Multi channel preamps

Any recomendations for multi channel preamps?
Audio Refinement Pre5 (no longer in production) is basically what I'm talking about. Just a preamp with 5.1 in/out. Parasound had a prototype of a similar product that never made it to production.

Minimalist surround sound.

Thanks for any and all responses!
Sony TA-P9000ES, used.
For 5.1 pre-amp, check out the Margules Daleth from Margules Audio's Magenta line.

Another interesting multi-channel option could be the Linar Model 10 5.1 channel Integrated Amp. I would love to hear one of these!


McCormack MAP-1 has been well received...
Both good suggestions.
The Linar looks like the closest thing.
I have heard the Sony and it is a fine processor for the money.
I'm really interested in a unit that has no internal processing though.
I think that the advent of 6.1 and 7.1 (and the possibility of more-numbers-point-one with the hi-def formats) have thrown a wrench into the minimalist surround hardware business.

Neither the Sony nor the Linar have any internal processing but the Linar does have power amps!
the EMM Labs Switchman Mk3 is wonderful and it's exactly that - a 6-channel preamp with no processing at all. it's easy to adjust levels and channel trims. and it sounds as good as any 2-channel pre i've ever heard.
That Switchman looks awesome.
That is it.

Have you listened to it?


Since you didn't mention price, my favorite MCH analog pre-amp is the Bel Canto Pre6. It sounds great and is remarkably flexible.
I preferred the BelCanto to the McCormack so the BC is in the big system while the McC is in the small system.

Does Audio Research still make their 6 channel pre? Also, did'nt CJ just ome out with one?

Cmo wrote: "Does Audio Research still make their 6 channel pre? Also, did'nt CJ just ome out with one?"
Yes, on both counts.


Have you heard either of these? If so, how do they stack up to the Bel Canto?

Copland makes a 6-channel all-analog tubed preamp, model CVA 306, that retails for $2800. C-j's new one, also tubed, the MET1, retails for $7500, and Harry Pearson in 'The Absolute Sound' just gave it a rave preview.

I sure like the sound of my Audio Refinements Pre 5, in which I've upgraded the coupling and PS caps, but I sure have the hots for that c-j!
I've only heard them at demos at CES or CEDIA.

What TAS issue are you referring to?
I'm interested in that preamp myself, and I talked briefly with Mr.Johnson at CES about it, but it wasn't playing at the time.
BTW, I have McIntosh C-45 in my system.
TAS issue 160, March, 2006, HP's Workshop, part II, Equipment Notes, page 106. I quote partially: " brings something to my Super Maggie/Meitner system that had been missing. ... With the MET1 in the system, the flesh of the sound, the overtones that enrich the harmonic structure of music, fills out." Previously he talked about the Meitner doing well at presenting the bones of the music without much flesh on them. You need to read it yourself to hope to understand Harry's analogy.

I'm saving my pennies...750,000, that is. Shouldn't take more than, say, 10 years. :-)

But I still really like the sound of my Audio Refinements Pre 5; you should look for one used.
I went through this about a year ago - in fact you'll see my exact same post somewhere in the archives. I listened to the Audio Refinement, the McCormack, and the Bel Canto. The AR is great if you only have under a grand to spend, but I found it had some annoying qualities (upper-mids I think) that were hard to take, and not nearly as transparent as the other two. The Bel Canto I found to be by far the best - soundwise and flexibility. Read up on the technology in it and R&D involved. It's a preamp I'd be happy to have with only 2 channels. But again, you did not mention price... these are currently a steal used though.
I second the bel canto pre6 which is whate I own. It is truly transparent. I believe it to be one of (if not the best) the best multichannel amp in its price range.