Processor Recs

I am in the process of putting together a 2nd HT room to be used equally for movies and music. My speakers are the Meridian DSP 5200's and will be getting the same for the center speaker. My source for the short term will likely be the Toshiba HD-DVD or OPPO DVD Player. I am in the market for a processor for this system and looking at the Meridian G68, Anthem D2, Arcam AV9, Thesa Cassa, and the Lex MC12. Any owners of some of these units care to comment ? I am looking for a unit to use for a very long time and strong in both movie and music aspects.
Thanks in advance.
One thing that Lexicon has going for it is (besides being very good as-is) that the initial purchase is like a buy-in to the company. They offer upgrades in both firmware and hardware over the lifespan of the product. After they have maximized the upgradability of the product they offer insane trade in options. At one point the trade in value of an ancient Lexicon (that would go for maybe $400 on Agon) was such that for something like $600 + trade in unit, you got their top of the line processor.

Good luck!
Arcam has the same type of upgrade option as the Lexicon, but without the option for trade-in. I have an AV-8+ (software upgrade but not HDMI). It recieved rave reviews for both movies and music, and I cannot disagree. In analog mode for music, all digital circuits, clocks, etc are powered off to reduce noise. I am incredibly happy with it, no complaints. Music is wonderful and movies are incredible. E-mail me if you have questions.
Take a look at AVS Forums for more information on these processors. You'll see lots of opinions and comments. I think your biggest decision is whether to invest in a consolidated audio and video processor, or keep these separate. There are advantages to each strategy. And given the ongoing changes in audio/video technology, even with manufacturer supported software and hardware updates, I doubt that any of these processors will still be able to be state of the art in five years.

I was considering the Anthem D2 because of its tremendous video processing capabilities, but it is still going through some new product bugginess. Fortunately it is easy to update and Anthem is great about making changes to the software when necessary. There is a very active thread on this model.

The Theta is a also a tremendous processor, but can be VERY expensive when you add in all of its options.

I've heard that the Arcam is one of the nicest sounding processors, but it doesn't yet have the video processing capabilities of the others.

Hope that helps.

A very nice selection of pre/pro's, however with the Meridian DSP 5200's, you can really only use the Meridian processors as they only accept Meridian's digital feed. I might be mistaken as I am not an authority on Meridian speakers, but my brief check of their website shows these as having only digital in's and as such are designed for use in a Meridian digital theater.

Given this fact, and the prior coments as to issues with the Anthem D2 (one I also considered prior to bying my Meridian 861) Arcam is a nice choice, but again won't work with your speakers, the Theta sounds awesome, but you have to use the additional six shooter for MC input, and with HD DVD you will want a 5.1, or better yet if you use it a 7.1 analog in, that or an HDMI, but most pre/pro's haven't got that together yet. My vote would be for the Meridian, the G68 is excellent, for a few grand more (don't know your budget, but it doesn't seem to be low end from your choices) you can get a used 861 v4 and have a future proof pre/pro.
If you plan on using any number of Meridian DSP speakers in a multi-channel system you will need a Meridian processor.
I own an MC-12 and would highly recommend finding a used v2.0 for around $3K, maybe less. It is well built, does HT surround with the best, has one of the few really good synthesized multi-channel music processing, has both 2-channel and 6-channel analog pass-thru, has an excellent video switching section. I haven't compared it to a bunch of other pre/pro's - maybe there is something that edges it out (or "kick's it's ass") - but I think it's a heckuva performer, and now that they go used for this type of price, they're dynamite.

Only downside is that it doesn't do HDMI switching. Personally, I don't care, as there is a lot of funkiness to HDMI right now. It does do component video switching superbly.