Integra Pre/Pro?

Anybody have the new Integra Preamp Processor? Someone told me it was Stereophile AAA rated. I am seriously considering the Bryston SP-1, the Aragon Soundstage, or the Lexicon MC-1 to replace my receiver. I don't really need component video switching but it would be nice. I am really looking for a processor that could hold its own for a few years and survive a few upgrades. Any input would be appreciated.
Hi, Argent: I can't comment on the Integra, but have done some extended listening with the Bryston SP-1 and Lexicon MC-1. I found very little difference in the general quality between these two units, which should not be surprising since Bryston also builds the Lexicon line. If I were forced to make distinctions, I'd say the Lexicon has a slight edge over the SP-1 on DVD playback. On the other hand, the SP-1 has several analog input circuits which may be preferable for analog sources such as turntables, etc. If you read Bryston's articles about the SP-1, they state that their design objectives include making future upgrades easy, and I'm sure that applies to the Lexicon models also. I think very highly of the Bryston line (I have two of their amps), and they are highly regarded for their level of customer service. When you combine excellent products with outstanding customer service AND a 20-year transferrable warranty, it's a tough combination to beat.
I find the Integra to be very "digital" sounding and it has a tuner which immediatly removes it as "serious"pre/pro due to degredation of audio quality because of it.

The Lex is purely HT and it is excellent at it.The Sp1 though very nice sounding is not that upgradable in my book.

The sleeper of the whole bunch is the Aragon.It has ajustable bass management both for HT and stereo down to 30hz,sub may be used in stereo mode,fully ajustable,input levels,variable EQ,fixed EQ,interchangeble modular design for upgrades including HDTV,DPLII,DTSEX,class A operation in analog,ect.Only down side is 24/48 dacs,but that is soon to be changed to 24/96.Basically it is an Aurum preamp.with a processor.You should demo all of them and choose what is best for your taste.
the complete Integra system does sound good
the amp is a pure monster
Tag McLaren Audio AV32r processor/DVD32R transport(both upgradable to forthcoming 192 spec)/100x5R amp(upgrade planned to include balanced inputs)plus 2 channel version just has to be listened/watched and used before you buy anything.You really do owe it to yourself,if you dont like,dont buy,but I reckon you just might :)
Thanks for the responses. Hey, Sattothestars, have you heard when the change from 24/48 to 24/96 on the Aragon Soundstage will take place? Or is this some type of upgrade that they will offer to existing models? I was hoping to finish my auditioning and make a purchase within the next month or so.
Audio Refinement, built and designed by YBA at more affordable cost points, is coming out with a new 6.1 channel preamp processor in about one month that will retail price at just $1295. Audio Refinement makes wonderful equipment at very affordable price/performance ratios (their Complete Integrated is rated Class B$$$ in Stereophile). I have not had the opportunity to listen yet, but as an authorized dealer, you are free to contact me for the lowdown. Send an e-mail to if you would like more info.

Sorry, the Integra does not sound "digital". I doubt the person who wrote this comment took one home and lived with it for a while. It is a remarkably smooth pre pro with ripe harmonic richness and extremely fine transparency. It excels in two channel and in 5.1/THX ex. One of the reasons I bought one after auditioning numerous, more expensive pre pro's including the Lexicon MC-1, the Tag, Proceed, Krell HT, was because of how articulate it is with music. With 8 24/192 DACS it carries this same sense of detail to home theater.

If it has any drawback, it is that it can't compete with Lexicon's logic 7 and other proprietary DSP effects. My previous unit was a DC-1 which I still have. Have just tried hooking up both using the Integra for 5.1 and the Lex for the rear 7.1 channels set to logic 7. This also allows for a second subwoofer with different time alignment. Pure decadence.