|Halcro SSP-100 AV Preamplifier/Processor|
|Home Theater Preamplifiers AV Preamps|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Wednesday, 01 November 2006|
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This unit, like other advanced audio video preamp-processors, is incredibly powerful and complicated to set up. In order to realize the maximum potential of this unit, a professional installation by someone familiar with it is in order. The owner’s manual comes in a nice leather binder and is fairly well-written, but it does not go far enough. For example, the Halcro literature refers to video processing features that I could not find anywhere in the manual. Halcro has fixed things like this before, as is evidenced by downloads available on the website, which provide additional guidance. I recommend that, with any purchase like this, you pay the retail price and expect the full service and support of an authorized dealer. Halcro’s dealers are very strong and can help you make your system jump through hoops without you actually having to worry about HDMI or firmware. That is for installers to worry about. You should be focused on the music and the movies.
On the audio side of things, I would have like to have seen some equalization or room correction available. As recently as a year ago, equalization usually meant degraded sound quality, but recent advances have made it a benefit in many situations. I find it particularly useful to be able to employ it with subwoofers, which is why I utilized the Velodyne SMS-1 in this system.
The Halcro SSP-100 is one of the best-sounding AV preamps available. There may be a few other processors that have the chops to vastly improve upon what Halcro brings to the table at less than $10,000, but these other suitors would be looking for more than that. The SSP-100’s feature set, detail and dynamics are extremely strong. The physical presence of the piece is artful. The ease of use is why we all love high-end audio/video gear. If you’ve got the coin and you want to treat yourself to something special, seek out a Halcro dealer for an audition. You will not be disappointed – I promise.