My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too

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mlundy57

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #20 on: 16 Sep 2021, 08:30 pm »
My AVR is at the back of the room.   It's roughly a 25' run.   To convert from the standard high-level outputs to pre-out on the Marantz SR 8015 would need a conversion from standard two-wire to RCA.




You don't convert from the preamp out RCA to speaker wire. The preouts on your AVR are designed to be connected to a power amp or another preamp with an HT by-pass input which is then connected to a power amp. The power amp has the speaker binding posts which are connected to the high level inputs of the sub amps and to the speaker binding posts. This can either be done by connecting two pairs of wires to the power amp's binding post and running one pair to the speakers and the other pair to the sub amps or run one pair from the power amp to either the sub amp or the speakers and daisy chaining a second wire to the part not connected to the power amp.

If you want to keep low frequencies from the amp powering the speakers you need an inline filter between the preamp and power amp. The filter needs two legs per channel. One leg has a cap that will limit the low frequencies going to the power amp and the other leg is a by-pass that sends a full range signal to the sub amp.

This is how I had my Marantz SR7008 (and now have an Arcam AV40 preamp/processor) connected. The preamp outputs of the Marantz (now Arcam) are connected to the HT by-pass input of my two channel preamp. This preamp is connected to an inline filter with by-pass legs. The filtered legs are connected to the monoblocks and the by-pass legs are connected to the RCA inputs of the sub amps.

The AV-1/RS surround speakers are connected to the AVR (AV/Pre-Pro) surround speaker terminals and the sealed servo sub is connected to the AVR (Pre-Pro) LFE/sub RCA pre-out connection.

When listening to two channel music, the two channel preamp is connected to whatever source I'm listening to and it controls the main volume. When watching a movie, the two channel preamp is set to the HT by-pass input. This allows the AVR/Pre-Pro to control the main volume.

For my type of setup to work, you need a two channel preamp with an HT by-pass setting or know at what volume position the two channel preamp is at unity gain. If your preamp does not have added gain (either a passive or active unity gain) the needed volume setting is full on/wide open. If your preamp does not have an HT by-pass input and has a gain stage, you need to know the volume setting where the preamp is at unity gain. For example, if your preamp has a volume control that goes from 0 to 100, and the company says the unity gain position is 76, set the volume at 76 when using that input. If your preamp has an HT by-pass input, that should automatically be set at unity gain.

Vince in TX

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #21 on: 16 Sep 2021, 08:52 pm »
You don't convert from the preamp out RCA to speaker wire.

I was planning to use RCA on both ends of that speaker wire to convert it from a high-level output/input to a low-level pre-amp interconnect between the AVR at the back of the room and the Odyssey amp at the front of the room.   Alternatively, I could just put the Odyssey at the back of the room with the rest of the equipment and use short RCA interconnects between the AVR and the Odyssey.

...The preouts on your AVR are designed to be connected to a power amp or another preamp with an HT by-pass input which is then connected to a power amp. The power amp has the speaker binding posts which are connected to the high level inputs of the sub amps and to the speaker binding posts. This can either be done by connecting two pairs of wires to the power amp's binding post and running one pair to the speakers and the other pair to the sub amps or run one pair from the power amp to either the sub amp or the speakers and daisy chaining a second wire to the part not connected to the power amp.

This daisy-chain is exactly how it's hooked up now with the binding posts on the AVR going to the high-level on the sub amps, then daisy-chained to the X-Statics.

If you want to keep low frequencies from the amp powering the speakers you need an inline filter between the preamp and power amp. The filter needs two legs per channel. One leg has a cap that will limit the low frequencies going to the power amp and the other leg is a by-pass that sends a full range signal to the sub amp.

Any filter recommendations, links, or wiring diagrams?   I'm a visual thinker, so it's difficult for me to picture it.    :)

This is how I had my Marantz SR7008 (and now have an Arcam AV40 preamp/processor) connected. The preamp outputs of the Marantz (now Arcam) are connected to the HT by-pass input of my two channel preamp. This preamp is connected to an inline filter with by-pass legs. The filtered legs are connected to the monoblocks and the by-pass legs are connected to the RCA inputs of the sub amps.

The AV-1/RS surround speakers are connected to the AVR (AV/Pre-Pro) surround speaker terminals and the sealed servo sub is connected to the AVR (Pre-Pro) LFE/sub RCA pre-out connection.

When listening to two channel music, the two channel preamp is connected to whatever source I'm listening to and it controls the main volume. When watching a movie, the two channel preamp is set to the HT by-pass input. This allows the AVR/Pre-Pro to control the main volume.

For my type of setup to work, you need a two channel preamp with an HT by-pass setting or know at what volume position the two channel preamp is at unity gain. If your preamp does not have added gain (either a passive or active unity gain) the needed volume setting is full on/wide open. If your preamp does not have an HT by-pass input and has a gain stage, you need to know the volume setting where the preamp is at unity gain. For example, if your preamp has a volume control that goes from 0 to 100, and the company says the unity gain position is 76, set the volume at 76 when using that input. If your preamp has an HT by-pass input, that should automatically be set at unity gain.

Wow.   That's a lot to digest.   Can you believe that in 30 years of playing with this stuff, I've never used an AVR as a pre-amp?   So much to learn.

Interestingly enough, I was just shopping for 2-channel pre-amps.   Any recommendations?   I actually had my eyes on a Marantz ND8006.

corndog71

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #22 on: 16 Sep 2021, 09:46 pm »
Using speaker wire as an interconnect is a terrible idea.  A 25’pair of Blue Jeans LC-1 is only $130 and will sound a lot better.

mlundy57

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #23 on: 16 Sep 2021, 09:51 pm »
I was planning to use RCA on both ends of that speaker wire to convert it from a high-level output/input to a low-level pre-amp interconnect between the AVR at the back of the room and the Odyssey amp at the front of the room.   Alternatively, I could just put the Odyssey at the back of the room with the rest of the equipment and use short RCA interconnects between the AVR and the Odyssey.

It's not the connectors that convert from a low level to a high level signal. The power amp does that. What you want to run from the AVR preamp out at the back of the room to the Odyssey amp at the front of the room is a well shielded RCA interconnect, not speaker wire. When I did this with single ended connections like you have, I used 25' Douglas Connections Bravo interconnects https://douglasconnection.com/product/douglas-connection-analog-interconnect-cables/  You have to contact Doug for lengths greater the 15'.

Any filter recommendations, links, or wiring diagrams?   I'm a visual thinker, so it's difficult for me to picture it.    :)

Here's a pic of one I built using an electrical box from a big box store, Cardas RCA chassis connectors, and Sonicap Platinum caps.



The legs going through the caps are the filtered legs. The input side is connected to the preamp and the output side to the power amp. The value of the cap depends on the input impedance of the power amp and the frequency of the rolloff.

The leg coming out the side of the box is the full signal by-pass leg which goes to the low level input of the sub amp.

Interestingly enough, I was just shopping for 2-channel pre-amps.   Any recommendations?   I actually had my eyes on a Marantz ND8006.

My current two channel preamp is a PS Audio BHK signature preamp. Before that it was a PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC (which is both a preamp and a DAC but the DAC doesn't have to be used if you have one you like better. Before that my two channel preamp was a DODD Audio battery powerd tube buffer.

However, these are all just preamps except for the Stellar which also has a DAC. Price wise the Stellar GCD is close to the Marantz ND8006 but does not have the CD and streaming capability of the Marantz.


Early B.

Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #24 on: 16 Sep 2021, 10:09 pm »
Interestingly enough, I was just shopping for 2-channel pre-amps.   Any recommendations?   I actually had my eyes on a Marantz ND8006.

Get a real preamp, man. Grab an Odyssey Tempest to mate with the Kismet.

Chewbacca

Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #25 on: 16 Sep 2021, 10:59 pm »
First off, well said, Mike! Much more concise explanation than mine. I do the same as you, except don’t use an inline filter for high pass, and have dual outputs on my Dodd, instead of dual outputs on your shnazzy high pass box :thumb: was thinking of making a similar one without the additional output, then I went down the line of: should I just stick it on an RCA and expose it, then what RCAs to get, then should I just do a whole set of DIY RCA cables while I’m at it (which I’d love advice on!) or should I put the capacitor directly in the amp itself…. And so on. So I end up doing nothing :lol:

Get a real preamp, man. Grab an Odyssey Tempest to mate with the Kismet.

I can attest to the Odyssey Candela. It’s a wonderful preamp, that of course has perfect synergy to the Odyssey amps. That was my first “real preamp”, coming from my HT preamp, an Emotiva UMC-200. It was certainly not a minor step up… it also has HT bypass and (usually?) dual outputs. I had mine sitting in my basement for about 4 years, and I just sold it a few months ago. Of course UPS destroyed it. Klaus got her all fixed up tho! :thumb:

I’d also suggest eventually getting either monoblocks or a stereo amp for your front two speakers, and using the 3 channel for center and rears… there’s always upgrades, it’s never ending :D

Vince in TX

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #26 on: 17 Sep 2021, 02:23 am »
It's not the connectors that convert from a low level to a high level signal. The power amp does that.  What you want to run from the AVR preamp out at the back of the room to the Odyssey amp at the front of the room is a well shielded RCA interconnect, not speaker wire.

I wasn't planning low level to high level.   I was planning low level to low level with RCA connectors on both ends of the speaker cable.   But the one thing missing that you mentioned with this scenario is the shielding, which makes sense.

When I did this with single ended connections like you have, I used 25' Douglas Connections Bravo interconnects https://douglasconnection.com/product/douglas-connection-analog-interconnect-cables/  You have to contact Doug for lengths greater the 15'.

Thanks!   Those look like good cables.

Here's a pic of one I built using an electrical box from a big box store, Cardas RCA chassis connectors, and Sonicap Platinum caps.



The legs going through the caps are the filtered legs. The input side is connected to the preamp and the output side to the power amp. The value of the cap depends on the input impedance of the power amp and the frequency of the rolloff.

The leg coming out the side of the box is the full signal by-pass leg which goes to the low level input of the sub amp.

Good stuff, thanks!

My current two channel preamp is a PS Audio BHK signature preamp. Before that it was a PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC (which is both a preamp and a DAC but the DAC doesn't have to be used if you have one you like better. Before that my two channel preamp was a DODD Audio battery powered tube buffer.

However, these are all just preamps except for the Stellar which also has a DAC. Price wise the Stellar GCD is close to the Marantz ND8006 but does not have the CD and streaming capability of the Marantz.

I don't necessary need the CD player.   I'm planning to just update my ancient low-res MP3s with fresh CD rips from my CD library as raw 44.1 KHz, and then look into high-res audio files or streaming (not to mention the possibility of LP).

Very much appreciated!   :thumb:

Get a real preamp, man. Grab an Odyssey Tempest to mate with the Kismet.

I'll also look into the Odyssey.   I've been waiting on the Kismet since April, though, so that may have to wait for a future upgrade.

Early B.

Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #27 on: 17 Sep 2021, 03:10 am »
I'll also look into the Odyssey.   I've been waiting on the Kismet since April, though, so that may have to wait for a future upgrade.

Why wait? Here ya go: https://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649750450-odyssey-tempest/


mlundy57

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #28 on: 17 Sep 2021, 03:45 am »
I don't necessary need the CD player.   I'm planning to just update my ancient low-res MP3s with fresh CD rips from my CD library as raw 44.1 KHz, and then look into high-res audio files or streaming (not to mention the possibility of LP).

If your interest is playing digital files from a music server (computer) and/or streaming through the server the PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC is a very good option. It sells new outright for $1,900 but you can trade in equipment and get up to 30% off bringing the new price to $1,330. This was the preamp/DAC I had in my room at the last Lone Star Audio Fest. The only reason I'm not still using it is that I upgraded to the the PS Audio BHK preamp and DirectStream DAC Sr. It's worth considering.

Craig B

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #29 on: 17 Sep 2021, 11:19 am »
If your interest is playing digital files from a music server (computer) and/or streaming through the server the PS Audio Stellar Gain Cell DAC is a very good option. It sells new outright for $1,900 but you can trade in equipment and get up to 30% off bringing the new price to $1,330. This was the preamp/DAC I had in my room at the last Lone Star Audio Fest. The only reason I'm not still using it is that I upgraded to the the PS Audio BHK preamp and DirectStream DAC Sr. It's worth considering.

I agree that the PSA Stellar Gain Cell/DAC is a great piece of equipment. It serves both preamp and DAC duties in my system (with their M700 monoblocks driving Maggie .7s) and I love it. I feed data to its DAC from a NuPrime CDT-8 Pro and a Node 2i (soon to be replaced with an Aurender N100H).

Vince in TX

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #30 on: 17 Sep 2021, 01:49 pm »
Why wait? Here ya go: https://www.canuckaudiomart.com/details/649750450-odyssey-tempest/

Woah.   That's a pretty good deal.   I just pinged the seller to see if it has the HT Bypass option.

EDIT:   Actually, even if it doesn't, I just pinged Klaus to see if he could upgrade it if it doesn't.    I'd send it to him to go through regardless.   Thanks for the link!

RonP

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #31 on: 17 Sep 2021, 01:55 pm »
I just want to "+1" a few things said recently

+1
Separate the 2 channel audio and get yourself 2-channel preamp + amp. Those A/V receivers are really built with "decoding all the formats" first and foremost in mind.

+1
The cheapest cable you want to go with is BlueJeans cable. It's cheap + quality and LOTS of bang for the buck.

I would also add.... Try to use CD's or Hi-res instead of mp3s.


Apologies, I know that sounds "preachy" and that's not how I intend it. I'm excited for you Vince. You have some fun ahead of you!! 

Vince in TX

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Re: My First 3D Soundstage Experience - Ecstatic for X-Static Too
« Reply #32 on: 17 Sep 2021, 02:21 pm »
I just want to "+1" a few things said recently

+1
Separate the 2 channel audio and get yourself 2-channel preamp + amp. Those A/V receivers are really built with "decoding all the formats" first and foremost in mind.

+1
The cheapest cable you want to go with is BlueJeans cable. It's cheap + quality and LOTS of bang for the buck.

I would also add.... Try to use CD's or Hi-res instead of mp3s.


Apologies, I know that sounds "preachy" and that's not how I intend it. I'm excited for you Vince. You have some fun ahead of you!!

Not preachy at all!   I'm still brand new to the audio world, especially hi-fi, beyond Plug & Play with an AVR.   Deepest I'd ever dove previously was manually balancing my system with an SPL meter.   Now I have a UMIK-1 balanced microphone, REW software, I'm researching cables, digging into understanding room calibration and acoustic treatments, etc.   This is a multi-year journey for sure.   Thanks for the feedback!   I looked at the BlueJeans site and fully intend to pick up my RCA cables from them.    :thumb:

Oh, and, yes.   If you looked up the Specs of my Marantz SR8015, "decoding all formats" is an understatement.   This thing is 8K ready on top of decoding any and every multi-channel movie format imaginable.   It will serve its movie duty admirably.