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High-end dilemma - adding channels while still using my hi-fi pre-amp etc

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by MJeeves, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    Hi All,

    I want to add DTS 6.1, DD5.1 EX, Dolby Surround II etc etc to an existing Hi-Fi System that I am very fond of. Is there a quality home cinema amp, processor, receiver out there that I can use for centre and rear channels as well as providing an output to my current high-end pre-amp for the main left and right channels? Will I still get proper DTS and DD5.1EX etc etc?

    Thanks for your assistance.
     
  2. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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  3. HappyLad

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    1. Connect the front left and right pre-amp outputs from the AV amp into a spare input on your Hi-Fi pre-amp.
    2. Select that input on your Hi-Fi pre-amp and set the volume control to a level that easily reproduced - i.e. the volume control in the 12 O'clock position.
    3. Now go through the speaker calibration routine on the AV amp to set the correct volume for each of the speakers.

    The Yamaha that you quote has full pre-amp outputs so should be OK for use like this. Just connect the centre and surround speakers to the Yamaha.

    One problem you may have with a setup using an external amp for L+R channels is phase inversion. By this I mean that the centre channel output is 180 degrees out of phase with the L+R channels. This is a function of how your Hi-Fi pre/power amp works, but if it is a problem then all you have to do is reverse the phase of the centre speaker by swapping the speaker connections over.
     
  4. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    Wow! Thanks!!

    How will I know? Thanks.
     
  5. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    It'll sound 'wrong' instruments will be slightly out of time etc. Believe me 5 minutes of listening and you'll know....
     
  6. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    Thanks bud :thumbsup:
     
  7. cameronl

    cameronl
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    any cheap receiver will do for that as long as it has pre-out. imho the most important is the stereo preamp and a very good poweramp.

    CaM
     
  8. HappyLad

    HappyLad
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    I disagree. The aim is to get some balance between all the channels, especially the front 3.
    As the centre channel carries dialogue then I think that its important to have a decent amp and speaker for this that matches the main L + R pair. Otherwise you would be at risk of having large changes in timbre as sounds pan accross the front soundstage.
    Loudspeaker transducers have the most gross effect on timbre, but the amp also plays its part.

    In a perfect world it could be argued it would be best to have the same amp/speakers for each channel. Though considerations such as cost/aesthetics/availability often negate this as a solution.
     
  9. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    Are the DENON 2805 and 3805 suitable for this as well? Do they have the microphone set-up facility? Which would be best: Yamaha DSP AX750SE, Denon 2805 or Denon 3805?

    Thanks.
     
  10. cameronl

    cameronl
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    I have 3 matching front speakers (Quad 12L, Quad Center), a lowely av amp (Yam 630), an intergrated arcam A32 stereo amp which i use only as a preamp and a Halo A52 5 channel poweramp (which is lovely).

    my front 3 are matched and imo the home cinema part is fine, though obviously not in the same league as the stereo part. :)

    I don't understand what you disagree with HappyLad? I don't think a decent amp is required, but more importantly a decent power stage in an av receiver or better still a good poweramp. Even the cheap processor part of an av amp these days sounds pretty good.

    CaM
     
  11. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    I think the disagreement is in having an amp section of one AV reciever handling dialogue, whilst the front pair are running from a much better (but more importantly different) power amp. The important factor being to get them to all drive the same pitch and loudness, and to the same scale at different volume levels. Cheap or not you risk the two amplifiers performing differently to each other and hence your vocals being somewhat detached from the main front soundstage. Yours is different CaM since you have a single power amp for the whole soundfield so you don't carry those risks. So long as the amp is well auditioned for the job you shouldn't have too much of a problem MJ. Out of interest what is the pre-amp in the hifi system?
     
  12. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    My preamp is an AUDIO RESEARCH SP-9 feeding MICHELLE ALECTO MONO-BLOCKS into PROAC RESPONSE 2 LOUDSPEAKERS. Does this help? I must admit that I'm leaning toward the DENON AVR-3805. Any good?

    Thanks.
     
  13. HappyLad

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    I agree. Digital signal processing is done in IC's which are difficult to design but can be turned out in their thousands at fairly low cost.
    However, the analogue amplifier still benefits from an investment in engineered components. For example quality transformers and capacitors for power supplied can be expensive to manufacture.
    Cheap recievers tend not to have the best quality amplifier stages hence my disagreement with your earlier post. Though I do agree with your premise that good results can be had from inexpensive AV recievers being used as processors providing decoded signals to quality power amps.

    Nice!!
    The Denon amps you mention have calibration facilities using a microphone and I think the Yamaha one does aswell. I currently have a Denon 3805 and have found it to have a few foibles but on the whole to be pretty good with decent facilities and sound quality - however, in stereo only its pretty disappointing compared to the Bi-amped/PSX's Cyrus amps I have.
    TBH I've not yet tried using the Cyrus amps for front L + R duties with the Denon, I'll get round to doing this eventually, but at the mo I've no rack space left!!! :mad: :mad:
     
  14. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    What are the "foibles" you have with it?
     
  15. gwc

    gwc
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    Won't you have a problem with the signal levels going from one pre-amp to another.

    Cheers

    gwc


     
  16. HappyLad

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    I don't like not being able to rename the inputs. The Denon has replaced an old Sony reciever I had and on that device I could call the inputs anything I wanted, e.g. "Sky", "X Box" or "PS2" - handy for the Mrs and the kids. You can't do this with the Denon.
    Also, the on screen display doesn't work when using a progressive scan component input. Interlaced is OK with the OSD but the Denon is unable to overlay a progressive signal.
    I also had a nightmare getting the plastic inserts out of the speaker terminals on the back of the amp so I could use 4mm banana plugs. Though this was sorted after a little help from this forum (still ended up with cut fingers from stabbing myself with a screwdriver though :mad: )
    Apart from the above I'm please with it and wouldn't hesitate in replacing with same if someone decided to take it from my home

    You need to ensure that you calibrate the AV amp with the volume on the stereo pre amp set at a known and easily reproducable high position (ie 12 O'clock). Otherwise you would have to re-calibrate the AV amp every time you adjusted the volume on the stereo pre-amp when listening to CD's.
    Also, If you don't set the stereo pre-amp at a high enough level you won't get enough gain on the L+R channels.
     
  17. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    I currently have an old Yamaha DSP-E1000 Processor for the centre and rear speakers with my Audio Research Pre-Amp volume set to 10 o'clock (the volume knob has steps - handy!). This seems to work well enough but, of course, my current Yamaha is Dolby Surround only. So DTS and DD5.1 will probably be different.
     
  18. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    PIONEER VSX-AX5i or DENON AVR 3805 - Which is BEST?

    Does the PIONEER VSX-AX5i have the ability to be used as a "processor" using the pre-outs to my hi-fi system?

    Thanks.
     

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