I have done this in my current system using a Mark levinson #380S pre-amplifier. My processor for theater is an EAD Ovation. This processor is excellent at movie soundtracks, but would not serve very well for 2 channel (particularly analog) playback. The advantage of this type of system is flexibility, (particularly for upgrading the processor section) and sound quality. I've been using a configuration like this for years now, and have upgraded both the processor and the pre amp during that time. The disadvantage is price. There are a few very good processors with good analog bipass circuits built into them. The proceed AVP is one that I auditioned, and had I not already had the 380S I would have likely gone this route. It is very good on 2 channel audio--and the volume control is in the analog domain. If flexibility and the best sound quality is what you want, and you don't mind the added cost--this is the best way to go. For most, it's more practicle to choose a good pre/proc that has an analog bipass mode for 2 channel audio.
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