4 posts / 0 new
Last post
admin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 days 18 hours ago
Joined: 04/09/2013 - 14:19
Posts: 51606
Running AV Receiver and HiFi Amp
English

Hi folks,

 

I am looking for a bit of advice.  After constant nagging from my friend that I wasn't experiencing movies as they should be experienced because I didn't have a surround-sound setup, I finally caved in and looked at the options.  I did a fair bit of research and settled on the Onkyo TX-SR608 as the hub and got some Mission surround and center speakers to complement my existing Mission floorstanders (which became the front L+R).  This was at the right price point for me as movies are an occasional affair, not a passion.

As soon as I got the new kit home I realised I'd overlooked something really obvious and painful, I was going to have to chop my Arcam Alpha 10 out of the loop because the Onkyo doesn't have pre-outs.   For a few short hours I convinced myself that 20 years of technological development would have got the 'entry-level' circuitry in the Onkyo up to the standard of my 1990 built Alpha 10.   Couldn't be more wrong.  Whilst the Onkyo does a deft job with movie soundtracks and really brings my Blu-Rays to life with Dolby and DTS multichannel tracks, its performance on stereo music is simply appalling.  The soundstage is flat, the frequency extremes seem compressed and listening to music actually becomes laborious, tedious and no longer enjoyable.

So as I see it, my options are:

1. Return the Onkyo to Richer Sounds, forfeit the 15% restocking fee and save up another few months to get something with pre-outs.  My query here is, how much damage is the pre-amp circuitry in the receiver doing?  Will just tacking my Arcam onto the pre-outs get me back to the same level as running the components direct to the Arcam?

2. Buy another set of speakers for AV use and have 2 completely separate setups.  I am not completely adverse to this, but clearly it adds clutter which I would rather avoid. 

3.  Run both amplifiers through the same front speakers using some sort of switching device - this seems like an ideal compromise.  My only issue here is that I cannot find the product that will do this.   Firstly all the switching products out there seem to be geared to have 1 amp driving 2 selectable speaker sets, which is the opposite of what I want.  Now obviously I could just reverse the 'ins' and 'outs' but as far as I can tell, in most cases this could be dangerous as they seem to allow both 'outs' (which I would be using as 'ins') to be switched in at the same time which could spell amp disaster.  Secondly, there doesn't seem to be a single product on the market that supports bi-wire connections on a switch-box.

 

So, does anyone know if the bi-wire switching product that I need exist anywhere?  Or do I need to look more seriously at the other 2 options?

Many Thanks,

Seb

 

sawsolent's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 8 months ago
Joined: 04/05/2010 - 20:03
Posts: 4
RE: Running AV Receiver and HiFi Amp

Hi Seb

I ran a stereo amp alongside an AV amp for some years. The idea is that your CD player remains connected directly to your stereo amp as usual and does not connect to your AV amp. The AV amp is connected to the stereo amp, via its preouts, to a different source i.e. AUX.

When you wish to play music you select CD on the stereo amp. When you wish to play movies you select AUX. So there is no impact on your music.

The problem with this method is that when you play movies you have to match the stereo amps volume to the AV amps volume. So that you’re sound field is equal.

One option, which I now do, is to put plugs on the end of my speaker cables and switch them between the stereo amp and the AV amp depending on what I want to listen to. Not necessarily the best approach but it would save you the expense of returning your amp. I have not found any satisfactory, and reasonably priced, switching gear so far, and to be honest I’m not keen on putting an extra component in to the mix that might degrade my sound quality.

Hope that helps, I would be interested to hear from anybody else that has found a better solution

Kind regards

 

SAW

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 7 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12832
RE: Running AV Receiver and HiFi Amp

Hi Seb and welcome.

IMO you should change for an AV amp with pre-outs, then:

- Make sure your Alpha 10 doesn't have a switch that lets you use it as a power amp.

- If it doesn't have the above (likely), you can connect up as follows.

FOR STEREO: Leave 2 channel source connected to Arcam and use as normal (AV amp turned off)

FOR AV: Connect pre-outs into Arcam for Front L&R channels. Use a sound meter (or ear) and the volume knob of the Arcam to match volume level to that of the AV amp, and run EQ as normal......NB. Choose an easy "reset" position (like 12 o'clock) on the Arcam. Any time you wish to listen to 5.1, select the input that you have chosen, set the volume of the Arcam to 12 o'clock, and use the AV amp as normal. NB. REMEMBER TO PUT THE VOL KNOB BACK FOR 2 CHANNEL.

IMO. This is the best solution, as 2 channel is preserved, and the use of two pre-amps for L&R isn't an issue (60% comes through the centre anyway).

If your Arcam happens to have an HT bypass type switch, it does away with the "double volume" problem.

Cno

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Lost Angeles's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 43 min ago
Joined: 24/04/2008 - 21:05
Posts: 2222
RE: Running AV Receiver and HiFi Amp

sebbelcher wrote:

Hi folks,

 

I am looking for a bit of advice.  After constant nagging from my friend that I wasn't experiencing movies as they should be experienced because I didn't have a surround-sound setup, I finally caved in and looked at the options.  I did a fair bit of research and settled on the Onkyo TX-SR608 as the hub and got some Mission surround and center speakers to complement my existing Mission floorstanders (which became the front L+R).  This was at the right price point for me as movies are an occasional affair, not a passion.

As soon as I got the new kit home I realised I'd overlooked something really obvious and painful, I was going to have to chop my Arcam Alpha 10 out of the loop because the Onkyo doesn't have pre-outs.   For a few short hours I convinced myself that 20 years of technological development would have got the 'entry-level' circuitry in the Onkyo up to the standard of my 1990 built Alpha 10.   Couldn't be more wrong.  Whilst the Onkyo does a deft job with movie soundtracks and really brings my Blu-Rays to life with Dolby and DTS multichannel tracks, its performance on stereo music is simply appalling.  The soundstage is flat, the frequency extremes seem compressed and listening to music actually becomes laborious, tedious and no longer enjoyable.

So as I see it, my options are:

1. Return the Onkyo to Richer Sounds, forfeit the 15% restocking fee and save up another few months to get something with pre-outs.  My query here is, how much damage is the pre-amp circuitry in the receiver doing?  Will just tacking my Arcam onto the pre-outs get me back to the same level as running the components direct to the Arcam?

2. Buy another set of speakers for AV use and have 2 completely separate setups.  I am not completely adverse to this, but clearly it adds clutter which I would rather avoid. 

3.  Run both amplifiers through the same front speakers using some sort of switching device - this seems like an ideal compromise.  My only issue here is that I cannot find the product that will do this.   Firstly all the switching products out there seem to be geared to have 1 amp driving 2 selectable speaker sets, which is the opposite of what I want.  Now obviously I could just reverse the 'ins' and 'outs' but as far as I can tell, in most cases this could be dangerous as they seem to allow both 'outs' (which I would be using as 'ins') to be switched in at the same time which could spell amp disaster.  Secondly, there doesn't seem to be a single product on the market that supports bi-wire connections on a switch-box.

 

So, does anyone know if the bi-wire switching product that I need exist anywhere?  Or do I need to look more seriously at the other 2 options?

Many Thanks,

Seb

 

I'd go for option 1. If you still feed your CDP etc into your Arcam amp you will only need your Arcam amp on in HiFi mode. You will need both amps on in AV mode. This is how my system is set up.

Michell Orbe SE. Origin Live Illustrious 2/3. Transfiguration Axia S. Roksan amps. Dali Epicon 3 speakers.

Log in or register to post comments