Kind of unusual setup... - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 21 Old 09-02-19, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Kind of unusual setup...

For my birthday I am upgrading my system. I just got a 75" 4K LG UHDTV, and I have some Bose surround speakers for the sides and back. I want to use my 2 channel Hi-Fi system for the front two channels. It's a very high grade component stereo with an electronic low pass bi-amp setup of Dahlquist DQ-10's, DQ-1W Subs, and SAE preamp. The power amps are WOPL Phase Linear 700b amps, totally rebuilt with new driver boards and output protection. The amps are putting out an honest 475+ watts RMS per channel, x4. It sounds and feels like a live concert.

For video Blu-Ray discs I've got an Oppo BDP-105 that's great, and I've got a good, fast wi-fi system in the house.

So what I need is a recommendation for a 7.1 Surround Receiver that has a full range stereo output for the Left and Right channels, that will drive my high end stereo for the main channels. I won't be needing a separate subwoofer, because the primary stereo system sounds so huge and lifelike. I just want great surround sound.

I'm looking at a Yamaha RX-V685 receiver which looks like it would do what I need. I'm seeking your expert opinion of this receiver or a recommendation of another one that will accomplish my goals.

Thanks, fellas (and ladies!)
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-03-19, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Kind of unusual setup...

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post #3 of 21 Old 09-04-19, 06:44 PM
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David Bernhagen
 
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Re: Kind of unusual setup...

The Yamaha receiver you mentioned should do what you want. Use the pre out (line level) outputs to feed an aux. input on your SAE preamp. You may want to mark where unity gain is on your preamplifiers volume knob with a small arrow or triangle sticker, so you can keep relative volume levels consistent with the other channels. This gain will be dependent on the overall electronic system gain, and the efficiency of the speakers. Some newer preamplifiers have a unity gain (home theater bypass) input to make this easier.

What will you be using for a center channel? It should match the character of the L/R speakers, and be of similar quality. Typical video surround mixes require the center channel to preserve the balance between dialogue, soundtrack, and effects.
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-04-19, 07:34 PM
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Re: Kind of unusual setup...

Not really unusual. I have a great old Yamaha AX-570 integrated connected to the pre-outs of my Onkyo receiver. I do this cos for two channel it is best sounding/simpler.

I have my CD analogue outputs and a Chromecast Audio connected to the AX-570 so I can bypass all the HT paraphernalia.

Assuming you have outboard subs placed around your room then for best integration I still employ a high pass filter on my mains despite these being very capable full range speakers in their own right. In my room that just seems to give the best result, in my room with my system. Naturally yours will be an entirely different situation.

Go with what sounds/measures best!
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-05-19, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Kind of unusual setup...

Being a very old school guy and new to setting up multi channel home theater systems, (and probably wrongly assuming that the center channel info would be mixed from the two front L/R speakers?) I hadn't considered the center channel to be that vital. What does the center channel usually contain that wouldn't be covered in the front L/R speakers?
If it's going to make high demands on the speaker, I'll ditch the little Bose satellite speaker and use a JBL L36 speaker. It's a 3 way, 10" woofer old stereo speaker. I recently rebuilt a pair, they're great classic speakers.

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post #6 of 21 Old 09-05-19, 07:59 AM
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Re: Kind of unusual setup...

I am not a fan of center channel speakers, their horizontal driver arrangement is highly sub-optimal.

Audioholics did I good write up on the matter.

I've not been using mine for some time and don't miss it. When you switch off your center channel in your receiver or pre/pro it will mix the center channel information into the left and right.

I'm not too fussy about surrounds. I use a generic but reasonable quality in ceiling two way speaker system for spousal approval purposes. These work great. I'm sure you will find the Bose are a good way to start, why not try them.

I'm sure the JBL's are waaaaay better (I love JBL) so if it were me I'd try them out too. The compromise with the JBL might be the wife nagging you to put the little Bose back up? Like all things audio/evetythinig the sky is then the limit.

Going back to your original question, any receiver with pre-outs will work. You just need to set your left and right front speakers in the receivers menu to full range. Connect you preamp to the receivers front left and right pre-outs and you are good to go.

Happily the Yamaha's volume at 12 o'clock matches the level of my receivers speaker level outputs so it is easy to level match across the two amps.

Good luck.
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Last edited by Mazza; 09-05-19 at 08:04 AM.
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-07-19, 03:02 PM
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Re: Kind of unusual setup...

Yes, the horizontal center channel that is typically found is done for marketing reasons, but my experience has been that the 2ch. mix down can result in murky dialogue, and that decisions made by the mix engineer can produce wildly variable results.

And if the dialogue is primarily in the center, then you can affect the balance of elements in the soundtrack by changing the center level.

I prefer L/C/R speakers to be identical.
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-08-19, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Kind of unusual setup...

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Mazza wrote: View Post
I am not a fan of center channel speakers, their horizontal driver arrangement is highly sub-optimal.

Audioholics did I good write up on the matter.

I've not been using mine for some time and don't miss it. When you switch off your center channel in your receiver or pre/pro it will mix the center channel information into the left and right.

I'm not too fussy about surrounds. I use a generic but reasonable quality in ceiling two way speaker system for spousal approval purposes. These work great. I'm sure you will find the Bose are a good way to start, why not try them.

I'm sure the JBL's are waaaaay better (I love JBL) so if it were me I'd try them out too. The compromise with the JBL might be the wife nagging you to put the little Bose back up? Like all things audio/evetythinig the sky is then the limit.

Going back to your original question, any receiver with pre-outs will work. You just need to set your left and right front speakers in the receivers menu to full range. Connect you preamp to the receivers front left and right pre-outs and you are good to go.

Happily the Yamaha's volume at 12 o'clock matches the level of my receivers speaker level outputs so it is easy to level match across the two amps.

Good luck.
Thanks, this is exactly the info I needed. I just ordered the Yamaha last night and I'm looking forward to getting proper surround sound. The Kenwood VR-6070 I've got is so ancient that it doesn't even have HDMI inputs/outputs. I hope that the Yamaha RX-V685 will mix the center channel in like you say, because the room is different in that the wall the TV monitor is on has french doors in the middle of it, going into my music studio. So there's no good place to install a center speaker...I have been hiding one of the little Bose cubes in my left channel Dahlquist cab and it's close to center but not ideal.
I appreciate the support, fellas. Thanks.
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-11-19, 02:22 PM
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Re: Kind of unusual setup...

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Hornblower64 wrote: View Post
Yes, the horizontal center channel that is typically found is done for marketing reasons, but my experience has been that the 2ch. mix down can result in murky dialogue, and that decisions made by the mix engineer can produce wildly variable results.

And if the dialogue is primarily in the center, then you can affect the balance of elements in the soundtrack by changing the center level.

I prefer L/C/R speakers to be identical.
We recently moved and during the transition/setup phase I ran everything 2.1 and the dialogue was always lacking when we watched movies. I'm now running my Chane A1 center again and dialogue intelligibility has improved dramatically.
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-11-19, 04:55 PM
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Re: Kind of unusual setup...

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premiumplus wrote: View Post
Being a very old school guy and new to setting up multi channel home theater systems, (and probably wrongly assuming that the center channel info would be mixed from the two front L/R speakers?) I hadn't considered the center channel to be that vital. What does the center channel usually contain that wouldn't be covered in the front L/R speakers?
If it's going to make high demands on the speaker, I'll ditch the little Bose satellite speaker and use a JBL L36 speaker. It's a 3 way, 10" woofer old stereo speaker. I recently rebuilt a pair, they're great classic speakers.


The center is mainly responsible for carrying dialog but also a lot of other screen info. IMO, phantom center is always comprised and if you’re off axis(like anybody NOT in the sweet spot), phantom image collapses. Find a good quality CC speaker. The JBL you mentioned could work, but imo it’s important to match the front 3 at least as much as you can, ideally 3 of the same, towers or , or at least the matching in the same series. The JBL’s(assuming you have a pair) would likely make a good surround pair. FWIW, my whole bed layer is JBL.
Also, toss the bose cubes out onto the sidewalk with a free sign. They will only hold back the rest of the system.
I tried to find out some more information on your mains as whenever someone says “I don’t need a subwoofer”, it’s always an interesting conversation. In any case, I could not find anything definitive. Do you have any links to literature, or pics?
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