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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been considering the possibility of a stereo preamp (or integrated) with HT bypass. It occurs to me, though, that I'm not entirely clear on what the value of this option is.


Suppose, for example, that I want to


(1) hook up a stereo integrated amp to my two main speakers;


(2) run the preamp outs from my AV receiver to the integrated amp for the main speaker channels (with the other three channels powered by the AV receiver).


(3) connect the analog outs from my CD player to the analog ins on the integrated amp.


(4) connect my BD/DVD player via HDMI to my AV receiver.


This doesn't seem to require HT bypass. Is this there something I'm missing here, or is the bypass feature useful only if you need to use a single player for both video and music?


I realize this may well fall into the category of dumb questions, so thanks in advance for any help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply.


Is bypassing the AVR's DSP something I need to worry about, then, if my CD transport is plugged directly via analog into my integrated amp (with my DVD player is plugged into the AVR)? That's the point that I'm not sure I get.
 

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HT bypass is not really needed in the 2ch int. amp.It is mainly a convenience feature with sound quality a lesser concern.


You would run the front L+R preamp output to any unused input on your premp/int.But then you'd have to set the exact same volume every time on the 2ch unit.Sometimes this is relatively easy if it has a digital volume readout.But if it's like my 2ch preamp (VTL 5.5) and there's just a volume knob with no real markings you'd have to set the front L+R volume with an spl meter and test tones whenever you wanted to watch a movie.Either way not exactly convenient.So HT bypass is nice to have but not strictly necessary.


Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Andy, that really does clear things up!


So the point of engaging the bypass feature is to bypass the volume control of the stereo amp so that the volume of all five (or seven) channels is determined by the AVR. That does sound like a plus, but it wouldn't be a deciding factor for me (as long as I had a digital volume meter on the integrated unity).
 

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Yes! That is exactly correct.I have to ask though,why?


If you already own a really kick-ass 2 channel system that's one thing.But if your only 2 channel source is cd,and unless your cd player has really outstanding D to A conversion and a totally excellent analog output stage you'd probably better off just running digital to a top-notch AVR.It'd probably sound better,be easier to use and cheaper.Just my opinion.


Andy
 

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There are 2 approaches to "HT bypass" used by 2 ch preamp/int amp manufacturers.


1. A true bypass where the bypass inputs on the 2 ch preamp really do bypass all internal circuitry. This has the advantage of the preamp does not have to be ON to use the HT receiver/processor. No signal degradation or change by the 2 ch preamp's own internal circuitry. In this case, the HT Bypass is just a passive switch.


2. A unity gain input on the 2 ch preamp in which the preamp's volume is set to unity gain, no volume change lower or higher - what signal strength goes in is what goes out. Since this is an active input, the preamp must be turned On to get the receiver/processor's fronts passed to the amp. Many tube preamp fans like it that the HT input goes through the preamp's circuitry and some very well-respected tube preamp manufacturers deliberately design this way so the HT processor gets some of the "tube" midrange sound. Audio Research is one who's designs are unity gain. The obvious disadvantage is that the preamp has to be On all the time.


You'll need to confirm which design is being used for the preamps/int amps you're looking at, especially if shopping for tube preamps. Either way, if the preamp has a HT input, you will not have to fiddle with your receiver's volume control to keep channels in balance. However, if you use normal line inputs, you will have to adjust volume each time or remember where it has to be set.


ss9001

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks again. That's definitely a lot clearer. As to why I'm interested in adding an integrated amp (to answer Andy's question): I was originally torn between an Arcam 280 (SQ) or a Marantz 7002/8002 (features), but then I decided to go with the Denon 3808, whose SQ for music is (IMO) just OK, while planning to add a reasonably good stereo setup for music later on. (My guess is that Arcam's forthcoming AVR will be out of my current price range for some time anyway!)


I'm going to have to replace the laser on my Denon universal player, and I'm planning to have the analog path upgraded at the same time. But the analog section of the Denon AVR isn't that great. So I'm hoping that a decent quality stereo integrated amp will make for a noticeable improvement.


At one place I lived, my speakers (KEF reference 201) sounded exceptionally clear and detailed, even when driven by a mediocre old stereo amp connected to a mediocre CD player by analog. Where I live now, the same speakers powered by my Denon 3808 (sourced from a Denon 3910 via D-link) seem lackluster. Part of it, I'm sure, is the acoustic space.


In any case, though, I'm hoping I can get a distinct improvement in my current space through a combination of factors, including more sound absorption in the room, a more musical amp, and off-board DAC sent via an upgraded analog path. An advantage of the Denon is being able to send SACD as bitstream. But I'm hoping that that advantage will be outweighed by a more musical amp. It looks like I may be able to get a good deal on a used Arcam A90. I liked the sound of the A85 when I heard it a while back.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by torcher /forum/post/15496705


HT bypass is not really needed in the 2ch int. amp.It is mainly a convenience feature with sound quality a lesser concern.


You would run the front L+R preamp output to any unused input on your premp/int.But then you'd have to set the exact same volume every time on the 2ch unit.Sometimes this is relatively easy if it has a digital volume readout.But if it's like my 2ch preamp (VTL 5.5) and there's just a volume knob with no real markings you'd have to set the front L+R volume with an spl meter and test tones whenever you wanted to watch a movie.Either way not exactly convenient.So HT bypass is nice to have but not strictly necessary.


Andy

Sorry, but you are spreading very false information. That may be how your particular Bypass works, which is not truly a Bypass. A true HT BYpass when enabled should completely disable the volume of the 2 channel pre-amp and simply pass the signal through to the amplifier. All volume control is handled by the processor. If you are not 100% clear on a subject best not to answer so as not to sway someone in the wrong direction
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001 /forum/post/15500407


There are 2 approaches to "HT bypass" used by 2 ch preamp/int amp manufacturers.


1. A true bypass where the bypass inputs on the 2 ch preamp really do bypass all internal circuitry. This has the advantage of the preamp does not have to be ON to use the HT receiver/processor. No signal degradation or change by the 2 ch preamp's own internal circuitry. In this case, the HT Bypass is just a passive switch.


2. A unity gain input on the 2 ch preamp in which the preamp's volume is set to unity gain, no volume change lower or higher - what signal strength goes in is what goes out. Since this is an active input, the preamp must be turned On to get the receiver/processor's fronts passed to the amp. Many tube preamp fans like it that the HT input goes through the preamp's circuitry and some very well-respected tube preamp manufacturers deliberately design this way so the HT processor gets some of the "tube" midrange sound. Audio Research is one who's designs are unity gain. The obvious disadvantage is that the preamp has to be On all the time.


You'll need to confirm which design is being used for the preamps/int amps you're looking at, especially if shopping for tube preamps. Either way, if the preamp has a HT input, you will not have to fiddle with your receiver's volume control to keep channels in balance. However, if you use normal line inputs, you will have to adjust volume each time or remember where it has to be set.


ss9001

Steve


I did not make it down to your post before correcting the other post. Nicely stated.
 

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I'm not sure if anyone answered this but the value option is this, same speakers,same amp, and same cabling for both 2-channel and HT with the benefit of better 2 channel using a dedicated preamp as opposed to the HT processor.


I've been looking at this for awhile and I think the greatest benefit is for those with seperates.


This is my plan...

HT

BR/DVD-Processor-AMP-Speakers


2 Channel

CDP/Transport-DAC-2 channel preamp-same amp as above-same speakers as above.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan /forum/post/15510105


Sorry, but you are spreading very false information. That may be how your particular Bypass works, which is not truly a Bypass. A true HT BYpass when enabled should completely disable the volume of the 2 channel pre-amp and simply pass the signal through to the amplifier. All volume control is handled by the processor. If you are not 100% clear on a subject best not to answer so as not to sway someone in the wrong direction

Read my post again.Then try comprehending what I wrote.Then you might (possibly) understand that I said an HT bypass does indeed bypass the volume control.


In the future,before you take time from your busy life to call someone out you may wish to fully grasp the concept you think you're disagreeing with.And I do agree with the concluding line of your misguided little rant.Sometimes it is indeed best to keep silent and be thought a fool then to speak and confirm it


Andy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by torcher /forum/post/15511164


Read my post again.Then try comprehending what I wrote.Then you might (possibly) understand that I said an HT bypass does indeed bypass the volume control.


In the future,before you take time from your busy life to call someone out you may wish to fully grasp the concept you think you're disagreeing with.And I do agree with the concluding line of your misguided little rant.Sometimes it is indeed best to keep silent and be thought a fool then to speak and confirm it


Andy.

Andy,


I read your initial post and disagree with it as well. If I understand your post correctly you say HT Bypass is not needed and that it is only a convience with SQ a lesser concern. If you think that if a 2CH preamp has HT Bypass and SQ is compromised you are very wrong IMO. I believe rydenfan has a Modwright 36.5 2CH preamp which has HT Bypass and it is an excellent preamp.


For someone that has a HT system and wants better SQ a 2CH preamp with HT Bypass is the way to go. To have a preamp in your HT system without HT Bypass and have to volume match everytime you use it does not sound like a good time to me. I have had several preamps in my HT system and they all have had HT Bypass, only way to go in that type of application IMO.


Seeing that you are a new member with minimal posts you will soon find out that members like rydenfan are well respected here. He has helped myself and others many times over the years with a number of components I have owned. Your little rant unfortunately shows who is more foolish. It also seems that you have trouble taking constructive criticism as well. You should lighten up a little
.


Bill
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxerboy /forum/post/15512699


For those who are using pre-amps with their home theaters, what pre-amps are you using?


Jim

I am using a Bel Canto PRe3 with HT Bypass, of course
.


Bill
 

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Hi Bill,


Okay There seems to be a problem with some of the senior members with comprehending what I write.So I will clarify.I wrote that sound quality would be compromised to some extent in a unit WITHOUT an HT bypass.My VTL 5.5 preamp,a very good unit in its own right,has HT bypass and it only enhances the sound quality.And it bypasses the volume control for proper HT integration.Having said that I still stand by my previous post.If one is willing to fiddle with the volume control for HT use and live with the minor sound degradation of going through two volume controls then an HT bypass,while a good thing,is not strictly needed.


I may be new here but I've been on audio forums since RAO still discussed actual audio.I have been around long enough to know to read and understand a post completely before responding to it.I am more then happy to discuss things in a reasoned way.However when you take my statements and try to twist them 180 degrees from what was actually written,accuse me of spreading misinformation and tell me to shut up,then that goes beyond the discussion of audio.But hey maybe I was a wee bit harsh.So if any feelings were hurt I offer an apology.


Andy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac /forum/post/15512676


Andy,


I read your initial post and disagree with it as well. If I understand your post correctly you say HT Bypass is not needed and that it is only a convience with SQ a lesser concern. If you think that if a 2CH preamp has HT Bypass and SQ is compromised you are very wrong IMO. I believe rydenfan has a Modwright 36.5 2CH preamp which has HT Bypass and it is an excellent preamp.


For someone that has a HT system and wants better SQ a 2CH preamp with HT Bypass is the way to go. To have a preamp in your HT system without HT Bypass and have to volume match everytime you use it does not sound like a good time to me. I have had several preamps in my HT system and they all have had HT Bypass, only way to go in that type of application IMO.


Seeing that you are a new member with minimal posts you will soon find out that members like rydenfan are well respected here. He has helped myself and others many times over the years with a number of components I have owned. Your little rant unfortunately shows who is more foolish. It also seems that you have trouble taking constructive criticism as well. You should lighten up a little
.


Bill
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by torcher /forum/post/15496705


HT bypass is not really needed in the 2ch int. amp.It is mainly a convenience feature with sound quality a lesser concern.

Andy,


I do not know but your above statement reads like if a preamp HAS HT Bypass that SQ is a lesser concern. I also did not see where anyone told you to shut up.


Bill
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by torcher /forum/post/15513982


Hi Bill,


Having said that I still stand by my previous post.If one is willing to fiddle with the volume control for HT use and live with the minor sound degradation of going through two volume controls then an HT bypass,while a good thing,is not strictly needed.

Andy,


Why even bother placing a 2CH preamp in a HT system to improve 2CH SQ "and live minor sound degradation". Kind of defeats the purpose don't you think.


Bill
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac /forum/post/15514046


Andy,


I do not know but your above statement reads like if a preamp HAS HT Bypass that SQ is a lesser concern. I also did not see where anyone told you to shut up.


Bill

Hi Bill,


Now I see how you got such a high post count.



To me it clearly says that having an HT bypass is mainly convenience feature with SQ being compromised without it.It may be somewhat ambiguous but taken in context I think the meaning is clear.I seem to remember someone telling me not to post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac /forum/post/15514106


Andy,


Why even bother placing a 2CH preamp in a HT system to improve 2CH SQ "and live minor sound degradation". Kind of defeats the purpose don't you think.


Bill

Yes I do agree with that but not entirely.The lack of a bypass will only degrade the sound quality in HT mode.In 2ch mode going directly from source to preamp the lack o an HT baypass will not have any effect on SQ at all.But yes that's a compromise I chose not to make.If you'll recall I never said HT bypass is bad just that it's not STRICTLY needed.


Andy
 
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