Proceed AVP A/V Preamplifier

Proceed AVP A/V Preamplifier 

DESCRIPTION

DD/DTS audio video preamplifier

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 62  
[Dec 31, 2010]
nurxhunter
AudioPhile

This is a ‘slimmed down’ version of the $30,000 Mark Levinson #40, as per the AVP2 copy:

“Features found in both models include the digital interface receiver (DIR), the "Intelligent FIFO" digital input buffer, and differential DACs for left and right front channels. The #40 and the AVP2 have "identical processing hardware and software," according to Madrigal, and both use four "SHARC" 32-bit fixed/floating point processors for the main zone.”

The upgrade cost from an AVP to an AVP2 was $2500. The AVP is not comparable to this--and this review is for AVP2.

I am the second owner. I used it to drive my Hammer Dynamic S-12 from a custom PP Triode 807 amp. and also a Music Reference RM9-2 into VSA VR3.5 with dual VSA subs.

1) Of around 15 nice DACS I have owned, this is a good as the best of them. IN STEREO-NO-SURROUND MODE this is a SUPER STEREO 2CH-DAC with a high quality ANALOG volume AND BALANCE control. This is critical to me as 90% of my listening is Stereo, and my left ear is down 6db from my right.

2) As a preamp, it is VERY transparent. Like it's not there. Marvelous job by Proceed.. With processing off, this is a state-of-the-art analog-only preamp. Sounds like a passive (Better in fact than my Luminous Audio Axiom, which is quite good for what it is).

3) The approach to the remote is outstanding--radical simplicity and effectiveness. But--ya just gots to read the manual for a page to 'get it'. Just push and hold the upper left button and a screen pops up on the TV letting you reprogram buttons. Cool, I think.

4) Clearly, this is a high-end piece thought out and designed by engineers who are arguably among the best in the 2CH and Surround industry (Proceed/Madrigal/Levinson). Almost a statement piece.

5) In Surround Sound mode (5.1, but 7.1 capable, I believe), it is the best I have heard, including the EAD and Meridian (568.1) lines, and some others. Its signature is in between a Meridian and an EAD. Just to the warm side of PERFECTLY neutral without being bright in the upper mids (Meridian) of soft in highs (EAD). This is critical to me for any solid state piece.

Thanks for reading this dissertation.

One last note: From everything I have read, the upgrade to AVP2 makes this a totally different beast than the AVP, a fact Proceed/Madrigal was quite proud of. The upgrade was $2500 back then, and many owners sprang for it, and loved to result.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 07, 2010]
Eli72
AudioPhile

This review is for the AVP2
One of the best sounding pre processors ever. It sounds as good as a top rated 2 channel pre amp in stereo. that alone is reason to grab one of these at the prices they are going for. I own this and also a meridian 568.2
It's hard to compare the two, I consider both of these units to be the best of the best. AVP2 seems to have a fuller Bass while the Meridian a slightly more detailed high, again it's tricky comparing these two, both give me chills.
Here are some of the features both units lack that I believe are essential:
1. No balanced surround outputs
2. No HDMI or Component connection
3. Only 1 digital Toslink optical connection
4. Not the best remote control, I also don't like to have to turn on the TV just to change some settings
5. AVP2 has no EQ settings, you cant trim the treble or bass, I'm not sure if this is good or bad but it would be nice to have a little control over some of the frequencies at times.
5. And most important they are discontinued and no longer have upgrades available, the AVP2 cannot be serviced without spending a fortune.

One great advantage the AVP2 has is that it allows true bypass for stereo and lets the stereo signal go straight through without conversion or processing, this is like having a real pre amp that keeps the signal untainted and pure in 2 channel. Also the AVP looks beautiful with it's silver/white metal frame, shame Proceed is no more.

With all that said I still think the AVP2 is a classic component which I intend to hold onto until it stops working all together, it's just that good. I spoke with Mark Levinson tech support and confirmed that these units have not been cursed with leaky capacitors or any major known flaws that need service, they were built to last a long time from what I understand, the only known problem on these units are the crystal display which can be replaced even self service. If your priority is music then grab one, if you need more connections and want to have 20 speakers hanging around your ceiling then this is not for you.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 28, 2008]
fde
AudioPhile

Strength:

much option, to enter and symmetrical output, ergonomics

very good preamplifier in stereo mode, very soft sound and detail, very good stereophony effect, sound opened,

Similar Products Used:

mark levinson,krell,yba,densen,rotel,nuforce,accuphase,harman ,mc intosh,marantz,proceed amp,

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 06, 2007]
Greg
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Ease of use
Overall sound quality

Weakness:

None

I purchases the AVP2 from an Audiogon seller a few weeks ago. I know that Proceed no longer makes new equipment, but I am compelled to say that this is the best sounding 2 channel and suround sound processor I ever heard. This comes from someone that spent a forturne looking for equipment over the years to sound this good. I guess Proceed is no longer for sale, because It is as good as the much more highly priced Mark Levinson processors. This is a steal if you can find one.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 10, 2004]
kris
AudioPhile

Strength:

2 channel music. 7.1 movies. No bugs

Weakness:

None

This review is for the AVP2! This is the best proceesor I have ever heard. I have been through so many processors this year trying to find one that is good for movies and most important music and I found it. I have owned California ssp-2500, Lexicon mc-8, Meridian 568, Anthem avm20.2, Parasound c1. The worst out of that bunch was Anthem buy far. The Parasound C1 was very good along with the Meridian 568 but the Proceed with the best to me. There are no bugs its easy to setup and the DAC are awesome to say the least. You can take a $200 dvd player to a digital input on the Proceed and it will sound just like a $4000 one. There no relay clicking just pure sounding music. This is a better preamp then my old Conrad Johnson preamp.

Similar Products Used:

California ssp-2500, Lexicon mc-8, Meridian 568, Anthem avm20.2, Parasound c1

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 26, 2003]
jack201
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Name it

Weakness:

Spoils you way too much

Well, I did it! I went for the upgrade! In a past review I knocked my AVP for certain software bugs and for being a bit bass shy. I guess I mistook the amount of bass present for a lack of articulation. It turns out my migration from An Integra+Musical Fidelity Monoblocks+Veritas 2.4 system to the then present AVP+Levinson 23.5+Revel F30 system was to blame. I was missing the tunefullness of the Veritas' when listening to Acoustic/Upright Bass passages. F30s being the picky little buggers they are were giving me the one note samba until.....THE UPGRADE. EVERYTHING just got better. I kid you not.I was so intrigued I started grabbing speakers from my other systems just to check it out. Maggies check, Dynaudio Contours check old 600 series B&Ws check. Yup. I was having a blast. I got a great deal on a Levinson No.332 and WOW again! Friends with much more expensive dedicated (2 channel) systems have come over and expressed disbelief at the synergy of my system. I'm now beaming with that sickening proud soccer dad smile. Anyway, the upgrade has proved well worth it, besides i guess this is the closest I'll ever get to owning a Levinson DAC. The killer is for all intents and purposes I get one heck of a quiet, neutral pre-amp and AV Processor to boot! As far as Redbook goes, I have yet to hear any CD player or Transport DAC and Pre-Amp combos that can compare to my Sony cheapo SACD player AVP2 at the same price point. It totally puts my Arcam CD92 ARC LS16 mk.2 to shame. Kudos to Proceed. I wish you didn't have to close shop and i hope that Madrigal will keep their promise and continue to offer upgrades albeit under the Levinson brand name because those Lexicons just are not as good.

Similar Products Used:

see past review

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 11, 2003]
Darcy
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

2 Channel stereo, quiet, seamless surround.

Weakness:

Dis-continued!

Just picked up an AVP2 +6 to replace my AVP. This one was factory upgraded and includes the bigger power supply and faceplate along with the Plus 6 option. I had done an A/B comparison with someone who had thier unit dealer upgraded, it sounded only a little better. In fairness it was Green with no hours on it so mabee that had something to do with it. The AVP2 is definatly an improvement over the AVP. Cleaner sound, the soundstage is wider and surround gets you in the middle of the movie. I am using a Classe Ca-301 2 channel amplifier for stereo music and it is a great match. I found that the Proceed HPA2 was a little thin on the top end. Over all a very good pre-amp, too bad they dis-continued the line

Similar Products Used:

Proceed AVP, Classe SSP-25, Anthem AVP20, B&K.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 28, 2003]
Dave
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Ease of use for those of us who have other things to do in life but read manuals Absolutley wonderful sound quality for both music and DVD video Built like a tank Great service and support from madrigal Many of the same components as the new Levinson No.40

Weakness:

If you're a piker, cost to upgrade

Upgraded my AVP to the AVP2. All I can say is WOW!! I owned the original AVP since 1999 with Proceed's HPA-2 and HPA-3 amps. Was not exactly impressed with the amp's but was very impressed with the AVP's easy use and great sound quality for both music and video. My system includes B&W 803N; B&W 805N for rear channel and a B&W HTM-1 center. The sub is also B&W but I forgot which one. Changed amps to Krell's KAV 250a/3 and Kav 250a and was absolutely estatic at the improvement. I'm not that proficient in using technical terms to describe why or how the sound improves; all I can say for those of us who are not interested in technical verbiage is that with the AVP2, the imporvement in soundstage and depth of the music is a colossal impovement over the original AVP. The upgrade isn't cheap, but I truly believe that in most instances you get what you pay for. If you own the AVP, you would be foolish not to take advantage of the upgrade opportunity. I had the unit sent to the factory and received it back in two weeks; I have always been happy with madrigal's service. If you own the original AVP; don't be a piker- upgrade and you will see.

Similar Products Used:

Krell HTS

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 06, 2003]
larrymfjenkins
AudioPhile

Strength:

Sound Quality, enhanced setup choices, Speed of signal lock, ability to connect CVP2 for component switching.

Weakness:

List price of I think $2,400 U.S. is not cheap, but you basically are getting a new $6,600 AVP2 for $4,000 off! We are lucky they let us upgrade, otherwise we'd all be figuring out how to talk the wife into the new $6,600 unit!

Just upgraded my AVP to AVP2. The upgrade is dealer installed and takes about 1 hour. I was told by everyone that it would take 300 hours to burn in, but noticed a huge difference imediately. (can't wait for the 300 hour mark!) Initially you will be amazed at the improved sound quality, but after tweaking the setup you will apreciate the finer things as well! The seperately adjustable crossover points, signal lock is much quicker, auto migration seems to work better, no more dropouts on DTS! But the greatest point are the new DAC's. 2 Channel Audio came to life! Even though my AVP had great sound and Imaging, I still could locate the speakers. With the AVP2 the speakers seem to disapear and do not get in the way of the expierence. The sound seems to have more "depth" and "texture" in my opinion. My dealer let me borrow an AVP2 before the upgrade, hopefully yours will do the same. If you are thinking about doing the upgrade to AVP2 don't wait any longer! If you liked your AVP before, just wait!

Similar Products Used:

Theta Casa Nova

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 23, 2002]
Jack D
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

neutral sound, ease of use, upgradeability

Weakness:

Digitizes all inputs. No analog path for turntable or open reel use. BIG Bummer.

Yes it costs a bundle, hangs like a PC does once in a while and has an upgrade which isn't "FREE" by a long long shot, but da*n it sure sounds and looks good. I use my system for music (2 channel CD and SACD) ninety percent of the time and had my realestate, spousal and checkbook situation allowed I would have opted for separate music and HT systems. I chose the AVP over the Theta Casablanca and the Krell HTS not only because it was cheaper but because I believe its DACS were just as good (emphasis on the analog stage) although sacrificing a little bit in the power supply department. It has allowed me to enjoy the music despite having to compromise. I've never bit into the expensive transport hype so I chose a product with exceptional reclocking so I could use just any old digital source from MDs, DAWs off a MAC, CDs,DATs and even a PS2. Stays out of the way of the music. Clear and clean sound if a bit bass shy, then again I'll take less bass to lousy bass any time. How could it be even better? Improve resolution and functionality.Hmmm...32 Bit SHARC DACs, upsampling to make use of different filters, ES, Prologic 2, EX. I guess that means I'm getting the upgrade! So why only 4 stars? 5 is reserved for the No. 40. System Sony DVD/SACD player forget which model AVP (scheduled for upgrade) Levinson 23.5 Proceed BPA 3 Revel F30 Revel C30 1 pr Musical Fidelity X-50(for 7.1) Sonance in ceiling(for 7.1) Energy HTS dipoles and Sub MIT cables throughout

Similar Products Used:

Onkyo Integra, Lexicon, Anthem, Denon, Citation

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 62  

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