Better Path to 5 Channels - 3 ch + 2 ch or 5 Ch?

Hello all,

I currently have a 2 channel system that I am very pleased with. However, I am thinking of adding 3 more channels to give me 5 for use in home theater and 2 for music.

My question is this... to get to 5 channels, would it be better to add a second 3 channel amp to my existing 2 channel system, or to sell my current 2 channel amp and replace it with one 5 channel amp? I’ve heard the multi-channel HT amps are generally not as good as 2 channel amps.

The system will be dual use - 2 channel for music, 5 channels for HT. I do not want to sacrifice the performance of my current 2 channel system, so am not sure if replacing my current 2 channel amp with a 5 channel amp would be a step backwards where 2 channel listening is concerned.

Current system is:
AMP - Mark Levinson No.29
Pre - Theta Casablanca II
Speaks - Green Mountain Callisto

I was thinking of either adding a 3 channel amp, such as a McCormick DNA-HT1, or selling the ML No.29 and replacing it with something like a McIntosh 7106. I’m just starting to learn about gear, so any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any advice or inputs!

The ML 29 you have is a wonderful sounding amp and, IMHO, one of the best of a series of amps ML ever made. You should keep the ML and look for a 3-channel to complete your system. Since you want to preserve the quality of your 2-channel, this would be the best solution. If you're patient, you might see a decent 3-channel come up for sale on audiogon, like an Anthem MCA-3 or something similar, that would complement your ML 29.
Thanks, Ncarv... i appreciate the inputs. i am quite pleased with the 2-ch performance, so am hesitant to mess with that aspect. if it ain't broke, as they say.

i was considering the 5 ch approach for 2 reasons... 1. simpler for the wife (one less thing to turn on and off) and 2. i thought it might give me a good excuse to get more than the 50WPC that my No.29 sends to my mains.

sounds like my early inclination was the right one.

thanks again,