I think Sony (ES) makes such a device.
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You could do what you are asking but you would have to pay a price that would cost $$$. Go to Bent audio web site and check out their passive hometheater set up, It is not the Transformer 102 that you hear a lot about. It is a set up for hometheater that would do what you want, I would only spend this kind of money for a multi-channel music system though as movies are not worth it price wise. If you just want to have top of the line two channel sound then all you need is a good two channel pre with a theater pass through for your main speakers and these are not hard to find (tube or SS) Or you could use a passive pre or any other good two channel pre with a little bit less flex.
Lot's and lots of audiophiles(with 2 channel hi-end systems) do what you're asking about doing for HT purposes. The problem is that when you do the DD/DTS processing in the DVD player, and connect it(DVD player) to your 2 channel preamp through Analog connections, IT NEVER SOUNDS AS DYNAMIC! I've tried this time and time again. And no DVD player's analog outs(and internal DD/DTS processing, coupled either dirrectly to an amp, or through a preamp/amp combo, seems to pull this off well enough FOR TRUELY DYNAMIC DD/DTS PLAYBACK, as was intended by the mixers!
You would have better overall(especially dynamic)movie playback through your 2 channel system BY EVEN SIMPLY ADDING A RECEIVER AS A DIGITAL PRE/PRO FOR ACOUPLE HUNDRED BUCKS!..TRUST ME!(OR TRY FOR YOURSELF, AND YOU'LL KNOW) Even better, you can buy AN OUTBOARD DD/DTS PRE/PRO SUCH AS A MODEST ACURUS ACT 3, CLASSE SSP25, THULE, or similar, and have audiophile grade quality sonics for movies, and not spend a fortune.
Rember this however, if you do value the sonic capability that's avalable from DD/DTS, YOU NEED AN OUTBOARD DD/DTS PROCESSOR!...there's really no way around it for properly doing movies. Infact, I too use a high end 2 channel set-up with sub, but I loop in a digital pre/pro for movie chores. This is really the only way to do it right it seems.
If I use a pre with home theater pass, how will the components hook up? For instance, would the speakers, cd and dvd player hook up directly to the pre and then the pre to my television? and would it still be possible to listen to two channel television feeds through my main speakers?
I'm not sure of the routing. If anyone has a setup like this, please share your experience.
I have just been through the same ordeal with similar equipment. My solution was to add an anolog pre with unity gain surround loop and use my HT receiver as pre/pro for movies and multi channel. Made a huge difference with 2-channel. From the equipment you have listed it appears that your receiver has main ins/pre outs for all channels. If your receiver has the processing features you want I would reccommend keeping it for now and getting a good preamp with the surround loop. As you stated good pre/pro's cost an arm and leg and still may not do 2-channel as well as a preamp that costs a fraction of the price. Additionally a 2-analog preamp will not be obsolete with the next generation of dolby, dts or whatever and you can just replace your receiver with another with the newer features.
Anyway, just my rationalization.
Thanks for the responses. I think I'll keep my current reciever (A Marantz 7200 or something, I'm not sure it's a few years old) and use it for a processor. My next step will be to find a pre with home theater loop. Any ideas on a tube amp that has this feature and would marry up well with my system?
Once again, thanks for the excellent advice.
I'm new at this (upgrading from stereo to HT) and am learning the lingo. I'm thinking of doing the same thing. What is a "surround loop" or a "home theater loop." What other terms would this go by, i.e. if I was looking at specs for a receiver what would I look for to make sure the receiver has it.
Hear 4, the 'surround or home theater loop' also refered to as 'unity gain' input is a feature of a 2-channel preamp not the home theater receiver. This feature allows a 2-channel system to be incorporated into a home theater system. When this feature is selected the 2-channel (music) preamp effectively becomes a wire and the home theater receiver controls the power amp and speakers usually for the front left and right channels. This allows for the amplification and speakers of a seperate and usually higher quality 2-channel music system also be used for home theater.
Hear4, the preamp will have an input called surround or processor and is spec'd as unity or zero gain. If your preamp has this feature it is probapbly labeled as a source selection. My 2-channel preamp is a Proceed and the unity gain input is called SSP. I am not familiar with your preamp but being 8 years old my guess is that it does not have have a processor loop (check your manual or contact B&K). I have read of using a tape loop on a preamp to run a processor on some of the forums here. I don't think it worked as well but don't know for sure. You could research some old threads.