much higher volume levels than you are used to without damage to equipment or your hearing.

I found that after a month or so, listeners retrain their hearing and then find other systems played at high volume levels very distorted while your system just sounds natural.

Here are a couple of tests that I’ve found useful:-

1. Turn the volume in a good film track up so dialogue levels are what you would expect from some talking to you clearly in the room. The film soundtrack should sound comfortable and natural however when there is an explosion, the much greater dynamic range of the Lyngdorf system will mean the special effects etc will be far more realistic and terrifying. Think what it would sound like if someone fired a gun or started a race car next to you and that’s what you should be hearing.

2. The other thing you will notice is that although the system doesn’t sound overly loud or shouty in your listening room, it’s just the distortion you are missing. Go to the next room and you’ll hear how loud and clear the system remains. As you walk back into the room you start to appreciate how loud the system is.

3. Try is a pair of good professional headphones like Sennheiser HD25s. Compare the sound of these at all volume levels with your system and both should sound the same tonally. Anything added by the system is distortion.
 

Rock Danger

Member
There's a scene in Dunkirk near the start where the main character is moving along a quiet street and then some higher caliber gun fires and busts up a wooden gate behind him.

Near shat myself. Seemingly infinite volume is the first thing I noticed moving up to the MP50, was just reading a similar thing from one of the American weirdos on AVS.

*edit: Oh, right - that's sarcasm, don't panic Marc.
 

ti33er

Well-known Member
...if only I had £12K laying about :D
 

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