In over my head.

I am in a little bit of trouble trying to find a good audio setup for my dad. I have been following the audiophile press for a while now and figured I'd be pretty qualified for the job.. Unfortunately he has a two room setup and I've discovered I might need a little help in an area that I have absolutely no expertise in, and I can't find much literature on.
My dad has two connecting rooms, one is around 160 sq/ft which is basically a little cove off the larger 6-700 sq/ft room. My dad wanted to set up a little home theater in the cove and have good sound for music in the main room. He doesn't want to spend more than 2K$, so my initial plan was to throw a cheap and cheerful all in one HT setup into the cove, and get a nice(for the price) stereo setup in the main room (I was thinking something like Totem Hawk coupled) with around 6-700$ in amplification. Now it has occured to me that a) the hawks might not be able to fill the main room and b) it seems silly to have two amps in adjoining rooms. The redundancies make my setup look quite inelegant.
So I figured the wizards at Audiogon would probably know far better than I how to configure this. I've looked at a lot of websites without finding very much information about a multiroom amp. Can any of you recommend an amp that could provide HT to one room and Stereo or Surround to another? Or is there some kind of switching system that I can use that doesn't degrade quality? Also anyone have any idea of what a good speaker solution under 1200$ would be for the big room?

Any help would be greatly appreciated,
The Linn Classic movie system may be the easy answer. The problem is that you need either a very generous and knowledgeable person to explain the modules and options so you can buy used or a dealer. Buying new from a dealer will probably far exceed your budget. At least take the time to visit the Linn site at

I am not sure what you want. A home theater in the cove that also powers stereo speakers in the main room?

How about getting some cheap but high power and quality AV receivers either Denon, Sony, Marantz, Harman Kardon, Nakamichi or NAD that will cost around $4-500.

Then you need 5.1 speakers in the cove. You can probably get B&W DM series or NHT VS series for under $1000 barely. Then you got $500 left for a pair of decent stereo speakers in the main room.

Connection wise, just hook the stereo speakers to the B speaker binding post of the AV receiver. So, you dad can switch between A or B speakers depending on which room he is in.

Oh, you might also need a DVD player and some long speaker cables.
a dirt cheap 3-400$ speaker system for the HT since the cove is so small. And then something more substantial for the main room (since it's so much larger). You mention switching from A to B posts.. I am not really familliar with this feature? What exactly do you mean?

I will do some research on the Linn. Thanks for the tip.

Almost all HT receivers will have an "A-B" speaker selection, meaning you have a choice between two speaker pairs. One can drive the LR of the 5.1, and the other can be use in his main room. The only drawback is you need to use very long speaker cables in one of the runs, and the only one that makes sense is the one to the 2 channel set up.
I use a NAD HT reciever and am very impressed with it's performance.
Don't forget about the sub woofer, it makes all the fun in HT.

Thanks for your help. I have a couple more questions.
1) Do you guys know of any receivers that can output 5.1 on both A and B channels? (just in case my mother insists on a satelite sub main room system)

2) Do most receivers support both 110 and 220 volt operation? I looked at a lot of .pdf manuals and can't seem to find any information on this. i.e. will an Amp bought in the US work in Europe?

thanks again,