April Music's Stello SP200 Multi-Channel Preamp/Processor

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New York, NY--April Music is debuting a new, multi-channel preamp/processor with two-channel upsampling D/A converter.

"The extraordinary gains made in multi-channel music make it possible for us to bring the benefits of upsampling conversion to audio devotees who enjoy well-mixed surround sound recordings," said Simon Lee, president, April Music. "As the technology evolves, the SP200 will grow with our end-users format choices, continually bringing out the subtle nuances of the finest audiophile-quality recordings."

The Stello SP200 (SRP: $3,995), scheduled to ship in June, processes nearly all popular surround formats, including Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Surround EX, DTS 5.1, DTS-ES 6.1, MPEG2 Digital Audio, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS NEO6, and MPEG2 AAC.

For SACD and DVD-A enthusiasts, the SP200 includes a direct analog eight-input facility that bypasses the processor and D/A converter. Along with analog and digital inputs, April includes direct balanced and unbalanced two-channel inputs (one each), and a bypass input for use with an outboard preamp.

Similar to April Musics acclaimed DP200 DAC-Preamplifier, the SP200 features a two-channel upsampling converter (FL/FR) that supports user-selectable rates of up to 24-bit/192 kHz sampling frequency. Settings include bypass, 48kHz, 96kHz, and 192kHz.

April Musics SP200 multichannel preamp/processor is designed to serve as high-end, intuitive component; however, its external simplicity is balanced by features including a Motorola DSP chip, Burr Brown PGA2311/4311 digital volume controls, 24-bit delta-sigma AKM AK5384 ADC, and front-panel 192kHz upsampling. There is an analog pass-through mode for two- and five-channel direct output, as well as bass management for two-channel and digital inputs.

April Music incorporated its rear panel with a wide variety of connection options. Analog inputs include two-channel analog RCA (five pairs), two-channel balanced XLR (one set), and single-ended analog pass-through (one set of two-channel inputs and one set of eight-channel outputs). Analog outputs include one eight-channel set (both with XLR & RCA) and two two-channel sets.

In the digital realm, inputs include four RCA single-end jacks, one balanced XLR, and three optical TOSLINK inputs. Digital outputs include one RCA single-end jack and one optical TOSLINK output. Component video inputs and outputs are included as well.

Additional features include a full-function IR remote, 16 x 2 character front panel display, and 12V trigger.

Added Lee: "With all the great strides made in the evolution of multichannel recordings, the most important aspect remains the quality of the sound. Our engineers consider detailed, transparent output to be the ultimate goal, and the emotional response that is ignited by a well-made recording the ultimate reward."