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A different HT/2 channel setup


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I thought I would share a bit of my HT/2 channel meanderings.  Feel free to judge and comment, this is simply meant to offer some different ideas.  In general I’ve run everything over the years from simple 2 channel to 7.2 HT via Denon AVRs. I’ve used the Denon AVRs also as preamp and various amplifiers to run front L/R in HT mode and the 2 channel. Things were going well.  But one can never be finished in this hobby!


I won’t dwell on my speaker journey, I’ve owned Klipsch Heresy, changed them and still have a set, owned and enjoyed an RC-7, Cambridge Audio Aero, Martin Logan electrostatics, and Sonus Faber as well as Velodyne sub woofers.  The Heresy, total of 4, together with the RC-7 was by far the easiest to setup and excellent for HT. Other combinations have been used mainly for differences in 2 channel.


Some time ago I became intrigued with the idea of changing from the convenience of a Denon AVR to separates used for an all digital front end for surround sound and stereo processing, meaning ARC from streaming TV, Apple AirPlay/mirror, music server Flac files, Internet radio, CD/Dvd 5.1 channel audio/BluRay, and TurnTable.  Basically I was thinking of replacing a Denon x7200WA AVR I own, and was very fortunate to have acquired at bargain price. This is my 4th Denon and I will say by far the very best AVR. I bought a Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD BluRay player as I like its Wolfson dacs more than the Oppo players Sabre dacs.  I got an older Apple TV to do the AirPlay.  I needed a phono preamp that would convert TT analogue to digital. I purchased a Parks Audio Waxwing TT preamp. It’s amazing.


Bingo all inputs were now digital all managed by the CA BluRay as inputs then on to the Denon as preamp and onwards to Luxman M-02 and R-117 as power amps.

I rewired the BluRay to directly connect to my Luxman amps.  I set the BluRay to variable volume control and listened to a track from my music server. BUT, no volume control using the BluRay remote control. I checked everything and simply could not get it to work. I opened a help ticket with CA and I read user forums and did searches and finally near midnight I found the all important sentence in the BluRay manual that said the variable volume control by remote controller only works with CA amps. In other words it isn’t affecting the BluRay player but rather sending volume control codes to the amp. This was verified by CA response to my help ticket.  I have Luxman amps!


So it was either back to the Denon or find a preamp/processor to manage the surround sound codex’s and volume control with all the inputs I needed, HDMI, digital optical and digital coax.  There are a few models out there but most were reasonably expensive… I wanted to spend less than $400 CAD. I found an Outlaw 975 processor.  Simply put, after a complete rewire, and much testing the Outlaw 975 and CA 752BD have combined to replace the Denon and allows me to use my Luxman amps.  I am pleased with the surround codex on the Outlaw and it is easy to switch between surround sound and two channel.  The Outlaw only has maximum 1080p video, but all my video is handled by my 4k TV or the BluRay in upscale mode to near 4k quality.


The Outlaw remote isn’t the most user friendly but Logitech has the control codes and I’ll load those in my Logitech universal remotes.


I will do some more testing but, I think the setup will work. It will allow me to sell the Denon.  It’s been a bit of a journey but the audio/video quality is very good and the separates allow me to tailor each input as I want, eg the TT via the Waxwing.  My wife never uses the audio gear she only uses the TV with its speakers. She enjoys the audio gear if I manage the technology.  So in this round, separates are winning but I will say I miss the convenience of the Denon x7200WA!

next up in the never ending journey… are Purifi class D monoblocs better than vintage Luxman amps?


I hope this story helps others tackle different ideas to connect up inputs, processors and amps to your Klipsch speakers!

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