How to set up Receiver and Preamp w/o HT Bypass - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-23-2010, 10:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I've got an Oppo BDP-83SE that I use for both two channel and multichannel movies and music. My receiver is a Denon 3808. I recently picked up a Bel Canto Pre 6 and two Emotiva UPA-1's (arriving tomorrow). I'll have the Oppo stereo analog outs connected to the Bel Canto to keep an all analog path. I'd like to also send the front left and right channels of the receiver through the Bel Canto to take advantage of the new amps. Would anyone be able to help me figure out exactly how to accomplish this setup? The Bel Canto does not have HT bypass and I'm not sure the best way to go about this. I'm looking for a more detailed explanation than someone just saying "use a fixed gain."

Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-23-2010, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

I've got an Oppo BDP-83SE that I use for both two channel and multichannel movies and music. My receiver is a Denon 3808. I recently picked up a Bel Canto Pre 6 and two Emotiva UPA-1's (arriving tomorrow). I'll have the Oppo stereo analog outs connected to the Bel Canto to keep an all analog path. I'd like to also send the front left and right channels of the receiver through the Bel Canto to take advantage of the new amps. Would anyone be able to help me figure out exactly how to accomplish this setup? The Bel Canto does not have HT bypass and I'm not sure the best way to go about this. I'm looking for a more detailed explanation than someone just saying "use a fixed gain."

Thanks!

If you are going to use UPAs with receiver (connecting them to pre-outs), then you do not need Bel Canto at all. Just connect stereo output of OPPO to front conenctors of multichannel analog audio input in Denon. Signal from that input IS NOT processed in Denon DSP, it will only be used to set volume (all in analog domain).
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-23-2010, 11:44 AM
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If you want to keep the Bel Canto (I wouldn't blame you), I believe you would utilize the preamp's tape in/out loop. I remember reading this on Audiogon's forum a few years back when I was integrating a receiver and preamp for a friend. Never got around to it though. The post should still be there. I ended up splitting the input on the amp to accept the L&R from the receiver and the L&R from the preamp. It was pretty ghetto though. When using the preamp for 2 channel without the receiver turned on, the volume was a bit low. When I turned on the receiver, the volume returned to normal. He ended up always turning on the receiver with the preamp, even for 2 channel listening. I never fixed it for him.

Regards,
Brian

Regards,
Brian
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-24-2010, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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yeah...i'm pretty sure i'd prefer the $4000 preamp to my denon's analog section. by all accounts i've heard on the SE thread the denon's multichannel inputs aren't the greatest, especially when compared to a dedicated analog preamp like sony's p9000, parasound's p7. the bel canto should be a decent improvement.

i was wondering about splitting the inputs of the amps, but didn't think that would be a good solution.

still trying to figure out how to properly setup this configuration.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-24-2010, 08:27 AM
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I searched around and found this diagram. Hopefully it makes sense to you and will help.

Basically plug your AVR pre-amp outputs into one of your Bel Cantro inputs (#1 for example) and your Bel Cantro outputs into your external Amp. When you want to use the AVR for surround sound just select that input and adjust the volume accordingly to match.

Not sure if your unit has a tape loop b ut that could be another alternative.

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-24-2010, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the diagram, but i'm looking for more details about your statement "adjust the volume accordingly to match." basically, when i have two pieces of gear and both have volume controls, what are the optimal volume settings for each, relative to each other?
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-24-2010, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

thanks for the diagram, but i'm looking for more details about your statement "adjust the volume accordingly to match." basically, when i have two pieces of gear and both have volume controls, what are the optimal volume settings for each, relative to each other?

When you are listening to surround sound, you will need to set the volume on your Bel as well. If you set the volume on the Bel to what you want in surround mode, than just remember the volume setting and do that everytime you use the AVR.

Perhaps someone else can explain better.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-31-2010, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, got the amps in.

Now, I’ve got the Oppo BDP-83 connected to the Bel Canto Pre 6 and I have the front two channels of my Denon 3808 also hooked up to the Pre 6. From there, the Pre 6 is then feeding the signal to two Emotia UPA-1 monoblock amps which then drive my EMP EF30T tower speakers.

I’ve got two issues regarding this set up that I’m hoping someone can explain to me.

First off, when the Pre 6 input is set to the Oppo, I have the volume at 0 (it uses a 0-100 scale and not the -100 to 0 scale that the Denon volume uses) and am still getting a substantial amount of sound out of the speakers. When I press the mute button the volume goes to -20 and I can still hear music.

The second issue involves the sound from the Denon 3808 (sound from internet radio, FLACs off the server, any HDMI inputs, etc.). Since I didn’t get much help determining what the volume of the Denon and Bel Canto should be when using them together, I went ahead and decided to keep the Bel Canto at a set volume and then control the volume of my sources with the Denon 3808. Oddly, this required me to set the Bel Canto volume all the weigh up to 100 to get the front speakers to match levels with the center and surrounds which are still being driven by the Denon.

So basically all this seems really odd to me. Why is my Oppo volume so low and my Denon volume so high? Is this normal? I’d appreciate some help or advice. Thanks.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-01-2010, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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well in case anyone else is interested, i contacted bel canto and one of their technical support guys explained the concept of setting the appropriate unity gain levels. everything is dialed in great for me now.
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-09-2010, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

well in case anyone else is interested, i contacted bel canto and one of their technical support guys explained the concept of setting the appropriate unity gain levels. everything is dialed in great for me now.

Glad to hear it worked out for you. Can you elaborate on tech support's explanation of setting the appropriate unity gain levels, please? I was also wondering how to integrate a 2ch preamp (w/o a specific HT bypass feature) with my HT. I knew there would be some volume level matching between the preamp & prepro/AVR, but I wasn't sure how to dial it in.

By the way, did you connect the Denon's L/R preouts to one the the preamp's regular inputs (1, 2, CD, Aux, etc.) or through a tape loop, as someone earlier suggested?
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