Help with pre/pro for Krell/B&K/Martin Logans

I have Martin Logan Aerius fronts with a Krell KAV250a two channel and a B&K 4430 three channel for my center and rears. I am seeking a good pre/pro for HT that will also provide enjoyable stereo listening. Would welcome suggestions on which pre/pro to go with on a budget of around $2000. used from Audiogon.

I would consider an Anthem AVM20 or a Bryston HT 1.7 preamp/processor used. They may set you back a little more than $2k (not much more though, negotiate hard right now it is a buyers market). Both of these preamp/processors do a good job with 2 channel, and do a great job with HT.

I use a sunfire theatergrand II with my system and I think it is a very nice preamp/processor. You can find one used for about $1400 or so. I do not know if it is as good as the anthem or the bryston as I have not listened to those.
I too have Aerius i's for my front speakers. I also use a Cinema center and Stylos rears, with a REL Storm sub. This has made a nicely-integrated HT.

BUT - I refuse to give up quality 2-channel performance. I chose an Anthem AVM-20, and recently had it upgraded with the 2.08 upgrade (Pro-logic II, DTS:Neo, THX Ultra2, etc.). With its 'Analog Direct' mode, you get complete 2-channel pass-through -- no signal processing - not even tone controls will be in the circuit. Because the REL can connect to the speaker-level outputs on my 2-channel amp as well as to the LFE output on the pre/pro, the sub can be used during pure stereo operation.

The '20 has balanced XLR & non-balanced RCA inputs and outputs for everything, is very quiet and has a broadcast-quality 1080i/1080p-capable video switcher that works really well. I am also amazed by it's flexibility of setup.

The one negative I can say about Sonic Frontiers/Anthem (a Canadian co.) is their warranty policy - NO transferability for the otherwise 5-year warranty except when brokered by an authorized dealer. That caused me to forgo the buy-it-used route, because this thing is truely a complicated computer, with daughter cards, firmware and an operating system. They are now owned by Paradigm (also Canadian), who really hates Internet resales of their equipment. In this area, Bryston (again - Canadian) kicks everybody's butt with a fully Transferable 20-year warranty.

Hope that helps,
Bob Houser

Exactly what I am trying to achieve. The analog direct mode is what I was seeking without knowing it. My goal is to have both high quality music and HT. I will immediately research the Anthem & Bryston.

Sounds like you've put together a nice system. Thanks for helping me to quickly narrow my search...

Sorry Tok20000 did'nt mean to short change you on your suggestions. Just got a little quick on the response trigger.

Again, thanks a mil for the suggestions.
Now if you really want to get great 2 channel sound you can do what I do: Run your L & R surround channels through a two channel preamp. This is the way to ultimately get the best 2 channel sound.

I use a Pioneer 49TX receiver for my surround sound processing and 5 channels of amplification (I run 7.0 channel sound), running my L & R channels into my Ayre preamp.

This method is more costly, but will give you the best 2 channel sound.

I have a Nakamichi CA-1 HT preamp w/analog pass-through for
2 channel. It sounds great. It beats out going direct from my DAC w/volume control to amp by far. There's one for sale on Agon now but w/DD only. I use my Nak with electrostatics speakers also.