Prepro into a Preamp into an Amp??

Due to room and size constraints, I cannot have a separate 2-channel and home theater setup. At the same time, I'm trying to get as much out of 2-channel listening as I can without sacrificing too much to the home theater needs.

I'm wondering if it would be possible to use a stereo amp with a stereo preamp as the front 2 channels of a 5.1/7.1 setup, and run a 5.1/7.1 PrePro into the stereo preamp. Can this be done by simply using a stereo preamp with home theater bypass?? That way I would use the stereo preamp/amp just for music. The PrePro (through the stereo preamp) and stereo amp could then be used in conjunction with another multi-channel amp connected only to the PrePro for home theater use. Is this possible? Or would I be doing something screwy with the signal by running it through basically two preamps?
Of course you can do it. That's exactly what the HT bypass/processor loop in the pre-amp was designed to do.

I've used that type of setup on numerous occassions with many different combinations of components. However, I'm a bit budget minded (some folks would call me downright cheap), so for me the sweet-spot value wise is a quality 2-channel rig and use a good HT receiver for pre-pro and HT speaker power. Connect the L&R pre-outs from the HT receiver into the HT bypass inputs on the pre-amp, and have at it......

Or even better still (in my budget minded, but sonic quality oriented view), how about a quality integrated amp with HT bypass combined with a good HT receiver. That combination can be very good for 2-channel audio playback and also be perfectly adequate for HT duties. I've used that type of setup using Plinius, Anthem and Arcam integrated amps and a decent HT receiver as the pre-pro/HT surround amps.


Thanks for the response, Reubent. Can you recommend any good solid state preamps with HT bypass that I should check out?
That's exactly my set up. I use a Cary SLP98p F-1 for all front end (great HT passthrough feature on a hardwired tube preamp with world class sound), into Cary 500 MB amps.

I use a Denon 3808ci to switch video, decode surround, run another zone, and drive the center and rear channel speakers.
Works great for me.
Most good integrated amplifiers have a HT passthrough that sidesteps their internal preamp completely. An integrated will save you an extra box (preamp) and perhaps some $.
yep, yep - simply loop the L/R channel pre-out's from your multi-channel av pre/pro into some auxilary, "tape-in" or "direct"/"bypass" input on your 2 channel pre, which is connected to your 2 chnannel amp. Then, connect all 2 channel sources to your 2 channel pre, like normal, and all DVD,cable,vcr,satalite "video" sources into your AV pre! Then connect everything else like you normally would (Center, sides, rears, and sub outputs from your AV pre/pro are connected to some other amps or mult-channel amp).
Then you will always have your 2 channel pre and amp combo switched on for both music and movies, and only have the multi-channel av pre/pro switched on for movie sources - while 2 channel pre is set to the input your looping in from your AV pre. (also set volume/gain on 2 channel pre at half way, unless you have a "bypass or direct in")
This is the standard 2 channel/multi-channel, audiophile combo system setup, btw - lol. It works just fine.
I run a non HT bypassable tube pre with my HT Pro and as others said its simple even without bypass, just reference volume at 12oclock or whatever you wish then calibrate your HT settings as usual.
What about getting a really good PrePro instead? I was in exactly the same perdicament recently and went with a Krell HTS 7.1. The HTS 7.1 really shines as a balanced pre. For HT it sounds great, but is missing HDMI (not an issue for me since I use a video processor anyway... and yes, I know I'm loosing out on the newer audio formats)
Take a look at the Parasound Halo P7. It has features which make it unique for HT bypass use.