How do I listen to CD, SACD and DVD-Audio music?
Connect the components as shown in the diagram using stereo
to interconnect the player to the preamplifier and the preamplifier to
the power amplifier. Physically arrange the components in your choice
of rack or stand [see Note 1], and then buy (or use cables you already
have) that are not overly long. That is, its neater to use a 3 foot
cable when a 3 foot cable is long enough.
Then connect the power amplifier output connectors to the loudspeakers using speaker cables. I agree with others in the industry who believe speaker cables should be at least eight feet long for best sound quality. Technically, this does not make good sense but I agree that it sounds better.
With a CD player as the music source, your preamp is just a volume control. Plug the cables from the CD player into the "CD", "AUX" or "LINE IN" connectors on the preamp and set the selection switch to the same name as the connectors you used. If none of these names are on your preamp, look in the User Guide or Owner's Manual to find which input connectors to use for a CD player.
Loudspeaker placement is field of study in itself. Sometimes the room simply dictates where you will have to place the 'speakers but it's better if you can experiment with placement for best sound quality. There is a lot of information on the web and I'm listing some sites that may be useful. Also, if you are technically inclined, CaraCAD is an example of some inexpensive computer software that can help with room analysis for best 'speaker placement.
For information on CaraCAD go to www.cara.de. You can buy it in the US from www.audioXpress.com .
Note 1: Audio Advisor, Inc. has a large variety of audio component racks and stands. You can call 800-942-0220 to request a copy of their printed catalog or you can visit them online at www.audioadvisor.com . Stands that are all-metal should be avoided because they tend to vibrate which adds unpleasant sounds to your music! Wood or wood-composition shelves with wood or metal supports work fine.