Hey Paul..found your answer (2ch/ht problem)

organorgan Posts: 5,022
edited March 2003 in 2 Channel Audio
If you're still planning on getting a dedicated 2ch pre and still do HT in the same rig like you mentioned before, this link will definetely help.

And kill two birds with one stone we shall.....

www.hometheaterforum.com/htforum/showthread.php?threadid=128292

The answer lies in post #19 and 20

Enjoy

Maurice
CD Player: Original CD-A8T
Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
"I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
Post edited by organ on

Comments

  • pjdamipjdami Posts: 1,898
    edited March 2003
    Thanks Maurice.

    I'll have to read that article again tomorrow when I'm not as sleepy. Read it twice but didn't quite get how the 5.1 output of the receiver would go through the preamp. I'm a little surprised that a lot of the folks on that forum believe that the pre-amp is more important than the amp as far as the "character" of the sound. I would have thought the amp and speakers were more important than the pre-amp but I'm just learning about this seperates purist mode of listening to two channel. Right now my Yammer sounds pretty good as a pre/pro in direct mode to the C270. I can't imagine how much better the C160 would be with the C270!

    My LSi 9's are in town and I should get them tomorrow. Can't wait to get them playing and broken in.

    I picked up a Rotel RCD 961 cd player this weekend to replace my aging Denon DCD 690 (eight years old) cd player I had. It was a tough call between it and the cd player you have, the NAD 541i. I got the Rotel $50 cheaper because it was a barely used (30 hrs playtime) demo unit. The Rotel sounds awesome but I am second guessing the 18 bit DAC in the Rotel versus the 24 bit in the NAD. Not sure if I'm up to speed on all of this stuff but Rotel and NAD both make great gear. I have 3 weeks to return the Rotel if anyone can persuade me that the 24 bit DAC is the way to go. I can get the C541i for $50 more and brand new. Both players have received very good reviews.

    Gotta get some sleep because I'll probably be up late again tomorrow night listening to all of my cds on the LSi's:)

    Paul
  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited March 2003
    Paul,

    Did you listen to both CD players side by side?

    I just picked up a Rotel RCD1070. I compared the NAD541i and the Rotel in store side by side and it was pretty close. I felt the Rotel edged out the the NAD in clarity and definition, but that's my opinion. I was second guessing the 18 bit vs. 24 bit myself.

    I don't want to sway you in any direction, let your ears decide. My Rotel RCD1070 is blowing me away. I'm now going to focus on 2 channel rather than HT. I'll probably sell my Denon 2802, get separates then get the HT going later.

    Derick.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • pjdamipjdami Posts: 1,898
    edited March 2003
    Hey Maurice,

    I read that post you sent me again and I'm still a little fuzzy about what they are talking about.
    If the 2-channel preamp doesn't have an HT bypass input then just use an AUX input and:

    So if we are try to use separates for two channel and the receiver for HT using the same mains my question is this:

    cd player analog outputs to pre-amp inputs, pre-amp to power amp, power amp to main speakers. This is pretty straight forward. Now are they are saying to run the pre-amp outputs from the receiver to the pre-amp to run the HT setup???:confused:

    This is where I'm getting lost. Would that just be the left and right main pre-outs?? I understand all the stuff about matching the speaker outputs with a SPL meter, its just that I'm confused about how the receiver and pre-amp are working together.

    Enlighten me man....I'm still in the dark here.

    Derick,

    I didn't compare the two side by side. The Rotel I bought (the exact model not unit) was in the Hi-Fi shops front demo room. This is one of the rooms the owner uses to audition speakers for his customers. I was lucky to get the owner of the store (who has been selling hi-fi for 25 years) to help me out. I trust him and have bought stuff from him before and have been happy. In the back sound room he has a Cal Lab Audio cd player set up. I was going to buy the C541i, I was all over it. I asked him if that was my only option in that price range and he told me about the Rotel demo he had which would carry a full warranty. He said both the NAD and Rotel are excellent cd players and that I would probably have a hard time telling them apart. He could have sold me the NAD for $50 more but told me that he has the Rotel in the front room for a reason (because he slightly prefers the sound of it too). For $50 bucks less I decided to get the Rotel (also adds a little diversity in my system especially if I get the NAD C160 preamp). I probably got a good deal because the Rotel RCD 1070 is the new player. Does the 1070 have 18 bit DACs too?

    Paul

    p.s. The LSi 9's....I got them. I had to chase down the UPS man in my truck because I missed him coming home from work and he was pulling out my neighborhood. I flagged him down and got my cargo. I like the sound of the tweeter already. I know I have to break them in though before I can pass judgement on the rest. So far so good. The Studios are currently in hibernation:D
  • dcarlsondcarlson Posts: 1,740
    edited March 2003
    Burr-Brown PCM1732 18-Bit multi-level Delta-Sigma D/A converter

    Whatever that means. :rolleyes: multi-level?

    From what I heard the 2 CD players were pretty close. I haven't read a single negative when it comes to Rotel. I read a very few negatives about the NAD in terms of build quality but not sound quality for the price. That was a big factor in my decision.

    Have fun with it, I don't think I've ever listened to more music than I have in the last 2 weeks because of the new CD player.

    Derick.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.
  • stevew14stevew14 Posts: 130
    edited March 2003
    PJ,

    Run just the front pre-outs from the receiver to an aux input on your preamp. When watching HT, select that input on the preamp, set the pre-amp gain to a pre-determined level, and HT FL/FR will pass through your pre and on to the 2 channel amp just like when you listen to your 2- channel source. The other speakers will still be driven by the receiver's internal amps.

    Setting the pre-amp's gain to an easy to remember position (say 12 o'clock) and then adjusting the receiver's channel levels with the SPL meter should provide a balanced sound for HT listening.

    I did this and it provides me the best of both worlds with the equipment I had. I hope this made it a bit clearer for you, and didn't confuse you more.
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited March 2003
    Paul,
    You are correct. Run the receiver's L/R pre outs to the pre-amp's input. Your receiver will power the rest of the speakers. Stevew14 clarified everything in his post.

    As for the CD players...It's totally up to you. If you go back to the store, listen to the NAD and compare it to the Rotel. I haven't heard the Rotel. A lot of people say that Rotel CD players are more forward sounding and a little brighter which is the complete opposite of the 541. The NAD is a little laid back with a lot of warmth which is what I prefer.
    Don't worry about the 18 vs 24bit. Both units will only output 16 bits of information. The only time you'll get higher than 16 bit is when the player is equipped with upsampling. I know the 541 doesn't have upsampling and I doubt the Rotel does it.

    Glad to hear you got your LSi9. Remember to post you review, we want to hear what you think of them especially compared to the Paradigms.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • pjdamipjdami Posts: 1,898
    edited March 2003
    Thanks Steve and Maurice for "helping me see the light". I understand now, although there seems to be a little experimentation to be held here also. I'm using the variable gain input on my power amp right now so I guess I could change this to fixed once I get a preamp and adjust the preamp output gain from the preamp? No need to adjust twice or tinker with both.

    So basically I would just have to find a reference volume setting on the preamp, adjust the preamp output gain to the power amp, and match my receiver settings for the other speakers running off the receiver with a SPL meter for HT use.

    Now, when I want to listen to just two channel music everything should be fine and I don't need to adjust the preamp output gain on the preamp anymore.

    Maurice, interesting comment about the "brightness" issue with Rotel that you have heard about. I'm definitely looking for "less bright" if I can. My room acoustics are very hard (ceramic tile floor). I do find the Rotel "less bright" than my Denon was (before I hooked up the LSi's because now everything has changed). I may have to ask the store owner if I can demo the NAD C541i in my living room acoustics to see if I like it better than the Rotel on my rig.

    The LSi9's....well its like "listening to grass grow". I'm being patient. They only have about 15 hours of play time on them. I really love the presentation that the tweeter provides. Its almost like I need to add treble it sounds very flat to me coming from RT35i's and the Studios (running treble on the receiver flat). Flat is what I'm looking for. The absence of "sibilance" I think is the word they use is very appealing. Bass is surprising from these little speakers. The midrange is not quite there yet but we'll let them break in for a couple more weeks.

    One thing I can say about all of this upgrading. Better stuff really makes bad recordings sound bad no matter what speakers, components, etc that you have. I have over 300 cds and I've been running through them and am amazed at how awesome some of them sound and how I can't even listen to other ones.

    thanks again,
    Paul
  • pjdamipjdami Posts: 1,898
    edited March 2003
    Hey Maurice,

    Another "wrench in the works". Looks like most of the pre-amps I'm looking at don't have a single LFE output for a powered sub. this means I'm going to have to use one set of pre-amp outputs on the new pre-amp that I have to purchase for an unfiltered signal to the sub which is about eight feet away from my audio rack.

    I really like the way the LFE sounds right now coming out the Yamaha. I guess the line level signal would be good too (I can filter at the sub) but that's a long interconnect that I'm going to have to get.

    Always a twist to any mod that you make....

    Paul
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited March 2003
    If you're getting the c160, there is an extra adjustable output. That's the one I'm using for my sub. I'm using a pair of four meter interconnect. The LSi9 sounds fantastic running full range though. My sub's filter is around 55Hz.
    Which pre amps are you checking out at the moment?

    Glad to hear your enjoying the new tweeters. They also sounded a little flat to me at first because I had the 800i's before the LSi, but after a while you realize that the thing missing from those ring radiators is distortion. After a few weeks, they'll really open up and they'll play flat all the way up beyond your hearing(You'll know what I mean). And I bet that after a month, you'll find most speakers to be bright and distorted sounding after you get used to the ring radiator.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • pjdamipjdami Posts: 1,898
    edited March 2003
    Hey Maurice,

    Let me know if you try the HT setup with the preamp and your Onkyo receiver like this thread tells how.

    I'm leaning towards the C160 obviously because its the match for the C270. I'm also looking at entry - level Adcom and B&K. I have a seperate thread started for that.

    Yes I am currently running my LSi9s full range too. My Yamaha has an option to run the mains at BOTH, Sub, and Main. I'm running at BOTH so the LSis get the full range. With some receivers (like Onkyo) I know that the sound sounds better with the mains set to small and bass to SUB. I find I like the mains set to LARGE and BOTH gives me some sound extension which is noticeable between 50 - 100 hz (approximately I'm not pulling out the frequency response meter on this one) but I can hear the difference and that's what counts.

    Are you running the variable preamp gain output to the fixed input on the C270? Are you using the soft-clip protect mode? I'm not using the soft-clip because I heard the sound was not as good (didn't try it though). I'm not going to abuse these speakers at all.

    The LSis soundstage reached my listening position chair yesterday. The first couple of days I could close my eyes and pin point where the speakers were (sounded directional). Now when I close my eyes the center image is strong in the center and seems to be improving. If it gets better than this I will be even more happier than now.

    Yes the tweet is amazing. I was listening to the Verve "Urban Hymns" cd last night and there are tracks on there that are totally awesome to listen to. Its amazing that you can get so much sound from a small little box like that. The bass is punchy and good too. Midrange is coming around and the midrange / highs seem to soar out of there. I've had them up to about 95 - 100 dbs at 10 feet away for a few tracks with absolutely no distortion at all. That's about the loudest I can tolerate music. I usually play around 80 - 85 dbs. More detailed review and shootuout with the pdimes coming in about two to three weeks.


    thanks for all the help dude,
    Paul
  • pjdamipjdami Posts: 1,898
    edited March 2003
    Well everybody,

    Just wanted to let ya'll know that I was successfull in achieving a two channel rig with the home theater speakers just like this thread shows how.

    I now have two channel stereo via components and use the Yamaha receiver to power the center and rears for home theater.
    Its a bit more complicated than just having a receiver that can do it all. You have to turn the preamp volume to a "reference" level and then use the volume on the receiver. More and more remotes...etc.

    After auditioning the Rotel 1055 receiver in my house this past weekend (it sounded just as good as my seperates and can do the home theater thing and drive LSis without breaking a sweat) I may end up moving the seperates with the Pdimes for two channel in my home office and use the Rotel in my living room.

    Eying that Rotel hard (in silver) now that I know I'm getting a wheelbarrow of dough back from Uncle Sam in tax return.
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited March 2003
    Glad to hear you got it working pj. It will be a while before I get surround sound again. My Oink has no pre-outs. After I get another C270 for bi-amping, I'm going to have to make a very hard decision. It will either be the NAD T-752 receiver or a Rega P2(or P3). I'm not sure if what I really want at the moment is the vinyl sound or surround sound AAAAGGGHHH.

    You made a good decision with the Rotel. I was also looking at the same model(recommended by mantis) but coundn't find any dealers around the area. Why don't you just save a bit more for the 1065? This is supposed to be one of the best flagship receivers. That thing is too pricey for me.

    Be sure to let us know how it turns out dude.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • organorgan Posts: 5,022
    edited March 2003
    Oops, I forgot your previous questions on the other post.
    Well my answer about the Oink has been answered there.

    I run the interconnects to the amp's fixed input. It's very likely that the signal will have to pass through a variable resistor(potentiometer) when using the variable input. So I try to avoid it to keep the signal as pure as possible.

    I'm not using the soft-clipping because of my pure signal thing. I have tried it a few times and couldn't tell the difference. The only time you'll hear a difference is when the amp is distorting. Soft-clipping graphs looks a lot like the distortion for tube. Maybe we can get tube sound if we push the amp hard enough with soft-clipping engaged. I think that the tube sound is created by distortion. They have high THD.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Receiver: Harman/Kardon HK3390
    Speakers: Polk Audio RT1000p
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**
  • pjdamipjdami Posts: 1,898
    edited March 2003
    Maurice,

    I heard the NAD 762 after the Rotel and the sound was extremely close on some Studio 40's in the dealer showroom. The cd player was a NAD C541i. The sound was so close that I asked my brother and the owner of the shop what they felt the difference was and that was in the sound of the bass. I can't remember which was which but one of the amps bass was a little tighter and the other amp rolled off a little. Both were very acceptable though. The T752 is basically the same as the T762 except not as much power. The Studio 40s sounded awesome in the dealer showroom because he has curtains on the wall front and back and carpeting. I've had trouble reproducing this sound in my living room with the 40s even though I have practically the same gear but my room acoustics are very lively.

    I also asked the dealer about the problems with NAD reliability some folks here on the forum have complained about. He said that the receiver series ending in "0" mostly and endiing in "1" were the troublesome gear. The new models ending in "2" for the receivers have had no problems. I trust my dealer and would have no objections to buying a NAD receiver myself. But a Rotel is a Rotel and even though it is rated at only 75 watts / channel the 1055 can keep up with my "mid-fi" seperates with ease driving the LSi 9's.

    I believe using the T752 as a preamp would sound better than using my Yammer or an Oink receiver for a preamp. No doubt about it. The NAD is designed to do this. I was also considering this option myself.

    Thanks again for all of the help Maurice. You bring good sensible knowlege to the forum and I have a high regard for your opinion.

    Paul
  • TonyPTXTonyPTX Posts: 545
    edited March 2003
    The NAD T762 had the tighter bass. The Rotel 1055 has a bit of a roll-off making it sound a bit more natural.
    Damn....8 lines...I've gotta put my sig on a diet now....
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