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“High End” two channel setup or mediocre 5.1 setup (1 Viewer)

ArthurJ

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
354
If you could go with a real “High End” two channel setup with separates and full range floorstanders or a mediocre 5.1 setup with an A/V receiver, 5 middle class speakers and an SVS sub which route would you go? Assuming you are going to be using a DVD player along the lines of a Denon DVD-2910 for both listening to music (SACD and DVD-A) and watching movies. Would you choose quality over quantity or vice versa?


My second question is if I had a real high end two channel setup…

Pre-amp
Amplifier
2 Full Range floorstanders


And I wanted to do 5.1 with a phantom center and use the A/V receiver to power JUST the rears is there any way I could do this without having to unhook everything every time I wanted to watch a DVD? Thanks!
 

Rob Kramer

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 30, 2004
Messages
435
I would rather have a 3.1 setup (no rears) vice a 4.1 setup (no center) for both movies and music.
 

MikeDuke

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
248
I second that. You want to try and build a quality set up. You could always add on later. Some if not most pre/pros allow you to hook up a separate 2 channel pre amp as well. I say go for the quality 2 channel first.
Always choose quality. The quantity will come in time.
 

Scott Oliver

Screenwriter
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
1,159
I have already made that choice, high end 2 channel.

And actually in the end by going with quality over quantity, my movie performance level went up. You can see my stuff by clicking the links above in my line.

As for the ability to connect the receiver into a 2 channel system it is not difficult as long as you have front 2 channel pre-outs on your receiver. You would just use those to connect the two systems. So the receiver would only be doing the amplification for the other remaining channels.

The receiver would also be doing the volume control for movies. However you still have the 2 ch preamp volume control in the chain for the front 2 speakers. The easiest way to get around this is to get a preamp with an HT bypass, unity gain bypass or whatever they chose to call it. This way using this input on your 2 ch preamp the signal avoids the volume control altogether and goes straight to the output stage.

Even without the bypass you can still do it, it just requires a few more steps.
 

Alex F.

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 29, 1999
Messages
377
Purchase a two-channel preamp or an integrated amplifier that has a home-theater bypass (also known as a unity-gain input), and you're good to go--no need to change cables around. The stereo components will drive the front left and right speakers while the HT receiver will power the surrounds (and center speaker, if desired). Just make certain that the receiver has preamp outputs.

Brands that have a HT bypass include Conrad-Johnson, Audio Research, Pass Labs, McCormack (RLD-1), Adcom (GFP-750), and Bryston's new B100 integrated amplifier, among others.

There's also the option of a high-end analog preamp that has multichannel inputs, such as the McIntosh C45 (mcintoshlabs.com), Bel Canto PRe 6 (belcantodesign.com), and McCormack MAP-1 (mccormackaudio.com). All of these units sport two sets of multichannel inputs. They can accept a receiver's 5.1 preamp outputs and/or the multichannel analog outputs, if so equipped, of a DVD/DVD-Audio/CD/SACD player. If I recall correctly, the Bel Canto has 7.1 analog inputs.

Happy listening!
 

Jean D

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Messages
1,329
Real Name
Jean D
is this a real thread? cause it seems to me his links are a marketing technique.
 

JohnSmith

Supporting Actor
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
554
High-end 2ch system- then add other High-end speakers/amps to finish the system off. You'll end up with a very nice 7.1 system, instead of putting everything into a below-average 7.1 system.
 

ArthurJ

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 29, 2003
Messages
354
Jean D, for some reason when I posted those links were automatically put there...I think HTF does it...can anybody clarify?
 

Jean D

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Messages
1,329
Real Name
Jean D
wow, I never knew that. Still dont understand it, but glad you asked a valid question Arthur :D In that case, I'd do a mediocre 5.1 setup. Denon reciever, Fluance SX-HTB's and an SVS sub. you can always upgrade later on. I personally think this is an incredible setup for the money involved.
 

Robert Hoffman

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 9, 2001
Messages
184
I think it depends on your listening habits (music versus movies). I listen to far more music, so I sunk way more money into my two fronts and didn't buy a center or surrounds. My next purchase will be a matching center (maybe in 6 months) and then surrounds when I'm living in a space that can accomodate a good physical setup. That being said, I did buy a nice 5 channel amp and I'm presently using a Harmon/Kardon receiver as a pre/pro so I'm ready to layer in additional speakers when I want to.
 

Alex Prosak

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
773
I think you should base the decision on your listening habits, do you listen to more music or watch more movies? I have no idea what your budget is but for the price of a real "High End" two channel setup, you can get a damn nice HT too. A real "high end" system doesn't necessarily require that the system have large floor standers either, there are some amazing mini monitors out there. They may not give you the ultimate in bass response but they can still take you to audio nirvana.
 

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