Processors with good analogue pass through.

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Arfa, May 28, 2008.

  1. Arfa

    Arfa
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    I'm currently pondering on getting a good quality processor from a few years back, with a view to use it as a pre amp for my stereo setup as well. So something all sources (digital and analogue) can go through, then just have a very good stereo power amp for the fronts and music and a reasonably multi channel power amp for the rest. So I just wondered what is worth looking out for and what will let an analogue signal straight through untouched - no ADC -> DAC business, no bass management what have you, essentially just a clean pre-amp, with some decoding and DAC on the side (ideally like DD, DTS and 24bit/96kHz pcm).

    I've been looking at the following, unsure how they mess with analogue inputs:
    Meridian 561
    Meridian 562 + 568
    Mcintosh MSD4
    B&K Reference 20 or 30.
    Lexicon DC1 or DC2.
    Marantz AV9000

    Not up on old models from Rotel, Parasound, Integra etc.
     
  2. Mr_Orange

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    You could also consider the Audiolab 8000AV.
     
  3. jason shep

    jason shep
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    Have a listen to an Arcam AV9,it is a stunning preamp with a direct mode which shuts down all processing etc for analogue passthrough.i owned an av9 for 3 years & cant recommend it highly enough :thumbsup:
     
  4. Mark.Yudkin

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    I second the Arcam AV9.

    IIRC, the Lexicon DC2 is a digital processor, you would need the MC8 or MC12.
     
  5. CogPaul

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    There is a Proceed AVP on the for sale forum which is well worth a look but I am not sure about the ADC-DAC conversion in this unit. They were always very highly rated as musical processors.

    Unfortunately Meridian units do the analogue-digital conversion as do Theta Cassanovas.
     
  6. Member 96948

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    The Audiolab 8000AP, for all it's other failings, has a full analogue 5.1 pass-though.

    Russell
     
  7. Mr_Sukebe

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    The ones I'd consider would be the Meridian 568 (or newer), Linn 5103 (or newer) and Naim AV2.
     
  8. Arfa

    Arfa
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    Was looking at the Meridian 562 + 565 combo, where the 562 seems to act a pre-amp and just passes digital onto the 565 for decoding, if I understand it correctly. So does it have to run all analogue through the ADC and into the 565, or can it remain on the 562 side untouched?
     
  9. crobo

    crobo
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    I had the Meridian 561 a while ago. Nice machine but I seem to recall it does not have a true analogue bypass (or 5.1 analogues either).
    I was very impressed with the Parasound C2 for music, and I think the Integra RDC7 I have now is a slight step up again, though I can't be sure since the kit has changed so much.
     
  10. tony @ suffolk

    tony @ suffolk
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    My vote goes to the Naim AV2. 7.1 analogue bypass, superb sound!
     
  11. scotty38

    scotty38
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    Now there's a surprise :rotfl: :)
     
  12. Mr_Orange

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    How do you mean, "for all its other failings"?
     
  13. Member 96948

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    HDMI (in particular) and SPIDF jitter is less than class leading shall we say.

    However, the Hi-Fi News review that published these measurements (otherwise no one would be the wiser) praised the clean, if clinical, sound with digital multichannel sources in particular. For me, this seems an equivocal conclusion that means the 8000AP is still on my demo list. Let the ears decide, etc....

    For analogue 5.1 inputs this is a non issue as they are passed straight through, although I'd like to know if the same is true for analogue 2.0 sources too. About this latter point, I'm less clear, but the raison d'etre of the Audiolab would seem to make this the whole point.

    As I'm not fussed about multichannel analogue inputs, I guess I could just use two of the 5.1 channel pass-through, but then that would seem to preclude bass management.

    As ever, a demo is the key.

    Russell
     
  14. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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    I'd definitely second the Proceed AVP. I listened to quite a few pre/pros (Arcam AV8, Bryston, Meridian Naim TAG) and none of them were as good as the proceed, especially on two channel music. it has a true analog by-pass, and just sounds so natural. It can only be bettered in my opinion by the AVP2, which I upgraded to subsequently
     
  15. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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  16. Andy8421

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    I have a Krell Showcase processor which has analogue passthrough capability. Also allows the internal digital / video processing systems to be powered down for the 'cleanest' sound. No idea whether this makes any difference, but it certainly switches off the front panel display when selected. Krell also has balanced inputs / outputs if that suits you set up.

    You can pick them up pretty cheaply second hand.
     
  17. Mr_Orange

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    Analogue 2.0 sources are not on the bypass, as you can apply surround modes to these, including stereo plus sub.

    This is how my CDP is connected. However my sub isn't even plumbed in at the mo, so bass management is not an issue.

    I am considering buying a high quality transport though and using the 8000AP's DACs to do the work.
     

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