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I still think the Pioneer VSX-59TXi is the best valued A/V Receiver around… but you just can’t help but want the new RV-8 by Lexicon. There are two things I wanted back in 1997 but couldn’t afford, the Pioneer Elite CLD-97 Laserdisc Player (I recently bought one off ebay for a steal) and a Lexicon DC-1. So when I hear that Lexicon is releasing a new product, I get all sentimental… like my life won’t be complete without a Lexicon in my A/V rack… maybe someday… but it’s still too rich for my blood. Unlike the DC-1, this is a fully integrated A/V receiver that pumps 140 watts across seven channels. It has so many features that I’m going to have a hard time limiting what I include in this entry… the RV-8 includes eight configurable inputs, and a built-in tuner. Inputs comprise eight digital audio, eight analogue audio, one phono, five composite video, five S-video, and three component video inputs. The analogue connectors can be configured for up to two 5.1-channel sources. It’s also equipped with an enormous toroidal power transformer and also includes thermal and DC protection. The RV-8 offers the latest version of Lexicon’s critically acclaimed LOGIC7 decoding, which creates a 7.1- channel output signal from stereo, 5.1- and 6.1-channel sources. Unlike other decoders, LOGIC7 decoding is compatible with all input sources and requires no special encoding.

In addition to LOGIC7, the RV-8 offers today’s most popular audio and video playback formats with support for Dolby Digital Surround EX, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES, DTS neo:6, THX Ultra2, and THX Surround EX decoding. High-precision 24-bit/96 kHz A/D converters can be used to convert stereo analogue audio input signals to digital signals. 24-bit/192 kHz D/A converters are utilized for all output channels and the 5.1-channel and stereo analogue signals can bypass A/D conversion and internal processing, allowing a pure analogue signal path from input to output.

The RV-8 is backed with a three-year warranty and will be available sometime in August for a about $7000. That hurts…