Best multi channel amp and processor good for 2 channel listening.

Hi All,

I am new to this forum and have a few questions in reference to HT processors.  I am starting from scratch and switching from a Krell S-1000 and S-1500.  I sold the processor a few months back and I going to list here the amp.

I am currently considering the new Bryston 9B3 and the SP4 and decision was based on upgrade ability and warranty. The speakers for HT will be Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home and for 2 channel Verity Otello’s.  My second choice was Classe but I was informed that they have all sales on hold, this is concerning.  I have not listened to either, my choice is based on reviews and the Bryston dealer.  My decision was also based they are both good for two channel, I am not set on this but it will help the budget and space.  I am looking for a warm and good over all sound; some might say 3 dimensional sound, clarity is also a factor.  Actually, all I’ve read in reference to Classe fits the bill.  I would like a couple of other choices to include in my short list and opinions are welcome. The budget for the processor and amp is approx. 22k.  

Thanks to all.....

I have a cabinet that has approx. 6” between boxes and opened in the back.
I don’t think a processor will get even close to the heat generated by an amp. but when you commented I worried a bit. Anyway, your clarification helped me with this matter.


My budget is between 35-38k for speakers and boxes. I believe I can get a good deal for all, since I probably will be buying from the same dealer. I am looking at at least 30% and for this kind of money I am confident I can work this out.  I have speaker cables and interconnects that would like to try before moving to something different and save that money. Anyway, this expense for cables, etc. will come from the amp I am selling at this time.

My biggest expense will be my 2 speakers for music and the intergrated amp.
I already have my HT speakers, one less expense, but also need the pre/pro and multi channel amp. I also have an Arcam CD player that I can live with for a while and the Oppo UDP 203 which is pretty good.  I have a cabinet that will fit all these boxes, this is not a problem. I am just looking for good synergy, since this is my last purchase, no room for error. I understand the pre/pro must be upgraded at some point but I am looking for pieces that will work long term.

I am actually looking into boxes that will work with my current speakers which are very good, Sonus Faber Grand Pianos Home. These can be a bit bright with certain boxes and I am looking for neutral to warm. I think the Mac, Mark Levinson, Luxman, Classe, Plinius, Parasound and the Pass Labs might be a good match. If this works out the Verity’s and Harbeth might be out, but these two do sound great, “temptation”....  I do love those Verity’s...  Your imput here will be appreciated.


I actually have the Krell S-1500/5 for sale now, it is a good amp and everything you write about it I agree with. In my opinion it’s a very neutral amp and will do better with warmer speakers, since it can lean towards the brighter side with some boxes. I am just looking for a different sound altogether.
not a hint of brightness out of mine, but it is revealing no doubt. Using it to bi amp really works remarkably well for both the amp and the Reference 5s. Just a great synergy. Good luck with the sale. Shouldn't take long at all. 

Talk to me about the Mark Levinson 585....  I won’t be able to audition this one for about a couple of months, since the nearest dealer is approx. 150 miles away.
I have read positive reviews and listened to it thru ITunes (Pursuit Perfect System) but I bet it does no justice to it. Although in my opinion thru iTunes alone sounds pretty darn good and I love estetics. Is it warm or at least neutral?

I heard the latest Mark Levinson stuff at RMAF.  The Levinson is part of the very smoothed over and liquidy type of sonic signature.  It's really hard to describe to people unless they have heard this.  There are many other amps that have this same type of sonic signature.  Your Krell S1500 is going to sound clean and neutral in comparison (although the S-1500 can definitely slant toward the bright side at times).  Actualy, the new Krell sliding bias amps have this smooth/liquidy character as well.

The other side of the fence is the FET type warmth, where you have amps such as Pass Labs, Parasound, Marantz.  Etc.  The Vincent amps with tube input stage are also very warm sounding.  It's really hard to recommend equipment to people unless they have heard these sounds and have a good idea of what they want. lol.  I mean, there are a lot of people who can say "Mark Levinson is great", but it really comes down to personal preference.