Best Musical Home Theater 5-channel Amp/PreAmp

I posted a similiar question about Musical Home Theater Speakers over in the Speaker forum. As stated there I'm getting ready to do a massive upgrade on my home audio system. The wife wants a Home Theater setup and I must agree I have several multi-channel audio DVD discs already so any new future system must be multi-channel. I'd prefer at least 5.1.

I listen to music about 90% of the time so I'd like to have a more "musical" setup. I would like some feedback from you guys about such system you may own or have heard. I basically am a rock music guy that listens to blues, acoustic guitar based and some jazz.

I probably will go with Amp and Pre-Amp/Processor setup for a better sound. Some AVR systems may be worth a look. My total spending limit is $3000. I recently saw a Sheroud 5/1500 amp selling for under $1000. Seemed like a good price.

Thanks in advanced for any advice.

In this range look at Rotel. Also for a little more you might be able to get a proceed avp here for 1500 or so and upgrade later to the avp2. A conrad johnson or proceed amp5 would cost around 2000 to 2500. Nice fit. The cj is very warm and the proceed is well proceed.
Take a look at the stuff from, they have good prices and are very well respected as high bang for buck company. Agree also on the Rotel for the same reason. Sorry, that should read:, The new Stereophile guide to hometheater has a good review of the 950 pre/pro and the 770/7-channel amp package which can be had for a very good price from their web site. At this price you could add a tube or passive 2 channel pre with the left over money for very high quality 2 channel music along with the outlaw ICBM bass management unit.
Take a look at Denon 3803 or 4803. Also, if you can live without the latest and greatest in these lines from Denon you can find prices well within your budget on the 3802 and 4802. I've been using a 3801 for nearly six years: DTS, Dolby Digital, Dolby ProLogic, Stereo Surround. Sounds really, really good and I've not found any features that would make me want spend more for the newer models.
Both the Outlaw and Rotel are excellent recommendations. One other combo to consider is the Audio Refinement Multi5 and Pre2DSP which was reviewed in the same (latest) issue of Stereophile Guide to Home Theater as the Outlaw combo. The retail price is a little higher than you want to spend, but you can probably find a dealer who will give you a deal to get close. I've also seen them offered "used" for much less than your budget.

I have both units, and they sound spectacular. As the review noted, the pre/pro is a little quirky as far as setup goes, but the sound is fabulous. I am running Apogees in a surround system and am very happy. I do more 2 channel listening than HT listening/watching. Good luck.
What speakers are you trying to drive? If they are not terribly demanding I would suggest looking for a used Anthem AVM2 and pair it with the Sherborn, Rotel or Anthem 5 channel amp, then get a two channel tubed preamp with HT bypass such as the Anthem Pre2L special edition. This will give you an integrated system with the best of both worlds for around $2600-3000. If your front mains are a difficult load you may want to get a smaller 3 channel amp for center and surrounds and spend a litte more for a nicer 2 channel amp for the fronts. Lots of options there, but again Rotel, Anthem, B&K are great options in your price range.