I give up on HT

After auditioning several home theater preamp processors and not getting the two channel sound i expected. I took the advice of previous threads and purchased a line stage preamp, I got a conrad johnson model pf-r and life is great. This website has loads of good info if you dare to wade in. Now all i have to do is figure out how to hook up my home theater receiver into the loop.

I gave up on HT a long time ago when my Lexicon CP1 became obsolete overnight. This unit was $1600 new and the price dropped faster than Bill Clinton's pants at a New Years eve party. Someone has been trying to offload a CP1 for several months and the price is down to $85.00! (This is a steal for a wonderful piece of gear). Accurate gear, especially speakers, have no place in HT. Get a pair of big, fat speakers with overblown bass like Polk 10s or Cerwin Vegas and put this system in another room. That TV between your speakers is ruining your image and especially depth.
So true! Even for an apartment dweller like me, I moved the tv to the long wall of the living room, got a pair of Mission 733i for the fronts and a cheap subwoofer. Use phantom mode which is very natural sounding with the little Missions, enjoy movies just as much.Best of all what the move did for my main system in terms of imaging.
I don't have any choice but to combine HT and stereo. Elgordo has made the key point in why this doesn't work well....lack of imaging and lack of soundstage depth due to the TV (I have a 50" RPTV) between the speakers. I've pulled the front L&R speakers out 2 feet in front of the TV and, while this helps, it doesn't solve the problem. Was listening to Dave Brubeck the other day. The piano was clearly coming from behind and outside the right speaker and drums behind the left. That was good. Then the alto sax came in, dead center (where it belonged) but it sounded like the sax player was sitting in my lap. If you want optimal sound, you need to seperate HT form stereo.
What you can do is run the main two front speaker directly from the PFR preamp through the amp, to preserve the high end sound you desire; and run the other channels through the HT decoder for movies. This will mean using a separate amp to power the surround speakers. Get the best of both worlds. The fronts will have more information than normal because they are two channel, but its better than nothing.
As one such person, who has but one room; I 'hear' all the concerns.I have a stand-alone processor.It has rcas out for all channels. From fronts out,I take a pair of ics;plug them into the aux of my pre. I get true "fronts" information in HT.I switch back to cd input for 2 ch. listening. Then I throw a blanket over the tv for 2 ch listening. No processor/pre is as good as a quality 2 ch.pre amp. This method gives me the best under such circumstances.
Here we Go! A new idea! I am experimenting with having my 2 channel system at one end of listening room & the the TV-HT at the other. Use What ever componets fit for HT, & let my 2 Channel system rule the room, Then I can just move my listing/watching chair to suit which ever system I want to use. This I feel is by far the best solution to a complex problem. Use all your old stuff for HT, speakers, cables, etc.

Let me hear what you guys think?
Yo Avguy, I considered that before I moved the tv and 6.1 receiver, etc to the long wall, but apart from imaging, I was concerned about all that amplification and processing going on in the same neighborhood as my tube pre-amp. Not to mention dressing all those damn wires. I was in a high end showroom and auditioned 2 very good systems that were on adjacent, not opposite walls and was impressed with the sound and imaging of the set-up. That's what gave me the idea.
In my earlier comment, I forgot to mention that I cover my TV with a mattress pad when listening to two channel. Another thing that ruins the image is a coffee table. I can't do without mine as I'd have no place to put all those remotes but I also cover this when listening. Try removing your coffee table some time. You'll be amazed. Don
I use a two channel preamp with a processor bypass loop. I use a ht receiver which powers the center and rear channels, and send receivers main pre-outs to the bypass ins on the preamp. Many pre-amps including Sonic frontiers, Audio Research, VTL, and Vac have this feature.
You can't beat 2 channel stereo for music listening. Home theatre systems sound like garbage when used for music. And, if you think about it, you can listen to an album dozens of times but can barely watch the same movie more than about twice. So why spend hords of money on a home theatre system?Stick to high end pure audio!!!!
I SOLD my entire HT setup after many unfruitfull attempts to justify it's existance in my home. I then did the wisest deceision by replacing the HT system with a BOSE HT system. Now, life is beautiful as my living room looks neat and tidy. Does not sound too bad.....not missing my full blown HT sound.

Mind you, I have a saperate system for 2 channel music. Say what you like. TWO channel rules!!!!!!!!
some of us have kids and a wife that enjoy movies so we compromise.My tv is a 35 in reference monitor which sits above a fire place and a good 6 feet or so behind the speakers,but i can see were this would not work with a big screen and the monitor has a better pcture anyway short of hi-def.I use a b&k receiver which is there reference pre amp in a box with 5 decent amps but it does have analog pass through for sacd which happens to be a feature on my dvd player.I have five speakers that i built with scan speak 1845's and revelator tweeters and two powered subs that are more designed for music.the front two speakers i am changing the caps to hovland,as i only use two speakers for audio and the other three have solen caps.I have no imaging,soundstaging or any other compromises that have been talked about here,so yes this can be done without taking away from audio only enjoyment,i think you have to approach the movie theater the way you would your two channel.Think like an audiophile.I do move my center channel into correct position when we are to watch movies the rest of the time it sits six feet back.The only thing i would ever think of upgrading besides cable is maybe a mark levinson 2 channel amp for the ultimate two channel/theater.
I recommend everyone shop the used marker for doing HT. I did HT on the cheap by shopping around. The older B&W 600 series is fine for movies. Bass was the weak point with these speakers, but for HT with the REL sub who cares. With shipping I paid $155 for fronts DM620i; $165 for DM600i rears, $110 for a DM600i IFS center. That's $430 (The same setup with DM600 S2 series is $1400.) With $565 for an excellent REL Q100E sub ($999). Throw in a used Onkyo AC-3 Receiver for $200; $150 for a Toshiba DVD player. Another $400 for used cables and AC conditioner I spent about $1750 total for a system that would have been over $4000 new (plus sales tax). There is lots of stuff out there between Audiogon, eBay, Audioreview, Audioweb, Audioshopper.