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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been a heavy Linn user for a long time, and my AV system for the bedroom is mostly Linn (AV 5105 and C6100 amps, Espek Aktiv speakers, Linn surround, center and sub speakers). Up until recently, I then used a Linn Classik Movie (2005 version) as both a preamp and a DVD player and was quite happy. The Linn was getting old, though, it didn't play blu-ray, and it was having some power on issues, so I wanted to replace it.

On top of the above, I was also forced into HDMI by my cable provider, and so the Linn could no longer work as a preamp. I searched and searched, and next bought an Arcam Solo Video 5.1, which I THOUGHT was a near perfect, drop-in replacement that included HDMI. Unfortunately, I then discovered that the HDMI connections on the Arcam are stereo only, and have other quirks that make them fail at what I need. Plus, it was not a blu-ray player either.

I then got an Oppo BDP-103 to add blu-ray, so I no longer needed my pre-amp to be an all-in-one type unit, and could simply get an AV pre-amp (or integrated amp that has pre-amp outputs). Unfortunately, none of Linn's HDMI equipped products (Majik DSM, Akurate DSM, Klimax DSM) appear to support multi-channel/surround, and none of its prior multi-channel products have HDMI, so I apparently cannot stick with Linn. Similarly, the only current Arcam products with HDMI and pre-amp outs are their giant AVR line, which don't fit well into the small, compact setup I have in that bedroom.

So, what I want is an audiophile level, compact preamp with HDMI inputs and 5.1 analog outputs to replace the Linn and the Arcam Solo. I no longer need it to have a DVD player, because I have the Oppo. Does anybody have any recommendations for such a preamp? I am absolutely fine with (and maybe prefer) something I can get second-hand to save some money, so even discontinued models are fine with me. Again, I'm looking for something that is in line with the rest of the Linn gear for sound quality.

One other option would be to upgrade to the Oppo BDP-105 instead of my 103, as the Oppos have pre-amp outs, and the 105 has 2 more digital inputs. That could then serve as my pre-amp, I'm just not sure if it's the best approach, and I'm not going to go out and upgrade to a 105 just for those additional inputs only to find out it doesn't work well as a pre-amp.
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