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  1. #1

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    Default Is there a product that will allow me to integrate a 2-ch preamp into a HT setup?

    I'm helping a friend with his setup and he'd like to add a 2-ch preamp into his HT setup. He has a Marantz AV7005 and a Threshold S/500 + Parasound 2205. He'd like to be able to add a preamp but there are only a few models with HT Pass Thru. Is there any kind of a standalone device that could be installed between his Marantz/Pre-amp to the Threshold? So he could select which preamp is supplying the input to the amp? Seems like there would be a market for such a device.

  2. #2

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    That Marantz is a nice pre/pro.

    I'll be the first to say - maybe he should just try the Marantz to the Threshold and Parasound amps first before he jumps to a hybrid rig?

    You should be able to find several preamps with HT Pass Thru/ByPass - is there a particular preamp he is looking at or you are recommending that does not have this feature?

    If you are both set on including a preamp and it doesn't have HT Pass Thru - then you can get a cheap RCA audio selector switch.

    Google turned up quite a few.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  3. #3

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    He's been living with the current config for a while and he's not been overly impressed with the performance of the Threshold. He's had several other people suggest that the A/V processor and sources could be his weak link, so I think he just wants to explore/tinker with something different. If his results are the same I think he's inclined to ditch all the other gear and just run the Marantz and Parasound. I'm with you, I think his gains may be negligible but this hobby is part music and part journey!

    Thanks for the suggestion. I had thought about it but thought there might be some product that had the audio enthusiast in mind. These will probably work and I think I have one laying around.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by adb3da@yahoo.co View Post
    He's been living with the current config for a while and he's not been overly impressed with the performance of the Threshold. He's had several other people suggest that the A/V processor and sources could be his weak link, so I think he just wants to explore/tinker with something different. If his results are the same I think he's inclined to ditch all the other gear and just run the Marantz and Parasound. I'm with you, I think his gains may be negligible but this hobby is part music and part journey!

    Thanks for the suggestion. I had thought about it but thought there might be some product that had the audio enthusiast in mind. These will probably work and I think I have one laying around.
    I was not familiar with Threshold, but google turns up the model you mentioned above as a 2-channel ss amplifier. And the Parasound is a 5 channel HT amp.

    Sorry for being a bit slot - but how are these two amps configured in his system now? Is he actually using both at the same time with the Marantz?

    And - if he isn't happy with the Threshold - how will adding a preamp change/help that?

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post
    I was not familiar with Threshold, but google turns up the model you mentioned above as a 2-channel ss amplifier. And the Parasound is a 5 channel HT amp.

    Sorry for being a bit slot - but how are these two amps configured in his system now? Is he actually using both at the same time with the Marantz?

    And - if he isn't happy with the Threshold - how will adding a preamp change/help that?
    Yes, he's using the Threshold to power his Legacy Focus 20/20s and he's currently only 3 of the five channels on the Parasound to power the center and surrounds (also Legacy speakers). Prior to owning the Threshold he was using the Parasound to power all five speakers.

    He's trying to determine if the the 2-ch audio with the Threshold would sound better with a 2-ch preamp vs. the Marantz AV processor.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by adb3da@yahoo.co View Post
    Yes, he's using the Threshold to power his Legacy Focus 20/20s and he's currently only 3 of the five channels on the Parasound to power the center and surrounds (also Legacy speakers). Prior to owning the Threshold he was using the Parasound to power all five speakers.

    He's trying to determine if the the 2-ch audio with the Threshold would sound better with a 2-ch preamp vs. the Marantz AV processor.
    Ah.

    And do you know if he was also unhappy with using just the Marantz and the Parasound with all 5 channels connected for 2-ch audio?

    Just trying to help figure what the weakest links in his system are.

    Another option to consider is for your friend to sell the Threshold (esp if he isn't happy with it) and instead get an integrated amp with HT bypass.

    Lots of really good integrated amps that have HT Bypass which would allow your friend to hook up his source components to the integrated amp, instead of the Marantz for when he want 2-ch only audio. And its one less box to worry about.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post
    Ah.

    And do you know if he was also unhappy with using just the Marantz and the Parasound with all 5 channels connected for 2-ch audio?

    Just trying to help figure what the weakest links in his system are.

    Another option to consider is for your friend to sell the Threshold (esp if he isn't happy with it) and instead get an integrated amp with HT bypass.

    Lots of really good integrated amps that have HT Bypass which would allow your friend to hook up his source components to the integrated amp, instead of the Marantz for when he want 2-ch only audio. And its one less box to worry about.
    He wasn't completely happy with the Parasound for 2-ch audio. This is why he pursued the new amp and through his research he decided on the Threshold (and in particular this amp since it was serviced with new caps and some other upgrades in 2009). Since he hasn't found it to be a big improvement he is wondering if the Marantz is the weak link. If it is the weak link, then he will further compare the Parasound performance to the Threshold and determine if the amp upgrade was worth the expense.

  8. #8

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    It sounds to me that your friend really can't be sure what he is unhappy with, just that he isn't happy with the 2-ch performance.

    In my opinion - unless you are stepping into the upper echelons of pre/pros - most affordable AVRs and pre/pros will always be the weak link for those who emphasize 2-ch audio (again, just my opinion).

    I went down the same path and ended up with a hybrid system for HT/2-ch audio by getting an integrated with HT bypass and hooking up my audio source components to the integrated instead of my AVR.

    But, I'm not your friend, and won't know what he is not happy with - only he can decide that.

    There is yet another option - he could get a preamp w/o HT bypass and try that with the Threshold and see if he is happy.

    If he is, you can directly hook up a preamp that does not have HT bypass to a pre/pro or avr using the preouts from the pre/pro to one of the preamps line level inputs.

    When you want to use the pre/pro for movies, you would need to adjust the preamp volume control for unity gain relative to the volume of the rest of the system: make the volume of the front speakers thru the preamp/threshold match the volume of the rest of the speakers for a given volume setting on the pre/pro - and mark down where the preamp volume control was set for matching loudness.

    Then, whenever you switch the preamp to listen thru the pre/pro - first adjust the preamp volume control to that setting.

    Or - just get a preamp with HT bypass.

    If he likes Parasound, they make a nice preamp with HT bypass.
    Last edited by Erik Tracy; 04-03-2013 at 04:40 PM.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by adb3da@yahoo.co View Post
    He's trying to determine if the the 2-ch audio with the Threshold would sound better with a 2-ch preamp vs. the Marantz AV processor.
    Most likely.

    Have your friend look at a Parasound New Classic 2100 Pre Amp which has HT bypass built in. Solid pre and sounds better then a AVR!

  10. #10

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    Yes, Look at the Niles.

    So what is it you want to do?
    share the front two speakers with the 2ch pre-amp?
    do you want one unit for HT and the other pre-amp for 2ch music while sharing the same parasound amp for power?

    If so let me know and I will post a niles product for you.

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