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two Channel Music and Home theater Integrated or seperated? (1 Viewer)

Raymond lee Leggs

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Should 2- channel music listening to be integrated with HT or kept seperate?

I think that

-most Newer 2 channel -receivers son't have Phono Inputs.

I do Have an older semi-vintage 1999 Kenwood 2-Channel receiver that does have a dedicated phono section.

- 2 channel can sound just as directional as Multichannel.

-A processor can be used if you want DTS in 2-channel can't it.

I do have two seperate systems one is a 2-channel component system (soon to include a real turntable) Instead of a all-in one-soundesign thingie.

I do have a generic walmart brand HTIB for movies.

Its just that I am curious about people who use their home theater for music also.
 

Alon Goldberg

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My personal opinion is that there is almost always a compromise to be made between a home theater system and a 2-channel stereo system (unless you have serious money to spend). In my own circumstances, I decided not to compromise on music, so I built a dedicated 2-channel system as my only system.

The system consists of a Naim pre-amp and poweramp, Naim phono stage, Naim cd player and power supply, plus a Rega Planar 3 turntable. The pre-amp has a unity-gain AV input, which would allow me to integrate with a home theater if I wished to, but to be quite honest the sound stage on this system is fantastic so I have no plans to build a surround system.

I would say I use the system for 80% music, and only 20% TV. It sounds absolutely astounding for music, but can be weak for movies and live sports (this is mostly because my system is 100% analogue, and my PVR has a poor DAC and cheap power supply - I could resolve this by purchasing a outboard DAC in the future).

On a separate topic, I've found the phono stage on most AVR's to be quite lacking - in almost any but the best integrated amp's I would still lean towards a dedicated phono stage if budget permits. It's unfortunate that made manufacturers will only spend a few dollars on the phono stage, if they do choose to provide one at all ;)
 

Raymond lee Leggs

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I get what your saying, Though I may Add a big boomy sub to my dedicated 2 channel and buy another HTIB.

the HTIB I have now was a christmas gift and now I want the ability to have Digital audio and true surround sound and more inputs .

Will I hear much difference with a digital audio system and true surround?
 

Joseph DeMartino

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In my experience, the speakers themselves have far more to do with how well a system reproduces music than the receiver does.

My old two channel Pioneer system sounded a lot better when I upgraded my speakers. My solution when I got my first Dolby Pro Logic surround sound system was to add an inexpensive packed of 5 tiimbre-matched speakers plus a sub for movies, while keeping my old floor-standing JBLs as "B" speakers for music only. (Frankly it never occured to me to keep the stereo receiver as well, not sure why.)

I kept this arrangement after upgrading again to my first digital surround receiver, a Kenwood model. Music never sounded as good through my HT speakers, but the JBLs continued to work very well with the Kenwood.

Finally I upgraded my HT with a 6 speaker package from Atlantic Technoloy. As I had when I upgrading in the past, I did an A/B comparison of the front left and right speakers, plus the sub, vs. my old JBL war-horses with no sub on a variety of music. For the first time ever my HT speakers blew the big JBLs away when playing stereo material. I gave the JBLs away and am still using that same set of Atlantic Tech speakers for both music and movies, three residences and two receivers later. (Currently using an Onkyo SR-503.) Those speaker still sound better than any other audio system I've ever owned on 2-channel music - and they kick ass on movies.

YMMV.

Regards,

Joe
 

Tina_H_V

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I have both: a separate two-channel stereo system for music and satellite radio listening only, along with my soon-to-be-fully-restored 7.1 home theater system.
 

CraigF

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I combined both a 2-ch and a 7.1-ch system. I decided the 2-ch system must not be compromised, I mean within the capability of its gear. So it is cabled and the gear chosen and positioned to be optimised for 2-ch music. Then I (properly) built the 7.1 around that. I did this after I had two separate systems in different rooms, and decided this was a bit nonsensical as I was duplicating some stuff for no benefit. I can only use one system at a time, would be different if there was a family. I chose the biggest and naturally darkest and most isolated (from outside) room for the combo.

What I did was "compromise", and truly not very much, the 2 front channel sound during HT. Nobody notices, it is hard to tell, because the fronts (the 2-ch system) sound so good and the HT source is typically of somewhat lower quality than the stereo sources I use. I took the front preamp outs from the 7.1 pre-pro/box and routed them into an aux input of a *good* stereo preamp, which is connected to a good stereo amp that drives the front 2 channels. This means you need to choose a volume setting on the stereo pre and always move the knob there for HT listening, and calibrate the HT levels for that. No big deal, and with a decent stereo pre you'll never hear this "compromise", the front channels will still sound the best.

There was another way to do it, and that is to switch 7.1 pre-pro front outputs and stereo pre outputs to the front amp. I tried that, and couldn't tell the diff from the previous way. And the previous way required one less gadget.

There is a huge difference for music by using a quality stereo amp just for the stereo channels IMO, and NOT putting stereo analog signals anywhere near a mostly digital processing box. Especially phono, if you do that... Or even good digital signals if from a really decent DAC.
 

Alon Goldberg

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Craig - excellent advice, exactly what I would likely do if I integrated my 2-channel system into a surround home theater system
 

CraigF

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^ Glad you like it, lots of people do it that way. The stereo sound isn't compromised in the slightest, electronically speaking, though some audiophiles would have a fit with a large *untreated* flat surface "between" the front/stereo speakers...in HT we call such an abomination a large flat screen display. [I know some who cover it with absorbent material while listening to stereo music.] I can live with it, but to minimise the effect, I pretty much had to dedicate the room, it's not real friendly for getting around in at the front end...

IIRC, and it was ~7 years ago, the clincher came when it came time to get some decent subs. Good subs aren't cheap, and I decided at that point to stop duplicating stuff. Get one *musical* sub instead, one easily integrated to a music system, very flexible; they're typically more expensive compared to HT boomers. As you said, if $$$ (and space!) is not the slightest issue, there is no reason to combine systems.

Bottom line is the HT sound benefitted from the fronts being a decent (stand alone) music system, especially appreciated when the movie soundtrack has music I really like.
 

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