Combining 2 channel audio and home theatre

Hi, i’m trying to find out ways to maximise audio quality from my system. So basically i’m running a 5.1 system connected to my Denon AVR. Even though i’m pretty satisfied with the overall movie experience, i’m still trying to find out if there’s anything i could do to bring out the most out of my system within my budget to improve the quality of 2 channel music experience. All my sources are digital (TV, TIDAL via Nvidia Shield) and i have to do it in the same room.

My setup:

Triangle Borea BRO3 for my front left and right. ( 100W, 90db sensitivity )

Denon X3700

I’ve set it all up in my bedroom, pretty small space. (Roughly 2.5 m distance from the speakers.)

Alright, so here’s a few things i’m considering .

  1. Getting a separate Power Amplifier : Since these AVR’s power ratings are not so reliable and i’ve read from several sources that it’s good to separate the amplifying and pre processing to get a clean signal.If i do this i’ll still have my Denon as a Preamp and i’m not sure if it’ll have any impact for Music. If i do, how much of improvement will i get in terms of audio quality (Not loudness as my listening space is pretty small) and is it worth the extra expense?

  2. Getting an Integrated Stereo Amplifier : Okay so this is a bit tricky for me. Since my music source is only TIDAL via NVidia Shield connected Straight to Denon, is there anyway to practically make both my AVR(For movies) and Stereo AMP(For Music) work together? I understand that i have to connect using the Preout from AVR to Stereo AMP, but it will basically make the Integrated Stereo AMP work like a regular Amplifier right? As in, the audio pre processing will still be done by my AVR since my music source is connected to the AVR. I wanna keep all my sources connected to the AVR and fully make use of the Stereo AMP(both it’s preprocessing and amplifier) when listening to music, as well as switch to 5.1 while watching movies. is that possible? Even if it is possible, will it bring a big difference to the audio quality?

Among these 2 options, which is the best way to go? Or is there any other ways to get an even better result? My budget is around 700$ .

I have been trying to find this info everywhere to integrate hifi stereo with a 5.1 setup and all i could get is by connecting the audio source, ex Turn table, directly to the stereo amp and making the connection to AVR via Preout. I wanna keep my AVR as the main hub and listen to music via TIDAL. I’m pretty new to this and It’ll be really helpful if you guys could help me out!

FYI, i don’t wanna change any of the equipments i’m using as i just got them recently. I’m very satisfied with my Denon for movies and the sound signature i get from my Triangle BRO3’s are really good too, it’s just i wanna know if i’m missing out on anything to bring out the full potential of these speakers.

Best solution truth be told. Run an Multichannel AV Preamp/Processor (e.g. my Onkyo PR-SC5530) and separately, a really good 2 Channel Preamp (I run a BAT VK-50SE).

This way for 2 Channel, you get the best that you can afford, and the Multichannel Preamp will use the better Amps connected to the Left & Right channels which the Cheaper Amps can run the rest of the Channels. Personally, I believe in running the L, C, & R with the same Amplifiers while going cheap on the Atmos/Surround channels is OK in my book. I listen to a lot of multichannel SACD’s & DVD-Audio discs but for movies, you can get away with cheaper amps since the sound effects in movies aren’t really “HiFi” anyway. You will be stuck with the Pre/Pro’s DAC’s for Movies and Multichannel Music Discs. But if you are clever (or lucky like me), PCM 5.1 Audio’s L & R can be played through the better quality DAC, while the Center & Surround will utilize the cheaper DAC’s found inside the A/V Pre/Pro.

Make sure connect the L & R Output of the A/V Pre/Pro to another input of the Better quality 2 channel Preamp. Your ears will thank you :slightly_smiling_face:.

Just my 5 cents

Thanks for the reply!

Yeah but sadly i’ve already got an AVR and i dont have much space to put that many amps, thats why i just chose to run just the L/R with a separate AMP and the rest of the channels will use the AMP in my Denon AVR. Is there any other way i could pull it off?

How about my first step? if i just connect a 2 channel Power Amp to my AVR, will it have a noticeable good difference in the audio quality? Since, through this method, i’ll be giving a good quality dedicated power amp to power my L/R rather than the low grade ones from my AVR. Basically, through this method, i’m doing the same as you suggested right? i’ll be turning my AVR into a pre/pro.

Sorry, i’m pretty new to this and hence a lot of questions.

Most AVR’s are deficient in two areas. One is the choice of devices used in the signal path. (poor performing opamps and capacitors) And two, the amount of available headroom on the amplification side. The first shortcoming can only be remedied by replacement devices, or choice of another base to start with. The second can be addressed by utilizing an external amp to drive the L/R speaker sets.

Most bookshelf sized speakers do a great job in the mid-bass and high end component, but must rely on a separate sub to reach the lows most seek, and that has no real effect on headroom, since it’s amp resides in the sub. The amps in the Denon are fair, but there are a number of choices that provide much better specs. Look for an amp that meets the recommended power (in your case Triangle recommends 90w per channel) but has much cleaner THD, something like under 0.007% at it’s rated power rather than the 0.7% of the Denon. Headroom of over 2~3dB is preferable for the dynamics most seek.

Also, keep in mind, that if you are running your equipment through power conditioners, placing a high current device on a conditioner that provides both common mode, and differential mode filtering, the differential filtering can limit current, so anything that is used as the power amp, whether the Denon, or a separate, use common mode filtering only. (this is why you see separate “power amp” designated outlets on filtering devices)

That’s what I did with my egg fryer Marantz SR5011 (long since sold it). I ran two McIntosh MC50’s off of the L & R Pre-Out’s and used the AVR’s “HDAM” Amps for the Center/Surrounds. Never liked it’s “Pure Audio” setting and always had to revert to the Audyssey EQ’d curve to get decent sound out of it.

Here’s what I did last year prior to getting the Onkyo A/V Preamp :

If one wants to “keep it in the family” then a good choice I would look into would be like this, https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Denon-Poa-1500-Amplifier/164417676615?hash=item26480ea547:g:s9MAAOSwgntfM0~N

I was in your shoes at one point and think it would be your best bet to get a good used 2 channel amp on eBay. Something like an Adcom GFA 555 II could be picked up for under your budget and would serve ya well for several years until ya get the money to upgrade further. I think the Adcom would be a huge upgrade for two channel over the AV power in the Denon. One day you could trade in the Adcom for some PS Audio Stellar M700’s to go to the next level. My 2 cents…

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Just remember, he can only deliver 0dBV so it would be a stretch to reach rated output of the Adcom, and bus gain structure would suffer.

I started out using a Denon receiver too. Then, I bought a separate amp and it brought my system to a new level. The receiver just could not control the bass in my Legacy floorstanding speakers. And the highs and mid range were clearer too with the separate amp. It was the best investment that I have made and provided the biggest improvement to sound quality.

Later I bought a separate preamp with a home theater bypass. The home theater bypass allows using the separate amp with the receiver for multi channel and using the receiver to control the volume. The amp is connected to the preamp. The preamp has a higher signal to noise ratio than the receiver which would bring out more details in the music.

So, I use the receiver for multi channel and the preamp for two channel. That is the best of both worlds.