best choice for new processor for hd audio and 2 c

What are people's experience with high end processors to best take advantage of blue ray hd audio and hdmi 1.3; as well as quality 2 channel audio for red book cd and music server; ie; good inboard dacs?

My present system is a Meridian G-68/G-98 processor/player; being run thru MBL 80ll monos powering my MBL 111e's mains. I have an Aerial CC5 center; DD15 sub; and surrounds being powered by a Sunfire 7 x 400 watt amp and my zone 2. I am thinking of getting the Marantz new bd player; but my present system does not handle the new audio or hdmi. I am considering the Krell Evolution 707 (pending release) vs the Halcro SSP200 vs the Lexicon MC 12b hd vs the Meridian 861 v4.2 (knowing it doesn't handle the hdmi and hd audio at this time, but it has great sound for audio). I want a system that will provide great clear detail on CD playback and music server; but also allow me to enjoy the new features of blue ray and home theater; as well as standard dvd upconverted. I guess this is the case that the high end products have not yet caught up with integrated home theater...don't want the Denon/Integra receiver solution...Some people I talked to feel the Lexicon doesn't do a good job on audio...but is much less expensive than the new Krell. I'd appreciate any comments/recommendations for this solution; without breaking the bank. What solutions have others created and enjoy? Thanks for your help and comments. Or should I wait a bit more for the processors to get caught up to the bd?
Having sold a Meridian 861v4.2 and having gone through all the new ones and many other top pre/pro's, you'll find it tough to beat the Meridian. The Lexicon is a bit digital for me, especially on music. The Halcro is supposed to be very nice, though it is one of the few I have not had yet. The Denon is uninvolving for music, but the best I've heard for the new audio codecs.

I am waiting on a Krell Evo 707 (which are currently shipping to dealers) myself, so can't comment yet. I've heard the ML 502 but not in my system, but it was excellent when I heard it, but keep in mind it is only HDMI 1.1, so it will only accept PCM (not a big issue) but it will never accept Deep COlor should this ever really come to be.

Meridian has been quietly talking about a new version of the 861, v5 and v6, but they got close lipped after announcing it, so it may be some time before they make something that does the new codecs, in the mean time, I am looking for a pre/pro that does these and is great for music and haven't found a permanent replacement yet.....
Kenny; Thanks for your comments. I guess what I'm really asking is whether this search for quality home theater blended with two channel is in reach for most people. To spend the money for the Krell; and a quality BD player and be ahead of the 'curve' may not make sense (retail at $32k for both); if we may evolve into distributed source material over hard drives. I do enjoy home theater; but there are not yet sufficent numbers of quality movies out yet...I think this format is the best for home theater...but is this the right time to make the splurge. Other threads have commented that Sony has not lowered prices on players yet, or on the dvd's since they created this monopoly. I too like the Meridian...I may just spring for the 861 v 4.2; there is a used one on the 'gon; and hope Meridian has a gentle upgrade path once they work out the copyright and legal issues for the new codecs. Do you think the internal dacs on the 861 would be adequate to use for a music server; or would I also need a quality dac to improve the sound from that type of source? Let me know when you get your Krell evo 707. I appreciate your response.
Wait, wait, wait! Until the Blu-Ray media sound only starts to appear, and it will, all processors are a waste of money. Don't buy into the 'up grade path' nonsense. Once the br sound disks appear in greater number, less and less will happen in the current dac's. The higher bit rates of blu-ray will need more powerful processors. Current stuff will not do. Hi end audio does not know what to do about blu-ray since Sony has so many patents on the processors.

I think the DACS in the 861 are excellent and more than you'll need for a music server. As far as the upgrade.... the talk @ CEDIA last year was that to go to v5 or v6 you'd need all new I/O cards, and they don't come cheap, some are ~$2K each. This is why I sold mine, the cost of upgrading is steep, and I wonder if the new 861 won't require an entirely new chassis design as well but we'll see hopefully soon!

I am supposed to have the Krell by the end of the month... again we'll see!
Kenny; Thanks again for a thoughtful and reasoned response...I share your feelings....and may just wait a bit to decide between a used Meridian 861 v4.2; the costs of the upgraded v 6; or the new Krell evo 707...I think those are my best choices. What I need to do prior to that is to upgrade my TV; I currently have a three year old Mitsubishi 73" dlp; that does do 1080p; but not at the new frame rates of Blue ray; and does not support the new color features. I'm between the new version of the Mitsubishi 738333 vs the Sony 70"....any one care to offer thoughts on a good source to view these new blue ray discs on? My room prevents me from using projection; and it's quite large...I like the brightness of the rear projection...and the biggest flat panel is 65", and more expensive...I'll probably wait until Ocotber; to take advantage of the new releases after the cedia show...but I would like to hear some thoughts on the tv side of the equation now that I have a better handle on the audio. Please let me know your impression of the Krell once you receive it; and break it in. Thanks again.
Am waiting for dealer to get new Classe SSP-800 for trial, suppose to exceptional he says, will see. You can find it on their site, abt $8k I believe.
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Thks Rebelman, very helpful.
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