Do you listen to music in 2.1, 3.1, 5.1 or 7.1?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 07:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry if this has already been discussed but I looked (searched) and didn't find what I was looking for.


The thread title I think says it all. I'm putting together my first HT upgrade in 15 years and have gotten tons of advice here in doing so on a pretty strict budget (thanks a lot BTW). Yesterday I got my Onkyo 605 refurb and I've had the Polk Monitor 50's about a week now. This Wed the BIC H-100 shows up and that is all I have ordered for now.


I'm curious if I want or need my center and surrounds to be capable of carrying some of the music workload? Does anyone use their surrounds and center to help fill their room with music??
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post #2 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 07:15 AM
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I have a 7.1 setup. I do 90% of my listening in 2.1.

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post #3 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnickrand View Post

Sorry if this has already been discussed but I looked (searched) and didn't find what I was looking for.


The thread title I think says it all. I'm putting together my first HT upgrade in 15 years and have gotten tons of advice here in doing so on a pretty strict budget (thanks a lot BTW). Yesterday I got my Onkyo 605 refurb and I've had the Polk Monitor 50's about a week now. This Wed the BIC H-100 shows up and that is all I have ordered for now.


I'm curious if I want or need my center and surrounds to be capable of carrying some of the music workload? Does anyone use their surrounds and center to help fill their room with music??

I personally listen in all channel stereo with a 5.1 set up.
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post #4 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 07:16 AM
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You don't NEED them, but its nice to have the extra volume that 5 or 7 channel stereo can provide.
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post #5 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 07:22 AM
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Stereo was originally intended to be a three-channel format, and works far better that way. The only time I don't listen with a center channel is when I'm driving or walking with my iPod. I typically listen in 5.1, but my nearfield system is 3.1. Surrounds can be nice in providing greater soundstage texture and feeling of the room acoustic, but 95% of the benefit comes from a discrete center. Even if the speakers are 130cm away.

The only caveat: the typical worthless "toppled MTM" (midrange-tweeter-midrange deployed horizontally) center channel cannot and will never sound acceptable. So the best thing one can do is to find an orphan speaker of the same make/model as one's mains and use that as the center channel. If that's not possible, a 2.1 channel system will sound better than one with a fatally flawed center.

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post #6 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 07:26 AM
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Always 2.1 for me. Classical sometimes sounds pretty good in 5.1 or 7.1. I sometimes wonder why I even have 7.1.
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post #7 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 07:30 AM
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2.1 most of the time except for my multi-ch sacd's and dvd-a's that were done in 5.1.
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post #8 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 07:53 AM
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2.0, 2.1 and 7.1 (PL2x and THX Neural) depending on the music and the mood.

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post #9 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21 View Post

The only caveat: the typical worthless "toppled MTM" (midrange-tweeter-midrange deployed horizontally) center channel cannot and will never sound acceptable. So the best thing one can do is to find an orphan speaker of the same make/model as one's mains and use that as the center channel. If that's not possible, a 2.1 channel system will sound better than one with a fatally flawed center.


Does that also hold for a horizontal speaker of BMTMB configuration? (I know there is a name for this setup but cannot remember it.)
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post #10 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 08:22 AM
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2.1 for me. The only time I listen to music 5.1 is if I'm listening to a DVD thats engineered that way, or an OTA HDTV music source in 5.1 format.

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post #11 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 08:32 AM
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I either listen to music in 2.1 or in 7.1 using "all channel stereo" on my Onkyo

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post #12 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 08:35 AM
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2.0 most of the time. 2.1 sometimes. TriField/5.1 at times.

EDIT: Actually, I misread the question and answered as if it had been asked how I listen to 2 channel music. The answer is that I listen to 2 channel recordings mostly as 2 channel. However, I have about 2000 discrete multichannel recordings and I listen to all of these with the number of channels which which they are endowed. And, no, I do not tolerate having instruments all around me or in the back except in exceptional cases.

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post #13 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 08:41 AM
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i've always loved 2-channel, but more and more i find myself listening to DPIIx.

5 and 7 channel stereo (a misnomer, no?) are fine for parties and gatherings...but DPIIx, when tweaked just right, retains the depth and separation of stereo, but adds a certain ambience, a fullness, that is kind of addicting...
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post #14 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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lefthandluke can you elaborate a tad bit. Is PLIIx comparable to 3.1 or 4.1??


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Originally Posted by lefthandluke View Post

i've always loved 2-channel, but more and more i find myself listening to DPIIx.

5 and 7 channel stereo (a misnomer, no?) are fine for parties and gatherings...but DPIIx, when tweaked just right, retains the depth and separation of stereo, but adds a certain ambience, a fullness, that is kind of addicting...

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post #15 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 08:45 AM
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I find that center speakers that have a tweeter above the midrange and flanked by a
midbass/woofer to blend better than most such as the designs by B&W and Paradigm.
Although the best would be identical all around but for most of us with a budget and
not having a dedicated ht room this is not feasible.
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post #16 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 08:51 AM
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2.0 I have a tube amp powering my front speakers for movies and use it alone for music.
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post #17 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kansashick View Post

Does that also hold for a horizontal speaker of BMTMB configuration? (I know there is a name for this setup but cannot remember it.)

Straight on an MTM sounds fine. In fact, most of them are fine across a 3 seat couch. At greater angles, they can sound muffled due to suck outs caused by driver interference. To say that an MTM will never sound acceptable is simply not true.

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post #18 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 09:00 AM
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2.0 all the time.

10' from 84" screen.


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post #19 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnickrand View Post

Yesterday I got my Onkyo 605 refurb and I've had the Polk Monitor 50's about a week now. This Wed the BIC H-100 shows up and that is all I have ordered for now.

I'm curious if I want or need my center and surrounds to be capable of carrying some of the music workload? Does anyone use their surrounds and center to help fill their room with music??

How big is your room? I have the Monitor 50s and the BIC H-100 (Monitor 30 surrounds/rears, CS1 center). My room is 25'w X 27' deep.

If I'm sitting in the sweet spot (~12' away from the speakers) for the purpose of listening to CDs, I'll use 2.1. If it's a 5.1 music DVD, I'll switch between DolbyD and PLIIx-Music/Movie depending upon what I like best for that particular DVD.

If I'm doing something else like reading, I'll use the PLIIx-Music to provide more ambiance. If it's karaoke night or a party, I'll use the AllChStereo to more evenly distribute the sound through the room.

Regarding your question about Dolby PLIIx - it takes 2, 5, and 6-channel source material and converts it to 7-channel sound. For more info, see this link: http://www.dolby.com/consumer/techno...logic_IIx.html

Finally, I think that you'll find that the BIC works nicely with the Monitor 50s. Try setting the M50s to small and the crossover to 60Hz and see if you like it better than 80Hz.


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post #20 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 09:06 AM
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2.0 & 2.1, the only time that I have ever heard music from behind me was a single trumpet in a classical piece at the symphony. Silly idea.
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post #21 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sterankoman View Post

2.0 & 2.1, the only time that I have ever heard music from behind me was a single trumpet in a classical piece at the symphony. Silly idea.

I listen to lots of classical music in 7.1 and the only time I've heard instruments behind me is when the producer placed them there (Berlioz Requiem, for instance). I have never heard any instruments behind me when extracting ambience from a 2 channel setup, so I'm not sure what you're describing.

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post #22 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 09:47 AM
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7.1
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post #23 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sterankoman View Post

2.0 & 2.1, the only time that I have ever heard music from behind me was a single trumpet in a classical piece at the symphony. Silly idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

I listen to lots of classical music in 7.1 and the only time I've heard instruments behind me is when the producer placed them there (Berlioz Requiem, for instance). I have never heard any instruments behind me when extracting ambience from a 2 channel setup, so I'm not sure what you're describing.

is it possible he was at a live, in person, 'u r there' actual 'concert'? as in a concert hall and not at home?

10' from 84" screen.


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post #24 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 10:01 AM
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2.0 is my preferred method for now. Ask me again in 6 months.
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post #25 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 10:04 AM
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2.0 Soon to be 2.1

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post #26 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westgate View Post

is it possible he was at a live, in person, 'u r there' actual 'concert'? as in a concert hall and not at home?

Could be Ives or Mahler.................

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post #27 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 10:36 AM
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I currently listen in a 2.0 format, but I'd prefer 2.1.


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post #28 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westgate View Post

is it possible he was at a live, in person, 'u r there' actual 'concert'? as in a concert hall and not at home?

The implication from his post was that surround music meant trumpets were coming from the rear (or at least that was my interpretation). Hence the "silly idea" comment.

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post #29 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post

The implication from his post was that surround music meant trumpets were coming from the rear (or at least that was my interpretation). Hence the "silly idea" comment.

Well, he did say ".....the only time that I have ever heard music from behind me was a single trumpet in a classical piece at the symphony."

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post #30 of 102 Old 04-27-2008, 11:18 AM
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lately, mostly 2.0

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