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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks.


I'm turning my two channel audio room into my new projection based home theater. I want my 7.1 surround so I'll employ an AV receiver for movies, but I don't want to give up my tube preamp and tube monoblock (Conrad Johnson) amplification for music playback.


Can anyone suggest an AV receiver that would have a "passthrough" mode such that I can hook up my tube preamp and tube amps to power 2 channel music?


I know quite a number of receivers offer a "preamp out" option but as I understand it this still puts some of the receiver's circuitry in the path. I'm looking for as pure a path as possible when I switch over to using the tube preamp/tube amps for 2 channel music.


BTW, I don't want to simply incorporate my tube amplification for regular movie playback: I don't want my tube amps being used for HT and every time my kids watch a movie. I just want them on for listening to 2 channel music.


Any suggestions on this issue would be most helpful.
 

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WOW !!! That sounds like a tough problem. You will have to purchase a AVR with Pure Direct, but that will still mean that your tube amp will be in use at all other times. My only other suggestion would be to get either a AVr that has 2 sets of analog pre-outs or 2 different receivers. One to connect just the tube amp and the other for the kids to use for their movies and music. I've read of a receiver that has the 2 analogs out but at this time I can't recall the name and model #. How much money are you looking to spend on this project ? Someone should be able to chime in with some help here. Also you could just get a pre-amp for your 2 channel set-up. I think Emotiva has a 2 channel pre-pro that may work for just that. Good luck. Here's the pre-amp from Emotiva. You could get this and a less expensive AVR to handle the kid's wants.

http://emotiva.com/rsp2.shtm
 

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I thought it was the other way around. I know you can buy highend integrateds or preamps that allow pass though of an AVR. If your AVR has pre outs you can connect your Conrad Johnson amp to the left and right outputs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by john barlow /forum/post/15531017


I thought it was the other way around. I know you can buy highend integrateds or preamps that allow pass though of an AVR. If your AVR has pre outs you can connect your Conrad Johnson amp to the left and right outputs.

Yes he can do this, but wouldn't his tube amps still be in use powering the L/R speakers. He does not want his tube amps to be in use full time from what I read. Please correct if I'm wrong. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm...is this going to harder than I thought?


I'd researched using an actual outboard amplifier switcher, in which the speaker wires for the L/R speakers would be connected to this box. Two different amplifiers connect to the switcher box so you can switch between amplifiers. Like this:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_190ABS1...=detailed_info


It's not exactly audiophilee" approved stuff given it does put the box connections in the path. But perhaps this might be better in the end than putting the tube stuff through the extra connections and circuitryy of an AV receiver.


???
 

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A speaker switch box probably will degrade the sound.If you don't want to use your main amp for HT your best bet might be to buy another set of speakers for HT left and right and run them off the AVR power.Leave the 2ch system totally independant.


Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah...not too inviting a solution unfortunately.


Alternatively I suppose I could simply run speaker wires from both amps to the speaker location and plug whichever set into the speaker I wish to listen to. I don't know if that could mean some reliability issues for the speaker connectors in the long run though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness /forum/post/15532766


Yeah...not too inviting a solution unfortunately.


Alternatively I suppose I could simply run speaker wires from both amps to the speaker location and plug whichever set into the speaker I wish to listen to. I don't know if that could mean some reliability issues for the speaker connectors in the long run though.

Yeah, you could also do this, and hope like hell you don't forget to turn off all amps, avr's, and switches when you do so. Nothing like toasting an excellent tube amp if the speakers connects should touch each other in the switch over. Believe me it will eventually happen no matter how careful you are. Are you also ready to teach your children on how to do this with all the switching that will be done if you are not there? May I also ask what speakers you are using?
 

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Theta CB III or Lexicon MC12B HD will do such in an audiophile manner. No HDMI on the CB but the Lexicon may be a good choice (HDMI, lossless via LPCM, and a true pass through).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland /forum/post/15533336


Theta CB III or Lexicon MC12B HD will do such in an audiophile manner. No HDMI on the CB but the Lexicon may be a good choice (HDMI, lossless via LPCM, and a true pass through).

Man, he was looking at a switch box to do what he wants and you give 2 pieces of gear to choose between that are what $6000 to $7000+ each. I wish I had that kind of money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantom52 /forum/post/15531875


Yes he can do this, but wouldn't his tube amps still be in use powering the L/R speakers. He does not want his tube amps to be in use full time from what I read. Please correct if I'm wrong. Thank you.

Not if he gets a peaker selector with options for multiple amplifiers,


Get two 2 RCA male plugs-to one RCA plug adaptors and two single male to -female RCA adaptor and plug those to the tv.
 

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Yeah, I also vote for either two independent systems (which might not cost anymore in the end, anyhow), or if willing to let go of the separate tube amp, then you can do a tubed pre/pro with HT bypass. You will want to choose one that does not have to be turned on when using the HT electronics (so as the tubes don't impart their signature), with unity gain, and then pay attn to the input/output impedances of the pieces chosen. It seems that people say that the impedance difference desired might be greater when the pre/pro is tubed.


If willing to let go of the tube amps, and you want the HT bypass solution, I recommend you head on over to the 2-channel forum, and start using keyword searches...


Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If two fully separate systems were an option I wouldn't be in this dilemma. It's hard enough to fit all the speakers in there as it is, let alone another pair!


Hence...other options must be explored. Thanks for the input so far my fellow AVSers.
 

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I'm also looking for something like this. But I would accept the pre-amp, into one of the inputs.


In a store the vendor suggested to switch the cables. He does it 20 times a day. Later on a listening session betwen 2 amps he mentioned how the amp could blow if it is turned on without speakers connected. Not an option with clumsy me.


A guess a decent switch would do the job.


Good luck. Please keep us inform of your solution.


Thanks,


SL
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness /forum/post/15538632


If two fully separate systems were an option I wouldn't be in this dilemma. It's hard enough to fit all the speakers in there as it is, let alone another pair!


Hence...other options must be explored. Thanks for the input so far my fellow AVSers.

This will work. I know it's just a switch but one that gets very good reviews. This along with your current receiver should be good to go. You may want to go to their website and choose a different model for one that has a remote control. Secrets of Home Theater did a detailed review earlier last year.

http://www.zektor.com/cvs4/CVS4pictures.html
 

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You know upon further review why can't you just hook your tube amp up through the Zone 2 pre-outs. I'm not sure though that Zone 2 would let you use "pure direct". Most of today's AVR's have a direct setting. I'm using a Yamaha 2600 with a Pioneer 79AVi that also has pure direct and with those activated it bypasses all processing. Do you already have an AVR. If not find one that fits your wallet that has a pure direct setting and then connect to Zone 2 and see if that works. If it does it means just a push of a button. You may want to pm MJHuman as he seems to be the Yamaha man for this site although he also knows a lot about other units and their abilities also.
 

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Rich,


Bryston makes a solid well built looking speaker switch box. The only issue is that it shows 1 input and 2,3,4 or 6 outputs. You would need a 2 input (AVR and Tube amp) and 1 ouput for the one pair of speakers. I wonder if you contacted Bryston if the 1 input - 2 output could work in reverse. The Bryston switch box is listed on the Audio Advisor website. Good luck
!


Bill
 

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Looking to do the same thing. I have a Denon AVR-3808ci which has a fairly nice Pure Direct mode as well as 2 extra stereo zone pre-outs. I wanted to "tube" my music and was looking at adding a tube amp/integrated to my pre-outs or a tube pre and a ss power. I think the speaker switch (preferably with IR control for my Harmony) would be the cleanest if not the most audiophile. You could also add an IR controlled line level switch between your AVR pre-out and your tube pre to cut out the signal when watching HT. Sounds like there are a few of us with the same need.


One other thought. Get a third monoblock for the center channel and run HT through the three monos using a pre-amp with HT bypass so that your front end sounds even in HT.


EDIT: This may require changing the CJ tube monoblocks to SS ones as I have heard of bad things when mixing HT and tube power.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness /forum/post/15526710


Any suggestions on this issue would be most helpful.

A couple of *very* inexpensive ways to do it:


1. DPDT switches. Click on habnab for what I was doing (and may again do in the future; I'm in the process of switching my 5+ channel SS amp to a combo of a stereo amp and a 3-channel amp).


2. Banana plugs. Banana plugs make it fairly easy to switch amps, assuming you run external amps, as I do. This is what I am currently doing. See: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2


FWIW, the above is Monoprice's "open screw" banana plug which I use and think well of. Monoprice also has a "closed screw" banana plug, which I've not used. Also see: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1067714&page=5


With either of the above solutions, just make it clear to everyone else, that they are not to touch the banana plugs or the DPDT switches; and make sure that you always leave the system set up to do it's "normal" HT thing.


Cheers
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac /forum/post/15541789


Rich,


Bryston makes a solid well built looking speaker switch box. The only issue is that it shows 1 input and 2,3,4 or 6 outputs. You would need a 2 input (AVR and Tube amp) and 1 ouput for the one pair of speakers. I wonder if you contacted Bryston if the 1 input - 2 output could work in reverse. The Bryston switch box is listed on the Audio Advisor website. Good luck
!


Bill

Amusing.


I saw that item in a recent Audio Advisor catalog.


Costs something like $300, right?


A pair of DPDT switches from Radio Shack costs less than $10.


Cheers
 
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