Using a RECEIVER as PreAMP

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Louisp, Dec 29, 2004.

  1. Louisp

    Louisp Stunt Coordinator

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    Louis Patrick
    I am using a RCA Professional Series, Model STAV-3970, 500 Watt (100x5), 5.1 DD AVR as a "Preamp" to my Harman Kardon AVR 525 Surround Back Left and Right speakers.

    YOUR ADVICE IN NEEDED IN SELECTING THE MOST APPROPRIATE RCA AVR SOUND MODE AND AUDIO INPUTS.

    Background Information:

    My AVR is a Harman Kardon 525 with 7.1 capability. Due to the very odd shape of the room in-which the 525 is used I have installed 9 speakers. To lessen the load on the HK 525 I enlisted the aid of an additional power source. To keep cost to a minimum I purchased a demo unit RCA Model STAV-3970, DD 5.1, 500 watt AVR. This AVR has the typical audio features including 5 channel Dolby Digital (5.1), DTS, 2 Channel Stereo along with a wide variety of virtual surround modes.

    Reference:

    To aid in selecting the most appropriate sound mode and audio input I'm including addresses to both the Harman Kardon AVR 525 and the RCA Model 3970 user manual.

    HK 525
    "http://manuals.harman.com/HK/Owner%27s%20Manual/AVR%20525%20OM%20(REV%209-4-02)%20FINAL.pdf"


    RCA 3970
    "http://support.radioshack.com/support_audio/doc66/66463.pdf"

    Thanks to all in advance for comments and advice.

    LP
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Actually, it’s the HK that’s the preamp – provided the info in your second paragraph is correct. The pre-amp is the front end component.

    You didn’t mention how many speakers you’re trying to drive with the RCA, or which ones, but I assume you’ll want to use it for your rear channels. You’ll have to have pre-amp outputs on the HK for any channels you’re sending to the RCA (I couldn’t get the HK manual to load to check on that). If not, you’re hosed right out of the gate.

    If the HK has rear surround and rear center outputs, the best thing to do is send those to the RCA’s 5.1 inputs. That’s the only way you’ll be able to directly access all five of the RCA’s amplifier channels. I would use the RCA’s front and center channels first, as those probably have the highest quality amplifier sections. If you need one send from the HK to drive a pair of speakers, you can use “y” splitters to get the signal into two channels of the RCA.

    You may have to use the RCA’s internal adjustments to fine-tune your rear speaker levels, if you don’t get the adjustments you need from the HK.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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