How does "HT Direct" work on Musical Fidelity A5?

I'd like to integrate a really nice 2 channel sound into my existing HT. I currently use an Integra (Onkyo) surround reciever and Thiel CS1.6 loudspeakers for fronts, paradigms for center and rears. I'm much more interested in 2 channel sound than the HT.

I heard the MF A5 Integrated /A5CD player with some MM DiCapio speakers and was really impressed. Will the "HT direct" or "HT bypass" on the MF A5 (or another similar product) alow me to tie the A5 into my existing system? I'd like to not get rid of the reciever and start over with a new one if I can avoid it. I guess I don't really understand how it works.

Would lo
The HT direct allows you to use the A5 as a preamp, bypassing amplification from the A5. You hook up the LR fronts from your Onkyo and run them to your A5. The signal should just pass through. You may or may not be able to adjust the volume. Most HT direct connections are passive connections, but you will have to have your 2 channel amp on. Hope that helps.
If the A5 is an integrated amp, you simply use the A5 to power your main L&R speakers and as the pre-amp for your music source. You then connect the L&R main pre-outs from the receiver into the A5s HT/processor input.

When you listen to 2-channel music, just use the A5, no need to even turn on the receiver. For HT, turn on the receiver, select HT bypass on the A5 and "calibrate" the HT system. The A5 in bypass mode simple acts as an external power amp in the HT setup since all of the controls and pre-amp functions are "bypassed".

I've used this type of setup with several different intecrated amps. It works well.


Thanks Guys,

TIC, what do you mean "calibrate" the HT system. Your description mirrors what the dealer said today, except for that part.

Thanks again.
With any HT system, the various different speakers (5.1, 6.1, etc.) need to be "calibrated" to a pre-defined level. You do this by outputting a test tone on the HT receiver and increasing/decreasing the volume for a particular speaker so it matches all of the other speakers output.

Since you will essentially be using an "external power amp" when using the HT bypass loop, your main L&R speakers are going to be powered by an amp that has a different output than the one powering your center channel and surrounds (internal amp in HT receiver).

Just be sure that you do this calibration after you set up the integrated amp/HT bypass because now your volumes will be different than they were before when you were using only the amps built into the HT receiver.

I've always used an analog Radio Shack SPL meter for adjusting the various channels. It is a bit more accurate than doing it by ear. However, my new HT receiver (Pioneer VSX-1014TX-K) has a nifty feature called mcacc that automatically does the calibration for me. It uses a microphone and outputs some very odd tones that it uses to calibrate the number of speaker, size of speakers, distance to speakers and output of speakers. Works perfectly every time!

Feel free to e-mail me directly if you need a better understanding of the HT bypass and calibration issue. It is really not very complicated once you understand how it works.