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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Halcro SSP220 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

Halcro SSP220 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

By Brian Kahn

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

Halcro is known for their exceptional two channel pieces and their AV preamps share this quality. The SSP220 is designed for the high end audio and video enthusiast. You can read Brian Kahn's full review of this piece here despite the fact Halcro isn't currently in the U.S. market. Read More

 
Denon AVP-A1HDCI AV Preamplifier Reviewed

Denon AVP-A1HDCI AV Preamplifier Reviewed

By Dr. Ken Taraszka

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

This Denon AV preamp offers possibly the largest feature set of any AV preamp out there. A recent upgrade from Denon also allows owners to now pass 3D video as well as utilize the latest Audyssey room correction. Read Dr. Ken Taraszka's review here. Read More

 
Classé SSP-600 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

Classé SSP-600 AV Preamplifier Reviewed

By Jerry Del Colliano

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

The Classe' SSP600 is now discontinued for the SSP800 but for those looking for high end audio preamplifier performance who are willing to pass the new uncompressed codecs from their Blu-ray player in analog this is a great piece. Read Jerry Del Colliano's full review here. Read More

 
Anthem Statement D2 with ARC Room Correction Reviewed

Anthem Statement D2 with ARC Room Correction Reviewed

By Dr. Ken Taraszka

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

Anthem has a huge following with their AV preamps and the Statement D2 w/ARC is the top of the line offering by them before the release of the D2v. Anthem's room correction (ARC) is one of the best available and can raise the quality of your room and thereby elevate you total systems performance. Read Dr. Ken Taraszka's full review here. Read More

 
Integra DTC 9.8 Home Theater Processor Reviewed

Integra DTC 9.8 Home Theater Processor Reviewed

By Andrew Robinson

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

This Integra model broke the mold in AV preamps. Coming in at an insanely low price and being one of the first AV preamps to decode all the new codecs of Blu-ray and the now defunct HD-DVD this piece won a ton of fans and for good reason. Read Andrew Robinson's full review here. Read More

 
Mark Levinson No. 502 AV Preamplifer Reviewed

Mark Levinson No. 502 AV Preamplifer Reviewed

By Jerry Del Colliano

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

Mark Levinson is one of the biggest names in high end audio. While this unit is now discontinued it was only HDMI 1.1 compliant so will only accept the uncompressed codecs of Blu-ray via a player that will output LPCM, and it can't pass 3D video. Yes, these are downsides, but the analog audio performance of this piece is off the charts. Read Jerry Del Colliano's review of this unit here. Read More

 
Anthem Statement D1 AV Preamp and P5 Amplifier Reviewed

Anthem Statement D1 AV Preamp and P5 Amplifier Reviewed

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

The Anthem D1 was the premier AV preamp by the Canadian manufacturer of high end audio. While lacking most if not all video, it offered excellent audio performance. There is little to want for with this higher end preamp. Read a full review here. Read More

 
Simaudio Moon Stargate AV Preamp and Moon Aurora-5 Amplifier Reviewed

Simaudio Moon Stargate AV Preamp and Moon Aurora-5 Amplifier Reviewed

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

The Sim Audio Stargate is a discontinued piece that was Sim's entrance into the home theater world. While one of the cooler looking AV preamps it only handles composite video as a top format and is pretty dated. You can read more on this piece here. Read More

 
Arcam FMJ AV8 AV Preamp Reviewed

Arcam FMJ AV8 AV Preamp Reviewed

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
4 Stars
 

The Arcam FMJ AV8 is another legacy piece, while offering Arcam's exceptional analog performance this piece is seriously dated with no HDMI switching much less decoding of the new codecs. It does have a 7.1 channel analog input so users could still use these new formats if they have Blu-ray players that can decode these formats to analog. Read More

 
Krell Showcase AV Preamp and 7 channel Amplifier Reviewed

Krell Showcase AV Preamp and 7 channel Amplifier Reviewed

By HomeTheaterReview.com

Overall Rating
4.5 Stars
 

The Krell Showcase is a nostalgic piece that doesn't include HDMI functionality but offers solid analog audio and video performance. It's sleek lines are classic and it's sonics are well respected. Bring a little bit of Dan D'agostino into your home theater system today. Read More