Can you help me select a pre/pro?

I am looking for a pre/pro with outstanding 2 channel performance, a 5.1 downmix option that includes the LFE channel, and the ability to re-sample (or up-sample) standard CD digital output much like stand alone digital processors. Does such an animal exist? What are your recommendations? Many thanks.
Not sure what you mean by 5.1 downmix option. Dolby Digital and DTS on standard DVDs are 5.1. Dolby ES and DTS Discrete are 6.1, but if you only want to use 5 speakers plus the subwoofer, no problem -- just leave one of the rear channels unconnected. Dolby Prologic IIx converts regular stereo, Dolby, or DTS to 7.1, so if you don't want 7.1, then leave ProLogic IIx turned off. Only the new lossless formats on Blu-Ray have native 7.1 soundtracks that could be "downmixed" to 5.1. Is that what you mean? Or are you talking about multichannel audio such as SACD or DVD-A?
In my previous post, please correct "Dolby ES" to "Dolby EX" and "DTS Discrete" to "DTS ES."
Thanks Javachip. What I meant was taking a standard 5.1 digital signal and downmixing it to 2 channels, including the LFE. (Many downmix options do not include the LFE channel.) I would also like the same pre/pro be able to process a 2 channel PCM signal from my CD transport. I am currently a 2 channel guy, but I am getting ready for the switch and would like to begin with the solid foundation of versatile pre/pro.
So, to clarify, you want to be able to convert 5.1 to 2.0, and have the LFE information sent to the main speakers?

If so, then here are my comments:

1) I am not sure that my pre-pro (Sherwood-Newcastle P-965) will do this, but it might, if the multichannel surround modes are manually disabled, and "Stereo" is selected with front speakers set to "Large" and Subwoofer set to "None." I do know that the P-965 will "remaster" or upsample CD digital output, and I can say that this feature does not make any noticeable difference in my system.

2) Redirecting a LFE track to the front speakers may strain, or possibly damage, those speakers, even those of high quality.

3) Many DVDs offer Dolby 2.0 as a setup option, in which case you would not need any downmixing.

4) You might want to investigate the Outlaw 997 and see if it has the features you mention. You can go to the "Saloon" chat forum on and ask "Gonk" about downmixing and upsampling. He will know.

Good luck.
"I am looking for a pre/pro with outstanding 2 channel performance...,and the ability to re-sample (or up-sample) standard CD digital output much like stand alone digital processors."

I think some info must be clarified here. One, when you say outstanding 2 channel performance, what is meant here? Are you planning on hooking 2 channel sources via an analog connection to a likely digital pre/pro? Most all are going to be completely digital, converting any analog sources to digital. Also, any ones that offer direct analog inputs, would be bypassing any kind of EQ circuits, and likely bass management. So, what are your intents?
If anyone is using these processors, I usually recommend trying to stay with all digital connections, processing in the pre/pro itself, for such dubties. In this case, if the units sounds good in mult-channel, acting as a digital processor with preamp functionality, then it will sound just as good with 2 channel as it does in multi, most likely. If you are considering analog out sources to analog in's on such a beast, you need to consider all the issues.
On that note, I've never found any even high end AV pre/pro's that sound as good as a good high end 2 channel preamp with analog sources! - NOT ONE! And I've dealt with quite a few of them over the years, including Theta, Krell, Meridian, Mcintosh, etc. So, consider.
Bottom line, is it comes down to what all sources you need to use, and how you plan on connecting them, what context you're using them, room acoustics, needs, etc. If you have some smaller acoustically demanding room, you'll most assuredly need to take advantage of better room DSP or any otherwise potential good sound will be decimated by the room acoustics issues - another reason I favor keeping it all in the digital realm, for digital EQ circuits.
These points should also be adressed for the need of having a digital out of a pre/pro as well. Please clarify
Meridian processors provide most of what you are looking for. G68XXV that I used own had excellent DAC, pretty good two channel section, and ability to upsample 16/44 redbook PCM. If I recall correctly Meridian processors digitize analog inputs in order to apply DSP and room correction. I don't remember if A/D can be bypassed.

However I'm still not clear why you would want the processor to "downmix" 5.1 to two channel. All DVDs contain two channel PCM audio track which is typically higher quality than DD or DTS surround track anyways. MCH SACD and DVD Audio include two channel mix also.
In regards to 2 channel downmix for DD/multi, I presume most/all(?) processors do this if you configure for 2.1 channels anyway. I can't remember having an AV processor that didnt' have the ability to configure for 2 channels plus subwoofer, in which case all information is downmixed to 2 channels, regardless. I could of course be mistaken.
I've had a lot of processors and receivers over the years, and can't think of anytime this aspect wasn't fully handled.
As Skippybo has said, every pre/pro I know of will do a downmix from multichannels to 2.0 or 2.1 but you would be best off using the dedicated 2 channel tracks contained on almost every disc.

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It depends on the BluRay authoring. You should be able to choose the HD audio track, even in 2.0. Many of the BRDs I have (mostly opera and ballet, I must admit) have a lossless 2channel PCM track. OTOH, one can convert the 5.1 HD tracks to 2.0/2.1 if necessary.

The big point here is that all this should be entirely digital using HDMI output from the player to the processor, regardless of the number of channels.

That said, if you want the best from traditional 2 channel analog sources, like phono, an analog preamp with an HT passthrough would be a good adjunct to any MCH processor.
Thanks for your responses. I have been using the downmix option on my Sony DVD player (5.1.Dolby Digital -> 2 channel PCM) and then routing it to my Accuphase DC-61 DAC and then to my Accuphase C-250. I would like to do this in one box. Then I can work on my transition to true 5.1.

The other thing I am looking for is to take the 5.1 signal from my Motorola HDTV STB and processing it as 2 channel The 2 channel output of this box is weak and I would like to apply processing to the 5.1 digital output, such as DSP.

Again, many thanks.
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