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multi channel amplifier
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Old 5th April 2006, 10:40 AM   #1
Garnett is offline Garnett  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: London
Default multi channel amplifier


Not sure where to stick this.

I am faced with a number of problems, to wit:

1) I have lovely pair of Tannoy standmounts unused since my KEF floorstanders arrived, which the missus is now demanding be consigned to eBay.

2) My TV isn't the greatest and all my friends have surround sound.

3) I have a habit of biting off more than I can chew.

As a attempt to kill three birds with one stone, what do people think of trying to build a multi channel amp?

I assume building the channels should be simple enough, but:

1) Which DIY amps lend themselves to each application (ie, powering each signal)?

and, more importantly:

2) What sort of decoder would I need to take the signal from my DVD player (and/or TV when it gets upgraded) and split it into separate amplifiable signals.

3) Is there an easy way to compensate for not having a sub. I was hoping to gett away with four channels, but will this mean bass is not represented?

and, finally

4) Is this a waste of money - should I just buy the kit I need?

Thanks for any help.
Usually mitigation for all my dumb questions: I will endeavour to make sure I explain everything I find out on www.substitutereality.co.uk so that other newbies like me have a useful resource to check first...
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Old 5th April 2006, 11:18 AM   #2
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Scottish Borders
if you buy the kit you fall into either of two camps.

Cheap kit gives very cheap sound.
Good sound costs a LOT.

DIY kit falls between the two if you source a good decoder not psuedo..

However, where is your surround coming from?
DVDs have it, analogue TV does not.
A few satelite movies have it, most do not (in the UK).
Terestial digital does not. Cable??

So the end result is most of the time you will be listening to stereo not surround unless you are dedicated to DVDs.

Can I suggest you build a good stereo set up and put the TV into sound mute. Intelligilbility is much improved on all voice, music becomes enjoyable, sound effects become real. I have never liked any of the psuedo surround, too exagerated and unreal.

Most decoders have a choice of separate sub-bass as the 0.1 channel or set to full range sound to all the other 5 channels.
Four channels would miss out the centre front channel which has a lot of dialogue.

If you can stand the bill I recommend that you send full range signal to full range speakers all around. Then decide if you want or need a true sub-bass for movie effects. My relatively small AE1s (90mm bassmid cone) produces a surprisingly deep although not particuarly strong bass signal that seems to suit most movies (even in stereo). I do not listen at disco sound levels so lack of strong bass is rarely a problem. Bigger floor standers with a 200 to 250mm driver would partially solve this but again at cost.
regards Andrew T.
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