Question AVR > Rowland Research Pre-Amp > Rowland Research Amplifier. Correct wiring

irishdrunk

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Jul 25, 2013
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I'm trying to do a bit of research for family friend. He has a Rowland Research Coherence One Preamplifier, and a Rowland Research Model 5 Power Amplifier. As these are older (but god-tier) components, the pre can't do anything modern, Dolby etc etc. What would like to do, is use a decent mid-level to high end Receiver, but use the RR Coherence One and the Model 5 Amplifier, for left and right, and use the built in pre and amp of the AVR for center, surround etc. There was similar thread on this, which prompted the post.
Specifically, the marked "Best Answer", seems to be exactly what I'm trying to accomplish for him. Using the built in amp and pre of a home Receiver, like a higher end Denon, for the Center and surround, but using the Rowland Pre and Model 5 for high quality stereo music, without having to unhook stuff.

https://forums.tomsguide.com/threads/connecting-stereo-pre-amp-to-avr-pre-out.235263/post-1066821

I am just wanting to get some extra confirmation and expertise if this is the right track here. He had purchased a Sonos Beam to go with the smart tv, but hated the SQ, and and has hearing issues as well. Obviously, a lot of $$$ is invested into the Rowland gear, and he wants to be able to use it. At advice from local stereo shop, he bought a little Beetle DAC to go from the TOSLINK digital out of the TV, converted to analog into the Rowland pre, but that's going to be crap, and no volume control. I recommended buying a receiver, becasue I believed you could pass through the Receiver pre outs to the external Pre. He would then purchase a Center channel, for TV, movies etc, while having Stereo option for his SQ gear.


So, will this work as described, to the best of anyone's knowledge, with no voltage issues, and how would you connect the AVR and the Rowland Pre to accomplish this? Given the AVR is something mid to high end enough (Say Atmos capable)?
 
If he is OK with stereo then try using the DAC you got. The Roland does have a wired remote which is the center part of the front panel that comes off.
If that works then he can use a better DAC which would work with the digital music sources too. Many DACs will have IR remote volume control if he doesn't want to use the wired Rowland remote.
If he has speakers at the same level as the electronics then you will need a matching center speaker which may not be cheap or easily available if his speakers are the same level or vintage as the Rowland.
A receiver will give him a volume remote and center channel amp. Atmos is totally useless since he would need to add all the additional surround and Atmos speakers. The TV won't pass Atmos anyway.
If you do go this route I suggest a Marantz AVR. They sound pretty good in this kind of arrangement, have decent amps, and also have Heos music streaming built in which he might like if only for internet radio. The SR5013 and above all have preamp outputs for the Rowland to connect.
 

irishdrunk

Honorable
Jul 25, 2013
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If he is OK with stereo then try using the DAC you got. The Roland does have a wired remote which is the center part of the front panel that comes off.
If that works then he can use a better DAC which would work with the digital music sources too. Many DACs will have IR remote volume control if he doesn't want to use the wired Rowland remote.
If he has speakers at the same level as the electronics then you will need a matching center speaker which may not be cheap or easily available if his speakers are the same level or vintage as the Rowland.
A receiver will give him a volume remote and center channel amp. Atmos is totally useless since he would need to add all the additional surround and Atmos speakers. The TV won't pass Atmos anyway.
If you do go this route I suggest a Marantz AVR. They sound pretty good in this kind of arrangement, have decent amps, and also have Heos music streaming built in which he might like if only for internet radio. The SR5013 and above all have preamp outputs for the Rowland to connect.
So I think the goal, is to have 5.1 and up as the norm from the living room system. He would switch to stereo just for music, and everything else would be TV/Movies etc, utilizing his Rowland gear. Hooking it up the way I'm asking, would he be able to have volume control from the receiver attenuate the existing stereo speakers for movies, but when he wants music, he can turn up the volume on the Rowland pre-amp, and leave the AVR alone?

I believe the goal here would be to have the volume remote and center channel amp, and later adding rear speakers for minimum 5.1. Just wanting to make sure that you can, in fact, hook up the Rowland Pre and Amp, through an AVR, without any weird voltage issues, as damaging the Rowland gear would be a nightmare :(
 
Yes the volume control would work as you describe.
He would set the Rowland volume at the level he uses it most often for music and then you set up the AVR.
When switching from the Rowland to the AVR-Roland he would want to make sure that the Rowland is at that correct volume so all the speakers are playing at the correct relative levels.
If the receiver output level is too high and the Rowland preamp is overloaded then you want the Rowland volume higher so the receiver can be used at a lower volume setting.
You may have get a ground loop but that can be corrected in a number of ways. Simplest is to use an audio isolator in between the AVR and preamp.
 

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