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Does anyone have any thoughts on preamp-processors with top quality analogue by-pass for SACD. I am using a Krell Showcase for both the MCH SACD source, a Pioneer 747, and stereo SACD, a Sony 777 VSE L5+. My ears tell me I could do somewhat better than the Krell but my researches suggest that there is very little to choose from except the next Krell up (HTS7.1), the Bryston range, or something utterly beyond my pocket.
What are inmates using in their systems between sources and power-amps/active speakers?
I have been using the SSP30 for a while and it sounds great to me. I compared to the MacCormack and it was no contest. See my system for details. Primarily classical listener.
Good surround music and 7.1 digital movie processor, but GREAT analog 5.1 bypass preamp. Bryston went to great lengths to isolate the analog side. Kal reviewed it a few months ago and loved it. It even has a very good 2 channel analog bypass (read 2 channel preamp) hidden inside it. although I use the Modwright SWL 9.0SE and like it better than the BP26-ish pre inside the SP2. Net/net, the SP2 has the best sound I've ever heard from a bypassed analog mch pre (and that's a few, incuding my old Sony TA-P900ES, which was a very good neutral sounding pre).
Thanks for the suggestions. I am interested that nobody said 'You've already got a good one Dave, the Showcase is one of the best', nor did anyone suggest the Krell HTS7.1 or the Chord Electronics DSP8000R. I am left wondering why.
I for one did not suggest the Krell Showcase that you presently use because 1)you expressed reservations about its perfomance in your system and 2) later expressed concerns about its configuration in your system.
Plus I (and I'm sure most others} don't have *meaningful* experiences with these esoteric components and therefore limited suggestions to components with which they have actual experiences or have least heard or read great things about. The only other multi-channel line stage that I have even listened to (other than the Placette that I own) is the Switchman because I auditioned my EMM dac and player with it. But I don't even consider that particularly *meaningful* because the Switchman was not in *my* system. As far as I'm concern the only way to fairly judge a component, *especially* a pre is in *your* system which is how you drew conclusions on your Krell and which is probably why no one recommended back to you.
Robert C. Lang
BelCanto Pre6, McCormack MAP-1, EMM Switchman, Audio Refinement Pre5. If you google those you will find reviews. Also read the stereophile music in the round series of articles http://www.stereophile.com/musicintheround/
and SE for the other channels from my Esoteric, Kal...and then bypass my Anthem through input 1 or 2 for DVDs. Very nice, I look forward to your review.
I ended up using two units - the Sony TA-P9000ES which supports 2 5.1 inputs (1 m-ch input for SA-CD, 1 mch-input for DVD-A) plus a 5.1 bypass input (and a 2ch bypass, which I don't use).
I connect a Cary Cinema 5 processor via the bypass input. The Cary supports two 7.1 analog inputs - one of which is used for the HTPC and the other as a spare for review units. The extra 2 surround back channels are connected directly to a power amp.
Luckily the Sony 5.1 bypass works as a true bypass (ie. it's passive) and operates even with the unit switched off.
I also have a separate 2ch preamp for 2ch sources. This connects directly to the power amps (which are switchable between dual line ins).
I'm still breaking it in but initial impressions aren't very flattering for the Meitner piece. If my first excursion into tubed gear works out, I just might custom order a 5/6 channel version of the tubed preamp.
I have the older more industrial version that you see in many of the reviews (Switchman-MK2), the newer version has a more traditional look (Switchman-3). Both sound great.
Agreed. You won't find a better preamp/switcher than these.
I would agree but I really need more stereo and less MCH inputs - one MCH I/P is required. Can it be reconfigured?
that you can have the Placette Audio Multi-Channel Line Stage configured exactly like you want it. It is custom built. I think I have mine configured for 3 stereo inputs and 2 full complement of inputs for multi-channel, but that just the way I wanted it. If I were to do it over again I may do some things a little differently.
(Thinking out loud, perhaps the multi-channel unused inputs can also be used as stereo inputs).
In any event, in just looking at my Inmate System description I say, "The heart of the system is the Placette Audio Multi-Channel Passive Line stage". That is because I have more regard for its transparency and dynamics than any other electronics gear I have in my system.
Robert C. Lang
Nope the Switchman isn't configurable in the sense of reconfiguring one of the multichannel inputs into three stereo inputs. It simply has 4 sets of 6 channels in: Two XLR, one RCA and one switchable XLR or RCA. Two sets of 6 channels out, XLR and RCA.
I use my SimAudio Attraction 7.1 for the audio of all of my video sources and send it's output thru one of the Switchman inputs. I use the others for my SACD, DVD-A and my tuner.
One feature I really like is that all 24 inputs have their own level trims.
...that probably are the best on the market. Then all you neeed is an autoswitch-box for the video output of your DVD machine, or a separate second video input on your tv (if you are also using it for home theatre).
HP of the Absolute Sound uses the CJ as reference preamp in that mag's reference surround system.
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