Lexicon MC12 versus Linn 5103

I am looking to upgrade to a Lexicon MC12 from a Linn 5103. 2 channel is my first love with Linn Klimaxes and Dynaudio c4's. The Linn does an excellent job as a preamp. Has anyone compared these two processors head to head in 2 channel? I would have to say the Lexicon is a step up in home theatre but will the bypass in the Lexicon be as good as the Linn for a preamp in 2 channel? I dont want to downgrade my 2 channel to upgrade my theatre. Need some help.
The best way to ensure high quality 2 channel performance is to use a high quality 2 channel analog pre-amp. Then for HT, run the front two channels of the 5.1 rig through the pre-amp as one would any source component. The other HT channels go directly from the HT pre/pro to the amps.