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Upgrade/technical advice req. for newbie Re: 'Scatmos' type set-up

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This is my first post, so sorry if it rambles on a bit, just trying to give a full and clear picture. I have been doing a lot of reading here and have picked up a lot of fantastic info....I do have a a few questions relating to an upgrade I am considering and I'm hoping some of you may be able to assist with setting me straight because the more I read the more confused I am getting.


What I have -

The system I have currently is a Pioneer VSX-919AH with 58" 4k display.  Room size is 7m x 5m, with MLP in the centre of the 7m rear wall

4 front speakers - Dali AXS5000 and some large mid 70s vintage 3-ways which were my Fathers. I know some might say I prob shouldn't run the 4 fronts but it is a sentimental thing. A Klipsch Centre channel, Klipsch Quintet III surrounds (about to be upgraded to Klipsch C2 and S2's - already purchased along with some F2's at a great price, just waiting on delivery) and 2 Klipsch Sub-10's - one at either end of the couch, approx 6.5m apart with MLP central to that and an old Cerwin-Vega Sub LW-10X, central at the front of the room, beneath the display.

As I'm using A+B, I have to forego the Surround backs and since I have no Pre-outs I can't use an external amp.

I will add, that I am perfectly happy with the current setup but I would like to make it more expansive, for no other reason I guess, than because I can.


What I would like to achieve -

I would like to be able to continue using A+B but also include Surround Backs and some height channels,  2-4 or maybe expand to 6 at a later time (I have space to install in-wall or external Surround Back's and in-ceiling speakers).


I have looked at posts on AVS Forum about 'Franken-Atmos' and 'Scatmos' setups which I find very interesting but also confusing as I do not have the technical electronics knowledge to know which receiver's will perform the certain functions I need. That being said, I am open to any suggestions.


What I'm considering - but open to suggestions

Pioneer SC-LX89 (13.2ch Pre-outs, 3xHDMI out)

Denon AVR-4400H (11.2ch Pre-outs, 3xHDMI out)


Both support Dolby Surround which appeals to me for non-Atmos content up-mixing.


Some of my questions:

1 - If I upgrade to one of the above AVR's - can I use one of the HDMI outs - into the Pioneer VSX-919AH, to use as an external amp, running the 'B' or even 'A+B" speakers?

2 - or - If I use the Pre-outs, to an external Amp or the old AVR, does this disable the internal amplification to the corresponding speaker posts?


Any advice or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you.



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I guess the first thing you probably need to ask yourself is . . . . do you like the sound that comes out of the vintage 3 ways by themselves.  If so maybe you should consider a setup where you run the 3 ways only for 2 channel music via a seperate integrated amp.  I would think (and im sure others will correct me if i am wrong) that you are going to get a different sound out of the vintage speakers to what you get out of the Dali's and the interaction between the 2 means you are probably not getting the best out of either of them.


So first question is (from my perspective).  Sound quality or sound volume.  Try turning off the vintage and listening for a while . . . then turn off the dali's and listen for a while.  See what you like better and then go form there

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2 hours ago, Crispy75 said:

Some of my questions:

1 - If I upgrade to one of the above AVR's - can I use one of the HDMI outs - into the Pioneer VSX-919AH, to use as an external amp, running the 'B' or even 'A+B" speakers?

2 - or - If I use the Pre-outs, to an external Amp or the old AVR, does this disable the internal amplification to the corresponding speaker posts?




I'm a fan of the Denon as I happen to like the Audyssey room correction if you wanted to use that in future. 


In theory you could cascade the HDMI output into a second AVR, but you'll likely have two problems.  One is that you may get downmixing in the main channel, depending on the units and what you attach.  The second and bigger issue for me would be the fact that, as I understand it, the HDMI wouldn't pass down any volume changes from the main unit, so you'd have to adjust volume independently.  Either through a zone two control or using the second amp's volume.  Not my idea of fun.


Using the pre-outs on either unit will be a much better solution if your secondary amplifier has a multi-channel analog input (most should).  That way you get volume tracking and only need to level match once.  This won't disable the internal amplification but if you don't have a speaker attached to the speaker output it's consuming little power and won't cause you any issues.


My actual recommendation would be to get the multi-channel AVR of your choice and try it as the only audio source to begin.  Then try it with your old amp driving the front speakers and then again driving some surrounds and see if either option actually sounds any different to you.  It's a lot of complexity to add two amps unless you're getting a real audio improvement. 






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Thank you, Steffan and Damian,


You both make really good points and have made me realise that I am probably overthinking this.

Steffan - It isn't about the volume, I really do like the sound of the 2 sets combined, fills the room with a real 'richness' if you will, but to be fair, I haven't listened to them any other way - So I will endeavor to do that very soon, as I do agree with what you are saying and yes, the 3-ways for 2ch music is also a great idea that will appease my sentimentality.


Damian, I think I will follow your suggestion and look for the AVR that I want and try it out stand-alone for  a while. I can always play around with the other options later.


Really appreciate the advice, thanks guys.





HT Setup.jpg

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