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Adding Hi-Fi to my Home Cinema Set Up

gordonnobbs

Established Member
I'm looking for way to add a quality hi-fi sound to my current home cinema set up. I have a Yamaha V767 Amplifier, with a 5.1 speaker set up, the front left and right speakers are B&W 685's.

I've been looking at the Arcam Mini Solo, and would like to connect this direct to my B&W speakers, as I'm told the sound quality from a CD will be superior to MP3's played through the amp.

I believe the simplest solution would be to use a speaker switch box, but I'm struggling to find one that splits the source rather than the output,

So couple of questions

1 Am I going about this the right way with a budget of around £500-£600
2 If so, can anyone point me in the direction of a switcher

Thanks in advance for any assistance ...
 
You'd be better off adding a 2 channel power amp to power the front speakers instead rather than a totally separate amp with a switch. That way you can use it for film as well.

I'm guessing you've already got a Blu ray player? If so can't you use this for cd play back as you are indeed correct about cd being much better quality than mp3.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
There are a number of ways to do this but before spending money, try the BR player for CD first as AB suggested. If you still want to add kit then:

Add a speaker switch box so that the speakers can be shared between two amps. The Beresford TC-7220 is well regarded for this.​

The other options depend on your AV amp having pre-outs to drive the front pair:

Add a two channel power amp as AB said. Down side to this is you'll still be using the AV amp's pre-amp, which could be a weak point.

Buy an integrated stereo amp with an AV/unity gain input. This input is fixed so essentially works as a power amp for AV duties but as a normal integrated for all other inputs.

Buy a regular integrated stereo amp & calibrate the AV setup with the volume control on the stereo amp in an easily remembered position, usually 12 o'clock. Just need to remember to reset the volume of the stereo low after each use to prevent any accidents.
Bear in mind convenience for other users when making your choice.

Not sure what you mean by switching source rather than outputs?
 
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gordonnobbs

Established Member
There are a number of ways to do this but before spending money, try the BR player for CD first as AB suggested. If you still want to add kit then:

Add a speaker switch box so that the speakers can be shared between two amps. The Beresford TC-7220 is well regarded for this.​

The other options depend on your AV amp having pre-outs to drive the front pair:

Add a two channel power amp as AB said. Down side to this is you'll still be using the AV amp's pre-amp, which could be a weak point.

Buy an integrated stereo amp with an AV/unity gain input. This input is fixed so essentially works as a power amp for AV duties but as a normal integrated for all other inputs.

Buy a regular integrated stereo amp & calibrate the AV setup with the volume control on the stereo amp in an easily remembered position, usually 12 o'clock. Just need to remember to reset the volume of the stereo low after each use to prevent any accidents.
Bear in mind convenience for other users when making your choice.

Not sure what you mean by switching source rather than outputs?

Thanks for your help so far. My amp has pre-outs so I'm thinking I could connect this direct to the Arcam Mini Solo's AV input, my question would be this - do you think the sound quality would be significantly better playing CD's through the Arcam unit than playing them in my current setup through the receiver/Blu-ray player?
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Not in a position to comment I'm afraid. I'd suggest trying the existing setup first for a while so you're used to the sound, then arrange a dem of the Solo with the 685s to compare. Let your ears decide.
 

amcluesent

Distinguished Member
I used to have an Arcam Solo with B&W speakers and TBH it was a snoozathon. Just saying.

What about a Yamaha R-N500, which you can pick up for £450 ?

Likely to be similar to Yamaha AV Unit for 'tone'
Digital input to take S/PDIF from BluRay player when playing CDs, bypassing player DAC
Hi-Rez streamer/Airplay for playing ripped CD and downloads
Internet radio

The only downside is no fixed-gain AV inputs that I can see, although it does have a 'trim' facility to match input gain.

If you were prepared to go 2nd hand, an original Naim UnitiQute would be £725-£750 which would give you amp, streamer, digital input and fixed AV gain.
 
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