One system Audio & Theater - minimize compromise?

I enjoy both Home Theater and Audio. I take the audio seriously and want to enjoy a true audiophile setup. The delema is that I only have room for one system set up and have merged audio and home theater.

Can a dual system be built to minimize the compromise? What components or setup could I consider to achieve this difficult balance? Would adding a good preamp help? If so how can you integrate that with the home theater setup?

Thanks for the advice.

Krell FPB 300cx amp
Krell KAV 250 (3) amp
Krell KAV 250 amp
Wadia 850 CD
Dennon 3700 DVD
Krell HTS 7.1 processor
Cardas Golden Cross interconnects / speaker cables
B&W Nautilus 802, 805 and HTM1 speakers
M&K 350 Sub
Many of the newer preamps have a video or processor loop which is used to incorporate HT. Basically you split the 2 systems (one for music-one for HT) and then combine them via the video/processor loop for HT
Connect your best amp,cdp and speakers to a 2 ch preamp making it a separate system. Connect your processor to the preamp via the video/processor loop. press the proper selector button to engage/disengage for HT
Thanks - great suggestion. Can anyone recommend a preamp that also has a processor loop to incorporate HT? I understand the Krell KCT has the processor loop is this my best choice or are there others that are better alternatives?
You don't have to have a pre with a processer loop.Run From your processer 5.1 Front outs to tape input .From Main amp outs on pre to Amp used for Front speakers.Adjust volume on pre to match surrounds etc.Plug CD/phono into Preamp.When listening in 2 channel HT processer doesn't need to be on[no interference from HT processer].I am setup this way with a Music Reference RM-5 Tube Pre and Music in movies and Concerts sounds much better.Hope this helps.My .02,JD
Audio by Van Alstine (
I think conventional wisdom is that you get a better synergy by using same brand amp and preamp. I am partial to Conrad Johnson. All their newer preamps have video loop. A tube preamp may give a more desireable sound for 2 channel. Many are using tube preamp and solid state amps with good results. However if you are going with a SS preamp you might want to stick with Krell. Check reviews at
You don't mention what video display you use - if you use a RPTV with the L/R's flanking it on the front, one of the biggest things you could do would be to either switch to a front projector / retractable screen, a plasma screen, or somehow imbed the RPTV in the wall so it's flush. Any of these would allow the speakers to "breathe" a lot more when used for just music.

Undoubtedly there are dedicated preamps the will give you performance boosts vs. the Krell in analog pass-through, but that's a pretty nice system you've got there. I'm pretty avid about music and movies and have a single system as well (not all that different in scope and gear from yours), and to me it's not worth all the extra complexity you'll get from adding a dedicated preamp, etc. Your tastes quite possibly will vary, but it's nice to have a clean setup, and there's no overt weak point in your gear. I'd focus on environmental issues, starting with the TV choice, and go from there. -Kirk