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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Mixing Active and Passive 5.1 setup

    I currently have the M&K 750 THX speaker for my left/right/center speakers, 2 x Surround-55 tripoles for the rear channels and an V851 sub. My receiver is a Denon AV2801.
    This setup sounds good for movies, but lacking for music (stereo/ 2.1).
    I was researching into active speakers, in particular: Tannoy Ellipse 8 and the Precision 8D, both are studio speakers.

    1. Would these studio monitors work okay in a HT environment? I was thinking of replacing the L/R fronts with the Tannoy speakers.

    2. Would there be issues mixing active speakers for the front and passive for the rear surround channels?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    I wouldn't do that. You might, or might not, improve your stereo playback but will definitely degrade your HT playback. Home Theater speaker must match, especially the front 3, for optimum sound. If you do not like the M&K, then you should look to replace all three front speakers but don't mismatch.

    Depending on what about your stereo listening that has you displeased, here are a couple popular ways others have gone about it.

    If your receiver has preamp outputs you could add a power amp to better drive the main L/R and increase resolution. Of course, this set up will still only be as good as the weakest link which will most likely be the receiver's preamp section.

    Another way which also depends on preamp outs and probably more expensive would be to pick up an integrated amp for stereo. Many integrated amps will have a "theater bypass" or something similar with a different name. You hook up the main L/R speaker to the integrated as well as any stereo sources. Run the L/R preamp outputs into the integrated amps "theater bypass", select this when watching movies. The integrated then runs the L/R while watching movies. When listening to stereo the receiver is off and you have a dedicated stereo set up.

    To answer your question though, you can mix passive and active just fine because the speaker level of all speakers is done inside your receivers set up menu. You'll just have to set the speaker's amp and not mess with it once you get all the speaker levels set. All you are essentially doing is putting the speaker's internal amp in place of the receiver's internal amp. Similar to the prior suggested set ups accept with those you don't replace any speakers, just amps.

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