2Ch Integrated mixed in with HT Receiver?

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Well-known member
Jan 1, 2005
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Huntington Beach, CA
I have 2 separate systems (a 2CH and a HT system). What I was thinking of doing was selling all my 5 speakers in the HT system (non MLs) and replacing them with 3 MLs (I would use the 2 MLs that already exist in the 2CH system). This way, my 2 ch and HT would all be the same system.

Here is my dilema. I would like to use my integrated tube amp for 2CH listening, and then use the HT Receiver (Onkyo 777) for 5 CH HT. But I'm not too keen on the idea of switching speaker wires. Is there an easier way to do this? My Receiver does have pre-outs on it - so how, if possible, would this work? (I would like to avoid having any signals from my HT, like the receiver or any 'switch-boxes', from entering my integrated while experienceing 2CH listening).

Thanks in advance guys!
Many 2 channel preamps (probably receivers also) have an input labelled "pass through" so that you can run the 2 front channels of your ht into your 2 channel stereo system. My Balanced Audio VK51 does this and this allowed me 2 use ht and 2 channel together. Rewiring speakers, therefore, is not necessary.
On my ARC it is called a Processor Loop. It is for input from Pre-Outs on a HT receiver. This way the volume on the HT unit controls volume for all speakers. That way you do not have to play around with matching volume levels on each system.

Thanks guys.

It doesn't seem like my Onkyo would work huh?

How much does that Balanced Audio VK51 and ARC go for?

Any other suggestions of HT receivers that would be closer to my price range (around $800 retail - so I would be buying used around $500)?
Wait a minute...couldn't I just have the integrated amp hooked up to the pre-out of the receiver and just turn the volume knob of the integrated all the way up when using it as a HT? Later, when using it as a 2 ch, then set the volume knob to it's normal listening position? :confused:
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What you are describing I have basically done. I have not posted all the changes I have made and for some, well maybe more than some, think I am a bit nuts anyway. I built my HT around my 2-ch system and it works for me. The only real inconvienence is turning all of it on when I watch a movie and that takes almost 10 seconds.:D I know where to set the volume levels that will match so it is not an issue.

To describe it all would take up more room here than necessary but if you do want an in depth decription I am sure we can work something out.

All I can say is versatility, patience and separates made my system without breaking the bank.

Jeff :cool:
Here's how I'd do it...

Hook up the pre-outs from the Onkyo to one of the RCA inputs on the tube integrated for main left & right channels driving your MLs. The center and surround channels are still driven from the receiver (for now). When you calibrate your system, make sure that you always set the volume of the integrated to the same position for HT. An easy way to do this is to set the volume to 12 o'clock position, that way it's easy to remember. Once you have your system calibrated, you just have to select the appropriate source, and dial the volume to 12 o'clock and you're all set to watch movies. The rationale being that you'd want to keep the 2-channel set-up clean, meaning "uncontaminated" signal from integrated to the MLs (left & right). When you want to watch movies, you'd select the receiver as the main processor, but still go through the (tube) amplifier section to go to the L & R MLs. This approach should work.

Good Luck
Spike's got the right idea - put the pre-outs of the receiver into the integrated. You must ensure that the receiver allows sufficient control and calibration to ensure the levels are appropriately calibrated, and setting the volume on the integrated at 12 o'clock is a better option than all the way up. Just make it a habit to turn it down immediately after listening so as to avoid any surprises.
Thanks guys!!

Yes, after I posted "all the way up", I thought to myself "I just KNOW I will forget to turn it down!" LOL!

Well, this should save me a whole lotta $$ vs buying a new HT processor/receiver :D

But the one thing I may have a problem with is hum...since the integrated uses a passive pre and I will (if not now) be running cables longer than 4' to it. Before I had a dedicated CD player for the 2ch system, I ran long interconnects (12') from my DVD players 2nd set of outs to the integrated and I got hum. I even tried to run the long cable into my 2ch receiver's (I was and still am using it as a tuner) tape in and then out (using a 3' cable) to the integrated amp and it still caused hum. I don't know how well this will work if my HT receiver has all those cables connected to it ...I guess I should just try it out ;)
I use a switcher between my two channel system and my home theater stuff. A Niles DSP-1

It works very well for my system.

Jeff Aguilar
Ground loop problem?

Hum from your receiver and DVD player is a whole set of issue altogether, having nothing to do with the passive preamp. Here's a link to more info...


Here are a few devices that'll work to eliminate the ground loop hum in your system:

That ought to keep ya busy for a while :)

Good luck
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