can I use my HiFi stereo speakers & amp with a/v gear?

heartofsaturday

Active Member
can I use my HiFi stereo speakers & amp with a/v gear?

I have a good stereo set up:
amps: Audiolab 8000A & Audiolab 8000P (bi-amping with power amp driving bass)
Speakers: Triangle Antals

Thinking of getting a A/V amp - what are my options.
Could the A/V amp be used to drive the rear & centre speakers and also send a output to the audiolab amps? If so with my Triangle Antals having plenty of bass would I really need a sub?
My budget would be under £600, this is to include getting a A/V amp, rear & center speakers.

or

I could be talked into getting a new A/V amp to do both home cinema and HiFi stereo. With this I would need the stereo side to be at least as good as my Audiolab 8000A & Audiolab 8000P. I could spend up to £3000 if it would also improve the stereo side of things.

I can not justify spending a lot of money on a A/V amp if it's not great with stereo. Music - CD, DVD & Blu-ray - (live concerts etc.) is my priority, not films. Most of my favourite films the sound track is not very important. I prefer dialogue heavy films rather than blockbusters with big bangs.
Maybe a A/V amp is not really for me? Has anyone compared music DVD/Blu-rays from a good stereo setup to a surround setup? I don't mean just switching your A/V amp to stereo - but comparing it to another system.
 

ChrisAV

Active Member
I'd go for option 1 - use exisiting amps with fronts and use AV for other speakers - just make sure you get an AV amp with pre-outs to send the signal to your stereo amp.

As for a sub, it depends to a degree on how low your speakers go. A good sub will go down to 20Hz, and have the additional benefit freeing the low down work from your main speakers below the crossover, which should allow them to perform better. If you want the room shaking LFE effects you probably want a sub, if you just want good bass I'd stick with your speakers for now, then get a demo of a sub and see if you think its worth it.

Chris
 
Last edited:

deadmonkey

Active Member
Can't you plug in a dvd player to it and see how it sounds? I've never heard of your gear, so it must be pricey :smashin:

In the 80s I plugged my sony betamax into a couple of hand me down celestion speakers from my dad and an amp (using a splitter to seperate the mono into two channels) and it sounded better than everyone else's telly at the time
 
Last edited:

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Whilst your goals can be achieved, your budget is too low if you want A/V performance matching what you already have from stereo - and you specifically mention music DVDs and Blurays.

I went from stereo to A/V, whilst retaining my stereo speakers for the front, after doing the comparison. It was in fact that comparison that showed me what it was going to cost - and led to a delay of nearly two years while I found the cash.

In your case, it would probably make the best sense to get hold of a decent A/V amp with pre-outs. This enables you to run the 8000P for the fronts using an (automatic) line level switch, or to route through the 8000A. Since you'd be keeping your existing stereo intact, your stereo performance would be unaffected.

For surround sound music you'd have the centre and surround running off the A/V amp. I rather doubt that the blend of centre with the stereo will be adequate at your budget level, whether it's film dialogue or surround sound music. For the latter you really do need a perfect match.

The Triangle Antal is spec'ed at "40-20000Hz" (presumably -3dB at 40Hz), so a sub may well provide a useful bass extension for a film's LFE track, but also for music - e.g. organ pedal notes.

Given your budget constraints, I'd suggest sticking to stereo. I assume you are running your TV and DVD player through the hifi? To improve "the stereo side of things", audition a quality sub with speaker level inputs. I'll also be cheeky and suggest that the Antals are the current weak link in your setup, so that a speaker upgrade may yield the desired improvement.
 
Last edited:

Jez1

Active Member
You can (at least on my Yamaha RX1500) set up without a sub to send the LFE to your fronts if you're happy their bass response down at the very bottom will be good enough (some movies have very low bass on the LFE).

I'm not up enough on quality stereo kit to know whether that would work well enough on your speakers. On my 18 year old Heco bookshelf jobbies I know they can't handle the very lowest LFE I get from the AV, so I let the sub take the strain.

I've got the same basic setup as you're proposing though (at least for now) - the fronts are routed through the pre-outputs to my stereo amp and speakers, so yes it can be done and it's not difficult to set up. My motivation for this isn't the same as yours though. Mine's purely to delay buying new fronts for a little while longer (the nominal impedance on the speakers is less than I'm supposed to use with the AV receiver).

Once I buy new fronts and a matched centre, the stereo kit will just move into my study. I know that I'm not going to get musical perfection out of my home theatre setup (but then I don't think my stereo kit is exactly great anyway, although it sounds good enough to me), but I'm not looking for musical perfection as long as it doesn't sound awful to my own ears.
 

Jez1

Active Member
Oh and I'd echo Mark's comment - if music is your absolute priority then I'd stick with playing through your stereo. I don't believe that the overall quality of music DVDs will be improved by adding an AV receiver into the setup so in my view you'll be spending money for no benefit.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
Only possible issue I had with a similar setup was if your stereo amp soesn't have a unity gain or AV input you will need to choose an easily replicable volume setting on the stereo amp. in most cases 12 o'clock or full volume.) which can be a bit awkward if you forget to knock the volume back down when using for stereo.

Some amps have a seperate or configurable AV input, basically bypasses the volume for that connection only, makes the job a lot easier.

If music is your priority and your happy with your existing sound. then I'm sure small tonal difference between channels for AV use probably wont bother you much. In your situation a reasonable AV amp with preouts would be my pick
 

heartofsaturday

Active Member
Whilst your goals can be achieved, your budget is too low if you want A/V performance matching what you already have from stereo - and you specifically mention music DVDs and Blurays.

For surround sound music you'd have the centre and surround running off the A/V amp. I rather doubt that the blend of centre with the stereo will be adequate at your budget level, whether it's film dialogue or surround sound music. For the latter you really do need a perfect match.

Given your budget constraints, I'd suggest sticking to stereo. I assume you are running your TV and DVD player through the hifi? To improve "the stereo side of things", audition a quality sub with speaker level inputs. I'll also be cheeky and suggest that the Antals are the current weak link in your setup, so that a speaker upgrade may yield the desired improvement.

I am running my TV, DVD & Blu-ray to the stereo at the minute. I have had this setup (- the blu-ray) for about 9 years. I have always been happy with the sound quality - more so on music DVD. With being a person who appreciates good HiFi I have always wondered how much better would a multi-channel setup sound?
I was once told by a salesperson that most live music DVD's will not have much added to the multi channel soundtracks, in that often only crowd noise etc is used on the rear speakers. This added with the extra cost to up grade to a setup as good as my current stereo has so far put me off. I guess that an a/v setup for me would only be for films and I would still use the stereo for music DVD & Blu-ray.
I did look a while ago at a cheap yamaha set up – included: a/v amp & 5.1 speakers all for £450 (this was about 6 years ago) I figured this would maybe do for films and I could run it independent from my stereo.
Worth pointing out that I have recently bought a Blu-ray player and have been surprised at the improvement on the audio – I was of course expecting a big improvement on the picture, which I got. I have been blown away by the quality of sound on “The Police - Certifiable” and “Queen Rock Montreal/Live Aid”. I had not heard any talk of this improvement and it was only when playing the disc’s that this improvement jumped out at me. I suspect to get this quality from an a/v amp to match my stereo setup I would need to spend a lot of money.
 
Last edited:

heartofsaturday

Active Member
I guess my question now is this – for films only, should I buy a cheap a/v amp & 5.1 speakers and keep it separate
or add an a/v amp to my current stereo setup. It seems a shame not to use the stereo as it is worth about £2150 new.
Some day I will up grade my stereo and I think hard choices will have to be made. What will it cost for an a/v amp that is also great with stereo and can it be up graded by adding more power amps at a later stage?
 

beerhov

Active Member
If you want to use your hi-fi for Front Left and Front Right then you really need to think of matching the speakers for the Centre and Rear left/Rear Right - the titus may be ok?

I’m guessing the speakers will be the biggest cost? If you have a cheaper setup the gulf between Front Left/Front Right and Centre/Rear left/Rear Right will be immense.

The Yam DSP-AX763 seems to be the only £400 amp with pre-outs. I’ve got this amp hooked up to a Kandy III power amp for Front Left/Front Right, with the Yam driving the Centre/Rear left/Rear Right. While not quite a Kandy sound, it’s very good, with the ability to add another power amp for all channels… I appreciate the Yam is not available in the UK at the moment.

Do some costing, as I’ve thought on the same lines of upgrading the AV amp with a new amp and power amps in the future. Once the speakers are right you can drive them with anything.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
As I tried to say, it's all a question of budget. I kept my stereo speakers and all sources, but replaced my aging amplifer with a processor/preamp and multi-channel amp.

Since you have Audiolab 8000A and 8000P, I'd suggest an 8000AP and an 8000X7 as the obvious upgrade.

Keeping the existing stereo would imply getting an 8000AP and a 3 (5 if 7.1) channel power amp that matches what you have. The problem is matching the centre to the stereo.

Assuming you wish to keep the Antals, add a centre matching your current Triangles, a sub and surrounds.

A final option - if the Antals are able to project a perfect stereo image and are good with dialogue - is to go with a phantom centre in a 5.1 setup. This would mean an 8000AP, another 8000P (for the surrounds) or cheaper power amp, a sub and surrounds.

The cost will be rather higher than that given in your first post.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom