OBI56 wrote:Richard, why would he want to re-use his Pioneer?
It depends on how old the Pioneer is. If it is relatively new (less than 5 years old) it probably has DTS, and some of the newer Dolby Surround modes, which the CT-17 does not have. If hes using it for HT, I assume his primary source is going to be DVDs, and he can run the digital audio outputs of a DVD player into the Pioneer for true surround decoding.
OBI56 wrote:The CT-17 has a Dolby Pro Logic 5-Channel surround sound processor built right in and has all the pre-amp outputs that he needs already.
Yes, he could do that, but like I stated above, the CT-17 does not do DTS decoding (which is MUCH better for most applications, especially concert videos) and since its so old, it doens't have most of the Dolby Surround modes which are currently used on DVD soundtracks. Although the CT-17 will make "synthesized surround" from stereo inputs, it's nowhere near as realistic sounding and balanced as true modern Dolby surround modes.
Sure it's not necessarily the most elegant solution, and the noise introduced by the Pioneer will degrade the sound somewhat, but it will probably give much more accruate representations of modern Dolby Surround modes. It has been my experience that most Carver gear that has "Dolby Surround" modes are actually worse-sounding that most mid- to high-end consumer-grade receivers, at least for most non-audiophile movie soundtracks.
I've never owned a CT-17, but I did own a C-20v which had a similar "Dolby Surround" processor, and I found that when that circuit was engaged, it added a lot of grain to the sound, and made the main front speakers sound pretty hashy. For strict 2-channel, it was a pretty sweet preamp, but as a surround pre/pro, it was fair to middlin'...
The option I offered was designed to give him the best-sounding surround presentation, while still maintaining good 2-channel sound as well. I know it's complicated and convoluted, and uses a lot of interconnects and loops, but IMO, it will probably sound better for surround than the more-than-one-decade-old Dolby Surround circuits in the CT-17.
Of course, YMMV...