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Help - Combined CD / Turntable and surround set-up

  • 21 February 2019
  • 8 replies
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Hi,

I’m new to Sonos and I’m looking to replace my existing TV/surround and Music systems that currently sit at opposite ends of a long lounge. I have found a few threads that give partial answers to my questions so apologies for any repetition here!

I want to be able to keep my CD and Turntable set up but reduce the footprint (and wires!) that accompany my existing kit (see below for list of all components). My overall questions is this: Would a Sonos amp, beam, sub and a pair of ones effectively solve my problem?

I have a couple of decent Q-Acoustic book shelf speakers. Am I right in thinking the set up above IN ADDITION to these speakers would provide surround sound ? E.g. Would the beam provide the centre channel audio and the Q-Acoustics the front left and right channels? If not could the bookshelf speakers be used for music playback only and the beam for surround (providing all three front channels)?

I notice the Sonos amp has just one analogue input. This would be fine for the turntable but how would the CD be connected? My TV has HDMI ARC so could the CD essentially play through the TV, and if so would the TV need to be turned on?

As an aside, I’m considering getting a universal disc player (possibly the Cambridge Audio CXUHD) to replace my current CD and Blu-ray Player so would this allow me to play CDs via the HDMI Arc input on the amp?

Last question: I’ve got a Wharfdale Sub connected as part of my existing surround set up. Would this need replacing with a Sonos sub to function as part of the surround set up?

If there’s a simpler solution to what I’m suggesting above please feel free to let me know!

Thanks in advance,

Mister Fridge


Current Components

Music:
Naim Mu-So
Cambridge Audio CD player
Braun Turntable with Pre-Amp

TV/Surround
LG 4K TV
Denon AVR 1910 Surround Amp
Sony Blu-ray Player
Various Q-Acoustic speakers for front, centre and rear channels.
Wharfdale Sub
icon

Best answer by AjTrek1 22 February 2019, 14:22

Hi MisterFridge

Here are my answers to your questions. I hope they help to clarify things. As always feel free to post back. Cheers!

In that scenario, do you know if the phantom centre speaker 'works' effectively? I think realistically the L/R speakers won't be more than a meter from either side of the TV so I assume that close proximity will certainly help right?

For OTA/Cable programming the phantom vs a dedicated center channel acoustic differences may not be that pronounced. You having lived with a dedicated center channel when watching DVD/Blu-Ray discs may notice a slight dip in "Punch". A person who has never listened to a dedicated center channel would probably find a phantom center channel an improvement for all programming. 1 meter L/R placement should be find for all sources. In the end it all comes down to what you like.


- Would my existing sub function as part of the Sonus surround set-up?

Yes, via the dedicated line-out on the Sonos Amp (Option 2).


Finally, since the Beam has the HDMI Arc input, and if it IS possible to play CDs via a disc player connected to the TV, am I effectively paying a lot of additional money for the Sonos Amp just to be able to attach my turntable when a Beam/Sub/2x Play 1 set up would do everything else I need?

That depends upon if you want to keep your TT in the mix. Your options are (1) keep the Denon AVR with TT and CD player attached and purchase a Sonos Connect to send audio to the Beam. (2) ditch the Denon AVR and TT.


Note: When using Play 1's , Sonos One's or Play 5's as surround speakers they can be set to automatically switch from surround mode to FULL speaker mode (when playing music) as a stereo pair via the Sonos app. You also when in FULL speaker mode via the Sonos app have the ability to control the volume independently of the Beam, Playbar or Playbase.

Play 5's as surrounds IMO are only necessary if as surrounds they are in a very large space and mounted a significant distance behind the seating area. Otherwise, Play 5's as surrounds are overkill.

Sonos also offers a feature in the Sonos app called TruePlay that will tune Sonos speakers to the room environment. TruePlay requires that the Sonos app be installed on an iOS device as Android is not compatible with TruePlay.
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8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi MisterFridge

What follows is a quick snapshot of how you could use Sonos and some of your exiting gear while eliminating wires traveling front to back. Please post back if you'd like more in-depth info. Looking forward to your reply. Cheers!


Option 1a
_Sonos: Beam or Playbar or Playbase with existing TV (creates L/C/R Channels) bonded with Sonos Sub and Play 1 x 2 for surrounds. Connect Blu-Ray player via HDMI to available HDMI port on TV
_Denon AVR: Use existing L/R speakers with Turntable and CD player
Note:You could use a Sonos Connect via line-out from Denon AVR to send music to Sonos speakers and negate using exiting L/R speakers. Playbar or Playbase provide a wider sound stage than Beam which is designed for bedrooms or spaces slightly larger.

Option 1b
_Sonos: Beam or Playbar or Playbase with existing TV (creates L/C/R Channels) bonded with Sonos Sub and Play 1 x 2 for surrounds. Connect Blu-Ray player via HDMI to available HDMI port on TV
_Sonos Amp: Connect Turntable and CD player via switch. Use Sonos speakers connected to TV via Grouping and/or setting as Auto Play in Sonos App.
Note:Playbar or Playbase provide a wider sound stage than Beam which is designed for bedrooms or spaces slightly larger.

Option 2
_Sonos Amp 1: Use existing L/R speakers & Sub. Connect via HDMI_ARC or Optical to TV (creates a phantom center channel) Connect Blu-Ray player via HDMI to available HDMI port on TV
_Sonos Amp 1: Use a switch to attach Turntable and CD player
_Sonos Amp 2: Use existing rear speakers for surround (would connect wirelessly to Sonos Amp 1)

Note: Sonos Beam also has Alexa Voice assistant. If using the Playbar or Playbase substitute Sonos One x 2 (instead of Play 1 x 2) as surrounds which also have Alexa voice assistant.
Hi,

Thanks so much for the reply that's really helpful. Ideally I'd like to remove as many components as possible from my set-up (and buy as few as possible) so I think your suggested option 2 may work best. In that scenario, do you know if the phantom centre speaker 'works' effectively? I think realistically the L/R speakers won't be more than a meter from either side of the TV so I assume that close proximity will certainly help right?!

Couple of follow ups that I touched on in my original post if you've got time:

- Would my existing sub function as part of the Sonus surround set-up?
- If I were to ditch my existing blu-ray and CD player and replace with a Universal disc player, would I be able to play CDs via the TV > HDMI Arc? Or would I be better keeping the CD player and using a switch as you suggested?

Finally, since the Beam has the HDMI Arc input, and if it IS possible to play CDs via a disc player connected to the TV, am I effectively paying a lot of additional money for the Sonos Amp just to be able to attach my turntable when a Beam/Sub/2x Play 1 set up would do everything else I need?

Thanks again,

MF

P.S I take your point about the PlayBar and PlayBase providing a better soundstage but the HDMI Arc input could be the deciding factor for me (plus it's a hell of a lot cheaper!).
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
Hi MisterFridge

Here are my answers to your questions. I hope they help to clarify things. As always feel free to post back. Cheers!

In that scenario, do you know if the phantom centre speaker 'works' effectively? I think realistically the L/R speakers won't be more than a meter from either side of the TV so I assume that close proximity will certainly help right?

For OTA/Cable programming the phantom vs a dedicated center channel acoustic differences may not be that pronounced. You having lived with a dedicated center channel when watching DVD/Blu-Ray discs may notice a slight dip in "Punch". A person who has never listened to a dedicated center channel would probably find a phantom center channel an improvement for all programming. 1 meter L/R placement should be find for all sources. In the end it all comes down to what you like.


- Would my existing sub function as part of the Sonus surround set-up?

Yes, via the dedicated line-out on the Sonos Amp (Option 2).


Finally, since the Beam has the HDMI Arc input, and if it IS possible to play CDs via a disc player connected to the TV, am I effectively paying a lot of additional money for the Sonos Amp just to be able to attach my turntable when a Beam/Sub/2x Play 1 set up would do everything else I need?

That depends upon if you want to keep your TT in the mix. Your options are (1) keep the Denon AVR with TT and CD player attached and purchase a Sonos Connect to send audio to the Beam. (2) ditch the Denon AVR and TT.


Note: When using Play 1's , Sonos One's or Play 5's as surround speakers they can be set to automatically switch from surround mode to FULL speaker mode (when playing music) as a stereo pair via the Sonos app. You also when in FULL speaker mode via the Sonos app have the ability to control the volume independently of the Beam, Playbar or Playbase.

Play 5's as surrounds IMO are only necessary if as surrounds they are in a very large space and mounted a significant distance behind the seating area. Otherwise, Play 5's as surrounds are overkill.

Sonos also offers a feature in the Sonos app called TruePlay that will tune Sonos speakers to the room environment. TruePlay requires that the Sonos app be installed on an iOS device as Android is not compatible with TruePlay.
Hi,

Thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it.

There was just the one question you didn't get round to (and if you don't know the answer then no worries!):

- If I were to ditch my existing blu-ray and CD players and replace with a single Universal disc player, would I be able to play CDs via the disc player > HDMI to the TV > HDMI Arc into the Sonos Amp? Or would I be better keeping the CD player and using a switch as you suggested?

Cheers,

Jake
Hi. A few thoughts on that... although I am sure @AjTrek1 will have further value to add.
1. I haven't yet come across a Blu-Ray that won't play CDs, so I am not sure you need to replace anything. I can't see any reason why the set up you suggest would not work.
2. A better solution in my view would be to rip your CD collection in a lossless, CD-quality format such as FLAC, and store your music on a NAS drive. I appreciate that some people like physical media, but it isn't really what Sonos was designed to do.
Userlevel 7
Badge +22
If I were to ditch my existing blu-ray and CD players and replace with a single Universal disc player, would I be able to play CDs via the disc player > HDMI to the TV > HDMI Arc into the Sonos Amp? Or would I be better keeping the CD player and using a switch as you suggested?[/i]

You actually have two questions to answer. First are you sure that your Blu-ray player does not play CD's? If it does not then you'll will need to purchase a Universal player; as you call it. However, as John B indicated most Blu-ray players will also play CD's. Second there is no reason that you should not be able to play Blu-ray discs and CD's with your Blu-ray or Universal player via the HDMI to your set with audio to the Sonos Amp. However, I 'd save money and just buy the switch (TT and CD player) vs a Universal player assuming your current Blu-ray player is incapable of playing CD's.

Cheers!
Thanks for the replies guys, again, very helpful. I should have clarified, I was already planning to replace the old Blu-ray player as it's at least six years old and takes an AGE to play any discs. Also, since I want to reduce the total number of components I've already got, it seemed like it may make sense to combine the functionality of the existing Blu Ray and CD players into a single unit.

John, with regards to ripping the CDs. I may do that at some point in the future but I've about 1500 discs in total so it would take a considerable amount of time and to be honest I'm quite old school in that I do actually like having them around gathering dust! Lots of good memories are still attached to the collection and there's quite a lot of it that is yet to appear on Spotify / Apple Music / Etc.

Thanks again.

Jake