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How to add surround speakers to this setup?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I currently have a 2 channel setup with a DAC, Amp, and some GR Research V2s Pic for reference. The signal comes from the amp, goes to each speaker, but then it's split. One path goes to the crossover circuit which then powers the top coaxial driver. The other path (which doesn't go through the crossover) goes down to plate amp which power the bottom woofers.

My question is this: How can I add surround speakers, and maybe even a center channel to this setup for movies?

I realized I'd have to get additional equipment, likely a receiver, but which one and how would I wire it? The issue I'm having is that if I just use the V2s like L & R channels in a 5.1 setup, the bass is greatly reduced. I'm guessing this is because the receiver has an internal crossover of some sort and doesn't send a full signal to the L & R.

I figured I have two options:
1) Find some sort of receiver that does send a full signal to the front channels, while also supporting surround speakers.

2) Somehow use the subwoofer output from a 5.1 receiver to get a separate signal to the plate amps of the V2s. The plate amps do have RCA inputs and a LFE input (?) in addition to standard speaker binding posts.

I'd like to keep costs down on this though. I'm not too concerned with sound quality during movies, just looking for the surround effect.
post #2 of 12
Those are some very cool speakers. Out of curiosity, what are you supposed to set the crossover at on the sub amps in those, and also the crossover for the single speaker on top?

You could get a mid-range 7.1 receiver that supports bi-amping, so it will allow 4 of the 7 amps to be used on the front pair. You'll have to do your research to find one that allows you to set a separate crossover for each amp.

Also, don't cheap out on the center speaker as that's where most movie dialogue will come from.
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post #3 of 12
What percentage of use will be for just music?

I ask because I think you'll be disappointed with the performance of any but the very best surround sound amps.
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post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

What percentage of use will be for just music?

I ask because I think you'll be disappointed with the performance of any but the very best surround sound amps.

Even most budget receivers these days have a stereo "direct" mode so you can switch to 2.0 easily for music.
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm not looking to use the receiver for music. I'd like to be able to switch to the receiver when I watch a movie, which isn't too often, then use my existing amp for music. It doesn't bother me if I have to switch a few cables around to watch a movie.
post #6 of 12
Im assuming you have amps for the front L&R channel already? You could get a receiver with pre-outs and use your existing amplifier(s). Switch the receiver to a 2.0 setup except when you want to have the surround for movies.
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post #7 of 12
Yup you need a reciever with pre outs like silvrr said or 2 zones and connect the stereo to the second zone with the surround as the mains
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by groundzero9 View Post

Hey guys,

I currently have a 2 channel setup with a DAC, Amp, and some GR Research V2s Pic for reference. The signal comes from the amp, goes to each speaker, but then it's split. One path goes to the crossover circuit which then powers the top coaxial driver. The other path (which doesn't go through the crossover) goes down to plate amp which power the bottom woofers.

My question is this: How can I add surround speakers, and maybe even a center channel to this setup for movies?

I realized I'd have to get additional equipment, likely a receiver, but which one and how would I wire it? The issue I'm having is that if I just use the V2s like L & R channels in a 5.1 setup, the bass is greatly reduced. I'm guessing this is because the receiver has an internal crossover of some sort and doesn't send a full signal to the L & R.

I figured I have two options:
1) Find some sort of receiver that does send a full signal to the front channels, while also supporting surround speakers.

2) Somehow use the subwoofer output from a 5.1 receiver to get a separate signal to the plate amps of the V2s. The plate amps do have RCA inputs and a LFE input (?) in addition to standard speaker binding posts.

I'd like to keep costs down on this though. I'm not too concerned with sound quality during movies, just looking for the surround effect.
It all depends on how you want to do it wink.gif

First route - the easy way: Pick up a 5.1 receiver and connect your computer via hdmi - bitstream to the receiver and let it handle all decoding. When you want to listen to music you will have to change the default sound card from your video card (for hdmi 5.1) to your 2 channel dac when you listen to music - which will also be plugged into your computer then to your receiver via analog cable (in order to bypass the receiver's DAC).

More complicated route: Buy an Asus STX II 7.1 with H6 daughter card or an Asus ST with H6 daughter card (if your MB has PCI slots). You would then buy amps for each channel - you would need 5 channels of amplification (meaning you would more than likely need a good 3 channel amp seeing that you are already using a 2 channel for the GR V-2's). Also purchase something like JRiver - or if you want to go the free route, Foobar (however JRiver does music and movies so I'd suggest JRiver myself). Your PC would become your preamp - and you could ditch your current DAC unless your really love it and it out performs the Asus products. I'd also buy a Hum-X and attach it to the power cord of your PC (works wonders on noise).

Same route just higher end: Instead of the Asus - you can buy an e18 or e28 8 channel dac from exasound or a dedicated professional audio interface (RME, LYNX, M-Audio, Presounus etc.) - very expensive option - very high end dac (the e28 can playback DSD files).

Route under investigation: Purchase an Essence Evolve 7.1 DAC. This DAC uses the ESS Saber32 9018 dac chip (like the exasound models) however this is being offered for $249.00, What this model will require is the HDMI out from your video card. Bitstream from your HDMI, the essence will convert all channels to LPCM and output to your amps (yes you will still need the extra amplification in each scenario). I have not tried this one yet - the product is on back order and I will start a tread as soon as I test it.

Each of these will give you 2 channel ability and 5.1/7.1 ability (as well as 2.1). I got off the receiver merry-go-round by turning my PC into a preamp. Not for the faint of heart - but it pays big dividends when executed properly - and by all means ....get a Hum-X if you the ASUS solution - it kills the noise that comes from the PC.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post

It all depends on how you want to do it wink.gif

First route - the easy way: Pick up a 5.1 receiver and connect your computer via hdmi - bitstream to the receiver and let it handle all decoding. When you want to listen to music you will have to change the default sound card from your video card (for hdmi 5.1) to your 2 channel dac when you listen to music - which will also be plugged into your computer then to your receiver via analog cable (in order to bypass the receiver's DAC).

More complicated route: Buy an Asus STX II 7.1 with H6 daughter card or an Asus ST with H6 daughter card (if your MB has PCI slots). You would then buy amps for each channel - you would need 5 channels of amplification (meaning you would more than likely need a good 3 channel amp seeing that you are already using a 2 channel for the GR V-2's). Also purchase something like JRiver - or if you want to go the free route, Foobar (however JRiver does music and movies so I'd suggest JRiver myself). Your PC would become your preamp - and you could ditch your current DAC unless your really love it and it out performs the Asus products. I'd also buy a Hum-X and attach it to the power cord of your PC (works wonders on noise).

Same route just higher end: Instead of the Asus - you can buy an e18 or e28 8 channel dac from exasound or a dedicated professional audio interface (RME, LYNX, M-Audio, Presounus etc.) - very expensive option - very high end dac (the e28 can playback DSD files).

Route under investigation: Purchase an Essence Evolve 7.1 DAC. This DAC uses the ESS Saber32 9018 dac chip (like the exasound models) however this is being offered for $249.00, What this model will require is the HDMI out from your video card. Bitstream from your HDMI, the essence will convert all channels to LPCM and output to your amps (yes you will still need the extra amplification in each scenario). I have not tried this one yet - the product is on back order and I will start a tread as soon as I test it.

Each of these will give you 2 channel ability and 5.1/7.1 ability (as well as 2.1). I got off the receiver merry-go-round by turning my PC into a preamp. Not for the faint of heart - but it pays big dividends when executed properly - and by all means ....get a Hum-X if you the ASUS solution - it kills the noise that comes from the PC.

Why is the DAC necessary if you can HDMI out from your gpu to a receiver?
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by diggiddi View Post

Why is the DAC necessary if you can HDMI out from your gpu to a receiver?
In solution #1 I mentioned using an outboard DAC if the user wanted to bypass the receiver's DAC. Some people prefer one DAC over another (if the user has a high-end external DAC) - so he has that option.

The other solutions replace the receiver all together - your PC becomes the main source and handles all decoding, routing etc. You eliminate the receiver and the need to buy a new one every 9 to 12 months.
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