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Home Theater vs 2-Channel Music

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WestCoastMLO

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As I continue to step further into the audiophile pond, I'm starting to ask myself, "Do I need two dedicated systems: one for home theater, and one for 2-channel music, OR, is there one system / setup that can work well for both? And if there is a "happy medium" system, what should I be focusing on, gear-wise? Mono blocks for the L/C/R? A high-end AVR? Both? Assume that I don't have the space or budget for TWO dedicated systems (yet).
 

Robert D

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I personally have a system that does both. I use a top end Marantz 11 channel Atmos receiver and then a dual monoblock for my two front channels off of that. All the surround speakers are in wall and in ceiling.

My two front speakers are Prodigies and I Iisten to them in stereo.
 

khenegar1

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i have a similar system but us summits i us a arc ls27 and use the theatre bypass for home theater using a anthem avr and listen using the ls27 for two channel im using a prima luna power amp for left and right speakers. i’ve been happy with the results.
 

WestCoastMLO

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I personally have a system that does both. I use a top end Marantz 11 channel Atmos receiver and then a dual monoblock for my two front channels off of that. All the surround speakers are in wall and in ceiling.

My two front speakers are Prodigies and I Iisten to them in stereo.
Thanks for the reply. What model Marantz and monoblocks are you using?
 

Robert D

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spkrdctr

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Audioholics has a review that they just put up on the Marantz 8015. They love it. They state it has plenty of power for most situations but if you need more, a simple 2 channel amp for your left and right will allow the Marantz to really kick out the power to all the other speakers. Of course, you are looking at I believe around $4000 to $5000 dollars total for the Marantz and a 2 channel amp. But they test the power sections of these units and Denon and Marantz are first class especially for the price. The Marantz is set up for 8k already. The Denon will be in the next 6 months or so? It sounds like Robert D has this setup and if he likes it, that is yet another thumbs up! I have an inexpensive receiver from Yamaha and I can set it up so my signal goes direct bypassing any sound treatment at all. So you can do whatever you want with your two channel and still have a full on home theater. Also, some youtube reviewers that have used the Marantz all have glowing reports about it. These are true reviewers and not people trying to sell something or push a product, they will say if a product has flaws etc.
 

WestCoastMLO

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Thanks. I saw the Audioholics review of the Marantz 8015. While it looks awesome, I don't think I'm ready to upgrade my AVR right now. I have the Marantz SR 7013 and it's doing fine. I also have an Emotiva XPA3 Gen 3 power amp for the L/C/R channels (ML ESLs). It's...fine... and...I'm wondering if there is something ... better... for 2-channel music through my ESLs?

I've been seeing great reviews for Primaluna, AGD Vivace, Parasound, McIntosh, Audioresearh, Aragon, etc... I'm thinking tube monoblocks, but there are SO many options to consider - including space and budget. Thanks for weighing in!
 

BDH55

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Actually, I would love to know what percentage of members here have two dedicated rooms... one for two channel and one for home theater, verses one room that serves both. I'm guessing that most are in the latter group, including myself but I might be surprised. And as you are starting to see, you have lots of options in putting your system together.

I started with a 'stereo' system in the 70's... once Lexicon brought out their first processor, I added it and some additional amps and speakers... then moved thru multiple processors and amps over the years but once I dug out all my old vinyl, I really started to focus on my two channel playback system. I decided to pull all my two channel sources off my AVP, and run them into a dedicated two channel preamp (with home theater bypass). That gives me a dedicated all analog two channel system with just my sources, my preamp, mono blocks, and main speakers (and soon, stereo subs). Then, if I want to watch TV, a BluRay disc, or something off of Roku, I just switch on my AVP (which in turn kicks on all the surround channel amps), and I put my dedicated preamp into bypass mode to share my front amps and speakers.

It seems like the best of both worlds, but my configuration also requires more rack space, more cabling, more power, more overall boxes, and likely, more money. Also, I think some of this depends on how much you like to mess around with this stuff. I will say that there have been times where I thought about just how much easier it would be to have everything run into one big box...

Good luck! Lots of wise people up here offering some great advice...
 

WestCoastMLO

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Actually, I would love to know what percentage of members here have two dedicated rooms... one for two channel and one for home theater, verses one room that serves both. I'm guessing that most are in the latter group, including myself but I might be surprised. And as you are starting to see, you have lots of options in putting your system together.

I started with a 'stereo' system in the 70's... once Lexicon brought out their first processor, I added it and some additional amps and speakers... then moved thru multiple processors and amps over the years but once I dug out all my old vinyl, I really started to focus on my two channel playback system. I decided to pull all my two channel sources off my AVP, and run them into a dedicated two channel preamp (with home theater bypass). That gives me a dedicated all analog two channel system with just my sources, my preamp, mono blocks, and main speakers (and soon, stereo subs). Then, if I want to watch TV, a BluRay disc, or something off of Roku, I just switch on my AVP (which in turn kicks on all the surround channel amps), and I put my dedicated preamp into bypass mode to share my front amps and speakers.

It seems like the best of both worlds, but my configuration also requires more rack space, more cabling, more power, more overall boxes, and likely, more money. Also, I think some of this depends on how much you like to mess around with this stuff. I will say that there have been times where I thought about just how much easier it would be to have everything run into one big box...

Good luck! Lots of wise people up here offering some great advice...
I feel you! Thanks for sharing. BTW... what mono blocks, preamp and main speakers are you using?
 

WestCoastMLO

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I feel you! Thanks for sharing. BTW... what mono blocks, preamp and main speakers are you using?
I started a poll on the Martin Logan owners Facebook group to answer your question about dedicated rooms: H/T, 2-channel music, or hybrid of both. I'll post the answers here in a few days.
 

BDH55

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I feel you! Thanks for sharing. BTW... what mono blocks, preamp and main speakers are you using?
Currently, Parasound JC 2 BP preamp, Parasound JC 1 mono blocks, and ML Renaissance ESL 15 speakers. The reason I said 'currently' is I have been looking at upgrading both my preamp and main amps. However, it's kind of tough upgrading from Parasound gear without seriously stressing the bank accounts...
 

ArtW

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I started with a 2 Channel system back in the early 90's. At that time I purchased Sequel 2, and an Adcom 555II Amp, Adcom 565 Pre-Amp. It was an awesome system without breaking the bank. As time went on, I became a huge fan of music/concert videos. Soon I was looking for a surround solution to take advantage of the multi channel discs. I purchased a whole new system consisting of a Denon 3806 and several B&W book shelf, and in ceiling speakers. The Sequels and the Adcom system remained in the same room, but did not get that much play. I lived with this set up for years, but always wanted a way to incorporate my Sequels into the surround system. I remember talking to ML about using them, but there really was not a good solution to do so. Years past, and we made a move...... I called ML again, and too my surprise they had developed a whole series of speakers that would compliment my Sequels vs sound out of wack. I spent considerable time talking and planning a new system without spending too much money. I ended up purchasing an Electromotion ESL Center, Motion FX2 speakers for the rears, 4 Electromotion IC for Atmos, and a Dynamo 800X Sub. I purchased a Marantz SR6014 receiver, and a Marantz MM7055 5 Channel Amp. I have the Sequels Bi Amped to the 7055, and the ESL center to the 7055 using the 5th Channel. The 6014 powers the FX2, IC Atmos, and the sub. I calibrated using the Audyssey X32 system, and I have to tell you its incredible. I can play two channel through the Sequels, or incorporate them into the surround system. I just can't tell you how great an SACD on my Oppo 95 of something like Dire Straits, or Steely Dan sounds in DSD. Multi channel Pink Floyd will blow your mind. So for my two cents...Its possible to have both.
Art
 

BDH55

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I started with a 2 Channel system back in the early 90's. At that time I purchased Sequel 2, and an Adcom 555II Amp, Adcom 565 Pre-Amp. It was an awesome system without breaking the bank. As time went on, I became a huge fan of music/concert videos. Soon I was looking for a surround solution to take advantage of the multi channel discs. I purchased a whole new system consisting of a Denon 3806 and several B&W book shelf, and in ceiling speakers. The Sequels and the Adcom system remained in the same room, but did not get that much play. I lived with this set up for years, but always wanted a way to incorporate my Sequels into the surround system. I remember talking to ML about using them, but there really was not a good solution to do so. Years past, and we made a move...... I called ML again, and too my surprise they had developed a whole series of speakers that would compliment my Sequels vs sound out of wack. I spent considerable time talking and planning a new system without spending too much money. I ended up purchasing an Electromotion ESL Center, Motion FX2 speakers for the rears, 4 Electromotion IC for Atmos, and a Dynamo 800X Sub. I purchased a Marantz SR6014 receiver, and a Marantz MM7055 5 Channel Amp. I have the Sequels Bi Amped to the 7055, and the ESL center to the 7055 using the 5th Channel. The 6014 powers the FX2, IC Atmos, and the sub. I calibrated using the Audyssey X32 system, and I have to tell you its incredible. I can play two channel through the Sequels, or incorporate them into the surround system. I just can't tell you how great an SACD on my Oppo 95 of something like Dire Straits, or Steely Dan sounds in DSD. Multi channel Pink Floyd will blow your mind. So for my two cents...Its possible to have both.
Art
Sounds like a nice setup! You must have started with MartinLogan just in front of me as my first ML was their Quest and it's a coincidence as I almost bought an Adcom amp to drive them (don't quite remember the Adcom model, but instead I bought an Aragon 4004 mk II).

While I'm a huge fan of concert videos, one thing I really haven't played around with is something like your multichannel Pink Floyd which sounds very interesting. I should probably mess around with this as I do have an Oppo 205 already hanging off my AVP so I'm guessing it may need no changes, or worst case, a config change or two.
 

ArtW

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Sounds like a nice setup! You must have started with MartinLogan just in front of me as my first ML was their Quest and it's a coincidence as I almost bought an Adcom amp to drive them (don't quite remember the Adcom model, but instead I bought an Aragon 4004 mk II).

While I'm a huge fan of concert videos, one thing I really haven't played around with is something like your multichannel Pink Floyd which sounds very interesting. I should probably mess around with this as I do have an Oppo 205 already hanging off my AVP so I'm guessing it may need no changes, or worst case, a config change or two.
Dark Side of the Moon, and Wish You Were Here are both available SACD Multi channel Re-Mastered. If your receiver can handle DSD, then put you Oppo in Direct DSD. If it can not, then let the Oppo decode into PCM then to the reciever. My Marantz can handle it, so I use the DSD option. You will be amazed, if set up properly, the channel separation and effects. You will hear things clearly that you never could otherwise. Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms is also a multi channel SACD. I find this to be the best recorded SACD. The sound is rich and full. As I said, it will blow you away. Make sure you are set up properly, and all speakers are well balanced for surround. Enjoy.
Art
 

WestCoastMLO

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I took a poll on the ML owners Facebook group. Here are the results so far:

Screenshot_20210112-070213_Opera.jpg
 

BDH55

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Dark Side of the Moon, and Wish You Were Here are both available SACD Multi channel Re-Mastered. If your receiver can handle DSD, then put you Oppo in Direct DSD. If it can not, then let the Oppo decode into PCM then to the reciever. My Marantz can handle it, so I use the DSD option. You will be amazed, if set up properly, the channel separation and effects. You will hear things clearly that you never could otherwise. Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms is also a multi channel SACD. I find this to be the best recorded SACD. The sound is rich and full. As I said, it will blow you away. Make sure you are set up properly, and all speakers are well balanced for surround. Enjoy.
Art
Actually, I'm going to have to do a little digging to see if my AVM 60 can handle DSD, but... I am definitely going to check this out as both Dire Straits and Floyd are two of my all time favs...
 

spkrdctr

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Actually, I'm going to have to do a little digging to see if my AVM 60 can handle DSD, but... I am definitely going to check this out as both Dire Straits and Floyd are two of my all time favs...
BDH55, you brought back some old, old memories. I toured one year with Dire Straits in the US. I had a very good time and learned a lot. That was back in about 1980 or so. 40 years ago!! Man, I'm getting old.........
 

Robert D

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BDH55, you brought back some old, old memories. I toured one year with Dire Straits in the US. I had a very good time and learned a lot. That was back in about 1980 or so. 40 years ago!! Man, I'm getting old.........
Wow, were you on their crew or were you in an opening band?
 

spkrdctr

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I was a bodyguard with another guy..It was the best job in the world. All of the fun with none of the performance responsibilities. I should have done it for 10 years instead of the one year. But, I had some personal problems come up that didn't allow me to continue. I was interested in the whole process of the sound system etc. I talked to guys who were very knowledgeable about running the mixing boards and other associated equipment. They really knew their stuff. I found out how the venues are wired and lighted for each group. All that was involved in making the touring happen. There is A LOT that goes on behind the scenes in preparation and such that I didn't know about when I started. I should have made a career in the industry, but I didn't know what I know now. I would have made a lot of money doing some fun stuff. The record companies were begging decent people to take jobs so that it all could happen. They had to settle with third string people to do a lot of the work. My life story is missing chances to have a fun career with great money. Oh well!
 
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