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Combining Home Cinema and Hi Fi
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I have the following systems:

Home cinema: ARCAM AVR200, ARCAM Diva DVD player, Sky HD box, Mission surround sound system, Sony KDL40 2000W

HI Fi:  Naim NAP180, NAC72, Hi-Cap, CDi, Shahinian Arcs, ARCAM i-dock

I want to combine both systems, giving me excellent music and surround sound. I love the Arcs, but I dont think I can add centre and rears to make a balanced 5.1 system. I was thinking of trading the Arcs for a reasonably high level surround sound package - Dalis or something similar? I was also looking at options for amplification - Am I better to trade my Naims for an integrated amp such as an ARCAM AVR350, or will the drop in sound quality be a compromise too far?

Any advice/thoughts would be welcome.

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Re: Combining Home Cinema and Hi Fi

hi Andy,

I'd strongly urge you to hang on to your dedicated hi-fi amps if you can - the drop in stereo performance, even at this level, will be noticeable. The Arcam AV amps are among the most musical out there, but even they are a compromise compared to stereo amps of this calibre.

Re speaker packages, the Award-winning Dali Ikon 6 5.1 package (£2238) would be a superb music and movies solution, or if you're looking for a more stylish solution, Tannoy's Highline 500 (£2695) is a good all-rounder. The Dali would take it for performance, however - you're paying a style premium for the Tannoys.

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Anonymous
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Re: Combining Home Cinema and Hi Fi

Thanks for the advice, Clare,

 I'd like to hang onto the Naim amps, but can I set up a system to use these hi-fi amps for stereo performance, and an AV amp for surround sound, utilising the same set of speakers? I want to get convergance if possible and I really dont want to have a full sized AV speaker package and my Shahinians, which are pretty large floor standers.

 

Thanks

 

Andy

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Re: Combining Home Cinema and Hi Fi

Yes, you can use the front speakers of your AV package as your main stereo pair (I run my system in this way at home, in fact - big floorstanding fronts are superb for music and movies).

Sadly, your NAIMs don't have a single-button AV throughput switch, but don't despair. You need a phono-to-DIN connection between the front preout channels of the AV receiver and a line input on your NAIM.

We'd then suggest setting the volume dial of the NAIM to the 12 o'clock position, getting the AV balance right for your room, and then remember to swtich it back to this position for AV, but dial it down again when you're listening in stereo - a bit of a fiddle, but worth it!

Group Marketing & PR Manager, Computers Unlimited.

Brands represented include Astell&Kern, Audioengine, B&O Play, Canton, Flexson for SONOS and SONOS

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Re: Combining Home Cinema and Hi Fi

Matching a centre speaker to the Shahinians could be tricky - you could try contacting your local Shahinian distributor and enquiring about the possibility of buying a single Super Elf speaker to use as the centre, which would probably be the closest tonal match. The surrounds are less critical when it comes to matching.

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Re: Combining Home Cinema and Hi Fi

Do you think the Shahinian combination would be the better all round (music and movies) bet, rather than switching to the Dali Ikons, for example?

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Re: Combining Home Cinema and Hi Fi

Since you seem to like the sound of the Arcs, it seems silly to give them up just to get a complete one-brand system. And I do think the Dalis will sound nothing like the Shahinians when playing music, hence my suggestion. Those people I've met who've been Shahinian owners find it very hard to go back to 'normal' speakers. 

Anonymous
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Re: Combining Home Cinema and Hi Fi

I agree, Shahinians sound like nothing else, but if I cant get a single super Elf, can you recommend any "neutral" centre speaker that might do the job (preferably, a little less expensive!!). One last question, I am going to upgrade my AV receiver whatever. Is it better to consider swapping the Naim power and pre-amp for a Naim AV power and pre-amp? I know this is more expensive than, say, buying an ARCAM AVR350, but would this allow me to combine my stereo and AV amplification without too much compromise?

 

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Re: Combining Home Cinema and Hi Fi

Not that familiar with the Shahinians' sound beyond a few listens at shows, so I'd suggest seeking advice from the local distributor on the centre speaker, or indeed emailing Shahinian direct in the States for some ideas. I'm sure you're not the first person wanting to build a surround system using Arcs on the front channels!

I really would stick with your existing Naim pre/power and just upgrading the receiver - you could go for a Naim AV2 processor and a multichannel power amp, but I'd still keep your existing preamp for music, or upgrade that too. And by now we're getting into the kind of money that would make the price of a single Super Elf look like an irrelevance! 

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