Help in building a roadmap for my home theater environment


william bravin

Hello all

firstly may i apologize for this lengthy blurb. I read in many forums even here on ways to guide me in developing this

I'm now ready to deploy my music and videos throughout the house.

I would like to build a solution roadmap that would permit me to purchase the necessary components that would fit the solution as and when my budget will permit.

I although I do not consider myself a keen audiophile, I love my music and my selection is very eclectic. The music is segregated in playlist and I listen every day and all day to my music

This is my current setup.

In my living room

I have an HTPC (let's call it HTPC1) which is equipped with an M-Audio 1010lt sound card with analogue breakout cables, running win10, which is connected to a McIntosh MC7205 amplifier and the McIntosh is then connected to Magneplanar speakers. My TV is connected via DVI to an older NVidia GT440 on the HTPC1.
On my HTPC1 I currently listen to all my media via kodi.
My current TV is a Sony with and DVI HDMI connections with 1920 x 1080

All has been working well for the part 10 years. (unless i screw it up LOL))

This is controlled with Alexa (almost) ( i still need to be able to select what to play)

My media resides on a Freenas server (fully redundant) and the media is managed by Emby. I have very limited interest in streaming solutions

My requirements are:
  • Enable me to connect an analog turntable to my living room solution.
  • Listen to my media in the living room via the living room solution
  • Be able to listen to my music in the living room (as I currently do) and extend it in all my rooms if I need to do so.

For this, i read that, i can connect a multi room environment to my current system and I can have my current solution as the main source for my media and play it throughout the house.

To accomplish this, I would need:
  • To add a preamp to my living room environment (I think a Denon 3808 used as a preamp and av manager only) (this is why i am considering HEOS)
  • To connect the HTPC1 L&R outputs to a Sonos Connect or an HEOS link inputs connections
  • connect the Sonos or HEOS outputs to an L&R audio in on the preamp L&R inputs.
  • Connect my turntable to the preamp phono inputs.
  • Connect the 3808 preamp L&R out to the McIntosh L&R inputs
  • Possible connect powered subwoofer to the 3808 sub out or a passive sub directly to the McIntosh (this would require to connect the SW out of the preamp section of the 3808 to the McIntosh SW in)
  • Connect the McIntosh to the Maggie’s
  • Should I connect instead:
    • Connect the HTPC1 audio outputs to the preamp AUX inputs?
    • Connect the HTPC1 HDMI video out to the preamp HDMI in
    • Connect the HDMI out of the preamp to the TV HDMI
    • Then connect the preamp L&R audio out to the sonos or HEOS
    • Then connect the sonos or heos out to the McIntosh and keep the mac connected to the Maggie’s
  • Which of the 2 connection scenarios would you recommend?
  • What video card would you recommend?
  • What sound card would you recommend to better facilitate this connectivity?
  • Is a GPU with sound via HDMI better than the m-audio connection?
  • Would you suggest to focus on the development of the multi room scenario with Sonos or heos. If sonos is more conducive I would probably go with a Yamaha rvs 661 as a preamp
once all this is setup, I would like the possibility to listen to music or view a movie in a specific room connecting a phone or a tablet with kodi installed on it and connected to my NAS and listen to the audio through one of the speaker(s) in that room. Whilst others may be in the living room listening (or viewing something else)

I thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and for responding.

Regards WB

  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis