The above hi-fi music and home theater hybrid connection diagram shows how I connected my system for best performance with both music and movies as I explained in the previous post (click diagram for a larger view).
No matter the source, analog or digital, I run the front two channels and subwoofer through the analog amplification section (orange and down the left in the chart). The Rogue 99 pre-amp has an home theater bypass switch. When the switch is flipped to the HT position the pre-amp does not need to be on, all of its circuitry is, uh, bypassed and the Onkyo L/R pre-amp outputs flow straight to the Anthem MCA-2 amp and Hsu VTF-2 sub; when the switch is in the pre-amp position the Onkyo is out of the loop and I can listen to my analog sources (turntable, CD and the Onkyo receiver's DAC'ed Airtunes) straight through the Rogue 99 pre-amp and Anthem amp using its volume control.
The diagram is self explanatory except for one major element: bass management. No bass management is happening in the digital realm (in the Onkyo). I bass manage the Onkyo as follows: front channels to large, surround channels to small, no subwoofer (I don't have a center channel loudspeaker, I get a more 3D movie soundstage with just the stereo front channels and surrounds). Running the front channels as large with no sub pre-out routes all the surround speakers' bass (below 80 Hz) and the .1 LFE channel to the front channels. Now you might be scratching your head, thinking, "He's got a subwoofer right in the middle of those speakers, why is it off?" I'm only telling the Onkyo processor that I have no sub so I can get all the bass information into the left and right channels. Those front channels are routed to the Rogue 99 pre-amp and it passes the full range signals to both the Anthem MCA-2 amp and the Hsu VTF-2 subwoofer. To get the smoothest bass and not strain my amp or Vandersteen 1c's, Audio Concept's Inline RCA High Pass Filters roll off the bass at 85 Hz with a 6 dB first order slope (the slope is smooth and in line with the Vandersteen's native crossovers). The Hsu VTF-2 subwoofer uses its low pass crossover to cut the full range signal the other way starting at around 85 Hz.
If you want to hear the best from your music collection on CD, vinyl and even wireless Apple Lossless over Airtunes music files, you must separate your front stereo channels and subwoofer into an analog amplification section. With the described set up and some creative wiring and bass management you can also switch out the analog pre-amp and regain all the volume control, AV switching, DSPs and multi-channel surround sound from your flagship AV processor or receiver.
Fell free to ask any questions in the comments on the best way to improve your own music and movie hybrid system. Better yet, share your own tips and tricks to achieve audio and video nirvana.