I don't know know who started all this hoopla surrounding the 2100
It had to be someone from WI
Vulcan, On a serious note,
The 2100 was probably the best addition to my setup other than upgrading speakers. A decent neutral preamp can be leaps/bounds better than most receivers for 2 ch listening! I can't see upgrading this in a very long time. If you can snag one from AA, I would give it a whirl.
I agree as well with Brandons thoughts
I took some time today to listen to some music comparing different listening modes with my Onkyo 886. I then did some comparisons between the 886 and the 2100. I found the Stereo mode with Audyssey enabled to sound very muted and lifeless. I tried some of the surround modes including DDPLII but it was not for me. I always found the Pure audio mode with the 886 to be my favorite but no sub output with this mode.
I then did a direct comparison of the 886 in Pure mode and the 2100 with the full range outputs with no sub. I was surprised at how close the SQ was between the two but I found the 2100 offers just a bit more depth, imaging and clarity over the 886. I then compared the two using the HP outputs and the sub output of the 2100 which is my normal configuration.
This is where the 2100 really shines as the added impact of the sub just seems to open up the soundstage over the 886 with no sub. I have the sub volume on the 2100 backed off just a little under half volume so it is not that in your face "slam" but a nice compliment to my Ascend Sierra-1s.
I have had several 2 CH preamps with HT Bypass in my system.
PS Audio PCA-2
Rogue Audio Perseus
Bel Canto PRe3
TAD Tadac DAC/preamp
I enjoyed all these preamps but the 2100 is just the right fit for me as far as features and SQ. The best part is it is the least expensive preamp I have owned
. This shows that I did not have to spend a whole lot to get a great sounding preamp with all the features I need.
. I think my next project will be adding some acoustical panels and basstraps in my room. I think till I do that I will really not need to upgrade any components. Famous last words