Advice needed - Adding 2 Speakers to Home Cinema Setup

crazymadhatter

Novice Member
Hello all,

First time poster, need some advice regarding finishing my cinema setup. I've just moved house and have a large enough lounge to add my final speakers but need some help.

I currently have a 5.2.4 setup, my amp can process 11 channels but only power 9, hence an external stereo amplifier is needed for the extra 2 speakers. I would like to move to a 7.2.4, with the surround backs setup, but not sure how to proceed.

Current Equipment (can you tell I like Dali stuff...)
  • Amp: Marantz 6012
  • Front: Dali Vokal
  • Front Left and Right: Dali Zensor 3
  • Surround Left and Right: Dali Zensor 1
  • 4 x heights: Dali Pico
  • 2 x Subs: Dali E9-F
The software on the Marantz amp states that I can either run the front left and right off the pre-out to the external amp, or the rear heights. Now I love the way my fronts already sound, so not looking to by a fancy stereo amp for those, but would like the run the rear heights off a (cheaper) external stereo amp as super sound quality isn't much of an issue with rear atmospheric sound in my opinion.

The issue I have is that I need a volume bypass on the external amp, so my main amp can control it so once I work out levels I don't have to contstantly change the external amp. However, looking through amps that have this, I'm struggling to find one that has a confirmed audio bypass and is cheap enough.

Onkyo's A-9130 at £299 seems the cheapest I can find that has a dedicated AV input to enable volume bypass. Sadly though this is out of stock everywhere I look. There is an old Marantz PM5005 going for £150 but not sure if that does what I need?

It feels like I will need to splash out on a nice stereo amp that will power my fronts, otherwise £500+ for an amp to power 2 quite small speakers seems like a waste of money and capability.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Onkyo's A-9130 at £299 seems the cheapest I can find that has a dedicated AV input to enable volume bypass. Sadly though this is out of stock everywhere I look. There is an old Marantz PM5005 going for £150 but not sure if that does what I need?
No, none of the PM5 or PM6 Series of Marantz amps have HT by-pass. If music is important to you then I would certainly go for a stereo amp with HT by-pass providing you can play all your music directly into that amp as stereo music is any AV amps weak point.

If you just want power purely to run the speakers for home cinema then go down the cheaper route of a simple power amp.

 
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crazymadhatter

Novice Member
Hi Gibbsy, thanks for the advice.

Also thanks for the link, will look through those. Sounds like I need look into stretching my budget for a decent stereo amp with HT by-pass then... Off to go and convince the Mrs!

Any suggestions for a good budget stero amp?

For the simple power amp as you described, I take it that they won't be able to sync volume with the AV amp? If so any suggestions? (I imagine if it's only powering the rear heights probably not too much of an issue as I won't need to change the volume that oftern, but still not ideal.)
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Any power amp or stereo amp with HT by-pass will have the volume controlled by the connected AV amp. Both are easy to connect and EQ into the system by using Audyssey. Once connected they do work well together. I think Yamaha and Cyrus are producing the cheapest amps with HT by-pass, not sure about which Yamaha they are though.

I use a Rega Elicit-R which is the entry point with Rega for HT by-pass. Works really well together but unfotrunately not a budget amp. Basic power amps can be found for much cheaper than a corresponding HT capable stereo amp.
 
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DrH

Active Member
How about Marantz MM7025 2 channel power amp for your front Left & right.
If I understand right you can use all other channels from you AVR?
It is £500.
You would still have the Marantz sound that you like
 
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crazymadhatter

Novice Member
Yes I can use all other channels from AVR, purely need an amp to power the last two speakers in the 5.2.4 -> 7.2.4 setup. I'll look if the Marantz MM7025 fits my cabinet, I like the idea of sticking with Marantz if possible, works for my ears as well the nice aesthetic of looking very similar to my current AVR. Cheers for the help
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Best not look in my cabinet. It's like the United Nations of manufacturers in there. Six units from five different manufacturers. Different colours to boot.

Don't forget to factor in room for ventilation if placing in a cabinet, especially if you are cutting down on the space already allocated to the 6012.
 
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DrH

Active Member
Yes I can use all other channels from AVR, purely need an amp to power the last two speakers in the 5.2.4 -> 7.2.4 setup. I'll look if the Marantz MM7025 fits my cabinet, I like the idea of sticking with Marantz if possible, works for my ears as well the nice aesthetic of looking very similar to my current AVR. Cheers for the help
it would be good to know what your decision is
 
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crazymadhatter

Novice Member
it would be good to know what your decision is
The Marantz MM7025 does indeed fit my cabinet with enough ventilation so I'm pursuing that rather than a integrated with HT bypass. I've enquired with hyperfi about their stock for the £500 one you mentioned, fingers crossed.
 
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