Best multi channel amp and processor good for 2 channel listening.

Hi All,

I am new to this forum and have a few questions in reference to HT processors.  I am starting from scratch and switching from a Krell S-1000 and S-1500.  I sold the processor a few months back and I going to list here the amp.

I am currently considering the new Bryston 9B3 and the SP4 and decision was based on upgrade ability and warranty. The speakers for HT will be Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home and for 2 channel Verity Otello’s.  My second choice was Classe but I was informed that they have all sales on hold, this is concerning.  I have not listened to either, my choice is based on reviews and the Bryston dealer.  My decision was also based they are both good for two channel, I am not set on this but it will help the budget and space.  I am looking for a warm and good over all sound; some might say 3 dimensional sound, clarity is also a factor.  Actually, all I’ve read in reference to Classe fits the bill.  I would like a couple of other choices to include in my short list and opinions are welcome. The budget for the processor and amp is approx. 22k.  

Thanks to all.....

Showing 11 responses by audiotroy

Op the Audio Control is one fantastic processor, it is built for sound quality and uses all  independent burr brown dac’s per channel, vs most of the world's processors which use a single dac chip for all channels, the processor uses a massive power supply it weighs 40 lbs most processor barely weigh 15 lbs, and the Maestro uses Dirac which along with Anthem and Trinov are the best room correction software.

The Mastro is very very good souding for music and theater, perfect it isn’t but for its price point of $8,900.00 it is fantastic.

As per the Odeon it is one of the best sounding multi channel amplifiers ever made, if the price seems a bit high make an counteroffer.

Other than the Thetas Cassablancas which are very expensive and not sure of the room correction, the Maestro series from Audio Control has been getting rave reviews for years based on their musicality, superb service made in America, and reliablity and excellent service.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
The maestro is deslgned for sound quality for music and theater and is not built like a traditional processor
Maguiar, if sound quality for surround sound and music is your passion and you are concerend with the sound quality of the processor preamp then here is how to get around that one

1: Purchase a good 2 channel preamplifier with a hone theather bypass function, you can then route your high end 2 channel sources through the 2 channel preamp and then to your high end multi channel amplfier. 

This way you have a separate 2 channel music pathway that is intergrated with your surround sound gear, and you get the best of both worlds.

We are using our Maestro with $14k Kef Ref 3, a Lumin  music streamer and the sound for music even through the Maestro is is really something. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Bwguy Lumin T1 now going with lumin t2

The new T2 is going to be great,

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Bwguy and Randyhat, we have the T2 on order out of the first ten coming into the country. 

The guys from Lumin seem to think that the T2 outperforms the A1 which does have the outboard power supply. 

The Lumin engineers are out of broadcast engineering, they have stated that their included new SMPS is really superb and they have worked very hard to make it quiet. 

The T2 is supposed to sound absolutely amazing, we ordered our demo without hearing it. The X1 is absolutely extraordinary if the little T2 sounds even close it will shake up that segment of the market.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Lumin dealers
Alkolid your feelings that because a studio uses something therefore it is good is completely inaccurate. Studios use certain products because they are durable and do the job. 

We were a Bryston dealer for years and their amplifiers were good not amazing but good, the CD player was very good for the price and their preamplifiers were okay at best.

In order to make a Bryston setup sound really good you had to use a tube preamplifier to add some body to the sound, we haven't heard their latest gear but  that was our experience at the time, the Luxman gear and Hegel components were far better.

We will agree that the AVM 60 is excellent for the price and we did prefer it to the more expensive Marantz 8802a and the Anthem room correction is superb however the AVM 60 can be bettered by more expensive pre/procs.

We have the Audio Control Maestro M9 and that is the best sounding pre pro we have ever used it is a $8900 40 lb monster pre/pro with individual burr brown dacs per channel and the sound is exquiste you could clearly hear the difference between the AVM 60.

We were running that magnificent pre/pro with an $18k Plinius Odeon one of the finest multi channel amplifiers that has ever been built with all Kef Reference loudspeakers and the sound was remarkable for both music and theater.

We are selling our Odeon because Plinus recently discontinued it as they were not selling that many of them, Plinus is known as a two channel company.

This one multi channel amplifer bested a set of 400watt mono blocks as well from a very respected European company. 

We know just how remarkable a good music and theater system can be. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Bwguy and Randyhat, the T2 is a huge improvement over the T1 in everyway sonically and build quality.

Mquar we are an Audio Control dealer and their products are really excellent, the Audio Control product is superior to the less expensive Arcam, if you look at the processor the Maestro M9 weighs 40 lbs vs the Arcam which weight 25 lb, also the Masetro uses all discrete Burr Brown dacs vs a shared chip in the Arcam add in longer warranties and a more sophisticated amplifier section and you can see why we prefer the Audio Control product.

So if you decision to use a High end integreated with surround sound processor and multi channel amp or are you leaning towards a high end surround sound receiver with two channel separates  which is more important to you.

If you want the best of both worlds then a two channel preamp along with a reallly good multi channel amplifier  and a separate surround sound processor may be the ticket. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Lumin  and Audio Control
Rechsm, thanks for confirming it. The Maestro was built to sound really good and not be just a feature oriented product. The fact that use top of the line burr brown dacs and use chips for each channel and a massive power supply does show how good the pre pro is.

The Maestro sounded better than anything else we compared it to.

Maguir the Nad is a very good piece also personally we don't think it sounds as good, but for its price point it is very good.

We sell all three pieces, the Anthem, the Nad and the Audio Control.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ 
Maguiar yes the 2500R is $12k retail, our best advice would be to seek out the correct product first, rather than shopping based on what is available on the secondardy market.

Very rare to find a used 2500 R most dealers don't sell their demos the only used ones were from Sunny components and those pieces are so old many of them don't have any factory warranty left and very few customers sell there T+A gear, the brand makes keeper products.

We would of coursse work with you if we have products that you would want to get. 

Personally the Plinius Oden pllus the Audio Control with a good analog preamp would be one fantastic HT and 2 Channel Music rig

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ T+A dealers
Ezzigy, actually it is not a tweeked Arcam.

As per Integrated amplifiers if you hear a PA 2500R you would most likely prefer it to the Luxman. 

T+A is a much larger company with far greater engineering resources then Luxman, the Luxman products are excellent but the T+A gear is really surprising.  The 2500R uses a novel switch mode power supply to run a high output Class A/B amplifier stage running on high voltage rails, the High Voltage rail design helps create a more tube like sound. 

Their is a speed and dyanmic impact with the 2500R that you just don't generally hear too often, the amplifier also carves out a huge soundtage.

In our shop over the years we have had a lot of top integrated amplifiers from Luxman, Coda, Norma, Hegel and many others none of them were close to offering the unique combination of speed, detail, soundstage, bass impact, dynamic punch and a flowing midrange that you get out of the 2500R

Would I trade in one for the other the answer is no, but we would have loved to see your impressions. 

The power output of the 2500r is 140 watts 8 ohm, 280 4 ohm, 520 watt 2 ohm loads all out of a compact chassis. 

Arcam and Audio Control worked together to design all of the current line of Arcam surround products, as the original Arcam HDMI boards were failing miserably in the fileld after a few years hence they turned to Audio Control whose equipment is sold to custom installers building very expensive Home Theaters.

Audio Control is seen as a state of the art HT pre/pro for the music concious user and one who doesn’t need more than a 9.2 and is concerned more with sound quality then features.

Audio Control is an indendent manufacturer who started first building high end car audio before braching out and over the years have designed all their own amplifiers and processors.

The Maestro M9 weighs a staggering 40lbs based on a massive power supply and features all independent burr brown dac chips the comparable Arcam processor weighs 25 lbs and use a single dac chip for all channels.

Arcam builds class G amplifiers Audio Control builds Class H both of these amplfier designs use two voltage rails the more difficult to build is the Class H design which use a more advanced circuit to anticipate the need for the higher voltage rail and accomplish the transition.

Over the years we have had the Anthem Statement D2V, the Anthem AVM 60 and the Marantz 8801A and the Audio Control sounded far better than any of them.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Audio Control

Maguiar why don't you look at the Coda gear, the Coda .8 has the same specs as the Pass Labs 30.8 yet costs a lot less, in Home Theater Review they compared this amp to a twice the price pair of Pass Monoblocks and liked the half as expensive Coda to the twice the price Pass Labs.

By the way the Backert stuff is the real deal heard them at CAP and the sound of their system was excellent, word on the street is that Backet's preamps challenge way more expensive ones.

Good luck.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Coda dealers