Setting up AV receiver + integrated amp - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-28-2008, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm pretty new to hi-fi and serious home theater, and I haven't been able to figure out how this would work. I'd like to set up an AV receiver for movies and a stereo integrated amplifier for music, both driving the same set of speakers.

Which component does the speakers connect to? Are they always all connected to the A/V receiver, or are the fronts always connected to the integrated amp? Or, do you have to simply unplug one and plug into the other when you want to watch a movie or listen to music? (It seems like there has to be a better way than that...)

For example, with all the speakers plugged into the receiver, is there a way to bypass the receiver completely (using both the pre-amp and amplifier sections on the integrated, essentially turning the receiver into an extension of the speaker cable)?

Or is the solution to keep the fronts connected to the integrated amp and use the pre out on the receiver to feed the front stereo signal to the integrated? It seems strange to use two separate amplifiers while you're watching a movie...the integrated for the fronts and the receiver for the center/surround/sub.

Any light that anyone can shed on this would be most helpful!
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-29-2008, 12:38 AM
 
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Yes this would be a "direct input", "multi channel in" type of mode. The name could be different but it is probably a feature you have. When the direct mode is not in use the output will probably still send the signal to the amps so no need to switch out inputs/outputs. To use a direct mode you may need some type of bass management occurring from your source as the receiver that would normally do this will just be acting like the extension. There might be a button specifically for this feature located somewhere. If you don't require any kind of bass management for a subwoofer and crossover settings or have one at your source, the bypass of the receiver will work well and does not present much difference than without using it. Sometimes even by default the inputs from an input will have default settings applied such as trim or bass management so you may need to check the manual to be sure.
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post #3 of 7 Old 06-29-2008, 01:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMo View Post

Yes this would be a "direct input", "multi channel in" type of mode. The name could be different but it is probably a feature you have. When the direct mode is not in use the output will probably still send the signal to the amps so no need to switch out inputs/outputs. To use a direct mode you may need some type of bass management occurring from your source as the receiver that would normally do this will just be acting like the extension. There might be a button specifically for this feature located somewhere. If you don't require any kind of bass management for a subwoofer and crossover settings or have one at your source, the bypass of the receiver will work well and does not present much difference than without using it. Sometimes even by default the inputs from an input will have default settings applied such as trim or bass management so you may need to check the manual to be sure.

I'm not quite sure I follow... So, you're suggesting that all of the speakers are plugged into the receiver, but there is some sort of "direct input" option that may be available that will let the fronts bypass the receiver circuitry? I'm just curious how the wiring works...

For example, I'm looking at the Onkyo TX-SR805 or the Yamaha RX-V1800 -- would those have this sort of bypass feature? I would be looking to connect the front L/R to something like a NAD C372 stereo integrated amp. Also -- what would my music source connect to, then? Would it have to connect to the receiver or the integrated amp?

Sorry if I'm being dense. Thanks for your help!
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-29-2008, 02:05 AM
 
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I'm not sure what the source is. The source, your player, will usually have stereo output that is analog. You can use these or use your existing connection which might be HDMI as a non bitstream connection. This will be a analog instead of digital type of signal. This would go into the inputs on the Onkyo for example and the Mulit-channel output or stereo outputs will go to the amplifier. You are wanting to use the amplifier as a power amplfier for both the direct mode and the movies so you will want to use the Multi-channel or pre/amplifier input/outputs. Then you connect the speakers to the amplifier and the receiver can send both the unaltered signal or a signal with whitch you can apply any decoding to.

Player - RCA or other type analog cable connection to multi-channel or stereo input (receiver) - left and right pre/amplifier outputs to the amplifier (from receiver) - amplifier to speakers. The left and right outputs to the amplifier from the receiver will send the signal to the amplifiers regardless which mode this is in and you will be able to adjust the volume.

Yamaha calls the feature "Pure Direct, Direct Stereo, and Straight Mode"

Quote:


What is the difference between Pure Direct, Direct Stereo, and Straight Mode?
Pure Direct bypasses the units’ decoders and DSP processors as well as shuts down the video circuitry, allowing for the highest possible audio fidelity from analog and PCM sources. Direct Stereo bypasses the units’ decoders and DSP processors to allow for the highest possible audio fidelity from analog and PCM sources. Straight switches the sound fields off and bypasses the DSP processor.

Onkyo calls this "Direct/Pure Mode".
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-29-2008, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again SteveMo...

I thought the "pure direct" modes on A/V receivers simply shut off the irrelevant circuitry to enable it to play dedicated a stereo signal? It would still be going through the receiver's electronics, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveMo View Post

Player - RCA or other type analog cable connection to multi-channel or stereo input (receiver) - left and right pre/amplifier outputs to the amplifier (from receiver) - amplifier to speakers. The left and right outputs to the amplifier from the receiver will send the signal to the amplifiers regardless which mode this is in and you will be able to adjust the volume.

Just to make sure I understood you correctly:

Music source (most often a Squeezebox) connects to receiver via RCA. Receiver's front L/R pre-out connects to integrated amp main-in, front L/R speakers connected to integrated amp.

This sounds like it's effectively using the integrated as a dedicated amplifier, right? Is there any way to take advantage of the pre-amp section in the integrated and bypass the receiver altogether when listening to music? -- i.e. connecting the music source directly to the integrated via RCA.
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post #6 of 7 Old 06-30-2008, 10:59 AM
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I would:

A) just set the AVR to 2 channel for music without the need for another amp.
or
B) get a 2 channel pro amp, connect to AVR's L/R pre-outs, get a pair of full range towers and set the AVR to 2 channel for music listening. (what I did)
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-30-2008, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob7145 View Post

I would:

A) just set the AVR to 2 channel for music without the need for another amp.
or
B) get a 2 channel pro amp, connect to AVR's L/R pre-outs, get a pair of full range towers and set the AVR to 2 channel for music listening. (what I did)

That sounds like a good idea. If there isn't much difference in the receiver's preamp section and the integrated's preamp section, I can save some money and opt for, say, the NAD C272 instead of the C372 integrated...
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