Add-on surround sound?


New member
Aug 10, 2019
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We only need surround-sound rather than stereo occasionally, but when we do it's got to be good -- for music on SACD, for example. So, up till now, we've just used a Yamaha sound processor tacked into the tape loop of our stereo system (Denon/Audiolab/B&W) which takes over as a pre-amp to drive rear and centre speakers. The results have been surprisingly good, but alas it's now turned up its toes, and will be hard to repair. So far as we can tell, nothing like this processor is made now. We'd be very grateful for any suggestions as to what could replace it -- without, that is, spending a fortune upgrading the main system for facilities we won't use that much.

We've heard older audio receivers often had analogue pre-outs which could be used in the same way -- but do any today?




Well-known member
Feb 6, 2009
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Hi Deb. Sounds like you have a Yamaha DSP-E800. Add-on three channel surround amps are non-existent now. Don't ask me why. The two most obvious choices are to spend lots of money on a home cinema amp that sounds as good as your current dedicated stereo setup, according to last month's WhatHifi magazine published reply to another reader that was looking to update his own Yamaha E800 and decent stereo amp this would require at least £1300. Alternatively get a cheaper AV amp with the analogue pre-outs, the latest Marantz cinema amps all have these and they start at around £350. This would allow you to continue to use your existing HiFi amp for music and the home cinema amp only when surround sound is needed. Personally I would say that you're better off obtaining a replacement E800 from an auction site. They are often found going for as little as £30, a steal in my opinion. It's a great peice of kit, perfectly capable of HD audio if you have a blu-ray with analogue outputs. The onboard DAC is surprisingly musical, in stereo it's a clear upgrade to my ears from the stereo sound I get from my own blu-ray player and it's capable of 24bit/96khz, great for high res audio downloads. And you're not paying for anything you're not going to hear; any home cinema amp you purchase to replace this unit is likely to have at least two channels of amplification you're never going to use.

Hope this helps.


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