Sequence Strata Speaker System, Primare DVD26 DVD Player & SPA21 Surround Processor/Amplifier At A Glance & Ratings: Primare SPA21 Surround Processor/Amplifier

At A Glance: Primare SPA21 Surround Processor/Amplifier

Number of Channels: 5
Power Rating (watts per channel): 100, into 8 ohms
Frequency Response: 20 Hz–20 kHz
Processing Modes: Dolby: Digital 5.1, EX, Pro Logic II
DTS: 5.1, ES Matrix, ES Discrete, Neo:6
Proprietary: Surround EX 7.1
THX Certification: No
Audio D/A Converter: 24-bit/192-kilohertz
Dimensions (H x W x D, inches): 5.5 x 17 x 15.75
Weight (pounds): 49.6
Price: $3,995 Connections
Inputs: Video: component video (2), S-video (2), composite video (4)
Audio: coaxial digital (2), optical digital (2), 7.1-channel analog (1), stereo analog (5)
Video: S-video (2), composite video (2), component video (1)
Audio: coaxial digital (1), preamp (10), Five-way binding posts (5)
RS-232 (1), 12-volt trigger (2), IR jack (1)

These listings are based on the manufacturer's stated specs; the HT Labs box below indicates the gear's performance on our test bench.

Ratings: Primare SPA21 Surround Processor/Amplifier

Build Quality: 97
• Fit and finish are as good as, if not better than, anything else in the price range
• Power supplies on steroids

Value: 93
• The uniqueness of the pre/pro/integrated amp combo makes it hard to compare
• Awesome sound quality

Features: 92
• Unmatched flexibility in input/output assignments
• No upconversion to component video

Performance: 97
• Treats film sound as high-performance audio
• Proprietary DSP is exceptional

Ergonomics: 94
• Setup is complex, but daily operation is exceptionally simple
• One-piece chassis fits in limited rack space

Overall Rating: 95
It's a category-bender that's more than an integrated amp but not quite a receiver. More importantly, it's a phenomenal-sounding piece of gear that looks great and is a joy to use.

General Information
SPA21 Surround Processor/Amplifier, $3,995
(510) 843-4500