Have Nice 2.1 Passive Audio System - How to Add Center Channel?


Dec 31, 2007
I have an overkill pro-audio system in my living room (I've recently retired as a live sound engineer and from shlepping the system around the clubs as live sound reinforcement). Two Carvin LS 3-way 15" passive FOH speakers on stands and a huge (passive) subwoofer cabinet with an 18" driver, all powered by a four-channel Carvin class-AB power amp (450W RMS per channel, with only 3 channels being used for this 2.1 setup).

It sounds great and can get too loud if I'm not careful (the volume knob on my Emotiva preamp has never gone above about 20% to avoid the glass panes rattling out of their windows... and possible permanent hearing damage).

I'd really love to be able to incorporate a center channel into this system so I can hear dialog as part of a home theatre setup. I feel it would be a waste to just buy a soundbar while these big speakers flank my TV silently. I listen to music through it, and though it is not an audiophile-quality system, it does sound remarkably good for pro-audio, with higher than expected resolution in my sound-treated living room. And I've never heard a better subwoofer. I would not want to change it out for a (relatively) weak sub. Love the way it can shake my bones like an earthquake when the program material calls on it to do so. IOW, I still want to use the system I have even if I cannot make it a 3.1 system for clear dialog -- though it would be perfect if I could!

I can buy an AVR, but none of them I've tried can come close to powering my FOH and sub cabinets. I already have power amps here that can do that, but they are stand-alone amps rather than part of a true surround system that integrates a proper center channel. (I do not really care about rear speakers. The room is filled with speakers. Just a center channel to hear dialog without having to ride the output faders throughout most movies.)

Is this even possible? Is there an AVR or 3.1 audio processor that can output each channel line-level into my existing power-amps? Or a better solution? If there are only minimum 5.1 channel processors, is there a way to set them for 3.1 channel output without muddying up the center channel?

Thanks for any advice!
So dialog is a discrete channel from dolby or DTS, u must have a surround-aware box to decode it.

Wanto keep your current power amp? no problemo. But you have to switch out that 2 channel preamp with a surround-aware preamp, AV Processor they call it. If those are too expensive, some people say buy the cheapest AVR with Preouts and feed those Preouts to your power amps.
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