Home Theater Review

 

AV Preamplifier and 7.1 Surround Sound Processor Reviews

The modern AV preamp is a jack-of-all-trades. While at its core it is a switching device for audio and video sources, the modern AV preamp has to do much more than switch between inputs. First, it must offer all the inputs currently available to allow itself to integrate into any system. This means older connectors and formats such as composite, S-Video and component video need to be supported for many users, as well as HDMI. Video scaling and transcoding are also key for ease of use, allowing a user to connect their display with a single cable, presumably HDMI. The modern AV preamp must also provide exceptional two-channel and multi-channel audio performance. While audiophiles may form a hybrid system, where a dedicated two-channel preamplifier covers the stereo sources and a zero gain or home theater bypass allows use of the home theater for multi-channel use, most do not want to deal with the added headaches and space required for such a system. Most users want a single box to satisfy both their home theater and two-channel listening needs.

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Lexicon MC-12 HD Music & Cinema Processor Reviewed

Lexicon MC-12 HD Music & Cinema Processor Reviewed

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

Lexicon's long run with top end digital processing is exemplified in the MC 12-HD. Offering HDMI switching and a ton of control flexibility this is a highly regarded piece. Read HTR's managing editor Andrew Robinson's review here as Harman just dropped the price on the current unit. Read More

 
Krell Evolution 707 AV Preamp Reviewed

Krell Evolution 707 AV Preamp Reviewed

By Dr. Ken Taraszka

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

When you want the best and have the funds to pay for it, there are few AV preamps to consider. The Krell Evo 707, the Meridian 861v6, the Theta Casablanca and the Mark Levinson 502. See Ken Taraszka, MD's full review of the Krell Evo 707 here to see if it is the right one for your top of the line theater. Read More

 
Parasound P7 7.1 Channel Analog Preamplifier Reviewed

Parasound P7 7.1 Channel Analog Preamplifier Reviewed

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

This is Parasound's answer to the audio and home theater purist, being simply a multi-channel analog preamp it allows for bass management and HDMI switching with their own external switcher. This could be the answer for the audio purist. To see if this is for you, check out Andrew Robinson's full review here. Read More

 
Marantz AV8003 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

Marantz AV8003 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

By Brian Kahn

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

Marantz pulled out all the stops when they made the AV8003 AV preamp. Based on the SR8003 receiver platform they pulled out the amp section and added balanced outputs to allow this piece to handle even ultra high-end theaters. While now replaced by the AV7005 this is still a solid unit and those interested in it can read Brian Kahn's full review here. Read More

 
Meridian 861 Version 4 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

Meridian 861 Version 4 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

By Jerry Del Colliano

Overall Rating
5 Stars
 

This piece is truly one of the finest AV preamps ever made offering tons of flexibility and a sonic level rarely achieved in lesser gear. Check out Jerry Del Colliano's full review of this piece, but be warned, you likely will want to sell a kidney to get one. Read More

 
Lexicon DC1 AV Preamp Reviewed

Lexicon DC1 AV Preamp Reviewed

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

While now only a legacy piece the DC-1 was one of the pieces that made the Lexicon name. For those looking for a value priced used AV preamp on the used market - you've found the right AV preamp. Read the HomeTheaterReview.com review here. Read More

 
Theta Casablanca AV Preamp Reviewed

Theta Casablanca AV Preamp Reviewed

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
3.5 Stars
 

The Theta Casablanca has been one of the preeminent AV preamplifiers since it came out many years ago. Theta has kept it current through an upgrade path that now extends to HDMI 1.4 allowing it to be one of the elite units to handle 3D. Read a full review here. Read More

 
Lexicon MC-1 AV Preamp Reviewed

Lexicon MC-1 AV Preamp Reviewed

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

The best-known Lexicon AV preamp and one that has gone through several iterations is the MC-1. This unit has been around for a long time and has been updated both via firmware and hardware over the years. Check out the full review here. Read More

 
Musical Fidelity HTP/HT6000 AV Preamp Reviewed

Musical Fidelity HTP/HT6000 AV Preamp Reviewed

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

A legacy piece the Music Fidelity is only 5.1 capable and no longer produced but did offer solid audio performance for those looking for a smaller home theater and two-channel system. Read a full review here. Read More

 
McIntosh Laboratories MX-136 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

McIntosh Laboratories MX-136 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

This is an older McIntosh unit that was marketed towards those who needed HDMI video (only) switching but wanted the best analog sound. Those looking for exceptional analog reproduction who don't care about the new audio codecs of Blu-ray may want to read Andrew Robinson's full review here. Read More