you've come to the wrong place. there's a whole section on audiogon devoted to HT. that's where you're thread belongs. please leave us po' folk with only 2 cahnnels to worry about to our own concerns. thank you. bye!
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Cornfedboy is absolutely right, us 2 channel folks have a hard time enough trying to search for the ultimate sonic set up. I can't even imagine when some of these folks get into home theatre where 5 or even 7 channels are involved. I don't think there's enough hours in one person's life time to be able to tweak 7 channels....if you ask me.
there's lotsa 2-channel preamps that have pass-thru for surround, which defaults the pre's controls to your processor when yure partaking of that dreadful movie-watching biz... ;~) when doing what ya *should* be doing, which is listening to music, your main speakers are not corrupted by all the ancillary electronics. pre's that *i* know of that do this are made by linn, vtl, sonic frontiers, audio research. i'm sure there are many others. i would recommend going this route, as opposed to getting an all-in-one unit.
I agree with doug. I considered doing the pre-processor route. Some considerations: 1) It's expensive to buy a processor, and this processor tends to lose value fast. 2) The processor's digital section will fall out of step with digitial technology pretty fast. 3) It's nice to have the flexibility of a separate preamp. You can later split it into two stereos if you like. 4) I think that most home theater stuff is built to a little lower standard sonically A generalization - I haven't listened to many of them. 5) A two channel pre will throw another box on your audio rack. .....For preamps, the adcom gfp-750 is an excellent inexpensive 2 channel preamp with a processor input. I have one for sale!
I have built a switching box to allow for dual pre-amps. Switch one way for stereo and the other for video. I agree with others that it is a pain in the neck trying to decide on the Pre/Pro route. If I were to look at new Pre's I'd probably have a look at the VTL 2.5 or 5.5 depending on budget. In the mean time just make a switch between your amp and pre. I use a classe 5 for audio and just a Denon reciever with pre outs for video(AVP1800). Make sure you use quality switches, wire and jacks. Bought mine at the Parts Connection.
Two years ago Avitar I did the same thing you're contemplating. I sold a SF Line 1 and a modest receiver based HT system, and bought a Meridian 561 pre/pro. Since then I have bought new L/R speakers, and made some other changes to improve two channel playback, but have been limited by my 561. I looked into the 568 as an upgrade, but as John_1 mentions pre/pros loose their value very quickly and become a bottleneck to upgrading your digital front end in the future. This past weekend I auditioned an ARC LS25 preamp with my Meridian 508.24 (used as a transport today w/561). The transformation was dramatic. If you're priority is music use a quality two channel analog preamp and pair it with a less expensive pre/pro, something like a used Lexicon DC-1 for movies. Many preamps today have a processor input that allows your pre/pro to control the volume of the L/R channels during movie playback.