Combining an AVR with 2-Channel, thoughts on these options?


Standard Member
Finally figured out how potentially connect it, and have some (wife limited!!) funds.

Current kit:

Sound source = FLACS on USB stick via blu-ray transport (so a DAC is imperative). Music – generally rock, very, very loud (think Guns ‘n’ Roses etc), Adele

* left/right speakers = PMC twenty22s.

* Sub = REL (bought deliberately so I could wire to the AVR and hi-level simultaneously).

* AVR = Yahama 1065 (old, but good, I like it). But (to be fair, as noted by a certain magazine many years ago), is weak for the centre channel, so this MUST have a power amp driver.

* Front speaker = not relevant at the moment, cannot afford the matching PMC, so this is something to think about in the future.

* A just acquired 2nd hand Cyrus X Power (yet to be tested), replacing a 3-channel Arcam 10P which died.

So looking to build a great system to fill both needs.

(1) Sell the Cyrus. Buy an Emotiva XPA-3, 3-channel and a stereo amp/preamp with DAC (e.g. Cambridge Audio CXA61 maybe)??

(2) Buy another 2 Cyrus X Powers 2nd hand instead of the Emotiva

(3) All go all out. Keep the Cyrus for the centre, and drive the front 2 speakers off a Hegal H190 (which reads up as awfully nice…. and has the advantage of a DAC already built in).

Open to thoughts? I’d be interested to hear if anyone has paired PMCs up with a Hegal or Emotiva.

Or experience of amp/pre-amps with DAC that has the advantage of a built in HT function to save messing around with volume controls for AVR duties.

Thanks all!


Distinguished Member
Options 1) and 2) sound OK to me. I could not recommend Option 3) - all 3 front speakers should have (near) identical power amplification, not a mix of company's products.

Once you're buying separate power amplification for the fronts, you might wish to consider a preamplifier with DAC rather than a power amplifier. You didn't give any budget, so I can't make any specific recommendations. If you anyway have Cyrus, the matching DAC / preamp would be an option. Otherwise prices start at under £300 for something decent (e.g. Yamaha WXC-50). There are also streamer / DAC / preamps (e.g. CA CXN V2, £800).

Once you have a separate preamp / power amp, you don't need HT bypass in the stereo preamp, you just need a source selector switch between the stereo preamp / AV and power amp. These can be simple mechanical switches, or if your budget permits, fully automatic source selector switches (Sonance, Russound, Speakercraft).
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Standard Member
Yeah I did wonder about the CA CXN V2, but not having any analogue inputs wasn't sure it'd be suitable with the AVR duties. but I suppose the source selector takes that out of the equation. Silly question, this CA connects straight to power amps, right? I mean, being a streamer rather than a 'pre amp', it wouldn't need a pre-amp in the chain?

Having all front 3 on the same 'amplification' seems logical, but need to bear in mind I'll never be able to argue the PMC centre speaker cost, after shelling out as planned for the 2-channel duties. Center speaker will probably be around the £500 mark - suggestions?

Any thoughts on 'sound' type of the Emotiva vs the Cyrus' coupled to the twenty22s?


Distinguished Member
The CA CXN V2 can be configured to act as a source device (fixed output) or a preamplifier (variable output). The lack of analogue inputs would of course be a no go if you have analogue sources.

I do not have any suggestions for an alternative centre speaker, but would instead recommend finding arguments for the corresponding PMC centre. The correct centre speaker is way more important than the power amplification question for it.

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