Opinion's on Showcase vs. TGIII vs MC-8

I need a new pre/pro to replace my Sony TA-E9000es. I want to have analog pass-thru for a multi-channel SACD/DVD-A player. You would think Sony would offer this since they created SACD. However, the only piece that Sony made (TA-P9000ES) has been discontinued. So now my search begins for a new pre/pro. I currently use Parasound amps (3x220W, and 2X205W) with JMLab Cobalt speakers all around. I will probably upgrade the whole system,but need to upgrade the Pre/Pro first. Please provide any input on the following processors.

Krell Showcase 7.1 - $3000
Sunfire TGIII - $2600
Lexicon MC-8B - $4500
Aragon StageOne - $3200

If I really want to stretch the bankroll.... Krell HTS 7.1 for $5500. would rather not have to spend that much, but If it's that much better than the others I may take the plunge.

Thanks in advance
I've lived with the Showcase for almost a year now. Prior to that, I had a Lexicon DC-1 for many years. While both were very good on movie soundtracks, the Krell was head and shoulders above on music, particularly concert dvd's.
I'm not too familiar with Lexicon or Aragon, but I am with Sunfire and Krell. I owned a Sunfire TGIII and I absolutely loved the sound, but after having a few operational hickups with the TGIII I thought I should try something different. Well I then purchased an Integra Research RDC-7, it's a fabulous unit that had everything I was looking for and then some. The only thing was that after using the RDC-7 for a month I realized that it wasn't the best match for my Martin Logan speakers.

The Sunfire really made my Logans come alive, with a sound that was warm yet detailed and dynamic. Well, I missed the TGIII so much that I just recently returned the RDC-7 and ordered me another TGIII(this time it's staying). So needless to say I am very fond of the Sunfire TGIII,and I highly recommend it.

Krell is another very fine performer, and another that I highly recommend. I haven't owned a Krell Showcase but I have done some very serious auditioning. Like the RDC-7 the Krell isn't the best match for electrostatic speakers, but for speakers like yours it should work really well. I feel that both the Sunfire and the Krell do a wonderful job with both music and movies. I don't think you will be dissaponted with either.

The best thing to do though is to carefully audition the pre-pros that you're considering, that will be the best way to know for sure if you like their sound. And if you can do a home audition that's even better(what better than to try them with your own speakers). I don't recommend buying something sight unseen, as it might look good and seems to be what you want, but you won't know what it's going to sound like until you have it in your setup(which may not be a good thing). I'm sure you'll make the right choice.

I wish you all the best on your search.

I have never auditioned the TGIII or the MC-8 but I do own a Krell Showcase and have ML speakers. The Krell is a great unit and I have no complaints. I recently purchased a Proceed BPA-3 amplifier and the combination is fantastic.
any sugguestions what kind of dvd-a/sacd player to add to the tg3/cgss2 combo.... was thinking about the marantz 8300 or even the lex rt-10?
Marantz has a newer version the DV-8400 which I own. Has an upgraded audio section. Top notch SACD .
As for universal SACD/DVD-A players. I have not yet purchased one since I don't have a pre/pro that has 5.1 or more analog thru-put. However, when I had the TGIII in my home, I hooked up my Sony 555ES (from my 2-ch system) into the Sunfire. Sounded pretty damn good. The detail was all there, but no harshness at all, just slightly on the warm side, but I like that. David Bowies Heathen, and Pink Floyds'Dark Side were fantastic in surround. I'm not a huge fan of surround music... but these selections along with Beck's Sea Changes were very pleasing in surround. However, they sound terrific in 2ch also.
Once I decide on my pre/pro I'll be looking at the Marantz, and the new Denon 2900. I've heard good things about the Denon piece, well built, plays everything and msrp is 1K.