2channel guy needs help w/HT [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-21-2007, 11:34 AM
Hi everyone

I'm an old 2 channel fan and I am setting up a HT in my house. I have a ton of questions as I am new to 5.1/7.1
I have some vintage gear that I would like to incorporate into my new HT but a sales guy at a local store said it could not be done so I want to ask the experts here on this site before I fork over $ on new gear I may not need. My current gear was all bought in 1981 which I believe classifies it as "vintage." I have: Yamaha M-2 amp (265wpc), Yamaha C-4 preamp, Sansui TU 919 tuner and JBL L150A speakers. I would most like to incorporate my amp and speakers into a new HT. Is there a way? I was advised against using my JBL's because I would have to buy a center and two rear speakers (another brand) and they would sound terrible. I love my amp and JBL's and I know I would have to fork over major $ to get the same kind of quality if bought new. I would appreciate any suggestions and/or comments.


Dusty Chalk
02-21-2007, 11:49 AM
Yeah, there's a way, it's just not perfect. And it might end up being more expensive, as most HT applications come in a receiver, when you start going the route of separate pre/pro (preprocessor -- the HT equivalent of your preamp), you're usually talking about higher end gear -- I don't know too much in the way of entry level pre/pro's.

It will also require a bit more work -- basically, you need to make sure everything is returnable, because you're going to do this by ear. You take the gear home, plug it in, and if it don't sound right, then you're going to return it and try again.

But you won't be flying blind, you'll have us here to help you out.

Here's what you do (the following is based on a premise of a 5.1 system) -- you get a DVD player, a pre/pro, a 3-channel amp, and 3 more speakers. You hook up the front l&r to your Yamaha M-2, you hook the rest up to your new multi-channel amp, and voila, you're done.

You can even go the 4.1 route -- "fake" out the front center. The pre/pro needs to have the ability to feed the center channel to the front left and right to get a phantom center. Then all you need is another stereo power amp like your Yamaha M-2. It should have a similar "gain" (don't know how to tell you how to look up your gain, as that is not a spec that is usually listed, and if your new speakers don't have the same sensitivity anyway, you won't need it). Heck, look around, you might be able to find another Yamaha M-2.

Ask the guys around here which pre/pro to get. I'd recommend the Outlaw, but I don't know what your budget is.

Whatever you do, don't give up your amp and speakers! You're happy with the way they sound, you have no idea how important that is, until it's gone. That's what audiophiles shoot for, and you've already accomplished it!

02-21-2007, 12:13 PM
Dusty's plan is a great plan if you have the cash. If you need to go on the cheap you could:

Get an AV receiver (making sure it has pre-outs for your current amp).
Get 3 JBL speakers that are as close to what you have now as possible. Make sure that the new speakers don't have tough loads. Most receivers will have trouble with 4 ohm or less, under 88db type speakers. There are exceptions, but then you run into money again. Your amp will drive your two main and the receiver would drive the rest. It's not the best system but would cost much less.
Of coarse, all of the rest of what Dusty has to say goes. Make sure you can return any of these if you end up not liking the sound.

02-21-2007, 12:54 PM
yes, dusty's way,
but where find a affordable 3 channel amp? I know primare makes one for €1700 but that's very expensive...

Keep them spinning,

02-21-2007, 01:28 PM
Why dont you just get a separate AV receiver for HT use and use your current amp for 2ch music. You could use your current speakers for front channel for both systems if you connect them to a switch box. Then all you would need is a sub, center and rear channel speakers. As far as new speakers not matching your current speakers, that depends upon how critical you are of HT sound. I use a B&W center channel with my Mangepans and it sounds ok. Its not perfect but it does the job because I'm not critical of HT only 2ch music.

Dusty Chalk
02-21-2007, 01:48 PM
but where find a affordable 3 channel amp? Which is why I suggested the phantom center route.
Why dont you just get a separate AV receiver for HT use and use your current amp for 2ch music.
Get an AV receiver (making sure it has pre-outs for your current amp).Both of these are, of course, good ideas as well.

02-24-2007, 08:36 AM
I did it with an HT Receiver with Pre Outs. I used the Front l/r outs to an input on my Tube pre and Stratos driving Dynaudio 82s. I hooked up a Sub, Center, and Rears to the Receiver. When I use the system in that configuration I set my Pre volume at 11 oclock and the volume is all controlled by the receiver. I can always manually match the volume between the two if I want full range thru the fronts. I can also just swap a cable and have the Sub driven from the main pre with my Danes for thunder.

Right now my speakers don't all match and although it's not seamless, it is pretty good. I am about to buy a pair of Dynaudio 52s to use for the rears and a Dyn center soon. The Mirage 12" sub is fine.

Have fun!

02-24-2007, 09:40 AM

Hello and welcome :smile5:

I would go JBL all the way from matching fronts to an blasting surround array that will make a whole huge difference.

Iíve been using JBL now for what must be 18 years since I first heard there power in a THX sound system cinema I knew I had to get rigged out with JBL.

Jedi Blaster Lightsabers JBL :D

Fronts are always the problem and when faced with a Plasma or LCD screen where it can disrupt the sound with loudspeakers location placed at different heights, well youíll never see this happing in the cinema never!

Look around to see what is going to fit in the room start looking very closely, the fronts you know how it should look the surrounds are fitted to the walls in multiple grand fashion down the sidewalls and along the rear wall so that you donít hear holes in the surround effect, also when equalized it can add great reverberation on films like (Indiana Jones and Last Crusade) making it sound just like a cinema, the type of JBL loudspeaker must also fit the size of the room where it doesnít look intimidating I use smaller JBL Control 1 around x10 in all x5 JBL control 5 for the fronts and a mighty JBL 4645 18Ē sub bass thatís solely used for LFE.1 a second sub bass that is used for extending the frequency response from all the remaining five channels.

So I know the situation youíre faced with and this doesnít happen over night thatís for sure.

Look for the most affordable AVR going one that sports Dolby digital-EX Pro-logic II, dts-ES and THX there are plenty going for around £500.00 UK I assure you.

Now that you have the AVR and the only reason why I also use one is for the RCA phone pre-outputs! Donít bother with the internal amplification, look around for some (Behringer A500) here in the UK there going for a mad price of £118.99 now thatís quite insane if you ask me.

http://www.turnkey.co.uk/web/searchAction.do;jsessionid=DCA8CB65C60BC69B4A563B1 5213F607A?dispatch=quickSearch&searchString=a+500

Main page to Turnkey

Set the home cinema up with an array and depending wheatear you want to go with the passive internal X over inside the loudspeaker or go active would require x3 amplifiers per loudspeaker one for LF and HF.

Sub bass or sub bass array would require the same amplifier and if set to bridge mode to double the output, not that it would be all used for a small room, headroom is what it will have granted that many films do have unpredictable and excessive output on that channel. Most THX packages come with its own built in audio limiter to set the LFE.1 output to be within safe levels and from preventing damage to the amplifier and loudspeaker.

Again same amplifier for the surrounds and when using so many may require a second or a third amplifier for the surrounds one for centre back array and sidewalls arrays.

Additional equalization is paramount, if you go to this site has it is based in Europe Turnkey has some real great offers going and mad low prices, including JBL. You may need to look elsewhere for the AVR mind you.

Audio limiters used with the whole sound system makes it sound far more exciting giving you peace of mind knowing once set-up correctly and with mad scenes like Fight Club chapter 9 where an airplane crashes into the other I Kidd you not you need audio limiters to protect the loudspeakers from damage.

03-04-2007, 05:50 AM
If you are going to upgrade, I would get a center channel setup and a receiver that supports it. The center channel is so important for many reasons, and if set up properly can sound better than any other speaker in a system.

JBL horn speakers are very efficient and a good receiver should have no problem driving them.