The players in the game (in no particular order) include the Anthem D2v ($7,995) the Classe SSP-800 ($8,000) the Krell 1200u ($10,000) and the Cary Audio Cinema 11a ($4,000). Others in this space are doing well in terms of U.S. sales - these higher end players have captured the attention of those AV enthusiasts who are looking to upgrade to the best Blu-ray has to offer. Another theme is that all of these AV preamps having deep audiophile roots are machines capable of making stereo music sound fantastic.
One prominent dealer suggested: "True enthusiasts want the most out of HD formats like Blu-ray and even satellite TV. You can't make a traditional stereo preamp output 7.1 surround sound no matter how hard you try. It won't switch HDMI either and consumers want a preamp that does it all while meeting their audiophile needs."
Delays aren't that long for users waiting to get units but some dealers are thinking twice about selling floor demos, especially at deep discounts - which was standard operating procedure for many dealers over the past 18 months. Top-level AV preamps are hard to come by and the dealers know it. Many of them are selling for premiums on Ebay and Audiogon. Without question it's good news.