How to have a Stereo/AV setup?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by MaiaMan, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. MaiaMan

    MaiaMan
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    Which is the easiest method to setup a receiver to work with stereo amp? The theory is to drive the front speakers through a stereo amp (when playing music), and use the receiver for movies. How do you connect the receiver so that during movies it drives the amp?
     
  2. Poindexter

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    You need a receiver with preouts to connect into your stereo amp for the fronts.

    I just got a Yamaha RX-V657 for just that purpose and it's fab! :thumbsup:

    Dex
     
  3. MaiaMan

    MaiaMan
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    And doesnt the receiver influence the sound output?
     
  4. Knightshade

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    Yes, it's a compromise. Whether or not it is an acceptable one is for your ears to decide.
     
  5. musicman1999

    musicman1999
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    maiaman

    do you mean a power amp(one input and no front controls)or an integrated amp(multiple source inputs and volumn control).
    completely different answers
    bill
     
  6. MaiaMan

    MaiaMan
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    I just have a receiver so I guess either way would do. What I am looking for is an improvement in music quality.
     
  7. Knightshade

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    Using the AV receiver as a pre amp for music and then via pre out to a stereo power amp would work. The power amp would run all the time. However, the limiting factor would be the AV receivers pre stage. These aren't generally up to much unless you spend mega £££s.
    It will improve things but it won't be brilliant. If you go into it knowing this you may be surprised.
    The sad truth is the only way to get really good stereo sound is with a stereo system. Everything else is compromise. It's whether or not you can live with the compromise.
    If music is your thing then maybe look to a good stereo system, add a sub and see what you think? It will work very well for movies and be excellent for music. Granted you don't get quite the same surround effect but a decent stereo system can still place the sounds in the right places.
     
  8. pjd@nl

    [email protected]
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    I must concur with Knightshade. I have actually tested this with my old Yamaha stereo amp and my new RX-V757.

    My findings using the 757 as a pre-amp for the fronts, in a nutshell are:

    1) The preouts from the 757 to the stereo amp did not produce the same sound in stereo as a direct feed to the stereo amp.

    2) The sound output from the fronts was not in alignment with the centre and rears, creating a mismatch in the surround sound field.

    3) Having two Yammy amps meant the remote worked for both, annoying (had to cover the IR sensor on the stereo amp - ugly).

    I have decided to use the RX-V757 for all playback now. Superb in surround and, now that I have increased the bass and reduced the treble, acceptable in stereo.
     
  9. Aton

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    Can't you use an integrated Stereo Amp for music and just share the front Speakers between the two Amps (Stereo and AV) via a clean Switching Box ? You just need to remember to switch to Stereo or AV.
     
  10. pjd@nl

    [email protected]
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    I did fleetingly investigate this, and apparently decent dual source switch boxes seemed to be around €150. However, extra box, extra costs, extra hassle ... I couldn't be done with it.
     
  11. Aton

    Aton
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    I'm going to build one myself anyway. There's absolutely no point in buying a HiFi Amp, if you "colour" the sound through an AV Amp beforehand.
     
  12. MaiaMan

    MaiaMan
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    Two in one:

    :r1: I was advised to buy a NAD L73 receiver. It has a real stereo mode, unlike other receivers:confused: . Anybody know this?

    :r2: Since most 'good' brands can build a decent stereo amp, why don't they make a receiver where the two front channels are the same as the ones they put into the stereo amps?
     
  13. MI55ION

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    Thanks peeps, I was about to start a new thread closely related to this one i.e. using power v integrated amps in av setup but you lot have already answered that - oh dear, so many compromises! :confused:

    [email protected], i take it that you gave up on this idea at the end.

    Has anyone had any success going via either route or is it just best to stick with the av amp?
     
  14. pjd@nl

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    Mi55ion,
    Yes, indeed. I decided against it in the end (I've also got used to the 'new' stereo sound).
    The old stereo amp is now in the study.
     
  15. Knightshade

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    Sorry, I don't know enough about NAD to offer advice.
    Cost and getting the balance right. An AV amp has to do a lot more than a purely stereo amp. Everything it does generates noise which has to be eliminated as much as possible (which costs). If all companies did this you wouldn't have sensible priced AV receivers for long.
    Some companies do make some excellent 5 channel AV pre amps but they do cost. One excellent example is the Linn AV5103 (discontinued and can be had for £800 (£3400 new)) A great stereo pre amp but you do need to add 3 (or more) power amps to it which pushes the price up.
    I listen to music and watch the odd film so for me a 2 channel stereo setup works well. The room can be made to shake with the right film and well, voices are positoned correctly and noises are still thrown around the room. And of course it's great for music!
    It's worth checking out your money buys a lot more stereo than AV.
     
  16. Falp

    Falp
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    A few AVreceivers have real stereo modes, even then not as good as many integrated stereo amps, and the L73 is an integrated Player/Receiver.

    Is music matters to you then find a good musical AVReceiver, and the most musical brands usually are Arcam, Rotel, Marantz NAD and Cambridge Audio...

    I'm thinking of the AVReceiver+2 ch power amp too...

    I heard a fez setups and found a very good option! :thumbsup:
     
  17. Cable Monkey

    Cable Monkey
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    Many have done. The Sony STR-DB930 though badged QS had electronics from their ES stereo range. Unfortunately without a true direct mode, attempting to put anything through normal inputs (all of which could be subjected to processing) resulted in reduction in quality. Only using the 5.1 ins revealed how good this amp actually was. Of course the biggest compromise in AV kit is power supplies. This is what truly limits the amps from managing what a well designed stereo amp can do.
     
  18. dannyboy104

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    Very interesting to hear everyone's comments on stereo in the av world.
    It has frustrated me for a long time to get a good stereo system , that also can work with AV.
    This is my latest setup which involves a Sony STR940 for dolby/dts duties only , the front pre out goes to a Musical fidelity pre amp . The dvd/cd player also goes directly to the pre amp on another input . The MF pre is then connected to a Rotel 985 mk11 thx power amp for amplification to the front pair (quad 11l). This way I can maintain good 2 ch stereo which is seperate from the Sony, which gives me a warm detailed sound.
    I'm sure by replacing the Sony with a seperate processor such as Rotel RSP 1066/68 would improve the surround sound elements but I'm not convinced about stereo
    The centre ch pre out from the Sony goes direct to the Rotel (Quad centre), as do the rear ch. I suppose the only slight downside is the balance between the front pair and the centre is slightly off . I hope this helps and is not too confusing .
     
  19. Falp

    Falp
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    A few days a go a guy wanted an AVreceiver that wouldn't be worst than his NAD 320BBE in stereo...

    After hearing a few NAD and Marantz model he ended up buying a SR5400OSE AV Receiver that he and his wife felt that was a big improvement over the NAD stereo...!
     
  20. MaiaMan

    MaiaMan
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    Compromises, compromises...I think it's just too complicated to have two systems, one for music, one for movies.

    Any sugestions on a receiver with capable musicwise ?
     
  21. innercry

    innercry
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    I used to run a Sony STR 940 AV amp with a NAD C370 2 channel hifi amp powering the fronts. Listening in 5.1 through the Sony and then going to the Sony/NAD combination revealed a better sound for 5.1. The music aspect of films really came alive and there was no difference noticed in the soundfiedl due to the two different types of amps. Obviously music was spot-on just through the NAD. This was a good compromise and very satisfying.

    However, I then moved to the Rotel Processor and Power Amp set-up which improved music listening to a small degree for me personally as the Rotels liked my music tastes better (Metal of all varities!), which was a relief as I had expected it to not sound quite as good as the pure hifi amp. However in 5.1 it blew the Sony/NAD combination away! A very good solution all round! The NAD is going in the bedroom!

    The best thing to do would be to try and demo any potential set-up with your own music, but I hope my experience helps!
     
  22. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello MaiaMan

    If your looking to combine Multi channel and Stereo playback using an AV Receiver + a Stereo amplifier you would take all of your Stereo sources direct to the Stereo amplifier and not run them through the AV Receiver.

    Its only the Front L+R channels of any Multi channel sources that go to the Stereo amplifier via the AV Receiver.

    As others have said some folk find an affordable 'compromise' is to concentrate on getting your Stereo set up working as required and 'listen' to your Multi channel sources in Stereo mode.

    Another option a lot of folk miss is the inclusion of decoded Analogue Outputs on many DVD players - the likes of the Arcam DiVA A90 Stereo Amplifier can be fitted with an optional 7.1 channel Analogue Input Board.

    Partner the A90 with Arcam's P90/3 power amp and a DVD player with on-board decoding and you have a high quality system that's good for Stereo and Multi channel reproduction and can be arrived at in stages.

    See http://www.arcam.co.uk/prod_diva_A90_intro.cfm

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  23. ttree sound

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    There has been a lot of incorrect information posted in this thread which makes it look as if there isnt a good way of combining stereo with av.

    I combine both perfectly with no compromise in stereo sound quality. It really is easy. Simply make sure that your AV amp has stereo pre outs and connect these to an input of a stereo amp with some kind of unity gain/processor mode. Many stereo amps these days have this facility. Arcam is one make.

    Your cd and/or tuner connects directly to your stereo amp without compromising any sound quality. Your AV amp's pre outs are connected to the stereo amp giving you the best of both worlds - no problems and no compromises!
     
  24. Falp

    Falp
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    Marantz, Arcam, Rotel, NAD...;)
     
  25. Knightshade

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    It really comes down to personal taste. What's acceptable to one is not to another.
     
  26. ttree sound

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    Knightsade, please show me how could anything resembling my system setup be anything but acceptable:confused:
     
  27. Knightshade

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    If your happy with it then why would I do that? I could pick it to pieces if you really want but then you might do the same for mine. Hence why I say 'what's acceptable for one may not be for another'
     
  28. ttree sound

    ttree sound
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    In an earlier post you stated the above, but how does combining the two compromise stereo performance :confused:

    Can you enlighten me.
     
  29. Andywilliams

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    Harman kardon avr 8500 secondhand very good in stereo excellent pre-amp stage.
     
  30. ptehawkins

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    This is one of my favourite soap boxes and one that I hope will appeal to some. This assumes that you want to use high quality 2 channel for music and the 2 channel system as the front L&R when operating A/V. I have such a system. I use high end pre-power combo for 2 channel and want it totally focused for high end audio quality. (An integarted amp can be operated in the same way as the pre-power combo. I have modest A/V setup.

    Don't feed your 2 channel audio sources into the A/V receiver - as others have said unless you spend maga bucks you will ruin the sound. Feed the 2 channel sources (CD/Vinyl LP) to the pre-power (integrated) amp system, using the selector on the pre (or integrated) as usual. This gives you a standard 2 channel system with no sound effects.

    Take the front pre-outs from the A/V receiver and feed them into a spare (aux or similar) input on your pre (or integrated). Now... set the volume on the pre (or integrated) to a highish volume (on a passive pre use max). Balance the sound level on the A/V receiver with the pre on this volume. Make a note of this volume because you will need to set it here every time you use the A/V system through your 2 channel setup.

    You will now have correct levels (and delays if set) through your front channels. this works as an A/V system. If you turn off the A/V you can run dedicated 2 channel on the pre-power system (just like the good old days!).

    What about sound quality? The pre-power (or integrated) will not degrade your A/V sound and the A/V system plays no part in 2 channel music. Bliss! (and it works).
     

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