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Primare SP33 AV Processor

High End Surround Sound Processing With Pure Audio Quality

With a seductive blend of state-of-the-art performance and intuitive ease-of-use, the advanced SP33 audiophile balanced eight-channel pre-amplifier/processor will perform beautifully at the centre of your entire home entertainment system.

Featuring no fewer than five HDMI inputs of the latest spec, and two HDMI outputs, together with a wide range of analogue and digital audio connections, the SP33 gives you the power of fingertip control over all your home entertainment sources, including disc players, DACs, computer files and online movies and music.

With versatility and convenience comes the superb audiophile performance of a Primare 30 series design. At this level Primare provides the very best of our audio and video design capabilities, to release the vitality hidden in your film and music collections.

The SP33 is an audiophile balanced eight channel pre-amplifier/processor featuring full RS-232 control, comprehensive video switching via 1.4 compliant HDMI and powerful custom configuration. It is the natural successor to the successful SP32, which was recognised around the world for its high performance and innovative user interface. As the first of a new generation of Primare home entertainment products however, the SP33 represents a considerable evolutionary advance in terms of design, performance, user flexibility and versatility. It offers a truly modular design platform, which allows for entire audio, video and control sections to be upgraded easily by superior Primare versions of the latest technologies.

Modular Design:

The SP33’s comprehensively shielded heavy-duty steel chassis houses a newly developed modular design that allows for DSP, video and connections to be upgraded easily with proprietary Primare boards, incorporating thoroughly evaluated and optimised versions of the latest technologies and connectors.

In every instance we have taken special care to keep signal paths short and layouts uncomplicated. Together with high performance FFC-wiring, these techniques give the unit an extremely high performance and the highest possible signal-to-noise ratio. The finest audio grade semiconductors and capacitors have been used whenever possible. All parts that are known to interfere with each other are isolated by shielding, dedicated signal paths and power supplies.

Operational Versatility:

Almost every parameter in the configuration of the SP33 can be user defined. Any input can be assigned a name and associated with any audio and video source. Surround format, trigger activation and input sensitivity can be specified for the input. Individual levels, speaker types, crossover frequencies and delay configurations including bass management can be selected for each of the major surround formats. A 250mS global delay system, with dedicated DSP, is incorporated in order to achieve the best possible picture to sound synchronisation. For the highest possible installation flexibility, all the SP33’s functions can be controlled in three ways: from the front panel, IR or RS232.


The SP33 has five HDMI v1.4 inputs and two HDMI v1.4 outputs for audio and video, incorporating a user-selectable audio processing and bypass function (see Technical Information). HDMI v1.4 capability is significant because it carries uncompressed multi-channel PCM audio from a Blu-ray player to the SP33’s DACs and beyond to the amplifiers and loudspeakers. HDMI 1.4 deployed by the SP33 supports 3D pass-through but not ARC or 4K UHD.

Eight pairs of unbalanced and two pairs of balanced analogue audio inputs are provided together with seven digital audio inputs (incl. AES/EBU). Via the ‘input settings’ menu, any audio input can be assigned to any HDMI video input, for simultaneous output to the HDMI video outputs. 7.1 channel analogue audio inputs are also provided for the connection to older DVD-A / SACD players. Both balanced and unbalanced pre-amplified audio outputs (FL, FR, C, SUB, SR, SL, SBL, SBR) are provided for connection to any type of power amplifier. Three 12V high current DC-triggers are provided, as well as IR and RS232 inputs.

SP33 Technical information:


The SP33 incorporates a five input HDMI repeater based around the Silicon Image
SIL9135, which incorporates digital audio extraction over SPDIF or I2S format. It
supports both multi-channel PCM audio from Blu-ray, SACD or DVD-players and the more commonly used Dolby D and DTS formats, which are fed over high quality FFC cable to the DSP processor. A user selectable bypass function for HDMI audio is also available, telling the SP33 either to process or forward HDMI audio to a display device. A user-configured default function addresses any other audio input source, if there is no signal on the defined HDMI input.


The SP33’s DSP is performed by a Freescale DSPC56371 24bit processor, which is able to fast lock and decode all the commonly used multichannel formats (with up to 192kHz sampling frequency). A slave Freescale DSPB56367 24bit processor handles all delay functions, including the global 250mS delay used for perfect synchronising of picture and sound. Analogue signals for Dolby Pro Logic IIX or DTS NEO processing are first converted to digital by a Burr Brown PCM4202, which incorporates an automatic level sensing circuit eliminating the need for manual ADC adjustments.

DACs and analogue circuits:

The audio DACs are 24bit, 192kps WM8740s from Wolfson, used in conjunction with Burr Brown OPA2134 and Texas Instruments NE5532 operational amplifiers for the analogue, semi-balanced, DC-servo controlled, buffering and filtration circuits. These feed the purified audio signal into an eight-channel low distortion, half passive volume control CS3318 from Cirrus. For the SP33 we have located all the gain stages and DC-servo circuits before the volume control in order to achieve a much better signal to noise ratio. An eight and two-channel analogue bypass mode bypasses the DSP completely for the analogue fans.

Power Supplies:

In order to achieve the best possible signal-to-noise ratio for both audio and video
circuits, the power supplies in the SP33 are designed entirely in the linear domain. To save power, the SP33 uses two separate power supply circuits: a small perfectly-tuned supply is used in standby mode to drive the standby functions while in operation we use a large 300VA toroid transformer, which incorporates separate windings for all the different sections of the SP33, such as video, digital and analogue. For the video and digital sections we use dedicated, custom-designed linear regulation technologies. For the delicate analogue section we use rectification and regulation in two steps: voltages are first regulated down to a moderate level and then down to perfection by a fast-acting half discrete circuit. For the low voltage/high current supplies used by the DSP engine, HDMI circuits and other digital parts, we use local regulation techniques in order to achieve fastest possible regulation while keeping disturbance levels at an absolute minimum.

Features and Benefits

Modular Architecture.

Fully Balanced Analogue AV Preamplifier & Digital Controller

Dolby® True HD, DTS Master Audio, Dolby® Digital, Prologic IIX, EX 7.1, dts®, dts-ES 6.1, Neo6

1080p HDMI Switching (5in/2out)

DVD-A & SACD 5.1 input,

Multi-Channel PCM Compatible

Fully Configurable & Format independent Bass Management

Two Balanced Source Inputs

7.1 Balanced Outputs

Discrete IR & Full RS232 Operation

Programmable Triggers

Upgradeable Architecture

Available in Black or Titanium

Detailed Specifications:

Analogue Inputs:   2 Balanced, 8 RCA, inc 7.1 inputs

Digital Inputs:   1 Balanced, 3 RCA, 3 Toslink

Video Inputs:   5 HDMI

Balanced Analogue Outputs:   FR, FL, C, SL, SR, SBL, SBR, Sub

Analogue Record Output:   1 RCA (L + R)

Zone 2 Output:   1 RCA (L + R)

Digital Output:   1 RCA, 1 Toslink

Video Output:   2 HDMI – individual settings

Modes:   Stereo, Bypass, Party, Dolby PLIIx, DTS NEO:6

Decoding Formats:   Dolby (TrueHD, Digital, PLII, PLIIx), DTS (HD Master Audio, ES, Neo:6, 96/24), Multi-channel and Stereo PCM

Sampling Rates:   32Khz,44.1Khz, 48Khz, 88.2Khz, 96Khz,192Khz

Video:   HDMI with HD and 3D pass through + HDMI OSD

Upscaling:   1080p

Other Inputs/Outputs:   1 x IR Input, 3 x 12vOutputs (Triggers), 1 x RS232

Power Consumption:   <60W

THD:   <0.005%, 20Hz – 20Khz

SNR:   -110dB

Frequency Response:   10Hz – 100Khz, +/- 1dB, 20Hz – 20Khz +/- 0.2dB

Input Impedence:   47KΩ

Output Impedence:   47 R Balanced

Digital Data:   47 R Balanced

THD +N:   0.005% @ 1Khz

Dimensions (W x D x H):   430 x 385 x 180mm

Weight:   12 Kg


Documentation to be added soon . . .