The second most important module is the digital audio board with its signal processing and the decoder chips plus a full set of digital sound in- and outputs. The third and final swappable module is reserved for controlling options. To control the SP33, it currently offers an infrared repeater input for an external receiver – practical, when the amp is installed e.g. in a cabinet – and an RS-232 interface for control by means of controller systems à la Crestron. Three trigger outputs act as remote turn-on, for instance of the power amps or active loudspeakers.

Practical remote control

Four of the RCA input socket pairs may be used as a multi-channel analogue input to connect e.g. an SACD player. Other comfort connections such as frontside inputs for mobile devices or the likes have been dropped by the puristic Swedes. The included system remote control, too, can do without any bells and whistles and clearly stands out against the majority of its competitors: it’s unusually flat and surprisingly low in weight. Which is more pleasant in practice than many a wanna-be »cast ingot«, as they are supplied with some high-end devices. True, these will impart a nobler haptic feel – but in everyday life you’ll soon mutate into a bodybuilder. In contrast the superslim hand bar from Primare appears to be calmingly ergonomic, not least because it’s also nicely flat due to the fact that it uses button cells instead of full-fledged batteries.

In the listening room manual work was in demand when adjusting the system, for there is no auto-calibration – hence a measuring tape, a level meter, a good hearing and a little experience were needed. A trained tester can perform the set-up in even less time, because he won’t have to wait for the constantly beeping, pulsing or noise-emitting automatic helper. The simple, but well-structured Scandinavian menu helps to find the right presets for all parameters quickly. To each input and the two HDMI outputs the displayed names, triggers, an input level correction, video signal processing and the default playback mode for stereo signals may be freely assigned.