A

_Alex_

Enthusiast
Hello all,

I am willing to purchase an AVR to upgrade my system.
Basically I have a pair of floorstanding speakers with a HiFi amplifier, but I would like to add a subwoofer for everyday listening + a center speaker for movies.
When listening to music, the AVR would be used as a preamp / source selector and send the signal to 2 power amp: one for the speakers, the other one for the sub.
Some AVR propose "pure direct", or "straight" modes.
As I am very new with AVR, I would like to know if it is possible to have full range unaltered signal at preout?

I indeed have a DSP that would be in charge of the crossover and the Eq.

I tried to read the manuals but unfortunatly it is still not clear to me.

I plan to get a second hand amp, like the marantz NR1608/1609/1610, the yamaha RX-v781/785 or the denon x3500/3600
For the yamaha rx-v781 for example, it seems that Music mode -> stereo - > 7ch would do the job. But still, not sure if HPF or LPF is mandatory

Any help is welcomed!!
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Hello all,

I am willing to purchase an AVR to upgrade my system.
Basically I have a pair of floorstanding speakers with a HiFi amplifier, but I would like to add a subwoofer for everyday listening + a center speaker for movies.
When listening to music, the AVR would be used as a preamp / source selector and send the signal to 2 power amp: one for the speakers, the other one for the sub.
Some AVR propose "pure direct", or "straight" modes.
As I am very new with AVR, I would like to know if it is possible to have full range unaltered signal at preout?

I indeed have a DSP that would be in charge of the crossover and the Eq.

I tried to read the manuals but unfortunatly it is still not clear to me.

I plan to get a second hand amp, like the marantz NR1608/1609/1610, the yamaha RX-v781/785 or the denon x3500/3600
For the yamaha rx-v781 for example, it seems that Music mode -> stereo - > 7ch would do the job. But still, not sure if HPF or LPF is mandatory

Any help is welcomed!!
I think those in your short list are good especially the X3500/3600H. I would highly recommend the Denon ones because I happened to have the X3400H for a couple weeks and during that time I compared it carefully with one of my separates (Parasound A21 and Cambridge Audio 840E preamp). The X3400H, driving my KEF R900 and the harder to drive LS50 sounded just as good, heard no difference. Also plotted some graphs with REW, found no difference either.

The Marantz NR series don't use HDAMs so their preamp signal path have the same parts as the Denon's and the circuitry are practically the same. So if you plan on using the pre outs only, the Marantz should be just as good as the Denon's.

If you have 1 or 2 subwoofers, there will not likely be any gain in using anything else other than the AVR-X3500 or 3600H with Audyssey as those come with XT32 and Sub EQ HT that will time align two subwoofers and then EQ them as 1.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
Adding a subwoofer is a good addition not just for movies but for music too as even most tower speakers can not play down to 20Hz. Whether you need the centre channel may depend on the room size, distance from the speakers and distance between the main speakers. If the speakers are close together, on either side of the TV screen, then sometimes it can fine running a "phantom centre". If the centre speaker is too close to the mains they can interfere with each other. If your mains are far apart then a centre can be a good addition as well.

Most AVRs will give you some flexibility. Audyssey will set speaker distances for time alignment and also EQ each speaker. You should be able to toggle the EQ on and off if you just want time alignment but no EQ. "Pure Direct" mode will bypass all signal processing but should still cross over to the sub. Stereo mode just disables the centre channel if you want 2-channel music with processing.

You want the AVR to handle the sub crossover point as the subwoofer out on the AVR also passes low frequency effects (LFE) for movies. The crossover setting sets the LPF/HPF for the sub/mains and is typically around 80Hz. The LFE setting controls the LPF for movie effects sent to the subwoofer out and that should be set to maximum (usually 120Hz).
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Adding a subwoofer is a good addition not just for movies but for music too as even most tower speakers can not play down to 20Hz.
To nitpick I'd say most towers can play down to 20 Hz but just not very loud. :)
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
To nitpick I'd say most towers can play down to 20 Hz but just not very loud. :)
Yes, that is nitpicking. :D
Forgot to ask whether the op wants to EQ just the subs with the DSP or subs and mains. That would complicate matters.
 
A

_Alex_

Enthusiast
I think those in your short list are good especially the X3500/3600H. I would highly recommend the Denon ones because I happened to have the X3400H for a couple weeks and during that time I compared it carefully with one of my separates (Parasound A21 and Cambridge Audio 840E preamp). The X3400H, driving my KEF R900 and the harder to drive LS50 sounded just as good, heard no difference. Also plotted some graphs with REW, found no difference either.

The Marantz NR series don't use HDAMs so their preamp signal path have the same parts as the Denon's and the circuitry are practically the same. So if you plan on using the pre outs only, the Marantz should be just as good as the Denon's.

If you have 1 or 2 subwoofers, there will not likely be any gain in using anything else other than the AVR-X3500 or 3600H with Audyssey as those come with XT32 and Sub EQ HT that will time align two subwoofers and then EQ them as 1.
Thank you for the answer!
I do plan to use preout only with a pair of behringer A800.
I will add only one sub. The setup is in the living room with absolutely no room treatment.
In fact, 90% of the time, I listen to music.

The question was really: is it possible to have 2.1 sound from analog source (chromecast audio mainly) unaltered by the amplifier?
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
To nitpick I'd say most towers can play down to 20 Hz but just not very loud. :)
Trying to drive a 20 Hz frequency into a ported speaker when the tuning frequency of the box is higher is risky. Below that tuning point, the woofer is no longer loaded and can easily be driven beyond its XMAX necessitating a repair or replacement.
 
A

_Alex_

Enthusiast
Adding a subwoofer is a good addition not just for movies but for music too as even most tower speakers can not play down to 20Hz. Whether you need the centre channel may depend on the room size, distance from the speakers and distance between the main speakers. If the speakers are close together, on either side of the TV screen, then sometimes it can fine running a "phantom centre". If the centre speaker is too close to the mains they can interfere with each other. If your mains are far apart then a centre can be a good addition as well.
Thanks for the answer!

The room is +/- 50m2, I stand at 2.5m from the tower speakers which are 2.3m one from each other.
The problem I have now with my HiFi system is that, when watching movies, I have to increase/decrease the volume all the time.

Most AVRs will give you some flexibility. Audyssey will set speaker distances for time alignment and also EQ each speaker. You should be able to toggle the EQ on and off if you just want time alignment but no EQ. "Pure Direct" mode will bypass all signal processing but should still cross over to the sub. Stereo mode just disables the centre channel if you want 2-channel music with processing
I might be wrong, but what I read is that pure direct mode simply switches the sub off.
I'm not sure I trust EQ from avr, at least automatic ones. For example I found that the YPAO from Yamaha totally destroyed sound quality. I do not know Audyssey though, and I will read a little bit more about it.
Considering EQ and crossover, I planned to buy an external DSP from Thomann and make measurment with a UMIK. It would handle both main speakers and sub.
I should maybe change my plans and Dave few €!
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
I can double check but I am pretty sure that Pure Direct leaves the sub enabled. (Yes, my manual shows that the subwoofer is controlled by the speaker settings and is available in every mode including Direct.) Typically with a subwoofer enabled in the AVR the speakers are set to "small" and use the HPF filter while the sub uses the LPF. In Pure Direct you still want to the sub active, so it just disables processing, so no time adjustment, no EQ, no dynamic volume or dynamic EQ. On my Denon, the display goes blank in Pure Direct mode to show that processing is off. You can also set the speakers to "large" if you don't want to HPF the mains, but the LFE always goes to the subwoofer out unless you have the sub disabled in the setup menu.

You will get varying opinions on DSP. Audyssey is considered better than YPAO. Some will use all features. Others will use speaker distance but turn off the EQ. It's a matter of preference. I don't have personal experience with external DSP units. Some members use DSP just on the subwoofer channel to smooth out the bass. If you use an external DSP for the mains and sub, then you need a full range signal from the AVR, so the subwoofer channel would be disabled in the AVR, unless you have separate DSP for the mains and the subwoofer and can let the AVR set the crossover. If you are using 2-channel amps, then you could end up using the AVR internal amp for the centre channel, but then not be able to use the DSP unit for the centre, so plan accordingly. Hopefully some of the people using separates will jump in and suggest some options for your situation.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
The question was really: is it possible to have 2.1 sound from analog source (chromecast audio mainly) unaltered by the amplifier?
I am not sure what you meant by "unaltered by the amplifier"? For now, I would just take a guess and response as follow.

I re-read your original post and noted that you asked "When listening to music, the AVR would be used as a preamp / source selector and send the signal to 2 power amp: one for the speakers, the other one for the sub. "

So if I understood correctly, you would be using a passive subwoofer. In that case, if by 2.1, you mean the source content has the .1, that is the LFE channel then you need to use the sub out for the power amp that drives the passive subwoofer.

If the content is a 2 channel stereo signal then it is not really 2.1 as the .1 wouldn't be discrete and the sub would be playing the same content but the frequency range it gets would be determined by the crossover setting. Also, in that case if you don't want to use the subout, you can just use a Y-splitter to feed both the mains and the subwoofer power amps.

Not sure about Yamaha, but the Denon and Marantz avrs have a 2 channel playback setting too, just take a look of the owner's manuals for details. In that part of the settings, you can choose to have the subwoofer on or not when in direct or pure direct mode.

Those AVRs launched after 2017 (not sure about 2016) are compatible with the $20 App that give you the flexibility to choose the frequency range covered by Audyssey, disabling MRC, customizing target curve etc. In my experience, you get quicker and better results in terms of room correction and smoother bass response than doing it manually, better than using dsp such as the mindsp unless you are an expert in doing it manually with the help of external dsp devices.
 
A

_Alex_

Enthusiast
I can double check but I am pretty sure that Pure Direct leaves the sub enabled
I would appreciate, thanks!

You can also set the speakers to "large" if you don't want to HPF the mains, but the LFE always goes to the subwoofer out unless you have the sub disabled in the setup menu.
Is it true only when watching movies or even when listening to music?
Because music is stereo only and doesn't have .1 signal.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I responded before I read your last post but I don't see any issue with what you seem to be trying to achieve.
 
A

_Alex_

Enthusiast
So if I understood correctly, you would be using a passive subwoofer. In that case, if by 2.1, you mean the source content has the .1, that is the LFE channel then you need to use the sub out for the power amp that drives the passive subwoofer.

If the content is a 2 channel stereo signal then it is not really 2.1 as the .1 wouldn't be discrete and the sub would be playing the same content but the frequency range it gets would be determined by the crossover setting. Also, in that case if you don't want to use the subout, you can just use a Y-splitter to feed both the mains and the subwoofer power amps.
Ok, I get it.
I am very new to AVR and incorrectly used the 2.1. As you say, there is no .1 in stereo music.

I would really like to have the benefits from 2.1 when watching movies and stereo + sub when listening to music. It seems more complicated thant what I expected.

Not sure about Yamaha, but the Denon and Marantz avrs have a 2 channel playback setting too, just take a look of the owner's manuals for details. In that part of the settings, you can choose to have the subwoofer on or not when in direct or pure direct mode.
I read the manuals but it is still not clear to me. That's why I came here.

Those AVRs launched after 2017 (not sure about 2016) are compatible with the $20 App that give you the flexibility to choose the frequency range covered by Audyssey, disabling MRC, customizing target curve etc. In my experience, you get quicker and better results in terms of room correction and smoother bass response than doing it manually, better than using dsp such as the mindsp unless you are an expert in doing it manually with the help of external dsp devices.
With a UMIK and REW it is not that hard.
But I'll give a look at Audyssey
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Ok, I get it.
I am very new to AVR and incorrectly used the 2.1. As you say, there is no .1 in stereo music.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised. It is hard to believe AVR and music can be good, I used to be a non believer too. Just be patient though, as AVR have so many settings that if not careful, could be messed up and give poor results relative to someone's simple separates or integrated amp set ups.

I would really like to have the benefits from 2.1 when watching movies and stereo + sub when listening to music. It seems more complicated thant what I expected.

I read the manuals but it is still not clear to me. That's why I came here.
If you can tell me which parts of the manuals are not clear, then I may be able to help.
The manual is clear about 2.1 when watching movies:

For the AVR-X3500H

Page 153:

1663765427419.png


Page 199:

1663765717335.png



Page 200:

1663765989396.png


The X4000H series offer a little more options for 2 channel playback but apparently not for the X3000H series.

With a UMIK and REW it is not that hard.
But I'll give a look at Audyssey
I understand it is not hard for you but it may be hard for someone. I know because I have tried to help someone to use something as simple (to us) as just using U-mik/REW and MultEQ Editor App.:)

If you are already an experienced REW user, you will find that the $20 App may just do such as good job that you won't bother hooking up the DSP. Since you already have the DSP, then you may as well save the $20 if you are happy with the Thomann device.
 

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Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
My concern is the crossover in the Thomann. Can it be disabled? In order to get LFE for movies, you need to use the subwoofer out on the AVR. You also want low frequency content for music to go to the subwoofer out, so you need to set the crossover in the AVR. What you don't want is to have a second crossover on your pre-outs as the AVR is already handling that. If you have to use the Thomann crossover then you could use the same setting as the AVR, but the slopes may not be the same.

Other thing to watch for is the centre channel. If you have a pre-out for the centre channel on the AVR and one remaining channel on the Thomann, you could EQ the centre as well (which will require another amp). If you want to use one of the AVR amps to drive the centre, there is a way around the issue of DSP. On my Denon I can set the L+R main channels to bypass Audyseey, so only the centre and surrounds get processing. That way the AVR processes the centre but the Thomann processes the mains.
 
F

fmw

Audioholic Samurai
Hello all,

I am willing to purchase an AVR to upgrade my system.
Basically I have a pair of floorstanding speakers with a HiFi amplifier, but I would like to add a subwoofer for everyday listening + a center speaker for movies.
When listening to music, the AVR would be used as a preamp / source selector and send the signal to 2 power amp: one for the speakers, the other one for the sub.
Some AVR propose "pure direct", or "straight" modes.
As I am very new with AVR, I would like to know if it is possible to have full range unaltered signal at preout?

I indeed have a DSP that would be in charge of the crossover and the Eq.

I tried to read the manuals but unfortunatly it is still not clear to me.

I plan to get a second hand amp, like the marantz NR1608/1609/1610, the yamaha RX-v781/785 or the denon x3500/3600
For the yamaha rx-v781 for example, it seems that Music mode -> stereo - > 7ch would do the job. But still, not sure if HPF or LPF is mandatory

Any help is welcomed!!
Good way to go. The AVR will do the job you want and the future job of home theater if you choose to go that way. Having an AVR is not necessary for implementing a subwoofer. Most subs have binding posts and low pass filters so that you can put it between the amp and the speakers. Two of my music systems are set up that way.
 
-Jim-

-Jim-

Audioholic Chief
Hi Gents,

I'm a bit confused why @_Alex_ is going down the separates road in the first place. As stated "The room is +/- 50m2, I stand at 2.5m from the tower speakers which are 2.3m one from each other." For those who struggle with metric that's about 500 square feet +/- 10% and he stands a bit more than 8 feet from the speakers which are currently slightly less than that apart.

Before heading down the separates road I'd like to know what the speakers are (make and model numbers please) and the room dimensions and speaker positions. He also stated "I would like to add a subwoofer for everyday listening + a center speaker for movies."

My first impression is can you shift the Towers wider (and keep them away from the walls a bit) to accommodate a center better. I'm also thinking new equipment would be best purchased in pieces to see if you really need to go to separate amplifiers to get the results you want. Perhaps the Denon receivers being suggested would be enough power; and the system would be vastly less complicated and less costly. If they are deemed not suitable, then buy the separates after your in home listening tests are completed. Using the $$ currently destined for the separates could probably buy a better Center and or Sub.

Just sayin...
 

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