Using Involve Surround Master without a preamp.

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armyjazzer

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Aug 30, 2013
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I was wondering if anyone has tried using the Surround Master V2 without using a preamp inbetween the Surround Master and amps? I know it will not be great as far as having no remote control for the volume, but I was wondering if I could just get a couple of nice stereo amps, like Schiit aegirs, and connect the Surround Master output directly to them. I am getting tired of surround receiver upgrades, and to get a new Atmos receiver with analog inputs is really driving up the cost. I was thinking of just doing a separate setup for quad with the SM and 2 stereo amps, but I also know some devices don't process audio well when the level is not correct, due to there not being a preamp between the device and the amps, which allows setting the level higher in the SM and controlling the level output with the preamp.

Does anyone here have experience with using the Surround Master this way, or maybe someone from Involve could provide some advice?

I think I saw in an online manual it could be used this way, but want to verify.

As usual, thanks for all the great help from everyone on this site!
 

Sonik Wiz

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I was wondering if anyone has tried using the Surround Master V2 without using a preamp inbetween the Surround Master and amps? I know it will not be great as far as having no remote control for the volume, but I was wondering if I could just get a couple of nice stereo amps, like Schiit aegirs, and connect the Surround Master output directly to them. I am getting tired of surround receiver upgrades, and to get a new Atmos receiver with analog inputs is really driving up the cost. I was thinking of just doing a separate setup for quad with the SM and 2 stereo amps, but I also know some devices don't process audio well when the level is not correct, due to there not being a preamp between the device and the amps, which allows setting the level higher in the SM and controlling the level output with the preamp.

Does anyone here have experience with using the Surround Master this way, or maybe someone from Involve could provide some advice?

I think I saw in an online manual it could be used this way, but want to verify.

As usual, thanks for all the great help from everyone on this site!
I haven't read any posts on the forum about using the SM this way, so like you I'll be interested to see reply's to that question.

What I might mention is the output level controls on the SM v2 have a +- 6dB range. They are meant for fine tuning balance not overall volume control. So you can't turn the sound all the way down except by the input level and you want to keep the input just below the LED level light coming on.

And then you'd be having to adjust 4 or 5 knobs every time you change the output level and it would be hard to get things balanced & imaging correctly each time. So using the SM2 this way would be at least impractical.

There's no mention of your hardware gear or set up in your profile. What do you have now... are you currently using a Surround Master?
 

chucky3042

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Apr 9, 2012
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Actually I quite often do it that way at home and in the office. My speakers are fully active (The Naka dragons) and work perfectly direct connect to the SM. The output impedance of the SM opamps is very low and drives the Nakas perfectly (isolated transformer inputs). Right now as my house is having massive renovations my whole hifi system i out of the house and I only hear stuff at the office and that is also usually direct connect to the amplifier.
 

jsrstereo

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Tucson, formerly Oklahoma City
I haven't read any posts on the forum about using the SM this way, so like you I'll be interested to see reply's to that question.

What I might mention is the output level controls on the SM v2 have a +- 6dB range. They are meant for fine tuning balance not overall volume control. So you can't turn the sound all the way down except by the input level and you want to keep the input just below the LED level light coming on.

And then you'd be having to adjust 4 or 5 knobs every time you change the output level and it would be hard to get things balanced & imaging correctly each time. So using the SM2 this way would be at least impractical.

There's no mention of your hardware gear or set up in your profile. What do you have now... are you currently using a Surround Master?
 

armyjazzer

Active Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2013
Messages
72
Thanks Chucky! I may give this a try. I need to order 2 amps for this so it may be a while before I get a chance to test it. I have 2 Vidars powering my Magnepans, but I don't want to pull them off my stereo setup.

Sonik Wiz - I am using the Surround Master with a receiver currently. I want to upgrade the receiver to create a Dolby Atmos setup, but getting a new one with analog (RCA) audio inputs jumps the price up so much I am considering getting the lower end Dennon for Atmos, and using the saved money to buy 2 Schiit Aegirs or Vidars and just pulling the Quad setup off the receiver and running separately. It would be much better amps than would probably be in a receiver, and the total cost would be less than the jump in price to get the top end receiver that would have the analog inputs.

Denon AVR-3700H is $1500
Denon AVR-X8500HA is $4500

2 Schiit Vidars or Aegirs is $1400 - $1600 plus tax/shipping. Much less than the $3000 receiver upgrade to the high end Denon, although it might be worth considering the other advantages of going the receiver route. At least for a while I might have to borrow speakers off the quad setup to connect to the receiver for Atmos movie/music listening.

Maybe there are some here that could provide other suggestions to consider!

Thanks!
 

armyjazzer

Active Member
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Aug 30, 2013
Messages
72
For my purposes, I use a Yamaha MVS-1 Master Volume Controller (a passive preamp) between my SMv2 and my Carver stereo power amps. The Yamaha box also provides input switching for three sources. I like it.

John R

Thanks for the input. I think I want to stick to new gear. I only see a used MVS-1 for sale on ebay so I am guessing this is something that is discontinued.
 

Sonik Wiz

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For my purposes, I use a Yamaha MVS-1 Master Volume Controller (a passive preamp) between my SMv2 and my Carver stereo power amps. The Yamaha box also provides input switching for three sources. I like it.

John R
I used to have a Yamaha MVS-1. Nice looking unit and a problem solver. I purchsed it for DIY purposes, to convert from 2 ch controller to quad controller. The input select buttons went to 4 pole 12V relays. That kind of thing. Alas, I never finished the project but I still have the quite high quality volume control from it.

as @armyjazzer pointed out there are some units on Ebay but mostly at higher prices than I paid for it. It's a pretty empty box so I don't get it.
 
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