Need options to turn 2 channel separates into 5.1.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ed_S, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. Ed_S

    Ed_S Auditioning

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    When was the last time you saw a post like this here, 1990? [​IMG]
    My good friend has a nice set which I recommended he buy years ago. Onkyo M-501 Amp, Onkyo Integra Preamp, CD and Turntable and a progressive DVD player but TV is not High Def. Speakers consist of two huge Cerwin Vega speakers.
    He now asks my assistance in converting to home theater without breaking the bank. Budget $2,000 I think.
    What are our options? I know we need a three channel amp to drive center and surrounds. Need a DTS processor. How do we hook this up?
    Thanks folks.
     
  2. Jason Wolters

    Jason Wolters Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    You've got to first see if your preamp has DD inputs, either in the form of a bunch of RCA like inputs (one for each channel) or in the form of a cable that sort of looks like a parrallel port cable used for a PC printer. Either way, you'd hook up the DD processor to your preamp and the preamp to your amplifiers, your DVD player and other DD sources would be hooked up to the processor and then you'd have DD capability (or DTS if you get a DTS processor also).

    Suggest to get a 3-channel amp and use that to drive the Front and Center, don't use the 3-channel to do the center a nd surrounds, you'll get better timber matching and is generally the better way to go. Then use the stereo amp to drive the surrounds. If your preamp isn't capable, then you would most likely need to get a new one at which point it might be more cost effective to get a new receiver.

    As far as 3-channel amps, Acurus, Odyssey, make some inexpensive new 3-channel amps, while a used Parasound, used Brystons, and others will make 3-channel amps in your price range, however that doesn't account for the processor cost.

    If he has to replace the preamp, you might consider getting a receiver cause then the ease and cost effectiveness of separates might be excessive....

    Jay
     
  4. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    If your friend really likes his current setup, one option is to simply add a DD/DTS receiver (with L&R main preouts) or a DD/DTS prepro+amps, additional center and surround speakers, and a powered sub to the current 2-channel system.

    This can be hooked up by simply using the L&R main preouts from the DD/DTS processor (receiver or prepro) to any spare L&R input on the Onkyo Integra Preamp.

    The DVD player is connected to the DD/DTS processor with a digital cable for audio and an appropriate video cable to the TV.

    During the HT speaker calibration process with the DD/DTS processor and a test DVD (like Video Essentials), the Onkyo Integra Preamp's volume control is adjusted till the main L&R speakers are outputting at the reference calibration level (75dB for Video Essentials). Remember to mark this volume level position on the Onkyo Integra Preamp for HT use, typically it will be at the 12 o'clock position.

    This setup allows listening to the original 2-channel music system with no changes (and leaves all HT equipment powered off).

    Listening to HT simply involves also turning on the DD/DTS processor (receiver or prepro+amps), the DVD player and TV. The receiver or prepro master volume controls all speakers for DVD playback (remember to adjust Integra preamp volume control to HT position).

    Let me know if you need more info.
     

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