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Connecting Two Amps via Preout - Sound Quality Issues?

stuartasmith85

Standard Member
Firstly, apologies if this in any way a stupid question, or one that's been answered a hundred times before. I'm very interested in home cinema, but my understanding is not as strong as it could be, and having spent a lot of time over the years reading around message boards like this one in search of answers to specific problems, I've found that often it's hard to find discussion of a like-for-like situation, so I thought I'd bite the bullet and just ask!

My own home cinema setup consists of a Sony STR-DA3200ES powering Wharfedale Diamond 9.0 5.1 speakers. I recently inherited some old, but fairly powerful home cinema kit in the form of a Denon AVC-A1SE powering KEF's THX Home Cinema kit. From what I can tell, these speakers are quite a bit better than my Wharfedales, so I want to use those, but just using the Denon is not ideal because it doesn't have any HDMI inputs.

What I'm intending to do, therefore, is connect all of my AV sources (Sky HD, PS3, Xbox 360, etc.) to the Sony amp, then connect 6 preouts (I don't have rear surround for 7.1 connected yet) to the Ext. 1 multichannel input on the Denon amp via phono leads. In turn, the KEF THX speakers are connected to the AVC-A1SE, which I believe is more equipped to handle the speakers.

I've played around with this briefly and know that it works insofar as sound comes out of the speakers. What I wanted to check was that I'm right in my belief that the Sony amp does the decoding and outputs the result through the Denon amp to the speakers. So if the Sony amp decodes TrueHD, I'll still hear TrueHD through the speakers connected to the Denon amp? Is there likely to be any loss of quality using this configuration?

Also, what's the best way to handle the leveling? I've currently set it so that the volume on the Sony amp is 0 and all the individual speaker levels are all at neutral, and so use the Denon amp to control volume and individual levels. Is that the best way to do it?

Thanks in advance for your help!
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
So if the Sony amp decodes TrueHD, I'll still hear TrueHD through the speakers connected to the Denon amp? Is there likely to be any loss of quality using this configuration?
The simple answer is that there will be a significant loss of quality. I would expect SD audio though coax to the Denon to sound much better than HD audio over HDMI through this duplicated preamp performance killer.

But as with everything audio, the best course of action is to try all the options, including using just the Sony.
 

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