Need Input and Advise on Pre/Pro Please?

I have pretty much narrowed my selection down to the below models. I am however still open to suggestions. Any input regarding these and other models would be greatly appreciated. I am 60/40, music over HT and my budget is 1500.00. 7.1 capability a must. Thank you very much for your response and advice.

Classe SSP30
Act 3 Upgraded to Stage One
Krell HTS ruled out because no 7.1 unless you pay megabucks
Proceed AVP ruled out because brand being discontinued and have concerns over getting repairs done if necessary.
Lexicon DC1 ruled out as I have owned this unit and not satisfied with 2 channel performance.
Have you considered the Krell Showcase. It does have 7.1 and retail is $4,000. You can find it for $3,000 or less if you look hard enough. I owned the Lexicon DC-1 before buying the Krell. I agree with you about the Lexicon. I have been very pleased with the Krell, particularly on multi-channel SACD and dvd's.
Proceed is being folded into Mark Levinson, who
say they will continue to offer and support the AVP2.

If it the ability to have the AVP repaired -- Mark Levinson
and Madrigal -- the parent company of both brands
isn't going anywhere.

Are you using a sub when you play 2ch music?
Are you using a outboard DAC?

If you are using a sub with 2ch then the Aragon
is the way to go... it will allow you to use the
2ch bypass mode and still use the sub without doing
"another" d to a conversion. Very nice feature...
If you are using an outboard DAC or a nice CDP you will want to use the 2ch bypass even if you dont use a sub/s.

Sorry if im passing redundant info here but i think
its important for proper setup.

Good luck