Combining 2 systems on 1 Pair of Speakers

herbg -- Sun, 10/05/2008 - 16:03

Looking for some advice on how to combine my 2-Channel audio system (which includes a turntable) with my Home Theater system on 1 pair of speakers. Should I consider running my AVR and Stereo Amplifier through some sort of switch to the Main Stereo pair OR should I run the 2-channel components through my AVR's pre-amp and run everything through that?

Any ideas?

Thanks!

RichTeer -- Sun, 10/05/2008 - 16:33

What to you has sound quality priority?

For me, 2 channel is more important, so I'd run the surround stuff through an AVR, using two of the pre-outs to connect to my regular 2 channel preamp, and from there to the power amps.

herbg -- Sun, 10/05/2008 - 16:57

I should clarify ... the 2-channel system previously was in a separate room. I recently had to consolidate the systems into one room.

I've decided that the speakers of the AV system are suitable for music. I would use the 2 front main speakers for the music system as I have no interest in using the other 3 speakers for a music surround system.

I am unsure whether I should retain the 2-channel amp and pre-amp of the music system. I would definitely take a step backward in sound quality by integrating all through the AVR.

If I ran the 2-channel music system with it's own pre-amp and amp, then I would need to source some sort of high quality switch so that I can use both systems on 1 pair of speakers.

On the other hand, I would consider just using the 2-channel pre-amp for the music system if I could run this through the AVR amps. Not sure if I can do this ...

RichTeer -- Sun, 10/05/2008 - 19:13

herbg wrote:I
If I ran the 2-channel music system with it's own pre-amp and amp, then I would need to source some sort of high quality switch so that I can use both systems on 1 pair of speakers.

On the other hand, I would consider just using the 2-channel pre-amp for the music system if I could run this through the AVR amps. Not sure if I can do this ...

You misunderstand me. For 2-channel audio, use you current set up. For HT applications, use the AVR for surround sound decoding, and connect the front L & R AVR Preamp outs to the HT bypass input of your preamp. Your AVR amp would power the centre channel and surrounds (sub too), and your usual amp and speakers would look after the front L & R.

By using this set up, your 2-channel stuff won't be tarnished by your AVR.

Hope this is a bit clearer...

herbg -- Sun, 10/05/2008 - 20:05

Rich, not sure if I can do this as my 2-channel pre-amp is a very basic linestage (Morrison ELAD - soon to be replaced by a Benchmark DAC1 Pre).

RichTeer -- Sun, 10/05/2008 - 20:39

herbg wrote:Rich, not sure if I can do this as my 2-channel pre-amp is a very basic linestage (Morrison ELAD - soon to be replaced by a Benchmark DAC1 Pre).

Yes, that could be a problem. Your preamp needs a zero-gain HT input for what I describe to work properly. :-(

hikejohn -- Sun, 10/05/2008 - 21:06

This is an issue I have played with for a long time. I had been hopeful that a top processor would do justice to analog....sonically they just aren't in the same league as a top analog preamp. So I use a Meridian 861 v4 and Ayre KX-R...use the processor loop on preamp for HT use...and use separate inputs to the sub...LFE for HT, line for the Ayre...going to Wilson sub. I really didn't want to have two preamps...one the HT processor and one for analog...but from my hearing there is no choice...assuming you want the best from your analog/CD side of the world

Robert Harley -- Tue, 10/07/2008 - 13:25

I must agree with hikejohn that even the best controllers fall short of the performance offered by a high-end two-channel preamp.

I've had a dual-purpose system for ten years, with no compromise to the two-channel performance. All the two-channel source components feed a Spectral DMC-30SS preamp, which drives a pair of Spectral DMA-360 amplifiers. The mulitichannel sources feed an Arcam AV9 controller. The controller's left and right outputs feed the "theater bypass" input of the Spectral preamp. The bypass input sets the preamp's gain at unity (input level = output level), making it seem to the controller like the Spectral isn't in the signal path.

The controller's center and surround outputs feed an Anthem five-channel power amplifier, and the subwoofer output drives a pair of JL Audio Fathom subwoofers.

This method is more expensive, but essential to delivering uncompromised music performance from a system that does double-duty on home theater.

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