Combining 2 channel audio and home theatre

ananthvm11

Novice Member
Hi, i'm trying to find out ways to maximise audio quality from my system. So basically i'm running a 5.1 system connected to my Denon AVR. Even though i'm pretty satisfied with the overall movie experience, i'm still trying to find out if there's anything i could do to bring out the most out of my system within my budget to improve the quality of 2 channel music experience. All my sources are digital (TV, TIDAL via Nvidia Shield) and i have to do it in the same room.

My setup:
Triangle Borea BRO3 for my front left and right. ( 100W, 90db sensitivity )
Denon X3700
I've set it all up in my bedroom, pretty small space. (Roughly 2.5 m distance from the speakers.)


Alright, so here's a few things i'm considering .

1. Getting a separate Power Amp: Since these AVR's power ratings are not so reliable and i've read from several sources that it's good to separate the amplifying and pre processing to get a clean signal.If i do this i'll still have my Denon as a Preamp and i'm not sure if it'll have any impact for Music. If i do, how much of improvement will i get in terms of audio quality (Not loudness as my listening space is pretty small) and is it worth the extra expense?

2. Getting an Integrated Stereo AMP: Okay so this is a bit tricky for me. Since my music source is only TIDAL via NVidia Shield connected Straight to Denon, is there anyway to practically make both my AVR(For movies) and Stereo AMP(For Music) work together? I understand that i have to connect using the Preout from AVR to Stereo AMP, but it will basically make the Integrated Stereo AMP work like a regular Amplifier right? As in, the audio pre processing will still be done by my AVR since my music source is connected to the AVR. I wanna keep all my sources connected to the AVR and fully make use of the Stereo AMP(both it's preprocessing and amplifier) when listening to music, as well as switch to 5.1 while watching movies. is that possible? Even if it is possible, will it bring a big difference to the audio quality?

Among these 2 options, which is the best way to go? Or is there any other ways to get an even better result? My budget is around 700$ .


I have been trying to find this info everywhere to integrate hifi stereo with a 5.1 setup and all i could get is by connecting the audio source, ex Turn table, directly to the stereo amp and making the connection to AVR via Preout. I wanna keep my AVR as the main hub and listen to music via TIDAL. I'm pretty new to this and It'll be really helpful if you guys could help me out!

FYI, i don't wanna change any of the equipments i'm using as i just got them recently. I'm very satisfied with my Denon for movies and the sound signature i get from my Triangle BRO3's are really good too, it's just i wanna know if i'm missing out on anything to bring out the full potential of these speakers.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Welcome to the Forum.

You have your system set up in a small bedroom with speakers that are not that difficult to drive and as you are just using a total of five speakers then I don't think using a power amp is going to bring any benefits. The 3700 is powerful enough on it's own.

Your second point about using a stereo amp for your TT is more valid as I personally don't consider the Denons to be particular good at stereo music. Although you could connect the TT directly to the Denon as it does have a phono input bringing in a stereo amp with HT by-pass for the front left and right speakers could certainly improve on music performance. Using such a stereo amp with the Denon is very simple and only requires an interconnect connection between the two units.

However the use the streaming capabilities of the Denon and I would imagine that this is your main music source so having a stereo amp is not going to improve on that audio. That's because the main influence, even with a power amp, is still going to be the Denon's own pre-amp stage.

You could also consider a non HT stereo amp, which are somewhat cheaper to buy, for your TT and use a speaker switch such as the Beresford 7220 to keep the 5.1 and the TT's audio separate. Linked below is a list of amps with HT by-pass the Beresford speaker switch.


Beresford 7220:
 

ananthvm11

Novice Member
Welcome to the Forum.

You have your system set up in a small bedroom with speakers that are not that difficult to drive and as you are just using a total of five speakers then I don't think using a power amp is going to bring any benefits. The 3700 is powerful enough on it's own.

Your second point about using a stereo amp for your TT is more valid as I personally don't consider the Denons to be particular good at stereo music. Although you could connect the TT directly to the Denon as it does have a phono input bringing in a stereo amp with HT by-pass for the front left and right speakers could certainly improve on music performance. Using such a stereo amp with the Denon is very simple and only requires an interconnect connection between the two units.

However the use the streaming capabilities of the Denon and I would imagine that this is your main music source so having a stereo amp is not going to improve on that audio. That's because the main influence, even with a power amp, is still going to be the Denon's own pre-amp stage.

You could also consider a non HT stereo amp, which are somewhat cheaper to buy, for your TT and use a speaker switch such as the Beresford 7220 to keep the 5.1 and the TT's audio separate. Linked below is a list of amps with HT by-pass the Beresford speaker switch.


Beresford 7220:

Thanks a lot for the reply! Thats really a useful information.

Actually i dont use a Turntable. My primary and only source of hifi audio is Tidal. So practically speaking there's nothing i could do to make it work huh? How about adding an Integrated Stereo Amp with network streaming capabilities?

Just to confirm, there wont any improvements in audio quality if i add another dedicated power amp? Cos i read somewhere that the amp inside a dedicated power amp is much cleaner sounding than the ones found in AVR's.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
I was in a similar situation to you a few years back. Essentially the answer is almost certainly use a separate stereo amp exclusively for music, with the AVR switched off. And either keep them separate or link them together via the AVR pre-outs.

BUT, every set up and listener is different, so it is worth doing some experimentation, to see what sounds good, or good enough, for you.

I have no idea what is available to buy in Singapore - can you get hold of a low cost Behringer A800 power amp? These are very low cost in europe, around £160, and are a good, clean, high powered Class D power amp. This would be good for you to try a few things out with.

Crucially, it has gain knobs for each channel, so with the gain knobs fully closed, you could connect a musical source to it directly, eg a cd player, then slowly turn the gain knob up just one or two notches, and you will have music to listen to without the AVR in the chain.

You can of course, also use it as a power amp with your AVR, so you will get an idea of whether that improves things.

Also, it would be interesting to see if you connect a music course to your AVR via analogue and put the AVR in pure direct mode, does that sound any better?
 

ananthvm11

Novice Member
I was in a similar situation to you a few years back. Essentially the answer is almost certainly use a separate stereo amp exclusively for music, with the AVR switched off. And either keep them separate or link them together via the AVR pre-outs.

BUT, every set up and listener is different, so it is worth doing some experimentation, to see what sounds good, or good enough, for you.

I have no idea what is available to buy in Singapore - can you get hold of a low cost Behringer A800 power amp? These are very low cost in europe, around £160, and are a good, clean, high powered Class D power amp. This would be good for you to try a few things out with.

Crucially, it has gain knobs for each channel, so with the gain knobs fully closed, you could connect a musical source to it directly, eg a cd player, then slowly turn the gain knob up just one or two notches, and you will have music to listen to without the AVR in the chain.

You can of course, also use it as a power amp with your AVR, so you will get an idea of whether that improves things.

Also, it would be interesting to see if you connect a music course to your AVR via analogue and put the AVR in pure direct mode, does that sound any better?
Thanks for the reply!

But actually thats my main problem, the only source i have for hifi audio is via TIDAL. I have the TIDAL app in my Medial Player (Nvidia Shield) and connected it straight to my AVR via HDMI. So in short, there wont be any sources connected directly to the Stereo Amp. Is there anyway workaround for this?

The pure direct mode just doesn't sound right. Especially in the low end reproduction. I guess that happens cos it bypasses all the room calibration.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Thanks for the reply!

But actually thats my main problem, the only source i have for hifi audio is via TIDAL. I have the TIDAL app in my Medial Player (Nvidia Shield) and connected it straight to my AVR via HDMI. So in short, there wont be any sources connected directly to the Stereo Amp. Is there anyway workaround for this?

The pure direct mode just doesn't sound right. Especially in the low end reproduction. I guess that happens cos it bypasses all the room calibration.
In pure direct, the subwoofer is probably not working, you can get round this by connecting a sub via high level, if you want the sub involved when listening to music.

And you need to find another device to access TIDAL from, that isn't the AVR. I don't use TIDAL but there must be other options, eg a phone / tablet, Chromecast Audio?
 

ananthvm11

Novice Member
In pure direct, the subwoofer is probably not working, you can get round this by connecting a sub via high level, if you want the sub involved when listening to music.

And you need to find another device to access TIDAL from, that isn't the AVR. I don't use TIDAL but there must be other options, eg a phone / tablet, Chromecast Audio?
Oh i didn't know that the sub wont work in pure direct. So that means my L/R will run full range?

Chromecast audio sounds like a viable option, but it seems like there's very limited Stereo integrated amps that supports Chromecast audio? I dont wanna use bluetooth as it reduces the audio quality too much.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Oh i didn't know that the sub wont work in pure direct. So that means my L/R will run full range?

Chromecast audio sounds like a viable option, but it seems like there's very limited Stereo integrated amps that supports Chromecast audio? I dont wanna use bluetooth as it reduces the audio quality too much.
I think the Denon AVR's have a way of adding the sub back in with direct mode on, but it sort of defeats the object. The idea of pure direct is that you turn off and bypass completely all of the processing and gubbins within the AVR that could mess with the fidelity of the music. You want a 'straight wire' so the music goes just via the volume control to the power amps, without being screwed up. AVR's are generally pretty bad at that. The only one I have experienced that can do it well is Arcam.

With the chromecast audio you would use it as a standalone device and output the audio via analogue connections, so you would just input the audio into any amplifier via the stereo analog RCA inputs.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung Micro LED, Mini LED, NEO QLED TVs and More: AVForums Podcast Interview
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom