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The AVP definitely sounds better. I auditioned the DC-1, DC-2, AVP and EAD. I ultimately went with the EAD Ovation, but it has some caveats. Everything is done in the digital domain and the video switching does not have component and is not that great either. In my case I don't use the video switching at all, and this unit is not used for 2 channel audio--only HT. Since you will probably be using the unit for both HT and music the AVP is a better choice. All volume control is in the analog domain and there is an analog bipass circuit. The AVP is better on HT than the Lexicon (at least in my experience). It's smoother and more refined--the speaker location was not as readily apparant on the AVP than the Lexicon. On music this difference is even bigger. I could live with the AVP for music, but I don't think I'd be happy with the lexicon (I'm speaking of 2 channel here). I listen to a lot of vinyl and the bipass on the AVP would be essential to me. If your only source is CDs this might not be as big a concern--but I would still favor the AVP, it's just more natural sounding. Is it worth $2000--we'll you know the answer to that--only you can decide. If you plan to keep this unit a long time--I would go with the extra $ myself, but there is one final caveat that you might consider--new formats. I have the EAD which is offering 8.1 channel upgrades--I'm not jumping at it--because I have no where to put more speakers and amplifiers and there really isn't software out there for this format. I'm not very concerned about the new formats--in fact for smallish (17x18 foot) theaters--5.1 channels is enough for me. So there's my 2 cents--hope it helps.
A currently upgraded AVP is able to handle 7.1. It has "auxillary" outputs that can be programmed as "sides" and a few other options. I cureently am running stereo subs by taking advantage of the auxillary outs. Inputs and outputs abound on this thing, can't imagine running out. I am quite satisfied with "analog by-pass" 2ch. ability of the AVP, since I purchased it I have increased my music library by at least a 1/3. Obviously, HT is amazing! Unfortunately, I have no experience with the Lexicon models, but I do highly recommend the AVP, so much so, that it is the only part of my system that I know will be with me for many years to come. In fact, if I were to go crazy with upgrade fever again I would keep the AVP as my HT processor and probably buy a separate 2ch. system. It is a very safe investment, and one that pays big dividends. Good Luck
I owned the DC-1 and have auditioned the AVP, though not extensively. They're both a bit dated at this point, but the DC-1 more so than the AVP. The DC-1 was/is really great on HT - it was a bit step up from my original Denon AVR-3600 for both movies and music, but was a very nice centerpiece for HT. If you can find one that has the 4.0 software and the new remote, you'll definitely have a nice unit on your hands.
The AVP will almost undoubtedly sound better for two-channel music than the DC-1, especially because of the analog bypass mode.
I think Abstract7 made the most pertinent point - how long are you planning on having this unit? If the answer is indefinitely, I'd try to buy the AVP, but for less than $2K more than the DC-1, which I think is possible - it's a little newer, probably will work better for the 40% music you cite, and it's a much sturdier-built piece of gear (minus the remote, which is pretty wimpy). If you're pretty sure you'll be replacing either in the medium term, I'd save the $$ and enjoy the DC-1 as a step up, because it is a very enjoyable piece.
If you're open to two other options, I'd offer up these. First, if you're thinking of spending $3000-3500, you can find a Lexicon MC-1 for that price (used), and I'd take it over either of the units you describe (full disclosure: I did take it over those two units). It is at least tied with the best in terms of HT performance, and sounds pretty darn good for music as well, especially if you like the multi-channel synthesized sound - I don't, but a lot of reviewers like it a lot and comment on Lexicon's excellent implementation. It's a breeze to use, and extremely flexible, so it's both easy and allows for tweaking. Lexicon has a history of very generous upgrade allowances, so if/when they come out with a new model, you'll have a good path to follow.
Second alternative would be to buy the DC-1 for HT, and buy something like a Krell KRC-3 as an analog pre-amp. This setup could be had for no more than $3K, and the Krell has a feature called theater pass-through which allows for easy integration between the two environments, both operationally as well as from a wiring standpoint. This would give you an excellent analog path for music, and excellent HT performance, as well as flexibility for upgrading in the future. -Kirk
Abstract7 nailed that one I think. Add the AVP does not have component video switching either. But like Abstract I don't use the video switching at all, just run the component out from the DVD to the TV and the sound to the AVP. Use a composite cable to run to the TV to access the AVP OS menu. Simple, less wires,etc. I think the AVP competes against the next higher up model Lexicon MC-1 more than it does the the DC's. Supposedly, that model is better than the AVP on HT playback, but many agree still not as good as the AVP for 2ch. Never head-to-headed them. Try hard and be patient and you can get an AVP for around $3000. I think its worth the extra $ too. The other one you might want to look at is the casa nova by theta. See several threads recently going over some of the pros and cons there, as well as a pretty fair and balanced discussion amongst the 'philes generally.