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Clouseau2
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Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 6:09pm
Simple question about mixing stereo and home theater

I currently own a pair of PSB stratus golds, Classe model 20 preamp and Acurus 150 amplifier -- I have been extremely satisfied with this system for that last 12 years or so.

I wanted to turn this into a stereo/home theater system without sacrificing the stereo quality. I don't want to spend too much for the home theater portion so I'm adding an Acurus a125x5 5 channel amp, and 4 PSB alpha B speakers for surrounds, a SVS PB12-Plus/2 sub and a PSB stratus5i center channel and an outlaw audio model 990 surround sound processor.

My point/question is that if I use the outlaw 990 as a preamp it probably won't sound as nice as the classe model 20, but I could be wrong.

So I'm thinking about one of two things: Either adding an A/B box to have the 2 channel output come from the classe or the outlaw to the amp for the mains (stratus golds) or feeding the 2 channel from the outlaw to the classe and then setting up a reference level with a piece of tape on the volume knob on the classe, so when I want to watch a movie in surround I set it to a certain volume level and have the outlaw matched ...

Any recommendations on this? I *am* mulling spending a bit more and just replacing the classe outright with a Theta Digital Casablanca, but that's kind of expensive.

jdm56
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Re: Simple question about mixing stereo and home theater

My advice would simply be to wait and see how the Classe' and the Outlaw compare. I would guess the sound difference would not be that great, especially if the Outlaw has a 2-channel direct mode that bypasses the video and dsp circuitry.

Javry
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Re: Simple question about mixing stereo and home theater

I'm guessing I'm late to this thread. I own a CBII and have spent the last 2 years with a system that went from 70%/30% 2ch to HT to 70%/30% HT to 2ch. A lot of this depends on how much your are into audio vs HT. For instance, if you really like your audio system, I would find a way to keep it "uncontaminated" with anything having to do with HT. The CBII is a great machine. In fact, it's among the best for HT. But it won't give you anything you don't already have for 2 channel. The Outlaw equipment is also very good but it's built for HT. This is just my opinion of course. Others may have a different view.
Javry

Reed
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Joined: Sep 6 2005 - 5:37am
Re: Simple question about mixing stereo and home theater

I have gone through this already. I have an Outlaw 950 preamp. I have tried using it in bypass and used the DAC in the preamp via digital connection. I love my outlaw setup for HT, but it just could not fit the bill for my two channel taste. It was good, don't get me wrong, but not that extra special sound that my two channel preamp gives.

I have a new Simaudio CD player. The DAC in the Outlaw was not as good as the one in Simaudio player. The preamp section was not up to my two channel preamp.

I know you won't want to hear this, but I have two seperate systems in my equipment rack. I have two sets of speaker cables going to the front speakers. I switch the speaker cables on the front speakers when I want to go between one system and the other.

It is a bummer, but I'm just too picky about my two channel system.

I'm also not giving up my Outlaw processor anytime soon for home theater.

Clouseau2
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Re: Simple question about mixing stereo and home theater

Well thanks for all your responses, they are useful if not conclusive ... I have some things to think about. [Un]fortunately I do not possess golden ears (but my wife does) so the difference between the outlaw and the classe may not be significant enough for me in stereo. I'll try the outlaw first, Ultimate A/V does say it is very transparent. If it's noticeably worse than the classe for music reproduction I'll start worrying.

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