help-lexicon mc 12v5 vs. mac mx135

assembling home theater- listen to 2 channel only 20%( mostly acoustic singer/songwriter and brazilian jazz off of cd), and tivo'd shows and movies( new hi-def tivo) 80%---like warm musical sound--have sonus faber cremonas and center, prob get concertinos as the surround for 5.1 channel system- have a mac 207 7 channel amp( keep it or ditch?)---what pre/pro do you recommend?---mac 135, lexicon 12,something else? --or wait for new mac ap 1000 as the audio side and just use my tivo as the scaler for video?thanks for the help-i'm a newbie at this
Wow pretty ambitious system for a "Newbie"!! Mac is great and you have synergy if you keep your amp, Lexicon is a great piece for HT also look at Anthem. What size is your room? (with a 7 channel amp you could go 7.1 if your room is medium/large to a large room). I would also put some serious thought about budget and stick to it (good cables and interconnects for HT snow ball fast)
Good luck in your search!
yea, really ambitious is my style--thanks for your thoughts- room is 16x25 but no area behind sofa for rear speakers--some say lexicon not great for 2 channel, meridian really good for both but expensive and kinda technical for me( as much as i read here i still can't even figure out what meridian cards i'd need---i know mac isn't loved here but maybe works just fo the audio part?-buying all used and got a good idea of what i need to spend---but don't have chance to try this stuff and hoping to get some insight from you guru's
I have a lot of experience with the Lex Mc12b and can tell you it greatly helps setting up a home theater. My approach has been to take a quality 2 channel system and expand it to 7.1 surround. I use the Mc12b and Classe amps. The Mac 7 channel amp sounds usefull for the surrounds (center, two sides, two rears) and either two monoblocks for the L and R, or the remaining Mac channels for the fronts. Film and surround music are created from very different beginnings. Film mixes are designed for specific placement of sounds. Centers are very important especially for very wide screens, since listeners off to the sides need to hear a center in the center as do people in the "sweet spot". Phantom centers really don't work for screens over seven feet since some listeners will be sitting far off axis and will hear a center in front of them instead of the center of the screen. And some films like "Snakes on a plane" are 6.1 descreet mixes with a rear channel and info on it not found in the other channels. 6.1 mixes can be a single rear or a mono pair. Lexicon has had VERY good 7.1 algorhythms that make 5.1 or even 2 channel sound very convincing. Lexicon also has stereo sub provisions for the front 2 channels as well as an independent LFE out for a dedicated sub. The Lex will take speaker distances as well as fully adjustable crossovers for each channel into consideration when setting up your 7.1 configuration. In short the MC12b is very user friendly. I have my two channel speakers with their respective stereo subs connected to the MC12b. I can choose the crossover frequency and relative volumes right in the Lex processor. The LFE channel is active for 5.1 mixes. It will also allow for bass distribution to the LFE channel in systems where the main and surrounds are not full range.
Outboard scalers from Algolith or even simpler, DVD players with onboard upconverters to 720 and 1080i, are available. Machines like the Oppo are amazing given there under 200$ cost and video processing power.
Surround dvd's require a sound field using dipole sides where as multichannel sacd or dvd audio use point source surround channels. They are mixed differently than film. I use my system for film and use the lex for enhancing my cd's to 7.1.
Most cds sound great using lex's algorithms and some do not. Given your great two channel set up, your thread caught my eye. It seemed similiar in philosophy to my own.
Interconnects for the surrounds need not be the high end used for the fronts. Remember the surrounds in film are bandwidth limited. Multichannel audio like sacd and dvd audio are not. They can have full range in all the channels.
wow- amazingly helpful!-thanks

To expand on the above comments with my $0.02 worth, I used to own a Lexicon MC-12V5EQ. It's surround processing capabilities are impressive. Mine had both Logic 7 and DPLIIx, which are the premiere processing capabilities for 7.1.

From my perspective, room size is not an issue in deciding on 7.1 verus 5.1. My own room is relatively small, at 13' x 17' x 9.5', and I found a significant improvement in surround envelopment when I expanded from 5.1 to 7.1. However, room layout can be an issue. Your room is relatively large at 16 x 25, but without room behind your listening position, then 7.1 is not a good choice.

However, do you have any flexibility in relocating your sofa so there is room behind the listening position? If so, then I would definitely recommend going to 7.1 as that is a particular sweet spot for the Lexicon.

My former speaker system had tripoles for sides, very similar to using dipoles for sides, and monopoles for rears and that combination does provide a good surround environment. When I recently upgraded my speaker system, the new line did not offer dipoles / bipoles / tripoles, so I was limited to monopoles for both sides and rears. So far, I have not found this be a problem, although if I had the option I would have chosen dipoles / bipoles / tripoles for the sides.

FWIW, I listen to everything in 7.1, independent of source.

thanks for your thoughts-would really like to have 7.1 and am buying equip. to handle it but unfortunately can't move the sofa- could put 2 speakers parallel to back of sofa on each side against the wall and 2 more 4-5 feet forward of those but will this accomplish anything as to surround? (sofa is on south wall( 25 feet), east wall is all glass( 16 feet) and north wall(25 feet) is where all equip and tv are located)
ps- suppose i could move sofa out about 1 foot and then fit 2 speakers right behind it--would that accomplish anything?-i figured no as speaker would be right in your ear and directionally sound wouldn't really be behind listener

Per the Dolby recommended layouts, I do not think you want your side speakers ahead of your listening position. The side speakers should be at plus & minus 90 degrees from top center, directly to the sides of your listening position.

Sorry, I may not have been clear, but I was asking about moving your sofa a bit forward of the back wall, not to a different part of the room. If, for example, you could move your sofa forward by 5 feet, that would allow you to have rear speakers behind the listening position and side speakers directly to the sides of the sofa.

I don't know if that would impose any challenges in mounting / placing the surround speakers, but there are options to accomodate many situations like on-walls, in-walls, etc.

In my own case, due to room layout, both my sides and rears are mounted suspended from the ceiling using Omnimounts. I have them aimed downward and toward the listening area, and that works pretty well.

thanks but unfortunately the most would be one foot out from the wall so i think i'm stuck with 5.1 unless i wait for the new mac ap 1000 which theoretically allows you to place speakers anywhere and it'll eq them to sound as if they're where they would be optimally

I made my last post before reading you might be able to move the sofa 1' out from the back wall. That might work.

One idea I have seen is to place the rear speakers on their backs, down and behind the sofa, facing up toward the ceiling. That would spread the rear surround information along the back of the room. I would still put the side surrounds to the side of the sofa rather than further forward.

Another point about Lexicon that I don't think has been mentioned is the room correction equalization with the EQ versions. The correction is done in the time domain rather than frequency domain, and is applied at 250 Hz and below. The MC-12 does not try to flatten the FR curve, but instead works to eliminate resonances. By staying in the range of 250 Hz and below, it addresses resonances caused by the room and compensates for those.

I found the EQ in the MC-12 to be very effective, and easy to set up. The bass was cleaner and each note more distinct. In addition, the mid range was cleaner, supposedly because lower frequency resonances were not "hanging around" and muddying up the mids.

I think Lexicon's approach is similar to Meridian's.