Help with stereo set up and AV receiver (crossover post maybe!)

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by godriah, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. godriah

    godriah
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    Right my set up is as follows: Denon turntable to Musical Fidelity pre amp to Onkyo HT reciever. I'd say usage is split 70% vinyl, 20% film (5.1), 10% streaming (Spofity Premium). I'm looking to add a CD player into the mix. So far, straight forward. However I feel I'm missing out on sound quality using the Onkyo primarily as a 2 channel receiver. So I'd like to add a dedicated 2 channel stereo amp for when listening to vinyl and connect the CD player to that instead of the Onkyo (I'd be using the phono stage also rendering the Musical Fidelity obsolete). Or just to confuse things a bit more, I've been looking at a CD player/streaming all in one system as a compromise (something like the Denon Ceol, Marantz CR... In which case I'd keep the Musical Fidelity as phono pre amp) My main question how would I connect the 2 channel amp (or all in one system) to the Onkyo as my speakers are connected to the Onkyo obviously! Does this make any sense to anyone? No matter how much I read online about pre amps, power amps, HT Bypass, I can't get my fudgeing head around it. Any help appreciated.
     
  2. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    You don’t mention what speakers you are using. Can I assume you have a 5.1 set up for surround sound on the only? If so .......

    The next assumption is that the only has pre out puts for the 5.1/7.1 channels. Again if so.........

    On the basis that the answers to both us yes then the usual route is to connect a stereo amp to the front l/r pre out into the stereo amp line in (ht bypass ideally, some companies call it other things) and then cone t you front l/r speakers to the stereo amp. The ht bypass fixes the volume of the stereo amp on that channel so for 5.1 listening the volume is controlled by the onkyo. Most people then connect the stereo inputs (vinyl, cd, CCA) to the stereo amp and when listening to stereo use the volume control on the stereo amp. The only caveat here is that the subwoofer would not be used for stereo.

    A good place to start would be the musical fidelity m3i and then go from there.

    The other way is to buy a non ht bypass amp, connect as above, choose a line input, set the volume to around half way, mark the volume knob and faceplate, set up the onkyo and then when you want 5.1 set the volume on the stereo amp to the marked position.

    Fir cd streamer have a look at the Yamaha CDN301 as a starting point, has built in Spotify. Or just buy any good CD player and add a £30 chrome cast audio.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  3. godriah

    godriah
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    Sorry, yes I have 5.1 speakers connected to the onkyo. However the onkyo has no main zone pre outs. It does however have a zone 2 line out. Will this be of any use? Thanks for the reply...
     
  4. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    Is the zone 2 stereo or full 5.1 connectors.
     
  5. godriah

    godriah
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    Its stereo only. But I'll be using the same speakers for stereo playback as I use for my 5.1.
     
  6. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    Don’t think you can use the zone 2 without a speaker switch in the loop, others may be able to advise. lol at the ones from beresford. But may not be possible at all.
     
  7. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    The best way for good music is with the inclusion of an integrated stereo amp with HT by-pass. Your Onkyo, as you've said, doesn't have front pre-outs and I don't think you can use the zone 2 within a 5.1 set out and would have to rely on the services of a speaker switcher such as the Beresford 2770. Bringing a Beresford in would negate the need for a stereo amp that has HT by-pass some of which can be on the expensive side.

    It's certainly the best way to go for music, receivers are simply not up to the job. Bringing in a stereo amp will transform your music listening. No mention of budget but if keeping the Onkyo you have to factor in the Beresord £85. I'll always champion Rega amps, either the Brio or Elex as both have excellent phono stages. The Elex is the more powerful and unless you are driving very difficult speakers in an amphitheatre then both the Regas will be up to the job.
     
  8. godriah

    godriah
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    Apologies for my amateurish questions, so I'd need the Rega to Beresford to Onkyo?
     
  9. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    You would connect the front left and right speakers leads from both the Onkyo and Rega to the inputs on the Beresford. Then you connect the output of the Beresford to the speakers. Connecting the Onkyo to the A side and the Rega to the B side you simply select the incoming signal by pressing the button on the facia.

    No more of a fiddle in reality of having to press the direct button on an amp that has HT by-pass.
     
  10. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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  11. godriah

    godriah
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    I really appreciate you trying to help me here but I'm just not with it (please don't think I'm trolling!) So I'd have speaker cable going to both the onkyo and the rega, using all 8 speaker sockets on the speakers and romoving the bridging plates (4 to Onkyo, 4 to Rega). Then connect RCA's from both rega and onkyo to Beresford? I dont understand the output from the Beresford to the speakers part...
     
  12. Don Dadda

    Don Dadda
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    Which onkyo receiver and model speakers do you have?

    It was asked but you didnt answer
     
  13. godriah

    godriah
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    Sorry, I'm using the TX-NR609 receiver with Definitive Technology D9 fronts with misson rears (soon to be replaced by DT ceiling speakers) and B&W ASW500 sub.
     
  14. gibbsy

    gibbsy
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    You take the front speaker wires from the Onkyo and connect them to the A input binding posts of the Beresford. The same with the stereo amp, this time connecting them to the B input binding posts. The Beresford then connects from the out binding posts to the front speakers. The front speakers are connected to the Beresford as normal.

    You don't treat the speakers any dfferently. Both receiver and amp are connected to the Beresford. Then the Beresford alone is connected to the speakers.
     
  15. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    As @gibbsy says, but you need to forget bi-wiring the fronts, single wire only. Basically the beresford allows two amps to be connected to one set of speakers (fronts in your case) and allows switching between the two amps. For 5.1 you switch it to the input for the onkyo (with dvd/blue ray/tv as sources into the onkyo) and for stereo select the input connected to the stereo amp (with cd, vinyl, audio streamer etc. Attached to the stereo amp). Basically makes a Y connection in the front speaker run.
     
  16. godriah

    godriah
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    Right, got it. My mistake was thinking that the Rega and Onkyo needed to be connected to the speakers. I know understand that they are connected to the Beresford and the Beresford is connected to the speakers. Great explanations here. Amazing that someone like me can come to somewhere like this and people take the time to explain and share their knowledge to a layman! Right, so I know the Beresford is needed, doesn't appear to be that much on the market where source switches are concerned so that's sorted. Now to decide what 2 channel amp to get. I've obviously read and heard about the Rega's previously, however Ive always been put off by the price tag (I can pick a Mira 3 up for around 260gbp). I'm not adverse to going down the second hand, vintage (or at least older than new!) route. NAD (320bee, 3020), Arcam (I can pick an Alpha 3 up for around 70gbp). Cambridge (Topaz M1 for around 90GBP). Or even a Creek CAS-4140 (around 150gbp) Marantz (PM6006 maybe?) Or as I mentioned the all in one boxes are still an option, but I'm guessing the difference in sound quality between those and, let's say a Rega, would be night and day? Living where I do, demos are not possible.

    Again, thanks a lot people.
     
  17. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Another option would be to sell your Onkyo and buy an AVR that is better for music. I am thinking an Arcam or a Nad. That way you would end up with a much simpler set up, in terms of less cabling and devices, if that is of a concern.

    I recently picked up a used Arcam AVR400 from these forums for £350 for a second room. You could use something like that as is for your 5.1 set-up. For music, connect your cd player and MF pre-amp to it and put the Arcam in pure direct mode, I imagine the sound quality would be at least as good as some of the stereo amps that you are looking at, and you would save on the cost of the speaker switch.

    I had that speaker switch for a while, it was perfect in terms of sound quality / transparency, but the cabling and banana plug count was very high, a total of 24 banana plugs!
     
  18. godriah

    godriah
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    That is something that I haven't thought of. I always assumed that a dedicated 2 channel would easily outperform an AV amp. As you can probably tell, I am far from an audiophile so maybe, something like this might be a better option for me. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  19. Rambles

    Rambles
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    Mostly, that is true, but there are exceptions. Some 2 channel amps sound awful, and some AVR's sound suprisingly good for music.

    I have been experimenting a lot with this over the last couple of years, and find that the DAC is just as important as the amp. Obviously not for vinyl, as that is all analogue!

    I currently am using a Roksan K3 Dac for music (mine is all digital) into an Arcam AVR550, with the Arcam in direct mode it sounds really lovely. I am going to say at least as good, if not better than a Musical Fidelity M3i amp that I had previously, but that was with a different DAC so not really a fair comparison.

    My previous Yamaha / Denon and Marantz AVR's didn't really sound any different when I engaged direct mode, but the Arcam does. So, if you have a good source / dac / pre-amp, an Arcam AVR in direct mode could provide good transparent amplification with a volume control, then you have the rest of the amp to use for your 5.1 set-up.
     

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