Integrated Amp with HT Bypass and 12v trigger

sicfigure

Novice Member
Hey there,

I am looking to add an integrated amp to my HT setup which could be used to power my front speakers during movies, but also be used for 2 channel listening. The main thing is it needs to have HT bypass as well as a 12v trigger so that the receiver can control the volume and power the amp on/ off. Any suggestions? It would be used to power B&W 705 S2 speakers.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Here's a (non exhaustive) list of amps with HT Bypass:


Edit: I use an Audiolab 6000A paired with a Denon 4500H AVR. I'm very happy with this combo, but ymmv obviously.

What current AVR do you have. As it needs to be a model that has (at minimum) preouts for the front speakers.
 

sicfigure

Novice Member
Thanks for the reply. Does the Audiolab have a trigger input as well so it only turns on when you turn on your Denon?

I currently have a Denon X3400H, but am looking at either an X3700 or X4700. I haven't decided yet on a new AVR or whether I should get an integrated stereo amp or a 3 channel amp.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Thanks for the reply. Does the Audiolab have a trigger input as well so it only turns on when you turn on your Denon?

Yep it has a 12v trigger. This is how I use mine.

I currently have a Denon X3400H, but am looking at either an X3700 or X4700. I haven't decided yet on a new AVR or whether I should get an integrated stereo amp or a 3 channel amp.

That depends on how important pure 2ch music is to you. Denon/Marantz AVR's are generally considered poor for pure 2ch music performance vs a good dedicated stereo integrated amp. If you use your system for both music/movies at least 50/50 split (or weighted to music), then I'd go 2ch integrated amp with ht bypass..

This is why I chose this route. I have all my 2ch music sources connected to my Audiolab which has my front speakers connected to it also. So for any music I just turn on the Audiolab, set it to integrated mode and bypass the Denon altogether (doesn't even need switching on).

Then when using the my surround setup, both the Denon & Audiolab are on (latter in "Pre-Power" mode). This effectively turns the 6000A into a power amp for my front speakers.

A 3 channel power amp would not improve music performance as the biggest influence on that is the preamp section of the Denon - poor vs the 6000A -is still being used. A stereo integrated amp with ht bypass - means you don't use the Denon's pre-amp amp for 2ch.

Summary. If, like me you use you system for both 2ch music and multichannel Home Theatre and it's a 50/50 split or above favouring music... A stereo integrated amp will give you the increase in music performance, while using the same front speakers as part of a stereo setup.

Edit: The Audiolab 6000A has its own set of preouts, so you could also add a 3 channel power amp. Bi amp the front L&R with the Audiolab and use the 3rd channel for the centre speaker.
 
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Jester1066

Well-known Member
Setup cable wise would be:

6000A "Power In" jack ➡️ front L&R preouts Denon (using 2x RCA cables)

6000A "Pre-out" jack ➡️ CH1 & CH2 on Power Amp (using 2x RCA cables

Power Amp CH3 ➡️ Centre preout Denon (using 1x RCA cable

As your 705's are Bi-amp capable, using the setup above, you'd power the high frequencies (tweeter) with the 6000A, then use a second set of speaker wires from each speaker to the ch1 & ch2 of the 3 channel power amp to power the low frequencies (bass driver). See pic:

Screenshot_20211012-140626_Adobe Acrobat.jpg


With the 3rd channel on the power amp used for the centre speaker.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
But I believe you would need to make sure, if mixing power amps for bi-amping, that they are the same or very similar gain.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
But I believe you would need to make sure, if mixing power amps for bi-amping, that they are the same or very similar gain.
Yep forgot to mention that!

I know however that Emotiva Amps & the 6000A both have identical gains of 29dB.... Why?

Because I plan on doing what I've detailed above myself! 😉
 

sicfigure

Novice Member
Thanks for the thorough explanation. Just to make things even more interesting, could I use something like the Audiolab for 2 channel music and to power the L/F speakers for HT use along with a separate monoblock like the AUDIOPHONICS MPA-M250NC Amplifier Mono Class D NCore? I guess the biggest question is will mixing two different amp types for the L/R/C cause any issues?


 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thanks for the thorough explanation. Just to make things even more interesting, could I use something like the Audiolab for 2 channel music and to power the L/F speakers for HT use along with a separate monoblock like the AUDIOPHONICS MPA-M250NC Amplifier Mono Class D NCore? I guess the biggest question is will mixing two different amp types for the L/R/C cause any issues?


Why not go a better quality and more power stereo amp in the first place. I'd recommend the Rega Elicit-R with 105 watts into 8 ohms but no trigger. I'm running one with a Denon AV amp. I personally don't find it a problem having to switch on individual units but they are within easy reach. Even on most stereo amps with by-pass you would still have to manually engage HT by-pass.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Thanks for the thorough explanation. Just to make things even more interesting, could I use something like the Audiolab for 2 channel music and to power the L/F speakers for HT use along with a separate monoblock like the AUDIOPHONICS MPA-M250NC Amplifier Mono Class D NCore? I guess the biggest question is will mixing two different amp types for the L/R/C cause any issues?


See the above from @Dobbyisfree. Mixing power amp types shouldn't cause issues (as any decent power amp won't colour or alter the sound signature of the speakers it's powering)....

But as mentioned, it is important to get the gain match between the amps similar or identical. The Audiolabs gain is rated @ 29dB - which matches the Emotiva power amps. A few dB swing either way should be fine. Just avoid a massive difference in them.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Why not go a better quality and more power stereo amp in the first place. I'd recommend the Rega Elicit-R with 105 watts into 8 ohms but no trigger. I'm running one with a Denon AV amp. I personally don't find it a problem having to switch on individual units but they are within easy reach. Even on most stereo amps with by-pass you would still have to manually engage HT by-pass.
Agreed I only used the 6000A as an example which I have myself. Something like your Rega would negate the need for Bi-amping as you say.

Edit it also depends largely on what budget and features the OP is after.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Agreed I only used the 6000A as an example which I have myself. Something like your Rega would negate the need for Bi-amping as you say.
It also depends on how many boxes and wires you want to have. One box, two boxes or even four. As my wife says I can have them all in a pine box as grave goods.

The 705s are quality speakers and with 8 ohms nominal, 88dB sensitivity and a drop to 3.7 ohms something like the Elicit is going to make them sing with considerable ease. They are an easier drive than my KEFs.
 

sicfigure

Novice Member
Why not go a better quality and more power stereo amp in the first place. I'd recommend the Rega Elicit-R with 105 watts into 8 ohms but no trigger. I'm running one with a Denon AV amp. I personally don't find it a problem having to switch on individual units but they are within easy reach. Even on most stereo amps with by-pass you would still have to manually engage HT by-pass.
I'm not set on the Audiolab as the search is still on for a good integrated if I go that route, but I rather have the trigger option as I would like to be able to control everything from the remote. I could easily manually switch the integrated on myself, but I am thinking more of the wife and kids and so that it is easy for them to operate.

Regarding the integrated, I have been looking at the ATOLL as well as the Cambridge CXA81, but the ATOLL doesn't have a trigger and the Cambridge doesn't have an HT bypass input.
 

sicfigure

Novice Member
See the above from @Dobbyisfree. Mixing power amp types shouldn't cause issues (as any decent power amp won't colour or alter the sound signature of the speakers it's powering)....

But as mentioned, it is important to get the gain match between the amps similar or identical. The Audiolabs gain is rated @ 29dB - which matches the Emotiva power amps. A few dB swing either way should be fine. Just avoid a massive difference in them.
Makes sense, thank you.

Edit: However, if I am not bi amping the speakers, would the AVR set the levels properly even if the gain structure is not similar between the 2 external amps or am I thinking about this the wrong way?
 

sicfigure

Novice Member
It also depends on how many boxes and wires you want to have. One box, two boxes or even four. As my wife says I can have them all in a pine box as grave goods.

The 705s are quality speakers and with 8 ohms nominal, 88dB sensitivity and a drop to 3.7 ohms something like the Elicit is going to make them sing with considerable ease. They are an easier drive than my KEFs.
I rather have one, integrated 3 channel amp, but I haven't seen one yet :)
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
It also depends on how many boxes and wires you want to have. One box, two boxes or even four. As my wife says I can have them all in a pine box as grave goods.
Yep! "Been there, T-Shirt etc".

OH: "Why do we need another box. What does this one do?"
Me: "It makes it sound better!"
OH: Rolls eyes & walks off 🤣🙈
 

Zarf2007

Active Member
I have the Rega Aethos which is one up from the Elicit-R and also has no trigger however I got round it by plugging my AV Processor and the amp into one of these:


it then powers on/off with the AVP
 
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Jester1066

Well-known Member
I have the Elicit Aethos which is one up from the Elicit-R and also has no trigger however I got round it by plugging my AVR and the amp into one of these:


it then powers on/off with the AVR
I was about to suggest the same thing, but couldn't remember what it was called 🤣🤣🙈
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
One other thing @sicfigure- All the amps etc suggested so far have their pros and cons etc. But I'd always strongly recommend an audition on any shortlisted amps with your speakers. Ideally a home audition is best, prior to purchase! 😊

Edit: it's you (and your ears) that matter!
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
Makes sense, thank you.

Edit: However, if I am not bi amping the speakers, would the AVR set the levels properly even if the gain structure is not similar between the 2 external amps or am I thinking about this the wrong way?
If your not biamping the front speakers and only using the the stereo integrated amp, then yes the AVR will set the levels during calibration and integrate the stereo amp into the system correctly.
 

Jester1066

Well-known Member
I rather have one, integrated 3 channel amp, but I haven't seen one yet :)
I'm not sure any exist. You could get a integrated amp with HT Bypass for the L&R channels and a small monoblock power amp for the centre, such as this:


It doesn't have a 12v trigger, but the "auto on" switch will sense when an audio signal is received to the speaker through the RCA's and power the amp up.
 

sicfigure

Novice Member
I'm not sure any exist. You could get a integrated amp with HT Bypass for the L&R channels and a small monoblock power amp for the centre, such as this:


It doesn't have a 12v trigger, but the "auto on" switch will sense when an audio signal is received to the speaker through the RCA's and power the amp up.
Thanks, this looks like the route I may take as it checks all of the boxes!
 

sicfigure

Novice Member
Ok, just to update. I went ahead and gota good deal on an Atoll 100se integrated amplifier. I have it hooked up to the L/R pre outs on my Denon X3400h. Initially, I was thinking that I could run 2 channel audio out from my Sony UBP-X800 Blueray/ SACD player straight into the Atoll bypassing the receiver. The one thing that i forgot was that the Sony only has HDMI or digital coax outputs. So the quetion I have now is what do you guys recommend I get in this situation? Ideallym I would like to be able to play SACD's from the Sony, as well as digital files from a USB stick and stream audio. I could potentially play the USB audio filed from the Sony, but I'm not sure where the conversion would take place- in the SOny or in the final product that I am looking to purchase. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Ok, just to update. I went ahead and gota good deal on an Atoll 100se integrated amplifier. I have it hooked up to the L/R pre outs on my Denon X3400h. Initially, I was thinking that I could run 2 channel audio out from my Sony UBP-X800 Blueray/ SACD player straight into the Atoll bypassing the receiver. The one thing that i forgot was that the Sony only has HDMI or digital coax outputs. So the quetion I have now is what do you guys recommend I get in this situation? Ideallym I would like to be able to play SACD's from the Sony, as well as digital files from a USB stick and stream audio. I could potentially play the USB audio filed from the Sony, but I'm not sure where the conversion would take place- in the SOny or in the final product that I am looking to purchase. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
For 5.1 SACD you would need to have HDMI hooked up to an AV amp. Optical or coax will just allow for stereo so that can go to the integrated. You can run both together I would hope on the Sony.
 

sicfigure

Novice Member
For 5.1 SACD you would need to have HDMI hooked up to an AV amp. Optical or coax will just allow for stereo so that can go to the integrated. You can run both together I would hope on the Sony.
For 5.1 I will go through the AV receiver as usual, but I am looking for an option to play standard cd, stream and USB music through the Atoll integrated amp without using using the receiver.
 

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