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Primare SP32 & SP33

Discussion in 'Audio Processors & Power Amps' started by Krobar, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Vix

    Vix Member

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    Hi Cammy,

    Many thanks for your response. I guess I'm looking at a firmware upgrade at some stage - or possibly even the HDMI audio board upgrade.
  2. Vix

    Vix Member

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    As a matter of interest has anyone ever seen a review of the SP32? Any links please?
  3. Turtles

    Turtles Member

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    Can I second this?? I'm really interested in this processor with the HD module (which I think is standard now?) but there is no independent information out there.....well as independent as most reviews get!

    Any feedback would be really appreciated :)
  4. cammy

    cammy Member

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    there are a couple of old reviews on their site at primare.net

    i emailed primare asking them if there was any uk reviews of the SP32.

    there answer was that there would be a review after the new video board was ready.

    this e-mail was sent in febuary.:confused:
  5. bolts

    bolts Member

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    I have one of these, I got it to replace my MC8b - the sound is v good for both music and films IMO but I have had lots of issues. it locks up sometimes and it does seem to take a while to lock onto the signal ect....
    I have sent it back once and it seemed ok when it came back but it has locked up again since. At the moment I have gone back to the MC8.
    The SP32 seems to me to be a bit of an unfinished product.

    This is the only thing I have found which is as good as the MC8 for all the old stuff but did all the new sound formats as well. I am goind to plug it all back in again soon and give it another try.
  6. JonnyBingham

    JonnyBingham Member

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    Sounds a bit of a joke for the money - releasing effectively an unfinished product for £2900 which has a user experience way behind receivers which also amplify with a better spec for a 10th of the price. Okay, so this has dedicated power supplies for different circuitry, but I can't imagine it being that much better than a Denon AVR 4810 for £1600.
  7. rcjordin

    rcjordin Member

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    I recently sold my Linn Kisto and replaced it with the Primare SP32. I am using it as both an AV processor and for 2-channel music (using the Oppo BDP83SE as my source component). The unit is incredible. I feel like I am getting twice the bang for my buck at half the price.
  8. cameronl

    cameronl Member

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    hi, that all depends on what you are after. It certainly has 3 things going for it that the denon does not.

    1. The hardware can be upgraded
    2. The Stereo sound will be better
    3. It looks lovely :)

    CaM
  9. bolts

    bolts Member

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    I agree this is a real improvement on any other processor I have tried. two channel music is excellent. it is so good that I no longer use my pre30.
  10. gaston 117

    gaston 117 Guest

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    Hello
    User of SP32HD since April 2010 purchased from Toulouse France ADHF I pointed out two problems

    Upgrade PRIMARE SP32HD of June 15, 2010
    SP32HD Serial No. 238-401

    Firmware version: MCU - V2.15 - 2010.03.01
    DSP - V1.03 - 2010.02.26
    HDMI - V2.00 - 2009.09.21

    2 Bugs

    Bug 1:
    The bug starting BR is still in play, the sound comes well after the image about 5 to 10 seconds (display SP32HD: No audio) and there cuts when changing audio format on the trailers always this lag image and sound 5 to 10 seconds and also the film's credits.

    Bug 2:
    - The movies encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 (display SP32HD) Dolby Digital, the film is rendered to 7.1
    - The movies encoded in DTS 5.1 (display SP32HD) DTS ES Matrix, have the right SR Back does not work (5.1 + SR a back left), while on the trailers (display SP32HD) DTS ES Matrix, the film is rendered in 7.1
    - The movies encoded in DTS HD MA 5.1 (display SP32HD) DTS HD Master Audio, the film is rendered to 5.1, while on the trailers (display SP32HD) DTS HD Master Audio movie is rendered in 7.1

    Looking forward hearing from you,
    Best regards

    Excuse my English Google
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2011
  11. Michael99

    Michael99 Member

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    Hi



    Any news regarding the video board upgrade, they announced it august 2009, or do you think they are using all resources for the upcoming SP33?

    Best regards
    Michael
  12. bjurry

    bjurry Member

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    I also encounter problem 1 and 2 on my Primare SPA22. Not using HDMI as cable from audio source seems to solve both problems: no delay in sound lock, and TV (connection via HDMI) doesn't create conflict/crashes. Concerning problem 2: when I connect my PC (running J River's MC) with HDMI, switching on my Sony TV crashes MC.... Clearly Primare has an issue with handling HDMI it seems... And indeed: then what is the purpose...? At least I want to play my BlueRay and SACCD via HDMI...?

    Have you had any additional feedback on this topic? Have you found a solution?
    From what I have read, it seems HDMI is not best option for audio, but still, the conflicts do not seem normal.... Or do all AV receivers regularly have this?
  13. rcjordin

    rcjordin Member

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    Any update?
  14. saguk1234

    saguk1234 Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone compared the sp32 with the onkyos/denons for home cinema?
  15. Padawan72

    Padawan72 Member

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    I have listened to the top end Onkyo and Yamaha at sevenoaks with the same set up I have at home with my SPA22. The Primare is in another League. :smashin:
  16. judderod

    judderod Member

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    Well I thought I'd add my experiences of the SP32 having recently become a pround owner.

    The sound... Wow the sound. Used as a DAC & pre amp or just as a pre amp it is nothing short of high end. And that's compared to a few setups I've heard at hifi shows over the years costing £100K+.

    Surround performance is also superb in detail, dynamics and imaging.

    Glitches - I don't really understand what all the fuss is about regarding HDMI audio lock. It takes what 2-3 seconds when first changing to a HDMI source. Once the source is selected, audio lock is instant should the source change between 2 channel, DD or DTS. Multi PCM sources like the PS3 don't change the output format so audio lock is constant. It's no big deal for me.

    However one annoying problem is with Sky HD using optical (which is the only way to get surround from the box). When a channel's audio changes from DD to 2Ch (say at the end of a HD movie), sometimes the audio signal goes silent. The processor still shows lock but there's no sound. Changing back to a channel that's still broadcasting in DD and back again sometimes works. Otherwise the processor needs to be switched to a different source and back again.

    Secondly I sometimes use the Double Bass menu option to add sub woofer dynamics to 2 channel TV. However this option is global and affects all sources which is unfortunate because I have to turn it off when listening to 2 channel music and then back on again afterwards. The rest of the menu and config settings are excellent.

    I don't think the firmware has been updated on mine so I'll post back if I can get an update and it makes any difference.

    I'll be interested to see if Primare will release a 3D capable HDMI upgrade...
  17. Vix

    Vix Member

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    Quick response. This reminds me of a "hand-built" low-production car I owned where every owner had different issues!

    Firstly, my HDMI audio lock issue is significantly different. It takes at least 5 seconds for lock to be achieved and, as an example, this is most annoying during a DVD layer change when critical dialogue can be lost during the painful silence.

    Meanwhile, I do not have any problem with Sky HD - also using the optical connector - where there is no audio loss at all.

    I also use the Double Bass option but generally play my 2-channel music on the Bypass setting so the sub doesn't come on.
  18. saguk1234

    saguk1234 Well-Known Member

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    What I would like to know is, is the SP32 HD better than a Onkyo SC5508/5509?
  19. Welwynnick

    Welwynnick Active Member

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    I'll eat my hat if it isn't.

    Nick
  20. mykyll2727

    mykyll2727 Member

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    Isn't the SP32 alot more expensive than the Onkyoes also?
  21. roh008

    roh008 Member

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    Sorry for bumping an old thread:

    I have a chance of picking one of these up second hand and am wondering if people have given up on them as there is HDMI audio issues?

    Just wondering what the current owners view of the SP32 with HD card.

    Also how would one rate this for stereo music?
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  22. judderod

    judderod Member

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    If you're willing to put up with a couple of glitches that can usually be resolved with a button press or two on the remote, in my opinion they're worth having as I don't think there's anything on the market that can come near its sound quality. For me that's the most important factor so I'm happy.

    I have tested this processor against some high end DAC and pre-amp combo's on a reference front end. If there was anything better out there, 2 channel or otherwise, I would have bought it and sold the SP32. Guess what I kept the SP32.

    If you use a programmable/universal remote, you can create a button that fixes most glitches (I have one labelled 'fix sound' for when the HDMI or any other digital input looses audio lock when the source changes between formats).

    Mine broke a while ago due to a power surge. It also took out a HDMI input on my projector so this isn't a weakness of the processor, just a weakness in the HDMI chips used in most consumer devices. I had a good look inside at the design methods and components used. There isn't really anything better on the market even today that could better what's inside, technically speaking. This goes for both 2 channel and multi channel audio.

    While I'm posting - another glitch to note...

    Do not under any circumstances set your sub to -12db in the GENERAL menu, and then to any lower than -9db in any of the other menus (DD, DTS or OTHER). This results in white noise being outputted at full volume to the sub woofer. My sub woofer cone is now melted even though I managed to switch it off within 5 seconds :(
  23. roh008

    roh008 Member

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    While the sound might well be class leading I think the other issues are mounting up at such a rate am not sure I want to go down this path.

    One other question is it 3D compliant?
  24. hificork

    hificork Member

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    The sp33 is due out any moment now. Have a look at the primare website.
  25. roh008

    roh008 Member

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    I did, but I have an opportunity to pick up the SP32HD at a good price - otherwise this is out my price range by quite some margin.

    Question is "modular" design should mean that the SP32HD should get all the upgrades too no? Otherwise what is the point?:rolleyes:
  26. hificork

    hificork Member

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    Yes you can order the upgrades for the sp32 to bring it inline with the sp33.
    The upgraded video board is approx £1000.
  27. roh008

    roh008 Member

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    I just got the email saying they are releasing the upgrade.

    But £1000 that's pretty steep!
    what's the additional benefit?

    I might just go mid range AVR to a good integrated stereo receiver!
    Is this it?
    -Video Upgrade (availability TBA)
    •
    HDMI up-scaling to 480P/576P, 720P, 1080i, 1080P,
    1080P/24 over 24/50/60Hz
    •
    Five HDMI inputs, two HDMi outputs (not simultaneo
    us): the user selects which output
    to use (1 or 2).
    •
    Analogue video up-conversion to HDMI with OSD. Set
    up menu available on HDMI. HD
    component input signals are supported. Analogue vid
    eo conversion remains the same, composite, S-
    video and component to composite, S-video and compo
    nent outputs.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  28. judderod

    judderod Member

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    The Primare SP33 has just been released today.

    For £1000 I'd personally expect a complete upgrade including a new face plate to show SP33. But it just sounds like having to spend another £1K to make the SP32 what it always should have been.

    I do think the SP32 is great but if I'd have bought one new and paid anywhere near full price there is no way I would have kept it because of the glitches and seemingly unfinished design features.
  29. roh008

    roh008 Member

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    Have a chance getting this with the current HD board for audio for around £1700 but not sure if even the extra I need to spend for the video card will be worth it.

    Had a look at the specs and they seem to run similar DAC chips to the DAC Magic and yes the preamp circuitry is probably very good however, buying a
    second hand 4311 and a good second hand stereo integrated receiver will probably yield better movie results and similar (if not better audio results) for less money (as I would need to spend extra on the new video board).

    Am all over the place with whether I should buy it or not and :facepalm:
  30. judderod

    judderod Member

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    There's a technical brief of the SP32 here

    £1700 is a bit steep for a 2nd hand SP32 IMHO. I bought mine for a lot less but it doesn't have the HD upgrade. It's not needed anyway as just about every blu ray player can output LPCM and there's no loss in conversion anyway. I was quoted £450 including labour for the HD upgrade at Primare's authorised repair centre.

    The best way to make a decision on these things as always is to listen for yourself. Maybe ask if you might be able to do a trial period on the SP32. Most UK purchases are covered within 7 days by law anyway.

    I've hand built DAC circuits using similar chips. The chip itself is just a small part of a big puzzle. Design and implementation play a bigger part, not just in the components used but even the layout of the copper traces on the PCB can make a difference. I'd be very surprised if the DAC Magic or the 4311 are as good as the SP32 (the SP32 uses half-passive pre-amplification). But that's subjective and at the end of the day people choose what suits their ears and eyes best.

    Regarding the SP33 - I am shocked they've decided not to include any analogue video inputs at all.

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