Best AV processors for under $10K

Looking for AV processor that takes care of best of both worlds (audiophile 2 channel and multichannel for movies). I have used Bryston SP2.0 and loved it's two channel sound but it is outdated for video. Classe SSP800 is one option but would like to hear what other options are out there. Also, internal DAC must be top notch for 2 channel.
Hate to be contrarian -- and forgive me if you've already considered all of this -- but I might argue that "the best of both worlds" won't be found in a single box. (Actually, may be more than two worlds, two channel preamp, multi-channel preamp, two-channel DAC, multi-channel DACs, AND video switching...).

Rather than sink the whole budget into Classe/Theta/Meridian (or Krell, etc.), you could put < $2k-ish into something like an Integra AVP (which will give you HDMI connectivity and all the latest HT codecs) and then put the remainder into a top-flight two-channel preamp. Or split between a preamp and a stand-alone two-channel DAC. You could also run video straight to your display, rather than paying for broadcast-grade video switching in the AVP. I’ve always assumed that the “best of both worlds” was best achieved by running this type of hybrid system (with the main preouts from the AVP into a HT bypass on the two-channel pre for integration). Certainly more complicated, but coming from a professed gearhead an excuse for more boxes is always welcome….
Best of both can be had in the Marantz 8801 and in conjunction with an Oppo 105 is what i consider an Audiophile and Videophile dream setup! after sufficient burn in of both units one is easily satisfied with the 2/ch and multichannel performance of both they are indeed a killer combo! All inputs are covered xlr and hdmi 32 bit dac's in both units. As a test of the 8801's preamp abilities I ran the Oppo strait to my Parasound A21 which is sheer audio nirvana! and when using the 8801 in the chain the performance was very close indeed and given the fact of Audyssey XT32 multi ch is unlike anything I've heard, sounds glowing? yeah!, but it is what it is. I'll say this the performance in this setup is the current SOTA!
For me, the question is complicated by your preferred source material and whether the subs stay on-line for two channel listening. IME, subs (virtually) always sound better when managed in the digital domain (including room correction). If you keep the subs for music and your sources are all digital, then IMO the "music" side of your system should sit within the digital "cinema" side.

In this case, I'd choose a pre-pro primarily for it's software, the impact of which will IMHO swamp the benefits of purist analog construction. I like Audyssey xt32, but Meridien and Anthem's ARC are highly regarded in many circles. Bottom line: In this case I prefer Onkyo/Integra to Theta (and its software limitations) for music.


If you lose the subs for music and/or prefer analog source material then it's a different kettle of fish. I suspect that you might be best off with Mezmo's suggestion of 2 front ends: $2k worth of Onkyo/Integra for video and the balance for a high end analog 2 channel preamp.

Just MHO.