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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I won't be upgrading my AVP, I am looking for a new processor. My main critical listening of my system is 2-channel music. I would really like to find a processor that has analog pass-through that will satisfy me. I am not as critical as most when it comes to HT. I have been somewhat happy with my AVP for HT, but I am ready to move on. I would to be able to replace my AVP and my Simaudio P-5 pre-amp with one unit and be content. I know that the MC-12 is getting high praise for its processing, but I don't really want to spend that kind of money for processing. I would keep my Simaudio pre-amp, which is an excellent pre-amp and get an Integra or TAG. I would just like to have convience of one piece to control the whole system, without sacrificing a lot on sound quality.


From some searching I did yesterday, the SP-1 has gotten my interest up. I would like to hear from some SP-1 users about the pre-amp side of the SP-1. I know that I will not be able to audition with similar equipment that I have, so I need all of the input I can get. Of course the HT side is important, but it looks like the SP-1.7 with all of the upgrades should be a pretty good processor.
 

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I just ordered the 1.7 and sold my AVP. I should have it in about a week. I ordered the pro version (same price) which has a slightly different face plate and gives a single balanced digital output vs. the 2 digital toslink jacks. The Bryston has 4 digital input and you can assigned the toslink or balanced digital outputs in lieu of the coax. My friend has had the prior version of the Bryston SP-1 in his system for a while. He had separate music and HT systems prior to that with a BP-25 preamp in the system. The Bryston SP-1 in the bypass mode is the equivalent of the BP-25. With the various other Proceed problems and the silly upgrade price, I am about $1,500 better off and will have much better music vs. a few less inputs and features. I had no problems with the AVP and it is a well built piece and I learned a lot from being able to switch to multiple connections but it was time to move on. I had an opportunity to hear and Primare preamp (distributed by Sumiko, www.sumikoaudio.com, which also distributes Sonus Faber, Vienna Acoustics, Rel, etc.) and at about $3,500 I thought it was as good or better than the AVP so I was not about to fork up Madrigal's price when one can do much better. Bryston just posted the features of the 1.7 on their website.
 

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vgrubb, you may want to consider Classe processors, ssp series. I have read that the analog preamp section is on par with other high-end analog preamps. They just come up a little short on latest surround modes and HT hardware but it may fit your need better than most of us. If possible, give it a listen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mike,

From what I have read, the Classe processors do appear to be a good choice. The biggest problem I see with them is not enough analog bypass. I understand they do have one set of multi-channel analog bypass. My sources are CD, DVD-Audio, SACD and turntable, so I would come up short here. Otherwise, based on reviews, I agree with you that it should be considered as a strong contender. I am probably looking for something that I'm not going to find and might have to just be content with two pieces handling the pre/pro functions.

Vic
 

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HighEndWire - I'll be very interested in reading the reviews on the SP1.7 - please pass them along when you get your unit.


I am not sure about the release but I've read that Ayre has a pre/pro in the works. Given reviews on their other stuff that unit may be promising. Not sure of pricing or release date but perhaps an email or PM to Charles Hansen would be warranted....
 

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It will likely be a good 2-3 weeks before I get the main system back together and I will likely just play it to break it in as I am expecting it by the end of this week. I expect my PMDT back in a couple of weeks and my screen up for the Sharp 9000 I just wired for before then. Then I need to drag the Thiel 7.2s back and put together the Salamander racks and then when components are in place to make the cables, power cords and interconnects of the length needed. I prefer to listen to music with the PMDT. My Pioneer Elite CD recorder is a very good transport but not as good as the PMDT. I like to do comparisons when I have the equipment I have been using so I can evaluate it better. There is also a good chance that I may have the new Marantz multi-channel SACD player in the system by the time it gets together. My Pioneer Elite DV-47A sits on the other side of the wall in the bedroom system so I will also be able to better evaluate that when it gets together. I have heard the SP-1 (pre-upgrade) in my friend's system many times and it is great on 2-channel. His system consists of the 9BST and Thiel 2.3s and SCS3 on the front. The new Bryston should even be better. The old SP-1 also does an excellent job on movies. It does not have all the onscreen menus, inputs and features of the AVP, but in my opinion it is much better on music. In the bypass mode we have compared it to the Bryston BP25 preamp and it is equivalent. My friend previously had separate music and HT system and a BP25 in the system. Since he works part time at a high end shop we have spent many nights doing lots of comparisons. I loved the features of the AVP and it was of great use to me in hooking up multiple cables and learning what sounded best but I no longer need that. The dealer also carries Ayre, but only has a couple of Amps and the new integrated on the floor. They make great stuff and I'm sure when they come out with a processor it will be top notch. As far as I'm concerned the BP25 preamp for (2-channel - CDs) music is better that anything Levinson makes. I have listened to it in multiple systems back and forth, including the almost $15k no. 32 on various combinations including a Linn CD-12, Levinson transports, Rega, Rotel (Ayre DVD very briefly), Marantz SA-14 SACD with various cables including top of the line Transparents and various amps and speakers from Maggie 3.6s to Vienna Mahlers to Thiels. Bryston may be known for their amps, but I think the best product I have heard that they make is the BP-25 (have not heard the 14B ST amp and am afraid to) followed by the 7B ST monoblocks. My Thiels love power and I had a 4B-ST and I have a huge 2-story room that opens into other spaces and that was pushing the envelope in HT and that is how I ended up with Proceed. Their amps (as are Levinsons) are a good match for many of the Thiels with the efficiency and impedence of the speakers. Bryston took a while to come out with their processor and the 6B which I was considering before the HPA3. But I will be happy to relay any info once the unit is broken in and I have a chance to evaluate it for both music and movies.
 
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