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  1. #1
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    Looking for advice

    Hi all,

    I am a novice audiophile with a basic (at best) understanding of technology. However I have been doing some research, and after accumulating some info, decided to join the forum and ask a question.

    I have 2 Tannoy Definition tower speakers, Tannoy Eyris C center, and 2 Eyris 1 rears. For an amplifier I got Nakamichi PA-5, and CA-5 for a preamp. Onkyo TX-NR809 receiver.
    I will use Nakamichi PA5 for the towers. For the rest I thought of getting Nakamchi TA-4A (100W center and sub) TA-2A5 50W or SR4A 60W for the rears (50W).
    Is such set up possible or I am nuts? I only considered it after learning that Nakamichi SR and TA receivers/amplifiers are inexpensive yet very high quality. Designed by Nelson Pass.
    If I can pull it off, what is the optimal way of connecting all this equipment. Please, pardon my ignorance.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    If you are going to use this set up for Home Theater then stick with the Onkyo as I ascribe to the "KISS" method which means Keep It Simple, Stupid. I am not calling you stupid but it is an old acronym for electronics and it applies to many things. If you want to use the front speakers for 2ch audio with the Nakamichi gear as well as for Home Theater then the best bet is to get an amp switcher like this from Niles Audio unless your preamp has a home theater by pass option. I have used their products and they work well.

    DPS-1 | Switching Systems | Niles Audio
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  3. #3
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    If you think you might listen to 5 channel music you should have all the channels similar power, however, that can be compensated for somewhat in the set up of the receiver. And, your subwoofer wouldn't need an amp unless using a passive sub which is unusual for home theater.

    You could use the Onkyo solely for home theater and the Nak system for two channel, if sharing the main speakers physically switching the cables at back of speaker depending on what system you want to listen to. I know it can be inconvenient, it's what I do.

    If the Nak preamp has bypass which isn't likely if it's an older preamp, and, if the 809 offers preamp outputs, you run from the 809 main L/R outs into the Nak preamp. You can do the same set up running the 809 preamp outs into a regular AUX input of the Nak but you'd have to have some way to remember the volume level on the Nak when using home theater. This could be easy if the preamp has a digital volume read out. If it's analog I used a piece of tape before.

    When using this type set up you could use the receiver to drive the center and rears while the Nak would drive mains.

    The receiver has a sub out or "LFE" you plug your sub into. If you want sub for both music & HT, well, that's another story
    Mark Levinson #512 SACD & 532h power
    Pass Labs XP-10 preamp
    Clearaudio Performance DC & Maestro v2 E, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    JBL 4367's & SAM3ha
    Revel S30's & SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet & Surgex SA15&20

  4. #4
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    Thank you guys. Much clearer now. I thought I'd be able to use all speakers for audio. I am not quite clear on one thing. Will I be able to run front speakers through the amplifier with all others through Onkyo using the device in the first post?

  5. #5
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    The Niles audio switcher will allow you to use the front speakers with the Onkyo and the Nakamichi. It allows you to connect 2 amps to 1 pair of speakers so that you can switch between amps. You hook up the main speaker outputs of both amps to the Niles switcher and then connect the speaker out of the switcher to the pair of speakers that you want to run, which in your case is the large front speakers.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  6. #6
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    Also guys could you explain to me what this might mean. In the manual for CA-5, (amplifier connection section) it says that "the unit provides two sets of line outputs, so that two power amplifiers can be driven simultaneously, if desired." I am sorry for being persistent and perhaps stupid, in being that way, but doesn't this mean that 4 speakers can be run simultaneously (2 per each amp)?

  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Yes, you can run 2 amps or 1 amp and 1 powered subwoofer.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  8. #8
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    Tried to connect 2 main speakers via pre out in my Onkyo using picture number 2 from this link
    Fluance - Bi-Amp or Bi-Wire Instructions
    Nothing but hum. Removed red and black on each side and sound appeared but with buzz again and no amplification. What might I be doing wrong?

  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    You need to connect the speakers to the speaker out not to preamp out.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  10. #10
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    A receiver has both preamp and power sections, so when coming out of the preamp output it has to go into a power amp because you tapped the signal before it goes to the power section of the receiver. That's why if using two systems the Onkyo preamp outputs go into the Nak preamp which then feeds it to the Nak power amp then out to the speakers. If you want to hear sound without using the Nak, then as Blackraven said, connect the speakers to the speaker terminals.
    Mark Levinson #512 SACD & 532h power
    Pass Labs XP-10 preamp
    Clearaudio Performance DC & Maestro v2 E, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    JBL 4367's & SAM3ha
    Revel S30's & SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet & Surgex SA15&20

  11. #11
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    I connected speakers to Nak amplifier, which I connected to pre-outs on the receiver. Bi wired. Nothing but hum. Perhaps something in the Onkyo setting needs to be changed. My center speaker is connected to speaker out of Onkyo, and whenever I try to plug in the cables connecting Nak and Onkyo into the latter even the center starts to hum a little. I do it while playing music on very low volume.

  12. #12
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    I don't have a preamp yet. Nak CA-5 is coming. My understanding was that pre-outs on Onkyo serve as a pre-amp. I thought it would allow me to have a home theater and with a switch of the cables from AV to a preamp, access to all audio options with main speakers.

  13. #13
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    You are correct, that the onkyo can act as a preamp. Check the settings on the premap. I would also hook up the speakers to the onkyo to see if you get sound. Don't biwire yet, keep things simple till you figure out the problem. It could be that the Nak amp is bad.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  14. #14
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    - Changed the setting on Onkyo. All except for front speakers were switched off
    - Until yesterday ran speakers on Onkyo. No problem
    - A regular wiring is 1 red and black to the speaker and amp? Currently 2 red 2 blacks. Tried it with 1 red 1 black on amp. Sound comes out with hum. Actually, as soon as I try to put the cable into the Onlyo, even the center which was connected to Onkyo hums slightly. And this is with Nak switched off. Could the cable be the problem? I am new to it all and could do something stupid. Got an audio cable form WM.
    - Nak is in pristine condition. Although anything is possible. Will test it with preamp, which is coming soon.

  15. #15
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    What I would do is hook the speakers to the Onkyo first until you get it set up and working then try adding the Nak amp. What was "bi-wired"?

    There are so many variables with A/V receivers, you usually have to set the inputs, for instance, if you have an input that say "CD" you may have to go in and assign which analog input and turn of the videio, or, for DVD you may have to go in and assign HDMI 1, or whatever.

    Then you go into the speaker set up menu and tell the receiver what speakers you have and set the levels etc. Yours may even have an auto set up with microphone.
    Mark Levinson #512 SACD & 532h power
    Pass Labs XP-10 preamp
    Clearaudio Performance DC & Maestro v2 E, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    JBL 4367's & SAM3ha
    Revel S30's & SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet & Surgex SA15&20

  16. #16
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Do your speakers still work with the Onkyo? I am not clear on that. If you are connecting cables and speaker wire to your gear, everything should be turned off. You may have shorted something if the Onkyo is no longer playing sound. If music plays fine through the Onkyo but you get a hum with the Nak, it could be that one of your Interconnects has a broken ground.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  17. #17
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    I connected all speakers to Onkyo and everything works.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Do you get music from the front speakers when you hook them up to the Nak but with a hum? If so it may be a ground loop. You can test this by using an extension cord with the Nak and plug it into a totally different circuit in another part of the house.

    What interconnects are you using to connect the onkyo to the Nak?
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  19. #19
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    Yes I do get hum with music. Mostly hum. What would you suggest for an interconnect? I am still in a learning process and may have gotten something not suitable.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Well, what are you using for interconnects? A way to test the IC's would be to use the IC's that you are using for the NAK between a CD or DVD player and your Onkyo and see if you get a hum while the speakers are connected to the Onkyo. If there is no hum then there is a problem with the preamp out, the Nak amp or a ground loop. It is mostly hum then I suspect it is not a ground loop and a problem with the Onkyo or Nak.

    If you want an excellent budget IC, then look at Blue Jeans cables.

    Stereo Cables at Blue Jeans Cable
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  21. #21
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    Thank you Blackraven. Grabbed the interconnects you suggested. Have not tested my current ones. Will tonight.

  22. #22
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    Tested the interconnect with CD player via Onkyo. Everything works fine. So it must be either the setting on Onkyo, the receiver itself of the amp. By the end of the week should get the preamplifier. Testing it will identify the culprit.

  23. #23
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    You guys brought up ground loop. My cable box is sitting right on top of Onkyo. Thinking of getting ground loop isolator for the cable. I see RCA ones as well. Should I get those too? Any suggestions on what type?
    Thanks

  24. #24
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    first connect your Nak up to an outlet that is on a different circuit and see if it takes care of the hum.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  25. #25
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    Got everything set up. Both amp and preamp work beautifully. Sound coming from Nak tuner is awesome. CD player, on the other hand - meh. So all works. Noticed that the cable for disconnected several times. Unthinking hat may have been an issue all along. Not sure though. Tomorrow will try to connect with blue jean when it comes. Had to go to Radio shack to get a cable today. Could not wait. Glad I did. Everything works and I am thoroughly enjoying it.
    Regarding home theater. Have been eyeing a passive sub locally. Is it worth it? Will sinificantly underpower my Onkyo for the rest of the speakers?

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