EAD lovers: tell me about the $10K TM Sig Classic

I want to hear from any 'philes out there who have (or have heard) what some still say was EAD's best sounding prepro. Yeah, it was "only" a 20 bit machine, and it didn't have 5.1 analog bypass, but how would it compare to some of the newer stuff out there, like an Audio Refinement Pre-5 or McCormack MAP-1, or even a Krell HTS2 or 8800Pro? I'd like to get a feel for whether it could still hold up purely as a multichannel preamplifier, and what its sonic characteristics were like.
Essentialy based off of the 9000 MKIII dac(same Chassis) has the best dac chips ever made the 63k BBs,Teflon boards,,nothing but the best parst available were used,all hand made,and depending on what stage unit you have ,full DTS for DVDs and without a doubt one of the best sounding pieces ever made.The downside,is,it is s total pain in the ass to use,and can be extremely finicky as it has NO display and you must remember your letters and #s on the remote.Had a tendency to pop,as the sometimnes the digital flywheel would n not sync up,and the fan noise could be become distracting.

All and all compared to what is available today the sound is unbeatable other than the EAD Signature series which used the next best dac chips the 1702 BBs.The Signature is a much easier piece to use,had more software updates that eliminated problems with the classic.Pewrsonaly I would grab a hold of a more current Signature send it to Boelen have them modifiy the power supply and call it a day.Though you do not get the latest formats,upsampling,ect the sound is still unbeatable with most of what is offered today.
Thanks Sat. But wasn't there a bit of a controversy about whether the later EADs sounded as good? One aspect was the DACs, as you mentioned, but also the addition of onboard video switching. One thing that always got me about EAD was how they had like 12 models of prepros. Very hard to keep track of what was what.
The Signature versions had NO video whatsoever(so RF is no problem) unlike the Ovations and Encores(which was an outsourded piece).I have owned all of them and as a dealer I am shooting myself in the foot by not telling you to buy and 8800,but the truth is the Signature and Signature classic were and are the best period.
Sat- Tony does have a point though. I have owned the 'sister' machine to the EAD (EAD did the digital board for Sim)- the Sim Audio Attraction, and it is a well-kept secret that the 5.1 version is actually better sounding than the more current 7.1.

I would have purchased that great EAD TM Sig with the mondo upgrades you offered here recently (I see it sold), HOWEVER, what the Attraction offers that that EAD doesn't seem to is ALL balanced outs, whereas the EAD TM Sig (correct me if I am wrong please) only looked it had the balanced outs for the from two L/R channels...
Okay. So now it comes to the next question (which I actually already posted as a new thread in Digital, but it has not yet been put on the board). Let's say I'm looking at one of these Classic Sigs (no multichannel analog bypass). I now use a unidisk player (a Marantz DV8400 at the moment) that has the whole 24/192 thing going on. The Classic has "only" 20 bit converters. In this day and age, when more and more capability is being put into a source component, does it make sense to use something like a Classic (great though it may be) if you wind up having to convert an analog output from a high-res conversion into another conversion with lower bit depth?
The bottom line is there nothing in software passed 24/96.Theotricaly it is possible to get to 192,though I have yet to hear or see anything close to it.As far as I know you cannot get blood from of a stone.This upsampling,oversampling is nothing but a lot of hype.As a dealer I have heard all the so called "Kings of the Hill"(Meitner,Audio Aero,Burmeister ect)and to my ears this added information is just that.I feel that the music has become totaly lost in mathematical equations..

Obviously I cannot be all wrong as some of the more tradidtional companies still maintain 18 and 20 bit dacs,some with no filtering ie Audio Note,47 labs,Goldmund ect.The Theatermaster Signature and the Classic were and are the best out there when it comes to a pre/pro.Yes you are gving up on the newer technology,dpl II dpl Ex upsampling ect.The decison must be wether you want the best sound ,or you are willing to sacrifice for the more updated offerings that are essensialy of the shelf boards and dacs that are slapped together.

You have on other recourse if you want to stay with EAD and that is the Signature 8,Has full analog pass through,for your hi rez.The DAC chips though are 17632s which was the progression of the downward spiral on quality dac chips.
I forgot.Since the the Alpha Digital EAD is NOT a true balanced pre/pro,other than convenience there is no audible improvement of single ended.
How would something like this (Classic) compare to one of these good analog multichannel preamps?
You have no dsp engines with them.Since bass management,roll off, ect , are pretty much very bacic in most of these DVD and Universal Player systems you probably would be be very limitied in customizing your sound
Well, my loss. I was unwilling to exceed my maximum on the auction, so I lost out on the TM Classic. Oh well.

As far as BM, some DVD players like the Marantz have pretty decent capability. I can do speaker size settings, distance for each speaker to the nearest 6 inches (okay, it's not to the nearest inch), gain to the nearest 1/2 dB. Don't have variable crossover (I think). I'm hoping the 9500 or Onkyo SP1000 will be better.

I feel bad for losing out on the Classic, but for the going price, plus the extra money for the Black Gate and Rectifier mods from Boelen it would have put me in a price range where I could buy a decent used 6 channel preamp. The purest audiophile in me likes that option better (I have to say this to keep from kicking myself, although it is really true), as I still can't see why I'd be spending money on a source with all that stuff in it if I'm just going to run it through more conversions or override it.
EAD is out of business. If you want a better sounding but also out of business pre/pro go with the California Audio Labs SSP 2500. I have owned them both and the Cal is far superior.
Yes, I am well aware that EAD is out of business. You interest me with the CAL; which EAD have you compared it to?
When did EAD go out of business? I just talked with Alastair Roxburgh a couple weeks ago.
I'm not sure exactly when (I'm sure others here could say) but EAD as it was when the DSP-7000 and DSP-9000 were invented is not the same company that's around today. EAD USA is now really Alpha Digital Tech. I guess technically the company that was EAD became something else. I don't know, for example, if Dr. John Haegelin (sp?) is still part of ADTech. Maybe "out of business" should not be the phrase; I could see a lot of people getting concerned about their EAD products of current offering.
I've owned the sig classic, the 8000 pro and the 8800 pro, the cal bests them all. easily. no support on the cal as far as i'm aware if it breaks.
You interest me, Iam. Can you describe your impressions of the difference between the EADs and the CAL?
You can get cal audio repaired though. Scott Morris in california was a factory repair facitlity. I own the cal and love it but it does lack 5.1 inputs.
Michael, does that mean that the CAL did not (does not) have a 5.1 analog bypass?
sorry so long to post. no the cal does not have a 5.1 analog bypass. it will only do 2 channel analog by-pass
You can get cal audio repaired though. Scott Morris in california was a factory repair facitlity. I own the cal and love it but it does lack 5.1 inputs.
Thanks for that info Michael. I wound up getting a used EAD Encore for a great price here on AgoN, and sent it in to Boelen Electronics (the place where many of the original EAD guys now call home). They are upgrading it to a Signature 8 - which has MC analog bypass - and will be doing their own set of magic mods to it. I'm hoping I'll get a nice sounding unit back. Others who have had them do mods to EAD gear seem to be quite pleased.