Originally Posted by westmd
Any more users of the Primare SP32? I would be interested in some quality statements!
I have been using the SP32HD for over a year now and if sound quality is your only measure then the unit affords outstanding value for money for a true audiophile processor. I use the SP32 as the processor for both my video and two channel stereo listening. The sources are a Dune HD max for all my video streaming and Naim Unitiserve for the stereo hi-res audio. Amplification is a five pack of mono Parasound JC1, speakers are B&W 802 Diamond for the front two, HTM2 Diamond for the centre and 805 for the rear pair. Huge Revel subs for LFE duty. Dedicated cinema with very extensive room treatments.
The SP32 is a great source for the JC1s as they have such a reservoir of power but communicates with such precise fluidity. They are just as remarkable playing very softly with the touch of a watchmaker. The SP32HD is at its best on DTS HD MA recordings, with astonishing slam, speed and precision. It never gets overwhelmed, rushed or wrong-footed. The absence of all electronic room correction is liberating and provides space around all the sound stage.
Throw a 24/96 PCM stereo source at it and I often struggle to leave the room. The sheer amount of data it presents is just extraordinary. The sense of realism, of environment of 'just wanting to pick up its skirts and run' makes it a treasure to own. I send frequencies down to a very low level to the 802 Diamonds as they have an extraordinary low frequency capability. Thus the only sound from the sub is from the LFE channel thus I can easily observe the control the SP32 has over the lowest frequency and it is always fast, clean and way way down deep. I have set the Parasound amps to run in ultra high class A bias and the combination is a sense of believability I have never heard before.
The SP32 is neutral but not cold and can sing like Eva Cassidy.
There is much on the non-sonic side to irritate. These include no easy firmware updates, occasional locking, missing channels, missing colour but a quick switch to another source and back again always fixes it. I keep meaning to add a function to the Logitech Harmony 1100 called 'fix processor' to be used by the family to automate the process.
There has been no firmware update in the last year or two so I am still living with the pathetically slow audio lock. For MKV TV episode one often misses the first couple of sentences of the beginning of the episode as the SP32 is trying to remember what to do with the stuff that comes out of an HDMI cable. Luckily there are no such issues with my Naim Unitiserve over coaxial TOSLINK.
I do not get sentimental with AV processors and if I heard something better I would buy it. At the moment I am enjoying the hugely exciting yet nuanced performance of the SP32HD.