This week sent this new product request to Topping Support:
When Kal Rubinson compared the Pre90 preamp to the $17K Pass Labs preamp I was amazed that he found the sound quality not too far apart between the two. https://www.stereophile.com/content/topping-pre90-line-preamplifier
But then I read this review of the Parasound JC-2? John Atkinson was certainly impressed when he compared it to his Levinson 380S preamp. https://www.stereophile.com/solidpreamps/308para/index.html#comment-611314
Of course, neither of those preamps would work for the 5.1 system I want to build. And unlike the Topping Pre90 and EXT90, I certainly couldn't afford to buy two of those expensive preamps to make it happen!
BUT what if Topping had offered a 5.1 preamp that sounded (to Rubinson and Atkinson) every bit as great as the Parasound JC-2 and/or the Levinson 380S, but perhaps for only ~ $2K?
AND what if this new preamp included these new features?
Five Channels for front, rear, center speaker and subwoofer.
Balanced driver input/output: At least one stereo pair.
Better Quality Remote: While Atkinson complained of build quality and functionality issues with the JC-2 preamp's remote, Rubinson didn't like the Pre90's remote either. Please read his complaints about it in the above review.
Interchannel left/right Balance Control: I agree with Rubinson that said some users would miss having this in the Pre90.
Improved power supply design: Low DA, ESR supply filter and film bypass capacitors and more changes to further improve sonic realism.
In Atkinson's review, read how he describes the way the Parasound JC-2 preamp makes a bunch of his favorite recordings sound incredibly life like in the above review!! What if the new Topping 5.1 preamp could equal the JC-2's performance in every such respect?
Given the Pre90/EXT90's stunning reception by the audiophile community, a Topping 5.1 channel preamp with the above improvements and features that sells for ~ $2K (hardly a lot of money in the North American audiophile market) would win over countless thousands more who complain that superb sounding two channel preamps had to cost > $4K.
Please consider designing and launching this new 5.1 preamp in 2023!
Happily, Topping replied that they will discuss these suggestions with their R & D department.