Originally Posted by adidino
The Classe did an excellent job for 2 channel music but I wouldn't say it was the end all for 2 channel performance. I've heard better from dedicated 2 channel preamps but my main focus was usually multichannel content anyway so I never really concerned myself with it.
In short, if 2 channel is secondary for you, you can't go wrong with the Classe at all. I will say, so far, the Bryston performs like a high end two channel pre. Very impressive! My initial impressions so far is the SP3 is a music first design. Last I've heard a processor perform this well with 2 channel was the Proceed if anyone remembers that unit.
Thanks Tony. I do remember the Proceed, and how everyone raved about its performance as a preamp. I am a 2 channel guy, with mch music running close second, and movies secondary and not terribly important. I tried the Marantz av8801, figuring that I could add a good 2 ch preamp. However, while good, I was not sufficiently impressed with the marantz in mch music, but I did appreciate the convenience of easy input selection, which made me rethink the 2-box angle. I am now looking for a one-box solution if possible, so was looking for a processor that was close to a good 2 ch preamp, and excellent in mch music as well. Hence the Classe SSP-800, Krell S1200, and Bryston SP3. I had ruled out the Bryston as it has no EQ, it is supposedly not user friendly, it's quirky in operation, and has a useless remote. However, much like Michael Corleone, no matter how hard I try to get away, the great comments about it's sound quality as a preamp keep drawing me back in, lol.
I look forward to your more comprehensive comments about the SP3. If I may trouble you with one last question: is the difference between the 2ch performance of the SSP-800 and the SP3 very significant, or noticeable but not huge? I'm trying to gauge the delta here, and whether it's worth overlooking the SP3's operational issues and lack of EQ I stated above.
Thanks again. Very much appreciated.