Prepro for B&W/Krell combo?

I have b&W 803S Fronts, 804S Rears and a HTM1 for the Center channel. For amp I have a Krell 3x250 for the LCR, and a Krell 2x200 for the rears. Upgrading the fronts to 802D is possible in the distant future.

My room is treated a bit with acoustic panels, and I have my furniture setup as well as I can from an audio perspective while still allowing it to be used as a living room.

Currently I am using a Denon 3806 as my Prepro. It has all the features I want right now, but I think I could improve my sound with a nice Prepro.

Of course the B&W/Krell combo is quite detailed so a Prepro with a little warmth may be good. In addition the following features are:

Must Haves:
New or Used price $2500 max.
DTS, and 96/24 DTS.
Analog PassThrough for 5.1 OR Audio HDMI (for high res audio).
5 or more XLR outs.
1 XLR In.

Nice to Haves:

Do you have any recommendations that fit these requirements?

I'm using a Parasound Halo C2 with my B&W surround (802D, HTM2D & N805S) system. It has all the features you want and than some. You should be able to pick up a nice used one for around $2,000.
A good Pre/Pro will vastly improve your sound.

I would recommend a Bryston but the XLR-in requierment kills that. It's easily my favorite and I prefer it strongly. I hate to sell mine but life has demanded I simplify.

I dont recall if the EAD 8800 had balanced inputs but it was slightly warmer than the Bryston. Either IMO, would be substantially warmer and less grainy than the preamp section of a 3806.

The Krells have balanced ins. But, I would not characterize the Showcase as warm sounding. The HTS will be out of budget.

The Primare has balanced ins (I like it too) but it does not have the 5 or more balanced outs.

I'll keep thinking on this.

It looks like the Halo C2 has the specs I need. I will try to find one locally to audition.


The Bryston gets ggod reviews. It's almost enough to make me drop the XLR input as a "Must-Have" item.

But, all the 1.7s I see are $2850+shipping, so they are about $400 out of my prices range. still, if I can find one locally, I will try to audition it.