2.1 disability...

I am currently upgrading my system and am trying to do it slowly for financial reasons. For now, I am using a modified Pioneer 47ai universal player into an Audio Refinement Pre2DSP. I have a powered sub within my 5.1 speaker setup. For some reason, in order to listen to a 2 channel recording and add the sub (2.1) I must press a tape monitor button under the chassis in the preamp. This degrades the sound to some extent and I was wondering is anyone who still owns one of these dinosaurs can tell me a way around it? I have the universal also hooked up in analog 5.1 into the pre, as well as the 2 channel outs as this seemed to be the only way it would work. Should I just buy a new processor and be done with it? Basically I understand that 2 channel means 2 channel and I am asking the pre to add the sub to the 2 channel mix. Maybe it is just not capable of doing that? Help me!!
I don't know anything about your Audio Refinement gear specifically, but I looked up some specs on it and I have an idea that may at least a discussion started.

The listed audio inputs are: 5.1 analog (RCA), 3 analog 2-channel (RCA), 3 digital coaxial (RCA), 1 digital optical (TosLink)

The fact that it lists the 5.1 analog inputs seperately from the 2-channel inputs makes me think that they are not all connected equally internally.

I'm going to take a wild guess that you might have the left and right inputs connected via the 2-channel inputs and the subwoofer connected to the 5.1 channel input. I don't know how it works, but I read about people using the tape loop to trick equipment before so it may be connecting the two somehow.

If you have everything connected via the 5.1 channel inputs then I'm not sure unless you're in an audio mode that doesn't allow for a subwoofer. My receiver doesn't do bass management in Direct Mode so I must use another mode for 2 channel audio listening.
The best reason to upgrade would be to add a blu-ray player and HDMI connections for HD audio. This is a significant improvement in movie sound quality.

My wife has made me stop a movie and fix the output on the blu-ray player once because it wasn't sending the HD track and it sounded like poo poo compared to the first time we watched the movie.
The Audio Refinement Pre2DSP was a transitional product, as was their Pre5. There are analog multichannel preamps that do not have such constraints but, as Mceljo says, it is time to move on to a modern device that will do HDMI as well as analog.

Mceljo - I so appreciate you taking the time to help try to answer my question. That's what I love about this community - people are just so generous with their expertise here. You were correct in your analysis on how I have the outputs configured.

Kal - I did not know it was considered a transitional product. Would you, or anyone else for that matter, recommend any processor in particular? I was thinking of one of the Integra pieces like the 80.1 or the 9.9? I wanted to spend around $1,000 for a used piece here on Audiogon. I was planning on using the device for audio only and sending video via HDMI directly to the new TV I am getting in about 2 weeks - the new Panasonic 65" VT30 plasma (I'm excited about that !!).

Again - thank you so much for your time and consideration in helping me out.
The Integras are good machines and each was pretty much at the cutting edge for its time. There was a big change in the analog portions for the 80.1/2 but, for digital, all are performers. Just choose your feature set.
Llippman - What do you have connected to the 5.1 inputs other than the subwoofer? If you connect the Pioneer completely to those inputs I would suspect that you'll get 2.1 sound.

I have the Integra 50.1 receiver that retails for $1,500 and am fairly happy with it. The 80.2 has four independent power supplies while the 70.2 only has two. I'd suspect this might make a difference in the sound quality.

What do you have for speakers and subwoofer?
" What do you have for speakers and subwoofer?"

Great question. If your subwoofer has high-level inputs in addition to your LFE connection, you may be able to come off stereo pre-outs instead. Resetting audio out option from 5.1 to stereo would de-activate the LFE out. You would need to find a method for de-activating the high-level inputs when running in 5.1, of you preferred the LFE in that mode.
Everyone is so helpful - thank you again for trying...

I am using all of the 5.1 analog outs from the Pioneer universal (soon to be Oppo nuforce xtreme)and am ALSO using the 2 channel analog outs both going to the audio refinement pre2dsp (essentially 8 separate interconnects coming out of the universal). My speaker setup is all Reimer speaker systems. I have Tetons for the fronts and McColloughs for the center and rears. The sub is also a Reimer sub but is a powered sub. Not quite sure what the high level input would be... I believe there is only one RCA input on the rear of the sub but I'll check.
I don't think that there's any benefit, as far as the universal player, for having both 5.1 and 2.0 outputs connected. I would suspect that this is true for the Audio Refinement.

Have you tried just disconnecting the 2.0 connection and see how it sounds for 2 channel audio listning. What I'm not sure about is if you'll be able to select the subwoofer on or off.
Manual for the Pioneer DV48AV shows that if Audio Output mode is set to Stereo, then Center and Subwoofer outputs are disabled, and the 5.1 channel front Left and Right jacks act as a second pair of stereo outputs.

If these specs hold true for the DV47Ai, and if the Reimer Sub has high-level inputs, then there's a possible direct solution.

Connect all of your speakers, including front stereo speakers, to your 5.1 group of audio outs, with Subwoofer into LFE connection.

Then, connect your extra pair of Stereo Outs directly to the subwoofer high-level inputs.

Then with Audio Output mode set to "5.1", extra stereo out (and thus high-level sub feed) is disabled, and LFE feeds the sub.
When Audio Output mode is set to "stereo", LFE and center channel are disabled, with 5.1's L/R feeds driving the front speakers, and extra stereo outs driving the sub.

Of course, when your new Oppo arrives, all of the subwoofer options so well covered by Mceljo and more will be available.

BTW, your speaker selection looks fascinating!

Sand stone - I am ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY!!!!
No one and I mean no one has been able to figure out a solution to this and I have had this setup for close to ten years!! I have friends who are really good at this stuff and you have done it my friend - WOW!! I can't thank you enough - really man - thanks so much!!

I assume this also means at this point, if I want to keep my processor at this point, I need to get the Oppo 95 as it has the separate 2 channel outs besides the 5.1 analog outs just like my current Pioneer. The 93 only has the 5.1 outs so that would not work in this configuration that you have figured out, right?

It also means a lot to me that you appreciate my speaker setup - if you are ever on Long Island come check them out. Lots of people do and most are pretty blown away I must say - they really sound amazing - you can throw absolutely anything at them and they still have tons of room to breath - you would dig them.

To all of you, I so appreciate your willingness to help me with this. This is truly an amazing community of people.

With much gratitude,
We're all very glad that it worked out for you!

With such a great ($13K+?) speaker system, I've gotta ask -have you considered setting up a dedicated stereo pre/amp pathway in the future? With 95 dB efficiency, bet they would also sing with tubes.

As to your qn: "The 93 only has the 5.1 outs so that would not work in this configuration that you have figured out, right?"

I believe that the 93 and the 95 provide a "stereo" mode where you can set front speakers to "small" (thus activating crossover for sub) and set subwoofer to "on", as pointed out by Mceljo above. This eliminates the need for the extra stereo out jacks to run your sub in stereo mode.

That being said, the 95 seems to be a huge improvement over the 93 for audio. Massively better power supply, superior DACs, dedicated, discreet pathway for stereo, and many other bonuses.
I think you should consider using the dedicated analog stereo out pathway provided by the 95. Modwright also is now modding the 95, and claims that the result is equivalent to its well-reviewed Sony 5400 tube mods. I hope to hear the modded 95 next weekend at THE audio show in Newport Beach. If I learn anything new, I'll try to post back here.

BTW, your Audio Refinement Pre2DSP is a true sleeper value, yes? Wasn't that designed by YBA?
Are you also using the matching 5-channel amp?

Thanks for the kind invite to hear your incredible system. If I ever have a chance to get back east, that would be a real treat. How would you describe your Tetons? And what's the back-story on Reimer's, anyway? Are they becoming collector's items now?
To set the record straight, the Oppo 95 has 7.1 analog outputs (not just 5.1) and, in addition, it has 2 sets of stereo outputs (RCA and XLR).

That is all really informative and maybe something to consider for the future. Right now it is boiling down to finances as it is for most people. The thing is I am getting the new (and not even really out yet) Panasonic 65" VT30 plasma - the highest rated TV available on the planet which clocks in at close to 5 grand. Add the fact that I am finally catching up to technology and getting a good blu ray player and you have a pretty big nut money wise. Any and everything else would have to wait for awhile. That is why this solution you gave me really helped as I now don't have to run out and also get a new pre pro as well right away.

The audio refinement is indeed a true sleeper and is made by YBA. It does not really have many bells and whistles but is really good at passing a signal and not degrading it. As far as amps are concerned I have two Adcom amps which were modded by Stan Warren up in Oregon: one is a two channel and one is a three channel. There really are no other outputs other than the ones I am using now to use them with the pre2dsp so I don't know if I could even actually use a separate 2 channel pre and make it work properly in all applications - limited connectability issues...

The Reimers are a work of art - I could not even describe to you in words how amazing they sound. They are incredibly efficient and they all use Dayton drivers and ribbon tweeters. The Tetons are pretty massive each with 2 woofers, on top and bottom, two mids and the ribbon tweeter. When I take the grills off everything and sit there it looks like the Grateful Dead's old wall of sound! As far as background on them I have a friend who was a local 'dealer' so to speak for them through Rick Reimer. We had worked out a deal together at the time that I could get them significantly less expensive if I agreed to demo them for other customers at my place. So I use to have people come from NY, NJ, PA and CT and bring their own discs of choice and listen to them. It was fun to see their faces when you showed them all the different applications - 2 channel in redbook, SACD and then surround for DVD Audio and SACD and DVDs... The Reimers just shrug off anything you throw at them and look for more. As far as I know Rick is not making them anymore in the past few years (I could be wrong? but I don't think so...)so I guess they really sort of are collectors items at this point. I will never own another set of speakers if I can help it. They truly are that good.

In reference to the 95, I was only getting a 93 because I was planning on buying the 93 Oppo Nuforce Extreme which is supposedly so good that Oppo decided to scrap an extreme 95 as they didn't feel it would be cost effective since the 93 extreme is so amazing sounding. At least that is what I heard... The 95 is supposed to be mind blowing if you use it in XLR but with my Audio Refinement that is not a possibility.

If the settings could be made to work on that 93 extreme like you said it would and the sub would indeed pass through I may actually stick to that original choice.

Hope we can hang someday and listen to music up east!

In friendship,
More to discover