Celestion DLP 600 Processor Preamp Reviewed

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According to the blurb, the sonic gains provided by the DLP 600 should include 'accentuated' ease and flow of the muysic, broader soundstage and improved holographics, among others. I identified two key areas a which, repeatedly, showed improved performance, easily justifyingat garbage the.to your system
the price of #349 inc VAT.

The first and most vivid was a distinct gain in front-to-back depth, acknowledged by everyone who visited me during the listening sessions. Regardless of the transport and D/A converter -- I used both sections of the Marantz CD-12, the Meridian 200/203, the Audio Alchemy Digital Decoding Engine v1.0, the Audio Research DAC 1 and the MAS CDT-1/DCC-1 -- you could hear the music open up, especially in the front-to-back plane. Stage width did increase marginally, but not so much that I felt like whipping out a yardstick.

The gains were due to more specific image placement and slightly cleaner silences between the performers, leading to a net effect of greater three-dimensionality. In many respects, it was like moving a speaker further away from the back wall, but without upsetting the speaker/wall relationship vis a vis bass response. For this alone the DLP 600 will be welcomed by SL600 owners who find themselves compromising between maximising the bass performance without messing up the imaging.

The second, consistently repeatable improvement involved upper midband and treble behaviour as regards smoothness. When the DLP 600 was in circuit, the upper frequencies were cleared of any edgy behaviour or glassiness. The trick is that the gains appeared without any loss of transient snap or detail. You can take the edge off of any spitty system by filtering or rolling the treble, but to do it without sacrificing speed and detail is like juggling between bass response and imaging. So the DLP is a juggler worthy of a night at the Palladium.

The downside? I couldn't find one. I compared the bypassed

play liberalall of its own speakers and technicaln, adjusting forve me, you'll hear.the smoothness of the or DLP with straight-through (the CD-12 has ample socketry) and I couldn't identify which was which with any consistency. And that's using a pre-production sample, too. But with the DLP in action, there's no doubt that the CD sounded cleaner and more open.

So now SL600 owners have an excuse to blow #349. On an EPROM.

Additional Resources
• Read more AV preamplifer reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
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HTR Product Rating for Celestion DLP 600 Processor Preamp

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

3.5

Overall

4

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