Can I integrate 5Ch Surround with my Stereo setup?

Hi Folks:
I currently have what I think is a high-end stereo set up, with CRT (Electrohome 8500HT) and HTPC on the way. My question is, can I somehow integrate a full five or seven channnel surround set up with my existing stereo, leaving my stereo signal path unaffected when I'm just listening to two channel music? My existing stereo system is Supratek Syrah preamp, Blue Circle BC2 monoblocks, Audio Physic Virgo speakers, Teres 245/OL Silver/Shelter 501MK2 vinyl rig.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to introduce a three channel power amp to the system somehow (like a Bryston 3bst), using that for rear and center, and still use my BC2s to drive the front channels, also introducing a preamp/processor to drive the sound for movies, but not have to plug anything out when I switch from movies to listening to stereo (still want to rely on my supratek syrah as preamp for music but can use something else for movies). Am I asking too much? How do you guys integrate stereo with movies, without having to rely on HT preamp/process for music? Thanks for any and all input!!!
Does the preamp have some kind of Pass-thru input? I see on the web site that they have an option for that:

Otherwise, just buy two more preamps and a processor and your set. No really, I'm not sure except for the above.
Alas, I don't have the home theatre pass through. Although, I could see myself upgrading to another supratek preamp in a year or so - I could get a HT pass through then.

Also, my power amps only have one input, so I'm assuming that getting another preamp (pre/pro) wouldn't work well, as I'd have to keep switching out the connection to the power amps from both the pre/pro and the Suprate pre.
You can still do it, set the volume level on the supratek to 12:00 O'clock. The hook up will work the same as a pass through, you will just have to remember to return the volume on the supratek to the same spot each time you watch a movie because this is the spot you will have set overall volume from the prepro. Hook the Dvd player to the prepro and leave your two channel hooked to the supratek as it is now.

It's easy! The simplest way is to buy a quality HT receiver for processing, switching of HT inputs and powering the surrounds, center and sub.

As Dave said, simply run the L&R front pre-outs from your future HT receiver/processor into any unused inputs on your current pre-amp. Then do the same for your new 3 channel amp and the remaining speakers (5.1, 6.1, 7.1). If you use an HT reciever, simply power the surrounds and center off of the corresponding speaker outputs on the HT receiver.

When listening to 2-channel music, the HT add-on is not even in the circuit and can be turned off. For HT, select the corresponding input on the pre-amp, set the volume on the pre-amp to a pre-designated level (like 12 o'clock or top dead center) and turn on the HT receiver. Your HT sources will connect to the receiver, but your existing L&R front speakers will be powered by your existing 2-channel setup.

It's really quite simple and works well. I've used this setup before with no problems. Its a good way to have excellent 2-channel music and decent HT too.



I agree with SoGood51. He is 100% correct as I use my
2-channel/HT having the ability to listen to music in 2-channel completely unaffected by 5.1 DD. As stated in his previous post, just make sure that wherever you set the volume control on your Supratek when setting up your 5.1, that you must return it to the exact same position when enjoying a movie. Your front mains output from your HT processor would run through your tape loop on your Supratek. I believe that you are also on the right track using a 3-channel amp for your center and surrounds.
Actually, if your preamp/int amp doesnt have AV by pass selection, you can still connect the front speaker output from AV Amp to AUX or other available input of your preamp. The only additional work is to tune the Preamp volume to certain level (half will be max) when watching movie.

Some brands that have AV by pass: Gryphon, Sonic Frontiers
Hi Guys:
All great info. Thanks so much. Looks like I'm more ready for surround sound that I had thought. Cheers,
Guys, just to confirm, should I link the front channel outputs from the pre/pro to a regular input on my Supratek preamp, or the Tape-in inputs? It looks like both suggestions were made - will they both work OK (I just want to be completely risk averse toward any potential damage to my supratek ;-) thanks!
Any extra input is fine..except phono of course. You will need to get in the habit of turning down the volume on the Supratek after you watch a movie as the volume knob will be at 12:00 O'clock.

Thanks for the clarification Dave. All sounds great - it's a relief to hear I can explore the HT/Surround path, and still leave my stereo signal path unaffected. Cheers,
It sounds that preamp in loop is the only solution?

I have the same question. I am using a tube preamp and a receiver. I even don't care wither stereo amp is powering front speakers for movies. But if whenever I watch the movie, I will have to turn on tube preamp, I will have to prepare a bunch of tubes......

Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Hi Folks:
One follow on question I have is that my current power amps (which would drive the front speakers) have a relatively low output/gain compared to many other amps on the market. This works great in conjunction with my high gain preamp (best combination), but if I add another set of poweramps/multichannel amp (which almost certainly have higher output), then will I be able to control the volume on each channel independently? Is such independent control available on all preamp/processors, or just some. This is probably a dumb question to many of you, but I need to be sure I can get the right results, and would need to be sure of independent volume control before pursuing multichannel audio. Thanks in advance!!
Your pre/pro will have level control for all channels for DD/DTS movies. For SACD and DVD-audio surround music..level control for all channels is built into the player. You are good to go!!

Dave, thanks for the confirmation! Cheers,