Re: Is old Proceed AVP-S still any good?
I was lucky to get an AVP-S for about $350 on an audiogon auction (no box or remote) and I think it is one of the best audio purchases I've made. It was pretty easy to setup as the manual is on the web, and the unit itself can program a universal remote.
I challenge the people who call it "too old" to suggest something better, new or used, for $500-700 or less. I was looking for 75% music, and 25% HT, so there is probably better for pure HT.
I was looking for a reasonably compact, one box pre-pro, that supported 5.1 DD and DTS, sounded great in 2-channel, and had good multi-room capabilities. I don't care about video switching, and frankly don't understand why people don't just let the TV do vs. I considered a lot of gear including old Merdian 56x, Rotel, NAD, Marantz, Parasound, B+K, outlaw, and arcam. My reference 2-ch pre-pro is a Benchmark DAC1. IMO only the Merdian and Proceed were in the same 2-ch league with the Benchmark for my budget. Demo equipment included Rotel RB-1080, 1066, and Bryston 3BSST amps, North Creek speakers (Kitty Kat and Borealis), and a Velodyne DD-10 sub. Most of the pre-pros lacked something compared to the Benchmark, maybe they sounded thin/flat, harsh, or less refined. I didn't spend a lot of time comparing HT, but I found the AVP to be as good if not better than a much newer Marantz or Rotel for 5.1. In the end the Meridan didn't have enough inputs, multiroom, and was more expensive.
I've had the AVP for about a year. It is connected to the Rotel RB-1080 and 1066. I find the Benchmark a bit more engaging while the AVP is a tad more laid-back and smooth. But for <$400 I'm definitely satisfied. I wouldn't mind a pre with a newer codec, so if someone better suggestion, please provide it.