Home cinema newbie questions...preamp advice


Want to get a little 3 channel rig setup for christmas. I have Dali Euphonia MS4 speakers and a Belles 150A Hotrod power amp. I'm wondering what preamp to get...can i link my TV/LCD directly into a normal preamp or does it have to have some fancy home cinema setting or something?

Help..i am a home cinema virgin!!! :))

I'm not sure if you'll really get much out of 3 channels vs Stereo. I find the center channel isn't always helpful, or even noticeable. This is especially true if your speakers image well. I do like having the rear channels however, and for that you need a pre-pro. I'm not sure what your budget is, but there are many pre-pro's on the used market at bargain prices.
can i use the 3rd channel to power the sub?

I agree with Bdgregory - forget the 3-channel idea and just go with 2. IMO, get a 2-channel pre-amp to connect to both the audio OUTs of your sat/cable receiver and DVD player. Connect the video OUTs of the sat/cable receiver and DVD player directly to the TV video inputs 1 and 2 (no audio connected to the TV and no video connected to the pre-amp). Be sure to set the sat/cable and DVD players' internal menus to default to "stereo". To answer the question "can i link my TV/LCD directly into a normal preamp?" The answer is don’t - just connect the TV directly to the video sources and use the pre-amp for audio only. Later on you can go one step further and add a powered subwoofer. In that case you could connect the pre-amp to the subwoofer (via RCA), then connect the subwoofer output to the Belles amp (also via RCA). This works great because both the main speakers and Belles are low frequency filtered – just the sub produces the bass. That is what I do for my AV system and it works wonderfully.

Any line output should be fine as a line INPUT into your receiver or preamp. I wouldn't think your sub would work well as you describe it unless you have a LOT of power to feed it. (Are you sure it isn't a powered sub?)


Bob Wood
I disagree. The center channel on most 5.1 tracks is by far the most used. I think that for theater, the center is the most important speaker. Get a matching center and a sub and find another belles to power them both?
Bob Wood,

Yes, the subwoofer is powered using a 350W digital amp and the main amp for the satellites is 120W solid state.


Good point that, "the center channel on most 5.1 tracks is by far the most used". That is certainly true when playing the 5.1 part of the disc. However, a properly set up 2 channel system, in stereo, will reproduce the "center" information with no problem, but proper sitting position becomes more important since one must be seated more in the middle of the speakers to locate the dialog in the center of the screen.


Yes i was going to use the 3rd channel to power the sub. I had no intention of using a centre channel speaker :)

If i have a multi-format spinner like a modded Sony 999ES can i run it to my TV and preamp line-in? Is this how it works?

I do agree with you on imaging properly. I guess that 5.1 is designed for 2 reasons these days: 1-It's idiot proof to put the center channel in to avoid imaging problems. 2-To most people, movies are a group or family event. Not everyone fits in the "sweet spot"-I'm not into cuddling with "the guys" when watching a game on the 6' TV!

By the way, I was listening to a downmixed DVD-A last night on my 2 channel triode system and it sounded amazing without 5.1 sound. So, I do this sometimes too.