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Tips for switching from a quality stereo listening to a 5.1 surround sound, always of high quality

Starman963

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Good morning everyone. I am new to the forum, although I have been following you for some time with satisfaction. Congratulations to everyone for the service, and the advice you give.

I am Italian, so please forgive my English.

I mostly listen to liquid music from my imac, all flac files, or from Amazon music hd. I have a RME 400 fireface multi-channel Dac with which I drive an AUDIO RESEARCH VSI 75 amplifier (connected to two Usher Minidancer 2 Diamond speakers) and two Neumann kh 120 active speakers for the ambience (calibrated at a significantly lower volume than the front speakers) .

Here is the first question: I would like to improve listening to my LG oleg TV using 5.1 surround (or even 4.1 without the front speaker) and also faithfully reproduce high resolution music recorded at 5.1 . What options do I have?

Listening to music is okay with my current system, but it plays stereo in front and stereo in back. What do I need for 5.1? A multi-channel preamp? An AV receiver? An Av receiver with integrated amplifier ? I would like something that easily corrects room acoustics but sounds very good. I have seen that generally in these av systems dac and amplifiers are not very good, I don't think up to the Audio Research vsi 75 ... but maybe I'm wrong.

I would like my current research vsi 75 audio to continue driving the front speakers, but also keep my 2 Neumann active speakers. I should only buy a subwoofer. What connection do you recommend? And above all, what do you recommend me to buy as an AV? I would like to spend a maximum of 5,000 euros, plus 1,000 euros for the subwoofer alone.

last question: I saw you speak well of the Okto 8 ch dac. Would I have any improvements to replace my RME 400 fireface?

Thanks for the advice you will be able to give me,

Greetings

flavio
 

twsecrest

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Get a really nice 5.1 receiver,
one that comes with a display port input (if possible).
Get the Usher Mini-X-Diamond speakers for the rears
Usher center channel speaker.
Usher or other brand of self-powered sub-woofer.
Really no need to use the RME 400 interface or the Neumann.
 

Beershaun

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Welcome. Check out Amir's review index and look at his AVR ratings.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?pages/Audio_Equipment_Reviews/
Denon receivers have measured the best in terms of audio quality in his ratings and seem to be the best functionally as well. (E.G. they generally have fewer bugs and problems than all the others). The best Denon is the x8500.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/denon-avr-x8500h-avr-review.15266/

It allows you to turn on/off each channel separately so you can choose to use the internal amplifiers or external powered speakers or amps through the pre-amp outputs on a channel by channel basis. That may be the best choice for you with your mix of powered speakers. It handles the latest surround sound decoding including Dolby Atmos.
 
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Starman963

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Get a really nice 5.1 receiver,
one that comes with a display port input (if possible).
Get the Usher Mini-X-Diamond speakers for the rears
Usher center channel speaker.
Usher or other brand of self-powered sub-woofer.
Really no need to use the RME 400 interface or the Neumann.

Get a really nice 5.1 receiver,
one that comes with a display port input (if possible).
Get the Usher Mini-X-Diamond speakers for the rears
Usher center channel speaker.
Usher or other brand of self-powered sub-woofer.
Really no need to use the RME 400 interface or the Neumann.

This may be a fairly original, but expensive solution. I should buy one av receiver, two usher, one subwoofer. But above all, should I give up Neumann active speakers and a good dac?
Get a really nice 5.1 receiver,
one that comes with a display port input (if possible).
Get the Usher Mini-X-Diamond speakers for the rears
Usher center channel speaker.
Usher or other brand of self-powered sub-woofer.
Really no need to use the RME 400 interface or the Neumann.


This could be a solution, but much more expensive. I should buy three Usher, 1 or 2 subwoofers, 1 AV Receiver.

I could, however:
1) connect my Rme dac to a Denon AVR
2) connect my Audio Research amplifier to the Denon pre out
3) connect my usher speakers to my Audio Research
4) connect the sub (or two subs) and Neumann active speakers to the Denon AVR

Would this work well for 5.1 movies?
Would it work just as well for normal stereo music heard in this 4 speaker setup with 1 or two subwoofers?

I would spend much less, and above all I would use my dac and my Neumann
 
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Starman963

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Welcome. Check out Amir's review index and look at his AVR ratings.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?pages/Audio_Equipment_Reviews/
Denon receivers have measured the best in terms of audio quality in his ratings and seem to be the best functionally as well. (E.G. they generally have fewer bugs and problems than all the others). The best Denon is the x8500.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/denon-avr-x8500h-avr-review.15266/

It allows you to turn on/off each channel separately so you can choose to use the internal amplifiers or external powered speakers or amps through the pre-amp outputs on a channel by channel basis. That may be the best choice for you with your mix of powered speakers. It handles the latest surround sound decoding including Dolby Atmos.


Thanks for the welcome. From Amir's reviews, I'd love the denon x3700 H.

Denon 8500 has many more channels, more power, and audio quality would seem almost on par with the 3700 model.

I would like to listen to music and movies in 4.1 or 4.2, without too many speakers.

The question is, as I just asked twsecrest:

could I :
1) connect my Rme dac to a Denon AVR 3700 or 4500 (or use Denon internal dac?! Would I lose quality?)
2) connect my Audio Research amplifier to the Denon pre out
3) connect my usher speakers to my Audio Research
4) connect the sub (or two subs) and Neumann active speakers to the Denon AVR

Would this work well for 5.1 movies?
Would it work just as well for normal stereo music heard in this 4-speaker setup with 1 or two subwoofers?

For subwoofers, would you recommend active or passive models?
 

Beershaun

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The question is, as I just asked twsecrest:

could I :
1) connect my Rme dac to a Denon AVR 3700 or 4500 (or use Denon internal dac?! Would I lose quality?)
2) connect my Audio Research amplifier to the Denon pre out
3) connect my usher speakers to my Audio Research
4) connect the sub (or two subs) and Neumann active speakers to the Denon AVR

Would this work well for 5.1 movies?
Would it work just as well for normal stereo music heard in this 4-speaker setup with 1 or two subwoofers?

For subwoofers, would you recommend active or passive models?

By the numbers:
1)use the Denon internal DAC. Any room correction or surround decoding is done digitally so any analog signal coming in (like from your external DAC) is then reconverted to digital and processed. Then the internal DAC converts it back to analog to send to the amplifiers. So any external DAC is effectively neutralized or possibly made worse than just sending the digital signal to the Denon by the ADC step.
2)yes. You can totally connect your AR to the preouts. The thing that will make th difference between the x8500 and x3700 is whether or not you are going to go completely pre out for all channels or just some of them. The 3700 has a bit of an all/nothing approach where you can put it in preamp.mode and all the internal amplifiers are turned off, or amp assign mode where you can mix and match but all the internal amps are still running which reduces SINAD and could create distortion if they clip. Even if not hooked up. So if you go full preamp the x3700 is going to be great. If you plan to mix preamp and internal.amps the x8500 will be better sound quality as it can turn off each internal amplifier discreetly.
3) nothing changes for your Usher speakers if you hook them to your AR amplifier today you can still do the same with the AVR.
4)yes. The avr has 2 separate subwoofer pre outs and Audessey does separate room correction for them in the new models, which is a great improvement from previous models. Active speakers can hook directly to your preouts. Only thing to check is what voltage they need to achieve full power. The AVR I believe only goes to 1.4v preouts before the sinad drops due to internal amplifier clipping. So make sure they don't need more than 1.4v or check Amirs review to confirm the output voltage.

Would work great for 5.2 movies and for normal stereo listening.

For subwoofers active.models are much more common and there is a wide range of choices. Since it's a sub preouts you need external amplifier for subwoofers anyway. Check the subwoofer reviews in the speaker section. @sweetchaos is comparing powered subwoofers to see which perform best.they are testing to a standard which gives a great way to rank them in terms of performance. I believe the Monoprice Monolith thx series are the current reigning bang/buck champions. I personally have svs-sb2000 and am very happy with it.
 
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sweetchaos

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Starman963

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By the numbers:
1)use the Denon internal DAC. Any room correction or surround decoding is done digitally so any analog signal coming in (like from your external DAC) is then reconverted to digital and processed. Then the internal DAC converts it back to analog to send to the amplifiers. So any external DAC is effectively neutralized or possibly made worse than just sending the digital signal to the Denon by the ADC step.
2)yes. You can totally connect your AR to the preouts. The thing that will make th difference between the x8500 and x3700 is whether or not you are going to go completely pre out for all channels or just some of them. The 3700 has a bit of an all/nothing approach where you can put it in preamp.mode and all the internal amplifiers are turned off, or amp assign mode where you can mix and match but all the internal amps are still running which reduces SINAD and could create distortion if they clip. Even if not hooked up. So if you go full preamp the x3700 is going to be great. If you plan to mix preamp and internal.amps the x8500 will be better sound quality as it can turn off each internal amplifier discreetly.
3) nothing changes for your Usher speakers if you hook them to your AR amplifier today you can still do the same with the AVR.
4)yes. The avr has 2 separate subwoofer pre outs and Audessey does separate room correction for them in the new models, which is a great improvement from previous models. Active speakers can hook directly to your preouts. Only thing to check is what voltage they need to achieve full power. The AVR I believe only goes to 1.4v preouts before the sinad drops due to internal amplifier clipping. So make sure they don't need more than 1.4v or check Amirs review to confirm the output voltage.

Would work great for 5.2 movies and for normal stereo listening.

For subwoofers active.models are much more common and there is a wide range of choices. Since it's a sub preouts you need external amplifier for subwoofers anyway. Check the subwoofer reviews in the speaker section. @sweetchaos is comparing powered subwoofers to see which perform best.they are testing to a standard which gives a great way to rank them in terms of performance. I believe the Monoprice Monolith thx series are the current reigning bang/buck champions. I personally have svs-sb2000 and am very happy with it.



Many thanks for your availability and your advice, Beershaun

Two more questions:

1) Can I set two different configurations with the denon 3700, the first with the rear and the sub more powerful for the cinema, the second a little less pumped to be able to hear only stereo music in 4 + 1 is it possible? Or a need 4700 or 6700 denon's models?

2) I connect my amplifier to the denon used only as a preamp; can I in this configuration remove some low frequencies from my front speakers and bring them only to the sub to make them sound better? Or to do this I have to drive my speakers directly from the denon that manages everything in this way (which I would like to avoid because I would like to continue using my good amp)
 

twsecrest

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Many thanks for your availability and your advice, Beershaun Two more questions:
1) Can I set two different configurations with the Denon 3700, the first with the rear and the sub more powerful for the cinema, the second a little less pumped to be able to hear only stereo music in 4 + 1 is it possible? Or a need 4700 or 6700 Denon's models?
2) I connect my amplifier to the Denon used only as a preamp; can I in this configuration remove some low frequencies from my front speakers and bring them only to the sub to make them sound better? Or to do this I have to drive my speakers directly from the Denon that manages everything in this way (which I would like to avoid because I would like to continue using my good amp)
I think you should not waste time trying to get 4.1 (4+1), as there is no good reason for that feature to be supported (built into) by modern A/V receivers.
 
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