Connecting two preamps

April 15, 2022
 by Paul McGowan

10 comments on “Connecting two preamps”

  1. Hello,

    I’ve recently done exactly this. I now have my surround processor (Monolith HTP-1) and my DAC/Preamp (HoloAudio Spring 3) connected to a very high quality switch box, which is connected to my M1200 mono blocks and it works flawlessly. I searched high and low for the best quality switcher I could find, and ended up with the Audiodesign XLR Balance Line Selector HAS-3LB (3 female-1 male:input selector). This box is NOT CHEAP as you will find out when you look for it on Amazon. However, I was determined to not let the switcher get in the way of delivering the best quality signal.

    I say go for it!


  2. If you read the question that was asked both carefully and correctly, the guy was also asking if he could run the same pare of speakers on different amps at the same time.
    The answer to that question, is no.
    Both of those amps will destroy themselves if they were hooked up that way.
    But that’s just on the output side of it.
    On the input side of it, Paul is correct about that!
    You don’t run 2 outputs in to the same set of inputs.
    The impedance will fight each other.
    Eventually, one preamp is going to destroy its own output devices that way.

  3. I ended up two different times finding a preamp that has HT bypass. The Parasound P5 or P6 or P7 depending on needs. The 5 is pretty cheap and all three will integrate your sub as well.

    I ended up going higher end with BHK Pre and bypass, but had to get JL CR1 for subwoofer integration. Much much more money but the P5 will suit you well.

    1. Yep… ultimately that CR1 will find its way into my set up. Seems like the only way to correctly integrate my subs with the two channel/HT set up I have now…

  4. I have been doing this for years. I have two preamps a Luxman CL38U SE tube preamp for stereo and a Krell Showcase surround preamp for movies. I have 3 amps. The main amp a Bryston 3B Cube I use for the main speakers. The RCA connections go to the Luxman and the balanced connections go to the Krell. On the back the amp I use the switch to unbalanced for music. When watching movies I switch to the balanced connections. I asked James Tanner of Bryston if this was ok and he gave me a thumbs up.

  5. You might consider connecting your stereo preamp to the amp and your main preouts from the AV preamp to an aux in on the stereo preamp. AV calibration then just requires using a volume setting on the stereo preamp that you can return to when listening to thr AV source.

  6. Maybe the above referenced bypass is the same thing as McIntosh Passthrough Mode. I have a Marantz A/V processor with most of the output channels connected to an Emotiva XPA-11 Gen3 A/V amplifier. However, the front right and front left output channels from the Marantz are connected to my McIntosh C2700 preamp on balanced inputs.

    In Stereo mode, everything in the McIntosh stack runs normally. However, when the Marantz A/V processor is powered on, it asserts trigger to the Mac Passthrough. This causes the Mac to assert trigger to the mono blocks, switch to the balanced inputs connected to the Marantz, and then get out of the way. Thus, the Marantz is driving the mono blocks directly. No switches are needed. It’s all done with a few trigger cables. From the Marantz’s perspective all is right with the world and you can use Audyssey to configure the room as normal.

    1. Good morning Jack!
      The Mcintosh C-2200, is a really nice vacuum tube preamp man!
      Macintosh, is one of the very few companies that builds tone controls in to their audio products.
      But, have you ever thought about running that C-2200 in to a MC-275 tube amp or another amp made by a company like Conrad Johnson and or Carry Audio?

        1. Good afternoon Jack!
          Wow man!
          You have the Mcintosh stacks man!
          One half of them, uses 8 KT88 tubes.
          The other half, is solid state.
          Either way, you’re getting 300 watts out of either half of the stack each.
          But sense the solid state half of that amp feeds its output to a transformer before it pumps an audio signal in to the speaker, I wonder if you can combine both of the halfs together?
          If you could, I bet you’ll get a wopping 600 watts or more out of those Mcintosh mono block stacks.
          The manual says, “the tube half, is for the mid range and tweeter.
          The solid state half, is for the woofer in each amp.”
          But both halfs, puts the audio signal threw a transformer before it sends it to the speaker.
          One of these days, I’m going to pick up a pare of those MC-600’s and play around with them, just to see what I can make them do.
          They both have active built in crossovers, so I understand.
          If I’m wrong, then please correct me!

Leave a Reply

Stop by for a tour:
Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm MST

4865 Sterling Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301

Join the hi-fi family

Stop by for a tour:
4865 Sterling Dr.
Boulder, CO 80301

Join the hi-fi family

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram