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Home Theater vs 2-Channel Music

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Northy

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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).

If you really want to get the best of the two worlds, my suggestion would be to go with a pre/pro as opposed to a receiver. You will get more refined sound from surround decoding. Speaking of Marantz, they just released their new 8K-ready model for a reasonable $2,400. You couple that with a two-channel preamp that has a theater pass-thru, you will enjoy your two channel content as good as your pre-amp/amp/speaker combo will allow plus passing thru the surround content when you want to thru your external amps - all this in one system.
 

WestCoastMLO

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If you really want to get the best of the two worlds, my suggestion would be to go with a pre/pro as opposed to a receiver. You will get more refined sound from surround decoding. Speaking of Marantz, they just released their new 8K-ready model for a reasonable $2,400. You couple that with a two-channel preamp that has a theater pass-thru, you will enjoy your two channel content as good as your pre-amp/amp/speaker combo will allow plus passing thru the surround content when you want to thru your external amps - all this in one system.
Thanks for the suggestions! I recently ordered a Parasound Halo P6 Preamp, and a Marantz NA 6006 Streamer. I should receive both today and will hook them up and post my reflections on sound quality with a pre-amp and dedicated streamer vs movies and home theater.
 

18000rpm

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I have a sort of "hybrid" system. The front speakers (Prodigies), amp (Bryston 4B SST) and subwoofer (Descent) are shared between my home theater source and my stereo preamp.

Here's how it works - the amp has both balanced and single-ended (RCA) inputs. My stereo preamp goes into the balanced input while home theater uses the RCA inputs. I have to manually switch inputs at the back of the amp to switch between stereo and home theater modes.

For the subwoofer, the preamp's RCA outputs go into the stereo line-in of the sub while the home theater uses the subwoofer input. No switching is necessary.

So just by switching my source and amp I can go from a pure analog system to a digital home theater system.

I also use a DAC for digital music, a relatively inexpensive SMSL M400. Man does it sounds good, so much better than music through the 5.1 system.
 

Northy

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Thanks for the suggestions! I recently ordered a Parasound Halo P6 Preamp, and a Marantz NA 6006 Streamer. I should receive both today and will hook them up and post my reflections on sound quality with a pre-amp and dedicated streamer vs movies and home theater.
Those are great components, I am sure you will be a happy camper for a long time.
 
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