Luddite that I am, I am in the process of putting together our first home theater setup, and could use some help. It's always been about two channel/analog for me, and I am way behind the times when it comes to video. I want to keep it as simple as possible, not too expensive, and want to use some of the gear that I now use as a second system in our weekend country get-away place. I am interested in a basic surround setup (5.1), for prerecorded movie playback only (DVD's, movie downloads , but no cable or network tv), and the kids' video games. The
system will be also used for two channel music listening, which is why I would like keep the current gear and hopefully simply (?) integrate the new video and additional audio gear.
The current sound system consists of Meitner PA6i preamp and Meitner 101 mono blocks, Totem Arro speakers and EAD transport and DAC. I will probably add a turntable to the system at some point, which is one of the reasons I want to keep the Meitner gear (good phono), as well as the fact that it sounds great with the Arro's, is small and looks great.
My thoughts so far are to add a Totem Dreamcatcher center, rears and subwoofer for 5.1 use, an appropriate 5.1 surround processor, and a Meitner MTR50 stereo amp for the rear channels. Video will probably be handled by a Panasonic or Samsung 60in plasma. First question:
Is there a good, reasonably priced surround preamp that has a "pass-through" feature so that I can use the Meitner pre for two channel music listening with minimal sound degradation? BTW, the Meitner has two sets of outputs for whatever that's worth.
I have no illusions about getting sound that comes anywhere near SOTA, but would like to enhance movie viewing, and retain the sound of the existing second system for music listening. I welcome any thoughts/suggestions re processor, speakers, set-up, etc.
Thanks in advance.