I am looking to build up my first HT/Music system (70/30 maybe), and have a budget of $700. I also have a MFW-15 as a subwoofer; will probably be buying a Denon 888 or Onkyo 606 for the receiver, and a PS3 for the source. My question is, should I go 2.1 or 5.1? Also, I need to use bipoles/dipoles for the rear if I go 5.1. So at this pricepoint, do you guys think 2.1 or 5.1 is better? Is it worth it to lose quality on the mains to get the center and surrounds, or is it better to get some good quality mains? Any suggestions for either setup? Thanks.
I guess 3.1 is also a viable option, so feel free to recommend any of those too.
Oh yeah, my room is 15ft x 12ft x 8ft (speakers and seating are along the 15ft sides), so maybe I won't notice the lack of surrounds as much because the fronts will already fill the room nicely?
Here is a list of qualities I hope to get from the fronts:
Wide sweet spot
Large soundstage (both depth and width)
Good attack on instruments
Good attack & articulation of voices
Good imaging & separation of instruments/voices
Good response/decay times; i.e., I want to hear every note in a string of drum notes; I don’t want to hear all the notes slurred together
Punchy & tight bass
Dynamics (how loud they can get without breaking up, how soft they can get while keeping the whole sonic experience intact and w/o losing detail, how well they jump from something really soft to a passage really loud)
Intelligibility of voices (i.e. in movies and vocals)
By the way, if I go 2.1, will I still be able to get the sonic advantages of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-MA? I will still be able to select them, it's just that they will be downmixed to 2.1, right?