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"High Quality" 2 channel systems and HT


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#1 of 91 OFFLINE   Craig Morris

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Posted November 14 2002 - 08:33 AM

I'm curious... does anyone have a 2 channel biased system that they have 'attached' an HT to?

Over the past year, my focus has gone away from HT and back to Stereo. I'm even considering buying a high quality integrated amp to drive my Revel M20's (currently using a Marantz SR-18).

As I run through the possible ways to upgrade my system, the thought of getting an integrated amp that would 'permanently' reside in my system (regardless of surround format wars or updates) is very appealing. Something like the new Bryston 3B based integrated amp that is due next year perhaps.

I could then throw in a relatively affordable receiver like the new NAD T752 and have a full 7 channels of amplification. If surround formats change, I just swap the receiver, but my 'permanent' front-end stays...

Thoughts?

#2 of 91 OFFLINE   Kevin T

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Posted November 14 2002 - 08:51 AM

sounds like a good plan to me. i would have considered the same but due to space limitations, i opted for a pre that functions well for both stereo and ht. right now, i'm running an ead theatermaster encore which i will one day upgrade to the ovation-8. sounds great for music and ht even on my lowly mirage frx-7 (also soon to be replaced).

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#3 of 91 OFFLINE   Saurav

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Posted November 14 2002 - 08:55 AM

Quote:
does anyone have a 2 channel biased system that they have 'attached' an HT to?

My "attached HT" consists of my DVD player's analog stereo outputs going to one of the inputs on my preamp, and the DVD player's video going to a TV. So I guess my answer would be a "yes", if that qualifies to be called a home theater Posted Image

#4 of 91 OFFLINE   Steve_Ma

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Posted November 14 2002 - 08:57 AM

I bought an entire 5.1 HT setup at once. However, I sunk the most money into the mains (towers) and sub, understanding that they were going to get the most use for music listening. It works great for HT as well, but future upgrades will revolve around better music reproduction.

#5 of 91 OFFLINE   Yogi

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Posted November 14 2002 - 09:03 AM

I started out with purely HT intentions but slowly along the way discovered the beauty of two channel music. I then started upgrading my speakers and components geared towards greater 2 ch satisfaction and the quest still continues. The next upgrade on my agenda is the addition of a separate 2 channel tube pre to my system. I am quite satisfied with my HT performance and wouldn't be upgrading to newer formats or prepros in the near future.
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#6 of 91 OFFLINE   Shara

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Posted November 14 2002 - 10:03 AM

I went through long list of pre/pro to have one box solution. Lexicon MC-12,MC-1,DC-2,AVM-20,AVP2,REF30,Stage One and EAD 8000. I came back to Audio Research and Outlaw
950. I have both Ref Two and SL-12 pre. made by A.Research.
I will sell one of these 2 channel pre. after I play with them little longer. I have not found a Pre/Pro that will
do both really well. Still searching for music...

#7 of 91 OFFLINE   Tom Grooms

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Posted November 14 2002 - 10:10 AM

Ahh! Two channel in all its glory with a HT pass through. I like your thinking Craig.

Get a good 2 channel integrated or preamp/amp combo and hook up your Turntable and CD player directly to the pre. Now plug your DVD player into a HT Receiver and send the pre-out of your mains into your 2 channel gear. You might look for a pre amp with a HT bypass. (Adcom GFP-750, Sonic Frontiers and a few others) If the integrated you want doesn't have this feature, set the volume to unity gain (source voltage in = source voltage out) and calabrate your Receiver levels.

Remember to turn the volume knob to this position before firing up your DVD player and don't forget to turn it down before you return to two channel material.

$0.02

#8 of 91 OFFLINE   Ari

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Posted November 14 2002 - 10:37 AM

I'm doing (or will be doing) the exact thing that Tom Grooms described. Due to space constraints in a new house that I'm moving to, I will have to integrate my stereo and HT. I'll be hooking up my CD player and TT directly to my tube preamp (Anthem Pre2L) which will then be hooked up to my receiver's pre-outs. The Pre2L does have HT bypass.

One question, let's say I don't use the HT bypass, how does one know what unity gain is??

#9 of 91 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted November 14 2002 - 11:02 AM

Quote:
My "attached HT" consists of my DVD player's analog stereo outputs going to one of the inputs on my preamp, and the DVD player's video going to a TV.


Saurav, I have a very similar setup also. Posted Image

What's lost in the multi-channel marketing blitz is that really good two channel is three dimensional.

Further, two channel recordings generally sound better that multis since the damn pop engineers can't stop fiddling their knobs (!) and putting instruments and sound effects in the back speakers.

Really, who wants to sit on stage with a classical orchestra? Not me, I prefer Row N.

Posted Image
Viewing: Sony KDSXBR150, Sony Bluray S570, ATT Uverse
Listening: Sony SCD777ES, Benchmark DAC1Pre, VPI/Modwright SWP9SE/Lyra Argo, Audio Research Ref3/VT100, Maggie 1.7s

 


#10 of 91 OFFLINE   Tom Grooms

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Posted November 14 2002 - 11:24 AM

Quote:
One question, let's say I don't use the HT bypass, how does one know what unity gain is??


When calibrating your receiver, set the receiver flat on all channels, then adjust the volume on your pre/integrated until it matches the center and surrounds. Then remember that position.

DTS with tubes glowing, prue ecstasy…

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#11 of 91 OFFLINE   BruceD

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Posted November 14 2002 - 12:29 PM

I've been using the 2-channel preamp + DD/DTS processor for the last 4 years, and I think it works extremely well.

Quote:
One question, let's say I don't use the HT bypass, how does one know what unity gain is??

I don't have an HT bypass on my Parasound 1100D preamp, so this is my calibration sequence:
1) Use an SPL meter + calibration DVD @75dB for VE or 85dB for AVIA
2) Set the DD/DTS processor's volume control to reference level
3) Play the calibartion DVD for main speakers
4) Adjust 2-channel preamp's volume control to 75dB or 85dB on SPL meter
5) Mark 2-channel preamp's volume control position (for me it is exactly 12 o'clock or what is commonly called unity gain).

You can continue to calibrate the other speakers, but the 2-channel preamp doesn't get involved.

When I listen to TT or CD on the 2-channel preamp, the volume is typically between 9 o'clock and 10 o'clock

#12 of 91 OFFLINE   Mike_Ch

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Posted November 14 2002 - 01:13 PM

I have to agree, I am not particularly satisfied with my receiver as a 2 channel pre, and will be getting a high-quality stereo pre (ARC or a ME), to mate to an Accuphase cdp.

Cheers,
Mike

#13 of 91 OFFLINE   FredS

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Posted November 14 2002 - 01:43 PM

There are several paths to integration. I upgraded my DD/DTS receiver by adding a 3 channel power amp a few months ago, primarily to help my 2 channel stereo, but also benefited HT. My next purchase will be a very nice 2-channel Aspen preamp with HT bypass.
Fred

#14 of 91 OFFLINE   Rob Rodier

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Posted November 14 2002 - 02:17 PM

Craig,

I think you got the right idea. The only other avenue that I could see taking would be the 2ch amp driven by the receiver preouts on a temporary basis and then moving on to a seperate pre.
Flexibility is a big factor, I think that the "bug" bites a lot harder on the 2channel side. At least it does for me.
What are your feelings on the m20s? I remember reading great things but have not had a chance for a listen. Do they need solid state juice?
Thanks
-rob

#15 of 91 OFFLINE   Craig Morris

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Posted November 14 2002 - 02:43 PM

Wow. I thought I was way off in left field with this train of thought... apparently I'm not the first guy to go through this dilemma... I should have known better. Posted Image

Rob - I love my M20's. I've read that some people may find them too clinical, or too analytical, but I love them... I bought them because I was looking for the most 'revealing' speaker I could find. I have them crossed over at 80Hz to my Revel B15 (using the B15's x-over which is far more transparent than my Marantz's). I would say that they do need solid state amplification. At 86-87 dB sensitivity and 4.4 to 6 ohm impedence, they require some juice. But I wouldn't describe them as horribly demanding (particularly when high-pass filtered to a sub). I'm not a tube person though... so I wouldn't consider a tube amp or pre-amp regardless.

I've been reading about a few Arcam integrated amps (the Diva A85 and the FMJ) as well as the Simaudio Moon i-5. The i-5 does have a pass-through input that bypasses the volume control... perfect for HT.
I am really curious about this 3B-based Bryston integrated though. Should be a nice piece if it combines the BP-20/25 preamp stage with a 3B-SST amp.

#16 of 91 OFFLINE   Scott Oliver

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Posted November 15 2002 - 12:34 AM

Craig, I think this is the way to go - 2 channel bias that is.

#17 of 91 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted November 15 2002 - 01:17 AM

I've done very similar, start off with an audio system and added stuff like a DD processor, a DVD player, a 3-channel amp, and a TV and voila!, now you have a HT plug-in to a 2channel audio question.

You can see my equipment list, which is accurate except I think I still have my old Parasound HCA1203a when now it's an Anthem MCA30 as my 3-channel surround amp. I still run a Bryston 3BST driving a pair of Snell E.5 towers with my old bookshelf JBL L.1s as my surround. My HT isn't as important to me as the audio so I live with it and I've had this system since like 1999 and I've resisted upgraditis because I like to spend more of my money on my bikes and my car. However, it works real well, I have my Xbox and my PC integrated to my preamp which does S-video switching so pretty much have the whole setup geared for the best of both worlds. The problem is finding enough outlets for each unit!!!

Jay
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#18 of 91 OFFLINE   Rob Rodier

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Posted November 15 2002 - 03:29 AM

Regardless, once you get some external amplification, the m20s should perform at an entirely new level.

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#19 of 91 OFFLINE   Craig Morris

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Posted November 15 2002 - 04:25 AM

bah.

I just got an e-mail reply from James Tanner at Bryston and apparently they were considering a 3B integrated amp but the project has been put on hold.

So much for that idea.

#20 of 91 OFFLINE   MikeBisch

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Posted November 15 2002 - 08:51 AM

My system is a Stereo rig with an HT strung onto it.

My stereo...
B&W Matrix 803sII speakers
Parts Express Titanic sub woofer kit
Pass Aleph 3 amp
Audio Electronics AE-1 preamp (Kit version of Cary SLP-98)
Audio Electronics PH-1 phono stage
Meridian 506 cd player
NAD 533 turntable.

My HT add on...
Yamaha DSP-E492
Sony DVP500 (the cheap SACD one)
Old Sony LD player
VCR

For those that are not familiar with the Yamaha piece, it is a Pro Logic pre/pro with a 3 channel 75 wpc amp built in. It also has 5.1 inputs. I use the DD/DTS processor built into the DVD player. The setup is similar to another poster's above. I take the main out of the Yamaha into an input on my stereo preamp. I set the stereo preamps volume a 12 oclock and use the Yamaha as normanl from that point on.

I recently went from a Yamah DDP-1 AC-3 decoder and old Sont DVP S3000 to just the newer Sony. I percieved no performance hit from going with the built in decoders of the dvd player.

I also went through the insane thought of "downsizeing" my system recently and went out and bought a Yamaha RXV-1 to replaced EVERYTHING. BIG MISTAKE! After listening to it for about 2.5 weeks on both stereo and HT, I found that it was a definate DOWNGRADE in every aspect except features (which I don't use anyway). I know this isn't suprising to anyone regarding stereo, but after reading these boards for awile I was expecting an earth shattering difference on the HT processing. That just wasen't the case, and in fact I think having the mains in HT still running through the tube preamp gives it that tube realism and smoothness that just isn't avalible on any reciever. I cuclusion, I think the HT strung onto a stereo rig is far superior in sound quality.


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