Have you heard of bi-wiring? or bi-amping? Well guess what? "HT bypass" is acually "bi-preamping"... It is following a belief (I do not support) which claims using 2 ch. sources into your Marantz and turning off all signal processing will, um, "still compromise" the music. I think this is hogwash. Sure, if you want to use your outboard amps connected to your SR 5011's preouts, go for it! But there's nothing fundamentally "junky" about your existing preamp in the Marantz. If you want to turn off Audyssey, room correction, DSP , etc. that can all be done already by buttons in a flash. "Pure Direct" I believe would get you there for your two channel analog inputs with a single keystroke!
People often aren't told what HT bypass really is, so I made a diagram for it so they will more easily understand that it's really not much more than an A/B switch:
Position A: lets the new stereo preamp's input selector source travel to the outboard power amp
Position B: lets the incoming AVR front L and front R preamp level connections go out to the outboard power amp instead, they "pass through" the new stereo preamp but there's no valid
reason they needed to go in, in the first place.
Make sense? OK, once you get that it is nothing other than an A/B analog stereo signal selection switch, you then need to make a tiny leap to understand "Hey, there's no reason this needs to be built into
the new "HT bypass preamp": I could do exactly the same thing with any outboard secondary preamp by adding my own outboard
switch and that's why in my diagram
above I show the A/B switch in a dotted box. The switch could be built-in or outboard. Doesn't matter.
Bi-amping is an attempt to sell the customer two amps.
Bi-wiring is an attempt to sell the customer two sets of speaker wires.
Bi-preamping, aka HT bypass, is an attempt to sell the customer two preamps [or an extra one beyond what's built into their AVR]
All these things double the salesperson's profit and all