THX and Lexicon Caught in Tough Spot with BD-30 Review at Audioholics

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Clint DeBoer, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Clint DeBoer

    Clint DeBoer Auditioning

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    It's official. The Lexicon BD-30 is an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player. And what's more, it's not just using the same parts - they actually stuck the whole player inside - chassis and all. This would be OK, were it not for the $3000 premium price and THX certification... a certification which fails some basic THX tenets on both players.

    AV Rant broke the story first on its home theater podcast with some pics of the two players' internals. Audioholics.com then posted a full suite of pics and tested the players with an Audio Precision analyzer. Both showed identical analogue audio performance and both FAILED a couple of basic THX specifications. Audioholics also posted commentary from THX on the matter and noted that both companies appear to be in a mad scramble to hide the fact that the player was ever deemed THX certified.

    It's a bit of a train wreck, though we hope that the end result is a renewed THX and a Lexicon that exercises a little more effort in the future.
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    I saw pictures of the player when it its initial press release and could obviously tell it was based on the Oppo. Metal work is expensive. That being said, you have to remember who owns Lexicon (I'm not knocking their products), Harman Int'l. The history of the company on high end stuff and getting rid of brands and no support on repairs for expensive audiophile toys not all that old (not nearly as old as the Adcom 555 I have in the bedroom system and if I had a problem I could get it repaired tomorrow). I had Proceed stuff at one point and I know how much trouble my dealer had when they closed down Madrigal (Proceed and Levinson). I'm in process of selling a high end CD player (of a great brand) and I ran into a guy moaning about a Levinson CD player the company won't fix that is not terribly old. The co. was almost sold (the deal fell through) to a group of investment bankers and so much of the business of the parent company has moved away from audio and home theater. This is not the first time that have done something similar with a stock player. What was their old universal player (the RT-20?), a slightly modded Pioneer for tons more money. Proceed did have a real expensive DVD transport (with an optional input card for the scaler) at one point, the PMDT (I did own one), and they rushed it out to market with not enough resources to get bugs straightened out and that pretty much helped (if not caused) topple the company.
     
  3. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    I actually found that the RT-20 (according to hometheaterhifi.com) was "This player is modeled after the Marantz DV-9500 but with some modest changes including the outer case design and some audio filtering tweaks." I think their player before (the RT-10) was actually based on a Pioneer. I believe the RT-20 was $3k more than the DV-9500 so there was a hefty premium for those changes.
     
  4. Adam Gregorich

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    This is pretty funny. Engineering is expensive, and I have no problem with companies buying someone elses product as a starting point, but slapping a new case on it and increasing the price by $2500 is a bit ridiculous especially where there are obviously no changes. It would have been different if they would have replaced some components, upgraded the power supply or done something obvious. The cutouts on the bottom are classic. I haven't been paying any attention to the THX BD specs. In what way does the Lexicon not meet them?

    Edit: Thats what I get for skimming...bass management. Does this mean I can put a THX sticker on my Oppo?
     
  5. DavidJ

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    I think it's very funny-- unless you bought the Lexicon.
     
  6. Clint DeBoer

    Clint DeBoer Auditioning

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  7. Jason Charlton

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    What I gather from reading the details - if you have an Oppo and you AREN'T using the analog outputs, then yes, you may as well slap a THX sticker on the front. The deficiency comes into play only if using the analog outs.

    It's sad - THX used to mean something. I was a proud owner of an Onkyo 828 receiver - I believe it was the first consumer-grade receiver to get THX certification. Now that they've created the various "levels" of certification - Select, Ultra, Ultra2?!?!?! I feel that THX has become just another Monster (albeit with a better pedigree).
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I own an OPPO 83 and really don't care about any certification. What bothers me about this is Lexicon selling a $500 BR player for $3000. I wonder how often this type of thing happens. It's O.K. to re-badge something and put a different name on it. Happens all the time. The original Honda Passport was an Isuzu Rodeo. But there has to be some kinda difference to justify the extra $2500. I mean, that's a HUGE markup.

    I've read where most home audio components are made in a hanfull of different factories overseas, but there are differences between brands, at least I think so. This is where sites like Audioholics, Secrets Of Hi-Fi, etc. are really needed. It would really be nice if we knew where things were made and on what other products they may be based on. The internet is information. We need to know more.



    I'm thinking of removing any that are on my other components.
     
  9. Phil A

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    I agree, but Lexicon has been doing it for the last few players and people keep buying them for minor or perhaps even no differences between readily available stock machines. For what they have charged as a premium for the last few players on any of them you could have them modded by a reputable modder and end up with a superior machine. I'm waiting for my modded Oppo to come back and it is cheaper and I know worlds better sounding on audio. What did PT Barnum say

    Note: I fixed quote--Adam
     
  10. Clint DeBoer

    Clint DeBoer Auditioning

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    We're hoping this isn't the result and that THX takes this as a shot across the bow. As for the sites that help fuel truth-seeking, amen. Compare that to sites that simply praise products from Lexicon automatically and would never reveal (even if they knew) that one player was like another (one site in particular praised the Lexicon and touted the party line about it being better, then deleted all the comments to the contrary when this expose article published).

    This whole situation would not have been a scandal had Lexicon done ANYTHING to the Oppo before integrating it into their chassis. Instead they chose to not change even a single capacitor or transistor. Ironically, the upgraded BDP-83SE from Oppo ($899) ends up having a much better analogue section than the Lexicon for $3500.

    That's what makes it crazy. Lexicon COULD have spent $100 more (in parts) and at least been able to claim they made special mods to the player.
     

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