Is Sunfire TGP5 worth it, or should I get better pre/pro?
I've been upgrading my HT system, swapped out all my speakers. My new system is B&W N803s/HTM1/DS7, along with my Sunfire Architectural sub. I have a Pioneer vsx49tx receiver, which was considered the bomb back in 02, but the internal amps were a joke with the B&W's. So, although evryone over at AVS and Audiogon said a better pre/pro would make the biggest improvement, I went ahead and got a closeout Sunfire TGA5200 amp for a steal. All I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW, what an improvement!!! It is simply stunning, and more than I expected. My only problem is now I'm kicking myself for not getting the 7200 so I can add the rear surrounds.
So now everything sounds pretty darn good, but I still have upgraditis. The Pioneer sounds perfectly good in HT, and I'm amazed that it sounds so good as a 2 channel preamp (being fed by Pioneer dv47a universal dvp). But I'm dying to see how much improvement a better pre/pro can add, not to mention a better dvp like the Esoteric DV50s (btw, I like to buy used or closeouts to minimize depreciation hit).
So my question is, will the Sunfire TGP5 processor, now a closeout, make a significant improvement over the Pioneer, either as a preamp, or in HT, or both? Or do I have to go to something "supposedly" better, like a Cary Cinema 11, or a Bryston SP2, or Classe SSP300, or Parasound C2 (these are my top choices in 1800-3000 used price range). My main concern is 2 channel, but I do want my HT to sound good too. Just for the record, I don't yet care about HDMI, Bluray, etc. I'm going to let that mkt get saturated and worked out before I jump in, so I don't care about obsolesence. I just care about good old Redbook CD (hence the Esoteric DV50 or the Arcam DV139), and still want some pop and good steering in my HT.
Oh, and my last purchase will be that new Samsung LCD LNa650. Yes, I know Plasma is it, but I can't help it. Me and my whole family think the Samsung has a better picture (yes, even compared to the Kuros). We're drawn to the LCD like bugs to light, LOL!!!