AVM 20 is extremely flexible, it is a useful pre-amp that has many features. Great value. I'd say it is neutral sounding - which might mean "bright" to some people.
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If you already have a good 2 channel pre the Rotel RSP 1068 has tons of crossover settings independent for each speaker plus each speaker has its own tone controls. The Rotel has many great features for a cheap price, under $900 used I beleive, I own one and like you run a seperate 2 channel pre but for movies and in a pinch the Rotel can be lived with. Thje Rotel also does HDCD and has 7.1 multi channel inputs for SACD and such...........I know there is better but I dont overthink movies and like I noted many Pro's dont have as many options, and certainly not for this amount of cash.