Comparisons of new generation PrePros

I have a Lexicon DC-1, with a 7.1 channel speaker set up, and am considering getting a new PrePro. I do all my listening/viewing in multi-channel, surroundsound independent of the source. What I'm seeking, in priority order, is: better audio quality (clarity, resolution, etc.); ability to handle multi-channel SACD/DVD-A; and ability to decode newer ss formats. One PrePro I will consider, if it ever comes out and if it's reasonably priced, is the baby MC-12 from Lexicon.

But there is a new generation of seemingly competitive PrePro's from Anthem, Aragon, Krell, etc. in the $4,000 price range that purport to support a 7.1 channel speaker system.

Has anyone listended to any of these, or other competitive units? If so can you comment on the sound (both audio quality and surroundsound performance)? I am particularly interested in opinions/experiences with the Aragon as it has the least amount of information available on message boards, magazine reviews, etc.

Does anyone know how the 7.1 channels of sound generated/synthesized by any of these types of processors compares to Lexicon's Logic 7?

Thanks in advance,
I own a Primare P30 pre/pro and use it in my 2-channel only system. Far exceeds the sonics of some highly rated 2-channel preamps.

I've a/b compared the P30 to 3 different pre-amps in my home. The closest competitor was an Ayre k3-x. But when it came to dynamics, lack of coloration, detail, and transparency, the Ayre wasn't even in the same league as the P30.

And because of the looks of the Ayre and the attention paid to the design of the attenuation of the k3-x, I was prepared to buy it even before I listened to it.

I'm glad I didn't. The P30 retails for $3500 to $4000 depending on whom you ask.


Thank you. Have not heard of Primare. Will try looking them up on the web for information. The price is definitely attractive. Do you have any comments on its surroundsound performance? Do you know if it supports 7.1 channels? I'm not into 2 channel.

I don't believe it handles 7.1. I have no idea how it performs in surround mode. But it's 2-channel is excellent for this price break.

If you do all you listening in surround regardless of source, I don't think you'll find better than the Lexicon. Meridian has gotten good reviews on their synthesized surround, though they're just as expensive and I don't know if they have 7.1 support.

The baby MC-12 would / will be good. I hope they do come out with one. I have the MC-12 and it's a beauty. I would assume the baby MC-12 will be extremely nice as well.

Have you considered upgrading to an MC-1 and waiting until the baby MC-12 comes out and, preferably, drops in price? Lexicon gear seems to sell at a much steeper discount than many brands. The MC-1 used is going very cheaply right now and, IMO, sounded significantly better than the DC-1 (I owned both at different times prior to the MC-12).

Yes, I thought about a used MC-1. Appreciate your comments on the sonic improvement over the DC-1, which is a good reason to get one. Since my goals include handling SACD/DVD-A, that would be a temporary measure and would only make sense if I later traded in the MC-1 on a new baby MC-12 rather than buying a competitor's unit.

Between Audiogon, SMR-Forums, and other sources it seems the release of the baby MC-12 is "just around the corner". Whether that is true or not, it makes the used MC-1 option less desireable, although I periodically look at the units for sale on Audiogon. The ones from the dealers, which I feel would be safer buys, all seem to be trade-ins and could not be applied to a baby MC-12.

Another alternative, which you may have been referring to, is to wait for the baby MC-12 to arrive and see if the price of used MC-12's drops significantly.

I don't know how Lexicon will price the baby MC-12. I'm sure that will depend on their business strategy compared to the MC-12, and how much influence the competitive marketplace has. Having Aragon and Krell release $4,000 units should be a factor in the consumer's favor.

Also don't know how well competing approaches to 7.1 compare to Logic 7. Units that are THX UltraII certified; e.g., Aragon, use ASA to synthesize 7.1 channels from 5.1 sources, but I don't know if they can synthesize 7.1 channels from 2 channel sources. The Krell Showcase manual says it simply duplicates the sound of the side speakers in the rear speakers when synthesizing 7.1 channels from 5.1 sources, and I don't know how well the music surround modes work.

Oh well, this is part of what makes life so interesting.