Best way to combine HT and music?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by BruceDN, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. BruceDN

    BruceDN Auditioning

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    I am running two systems now, one for music, one for HT;

    Denon POA/PRA pre-amp & amp running 1970's Bose 501's with Sony CD, Nikko tuner and Sony turntable

    Toshiba SD-6109C integrated DVD running Definitive Technology ProCinema 100

    I want a serious upgrade to combine HT and music into one system, but love the ProCinema speakers I purchased two years ago. Do I just buy a top quality HT receiver, junk the Bose and pre-amp/amp and expect satisfaction in both music and HT modes? Any receiver must of course have a phono input for the turntable.
     
  2. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    If you click on my "Equipment List" below, you can see how I combined HT and music into one system. I've been very happy with this system for the last 5 years.

    Essentially, the short cut explanation is that I simply added an HT system to my stereo system. I simply took the processor/HT receiver L&R RCA outputs and fed them to an open AUX RCA input on my stereo preamp.

    If you use a receiver, be sure to get one with jumpers between the (5-7) PRE-OUTS and the AMP-INS, so you can use external amps if you want (like your current stereo amp).

    This way I can listen to stereo music (CD, turntable, or FM)without turning on the HT processor. In your case, your stereo amp could drive the L&R while additional amps (separate or from a receiver) would drive the center and surrounds.
     
  3. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    I run a Moon I-5 Integrated for my stereo speakers and a Marantz 6200 for the home theater. Like BruceD is doing, I just run the left and right preouts to the I-5 and switch the channel during HT.
     
  4. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Ditto - this is the cheapest way to get good HT while retaining your stereo performance (and offloading the front channels means the receiver will do a better job with the remaining ones too).
     
  5. BruceDN

    BruceDN Auditioning

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    In the HT mode can I setup the system to use the Bose 501's as the L&R fronts (using my existing Denon POA amp)and the DT ProCinema as the surrounds and sub (using the HT receiver) in a 7.1 system or is this too messy and mismatched?

    Just checked out the Speaker Forum - majority opinion is that all Bose are junk. I can't disagree, but was hoping to incorporate them somehow.
     
  6. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    The left, right and center channels are really all you have to match, I suppose. There isn't going to be THAT much difference between high quality amps, regardless of what anyone says about them being "warm" or "flat" yada yada.
     
  7. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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  8. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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    Something very important is missing from this discussion, and that is the room. Acoustic requirements for two channel and multichannel listening are quite different. A room perfect for one will hardly be ideal for the other, and vice versa. You can compromise and have a room that is acceptable for both, but it will be just that... a compromise, and merely acceptable.

    If you want to take the correct route to combining a HT and music system, it will involve these not so easy and not so cheap steps:

    (1) Acoustically treat the room for proper multichannel playback. This includes appropriate RT60 time (room reverb), treatment of low frequency room modes, and treatment of all early reflections from all speaker locations to all listeners (most easily accomplished with a ring of absorption at ear height and additional ceiling treatment where necessary).

    (2) Appropriate processing to extract ambience from two channel source material and route the signal to the correct speaker channel. Currently, Lexicon and Meridian are the two top performers in this area (indeed, perhaps the only viable choices, as Trifield and Logic7 seem to be the only processing algorithms capable of fairly consistent and accurate ambience extraction).


    You can always take the steps described by others, and that will indeed allow you to switch between music and HT using the same source gear. You might get respectable sound. You might be completely happy. If so, ignore my advice above.
     
  9. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    RichardHOS's advice is only relevant if you want to use surround processing (hi-end Logic7 or Trifield) for all your 2ch sources. Setting up a totally dead room like that will make a stereo system sound awful.
     
  10. Robert AG

    Robert AG Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Yes they are.

    For a multichannel system, the ideal room would be an anechoic chamber so that all ambience is created via the surrounds.

    For a 2 channel system, you ideally want the source (speaker) end of the room to be totally dead up to about 1/2 way, so that there are no early reflections to muddle the image, and then some reflections in the listener end (this is the artful part - how much reflection, at what point) for ambience.

    That said, I don't feel HT is so critical as to require sacrificing 2 channel room qualities. And I think this would apply to most people (who don't own Lexicon or Meridian processors AND high quality amplification all around AND perfectly matched speakers all around AND have the processor PERFECTLY set up AND sit in EXACTLY the right spot).
     
  12. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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  13. Robert AG

    Robert AG Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Robert AG, read RichardHOS's original post. He is advocating that the surround processing create ALL the ambience and control all the dispersion etc so absolutely no room reflections would be desirable in this case. I know what an anechoic chamber sounds like, hence my original comment about that sort of room being awful for 2 channel listening - I stated this to emphasize the effect of room optimisation for multichannel use.

    Personally, I haven't come across a processing mode that does this sort of thing well enough that I would abandon the live end / dead end room configuration and 2 channel playback (I will admit that I don't have access to a Lexicon or Meridian processor that will do true Logic7 or Trifield). I'm willing to sacrifice some ultimate multichannel performance for good 2 channel performance, just as you do.

    Basically, the live/dead end room setup has far less effect on multichannel playback than an anechoic room has on 2 channel palyback.
     
  15. Robert AG

    Robert AG Stunt Coordinator

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    I take a very dim view of post processing schemes, even the exaulted Logic 7. In all honesty, when doing a mix, if the engineers think there is "something" missing, they will simply put that "something" into the mix. There is really no need for a "dumb" piece of silicon to decide what additional signal processing may be needed. All such processes I've heard have detracted from the soundstaging and focus of the original mix. A very well set up system will provide more information than I think most people are aware exists in the original recording, and adding an additional layer of post processing just mucks things up.
     

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