Pre/Pro in Computer Setup

At the risk of heresy, I'm considering using a pre/pro for my computer 2-channel setup. I've owned a number of DACs, both with built in preamps and without. I'm fairly well versed in computer implementation over the past 3 years of trying different equipment/etc. I've found the more I upgrade and invest, the more good recordings sound good and poor recordings sound worse.

My question is, has anyone found a good home theater pre/pro that serves great as a DAC for 2 channel playback (not one with bypass or passthrough, but one that does a great job with SPDIF into 2 channel)? I'm considering downsizing my setup by eliminating my tube DAC from the equation and retaining my Empirical Audio Offramp Turbo-3 converter and the high priced digital cabling/etc. I have a newer Rotel receiver right now and using it as the DAC/preamp it sounds reasonably good (considering the costly upstream USB conversion and cabling feeding the receiver).

I have had great success with Meridian processors for music.

I also have been very impressed with the Proceed PAV/PDSD combo that I've had since 1997. While the Proceed is not "cutting edge", it has worked flawlessly and performs extremely good with 5.1 and stereo material.

Another good solution is (was) the Linn 5103 and Naim AV2. Again, these products are not new, but they both make great "two channel" music processors.
Like you, I have a computer based setup. Also like you, I'm using an Empirical Audio component before the processor (in my case, the Pace Car 2).

I second Ballan's suggestion of Meridian. I use the G68 for both music and movies and I've been very happy with its performance for both.
I see that you are using the Pace Car in front of the G68 to clean up jitter. Have you compared the Pace Car to Meridian's HD621? From what I understand, they both clean up jitter using a FIFO and PLL.
Axle - I have not heard the HD621. In light of the fact that it uses a FIFO buffer, I would expect it to lower the jitter in the signal delivered to downstream devices. Just how much it will reduce jitter will partly depend on the quality of the clock. I don't know what clock Meridian is using in the HD621, but I doubt that it's at the level of Audiocom's Superclock 4 or Ultraclock, both of which are available for the Pace Car. I could be wrong about that.

Of course, the HD621 does lots of things that the Pace Car cannot, like decode the new blu ray codecs, which makes it interesting to me, since I watch a lot of blu rays.
The HD621 does not decode anything. It either upsamples or passes the audio it strips from HDMI. It is also an 8channel device.

Kal - I stand corrected. In Meridian's literature about the HD621, they say that it "extracts the audio signal from the HDMI input." That left me with the impression that the HD621 would decode the new codecs. But looking closer, I see that it does not.
You might consider the Cary Cinema 11a. It is an audio only pre/pro that just passes through the video. It decodes all the new BR audio formats, has room setup options and the HDMI will have an upgrade to 1.4. I have not listened to it, but it is on my list to try. It should do better D/A than you average high volume pre/pro. It had some issues when it first came out, but ongoing updates seemed to have fixed most of them.
I have personally heard several new SS processors from major brands in friends houses. I still like the sound of my Proceed AVP best, although I only use it for movies. I think most of these SS processors make poor audio DACs compared to what is on the market currently. Too much in the box I think.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Right now I am using a MacBook with digital audio out (toslink) directly to my audio refinement pre2 dsp with good results. Sure a better DAC and/or something to address jitter would be more ideal, but I am blown away with the 96k tracks I have been playing lately.... And this touches on the less is more idea.
Thanks for everyone's input. I ended up selling my newer Rotel and picking up a Classe SSP-300. Definitely does a great job with two channel and not a slouch when compared to the DACs I've owned in the past. I've dropped a lot of coin on cabling, the USB converter and a linear power supply for the converter so that likely has a lot to do with performance, but all that was in place when I had a dedicated DAC as well. All of that, and the Classe sounds a lot better overall with general home theater duty despite being a few generations behind what's currently offered by Rotel.