Home Theater/ HiFi Integrated Amp..and Lowboard

Argento

Novice Member
Hi everyone,

hopefully this Post is somewhat in the right forum.

Let me start by saying that I'm planning for the future but need to modify a new Lowboard right now. Based on the answers here, I'll know which piece of the Lowboard's rear backing gets the chop. I'll explain...

I currently run a 5.1 system with a Denon AVC-X8500H, all 5 channels Bi-amped and running Oelbach off-the-roll cables. The AVR has lived to the left of the TV in a makeshift set-up whilst searching for a Lowboard that accommodates the AVR's dimensions/ depth especially. Finally got sick of looking and bought a 165cm Lowboard with 3 partitions. The Backing is semi structural but needs cutting either way, obviously minimally and I've spoken to the manufacturer regarding requirement to retain rigidity.

I will however only cut either the centre OR left bit of the partition (to retain maximum stability) and need to decide this now, it's dependent on the forever resting place of the AVR. So now comes the actual question:

In the future an integrated Amp be quite nice for 2.0 music only. For the Fronts I would then also want decent quality speaker wire of equal lengths, placing an Amp dead smack in the centre of the Lowboard, the AVR living on the left. So having an AVR and 2.0 Music Amp, how would this be wired to harmoniously be connected to the Fronts? I'm guessing the Bi-amping will have to go and I've also heard of switches to make this work. I've included a diagram of the AVRs rear connections in case this gives rise to more options or ideas.
AVR8500.png


Hopefully my description and Question of this endeavour makes some sort of sense...albeit long winded perhaps.

Cheers
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Denon left and right pre outs into the integrated amplifier, speaker cable connected to the integrated amp. You need a amp with HT bypass

In stereo mode Denon can be left off.
 

Argento

Novice Member
Denon left and right pre outs into the integrated amplifier, speaker cable connected to the integrated amp. You need a amp with HT bypass

In stereo mode Denon can be left off.
But it would def be bon voyage to Bi-Amp..yes? Your reply rccarguy2 sounds oh so simple..wonderful. So I'd just be using the L+R pre outs then. I'm curious in what scenario those other surround pre outs be used for?
Also to my BluRay Player that's used for HT, SACD's, Redbook, and usb loaded DSD in mainly 2.0, occasional MultiCH. It's a Pioneer LX800 that uses HDMI (Main) for HT and Analog Out RCA to the AVR (great powerful sound). Would I be forced to run HDMI Audio Out (Sub) to the Integrated Amp then or better of retaining my RCA for music only?
LX800.png
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Yes you will lose L/R bi-amp.
The other channels of pre-outs would be if you were to use dedicated power ampliifers, so you start using the Denon as a AV pre-amp with less and less channels powered by the Denon, until you replace the Denon with a AV pre-amp.

If you use the BD player for multi channel out, for multi channel you would pretty much do with adding that integrated amp, put it in HT bypass mode, so both Denon and integrated amp is on, Denon volume control controls all channel volume including L/R

If for some reason you remove the Denon then you would be limited to stereo only, SACD downmix to stereo using the L/R outputs on the BD player.
 

Argento

Novice Member
Yes you will lose L/R bi-amp.
The other channels of pre-outs would be if you were to use dedicated power ampliifers, so you start using the Denon as a AV pre-amp with less and less channels powered by the Denon, until you replace the Denon with a AV pre-amp.

If you use the BD player for multi channel out, for multi channel you would pretty much do with adding that integrated amp, put it in HT bypass mode, so both Denon and integrated amp is on, Denon volume control controls all channel volume including L/R

If for some reason you remove the Denon then you would be limited to stereo only, SACD downmix to stereo using the L/R outputs on the BD player.
Right got ya, great stuff there. So I effectively can retain Bi-Amp to Centre, LR and RR surrounds. I've learned a lot. Ideally also wanted to offset the load distribution as there's a 22 kg Centre perched on the outside board. So would have made sense to have the 23.3 kg AVR to the left. The lighter integrated in the centre partition with its equalled length speaker cables. Just measured a bit more and the outside partitions only have raised hinges (2cm high) for the front drop down door. Bit cruel as the AVR feet height is only 1.5cm. Was hoping not to muck with raising the AVR, wanted it to have the full 7cm upper clearance for thermals..hmm.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Apart from bi-amping you'll basically be using the Denon and a HT by-pass stereo amp in exactly the same way as I do. Use the front left and right pre-outs into the by-pass line in on the stereo amp. Re-run Audyssey to EQ the amp into the system and it's ready to go. Simple to set and simple to use.

I would connect the LX800 via the analogue RCA, or balanced if you get a stereo amp that's also balanced, for your stereo music use. Multi channel would still be HDMI into the Denon. That's how I had my LX500 wired up to both the Denon and the stereo amp although the LX500 doesn't have balanced output. I've since replaced it with a standalone SACD stereo player.

Here's a current list of stereo amps with HT by-pass. I use a Rega Elicit-R.

 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
Other options instead of a stereo integrated amp with HT bypass could be a stereo analogue pre-amp with HT bypass, or stereo digital pre-amplifer with HT bypass or stereo digital integrated amplifier with HT bypass, and power amplifiers.

Depending on how to setup your system. I'm currently using a audio streamer, DAC, stereo analogue pre-amp (without HT bypass), a AV pre-amp, and 7 channels of power amplifiers.
 

Argento

Novice Member
Denon left and right pre outs into the integrated amplifier, speaker cable connected to the integrated amp. You need a amp with HT bypass

In stereo mode Denon can be left off.
Thank you rccarguy. Lowboard sorted, centre space "reserved" then for an Integrated with HT bypass..for the future.
 

Argento

Novice Member
Apart from bi-amping you'll basically be using the Denon and a HT by-pass stereo amp in exactly the same way as I do. Use the front left and right pre-outs into the by-pass line in on the stereo amp. Re-run Audyssey to EQ the amp into the system and it's ready to go. Simple to set and simple to use.

I would connect the LX800 via the analogue RCA, or balanced if you get a stereo amp that's also balanced, for your stereo music use. Multi channel would still be HDMI into the Denon. That's how I had my LX500 wired up to both the Denon and the stereo amp although the LX500 doesn't have balanced output. I've since replaced it with a standalone SACD stereo player.

Here's a current list of stereo amps with HT by-pass. I use a Rega Elicit-R.

Yes, somewhat similar set up, thank you for that listing of the Amps for future consideration.

For the present though gibbsy, one cable question for you. Having to have moved my LX800, my 0.5m (now need min 0.75m) Oelbach N1 RCAs no longer reach the Denon AVR. I've been happy with the bass reproduction of the Oelbachs but have flirted with Audioquest Chicago. Any experience? Would there even be an audible difference at such cable length? Oelbach is ok, not super cheap..but ok.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Yes, somewhat similar set up, thank you for that listing of the Amps for future consideration.

For the present though gibbsy, one cable question for you. Having to have moved my LX800, my 0.5m (now need min 0.75m) Oelbach N1 RCAs no longer reach the Denon AVR. I've been happy with the bass reproduction of the Oelbachs but have flirted with Audioquest Chicago. Any experience? Would there even be an audible difference at such cable length? Oelbach is ok, not super cheap..but ok.
I don't subscribe to the theory that cables make a huge difference, indeed when I bought my Rega and Lehmann amps from my local dealer they threw in interconnects, Chord Clearway, to sweeten the deal. Don't like paying for cable.

Main thing is the the connection themselves, as long as they are robust and well made that is the most important part, otherwise it's just copper cabling. I'm perhaps not the best one to ask about cables because of my thoughts.
 

Argento

Novice Member
Apart from bi-amping you'll basically be using the Denon and a HT by-pass stereo amp in exactly the same way as I do. Use the front left and right pre-outs into the by-pass line in on the stereo amp. Re-run Audyssey to EQ the amp into the system and it's ready to go. Simple to set and simple to use.

I would connect the LX800 via the analogue RCA, or balanced if you get a stereo amp that's also balanced, for your stereo music use. Multi channel would still be HDMI into the Denon. That's how I had my LX500 wired up to both the Denon and the stereo amp although the LX500 doesn't have balanced output. I've since replaced it with a standalone SACD stereo player.

Here's a current list of stereo amps with HT by-pass. I use a Rega Elicit-R.

Since release of the Naim Supernait 3, I always thought it to pair well with my 805D3 Fronts, even happier for the Amp to qualify to have HT bypass to connect to the Denon 8500 AVR I currently have.
A confusing aspect is at introduction of the article/ listing of the HT enabled Amps. It states this

"In order to be qualified to a place in our list, we demand that the processor-input at least can be selected from the front panel, even though remote selection is preferable. What we do not accept, is solutions that involves operations at the back of the amp to choose the processor-input, except for installation procedures."

Peeking into the Naim's manual however, it appears the AVR bypass can only be physically switched from the rear. So is that how it works? For HT or Stereo I must always access the rear switch? Or am I misunderstanding something there? Here the relevant excerpt from the manual:

Naim.png
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Since release of the Naim Supernait 3, I always thought it to pair well with my 805D3 Fronts, even happier for the Amp to qualify to have HT bypass to connect to the Denon 8500 AVR I currently have.
A confusing aspect is at introduction of the article/ listing of the HT enabled Amps. It states this

"In order to be qualified to a place in our list, we demand that the processor-input at least can be selected from the front panel, even though remote selection is preferable. What we do not accept, is solutions that involves operations at the back of the amp to choose the processor-input, except for installation procedures."

Peeking into the Naim's manual however, it appears the AVR bypass can only be physically switched from the rear. So is that how it works? For HT or Stereo I must always access the rear switch? Or am I misunderstanding something there? Here the relevant excerpt from the manual:

View attachment 1567321
The Supernait does, according to your above quote, have HT by-pass. Stupidly it can only be accessed for use from the rear panel which is about as useful as a chocolate tea cup. I don't know the model other than what you have posted. Something like that would be impossible for me to engage because of my amps position in my cabinet. My Rega can be accessed for HT by-pass both from the front fascia and the remote.
 

Argento

Novice Member
The Supernait does, according to your above quote, have HT by-pass. Stupidly it can only be accessed for use from the rear panel which is about as useful as a chocolate tea cup. I don't know the model other than what you have posted. Something like that would be impossible for me to engage because of my amps position in my cabinet. My Rega can be accessed for HT by-pass both from the front fascia and the remoteN
Need to make a correction here, also to the author of the list you linked.

Spoke with the Naim/ Focal Distributer here in DE today to clarify the functionality of the rear switch. Switching AVR bypass on, simply disengages the Naim's volume control (and Naim's remote volume control unit). The AVR has therefore full access and the switch can theoretically be left in this position permanently.
Yes. This all now makes more sense and be expected of an €4000+ integrated Amp.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Need to make a correction here, also to the author of the list you linked.

Spoke with the Naim/ Focal Distributer here in DE today to clarify the functionality of the rear switch. Switching AVR bypass on, simply disengages the Naim's volume control (and Naim's remote volume control unit). The AVR has therefore full access and the switch can theoretically be left in this position permanently.
Yes. This all now makes more sense and be expected of an €4000+ integrated Amp.
I did audition a Naim Nait XS2 when I was looking for a HT capable amp and seem to now remember that there was a sort of permanent switch position. Think that's true of a number of amps though. I did take it to audition but that's as far as it went. I do have a Lehmann headphone amp that has to be switched on at the rear.
 

Argento

Novice Member
I did audition a Naim Nait XS2 when I was looking for a HT capable amp and seem to now remember that there was a sort of permanent switch position. Think that's true of a number of amps though. I did take it to audition but that's as far as it went. I do have a Lehmann headphone amp that has to be switched on at the rear.
What did you think of the product? Though I'm only €4000+ short of buying it, did want clarification as my rear Lowboard access prevents manipulating switches at back. Well, except for the Denon 8500 that pokes out the rear now from the hole I had to cut in the back ;) I'll see if I can get a demo to take home..just to hear the diff to my AVR. A Classe I also wouldn't mind trying out for 2.0. Hopefully it'll sound totally horrible and I can put the thought to rest (gulp).
 

gibbsy

Moderator
What did you think of the product? Though I'm only €4000+ short of buying it, did want clarification as my rear Lowboard access prevents manipulating switches at back. Well, except for the Denon 8500 that pokes out the rear now from the hole I had to cut in the back ;) I'll see if I can get a demo to take home..just to hear the diff to my AVR. A Classe I also wouldn't mind trying out for 2.0. Hopefully it'll sound totally horrible and I can put the thought to rest (gulp).
I didn't like the Naim with my KEF R300s. Although a very musical amp with good mids and highs it displayed a clear lack of control over the bass, as if it couldn't keep up, there was no definition. I was really disappointed as I thought the audition would merely be rubber stamping my hopeful first choice.

The Rega Elicit-R performed much better with the bass. Quick, precise with notes starting and finishing with good decay on electric bass guitar. Not much to separate them in the mids but the Rega soared with Joni Mitchell, always a good sign. Bought the Rega even though I had to buy a headphone amp at the same time, or at least within a couple of days.
 

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