Pre/Pro assistance and advice needed

I am going to be selling my B&K Ref20 soon and will be needing a pre/pro to replace it. I would like to spend under $1400 on new/used components.

Here are my wants:
1) Analog bypass for good stereo listening.
2) DD 5.1/DTS/Possibly THX (not necessary)
I don't need video switching, DVD-Audio or SACD.

I know that the Ref20 has most of this but I want higher quality 2 channel sound.

I have considered:

Krell HTS
Classe SSP25
Aragon Soundstage
Bryston SP1

Any further suggestions would be great. I am mainly concerned with a good 2 channel analog bypass. I know all of these will offer a great HT experience.

Gurus of the 'Gon...come to my aid!

Of those on your list, I'd recommend the Aragon Sounstage. A friend of mine has one, and I've been pretty impressed with it, for a pre/pro. However, if 2 channel performance means that much to you, I'd recommend getting an analog 2 channel preamp with a SSP loop. 80% of my listening is to music, I've gone this route, and left the high end pre/pro camp for good. A Denon receiver fills my HT needs just fine, and I haven't heard a high end pre/pro yet (Proceed/Classe/Krell) sound as good in stereo as my current Classe CP-60. There are many good stereo preamps out there with SSP loops. I find that when watching movies, I'm visually distracted, so the audio isn't quite as crucial. The Denon only drives the center and surrounds, the mains are still driven by my Threshold amp. I can't really say that I feel as though I'm missing much when watching movies. Just my $.02


I just sold my Ref20 yesterday and I am looking for a new processor also. Of the ones you mentioned I like the Classe SSP25 and SSP30. But let me tell you what I am also considering, a different approach, I might get an all analog unit like the McCormack Map1. The reason I am thinking about it is I also want good two channel sound. I think that the DAC in good DVD Players are fine. And all analog should sound better. I want to hear what other people think about this direction.

You may also want to consider Copland, they have a all analog 6 channel unit that is tube.
Also considering the Proceed AVP.


Krell HTS
Proceed AVP
Classe SSP30
Aragon Soundstage

Still searching...

While I haven't heard this unit, Butler Audio also makes a 5 channel tube amp. I have Butler Audio Blue gear in my car, and as far as auto gear goes, it's second to none. Butler has also been making guitar amplification for a long time, and the brand is well respected.