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Combining High End Audio with Home Cinema

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  • Combining High End Audio with Home Cinema

    Let me try to explain what I'd like to achieve

    For critical listening I'm using tubes but for less critical listening (during meals, background music, etc.) and for home cinema use I'd like to use transistors / class D amplification to save the tubes' lifetime. Any suggestions on merging these systems together without having to replug all cables, especially the loudspeakers?

    Any switching units commercially available?


  • #2
    I've always kept them separate, partly to avoid going insane. For a long time, I had a large projection system of one sort or another, with full sized racks filled with amps, video processing, monitoring screens and sub amps, etc. set up in the same room as my two channel hi-fi. But one was not connected to the other in any way, including power. (The HT system ran off a big isolation transformer from a 240v feed). All it required was reorienting seating position and moving some baffles so the 'back wall' (where the screen was) was covered to prevent reflections. The corner bass traps stayed in place at all times. I'm sure there are some folks here who have successfully done a mating of both kinds of systems and they will be more help than me. I didn't want to compromise the two channel system, didn't want to run a tube preamp from the that to facilitate the home theatre for the front channels, etc. It may also depend on how ambitious your HT is. I had big HT set ups since in the early '90s-- when laserdisc was the best medium, up through the Blu-Ray era. I got to a point where, for me, it was too much for too little. I now watch on a large HD flat screen in our parlor, not the listening room, with what I would consider modest HT components- a McIntosh multi-channel amp, a box-shop style Marantz pre-pro, some satellites and a decent sub. More than adequate for me now, but at one point, high end video was something that took up a lot of time and money. And, I didn't want to mess with the hi-fi. I wanted to come home, hit a button, and be entertained. Interested to see the more technical responses to merging without compromise. Here's what the last projection system looked like before it was torn down: Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      Use a common preamp into dual amps and speakers and just turn on the amps of choice?
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mono) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects


      • dirmae
        dirmae commented
        Editing a comment
        Do you mean connecting the loudspeaker to both amps at the same time?

      • JCOConnell
        JCOConnell commented
        Editing a comment
        no, that wouldn't work. two sets of speakers, each connected to different amps.

    • #4
      I have run an integrated audio video system for a long time - basically an audio system set up first to suit the sound and then a video system sized to suit the resultant speaker spacing etc., plus an AV receiver to manage surround sound channels.

      When I switched from solid state power amp to tube, I continued to use the tube amp for the main channels in video, but I understand what you are saying - tube life is a consideration and depending on what tubes you use, you might not want to use them up watching movies.

      I've thought about doing the same thing as you are talking about and using the now unused main channels of my AV receiver to drive the main channels too, but have concerns about either using a switching box for fear of degrading stereo sound - you can't hook up two different amps at the same time to speakers for fear of melt down. At the moment my thoughts are to attach a short (18" or so) umbilical to the speakers and use something like the Nutrik Speacon connectors so I could quickly disconnect one system and connect the other one. If I figure it out I'll post a solution.
      Main:VPI TNT V, SME V, Koetsu Urushi, Vendetta SCP2-D, Conrad Johnson Premier 14, Conrad Johnson Premier 11a, Wilson Maxx 2, Inouye power conditioner, Moon 280D DAC

      #2 Sota Cosmos, SME V, Lyra Clavis, Bryston BP17, Conrad Johnson Premier 15 phono, Classe DR3 VHC, Martin Logan CLS, Hegel HD12 DAC

      #3 Roksan Radius 5/Nima/Goldring Eroica LX Classe DR-7, Classe DR3 VHC bridged monos + PSE V monos (bass), Classe DAC1 DAC, Vandersteen 4A,

      #4 (AV) Marantz AV 7702 Mk2, Rowland 5, Wilson Maxx 2, Vandersteen VSM-1 (x4), Hsu VTF-15H Mk 2 (x2)


      • #5
        I do something similar to what you want to do, although it is not my main listening room, I have a 9.1 channel Yamaha RX Z 9 ( 900 watts ) surround amp, my front speakers are Fostex back loaded horns, I have a 300 B SET amp fed from a Wyred 4 sound dac for direct stereo from all the digital sources, through the front speakers. I switch amps by the use of an dual amplifier switch. It is a professional item that is used for whole house systems, the mgf. name slips me at the moment. It is a break before make, so there is no possibility of a melt down.

        I do not sense any degradation of the stereo sound. It works flawlessly.


        • wspohn
          wspohn commented
          Editing a comment
          Let me know if you come up with the name of the manufacturer of the switch!

        • don
          don commented
          Editing a comment
          I found it,
          Niles ABA-1D Crutchfeild has it for $69.95, I installed it into a project box with hard wired speaker terminals and with a push of the switch you can change amplifiers.

        • cpp
          cpp commented
          Editing a comment
          This works as well ,

      • #6
        The best solution for me is to have 2 different systems in 2 different rooms


        • #7
          Thanks everyone for the suggestions