N-Vi as power amp to Dolby Atmos pre-amp?

I am currently using the N-Vi feeding an XS2 via AV bypass in a 3.1 (front L+R and center) setup. This allows the N-Vi to control the volume for movies and the XS2 is separately used for music. I continue to enjoy the great sound from the N-Vi.

But then Dolby Atmos beckons and the allure of the height channels in a very basic 5.1.4 setup is hard to resist. I am looking into AVRs with also “good” music pedigree such as NAD 775 and Anthem 740 to drive all the speakers except for the Front L+R, which will stay with the XS2.

Since I like the Naim sound, I am also toying with the idea of getting a Dolby Atmos AV pre-amp instead of a receiver, i.e. taking a Dolby Atmos sound from the coax or optical output of the AV pre-amp and feeding it into the N-Vi’s coax or optical input to allow the N-Vi to drive the center and rear surround channels. Then I will get additional power amps to drive the 4 height channels. I am assuming the N-Vi input cannot recognize a Dolby Atmos signal and the pre-amp must be able to configure the output to a Dolby Digital feed? Does anyone have any experience with this and was the effort worth it? If this is a bad idea then I will just get an AVR and not use the N-Vi.

I would appreciate any advice.

The problem you’ll run into with your proposed hybrid setup is that you’ll need to control the N-Vi volume separately as you’ll be feeding it with a digital signal.

Personally, i’d keep it simple, retire the N-Vi and get an up to date processor / amp to drive the additional speakers, keeping as you say the front channels through the XS2 in AV bypass mode. There’s nothing stopping you adding additional Naim power amps in future to replace the internal amps in the processor.

Have a search for @IWCDoppel and his very impressive setup :+1:

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Thanks for the suggestion and links. Sounds like best to get an AVR. Besides the NAD and Anthem, the Lexicon RV-6 also looks interesting.

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