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  1. #1
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    How to get better 2 channel music performance from HT system?

    I found myself in 50/50 of HT and music. I have been sticking with my present system for a while.

    Lexicon DC2 prepro, Bryston 3B powers main Paradigm Studio 40. Rotel and Adcom amps drive other channels. I am sactified with the HT performance. For music, it is not that bad. But Lexicon processor uses A/D and D/A to process the analog signal from the CD player. I had compared it with a pure analog setup, which I introduced a Rotel pre-amp. I like the vivid analog sound better and it also has more details. But without the subwoofer, I found the bass is not as enough as the HT setup with Bass management. My 12" powered sub is not that good, but it does some work.

    Now comes the question: how can I get good 2 channel music from the HT system with good bass.

    I am thinking of changing Lexicon DC2 to another process(such as Proceed or Sunfire) with 2 channel pass through. But I wonder if there is bass management in that case...

  2. #2
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    To be redundent & restate something I've said repeatedly, you might want to try listening to CD's if you have a 5.1 player on the all channel (including sub) stereo mode which outputs all your speakers but doesn't reprocess them except for the center speaker which becomes essentially mono. This is different from prologic & other modes which do alter each channel. When I listen to a 2 channel mode on my receiver (or 2 channel & a sub), I really don't enjoy the sound. I'd also buy a seperate CD player as you'll in all likelyhood get better sound then a DVD player no matter how much bull salesmen give you.

  3. #3
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    When I listen to music CDs through my HT processor, I use "2 channel" mode. I think that's the way we should do with the music so that we can tell the sound stage, positioning... etc. I 've never tried using all 5.1 channels to play 2 channel CD music except for some music concert DVDs.

    My question is although my HT process is a very good one, it digitalizes all the input analog signals during processing. As a result, its 2 channel music mode still can not give the same performance as a pure analog system can give (except bass).

  4. #4
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Are you saying that the Lexicon processes incoming analog signal back to digital and then back to analog again?!? Even with DSP's turned off? This is very surprising to me as most decent Jap AVR's have a Pure Direct mode that bypasses all other processing and in effect, turns them into a reasonable facsimile of a passive pre.

    If you simply want to use your sub during two channel, you can always utilize the speaker level inputs on your sub, if it has them. You can also try using a Y splitter on your 3B and wiring your sub at line level. I used to do this to create a 2.1 system while using a separates based system. Admittedly, I'm having a bit of a time following your OP, so this could be all wrong.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Have you considered just using a digital connection to the Lexicon (I believe that they use Crystal DACs) to avoid the redundant A/D/D/A conversions? Some reviewers have taken the Lexicons to task for how they handle analog inputs. It seems that they optimize everything around the home theater decoding and processing functions, but I'm kinda surprised that they don't have any kind of analog bypass available.

    If you want to keep the bass management in the analog domain, have you considered going with an external bass management controller like the Paradigm X-30? You could route the CD output through the controller and then out to whatever preamp you use.
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  6. #6
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    Try It You Might Like It

    I'm not telling the poster above what to like & what not to like, that's up to him, but I totally find it ridiculous on audio boards including this one, that people here are like Giraffe's with their heads in a hole & are too afraid to try something, perhaps out of fear that they'll like it, and just want to go through life with the blinders on. You may totally like 2 channel stereo better then 5.1 channel stereo, but at least be open to expiriment, and try something new out that might open your eyes & if you don't like it, where are you the worst for it for trying it?

  7. #7
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    Minye
    I,like you,prefer my 2 channel source to be played back in 2 channel,as pure as possible.One thing i do is run my sub off the left and right front preouts with my front speakers set to large.Set your subs on board cross over to the lower limits of your mains and you are in business.It took some experimenting but it works great.My reciever however has a pure analog passthrough and that helps.

    bill

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    Are you saying that the Lexicon processes incoming analog signal back to digital and then back to analog again?!? Even with DSP's turned off? This is very surprising to me as most decent Jap AVR's have a Pure Direct mode that bypasses all other processing and in effect, turns them into a reasonable facsimile of a passive pre.

    If you simply want to use your sub during two channel, you can always utilize the speaker level inputs on your sub, if it has them. You can also try using a Y splitter on your 3B and wiring your sub at line level. I used to do this to create a 2.1 system while using a separates based system. Admittedly, I'm having a bit of a time following your OP, so this could be all wrong.
    Topspeed,

    You are all right about your analysis above. It seems Lexicon DC2 is a pure digital processor. I use digital connection from my Pioneer Elite DV37 DVD player to the processor. I am not sure whose DAC is better, but just to avoid an additional A/D converting.

    My sub has speaker level input and I will try that. But for Y spliter solution, does that mean I use Y splitter at the Left and Right output of my processor to get 2 pairs of pre-output, and one goes to 3B amp while the other goes to powered sub? The sub just has one line input, right? So I have to connect only one L (or R) pre-out to the sub. Is that right?

  9. #9
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    Eh??? I checked Lexicon website again and found this.

    DC-2 Knowledge Base Request:

    Issue: Problem: Is the DC-2 capable of straight 2 channel operation?

    Solution: Yes, in addition to its processing the DC-2 is a high quality preamp.


    Last reviewed: 3/4/99
    But I am sure I had read somewhere that Lexicon DC processor is a digital HT processor and can't compete with analog system in the steroe....Yeah, it is here for MC1

    http://www.avguide.com/product?id=116

    Download the PDF file and check in the "Conclusion" section in the bottom.
    I believe MC1 and DC2 are almost the same. How could the newer model MC1 eliminate this important function of 2 channel bypass?

    And this is from Lexicon website for MC1:

    MC-1 Knowledge Base Request:

    Issue: Question: Can a 2-Channel Analog Signal bypass the Analog to Digital and Digital to Analog Chip? If it does, can the Analog Signal also be sent to the subwoofer for use in the subwoofer's crossover?

    Answer: The MC-1 will pass analog inputs straight through to the ZONE 2 and RECORD outputs. These outputs do not include the subwoofer.

    Last reviewed: 12/18/2000

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    Minye
    I,like you,prefer my 2 channel source to be played back in 2 channel,as pure as possible.One thing i do is run my sub off the left and right front preouts with my front speakers set to large.Set your subs on board cross over to the lower limits of your mains and you are in business.It took some experimenting but it works great.My reciever however has a pure analog passthrough and that helps.

    bill
    Thanks Bill.

    Does it mean you also use a Y connector as Topspeed mentioned?

  11. #11
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I'm not telling the poster above what to like & what not to like, that's up to him, but I totally find it ridiculous on audio boards including this one, that people here are like Giraffe's with their heads in a hole & are too afraid to try something, perhaps out of fear that they'll like it, and just want to go through life with the blinders on. You may totally like 2 channel stereo better then 5.1 channel stereo, but at least be open to expiriment, and try something new out that might open your eyes & if you don't like it, where are you the worst for it for trying it?
    I was all for the 5ch stereo myself for years but now that i have pl2,i use that instead and like it better.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I'm not telling the poster above what to like & what not to like, that's up to him, but I totally find it ridiculous on audio boards including this one, that people here are like Giraffe's with their heads in a hole & are too afraid to try something, perhaps out of fear that they'll like it, and just want to go through life with the blinders on. You may totally like 2 channel stereo better then 5.1 channel stereo, but at least be open to expiriment, and try something new out that might open your eyes & if you don't like it, where are you the worst for it for trying it?
    Ed, I am not saying I don't want to try new things and keep myself open which is good always. I just feel that I have not fineshed trying the basic things yet. It is just a beginning and there is a long way to go. It is still quite "new" for me actually.

  13. #13
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    minye
    no i use a stereo pair of cables,no y-connector.My sub can be connected 2 ways,single lfe cable or a seperate left and right pair that by passes the recievers crossover and sends a full range signal to the sub so you can cross it over there.


    bill

  14. #14
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    minye
    no i use a stereo pair of cables,no y-connector.My sub can be connected 2 ways,single lfe cable or a seperate left and right pair that by passes the recievers crossover and sends a full range signal to the sub so you can cross it over there.


    bill
    That's the way I now do mine but I use two subs a left channel & right channel and use a Y at the sub and use the subs internal crossover.
    I have completely quit using the LFE because I found it to be the wrong (timing) it never really sounded right using the LFE for two channel music.
    Although I thought at first that it would not be as good for the home theater sound and figured I may have to switch between the LFE and the stereo pre-out for movies.
    But was surprised & amazed that it sounded just as good if not better for movies that have a lot of sub action..
    When I was using only one sub on the Star Wars III the first part of of the movie it sounded like it would almost blow the sub and then the rest of the move seemed like it had little to no sub action.
    After I changed the system to the way I have it now the first part of Episode III sounded perfect with no Sub over extrusion, and the rest of the movie had a lot more sub base during the explosions were is seemed lacking before.
    That's when I decided not to try switching between LFE and Stereo Pre-Out for movies and music.

    This is my experience on my system in my living room and is my own personal opinion no SLP meters were used to verify or confirm these remarks.
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  15. #15
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Speaking of 2 subs,i think i read the the HK735? has 2 sub outputs.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    minye
    no i use a stereo pair of cables,no y-connector.My sub can be connected 2 ways,single lfe cable or a seperate left and right pair that by passes the recievers crossover and sends a full range signal to the sub so you can cross it over there.


    bill
    Musicman and Brandon,

    What I don't understand is you connect your L & R with interconnection coax cable to your sub L & R input( Brandon conbines L &R to 1 channel), but where this pair of signal comes from without a pair of Y splitter? the main(L/R) output of the Pre-amp or Processor should go to power AMP's input, right? I think I need two Y splitter to do it.

  17. #17
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    Minye

    I see the problem,i use a reciever with no external amps.So yes you would need 2 splitters.Sorry should have noticed.

    BRANDNH

    Yes i agree,i find the bass so much smoother using this set up.Much more natural.Bass needs to complement the music or movie soundtrack,not overpower it.I think many people make this mistake when they get into h/t and i my opinion their systems sound all the worse for it.Give me Quality over quantity anyday.

    bill

  18. #18
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    Minye

    I see the problem,i use a reciever with no external amps.So yes you would need 2 splitters.Sorry should have noticed.

    BRANDNH

    Yes i agree,i find the bass so much smoother using this set up.Much more natural.Bass needs to complement the music or movie soundtrack,not overpower it.I think many people make this mistake when they get into h/t and i my opinion their systems sound all the worse for it.Give me Quality over quantity anyday.

    bill
    I think mis setups are more the problem then the way the sub is hooked up imho of course.{or a limited receiver}
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  19. #19
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by minye
    Musicman and Brandon,

    What I don't understand is you connect your L & R with interconnection coax cable to your sub L & R input( Brandon conbines L &R to 1 channel), but where this pair of signal comes from without a pair of Y splitter? the main(L/R) output of the Pre-amp or Processor should go to power AMP's input, right? I think I need two Y splitter to do it.
    It is a bit complicated and I will do my best here.

    I have a Music Fidelity tube buffer between my preamp and amp.
    the tube buffer has an extra pre-out that is a pass through which gives me an additional left & right channel at the preamp level.

    I use the left channel pre-out for the left and I do not use the LFE input on the plate amp on the sub instead I use the line inputs there (Red & White) which is where I use the Y and then repeat the same for the right channel.

    Another way for a single sub setup is to simply use a Y on the left and a Y the right channel at the preamp and split the signal there and run each to the Red & White on the sub amp.
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  20. #20
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    BRANDONH

    have you tried running the x-10 between the cd and preamp?

    bill

  21. #21
    AUTOBOT BRANDONH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    BRANDONH

    have you tried running the x-10 between the cd and preamp?

    bill
    No, but I have heard that it sounds good that way.
    The way I have it now all the two channel sound runs through it from the preamp.
    And I love it!
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