Your C-39 (assuming this wasn't a typo for the C-38 2 channel preamp) allows this, albeit in prologic surround only. The MX-132 (preowned for about $3,300) decodes DD and DTS, while the MX-134 (new, $7,000) allows 6.1/7.1 processing.
You most certainly can use what you have. If you like the sound of the C-39 and MC-352, here is what I would do.
Sell the preamp, and get the MX-132. Probably about a $2,500 upgrade. (a friend of mine is selling his 132 if you are interested) Keep the MC-352 for right and left, and pick up a McIntosh MC-7205 (5 channel amp with three meters across the front) for your center, surrounds, and keep the extra side channels someday, 7.1. The MC-7205 will sell for about $2,200 to $2,500 preowned. I used to use this exact set up, and it is wonderful! Oh yeah, and it looks VERY nice as well!!
Let me know if you have any other questions, I love McIntosh gear!
Another choice is to get a 5/6 channel power amp that is high enough quality and build to both offer dynamic range for movie soundtracks, as well as finesse for music playback.
This is a tough niche for an amp to fill, but there are a few. Most processors out now will have a 2 channel pass through, that will bypass the DSP chip, and let you use the processor as a 2 channel preamp for stereo playback. This is how my system is set up, with a Cinepro 3K6SE GOLD powering 4 Silverline Audio Sonatina II's and a Center Stage. I use an Aragon Stage 1 pre/pro which has an incredible sounding preamp section. I can switch between 2 channel direct analog stereo, and digital 5.1 with a push on the remote.
Placing any speaker, virtuall, "in the corners" is not going to do well sonically for the most part. Also, the soundstage(if you listen to them on the long wall, spread to the sidewalls), assuming the long wall set up for both movies and HT in the same system, is not going to immage well. Speaker placement and seating placement are both critical for great sound as a foundation.
You will also NEED A DD/DTS PRE/PRO! You can't expect great movie sound without enlisting the help of an OUTBOARD dd/dts pre/pro...simple as that. If you're considering using the analog out's from your DVD to your 2 channel stereo preamp for movies, or even to multi amps, you can forget it..just incase you were considering this.
Also, Are you sure the Plasma is going to give you enough cinematic drama for that room? 42" is small. I've found that a larger picture is a critical element in making the HT experience enveloping! You can easily spend not so much on any number of truely fantastic DLP projectors for this task, and can(even with modest 480P immages) easily get a 70" immage or larger that will look fantastic!
One thought might be to use the plasma over the fireplace for TV watching, but have a screen that comes down in front of it, with projector set up in the rear for movies!...MUCH MORE DRAMATIC AND EXCITING for movies!(once you go large screen/high quality pic, you'll never go back!)
Also, remember that the Grand Piano speakers are better, more laid back music speakers, rather than high dynamic, focused and coherent HT speakers! The pressence and involvment for movies will be more polite and laid back for an HT pressentation...so just be forewarned. You will do much better, indeed, if you do sit closer proximity wise to the speakers. So, in your case, if you listen to the speaker across the short run(speakers and chairs along the long wall, not short wall). If you place the speakers on the long wall, you'll be hearing much more dirrect sound rather than reflected. This is definitly likely if you have your speakers set up more out in the room.
But, it's all trade-offs in the end. If you are more into what you get from the SF's for music, then those might just be the ticket for you. If you wish to Maximize HT, you could try some more "movie" oriented monitors.
Once you listen to a real high end HT you will mostly listen through a 6;1 system.I would strongly recommend a Meridian 861 V3 processor,a little expensive but worth it.
I think I should clarify my last post a bit better...for the record, I AM an advocate of the "long wall" set up for placing speakers! Usually, with less effort, you'll find you can get better sound overall with this set up. However, with your mentioning of setting the speakers all the way "in the corner", I was protesting a bit! speakers spread almost 30ft appart from each other in your set up, will indeed have solid immaging challenges.(especially in 2 channel). If you would move your speakers closer inwards toward the screen a bit, you would be much better off. If you have only one seat set in the middle of the room, you might play around with 1/4 possitions (definitely not my favorite chioce however) from the sidewalls, or slightly off of that(perhaps a bit better). If you want to sit in between the main two speakers for 2 channel stereo listening a lot, and the room is asymetrical, you have more options. So you'll have to play around a bit. If you have two seats you would be considering using, you might start with 1/6 possitions for your speakers along the long wall(from the sides). This is all assuming your room is a perfectly symetrical(and closed in) 30x15x9.
If you do opt for the long wall set up(which will require less immediate attention to critical room acoustics treatments and consideration, you will have a much better likelyhood of getting terrific sound.
I would however, if you can, strongly recommend you change the 15x30 dimmension! Bringing, say, the 30ft dimmension down by about 6% in length would yield you much much better sonic results than 30ft even!(assuming an exact 15ft for the short distance). The other attractive option would be to add 6% in dimmension to your 15ft dimmension! This will smooth out the bass nodes much better than a 15x30 dimmension overall.
Also, in reference to your SF Piano speaker sellection for HT applications, you might find the sound totally acceptable if you indeed do the "long wall set up", or at the very lest set up the system so that you're poximaly closer to the speakers...or at least closer in proportion to the speakers than you are to the side wall and ceiling reflections!
Anyway, hope this helps.
I am in the middle of trying and it just wont happen. There will always be a comprimise, at least fro me. i like tubes for music. And walls fallng down for movies.
I just came to this board right now to start looking for HT speakers and just move my Merlins to a dedicated listing room
No! Stick with dedicated HT room and two channel room unless you want to spend lots of money! By combining the two, you will have to give something up as the room set up is always the problem. If money is no object you can obtain both! With the eq. you have now and a few other pieces you can have a nice system but it depends on how critical you are with the sound of both. For me, I have never heard a HT set up sound as good as a Kller two channel set up. You can get close but if your looking for that last drop of greatness dont combine the two systems.
It is feasible to branch them without losing the integriy of the 2ch..Atleas that is my aim.
To use a Passive pre-amp with a 2\ch. and 5ch. amp to be used for the center and surrounds.That leaves the main amp to only do the duties you desire for the Main speaker's.You add a SS Processor and use that through the tape loop of the Passive.
I have a Lexicon CP-3 Pro which might not have AX-3,but then again I am not into this for Movies.
I am waiting on my Main speaker's(being built}and CC speaker then I shall set it all up.
If there are any options or I am missing something please inform me.
NAD say YES. Has anyone experienced the new NAD top-end HT reciever in stereo mode?
If you don't have a five-channel home theater system but like to watch DVDs, Magnum Dynalab delivers a convincing 5.1-channel experience using only two speakers with the MD-10 (world's first licensed Dolby Digital virtual surround processor).
The processing chip decodes 5.1-channel data from your DVD player and applies world-class spatial hearing algorithms to bring home theater performance to your two-channel sound system.
Just connect your DVD player's digital output to one of the MD-10's digital inputs. Then connect the MD-10's analog outputs to any free input on your preamp, receiver, or integrated amp and you're ready to go. If you like there is also a sub-woofer output RCA for adding a sub (true 5.1). One Toslink optical digital input and two coaxial digital inputs ensure that the Magnum Dynalab is compatible with any DVD player. Sampling rates of 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz and 96 kHz accommodate the full range of DVD player makes and models.
I have one for sale if interested $ 600 retail / $350 OBO / perfect condition (no original box does not require a remote).
I have an AVM 20 and 7.1 now so I do not use the processor any more.
Send me an eMail (Harleyhawk - member)
The answer to the question is yes.Here's an example to keep your 2ch. seperate from your HT playback.Does not have AC-3,but that I could live witout do to the cost.