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How to integrate Tubes into existing home theater


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Wasn't sure where to post this, home theater, technical, or 2 channel. But here it goes.

I already have a 6.1 home theater.

My surrounds, center, and rears are powered by my Denon 4308, which all my components run in to.

My fronts are powered by the luxman M-117 200 watt amp from my denon 4308 pre-outs. (my local shop told me he looked at a few of those recently and the output stages needed to be fixed because they cause distortion, not sure if mine do, but if anyone knows of that issue, please let me know)

I may be able to get a hold of a Scott 299d tube amp for pretty cheap, which I'd probably send to NOSvalves for restoration.

My front speakers are RF7s.

IDEALLY, when I eventually get a bigger place, I would use this tube amp for some 2 channel heritage speakers and have a CD player and turntable hooked directly into it, and that would be that.

But for now, how do I integrate it into my system with only 1 set of front speakers (RF-7s)

Do tube amps have a pre-out to essentually use them as a pre, then have it go through my denon, and then through the luxman to the RF-7s? (and wouldn't that essentially render the purpose of the tubes useless since you're only using it as a pre?)

I'm not exactly sure how to get both amps integrates for different purposes using only 1 set of fronts.

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couple of comments

you say you have some 200 wpc's available now and want to add a scott 299d. Problem is the 299d is only 36 watts per channel. The difference in gain will hurt your HT surround imaging.

the question of pre-outs and amp-ins will vary from model to model. But since the heart of an HT system is the pre with the decoder or equiv, it would seem to me that you would want to connect a tube amp on the HT's pre-outs for the mains, something that most HT's have. This will make it easy to throw the system into 2 channel mode.

So basically, I 'm saying what you want to do is possible....but you need to address the gain issue by finding a tube amp that is close in power output as your main amps.

I would go with a recent model tube amp to get closer to the power out put of your other channels.

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I follow what your saying.

But would there be a way to have like the turntable going intot he tubes, using that as a pre, then going from that to the denon as a passthrough to the luxman, so using the tubes as a pre instead of the denon.

that way it's the tube pre, luxman amp, but using the denon for volume control and having the 299d as just "another input" on the denon, then further down the line jsut use the tubes as a whole preamp / amp for heritage speakers.

i don't want to be using the tube in any sort of surround sound movie mode. just strictly for 2 channel when using the turntable, but my rf-7s are already connected to the luxman which i use now for 2 channel and full surround through the denon.

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I use both. I just run my home theater reciever's pre-amp out to an input on my tube pre. i also run the analog outputs of my dvd player to another set of inputs. This way I can use my tubes for tv and dvd's. I find that if I leave my preamp volume at 12 o'clock then the volume is at the correct setting when I turn my reciever up.

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If this was me here is what I would do.. Forget running the tube setup except for 2 channel duty. Purchase a Niles amp switcher box for the two front main speakers.

All problems solved simply for use with the Scott integrated amplifier. For movies and multi channel music you keep using your existing setup for total timber match to all channels. Been there, done it and it works perfectly.


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that is EXACTLY what i want to do.

keep my existing setup for multichannel music / tv / movies, and jsut integrate the 2 channel tube amp for 2 channel listening and vinyl but using the same set of speakers for now.

so is this switcher just conecting the post amplified speaker outputs of both amps to the switcher and then having 1 speaker output to the speakers?

almost like a flux capacitor!

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I'm wondering, instead of connecting the turntable straight to the scott, can i connect it throught he denon, and use the zone 2 preout to the scott tube amp, that way i can directly compare the luxman and the scott by just changing zone on the denon and then changing the amp switch?

also, what are the inputs on the back of the switch, is just spring loaded clips for bare speaker wire?

i'd pretty much have to a run a whole lot of extra wire to do this, huh

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Forget running the tube setup except for 2 channel duty. Purchase a Niles amp switcher box for the two front main speakers.

That's how I do it too.

Check out this - http://www.amazon.com/Niles-DPS1-Audio-DPS-1/dp/B00006HOFR/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&m=A3LJ5WMKNRFKQS&s=electronics&qid=1203703417&sr=1-8

I run 2 VRD's and an Outlaw 2150 this way. Be sure to trim the wires per instructions, the box is smaller than I expected which is nice. Wife hits standby on the Outlaw and has music. I, ummmm, hit a/b box, warm up preamp, turn on tubers, check turntable for level, clean records, blow dust, get laptop installed and wireless server mounted, but that's what it's all about. Oh, and lots of wine.

Back is small screw terminals as I recall. Not really a lot of wire, you're running from the amps to the box. Still same old speaker wires which usually would be longer. Depends where you put the equipment I suppose. Dunno about the Scott but a lot of folks here do I suspect. Might need some kind of phono preamp. While you can use a SS, if you're going to recondition a Scott some might try to stick with glowtube gear.

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