Seeking Surround upgrade recommendations.


May 31, 2016
First, my system is from the 90s. It's all analog, including my surround sound processor (an old DSP-1), and I'm using it in a 4.1 configuration. Right now, the signal goes directly from my surround sound processor to external amplifiers via RCA cables.
While my DSP-1 is capable of reproducing a ton of surround sound effects, I find that I only ever use about 4 different settings. Thus, I'm willing to forgo a lot of flexibility. Let's face it, nothing will ever be as flexible as the old DSP-1s. But it's old and obsolete - it uses 8 bit internal processing.

I'm looking to upgrade my surround sound to at least 5.1. But here's the catch. I have separate amplifiers for my system that I would like to keep using. Which means, any internal amplification would be a waste of money.

Does anybody know where I can find a decent surround sound processor with RCA in and out without internal amplification for under $600?

Rogue Leader

You are looking at a 5.1/7.1 Preamp. I really like my Emotiva UMC200, it does lack any kind of analog video, all video input must be HDMI. It's discontinued but you can pick one up used for usd$300+ Plus: Auto EQ Room Correction. Minus: AM radio sucky. HDMI switches fine but no 4K.

So I see Emotiva has an upgrade, the MC-700, worth checking it out.

Because of the scarcity of Preamps, some people have resorted to buy Receivers with Pre-Outs. Receivers are more widely available, ofttimes with more features (network, airplay, bluetooth etc) and with the Pre-Outs, you can keep using your existing fav amps.