Best of both worlds?? Dreaming perhaps??

Guess I will try again since last time didn't get much response. Really trying to incorporate both HT and 2 channel as I have one room in which to do this.

Looking for a HT processor that has a most excellent analogue 2 channel bypass with superb sonic qualities. Over 95% of what I do is music but I must appease the wife so as to not have a huge rack of gear. (much to my dismay) If possible would like multi zone but wouldn't have to be crucial. Since I am going with a good piece, would prefer the latest greatest software for video as well.

Currently have Dali MS4's which I am keeping as I think they sound awesome, Classe SSP25THX which is a nice piece but uses some older technologies, Meridian 506.20 CDP and a Sherbourn 7/2100 which I am only using 4 channels but will probably add the Dali center to go above my Pioneer Elite HD630 RPTV.

Any and all opinions would be greatly appreciated.

Good Listening,

Steve Bachman
Phoenix, AZ
Classe SSP-60. I own it. One of the few machines that have a dedicated analog XLR input, as well as a 7.1 input. HT is excellent, cant comment on the video switching as I always go straight to the TV. Unlike the SSP-75, The SSP-60 internally has seperate power supplies for the digital and analog section. Not the greatest remote, but the sound is sweet. ususally around 3K used. Get one with a serial number above 100.

I never found a SSP that played music that well (Proceed, Classe, Krell, etc). I wound up getting a nice stereo preamp (BAT) that has a unity gain throughput. I then just use a Denon receiver for HT. The Denon drives the rears and center channels only. I take the FR & FL preamp outputs from the reciever in through the BAT inputs so that I can use my main audio speakers as my FR and FL in HT mode. 90% of my listening is to music, and I'm MUCH happier this way.

I hope this helps,

Anthem AVM20. I've paired mine with a Sherbourn 72100.

Good luck,
Don't dream anymore: The McIntosh MX135 SSP has an analog 2-channel preamp built in! Why not go for that? It has 2 independant zones and the "latest and greatest" Aureus DSP chipset as well. Sounds like it was made just for people in your situation. If its sound quality is like the MX132, it will be SWEET and glorious.
I am like you my priority for my media room is mainly high-end audio. Therefore, I would agree with John's approach ... In fact, at first I will be watching movies with 2 channel sound only from my high-end 2-channel system. I have wired my new room for the possibillity of multi-channel sound in the future. But, I believe when you are looking at high-end 2-channel audio systems, that none of the pre/pro and multi-channel amps out there will match the sound for 2-channel music playback without some compromise. Therefore, if I want to add multi-channel amplification, I will do the same thing John is recommending. That is, I would run the front L and R channels from an A/V receiver or pre/pro through my 2-channel "preamp" unity gain (or HT) bypass input. Thus, the A/V receiver or pre/pro will volume control the L and R front channels when I watch moview, while those 2 channels will continue to be driven by my 2-channel amp. I realize this is a compromise on the movie side, but my feeble brain doesn't get too caught up on the sound quality while watching an involving movie.
I second the anthem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Even better than the Anthem AVM 30 is the Anthem Statement D1, this is THE processor to beat in the sub 10K catagory and has everything you can dream of in a pre/processor, not too mention a killer two channel passthrough. E-mail me for more details, I recently have had the opportunity of programming and using one.
Why not check out Merdian gear?