HT vs Home Audio System
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  1. #1
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    HT vs Home Audio System

    Do most here keep their home theater and home audio systems separate (I do), or do you integrate them? For me, listening to music and listening to/watching HT are two very different things. Also, the cost of a top notch HT system with high quality components is often significantly higher (i.e. the need for subs, a lot more cables, etc.).

    And, as a musician, I want my music and system two channel and at the highest quality I can afford. With all the components of a multi, multi, multi-channel system there is more chance for introducing noise to the system and for degradation of the signal. However, I will admit there is a good bit of speculation in this assessment. My two cents.

  2. #2
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    Re: HT vs Home Audio System

    I use to use my Magnepans in a 3.1 system for HT and 2.1 for music. I gave up my HT and just run separate speakers and receiver for TV. My music system is totally separate.
    My Gear- Mains System-Pass X250 amp, BAT VK-51se preamp, Luxman DA-06 DAC, Magnepan 1.6's, Thorens TD-145 TT, Dual Martin Logan Subs, Vintage Luxman T-110 Tuner, Other systems- Parasound A21 amp,Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid tube DAC and Preamp, Magnepan MMG's, Monitor Audio S1's, PSB B6's, Def Tech Pro Monitor 1000's, Velodyne sub, Adcom GFR-700 AVR, Music Hall 25.2 modified CDP, Cables by Cardas Parsec, AQ Columbia DBS 72v, Wire World.

  3. #3
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    Re: HT vs Home Audio System

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    Do most here keep their home theater and home audio systems separate (I do), or do you integrate them? For me, listening to music and listening to/watching HT are two very different things. Also, the cost of a top notch HT system with high quality components is often significantly higher (i.e. the need for subs, a lot more cables, etc.).

    And, as a musician, I want my music and system two channel and at the highest quality I can afford. With all the components of a multi, multi, multi-channel system there is more chance for introducing noise to the system and for degradation of the signal. However, I will admit there is a good bit of speculation in this assessment. My two cents.

    The purist/perfectionist approach would be to separate them. Not only by component; aka separate stereo pre-amp for 2 channel and a home theater processor for movies.

    I'd go one step further and not even have them in the same room. Have a dedicated theater and a room for 2 channel listening.

    Of course, in a perfect world that would be ideal. But, not many people have that luxury so, a combo system can suffice for many.

    For me personally; I've found that too many modern films/shows rely on multi channel audio that it doesn't sound properly down-mixed into a stereo pre-amp.

    So my home theater needs; a nice OLED and a really decent Atmos sound-bar suffices for all my HT needs.

    Now granted if I had the space and means to construct a dedicated theater with 4k front projection, atmos speakers a nice processor; of course that would be amazing.

  4. #4
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    Re: HT vs Home Audio System

    Unfortunately, I don't have enough rooms for a dedicated home theater, so one room for both.

    I do have a flat screen with in-wall speakers and a A/V receiver in the living room but that's the main area for wife and kids. I don't really want them messing with the main HT set up. It's doing 3.0, I'd like to add a sub one day.

    I use a Marantz A/V processor for HT, I come out of the preamp outputs of the Marantz into my stereo preamp theater bypass inputs, this allows me to use my same power amp and main speakers in the surround set up. When listening to stereo nothing is on in the HT side of it.

    So you really can have your systems integrated in the same room with negligible down side.
    Aurender ACS10 w/AQ Diamond,
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  5. #5
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    Re: HT vs Home Audio System

    Stereo in the living room, and 5.1 HT in a spare bedroom.
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  6. #6
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    Re: HT vs Home Audio System

    I have them separated. Dedicated two channel and a 7 channel setup.
    Main System: Analog - Linn LP12, Origin Live DC motor and Controller, SME V arm, Benz Ruby H 2 cartridge, Wright Sound preamp. Digital - Intel NUC I-7, 16 gig ram, Jriver media center 24, Wyrd4 Sound 2V2 SE Dac, Fathom Hard Drives.
    H-Cat Version 9 preamp, ARC Reference 75 amp, Custom line source speakers - 10 SB Acoustics midwoofers, 10 Fountek ribbon tweeters. JL Audio Fathom f112 Subs
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  7. #7
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    Re: HT vs Home Audio System

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrassphile View Post
    For me, listening to music and listening to/watching HT are two very different things
    Right, only one has video. But the physics of sound is exactly the same for both. Really comes down to what one's demands for "reproduction" are.
    Most "audiophiles" are actually "stereophiles". Their demands begin and end with stereo constructs. Others, like myself, are after something else, based on these objective facts of physical reality , nothing subjective there at all. That comes afterwards.
    Subjectively, stereophiles are satisfied with frontal stereo constructs, others want something akin to this which is physically impossible without at least (2) rear channels. 4 is the minimum. I consider this as stereo + 2, since all mains are capable of pure stereo, the other channels can suffice for both MCH music and movies as needed. Such systems can produced enhanced stereo as well. That's what I do with 99% of music, which is stereo. There is an "off" button if/when the effect is undesired.
    Good speakers won't have any issues with reproducing whatever signals they are sent. Sad ones will.
    If HT is involved, having a retractable screen is nice to keep the space between mains open for non movie listening. A wall mounted TV can accomplish the same. Or both, one for movies, the other for daily casual viewing, etc.
    As with all discussions here and elsewhere, it will come down to preferences and electro-acoustic/perceptual subject knowledge. Or lack thereof.

    cheers,

    AJ

  8. #8
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    Re: HT vs Home Audio System

    I use mine together. My main stereo system is also the Fronts in my HT setup. With my VAC Pre, I had to do some volume matching because there is no HT Bypass. In fact, there was not much of HT when it was made anyway. The Luxman I am about to order will have the bypass so volume matching won't be an issue. Thankfully, the 2 volume knobs on the VAC are notched, so I could set it exact each time in use after running the setup with the HT receiver.
    -----------------
    Brian

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    Secondary - OPPO 93 > VAC CLA 1 MKII Pre > Odyssey Stratos > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs Cables


  9. #9
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    HT vs Home Audio System

    Both HT and Stereo can live happily ever after in the same room with no compromises with either. One just have to make sure to select the right equipment/components.

    For stereo, I use a 2.2 set up (fronts and 2 subs). I use a separate 2-channel DAC for stereo. My digital preamp has an analog bypass feature so the analog goes unchanged to the amps and subs.

    For HT, I use the same front speakers and subs, but I also add a center channel and two surround speakers and a third sub (it becomes a 5.3 set up). The center and surrounds can be driven with a three channel amp or with mono amps. The screen is retractable and comes down when watching TV/Movies.

    When I listen to multichannel SACD, I use a multichannel DAC and again feed the analog signals to the digital preamp for distribution (unchanged) to all speakers. The screen is up in this case.

    Switching from HT to Stereo is just a matter of pushing a button in the digital preamp (Balance for 2-channel Stereo, 7.1 for Multichannel, DVD for movies). It works beautifully.

  10. #10
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    Re: HT vs Home Audio System

    For many years I struggled to have an "untainted" 2 channel audio system combined with a 5 channel Atmos system. Worked through everything from amp/speaker switching boxes to HT Bypass settings, etc. My biggest issue was always working with room correction on the HT side, as well as sub integration (LFE on the HT side vs no bass management for the 2 channel audio).

    Finally, earlier this year I was able to completely separate both systems in the same room only by having 2 totally completely isolated systems. HT Pre/pro and amps driving dedicated speakers, and 2 channel audio in its own separate system. They were totally independent of each other and it was fantastic but expensive.

    Now it is 6 months later and I have sold & am shipping off basically the entire audio side of the HT system. 2 channel listening has dominated my time. My 10 and 12 year old boys have absolutely zero interest in home theater, despite having access to a dedicated media room with 85" screen and 5.2.4 Atmos system with virtually any movie or content ever made at their fingertips. My wife and I cannot watch movies, because by the time we get the boys to bed it's nearly 10 PM every night and there is no way we are staying up past midnight to watch a movie. It has absolutely no use in our lives, and it's sad because it's something I was really excited about and worked for a long time to attain - BUT it is basically worthless in our situation.

    Now that I have sold off my Anthem AVM 60, 7 channel Monolith amps, and entire Monitor Audio Gold theater speaker system, I have brought my little Heresy III speakers into the room and I'm waiting on delivery of a Marantz Slimline 1509 5 channel AVR. Strictly 2 channel with 2 little SVS SB2000s to support the Heresy IIIs. We've been listening to 2 channel for the past week now and absolutely are not missing the surround (or even the center channel).

    So that was an expensive lesson but I learned a lot along the way. No matter what I tried I was never able to totally integrate a home theater system with my 2 channel audio system without some degree of compromise.
    PRIMARY 2 CH SYSTEM: Backert Labs Rhumba Extreme preamp w/Mazda Cifte 12AU7 tubes; Luxman MQ-88uSE; Innuos Zen MK III; Chord Hugo M Scaler; Chord Hugo TT2; Volti Audio Rivals; Triode Wire Labs American Speaker cables; WireWorld ethernet, USB, BNC, interconnects, Transparent High Performance power cables; IsoTek EVO3 Corvus conditioner
    OFFICE 2 CH SYSTEM: Naim Uniti Atom; Klipsch Heresy III (70th Anniversary Edition); JL Audio d110; Transparent power cables & WW interconnects
    LUXMAN EYECANDY COLLECTION: Luxman CL-40 Valve Preamp; Luxman C1010 preamp; Luxman M2000

 

 
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