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-   -   5.1 with bigger speakers vs. 7.1 with smaller speakers (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1394877-5-1-bigger-speakers-vs-7-1-smaller-speakers.html)

guteLaune 02-18-2012 06:57 AM

Hey All,

I've been searching quite a bit for an answer, but I haven't seemed to find the info I need...

I recently purchased a 5.1 DefTec ProCinema 600 system. Overall, I was pretty happy with the result. I use the system in my bedroom (10x15), and I was basically just looking for something above the HTIB that would really fill my room. Of course, after a couple of weeks with it, I decided "Why not get two more bigger speakers for the front L and R channels?" So I went out to get two ProMonitor 800's...but got a GREAT deal on the ProMonitor 1000's. I now have the 1000's as my L and R, and the 600's are now SR/SL, BSR/BSL, center and sub. Those 1000's made a world of difference. Really filled in everything I listened to. (I generally watch movies and listen to music about 50/50)

My question now is for basically the same price, I could return the 600's and get two ProMonitor 800's for my SR/SL, a ProCenter 1000, and a Polk PSW110 sub. The only thing I'm wondering is will it sound better, the same, worse?

I like the idea of in the future, this system might find it's way into a living room instead of a bedroom.

So...bigger "Better" speakers, but less of them and a bigger sub or smaller "Still great" speakers, but more of them and a smaller sub?

Thanks guys!

baniels 02-18-2012 07:06 AM

I would always choose quality over quantity. You can always add two more channels later.

Some would even argue for the largest part of your budget going to a solid 3.1 for the fronts and sub.

cel4145 02-18-2012 07:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by baniels View Post

I would always choose quality over quantity. You can always add two more channels later.

Some would even argue for the largest part of your budget going to a solid 3.1 for the fronts and sub.

+1

The Polk PSW110 is very much a budget sub. Better to be willing to allocate more budget to a sub and do some research in the AVS subwoofer forum. Those Def Techs would greatly benefit from a sub that has better sound quality and more frequency extension.

guteLaune 02-18-2012 07:20 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by baniels View Post

I would always choose quality over quantity. You can always add two more channels later.

Some would even argue for the largest part of your budget going to a solid 3.1 for the fronts and sub.

This is true. Right now my limitations are wall-mounted speakers. I have no room to place floor-standing speakers in an appropriate position. So in terms of quality, the DefTec 1000's are really doing it for me...(hard to beat at $420/pair...even harder to beat at the sweet $320/pair I picked them up for).

guteLaune 02-18-2012 07:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

+1

The Polk PSW110 is very much a budget sub. Better to be willing to allocate more budget to a sub...Those Def Techs would greatly benefit from a sub that has better sound quality and more frequency extension.

So maybe scrap the idea for the 800's, and use that money for a better center channel and sub? aaawww...but I just love those rear channels!!!

cel4145 02-18-2012 07:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by guteLaune View Post

So maybe scrap the idea for the 800's, and use that money for a better center channel and sub? aaawww...but I just love those rear channels!!!

Yep. The rears "fill in" so most people believe they are less important than investing in other parts of your 5.1 system. You get more bang for your buck if you invest in the matching center for front and a better sub.

bladerunner6 02-18-2012 07:34 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

+1

The Polk PSW110 is very much a budget sub. Better to be willing to allocate more budget to a sub and do some research in the AVS subwoofer forum. Those Def Techs would greatly benefit from a sub that has better sound quality and more frequency extension.

+2

Fewer but better speakers is my feeling.

Plus very little material is in 7.1 or higher.

I definitely see a broadcast and premium cable networks with 5.1 sound but not 7.1

Also, very few blu-rays and dvds have something higher than 5.1.

guteLaune 02-18-2012 07:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bladerunner6 View Post

+2

Fewer but better speakers is my feeling.

Plus very little material is in 7.1 or higher.

I definitely see a broadcast and premium cable networks with 5.1 sound but not 7.1

Also, very few blu-rays and dvds have something higher than 5.1.

Yes, I most certainly understand this. I wouldn't say I'm a "critical" listener. I do find, however, now that I've listened to a true 5.1 vs. 7.1 "matrix," that the 7.1 matrix sounds pretty damn cool.

So is it the general opinion that most of you would rather have a damn good 3.1 system for music and movies vs. a not quite as damn good 5.1 system? Perhaps I haven't heard a damn good 3.1 system. At this point, I'm almost afraid to...it might sound too good...and then my pockets will get lighter...

jjackkrash 02-18-2012 08:07 AM

In my opinion only, the center and sub are the most important channels for movies, and the front left and right are most important for music. That is where I would put most of my speaker money.

allsop4now 02-18-2012 08:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by guteLaune View Post

Yes, I most certainly understand this. I wouldn't say I'm a "critical" listener. I do find, however, now that I've listened to a true 5.1 vs. 7.1 "matrix," that the 7.1 matrix sounds pretty damn cool.

So is it the general opinion that most of you would rather have a damn good 3.1 system for music and movies vs. a not quite as damn good 5.1 system? Perhaps I haven't heard a damn good 3.1 system. At this point, I'm almost afraid to...it might sound too good...and then my pockets will get lighter...

Personally, I'd rather have a "not quite as damn good 5.1" compared to a "damn good 3.1", which I've bought, but then what constitutes "damn good"?

The speakers may very well be outstanding but that may be a moot point if the room they are placed in is not acoustically treated and/or there is lack of good room EQ.

My living room is acoustically untreated, and while Audyssey MultEQ XT makes a real difference (the 2EQ I had before is useless), it is not a substitute for room treatment. However, as it is a living room I had to make compromises, and room treatments have a low WAF. Perhaps MultEQ XT32 is better in my small room and it does support an extra subwoofer.

Edit: I think I might be unclear above: I bought 5.1 not 3.1

guteLaune 02-18-2012 08:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjackkrash View Post

In my opinion only, the center and sub are the most important channels for movies, and the front left and right are most important for music. That is where I would put most of my speaker money.

Understandable. I'm slowly learning my taste in sound and what I need to do to get it. Having added the 1000's, I can now definitely tell the center channel is "less full"...or perhaps "too bright"...basically, it doesn't sound quite right. I think regardless of what I do, upgrading the center channel is my next move.

Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

Personally, I'd rather have a "not quite as damn good 5.1" compared to a "damn good 3.1", which I've bought, but then what constitutes "damn good"?

The speakers may very well be outstanding but that may be a moot point if the room they are placed in is not acoustically treated and/or there is lack of good room EQ.

My living room is acoustically untreated, and while Audyssey MultEQ XT makes a real difference (the 2EQ I had before is useless), it is not a substitute for room treatment. However, as it is a living room I had to make compromises, and room treatments have a low WAF. Perhaps MultEQ XT32 is better in my small room and it does support an extra subwoofer.

Haha, yes "damn good" is an extremely technical term. As I sit here, typing this, I'm casually listening to some music via airplay, and I really am happy with what I'm hearing. When I throw on a movie, I'm also happy, but I just can't help but think of the fact that the center channel could still get bigger to better match my 1000's.

Unfortunately, my room is an awkward shape with a doorless closet in my front wall, so room treatment is beyond my expertise.

I appreciate all the feedback here. I think my next step is to keep my 7.1 system, but replace the center channel with the ProCenter1000. After that, I'll start working on upgrading the subwoofer. Perhaps even use the current 600 sub in tandem with the upgraded sub...(like sequential turbo chargers on a car, one sub for the lower lower end, and one for the upper lower end...)

allsop4now 02-18-2012 08:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by guteLaune View Post

Understandable. I'm slowly learning my taste in sound and what I need to do to get it. Having added the 1000's, I can now definitely tell the center channel is "less full"...or perhaps "too bright"...basically, it doesn't sound quite right. I think regardless of what I do, upgrading the center channel is my next move.

Placement of a center speaker can be difficult. I have to use a horizontally placed center speaker, albeit big to keep up with other speakers, but experimenting with placement made a big difference (essentially raising both the TV and speaker).

Quote:
Originally Posted by guteLaune View Post

Haha, yes "damn good" is an extremely technical term. As I sit here, typing this, I'm casually listening to some music via airplay, and I really am happy with what I'm hearing. When I throw on a movie, I'm also happy, but I just can't help but think of the fact that the center channel could still get bigger to better match my 1000's.

Unfortunately, my room is an awkward shape with a doorless closet in my front wall, so room treatment is beyond my expertise.

I appreciate all the feedback here. I think my next step is to keep my 7.1 system, but replace the center channel with the ProCenter1000. After that, I'll start working on upgrading the subwoofer. Perhaps even use the current 600 sub in tandem with the upgraded sub...(like sequential turbo chargers on a car, one sub for the lower lower end, and one for the upper lower end...)

May I suggest buying a receiver with MultEQ XT32 that can EQ two subs as well as having much better resolution? It might very well improve the performance of your center speaker as well.

cel4145 02-18-2012 11:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

May I suggest buying a receiver with MultEQ XT32 that can EQ two subs as well as having much better resolution? It might very well improve the performance of your center speaker as well.

That would be a TON of money to put into a receiver for a speaker setup like this, especially just to try to integrate in a budget sub like the ProSub 600 with another sub. Better just to buy one good subwoofer.

ack_bk 02-18-2012 11:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

That would be a TON of money to put into a receiver for a speaker setup like this, especially just to try to integrate in a budget sub like the ProSub 600 with another sub. Better just to buy one good subwoofer.

+1. Been there, done that. Bought two cheaper subs and came to the realization that one good sub is much better. Can always add a second matching good sub down the road if you feel the need.

To the OP, better 5.1 all the way. I would even advocate buying 2.1 or 3.1 first and buying along the way. And I agree with cel4145, don't overspend on your receiver and then put yourself in a corner trying to skimp on your speaker sand sub.

Something like this still has Audyssey, and some nice features and would be a great receiver for your budget:

http://www.accessories4less.com/make...eceiver/1.html

allsop4now 02-18-2012 11:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

That would be a TON of money to put into a receiver for a speaker setup like this, especially just to try to integrate in a budget sub like the ProSub 600 with another sub. Better just to buy one good subwoofer.

At least he should get a receiver with similar performance as Audyssey MultEQ XT as that will improve the sound quality as a badly integrated subwoofer does not sound very well irrespective of the quality of the subwoofer itself. The sound quality of the satellites will be improved as well with MultEQ XT.

cel4145 02-18-2012 11:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

At least he should get a receiver with similar performance as Audyssey MultEQ XT as that will improve the sound quality as a badly integrated subwoofer does not sound very well irrespective of the quality of the subwoofer itself. The sound quality of the satellites will be improved as well with MultEQ XT.

Even though it is a step up for the speakers, MultiEQ XT offers no sub sound performance increase over regular MultiEQ. See the table at the bottom of this page.

allsop4now 02-18-2012 12:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Even though it is a step up for the speakers, MultiEQ XT offers no sub sound performance increase over regular MultiEQ. See the table at the bottom of this page.

You think that the much higher resolution of MultEQ XT for satelittes is no more than a step up, presumably small?

cel4145 02-18-2012 02:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by allsop4now View Post

You think that the much higher resolution of MultEQ XT for satelittes is no more than a step up, presumably small?

There is MultiEQ and MultiEQ XT. There is no in between option from Audyssey. So yes, it's a step up for the speakers in filter resolution capability. How much of a step? I'll leave that for others to qualify.

W2GOD 02-18-2012 04:23 PM

I just purchased the same I went with a def tech system 600 system and added 2 pro 1000's to the front and the 600 satellites are in the rears and I am very happy. My room is 17x14 . I would go with the 800's and the 1000 center , the sub would be great also. In the future since I do have the room I'm looking to make a 7.1 system out of all pro 1000's for center pro 2000, and for a sub I don't know yet but with what you wanna do you can't go wrong!! Enjoy

sdurani 02-18-2012 05:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by guteLaune View Post

I think my next step is to keep my 7.1 system, but replace the center channel with the ProCenter1000.

That's what I would do, except stretch for the ProCenter2000 (same drivers as your L/R speakers).

The quantity vs quality debate can get tricky when it comes to surround sound, since what consistitutes "better" is subjective. For the same price as 4 surrounds you can get 2 higher quality speakers. But a single pair of speakers can't be in two locations simultaneously (at your sides AND behind you). Neither one of those scenarios is automatically better than the other. You have to decide which is more important to you.


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