Originally Posted by davidrds
Getting back into HT and 2ch audio after a very long hiatus (my last receiver was a Marantz SR7005...it's been a long time!)
Looking for feedback and suggestions on an AV Pre/Pro. The goal being an integrated 2Ch / Surround Sound system.
I'm strongly considering the Anthem AVM 60 BUT I would really like to have USB DAC processing and Balanced Audio Inputs onboard as well.
I'd prefer not to have to add a separate stereo preamp or stereo DAC/preamp combo.
My current DAC for 2Ch audio is the Schiit Yggdrasil. I have the NAD M27 for surround amplification.
I would highly recommend getting either the NAD M17 pre pro ($5500) or the Classe Sigma SSP pre pro ($5k for the original version and $6k for Mkll version). These pre pros, especially the Classe Sigma SSP, are great for 2ch performance for music. I would put the Classe Sigma SSP first before the NAD M17.
The Sigma SSP is optimized for stereo performance especially when used as an analog stereo preamp, and is truly differential or fully balanced circuitry only for front channels F/R. Its stereo performance is outstanding and it has XLR balanced input and output for front channels only. I won't find a need to get a dedicated high end stereo preamp with the Sigma SSP in the signal chain. Has front USB and PC USB on the back.
The NAD M17 is great as well and will be a perfect match for your NAD M27 amp. Its 2ch performance is better than the Marantz AV8802 or the Anrhem AVM60 but not quite on par as the Classe Sigma SSP imo.
The Anthem AVM60 is outstanding for surround sound (home theater) with the ARC (Anthem Room Correction) engaged and its multi-channel home theater performance, with the ARC engaged, is better than the Classe Sigma SSP or the NAD M17 or the Marantz AV8802. However, the Classe is superior when used as an analog stereo preamp. The Anthem AVM60's 2ch performance is on par with the Marantz AV8802.
For stereo performance or when used as an analog stereo preamp without any digital processings engaged I would rank them in order of sound quality as follows :
* Classe Sigma SSP.
* NAD M17.
* Anthem AVM60 & Marantz AV8802.
For multi-channel or when used for home theater (movies) the Anthem AVM60, with the ARC engaged, performs better than any of the pre pros mentioned above.
Hope this helps. Give a listen to them.