Why don't you just get a stereo preamp with a SSP throughput? There are many great preamps out there that have them, Classe, Sonic Frontiers, BAT, Ayre, just to name a few. Personally I've found that to be the most rewarding way to go. I'll never go back to high end SSP's.
John is right! Build a high quality 2-channel system first. Then, add an HT receiver or processor to the 2-channel system. If the pre-amp (or integrated amp for that matter) has an HT bypass/Processor loop, so much the better, but it is not necessary. You could just connect the front L&R pre-outs from any quality HT receiver/processor into any unused inputs of your 2-channel preamp. The bypass/loop will make it more convenient as you don't have to set the volume to a pre-defined level, but either way, if 2-channel music is you priority, build a 2-channel system that meets your music needs, then simply add HT capabilities later by adding a quality HT receiver to process your digital signal and power your center and surrounds and provide bass management.
If you would like more info, let me know. I've used a similar setup in numerous systems and it works well.
BTW, I would not recommend connecting speaker wires from 2 different systems. The opportunity to cause an electrical failures is too high for my comfort level, especially with expensive gear!
thanks for the input.... i was kinda thinking that.. right now i have a Yamaha RX-V1000. so i could use that to power the center channel and the run the L&R pre-outs to an input on the 2 channel pre? i was thinking of going with the Parasound Halo 23 2 channel amp, but haven't decided on a pre.. any suggestions there? i would like something that accurately reproduces the sound and doesn't color anything.
Look at VTL preamps, Audible Illusions L2 Linestage, BAT just to name a few.
My guess is that your Yamaha is more than adequate for surround/center duties. Now, for the 2 channel part! You could go seperates or you could go with a quality integrated amp. There are WAY too many choices for me to recommend just one.
Also, you haven't listed your speakers and source components. Also, what type of room is it in? Are you committed to correct placement of your speakers?
I wouldn't want to have any responsibility in helping you spend a bunch of money when something else in you system is keeping you from the Nirvana you seek!!!
good questions... my speakers are Def Tech 2004tl's. i know people think they are better HT speakers but i really like the music sound they put out as well. so that may tell you my taste in sound a little. i use analysis plus speaker (oval 9) and interconnect cables (copper-in). i use to own a sony 9000es, but sold it and haven't replaced it yet. was thinking of the new sony 999es, but honestly if i could get better CD playback from a non SACD player i would do that, and purchase a denon DVD player. my setup will be in a pretty big room, meaning my living room in open to the 2nd floor, 18' ceiling with 6 big windows. i will be placing the speaker on the outside of my entertainment center which is about 10' across, so i would say the speakers will be about 12' apart, sitting about 1' from the wall. thanks for all your help
How does the SSP throughput work???
A couple of things:
FIrst, I previously owned the Sony DVD-S9000ES and it wasn't that great for redbook CD playback. Although I did not own them at the same time, I believe my current JVS XV-SA602BK that I bought for $125 on AudiogoN is better for CD playback. Now, compared to the dedicated CD players I've recently owned, ALL DVD players I've used for CD playback were mediocre. I would highly suggest the purchase of a moderately priced dedicated CD player, but I'm sure you can get an opposite opinion on this subject too.
Secondly, the HT bypass/processor loop basically bypasses ALL of the pre-amp functions, essentially connecting the L&R output from your HT receiver/processor directly to the amplifier. When the SSP/bypass switch is engaged, your HT receiver/processor will control the volume of your 2-channel system (L&R fronts). It basically turns your pre-amp/amp or integrated amp into a power amp.
Lastly, I don't know squat about the Def.Tech. stuff, so I can't help you there.
TIC is correct about the way the SSP loop works. He's not far off on the 9000ES either. I would only add that I've heard cd players that sound worse on redbook cd's. The stock 9000ES (I've heard modified ones are better) are only ok, at best for redbook cd's. I have one, but I use it only for DVD/SACD playback. I let my BAT VK-D5SE handle redbook. Kray, you don't give us a price range, but I'll assume you're looking in about the same range as the 9000ES (<$600 used). At that price point I'd look into a Rega Planet, a nice warm little player.
yeah i would like to get a used CD player for under $800, then i could use a dedicated DVD player and possible utilizez it for its SACD as well once again around the 600-800 used range. thanks for all the advice. i really like the BAT stuff, but it seems a little too high for me right now.