You're going the wrong way. Do yourself a favor. Disregard all the advice on what to get. Go and listen. Hook one of these things up and listen to it- at home and with your gear! Do this and I promise you will understand why and thank me. Because no surround made at any price is as good as what you already have. The Home Theater market takes the 2 good channels of stereo and replaces it with five crap channels of dreck. If you compare you will see, its not even close.
Sorry, but its all lies. Wasted a whole year of my life trying to find a good processor. They do not exist. They get away with this because a) people are distracted by the video and b) compare against other surround gear. But since all surround gear is crap and they never compare against stereo then they never even have the chance to understand its all crap. Their crap HT sounds pretty good compared to all the other crap HT and besides oh look 4k.
But hey, don't take my word for it. Go and listen. You will see.
You haven't mentioned your room acoustics. They will do a lot for your current system and make the HT experience amazing.
Don't forget the floor space between and behind the speakers. They can add a surprising amount of harshness to the mid and top end. Blankets make cheap test tools here. :)
Buying a high end HT processor is really tricky, because it's heavy on digital engineering resources. There have been several HE manufacturers who got into the space, and a couple of years later were out. Even Theta seems to have abandoned any serious R&D in this area (correct me if I'm wrong).
Anthem and Krell seem to have found the formula to keep up with the latest standards. I'm using an older Anthem 50 and there's nothing wrong with it. It certainly sounds MUCH better than older mass market imports and the Emotivas I had (bleah!!), but I switch to my Luxman integrated for music.
Grab a used Marantz AV8802A and call it a day. It’s a excellent processor and just as good with stereo sound.
@Millercarbon, don’t mean to burst your bubble but your advice is completely wrong and biased. Speaking from my experience, HT systems set up properly can and do sound superb in an audio friendly environment. Naturally as with all things audio the equipment and synergy matters. Going low budget on the processor/amp/source will disappoint I agree.
A high quality processor will and does equal comparable 2 channel only audio reproduction.
FWIW took me many years, dollars and education to get to my HT and audio nirvana but I got it. My HT is great with both worlds.
There is nothing like a concert DVD playing in 5.1 that puts you at the concert. In the 2ch world this is impossible. Modern HT is not your Daddys HT anymore it’s much more than that. It’s immersive.
I think you just might not have heard just how good it can be.
I've kind of stopped responding to millercarbon because EVERY SINGLE POST here that asks about an HT processor and receiver basically gets trashed by millercarbon in the same way.
A comment on the Focal Sopra. The Focal speakers are very fast responding and require a really good full sounding amp (which it looks like you have). Focal can easily go bright and harsh in certain configurations. What cabling are you using (power cord, interconnect, speaker cable)? If it has anything that is silver or silver-plated, it really should be removed from the Focal setup.
I’ve used two approaches to the stereo/HT issue.
Previously a Parasound JC 2BP combined with a Bryston SP3 that contributed only surround and LFE and was by-passed for stereo. Amps were 3 JC 1 monoblocks. Speakers were a pair of KEF Reference 107/2s and a 204/2C supplemented by a pair of Velodyne HGS-15s.
Currently, two setups in the same room: Ayre 5 Twenty series with KEF Reference 1s and HGS-15s for stereo, and SP3 and NAD Class D amps with 6 LS50s and a pair of HGS-10s for HT. An Ayre DX-5 DSD is shared by the two setups, with balanced analog for stereo, HDMI for HT and surround.
Both approaches work well.
I hate to disagree with millercarbon AGAIN but as others here have mentioned, there are some excellent HT processors which sound outstanding for 2 channel listening. My previous Anthem AVM60 springs to mind and I’m certain many others do as well. I would however concur that if you can listen to a processor in your system and make your own value determination, this is the way to go
Is you priority 2-channel or HT? Not really sure how to make suggestions without knowing what’s most important to you.
Depending on what wire he has in his system, the Anthem AVM60 might be too fast and too much resolution for the focal. I have used the Bryston SP3 in my system - uses all discrete Class A analog output stages (just like a high end preamp). It is very nice, very smooth sound and just about the best and strongest bass I've had out of a HT processor. However, it was just too laid back in the mids and upper mids for my tastes. This might match exactly what daj2832 needs because he is complaining that the Focal are too bright and harsh.
That being said, if you are locked onto the Krell Chorus XD amp, the Bryston might not be the best match because the new Krell amps really smooth over the sound and smooth out the high frequencies. Pairing the Krell XD with Bryston SP3 might be too laid back at this point. It's difficult to say because system synergy is a weird thing.
I'm in a two channel system now with a PS Audio BHK Preamp, BHK Monoblocks, and Focal Sopra 3s.
The music is bright and disappointing.
Aside f rom that, I'm thinking of going to a Home Theater system with Focal Sopra 2s, Focal Sopra 1s and a Focal Center speaker.
I have to ask why you’d go right back to Sopras after such a disappointing outcome with them in your stereo system because it probably ain’t gonna get better in a HT setting. There are tons of fantastic speakers at and even below the Sopra’s entry fee, so why the fascination with and devotion to that model? If it’s me and I’m using the term “bright and disappointing” to describe my system, I’m not walking but running in a very different direction. My advice would be to go listen to other speaker/systems that don’t sound “bright and disappointing” and move in that direction before even contemplating what prepro/amp to go with. But that’s me. Best of luck.