Some people love the looks, others hate them… I’ve always loved McIntosh Labs products. The company has been around for over 54 years and they introduced their latest A/V Control Center this month. The MX135 is their fourth-generation dual zone, preamp/processor taking home theater processing to a new level. Five sets of component video inputs, composite and S-Video upconversion together with two pairs of balanced stereo inputs, eight channel balanced outputs, twelve analog inputs, eleven S-Video inputs. The MX135 utilizes the new state-of-the-art Texas Instruments ‘Aureus’ digital processing chip that is capable of 1200 million floating point operations per second. It also includes a full-featured two-channel pre amp with pure analog function including a phono preamp section. Leading the impressive list of featured technologies that the MX135 incorporates are Dolby ProLogic II, Dolby Digital, DTS, Neo:6 and Stereo 96 that improve the surround imaging and decoding. Pure analog modes such as Two Channel, External, and Pure Stereo are also featured. No THX certification here… who needs it when these guys over engineer all their products with the highest standards. An additional input is provided for the optional TM-1 phase-locked loop AM/FM tuner module. The MX135 is a 2-zone processor with both zones controllable from the front panel or with remote sensors/keypads and comes complete with an event based learning remote control. The MX135 is shipping now at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $7,600.