Originally Posted by djnickuk
I have pretty much experience with all the major, high end, pre pros currently available.
I have tested the denon A1HD, classe ssp 800, anthem D2v, Ada suite 7.1hd. I know own an Ada crm4. And shortly about to move to the datasat RS20i.
The denon is a very nice bit of kit and can be had at a very low price. In the UK, a used AVp and poa went for a little over £5k. The pair.
I used to own the denon poa a1hd and a lovely amp it is too. But it's not a neautral amp. It's a little warm sounding. And very warm to operate.
The Ada amps pack a fair bit more punch.
I currently use AB cinema amps. These are immensely powerful. Extremely high current, like the Ada Amps.
Even tho the Ada amps, the 8150 is only 150w it has way more current available than the denon amp. Giving much more grunt and kick.
Processor wise, the denon is nice but when you hear it next to the Ada crm4 it pales into insignificance. And then the datasat is a whole different league again. I have never played with a processor that is build so well as the datasat. I mean seriously good.
And yes it is not THX certified. Why, because they do not need to pay for thx certification to attract customers. When I was at datasat hq in UK, they asked us whether they should get it thx certified. We all replied no. THX does not really mean quality. Just look at some of the cheaper pre pros that are thx certified. I will not mention names, but they are aweful.
If money is of no object to you then I should say go for the Ada cinema reference at 40k. Add a bank of Ada amps and you'll be in audio nirvana.
If that's a little rich I would go for the datasat and some Ada amps or datasat amps. These are made by the same company that make Mark Levinson amps. I have not heard them as yet, but I am guessing that as soon as I do I shall be buying some.
The Ada mach 4 is a brilliant bit of kit. It's kicks the classe, denon, anthem back into their boxes and back to the dealers. The dynamics and steering are amazing.
I can also highly recommend the ab international amps. You can spec them to your own requirements. I have a 3x500w se version for my front speakers, B&W 802d and HTM2D centre. The side, SCMS, and rears 805 sigs are powered from a 4x 200w se amp. The power from these amps gets my system singing along all day at reference levels and above with no distortion or fatigue.
I am sure the datasat Amps will sound even better, but the difference will be little as the ab amps are superb.
All depends on your budget. Any particular questions fire away.
I have also spent a bit of time with trinnov. Which is dam good, I mean really good.