Rotel, Lexicon, or Meridian

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vicky, Jan 9, 2003.

  1. Vicky

    Vicky Agent

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    Hi I am just getting into home theater. I've been visiting my local audio dealers and am getting a massive overload of information on receivers. I think I've got it narrowed down to the three mentioned in the subject line. I was wondering if anyone on this thread has had any experience or any input on these receivers.
     
  2. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    well, i would think most people would say rotel is significantly lower brand and cheaper than lexicon and meridian

    the lexicon is made by harmaninternational, the makers of proceed, mark levinson, madrigal, revel, lexicon, H&K, infinity, jbl and many others....

    meridian are very upgradeable...

    lexicon and meridian are out of my league, so i wont comment too much, but i have to wonder how you came up with those three. I can see comparing lexicon and meridian, cause they roughly compete at the same price points, but rotel is much cheaper, note i am not saying its bad stuff (i have 2 rotel pieces), but its out of its league in this comparison.

    Rich
     
  3. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    Also as far as I know Lexicon and Meridian don't make receivers. meridian is more expensive than Lexicon, they have dvd players that cost more than cars. Quality wise lexican and meridian would be way better than rotel not that rotel is bad but it doesn't compare to those two. Lexicon is like a Porcshe or Lotus, whileMeridian is like a Lambourghini, and rotel is like a 30,000 dollar car. Something kindof like that yeah because Meridian components can cost more than 10 times as mush as a Rotel component.

    Daniel Smith
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    The new Rotel 1098 pre pro looks like it might compete better with the lexicons but its only just being released (see other thread on it)
     
  5. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Neither Lexicon or Meridian makes recievers. (I am 99.9% on that one) A lot of people like to say Lexicon for theater, and Meridian for music. I am not sure these people have heard a Meridian HT though[​IMG]
    -rob
     
  6. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Vicky,
    How about posting what you'd like to accomplish HT-wise, what your budget is, and any components/speakers you already have, and we can all chime in and offer suggestions for you?
     
  7. Vicky

    Vicky Agent

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    You guys are the best. However I'm confused now. If Lexicon and Meridian do not make receivers then what was I looking at? I guess I'm confused about a receiver and a I guess they call "processor". Is that the right terminology?
    Anyway, here is what I want to accomplish. I want a system that will give me great home theater sound and audio sound (music, light classical and jazz to hip hop). Please any input would be greatly appreciated.
    So far I've received a recommendation on a Rotel receiver with B&W speakers.
    Thanks... [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    Vicky,
    here is the difference between a reciever and processor.
    a processor recieves audio signals and processes them. i.e. they receive the signal and decode it. It then takes this decoded signal and sends that to an a separate amplifier. this separate amplifier will then power your speakers.
    a receiver is a combination of a processor and an amplifier.
    this is a very basic description. if you want you can go here:
    http://www.rotel.com/buildhometheater/index.htm
    and read what rotel and B&W say about building a hometheater...
    in my opinion, rotel is a fine brand and so is B&W...I find (and own) B&W speakers to be good at HT, but exceptionally good at music.
    It should also be noted, that while some of B&W's products are in the appropriate range compared to rotel, some of their products at the highest-end would be considered well above rotel's league.
    Also, you should know that a good chunk of music recorded on CD is actually mixed using some of the higher end B&W speakers.
    Finally, at the price points you are looking at, the speakers (and so does room acoustics for that matter) determine sound quality and your enjoyment than your speakers.
    I would not recommend buying this stuff, or any other equipment without first listening to not only it, but similarly priced equipment of other manufactures to determine what sounds best to you.
    Also, rotel and B&W seem to have very good dealers and customer support.
    Rich
     
  9. Vicky

    Vicky Agent

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    Rich,
    Thank you very much on your input. I did indeed listen to the Rotel/B&W setup and was amazed on the sound quality. This coming from listening to setups from Circuit City and Good Guys. Hands down, the Rotel/B&W were the better system. But indeed, I do plan on listening to other setups. That's why I was asking the forum on other suggestions I might want to look into.
    Earlier today I listened to a Parasound/Veratas setup. Not even close. I was disappointed on the sound. I hope it was the speakers, because I thought Parasound was a nice unit.
     
  10. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    Well I would just say that I own B&W and Rotel but I would recommend that you check out options.

    If you are looking at these brands, you can pretty much ignore the Wiz, Circuit City, Best Buy etc...

    However, if you are looking at receivers, Rotel goes up to $2k for a receiver (you haven't stated your price range). For up to $2k you can look at adcom and outlaw separates, rotel receivers (and depending on amp needs separates), and receivers from NAD, Pioneer, Denon, Onkyo, H&K, Marantz, JVC, Kenwood, Sherwood Newcastle, and some others. You should at least get a passing knowledge of all of the ones in your price range.

    B&W has a wideprice range of speakers. So I will say you are looking up to about $4k a pair, some veritas are in that range i believe as well. Some of the brands you can consider are: B&W, Thiel, KEF, Sonus Faber, Vienna Acoustics, Dynaudio, Meadowlark Audio, Klipsch, Paradigm, Linn, Mirage, Soliquoy, Dynaudio, Revel, Infinity, Energy, Mirage, Martin Logan, Snell, Monitor Audio, and a bunch of others....you could not possibly listen to all the speakers in your price range, but you should know the amount of options you have.

    Rich
     
  11. Vicky

    Vicky Agent

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    Rich,
    Thanks again. I'll keep you updated, as I will try and listen to some systems this weekend. Your list will be very helpful.
     
  12. Gregg_M

    Gregg_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Vicky,

    Did you mention a price range you want too stay within. Having just gone through an upgrade recently I know exactly how confusing and how expensive this little hobby can be.

    Gregg
     
  13. Vicky

    Vicky Agent

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    Hi Gregg,

    I thought I could get away with $3000 on a nice system, but it's looking like I'm going have to increase that. I would like to stay within $4000 but if there's a considerable difference from a $4000 system and a $5000 system then I'll go the $5000 route. But this will definitley be my cap. In short, could I get great music quality and HT in one system for $4000?
     
  14. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    ABSOLUTELY! You may be sacrificing music to go for HT, or vice versa if you are maybe under 2 grand. A nice receiver yould eat through a lot of that, not to mention a nice sub, which leaves little left for speakers. If you put speakers first, and get a cheap sub, then you'd be getting better music, and nicer HT sound, but without the great bass which is so paramount to HT (and also to music, but you can get away without a sub just fine).

    At more like 3 grand, you can get yourself into the Paradigm Monitor series with ease, and have a very nice system. Add another grand, and you'd step up quite a bit in speakers, and you are entering the high-end world.

    Also, I'd just like to add that rotel makes VERY nice equipment. The tone of the responses belittling rotel seemed (to me anyway) to give a negative spin. Just to reiterate, rotel is very nice indeed, and more in your price range, perhaps a bit more. Lexicon and Meridian can get EXTREMELY expensive VERY quickly, and a single amp from them can easily blow away your total budget. So in comparison, yes rotel looks less than the best, but the comparison kinda isn't fair.

    I'd go into my whole schpiel (sp?), but Rich pretty much said everything that I would want to say. Stay with nice stores, and he lists a LOT of good speaker brands, and some good electronics too. Spend some time, and take in your favorite music and listen. Get ideas of what prices of equipment sounds like, and most importantly different speakers. Then you can figure how much it would be for all the speakers for a complete HT, and the features you want on your receiver. And if you fall in love with speakers that you can't afford a whole set of, you'll have to make a music/movie compromise, but at your pricerange, performance in BOTH areas should be wonderful, but perhaps just different degrees of spectacular.
     
  15. Vicky

    Vicky Agent

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    Thanks. It was weird. I found myself wanting a nice HT setup. But the more and more I get into this great world of audio, I'm finding myself leaning towards a system that will produce great quality music instead. I still want a nice HT, but I can deal with a decent one...
     
  16. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    Vicky, Somebody will shoot at me for what I am going to tell you. I can tell by your comments and the items you are looking at that you want something for your money. My advise is this, find 3 or 4 good HT installers and discuss with them what you want, get estimates from them, and referances then if as they most likely will be in line for price then let one of them install it for you. I know the places where you are finding the products you mentioned offer these services. Since IMO 75% of it is setup, placement and the expert training you can gleen from the installers is worth the money, also it is a damn sight easier to let them swap out something that you may find you dont like.
    There are lots of people in this buisness and if you are careful you will do fine.
     
  17. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I'm not gonna shoot at guy for his idea. Sorry. BUT, I will say that it's an idea I hadn't really considered. Guy does bring up an EXCELLENT point, which is that installation is very important. Well, not so much hook-up and placement, you can toy with that, but more importantly the room. If you can find someone through a dealer, or the dealer itself that is very experienced and knowledgeable with dealing with the sound of the room itself, then I can see shelling out a few hundred bucks to have them do some treatments, give you some ideas. I think its more interesting to pay them, and follow along, or have them help YOU do it, because you learn so much, just through their experience. Still, large custom installs are very expensive, and not to belittle what Vicky is trying to do at all, but it might take a chunk out of the budget to have them do it all for you, and it's not as fun.



    Great quality music doesn't have to be "instead." I think anything beyond maybe 2/3 grand on a HT is greatness. Beyond that is just extra. Music, though, CAN be a tad bit more demanding, in that 2-3 grand can be greatness, but 4-5 grand CAN be THAT much better, whereas those differences in budgets for pure HT would produce smaller differences in performance. I say, pick a "musical" receiver. If we were looking at more consumer stuff, something like a Marantz would be better in this regard, than say, a Yamaha or a Denon. If you're looking at rotels, etc, you will have plenty of musical performance. If you get a nice rotel receiver, or a Marantz or something, you might want to emphazise the 2-channel part by getting a stand-alone stereo amp for driving the L/R speakers. Focus more on the CD player than the DVD player, and if it comes down to it, and you are reaching the limits of your budget, don't be afraid to step up into a higher echelon for the front two speakers, even if you can't afford to get the center. The improvement for music to you may be more important than a hardly-noticeable small difference in match across the front for HT.

    No matter what, you will have a nice system. Period. It may excel at HT, or music, or both. You are at the beginnings of a great experiement, and by the end, hopefully you will have picked out nice components, and learned a lot along the way. You'll realize quickly, that that nice, large 5K budget begins to appear very small indeed. Just remember, that you are so far beyond the average, you should consider yourself lucky that you stumbled into the audio world. There is ALWAYS something more expensive, something higher up, but who cares? I get MUCH more satisfaction from my $350 paradigms than the millionare who threw a bunch of money at cool-looking equipment that sits there in silence.
     
  18. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    After 35 years of almost constant reading, I have thrown away thoasands of old Stereo Reviews etc, and always trying this or that. I mean it has been a very active hobby everysince I can remember. I am far from expert in a technecial sense but I have picked up a few things along the way,
    It is so difficult as in another thread were this person says OK Im a newbie now explain everything to me and what do I need to buy. . . I want to share my experience as best I can but how do you put someone in a 5K receiver in just one post. . . I read all the mags and it is easy to pick your favorite piece of high end gear wether or not you know anything about it, start spewing specs and sound real important. I have seen people go balistic in this forum on so many meaningless things that I can only imagine how difficult it must be for a sincere person looking for good information to come to any sort of logical conclusion. I have seen Doctors buy 100K systems and dont know how to turn it on, or someone who spends thoasands of dollars on interconnects and speakerwire only because they have 8 to 10K in their front speakers and they deserve it, the only justifaction is they deserve it. . .
    Boy I am on a soapbox now. Seriously I think it is possible to have state of the art sound for music and HT in the same system, a little common sense, a little advice from a trusted friend, a little advice from a trusted reveiwer like a Julian Hirsch, or Corey Greenberg, that world is becoming more and more diluted all the time.
    Vicky I know nothing about you except you started out wanting a great 3000 system then in the same sentence it went to 4 then to 5, I saw you struggling with a decision and I am here to tell you that you can pay 4000 for a 3000 dollar system that sounds like a 5000 dollar system, that is why I recomended some help, as I said earlier the class of equipment you are talking about I would put that load on the stores back, I am sure they would love to have all your buisness and you would get better treatment than you might think. True there is a ton of good information on this forum but there is another side of that coin.
    Another thought is to PM a couple of the ones that appear to answer your questions and work it one step at a time.
    I apolige(sp) for the soapbox but every so often what comes in has to go out. . .
     
  19. Vicky

    Vicky Agent

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    Thanks again for all your posts. I knew I could get some answers from this thread. Anyway, today I went to one of my local audio stores, and was disappointed. Not one person approached me to help. [​IMG]
    I really wanted to hear their Marantz setup. Oh well. I'll try another store tomorrow.
    Oh I have another question. I went to Good Guys ( I know I shouldn't have gone there) because I wanted to see what kind of speakers they had. Plus they had a Parasound setup, silver. It was really slick looking. Anyway, the sales guy told me something interesting and kind of disappointing, if it's true. He told me I wouldn't be able to accomplish a HT system because one of my floor speakers, front right, would be within one foot of my television. Is this correct, or is he pulling my leg?
    The reason my front right speaker would be right next to my television is because the way my room is set up. So imagine this: My television would be off center to the right and would have the right speaker about 1 to 2 feet from the edge of the TV, while the left speaker would be about 6 to 7 feet away from the left edge. We are looking at about 15 feet from speaker to speaker.
    I hope this makes sense. Here's a diagram. Maybe it will make more sense...
    ----------------
    |LF TV RF |
    |
    |
    |Sub
    |LR couch RR |
    ----------------
     
  20. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    Indian says white man build big campfire and sit far away indian build small campfire and sit up close. . .
    Maybe you can split the difference and move it over a little, you will still like what you do.
    Vicky I have a question for you, this WAF thing. . . .Are you married? ? ? You know there are men on this forum that would. . . .
    Not trying to get in your personal buisness and if I am out of line I am sorry, curious but sorry. . .
     

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