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Am having a few thoughts about setting up a small home theatre in conjunction with my two channel setup.  The stereo speakers are  enormous, active, 6-way horn loudspeakers.  They sound fab.  Yesterday I trialled the headphone out socket of my tv (LG CX OLED) into my stereo preamp and the sound was decent...looks like they will work as front left and right.  They are fullrange and give in-room response from 15Hz - 50kHz, so no separate sub channel will be required for surround sound.  The idea is to add some surround speakers and perhaps a centre speaker which I can make/buy and build some nice Class A amps for them. 

 

So, what I am looking for is something that I can turn on with the tv that will take the input from the tv (optical or eARC - Netflix, Prime etc.), input from a blu-ray player etc., do the surround processing and then spit that out to the respective amplifiers for the speakers.  I know that AVR's can do this, I have a Denon something-or-other downstairs, but I do not need the amps in an AVR and would prefer not to end up with a bulky box full of stuff that is largely unused.  Not being particularly familiar with the HT stuff, I thought I would ask for opinion/options/advice.

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if planning on amps later anyways or adding amps... then just get a processor. 

 

if dont need the latest processing and such can pick up a processor relatively affordably...

 

does your 2ch pre amp have a ht bypass ? in that can utilise that to feed the ht av processor signal for ht duties...

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@betty boop, no, the stereo pre that I am using now does not have HT bypass, but it is easy enough to facilitate.  One consideration is that my stereo amps need about 4Vrms to hit their straps so the processor would need to have higher output than most, or I add a gain stage into the HT bypass, which again is not that difficult to do.

 

Any suggestions for directions to look regarding decent processors?

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1 minute ago, acg said:

@betty boop, no, the stereo pre that I am using now does not have HT bypass, but it is easy enough to facilitate.  One consideration is that my stereo amps need about 4Vrms to hit their straps so the processor would need to have higher output than most, or I add a gain stage into the HT bypass, which again is not that difficult to do.

 

Any suggestions for directions to look regarding decent processors?

as long as not wanting anything cutting edge, should pick up a marantz processor affordably ... tend to pop up here regularly :) 

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seems tivoli hifi has a 8803.... not sure if @jimsan can help you on that one...

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Marantz-AV8003-AV-Processor/202700400501?hash=item2f31e2a775:g:aLQAAOSweF1eOhDR

 

its not latest gen but given you are basically going to feed it off TV just for audio ... it doesnt need to be...

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1 hour ago, acg said:

Any suggestions for directions to look regarding decent processors?

NAD Dirac Live.

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16 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

NAD Dirac Live.

+1

 

Or Anthem AVM60 with Anthem Room Correction.

----

To OP, It depends on what you want to spend. An AVR with preouts tend to be cheaper that a prepro, which is usually better built.

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2 hours ago, betty boop said:

seems tivoli hifi has a 8803.... not sure if @jimsan can help you on that one...

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Marantz-AV8003-AV-Processor/202700400501?hash=item2f31e2a775:g:aLQAAOSweF1eOhDR

 

its not latest gen but given you are basically going to feed it off TV just for audio ... it doesnt need to be...

 

Thanks.  I'll have a look at that.  Purchased a turntable through them last year so already have a relationship with the store.

 

1 hour ago, davewantsmoore said:

NAD Dirac Live.

Ok Dave...is that a push for NAD or a push for room correction?  I'll assume the latter.   If I went down the room correction road, what about something like a DAC8 Pro + Dirac Live...would still need a processor.  Just noticed on ASR that the new Denon AVR's measure really well (for AVR's) and the new Audessy correction as well...tempting and cheap at $2.5k.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, acg said:

Ok Dave...is that a push for NAD or a push for room correction?  I'll assume the latter.

The NADs are good units regardless.... 

Quote

If I went down the room correction road, what about something like a DAC8 Pro + Dirac Live...would still need a processor.

Yes, then you'd still need something for all your other sources that weren't your computer (unless you are like me, and don't have any others - I run liveTV, movies, music, everything, through a PC)

 

OTOH an AV preamp will do HDMI, lip sync, swithcing between lots of sources, with volume/EQ memory, etc. etc. etc.

.... and you can turn on correction.

 

Quote

  Just noticed on ASR that the new Denon AVR's measure really well (for AVR's) and the new Audessy correction as well...tempting and cheap at $2.5k.

 

Edited by davewantsmoore

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1 hour ago, acg said:

Just noticed on ASR that the new Denon AVR's measure really well (for AVR's) and the new Audessy correction as well...tempting and cheap at $2.5k.

They do [and good to see Denon working with Amir to confirm such ]:) https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/denon-avr-x4700-avr-review-updated.14493/

 

Only issue is if you require 4v pre out [with this particular model; theres the 3600 as well ] a gain stage will be needed 

Quote

As you see, the best performance is around 1.1 volts which produces over 100 dB SINAD (dashboard uses 2 volt output so gets lower SINAD). With the amp turned on, the highest you can go is 1.4 volts before clipping occurs and performance drops precipitously. So make sure to look up the specifications for your external amplifier to see what its "sensitivity" is that generates its maximum power. If it is below 1.4 volts, then you are good.

 

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Posted (edited)

A few of us run Oppo Bluray players as a prepro, but getting hard to find and prices going up. 

 

But makes for a condensed set up when it's packaged into a Bluray player with HDMI inputs, USB inputs and ARC. 

 

Output is 2.0V though. 

 

I'm running a 4.0 setup with the Oppo down mixing. 

Edited by DrSK

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My marantz av8003 has been running 10 years

 

does dolby true HD , DTS master audio , xlr out , rca out

 

doesnt do Atmos of course 

 

 

never had an issue with it57CBFE5E-A9D9-4721-8270-1CE979ABC5AD.thumb.jpeg.d61ffc08c6203d0cff532fdc03c86d22.jpeg

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13 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

 

Yes, then you'd still need something for all your other sources that weren't your computer (unless you are like me, and don't have any others - I run liveTV, movies, music, everything, through a PC)

 

I was thinking of a universal disc player such as the Oppo 205, or Pioneer LX-800 whenever it manages to get to Aus. It would be nice to watch some concerts that I have here on DVD...could find some more on bluray.  Other than that, all the streaming services come from the TV right now.  

 

13 hours ago, davewantsmoore said:

OTOH an AV preamp will do HDMI, lip sync, swithcing between lots of sources, with volume/EQ memory, etc. etc. etc.

.... and you can turn on correction.

 

I think these are the clichers for going with an AVR or PrePro.

 

12 hours ago, cwt said:

Only issue is if you require 4v pre out [with this particular model; theres the 3600 as well ] a gain stage will be needed 

The two channel preamp is made by me.  Adding a HT bypass with a suitable gain stage is relatively simple.

 

10 hours ago, DrSK said:

A few of us run Oppo Bluray players as a prepro, but getting hard to find and prices going up. 

 

But makes for a condensed set up when it's packaged into a Bluray player with HDMI inputs, USB inputs and ARC. 

 

Output is 2.0V though. 

 

I'm running a 4.0 setup with the Oppo down mixing. 

 

I have a wanted advert for a 205 in the classifieds here.  We will see what happens, but not even a nibble thus far. 

 

There is always the Pioneer LX800 when it gets here, and a matching LX series AVR which is supposed to have the HDMI "jitter free", which seems an issue with HDMI as a format from what I can see.

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4 minutes ago, acg said:

I was thinking of a universal disc player such as the Oppo 205, or Pioneer LX-800 whenever it manages to get to Aus. It would be nice to watch some concerts that I have here on DVD...could find some more on bluray.  Other than that, all the streaming services come from the TV right now.  

if its just DVD or blu-ray do you need such high end players ... its a lot of money and you are paying for UHD aspect. unless that is part of plan as well ? if looking at UHD something like the pana ub9000 is a lot cheaper and is also a very good player. I have both the oppo and ub9000. if its just over hdmi ub820 will do. if wanting pioneer there is the lx500 am pretty sure too in lower rung players the 800 brings audio over analog if planning to use ? paying for that with most of the upper end players ....

 

what do you envisage as future with regards sources ? as this is departure from the OP which was more about audio off the telly ? which literally anything as i indicated would do processor wise... and would give opportunity to go for quality rather than the swiss army knife AVR approach.. .where paying for amps and features unlikely to use ? unless planning to use all that ?

 

 

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@betty boop, sorry if I have led you astray.

 

The room is predominantly music based: stereo.  It is my (home) office and during the day I listen to a lot of records on my very good turntable and a lot of tunes via my very good stereo usb dac and the associated large digital/analogue audio collection.  Occasionally, I will stream a youtube performance or two from the pc to the stereo setup and Tidal also from time to time.   There are a number of DVD's of classical performances that I would like to be able watch with appropriate excellent stereo sound, hence the talk of the Oppo or Pioneer UDP's.  I would buy more dvd/bluray performances should I be able to play them in the music room...I even have some SACD's.  The room is treated, with more treatment planned and underway.

 

Then last week I decided that I wanted video reprodution in the room as well and purchased a decent tv and mounted it on the wall and plugged it into the stereo system.   Happy days.  Now my wife is enjoying watching stuff upstairs with me in the warmth of a room heated by more than two dozen vacuum tubes, and she has noticed enough to greatly prefer the sound upstairs compared to the modest HT downstairs (has not noticed the awesome picture on the tele though!).  So, if I am going to shift our viewing to upstairs I should set up surround sound and I am just trying to figure out the most appropriate way to do it.  I don't work with budgets, and do not have one, but am relying on gaining enough understanding of the options so that I can make a value judgement on which way to proceed.

 

For instance, Nick Cave is live streaming a concert this week and some friends are coming over to watch it in the Music Room with us.  Probably, not much to be gained in that performance with better dacs than those in the Denon/Pioneer/Marantz AVR's, and to be honest I don't know if that is even stereo let alone surround streaming and the headphone jack on the TV seems not too bad for sound.  But watching/listening to a DVD of Celibidache conducting Bruckners 9th in all its glory, I would want the best sound I could muster which is why the Pioneer LX-800 UDP is in the mix.  I could also play the Pink Floyd SACD's, find come blu-ray concerts, watch movies with my family.

 

So, this morning I am leaning towards a Pioneer LX AVR pairing that with the LX-800 UDP later in the year when it arrives.  Yesterday afternoon I though the Dac8Pro/Dirac Studio Live/PC/PrePro idea was great and the preceeding morning the mid-level PrePro/AVR/Oppo 205 was the sweet spot.  All the advice in this thread has broadened my horizon, which is great, and was my aim when starting it. 

 

I still do not know where I will go with this, but the basic requirements have morphed to these:

  • Streaming services somewhere (currently from Smart TV)
  • Surround sound processing and multi channel audio
  • High quality UDP somewhere in the mix
  • Room correction for multi-channel listening 

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39 minutes ago, acg said:
  •  Streaming services somewhere (currently from Smart TV)
  • Surround sound processing and multi channel audio
  • High quality UDP somewhere in the mix
  • Room correction for multi-channel listening 

basically anything from last 5 years will still do all this... even the very latest formats and such... if leaving your options open  

 

by all means buy latest pio and combo if what takes fancy :) ..ultimately have to buy what it is hits the spot for you...what you find ultimately pleasing (all around and for reasons that matter to you)

 

picking up on some of your requirements,

 

i will say this in streaming... you can do better with stand alone streamers (eg appletv4k) than the apps and what's built into telly's. streaming as a general rule and I have access to the main platforms ... does not yield THE best picture or audio... for that is where discs rule... why i have good disc players.... the reason i have a good universal disc player like the oppo is because i like both 2ch and multichannel audio. 2ch i send through stereo via analog and coax to a dac. multi ch via hdmi to the av system .... best of both worlds....if i was just doing multichannel there would be no need for the oppo 205 and something like 203 without the awesome dacs of the 205 would be all necessary....eg in the pios id go the lx500 over 800...

 

surround processing and multichannel audio really anything from last 5 years again will do absolutely everything can throw at it... if dont need 3D audio ie not putting speakers up in the ceiling for 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 then even the 10 year old 8003 is perfectly suitable as does all the lossless formats...

 

room correction ... I wouldn't limit your av choice based on that as EQ schemes as i do believe are only cherry on top. and even top line EQ like audyssey XT32 from 10 years ago is totally capable to handle the challenges of most rooms....anything further probably should be working to fix the actual room ! 

 

with no budget i just do hope you end up with focus on sound quality rather than be paying for bells and whistles thats all... its just that seems to be a big focus on AVR lines(its how the OEMs make money getting people to turn over units for latest)... eg even with denon & marantz their guy is on record (on their recent line) saying the processing on AVRs is there for those folks who initially buy avr for amps...then add amps so can upgrade later to their stand alone processor... I say if dont need amps just skip to the processor instead....

 

some brands like pioneer dont make a processor... only make AVRS... or brands like nad you'd have to spend a small fortune on their processor... alternatively for sound quality go back catalog anything form 2015-6 onwards will get you top quality on the audio side, all need on video and not necessarily paying for all the bells and whistles of latest greatest units :)

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54 minutes ago, acg said:

I still do not know where I will go with this

On the "quality" side of the equation.

 

Consider that your abilty to corrctly set the frequency response, levels and delays between your channels will be the most important detrerminant of the overall quality (aside from having well-enough designed speakers for each channel).

 

Not better dacs, or seperates, or anything else.    I think you need a well featured AV processor (AVR with preouts for LR) whih can do all this for you.... and do a good job of downmixing your centre channel into your L/R.

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32 minutes ago, betty boop said:

i will say this in streaming... you can do better with stand alone streamers (eg appletv4k) than the apps and what's built into telly's. streaming as a general rule and I have access to the main platforms ...

 

Well, that is a question that I should have asked earlier, about streaming device quality.  I assume there is not much to compete with AppleTV4k or the TelstraTV?  We have an AppleTV of some kind downstairs and it is ok to use...never thought of it as being a better option that that built into the new TV.

 

38 minutes ago, betty boop said:

with no budget i just do hope you end up with focus on sound quality rather than be paying for bells and whistles thats all... its just that seems to be a big focus on AVR lines(its how the OEMs make money getting people to turn over units for latest)... eg even with denon & marantz their guy is on record (on their recent line) saying the processing on AVRs is there for those folks who initially buy avr for amps...then add amps so can upgrade later to their stand alone processor... I say if dont need amps just skip to the processor instead....

Sound quality is where it is at for me.  Unfortunately being able to audition these things is next to impossible.  Never thought I would say it, but those few ASR AVR reviews were very useful.  Did have a look at the NAD processor at $10k and noticed that not many other brands seem to offer them, so I just though that the AVR route was a little more likely.  Don't need and won't use the amps in an AVR though.

 

12 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Consider that your abilty to corrctly set the frequency response, levels and delays between your channels will be the most important detrerminant of the overall quality (aside from having well-enough designed speakers for each channel).

I figured this.  Well enough designed speakers is also a tough ask I think, but those are thoughts for another time.

 

13 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

and do a good job of downmixing your centre channel into your L/R.

Do you mean foregoing a centre channel installation?  Going 4.0?  This had crossed my mind considering that the speakers sit a long way out into the room and the TV is back on the wall.  If this is what you mean I don't know what to look for in a processor that can do this. 

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12 minutes ago, acg said:

Well, that is a question that I should have asked earlier, about streaming device quality.  I assume there is not much to compete with AppleTV4k or the TelstraTV?  We have an AppleTV of some kind downstairs and it is ok to use...never thought of it as being a better option that that built into the new TV.

will soon find when get into things how clunky and limiting the apps on the telly are for both PQ and sound quality. though if never to use the apple tv 4k probably never know :D 

 

12 minutes ago, acg said:

Sound quality is where it is at for me.  Unfortunately being able to audition these things is next to impossible.  Never thought I would say it, but those few ASR AVR reviews were very useful.  Did have a look at the NAD processor at $10k and noticed that not many other brands seem to offer them, so I just though that the AVR route was a little more likely.  Don't need and won't use the amps in an AVR thoug

the problem with ASR ... they dont actually listen and their testing is very limited ... coax usually only. how on earth can you review with no actual listening I have no idea ! 

 

nad will see their v1 processor now superseded at half price... though being age it is ... i wouldn't bank on it doing all you need. any processor from 2015-6 from marantz though will both on audio and video...if feeding multiple sources to a processor to feed a telly you want to stick to something last 5 years... and pay for sound quality and will do all you want :) plenty of brands do processors, anthem, nad been mentioned, theres arcam etc..though if looking at anything bar marantz ... id want to check its fully capable for your needs. 

 

12 minutes ago, acg said:

Do you mean foregoing a centre channel installation?  Going 4.0?  This had crossed my mind considering that the speakers sit a long way out into the room and the TV is back on the wall.  If this is what you mean I don't know what to look for in a processor that can do this. 

given what you say - describe below

 

1 hour ago, acg said:

Happy days.  Now my wife is enjoying watching stuff upstairs with me in the warmth of a room heated by more than two dozen vacuum tubes, and she has noticed enough to greatly prefer the sound upstairs compared to the modest HT downstairs (has not noticed the awesome picture on the tele though!).  So, if I am going to shift our viewing to upstairs I should set up surround sound and I am just trying to figure out the most appropriate way to do it

please dont forgo the centre channel. its one of THe most important speakers in a surrounds setup. once you place yourself off centre... eg watching with anyone else ... you will very much want the centre channel especially with a TV to lock vocals etc to screen where belong this is especially case with speakers long ways out into room etc. its not like you have L&R mains stuck next to the TV do you ? doesnt sound like it :)

 

any unit going back to forever had phantom centre modes. I have used and played with a few as have like you intend both a 2ch and AV setup in same room and can say without a doubt a phantom centre does not replace a true centre...

 

probably fine if you were just going to watch on your lonesome and what you do...but doesnt sound like it by your description... and especially given your skills where am sure could do a centre that would match in perfectly to suit :) and amp to go to drive adequately.... usually you hear of fans of the phantom centre ...but they are usually stereo guys or folks who realistically either can't fit a centre in due to price or unavailability to match what they, but that doesnt sound like your case... :)  

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13 minutes ago, betty boop said:

the problem with ASR ... they dont actually listen and their testing is very limited ... coax usually only. how on earth can you review with no actual listening I have no idea ! 

True.  HDMI and coax have been included in several of the tests I saw, even Toslink.  But it is nice to see at least some numbers because my stereo speakers are circa 110dB/w/m sensitivity and any level of noise upstream will definitely be heard.  Also, having an idea of dac performance is interesting and relatively important, including the sweet spot for the pre-outs.

 

My problem is that I need to make a decision on a processor without listening and other than measured specs. I am unsure how to determine which units are going to sound great.  I doubt that price is a great indicator.

 

55 minutes ago, betty boop said:

please dont forgo the centre channel.

Ok.  Point taken. 

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1 hour ago, acg said:

I figured this.  Well enough designed speakers is also a tough ask I think, but those are thoughts for another time.

By well enough, I mean "not bad"..... after this, where you put them in your room is going to be as much of a handbrake as anything else  (or, as mentioned, not having the ability to set the right FR, delay, levels, etc.... or more complex correction, if like most people your room is perfectly sized, layed out, and symertrical)

 

1 hour ago, acg said:

Do you mean foregoing a centre channel installation?

Yes.  Anyone who tells you to place a C in between your speakers is smoking something strong.  The will be diffraction problems, and the coverage pattern will not (understatement) match.   It will be a mess.... and if you think about the goemetry/size of your room, there is no spatial advantage to be had.

 

You'll get away with it for surround channels (due to the physical separation, and the lower amount of panning between those channels vs LCR)

 

High quality speakers (especially highly directional ones) make a "phantom" centre that will blow your mind (as in waaay better than a dedicated C speaker).    C is really only needed in a big/v. wide room.

1 hour ago, acg said:

Going 4.0?

Yes, you'll need something with good bass management and down-mixing.    I'm not sure about using a player for this (like your 205 thought).   A highly featured AV proc/amp will do it.

1 hour ago, acg said:

  This had crossed my mind considering that the speakers sit a long way out into the room and the TV is back on the wall.  If this is what you mean I don't know what to look for in a processor that can do this. 

Practically every single processor/AVR in existence can do it.    You just tell it the C isn't connected in speaker setup.   How well they do it can be variable... but these days any reasonable processor does a flawless job.

 

1 hour ago, betty boop said:

to lock vocals etc to screen

I would encourage you to hear a properly configured set of stereo speakers on downmix.

 

My room is 4.5m wide ....  I can sit almost against one wall (ie. directly in front of one of the L/R horns) .... it sounds like the sound if coming directly out of the TV screen.... spookily suspended in space.

 

 

Ant.  There is no need for guestimates here.... You can test this right now and figure out who to listen to.

 

Get some test material, and listen.   If you hear the centre channel, just like you would (you can try from all your seats) if you had a centre speaker there.... then you know who's right.    If you don't hear it.... then I would urge you to ponder why (I can provide some advice there too, if needed).

 

Essentially it boils down to the question.   If I sit in (random) seat in my room... and I measure L, and then R.... do they have the same frequency response and level? ..... or is one distorted because of the axis to the speaker(s) or the distance to the speaker.    In short, this whole question/issue is why people build horns (and why horns sound good).

 

Anyways... try it.   You can find some test material in the first parts of this thread.

 

FWIW, they are right about the "issue with phantom centre" ..... BUT, it is over stated compared to any compromised encountered with using or placing a C speaker in a room.    Said another way, if you place a C speaker poorly, or it has a less than idea radiation pattern.... then it's going to be a backwards step, compared to very well setup L+R.......   That being said, if the room is such that you need a C ..... OR the L+R are such that they aren't setup well (ie. they're not capable of producing a convincing centre image) ..... then using a C will be an improvement.

 

Of course..... L+R speaker which can't produce a convincing C from many seats .... are not good for AV or for music.  So, this whole issue  is actually quite the litmus test for well setup stereo.

1 hour ago, betty boop said:

probably fine if you were just going to watch on your lonesome

Actually.... In Anothoys setup.... I'd say that the least (negaitve) impact from adding a C speaker.... would be from sitting in the "sweet spot". .....   sitting in other positions the actual neagitve impact of the C would be worse    (due to both diffraction problems, and coverage pattern differences) ..... At least from one single central location, the issues would be symetrical.

1 hour ago, betty boop said:

where am sure could do a centre that would match in perfectly to suit

Now this I would like to see.     "we're gone need a bigger boat"   (Ant will need to upgrade the floor again).

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54 minutes ago, acg said:

True.  HDMI and coax have been included in several of the tests I saw, even Toslink.  But it is nice to see at least some numbers because my stereo speakers are circa 110dB/w/m sensitivity and any level of noise upstream will definitely be heard.  Also, having an idea of dac performance is interesting and relatively important, including the sweet spot for the pre-outs.

unfortunately and all credit to amirm, been following many many years... but its all over place. sometimes toslinlk, sometimes hdmi... yes good to see numbers... but where is the listening. how on earth can talk about sound when dont listen :D 

 

I see what are units very capable of fantastic end result... dissed as "not recommended" is just wrong quite frankly... on just measurements and nothing about how they actually sounds with no listening  done.... ? 

 

56 minutes ago, acg said:

My problem is that I need to make a decision on a processor without listening and other than measured specs. I am unsure how to determine which units are going to sound great.  I doubt that price is a great indicator.

I understands your predicament of buying a processor without listening...... but then going on reviews that also dont do listening tests ... hope see disconnect there :D 

 

price is not always a good indicator no...particularly since marketing rule no 1 charge what the market will bare ... and while there is still a case generally of get what pay for(eg going up makers range)...its the latest and greatest that usually always be the most expensive ....and the other problem we see is such mark up here vs overseas... creating some dilemmas and disparity between brands.... some are indeed better value than others.... but buying 2nd hand or demo or superseded yet very capable units does ease this a little :) 

 

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43 minutes ago, acg said:

True.  HDMI and coax have been included in several of the tests I saw, even Toslink.  But it is nice to see at least some numbers because my stereo speakers are circa 110dB/w/m sensitivity

This is the wrong way to think about the issue.

 

It is not the speaker sensitivity which is relevant.... but the gain structure.

 

Think about it.....

 

1.  You have a source, which outputs a signal that has a peak of 2v... and it has "some" noise.

2.  There is something in between (two examples .... a 88dB/w speaker.... and a 110dB/w speaker)

3.  There is the result.    110dB peak accoustic pressure .... and there is "some" noise.

 

Both these two systems amplify the 2v+noise by the SAME amount to get to 110dB at your ear.   The noise will be the same level for both.

 

What often happens (poor structure) ....  the pre and/or amp, has too much gain .... and so the source gets turned down.   Now you have a similar amount of noise as earlier from the source (due to the way noise works in digital systems) ..... but a way lower signal.   ie. lower SNR.    Now when it gets increased to 110dB at your ear, the noise is big.

 

So... with your preamp that you will have to build a special input for (excellent....) you can figure it out so the source is running at 100% signal output, to get 100% signal at your ears.    The noise will be inaudible (because it's 100+dB below the signal.... which is something like 10 or 20dB in room SPL.... which is inaudible) .... and it's got little to do with the overall speaker sensitivity   (aside from the fact that having high sensitivity speakers (and a system with too  much gain) ..... can be the thing that leads people down the "poor gain structure" path.

 

 

43 minutes ago, acg said:

Ok.  Point taken. 

Phew... that's turned into "one of those posts"... Heheheh..  :) 

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Thanks so much so far guys.  Good thing about a prepro is that if I do need the centre speaker then I just change a few settings, add the speaker and be done with it.

 

@davewantsmoore, these speakers image in mono, loads of depth anyway, width is limited of course.  I have no doubt that they will works as intended sans centre channel...or at least I hope my confidence is confirmed.

 

4 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

It is not the speaker sensitivity which is relevant.... but the gain structure.

 

I am a little pedantic about gain structure, and I will have no more gain than required to get loud enough with quiet material.  

 

So, a PrePro/AVR is locked in...just gotta find one.

 

Streaming source is sorted:  AppleTV4k. 

 

Perhaps it is time to think about speaker types for the surrounds.  Dave, given your knowledge of my system, would you look toward directional surrounds, or a wider dispersion?  Speakers will be 1m behind and 3m offset to the sweet spot.  without knowing enough, my tendency would be towards horns/ribbons but on a much smaller scale than the fronts.  

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59 minutes ago, davewantsmoore said:

Phew... that's turned into "one of those posts"... Heheheh..  :) 

 

No, not at all.  This is the kind of talk I need to pick up what you are putting down...

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