Are you interested in the new multichannel analog preamps being offered? Why or why not?

Are you interested in the new multichannel analog preamps being offered? Why or why not?
Yes, planning to buy one
8% (20 votes)
Yes, will take a look
10% (27 votes)
8% (22 votes)
Not so sure
6% (15 votes)
Not really
19% (49 votes)
Not at all
49% (128 votes)
Total votes: 261

We saw quite a few new multichannel analog preamps (intended for use with multichannel SACD and DVD-Audio) from several high-end manufacturers at the recent CES. These preamps do not decode DVD-Video multichannel and are strictly for audio use. Does this type of product interest you?

Norm Strong's picture

Any such device should do it all. What other excuse is there for a separate preamp?

Brian Moura's picture

Picked up the Switchman II from EMM Labs. Provides much better sound from Super Audio CD discs that the Meridian 861 Home Theater preamp/processor that I had been using for both audio and DVD Video in the past.

Cardani's picture

Multichanel and music don,t blend at all!

Robert's picture

Won't be interested in multichannel until I set up my home theater room, which will be totally separate from my two-channel music room. Don't anticipate setting up my home theater room for at least another five years.

Erik Leideman's picture

I will probably buy SACD or DVD-audio soon, but I will not listen to multichannel. I plan to buy a new two-channel preamp though.

Bram Hillen (the Netherlands)'s picture

I am not interested in multichannel equipment at all, because multichannel has nothing to do with serious high-end music reproduction. Recently, I bought the (two channel)Tact rcs 2.0 Room Correction preamplifier, bringing the music right in my listening room—in combination with my Nautilus 802s and a (also TWO channel) Sony SCD 777 (sa)cd player. Serveral times I have visited multichannel performances, but I wasn't impressed at all. Actually, I found the multichannel performance one step back from the real thing (too reverbant recordings, etc).

Joe Hartmann's picture

I have been thinking quite a bit about multichannel this year. I can not see how I would locate a sub woofer in my 13'6" x 16'6" family room. Where two addditional channels would go to create a satisfing audio chamber is beyond me unless I consider a custom installation. I've spent almost $40,000 on my current system but a custom installation seems excessive. The surround sound systems I've heard, all audio/video systems have not impressed me as real.

the Grinch's picture

gee, it need many high end loudspeaker (lots bucks :( ), and spare more money for software...

bobaloo1's picture

Convince me!

Jim Tavegia's picture

I will at some point buy into SACD, not DVD-A, and will buy an additional three channel integrated amp to drive the additional center and rear channels with seperate volume controls for each. Since JA has stated that SACD has not impaired the audio portion of SACD with watermarking, I will go that route. I will not buy a watermarked format tht manipulates the audio. This will also be an addition to my audio system and not part of my home theater set up, which is in another room. I have much higher standards for audio playback than I do for watching TV and movies.

stephen simons phx's picture

Stereo still workes for me, I have no multichannel sound material, and I dislike the complication. More channels means more noise. The center channel is unneeded and I cannot image front to back like I can left to right.

Norman Bott's picture

I am not even interested in multichannel SACD or DVD-Audio. I will die listening to good old two-channel sound.

Stephen C.  Black's picture

Any optical disc player should play all optical disc formats with unadulterated digital output. Within that definition, I would find seperate audio-only units acceptable although I would not use them until I could justify a separate music-only system in my home.

Bill Hojnowski's picture

Seperate decoders, preamps, and multichannel amps are too many components and interconnects for me to handle. Also, the components of integrated recievers work together switching inputs and decode modes automatically. When Magnum Dynalab makes a Denon style integrated multichannel reciever, then you might have something.

Tony P., Phoenix, AZ's picture

I have zero interest in multichannel. There is still not enough multichannel recordings that I would want to buy to justify a multichannel system.

Frank's picture

Well, you never know do you?...but until then phono

Al Earz's picture

Actually I am awaiting the arrival of the McIntosh MX134 that is soon to be hitting shelves and should be a better peice than the MX132. But where does it end? I thought the C39 and MSD4 were the end. I am also waiting on the Linn and Tag McLaren pieces to be released. Oh well, this is good for the economy . . . right?

peter takov, bulgaria's picture

The extra channels add much more to the cost than to the sound. For the same money, I would buy a much better stereo amp.

Robin Banks's picture

I alreay own a stereo SACD player, but I would have to invest in a new multichannel disc player, amp, and pre-amp just to hear the new format. Right now, stereo SACD is good enough for me. I don't see myself wanting to "upgrade" to multichannel for a long time.

Bill Slonecker's picture

It's not that this gear doesn't support video, but that it's multi-channel. Most of us (readers) have been into audio for years and have built up substantial 2 channel music collections of lps and cds. To take advantage of this, I'd rather spend a $5000 dollar speaker budget on the best stereo pair with wire than spread the money out on 5 (or 6, or 7) speakers of lesser sonic quality.

hifichoc's picture

I had a discussion with some of my friends about the differences with two channel and multi-channel(video and audio format) is that two channel can not make a bad music sound good. The opposite is that multi-channel can. If one does not have good, not just audiophile recordings, then they are destined for the multi-channel format.

Nick's picture

I will not waste my money on DVD-A/SACD until there is a digital standard. Why buy a preamp the will be outdated next year?

Louis P.'s picture

It is starting to look like you can add multichannel capability without too much pain. Almost all of the new Sony SACD players seem to be multichannel. A center channel is no longer mandatory. Speakers like the Thiel Powerpoint work in any room. If the preamp will seamlessly switch between two and multichannels (ie making the subwoofer active all of the time), then most of the objections to multi channel have been dealt with. As for the two good channels for the price of five mediocre ones, that's not necessarily true either. Much of the expense of more expensive speakers ($5000-10,000) has to do with bass extension and more expensive cabinets required to produce all of that bass at high volumes without adding cabinet distortion. Quite often, lower price models use the same midrange and tweeters. So surrounds and a subwoofer may even be a cost effective upgrade for someone who already owns reasonably high quality speakers. Although I am strongly pro-analog, I would love to be able to have both options since most new recordings are likely to be made with multichannel in mind.

tony esporma's picture

I see no point on an analog multichannel amp. The only reason why I use an analog stereo preamp is because I play LPs and I want to keep the signal as pure as possible. But when I play multichannel data that was decoded from a digital form, I'd rather keep the signal modification—including gain control—in the digital realm until the last minute.

Joe Sutherland's picture

I'm happy with my stereo system and haven't the money to move to surrond sound.

Alan's picture

Need a recording format that will benefit from surround capability. Whatever happened to the Ambisonics crew in the UK?

Steve's picture

Multi channel is for the media room. Two channel is for the music room.

Andreas's picture

Digital outputs on SACD/DVD-A players or bust! Requiring consumers to purchase this many interconnects is absurd.

Ken Kirkpatrick's picture

I am years away from getting into high end multichannel. I have my audio and video set ups in different rooms. I do not care for a high end preamp to watch movies.

Stephen Curling's picture

I like to keep everything in the digital realm as long as possible.