What's Good 5.1 pre/pre with DD, DTS, DPL II

I decided to go 5.1 instead 7.1 at this time. Take some complexity out of it.

I figured what I'm goning to use the most is DD or DTS for DVD movies, and DPL II for VHS or TV viewing and occasionally for Music beside the good old 2ch stereo.

DPL II and DTS Neo:6 is equivalent and I heard DPL II is better .

So, DD, DTS, DPLII and
good internal DAC for CD playing.
5.1 analog input will be nice but not really necessary

What are the pre/pro choices for this at around $1500 - $2500 street price.
Meridian, Meridian, and Meridian. The 561 and 568 can be picked up at good prices. Upgradable via internet software.

For alot less than that you can pick up a new Outlaw 950, very nice unit, will compete with $1500-2500 units.
In the MSRP range you've indicated, I'd give Rotel a serious look. Not many manufacturers are making a pure 5.1 pre/pro now, as everyone seems to think that more surround channels means better sound (often, maybe even rarely, true). Like you, I decided to stick with 5.1 channel HT, and haven't regretted the decision a bit. If you are willing to buy a used pre/pro, add the Bryston SP1 to your list. It's a really fine unit with analog bypass, although it lacks inputs for SACD as well as Dolby Pro Logic II. Several used SP1's have been listed for salerecently on A-gon in the $2200-2400 range.
Bryston is a great unit but is primarily known for fine stereo not HT. If you want both go with Meridian or Theta.

I'm surprised no one mentioned the studio choice for processors "Lexicon". In your price range you may have to go used, but the Lexicons will blow the socks off of most processors. There is a trade off however, for pure music pleasure they are not the best. Picture quality and effects they can't be beat. So all and all they build some of the best units. You also may consider that if you get a 7 channel even if you don't use it for now you are future proof. I have a DC1 couple years old no problems really impresses my friends while watching things blowing up
Well, yes, the Bryston is great for stereo but.....about 1/3 of the DVDs currently on the market have been QC'd or mixed with a Bryston in the chain. No other brand is even close to having as many professionals relying on their gear. Bryston is widely accepted as "the" standard for audio quality control in the Movie industry.

That being said, I still believe that HT performance is very close among all the top competitors. I have practically heard them all and liked a lot of them. Along with Bryston, and Meridian, I would look at Lexicon, Anthem, Rotel, and EAD, as well.
Thanks guys,

Meridian 561, Bryston SP1, Lexicon MC1 looks nice,


Mdridian 561 - I heard that it's DAC is only 20bit as opposed to 24bit on others... is it true? what does it mean?

Bryston SP1 - Beside those extra featurs and bells & whistles, is there differece sonically sounds quality performance etc compare to SP1.7?
Also, Bryston's website says "Easy Upgrades" with bold face under feature section(http://www.bryston.ca/sp1_m.html), What does it mean? Does it mean I can get it upgraded with DPLII - Is it supported?

The 20 bit has less processing power than the 24 bit. I use the 561 and had the 568 for about six months. Like yourself, 5.1 is all I required, so I saved some cash and sold the 24 bit 568 in favor of the 561. Honestly, I cannot tell a huge difference.

Bryston is a chip based software upgrade. I upgraded my SP1.7, it was $50.00 and included two chips, a chip tool, and all new case screws. It was easy.

The SP1.7 is devoid of bells and whistles, really straight forward, and downright easy to use. No video switching though!

I think the only difference between the two is the 5.1 input. I dont know about the SP1 and DPLII. I like it(DPLII) and wouldnt want to do without it, or DTS:Neo 6, for that matter. You better check with Bryston to see if those are available through chip upgrades in the SP1.
Based on what I have read -- I have not done an A-B comparison between the SP1 and SP1.7 -- the SP1.7 is an upgraded SP1 that provides 5.1 SACD/DVD-A analog inputs, 6.1 and 7.1 formats, and several updated HT processing formats (Dolby ProLogic II, etc.). There may also be an upgrade to the DAC chip. For more info, I suggest you read comments on Bryston's web site (www.bryston.ca), or send an E-mail to James Tanner, Bryston's technical guru. (You can send an E-mail by going to the web site, and clicking on the link that says "Contact".) Tanner is great about giving prompt replies -- I have never waited more than 4 hours to get an answer from him or one of his staff.
I must agree, the bryston is simple but elegant. It is more refined if that's a good term. The meridian, and I prefer this to lexicon all day, is refined but yet a great toy for geeks like myself.

Distortion: you may have had a chip upgrade done to your SP1.7, but that is not the same as having a SP1 upgraded to the 1.7 version. The upgrade from 1.0 to 1.7 is very extensive: replacement of the rear panel inputs to include 5.1 jacks for SACD/DVD-A, output jacks for 6.1 and 7.1 channel output, updated surround-sound processor formats (such as Dolby PL2), etc. The last time I checked, the cost for the conversion was $1000, plus another $200 for the newer remote.
I don't need the rear panel changed for SACD/DVD-A, also I don't need output for 6.1 and 7.1

I just want the update for DPLII.

Is it something simple standard update?

I'm goning to cantact Bryston but if anybody has any experience with it...
SD, thats true and I didnt mean to imply that. Sorry. The chip is a software upgrade only. The 5.1 inputs and the 7.1 outputs are unique to the SP1.7 or factory upgraded SP1's.

I am still not sure you must have a SP1.7 in order to upgrade to the newer surround software decoding/encoding (DPLII/DTS:neo 6). Currently my setup is 5.1. It seems logical that the SP1 "could" handle DPLII with the proper software. I digress, that logic could be flawed. For instance, the SP1's boards may not have the proper configuration for the DSP engine.

I would like to add that, not only is James Tanner extremely attentive. Ann Forbes with Bryston (who handled my chip purchase) is just as attentive and professional.
Hey folks... I'm not sure if this is thread is dead or not, but have any of you considered Krell? Feedback would be appreciated as I'm considering this vs. Lexicon.

Krell what? HTS1? HTS2? showcase? HTS7.1?

I was considering HTS2, but found out it lacks the bass management feature... so had to cross it out...

Theatermaster 8000pro
Sorry. Should have specified. Krell HTS 7.1 paired with their TAS (5x200 wpc).