HiFi Plus (Roy Gregory) just did an excellent review of the HP 200, spelling out the differences. The HP 100 has been a long time favorite of Gregory and I have found that his descriptions are quite accurate.
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I have owned a HP200 for about 3 months now, which I bought after auditioning it against a HP100. So far, I am very happy with it. While I feel it is quite as musically involving as the HP100, the only thing I remember for sure about the comparative audition is that it appeared to be more resolving than the HP100. I do not know if the dealer tried to set me up so that he could flog the HP200 but it did sound that way on exactly the same system.
I listen mainly to jazz and, subjectively, I love the way most instruments sound in terms of tone and timbre through the HP200.
There is absolutely no hum from either channel on my HP200. I had a fully broken-in Pass X-1 on loan for a couple months and the HP200 sounds significantly better in my system.
After break-in, I found that the HP100 has a wide soundstage but the perspective depthwise seems a little flatter than I had imagined. As this is my first highend preamp, I am not going to go out on a limb and use any high-faluting high end jargon to try to describe it.
The depth issue may be attributable to a number of setup issues in my system including the relatively small size of the room (15 X 17, set up against the long wall) or system issues. My system so far consists of the Toshiba SD910E DVD/DVD audio/CD (SD9200 in the U.S.) which is not a great CD player, the HP200, Bryston 14B-ST, Martin Logan Prodigies, Acoustic Zen Silver Reference interconnects, Shotgun Satori biwire speaker cables, Gargantua II powercord on the Toshiba and a less expensive powercord on the Bryston.
I have tried to obtain a copy of Hifi Plus where I live but have not been able to do so. I would love to hear from Cohnaudio about the conclusions in the Hifi Plus review of the HP200 and in the comparison with the HP100.
Also, if any one has any suggestions for a great, reasonably-priced CD player that would go well with the rest of the system or any other suggestions, I would love to hear from them.
I've owned the 100 for more than a year. It is the quietest preamp I've ever owned. Dead quiet. I've listened to the 200 extensively. They are so close, in my opinion, that choice comes down to remote control or phono stage. I met Bob Hovland last Saturday. He shared that they have a solidstate phono stage in development and have
find a way to mount it into the 200's tight interior.