I am an avid 2 channel advocate, as well as a HT multi channel junkie. I DO NOT LIKE to compromise teh integrity of my sonics, at ANY TIME!!! If I can't have quality sound, from any of the systems I may set up, I would rather not at all.
I've come to the place in my life that I've become addicted to SPECIAL sound quality, as well as video quality! I would MUCH RATHER build a dedicated 2 channel system,with integrated pre/pro for the movies, and do what you are doing with the "processor through-put" on your preamp, and just switch for different sources, then to get 5 channels of MEDIOCRE TO POOR OVERALL SOUND!...ANY TIME!!
Actually, the way you are doing it is the way to do an "integrated" 2 ch/HT system really. Even just doing 2 speakers with a good subwoofer integrated is excellent overall sonically if you do it right! You still need to run your mains as "small" usually from the processor for movies, and let powered sub (unless your speakers have powered subs built in) handle the demanding bass from movies(and rock ideally).! You can get away with a good amp and some full range speakers run, well, full range for most music dubties(although more dynamic the other way), but not for movies! It never sounds as dynamic and powerful. Also, a digital pre/pro is A MUST for movies..which you're doing.
So, I think you're doing it right largely.
I think there's WAY TOO MANY people out there who don't have quality ALL AROUND, and are just getting by with COMPROMISED sonics from A LOT OF speakers...but that's ok.
For me however, If I can't do quality from EVERY POST, I'll skip thanks.
Another thing, receivers are largely done for me...they don't have the refinement, dynamics, noise floor, or ch/separation and strenght of detail to sustain me for HT! Separates IS THE WAY to go.(all you RECEIVER JUNKIES TAKE NOTE!...separates wax receivers in every way!!!..end of story.)
Really, probably 90% or more of the people have an "ALL IN ONE" system. So, you gotta make do with what you got. All the audio reviewers have separate systems. And to MAXIMIZE both of them, you largely usually do have to do 2 systems almost these days. But, if you know what you're doing(most don't), you can do it right with one system. But to do a top notch job, you REALLY gottab be up on your game!...and that takes time, experience, and dedication...things most don't have.
At any rate, it's all good...somes just "gooder" than others!
I used to have a single integrated system like the one you describe. When my financial circumstances changed for the better, I decided to go in a slightly different direction. I continued to use Krell solid state electronics and Thiel speakers for my HT rig. But I went with Audio Research vacuum tube electronics and Magneplanar speakers for music. They are in separate rooms. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, but I am very happy with both.
Most recently, I added a Pioneer PV 47ai to the HT rig for multichannel SACD/DVD Audio.
I'm integrated just like yours. My stereo preamp has a SSP loop which I have my Denon receiver running through. I'm fine with it for the last year or so. Much better than when I tried to go music through a high end SSP (Proceed). The only limitations are that many preamps still don't have SSP loops, so it limits your preamp choices. However, I don't have any plans for changing my setup in the near future, unless I roll into a big chunk of change like Kinsekd.
Here is my system:
i do have 2 separate rooms, although only my 2-channel room is listed on audiogon. my priority is heavily 2-channel and that room is without compromise to the degree that the room will allow me.
one big reason for a separate 2-channel room is my desire to have my 2-channel room a comfortable place to be for longer periods of time and a place my wife can interact with me.....more of a shared space.....it has french doors with windows and if i leave them open my wife can enjoy the music from the other room. also, i don't have to control the light in that room and i don't have all the other speaker drivers and electronics to compromise the 2-channel performance.
my Home Theatre room is a separate room in another part of the house that has a ceiling mounted CRT and can be completely blacked out.......when in there i am sort of in a 'enclosed place' and interaction is difficult.
i also have a HT system in my family room but don't use it much.
the descrption of my HT room is on my system page on AA here (scroll to the bottom);
i have seen many sucessfull combination rooms but, if possible, 2 separate rooms are the way to go.
I agree with the two seperate systems. Since putting in my new system 3 years ago, I have come to realize the compromise I made in 2 channel listening. I went with a Pre/Pro to handle both 2 and 5 channel. I have a 2 channel amp for the mains and a 3 channel amp for the center surrounds and sub. While this works real well, it is not up to a good true 2 channel system. So I have been slowly researching and changing to a more 2 channel friendly system. I have decided to add a more "musical" 2 channel SS amp, a tube pre with an EPS (external processor loop) for video, and I am adding a true tube cd player so I don't use my combo cd/dvd player for 2 channel. My Pioneer Elite DV09 does a good job with music but not nearly as well as other CD players out there. I am also changing my processor to a more simple but up to date unit that has a second zone for multi room use. Since I am replacing my main 2 channle amp, I now have a great 2 channel amp to run with a Niles speaker controller to take over the duties of my multi room speaker systems that has previously been run with a Sony reciever. This has worked well since it is mostly background music, but now this system gets the benefits of my other upgrades.
I am still in the process of deciding on the preamp, cd player and processor so they shall remain nameless for now, but I will let you know what I decide and how it all works out. Meanwhile it is fun to shop, knowing good things are coming soon.....
I gave up my HT stuff about five years ago and I don't miss it one bit. I run the DVD through my 2 channel stereo and I'm very happy with the results. I do see most *big* movies at the the theater, so that may explain why I don't miss the HT.
thanks for the input so far.
I guess, ideally, it would be better to have seperate systems...the one thing I am not willing to change is the room. I have my main (and only) system in my livingroom. This is a big reason why the systems are integrated. This is a place where my wife and I can sit down and relax...watching Tv or listening to music. The room is a place where I am comfortable...although it is less than perfect with several windows and hardwood floors (tho some room treatments did help it tremendously.
I will be done with a set of speakers I'm building soon...so, I guess I can split my system up if I wanted too...but I don't. I'll probably end up moving my current fronts to the rear and my new speakers to the front.
see how it goes ;)
thanks again fer your input
Have 2 separate systems....
The Ht system is also an excellent Solid State musical system... with a Krell kav 300 cdp and Aragon Palladium monoblocks to Mirage OM9s... very nice and powerful....
The tube system consists of a Sonic Frontiers sfs 80 with kt90 tubes from upscale audio and a arc ls7 with infinity caps fed by a Rega p3 and Classe cdp3. Speakers are
Definately a warmer more musical system due to the tubes and vinyl setup... but i love the SS system equally.
Depends on my mood... I prefer to listen to hard music on the SS system and detailed or long listening music on the
Custom Audio LLC
I have a combined system -- I use a Channel Islands passive preamp for 2-channel, and run the front channel outputs from my Lexicon DC-1 into the passive for HT listening. That way, no gain matching issues -- just turn the passive volume to max, and you're good to go.
That said, I WOULD have two systems if I had another room to spare . . . . sigh . . . .
If you remember from a couple of years ago, I was also an advocate of your type of integrated system. I've done exactly as you have and had a nice 2-channel system with an HT bypass loop to add on an HT receiver. It worked very well and is a very good idea for any 2-channel person who would like to add HT to their room. My suggestion, as it has been for a few years, is to build the best 2-channel system you can, then add an inexpensive quality receiver for HT duties. The surround speakers don't have to be very expensive either, as the amount of information that is directed to them is limited.
That said, I recently seperated my systems. They reside in the same rack, but I put 3 Jamo A510 "Art" speakers high across the front wall so they would be out of the way of my 2-channel speakers. They are placed much wider than my 2-cannel speakers and provide a wider sound for movies. The other nice thing about it is now all 3 of my front speakers are identical.
For anyone interested in 2-channel music, but wanting decent HT in the same room, an integrated system works just fine and it is much less expensive than trying to build 2 independant specialized systems. You will have un-compromised 2-channel music and adequate HT.
I've owned a two channel system of one kind or another for a long time. I'm fortunate that I have enough room to be able to maintain two separate systems. Home theater for me is entertainment and it's fun to enjoy surround sound with a well filmed movie on a big screen RPTV. HOWEVER, real pleasure for me is a well recorded piece of music reproduced on an outstanding two channel setup. There may be some day that I'll have to combine the two, but until then nothing touches late night listening in a darkened room with the tubes glowing listening to an old favorite.
I separate my HT from my high-performance, audio-only systems. I feel that there's no place for my RPTV between my speakers and it seems to me that there is a bass EQ incompatibility (not to mention upper midrange) between the audio and video formats. Since I don't want to compromise my imaging or keep adjusting my system EQ back and forth for DVD or CD, my solution is to optimize each type of system for its intended purpose.
I guess I could set an integrated system up to sound acceptable with either format, but I'd definitely consider it a rather large compromise. People have done it and even fooled themselves into thinking it's okay, but for my own requirements, I need to keep them separate. Period. I hope that's clear!
I'm still a stereo guy. I did play with putting a T.V. between my speakers a few months ago. Borrowed a mid-price Dolby rec and tried a few movies. It was fun for sure, and actually sounded better to me than a lot of HTs I've heard. The TV screen hurt the stereo imaging however so I took it out. Someday I plan on doing a real HT, it will likely be separate because of the screen issue as much as anything.
All valid points...I do understand my system is compromised...largely due to the room...but the focus of my system is 2 channel...and the HT just sorta follows along. I can't wait to get my edgarhorns done (one of these days)...I have heard them and they do sound great with music...and music is my only focus with these speakers...but I am curious how they will sound with HT...as they'll be pulling double duty. I suspect it will be very hard to blend these in with the rest of the speakers...I guess I'll just have to order me some more round Edgar tractrix horns (after my wallet recovers)
take care all>>>>>>>>