Preamp strategy advice for 2 ch. HT

My current system includes the following:

Denon AVR3300
Parasound CD/P1000
NHT 2.5i
NHT 1.5
Bryston 4B-ST (for the 2.5i)
Sony DVD

My objective now is to get a pair of NHT 2.9 (move the 2.5i to the rear and lose the 1.5's), get a new preamp, and then new amplifiers (Bryston), thereby losing the Denon. I would like to do this piece by piece. My question: should I get a 2 channel preamp with a HT passthrough (Adcom GFP750, Bryston BP-25, or the like) now, and then lose the Denon later, or should I look into getting the Bryston SP-1 Preamp/Processor, which includes the BP-25, but also serves the HT role. From what I understand, Bryston intends on supporting the future formats once new ones become mainstream. I gues my question is should I go separate 2 ch. pre, or look into the dual role unit?



Any thoughts?
No thread here.
Depends. If your priority is 2-channel music then go the stereo preamp route. If you're into surround music/movies then maybe a high-end pre/pro is in order. Either way, with the unknowns with the new formats I'd be hesitant to invest big dollars in a pre/pro at this time, even though they SAY they'll support future formats...who knows what's coming in the future? Audio's track record isn't so good in the upgrade area...there's likely to be some downfall or compromise heading your way.

Here's the thing. It's gonna be a while before recording engineers/techniques and the equipment allow multi-channel recordings to better good stereo recordings played on good systems. In the meantime, you'll have a great stereo preamp to allow you to fully enjoy the music as it will likely exist for the forseeable future and have a path for efficient upgradeability should things change. Best of luck.

First off, you'll definitely love going from the 2.5i's to the 2.9's, especially driving them from the Bryston - I made the same upgrade once. The 2.9's are an excellent speaker, IMO, and a really great choice for a combo HT/music system.

As for the preamp question, I think it's determined by how much you value convenience and how you use the system. A separate 2ch pre would allow continued flexibility of upgrades and, possibly, better performance on music reproduction. It also means more cables, more switching, etc. - if you have others in a family that are using the system, you'll probably get more complaints. I also don't think you're going to be able to avoid future upgrades regardless of which way you go - pre/pro's will continue to evolve rapidly for years to come, as I see it, so regardless of whether you buy today, tomorrow or in a couple years, there will always be a compelling reason to wait.

My advice, which I have followed myself in this fabulous pursuit, is to buy the best pre/pro you can justify knowing you'll want something better in 3-5 years and research the purchase with an eye on 2-channel performance (analog pass-thru, etc.) I think this approach maximizes performance for $$$ spent. -Kirk