Originally Posted by rsinclair
I've been out of the market for an AV processor for years, but my Anthem d2v may be on its way to retirement, so I thought I'd start looking to see what's looking good in the market now.
To jumpstart my research, I'm looking for suggestions for a functional equivalent to the Anthem (with hopefully not the sky-high price tag of the d2v)—though I don't mind paying for superior quality and premium brands, and am looking for something better than you can find at Best Buy.
I also want to continue using my Anthem Statement A5 amplifier, so looking for a separate processor rather than a self-amplified AV receiver.
I currently have a 7.2 speaker setup, with 7 Paradigm in-ceiling speakers, two Velodyne DD-15 subs, and a Buttkicker LFE (#nojudgments).
At minimum, the processor should feature:
• 8 HDMI inputs or more
• I do need a couple of S-Video inputs for the on-screen displays of two Velodyne subs
• At least
2 outputs (3 would be great, but I don't know how common that is)
• Balanced audio channels for connection to my Anthem amp
• Support for the latest audio and video bells and whistles (4k, latest HDMI standard that can handle HDR, etc. Atmos support is nice but not mandatory since I probably can't fit any more speakers in the ceiling
• Impeccable HDMI switching. My biggest complaint about the d2v is its flaky HDMI support, I just want something that works consistently.
• Hopefully a somewhat-modern menu system, the Anthem's UI is a clunky nightmare
• I watch movies and TV much more often than listen to music
Appreciate any thoughts on which brands/models to look into.
R welcome to my world. You will see posts from me in all the pre-pro threads right now.
I was using a Classe SSP 800 pre pro which was the best sounding piece of electronics I've owned in a HT Stereo set-up.
Last December I went ga ga over OLED and replaced two displays went all in for the 4K goodies for both rooms. I wanted 4K Atmos to replace my Classe but after the spending I just went thru was strapped at around $3K. I ended up getting an Arcam AVR 550 and used my external amps for the front three and the Arcam amps for surround and the two front height speakers I now have.
It's been pretty good not excellent but it is an AVR and UHD movies do sound pretty darn good. I still thing about the Classe all the time and I'm ready to pull out the AVR and try something else.
Classe Sigma II. Does not support HDR. One 2.2 compliant input and no 12v triggers. I'm bummed! Perhaps not at the SSP level but this would be on order next week. Its shortcomings are too much to overcome.
Krell- Does not support HDR. Would be a contender but with HDMI 2.0. (Not 2.0a) it can't support HDR. Off the table.
McIntosh MX122. I have not heard this or the Marantz platform it's based on. Has everything needed just like the Marantz but reports are the sound is almost to the tee like the Marantz although it is supposed to have some of its own revisions. I should probably hunt down a Marantz to audition. It's stereo section may not be at the level of some of the others but a DAC could be added and a server etc.
NAD Masters M17. Now has 4K including HDR. Atmos module not ready yet. Will be a purchase that you will need to add on. I owned the original NAD M15 years ago with HDMI 1.0!! It had a really nice sound. This one is on my list.
Arcam AV860. I really would like to hear the pre pro version over the AVR I have. Balanced outs. No amps. Perhaps it will sound even better. I am curious if not frustrated at the same time.
And then the Bryston SP3. They have just added 4K including HDR. I should say they are getting ready to ship. It will not support Atmos and there is no plan to. This unit is known for superior sonics both HT and Stereo. No frills. No room correction. It's up to you to decide if what might be one of the top tier pre pros for sound is worth giving up the rest of the frills. I must say I only have two height speakers currently and giving them up not a big deal but will I change my mind later? I would rather have top flight 5.2 over a bunch of other speakers not in optimum places due to my room. I will be talking to dealer about price and this may be at the top of list as my SSP-800 rebirth. This Bryston might beat out the SSP in all areas and now with 4K support. Two XLR in as well.
The Anthem. People seem to love it but I don't know enough about it. I wonder if I would have to start adding stereo preamps and dacs to get it to another level for stereo?
I seem to be down to Bryston, NAD and getting the Arcam in for one last spin using the pre pro over AVR with balanced connections and losing the internal amps that might give it a plus in sound.
The state of mid to higher level prepros are in a bit of flux right now. I wonder if ne t year will open things up a bit but I'd like to get situated again. I'm sure your DV2 was/is awesome.
I'm sure one of the above would work out fine. I too hate to look at $9.5k prepros. I sold my 800 for $2900. Quite a tank for four years of use.
Edit: reading your post again where Stereo is not as important than the Marantz might be up your ally. Not that stereo is not good here but for your needs maybe perfect.
Edit: here is a little blurb with mention of your current D2 vs the Bryston.