In one of my systems, it does double duty of 2 channel and HT. I have a Lexicon RV-6 for HT and then I was using my Freya + for 2 channel. The main issue is that I use the same speakers for both systems so I use Home Theater Bypass. The Freya doesn’t have what I would call a true version and you have to turn the volume control all the way up on the Freya to get the full signal in bypass.
I get a nasty hum once it’s turned all the way up and it’s driving me mad!
Looking for a replacement pre-amp that has HT bypass, a remote, and balanced input and output for around $1k used. I’ve seen Parasound P6, Emotiva XSP for around that price but looking for other options.
I think Kal may be on to something. To get "full signal", you would want to have the Freya+ in "passive mode" and turned up all the way. That would be full signal pass-through. If you have the Freya+ in tube gain mode, you'll be adding 12db of gain and I can believe you could get some noise.
Try it in passive mode, if you haven't already". Just remember, re-do your HT setup with the Freya_ in passive mode, volume control all the way up.
OP, you said that the Freya doesn’t give “a true version”.
it wasn’t designed with home theater bypass features. I suspect you are going to have to spend a whole lot more than the Freya’s price tag to get something that gives a truer version. I’m not sure anything exists in the boutique brands that has some kind of theater bypass.
You mentioned having other systems, I’m in your boat with a total of four systems these days, although one is just for swapping in gear and comparing. Perhaps it’s just best to not do 2 channel in the Freya set up?
Or, in one set up, I inserted a Schiit Sys between the AVR and the 2 channel mains amp. I connected the CD player on one input, and the AVR signal on the other input, and the amp on the outputs. This allows me to toggle between the CD spinner and the AVR, for a quick and dirty 2 channel option. The Sys has a volume control. For $50, maybe it’s worth a shot?
@213runninappreciate the feedback. Actually, there are quite a few, @carlsbadposted the link in his comment to a whole lot of preamps with real HT Bypass and there are a few in the price range but not as many with balanced in-out. None of my other systems have a pre-amp with HT bypass, so can't compare.
I might try out the P6 to see how it sounds or just deal with the limitations of the Freya. I did a lot of tube rolling with the Freya and found the sweet spot for me, so afraid to give that up, don't mind a sideways move to gain HT bypass but won't except a downgrade in sound.
@blkwrxwgn- If you're hoping for great sound quality for 2-channel listening, I think you will be disappointed with the P6. It is feature rich, however ultimately sound quality is not it's forte.
Have you exhausted all of your troubleshooting of your current system? If you don't get hum playing sources other than HT through the Freya+, there is no reason why you should have noise when listening to HT. That is, unless the noise is coming from something in the HT receiver.
Have you tried just plugging another source component into the input of the freya+ that you use for HT bypass input? Don't forget to turn the volume down. If there is noise with another source component, you know the noise is likely from the Freya+ and could possibly be resolved by replacing the Freya+. However, if there is no noise with a different source plugged in directly into the input, you know the noise is coming from somewhere in the HT system.
BTW, your receiver is from a very high-end company and it is pretty expensive. Does it not provide adequate SQ for this purpose?
@reubent good points, I think I'll try that to see if it's maybe the Lexicon that's adding noise somewhere.
I never did try the Lexicon as a 2 channel option, it's pretty much just a relabeled Arcam 550, it's worth a shot but can't imagine it being anywhere near as good as the Freya+ and Cherry amplifier that I have right now.
My other concern about tubes was the mention of a tube integrated amp. If it has tubes in the amp section, they do not last nearly as long as pre-amp tubes. Also, if it is left on all the time, or most of the time, there is some risk of fire while unattended. I know it's not necessarily a great risk, but I've read multiple posts over the year about burning tube amps.
I've had tube pre-amps, amps and integrated amps. Always like the SQ of tubes, but I'm done with bottles. I "settled" on a solid state integrated amp a few years ago and couldn't be happier.
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