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post #1 of 9 Old 12-05-2019, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Options for simple 5.1 home theater amp

Hello, I have a several home theater A/V sources that I switch with a 4x2 HDMI switch, which also provides spdif output. Currently I simply use that output as the single input to an ancient 7.1 receiver (Sony STR-DG820). I'd like to replace that receiver with an amplifier (or receiver) which supports 5.1, volume control, similar power output, and a trigger to turn it on/off with automation. I don't use the other receiver functions, is is only an audio amplifier. A smaller size would be a plus.

I have searched a bit but haven't found a simple solution other than another big AV receiver with a lot of features I won't use. Any ideas on if there is a device that provides this functionality?

Thank you!
Shawn
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-05-2019, 05:32 PM
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Something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-...SIN=B003DKVZHQ

Lots of other brands with similar features available, just look up zone amp.

Another option:

https://www.htd.com/Products/Whole-House-Audio

The top dog:

http://www.parasound.com/1250.php

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

Last edited by RayGuy; 12-05-2019 at 10:38 PM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-06-2019, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks RayGuy, but none of these seem to support home theater features like 5.1/7.1 processing. This is for a home theater installation so that is a must.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-06-2019, 12:25 PM
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Maybe I'm not understanding, but an AVR seems like exactly the solution you are looking for....and would negate the need for your HDMI switch.

supports 5.1 - check
volume control - check
trigger to turn it on/off with automation - check
support home theater features like 5.1/7.1 processing - check

You could get any ~$300 AVR that can do all of these things....

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post #5 of 9 Old 12-06-2019, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Soeder View Post
A smaller size would be a plus.

I have searched a bit but haven't found a simple solution other than another big AV receiver with a lot of features I won't use. Any ideas on if there is a device that provides this functionality?
As for size, here is a slim-line AV receiver:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_642NR1...tz-NR1509.html

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000 II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-06-2019, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn Soeder View Post
Thanks RayGuy, but none of these seem to support home theater features like 5.1/7.1 processing. This is for a home theater installation so that is a must.
Then, I misunderstood. Get yourself an HT receiver and that should do the trick.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
Maybe I'm not understanding, but an AVR seems like exactly the solution you are looking for....and would negate the need for your HDMI switch.

supports 5.1 - check
volume control - check
trigger to turn it on/off with automation - check
support home theater features like 5.1/7.1 processing - check

You could get any ~$300 AVR that can do all of these things....

Thank you Alan. Yes, that would certainly do the trick. I may need to go that way ultimately, but my post was really to explore whether there was such a thing as an audio-only home theater amp. Probably not.

A little more background: I switched to an external dedicated video switch when the switch in my AV receiver failed, and I have since used the 4x2 HDMI switch to centralize my video sources and distribute to two rooms allowing us to use different sources in different rooms. I guess I have lost faith in the reliability of the video switches in AV receivers, I have had two fail in the last five years.

So if I was to use an AV receiver to eliminate my 4x2 switch, then the AV receiver would need to have a 4x2 (or greater) switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
As for size, here is a slim-line AV receiver:

(...snip link removed...)
Thanks Alex, that looks like a great option and space savings is helpful in my AV area! I could use this for the "sound only" option per my original post.

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Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
Then, I misunderstood. Get yourself an HT receiver and that should do the trick.
Yup, as noted above I could do that. Thank you RayGuy.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-07-2019, 06:27 AM
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I had a similar setup as yours years back. The HDMI Matrix had an IR reciever so I was able to use the Harmony Hub to automate switching inputs/outputs based on source and destination. I used the spdif to the receiver I am using now just for my height channels.

There are plenty options out there with 5-7 HDMI inputs with 2 HDMI outputs that you can send any input to any output. What you need is something with Zone control.

Ditch the HDMI Matrix box because you get better audio quality through HDMI vs spdif such as higher bitrate HD audio. Another benefit of the AVR is that you can plug streaming devices right into the HDMI inputs. Since you are only doing 5.1, you really don't need anything that fancy. Your budget should be around $300-$400 for an AVR that ticks all of your boxes and some.

Good luck with your search!

Denons and Yamahas are pretty reliable AVRs but there are HUGE selection to pick from!

PS. Since you are in the market for a new AVR, have you considered Dolby Atmos and DTS-X? Might be something to consider while shopping. If so, then you would want to get an AVR with at least 9 channel processing for a 5.x.4 setup! Budget will need to go up however but you can still find good prices on 9 channel AVRs.

My Media Room
AVR 1-Yamaha RX-A3050 (7.2.4), AVR 2 Pioneer VSX-815-K(Used for 4ch Amp TF+TR)
Mains-Polk Audio RTi8, Center-Polk Audio CSi5, Surrounds-Polk Audio RTi4, Ceilings-Micca M-8C, Sub 1- UM18-22 (4cu.ft DIY) - iNuke 6000DSP, Sub 2-Klipsch RW12D
Projector-BenQ 3550 4K, Screen-110" Silver Ticket STR-169110, TV-Vizio P-65 4K

Last edited by rontalley; 12-09-2019 at 07:03 AM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-08-2019, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rontalley View Post
I had a similar setup as yours years back. The HDMI Matrix had an IR reciever so I was able to use the Harmony Hub to automate switching inputs/outputs based on source and destination. I used the spdif to the receiver I am using now just for my height channels.

There are plenty options out there with 5-7 HDMI inputs with 2 HDMI outputs that you can send any input to any output. What you need is something with Zone control.

Ditch the HDMI because you get better audio quality through HDMI vs spdif such as higher bitrate HD audio. Another benefit of the AVR is that you can plug streaming devices right into the HDMI inputs. Since you are only doing 5.1, you really don't need anything that fancy. Your budget should be around $300-$400 for an AVR that ticks all of your boxes and some.

Good luck with your search!

Denons and Yamahas are pretty reliable AVRs but there are HUGE selection to pick from!

PS. Since you are in the market for a new AVR, have you considered Dolby Atmos and DTS-X? Might be something to consider while shopping. If so, then you would want to get an AVR with at least 9 channel processing for a 5.x.4 setup! Budget will need to go up however but you can still find good prices on 9 channel AVRs.
Thanks for the feedback! I wasn't aware that spdif was inferior to HDMI regarding audio quality. I also wasn't "tuned in" to the Atmos and DTS-X stuff, but I am now. Thanks!
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