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I have owned the ssp 25 and the lex mc1, if you like music, classe is definitly the way to go, but there are quality issues with the classe, they may have worked the bugs out by now, but if you have a problem you have a long wait for waranty work, an alternative in that price range may be a bryston sp1, on the lex, way overpriced for what you get, if you like movies its a good peice, but its a lot of money just for movies, good luck
You may want to consider the Aragon Soundstage. It can be bought used at around $2500. Very good music only pre-amp w/ analog bypass. One nice feature is it is supposed to be both Hardware & Software upgradeable. Which means in theory it can be upgraded for 7.1, DVD-A, or Multi channel SACD. I say supposed because who know what will happen now that Klipsch bought them. However, they have OUTSTANDING customer service.
I bought a used Soundstage and it came in w/ some software glitches and cosmetic damage on the cover the seller "forgot" to mention. Mondial fixed it for FREE and then replaced the cover for me! They knew it was purchsed used, and stood behind their product. However, replacing a cover on a used unit was way above the call of duty.
Not at all familiar with the Classe except for a review I've read or two. You can get good prices on used MC-1's right now, with better prices undoubtedly coming when the new MC-12's come out and the trade-in program starts.
No question in my mind that the MC-1 is equal to the best when it comes to movie watching, so if that's your emphasis, you'll love it. It also has two-zone capability - I use it to feed some speakers in my office. I don't know how extensive the Classe's multi-zone capability is, but the MC-1 has Zone1, Zone2 and Record output feeds. - Kirk
no contest...if overall sonics are more important for both movies and 2 channel purity, then the Classe is definitely the supperior unit!!!...
....one caveat however, the lex has bsss management adjustability beyond the classe, which can maximize your speaker/sub set up better for movies!!! The guy who recommended the Aragon Soundstage has a point about his recommendation on this. The Soundstage also has Advanced Bass management (or adjustable crossover points!). However, if your sticking between Lex and the Classe, in the end, if sonics are your priority, then I'd alway's chose the Classe!!!..