Advice on building a 3.0 or 3.1 system (with option to upgrade to 5.1 or 7.1 later) - AVS Forum
Audio Theory, Setup, and Chat > Advice on building a 3.0 or 3.1 system (with option to upgrade to 5.1 or 7.1 later)
tony54's Avatar tony54 08:47 PM 07-04-2011
Hi all. I've been scouring these forums for a couple of weeks now and my head is spinning....I need help!

I need some advice on building a 3.0 or 3.1 system (with the option to upgrade to 5.1 or 7.1 later...).

Current Equipment:
TV: LG 47LH90
PS3 (non-slim version) w/ HDMI out to TV
HD Cable Box w/ HDMI out to TV
XBOX (games only, HDMI out to TV)

Currently live in a house where full blown surround is not feasible. Would like to build a nice 3.0 or 3.1 system that can be upgraded to surround at a later date when I move. I would like to use the PS3 for games, blu ray playback and listening to CDs. I would prefer to use the PS3s built in audio and video decoding capabilities coupled with linear PCM output via HDMI (e.g 1080p/24, Dolby TrueHD, ect...). Would like to use this 50% HT/50% music.

I'm thinking about investing in the new Polk LSiM 707s (or 705s) and skipping the Sub (for now) and also getting a center.

I guess my main questions center around appropriate choice of AVR vs. ARV+external amps. I've read that it is better to "bypass" the AVR for music, possibly going through separate stereo amps, especially for something like the 707s. Also, since the PS3 handles most of the video and audio decoding, what type of AVR would I really need if I wanted external amplification for my main L/R towers? Would I only need the AVR for the center and perhaps a future sub or surrounds? What additional processing beyond the PS3 would the AVR need to do?

What are the options for using an AVR with a PS3/Cable Box/Xbox that handles most of the decoding but that also has the capability to bypass to external amps for music?

Should I get a 5.1 AVR that has pre-outs for the L/R towers and simply only have the center channel (and future subs, surrounds etc) going through the AVRs amps? If I'm in HT mode, can I still use the external amps for the L/R towers or would I need to go through the AVRs amps to get the proper sound balancing?

Thanks in advance!

m_vanmeter's Avatar m_vanmeter 11:18 AM 07-05-2011
you seem to have a well funded budget for you system, but I think you have some out-dated recommendations about modern AVR's and how they handle music vs. surround sound.

External amps may be needed for the brand new Polk LSiM series towers (2011 version of LSi series)....at about $3,000 MSRP for the pair you are in a price zone where you really NEED to audition a wide range of speakers in that price bracket.

If that kind of budget extends to the a/v Receiver, then you are also in a bracket where you can expect high quality sound, be it stereo or HT audio, from the receiver without the expense and hassle of switching external stereo amps into and out of the circuit. Just make sure the receiver you choose has analog channel pre-outs if you find whatever speakers you choose are power-hogs.
karlsaudio's Avatar karlsaudio 10:55 PM 12-21-2011
I just saw this old thread and thought I would ask a question. In a 3.0 system in a bedroom, are there any tricks for speaker placement to get an enveloping sound without the use of rear speakers? I would assume (maybe?) that if the rears are turned off in a AVR that the rear "info" would be re directed to the front L/R. Any suggestions?
karlsaudio's Avatar karlsaudio 09:44 PM 12-22-2011
Nothing? A little toe out maybe?
haargerman's Avatar haargerman 08:07 AM 12-28-2011
I'll bump this up because I'm interested in hearing opinions on this. I'm in a similar boat..

I currently have a 2.0 system (just got a reciever for christmas). Hooked up some older Axioms and wondering if I should go with a Center or a Sub first? I don't have the budget to upgrade or buy everything at once.
ap1's Avatar ap1 08:30 AM 12-28-2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by haargerman View Post

I'll bump this up because I'm interested in hearing opinions on this. I'm in a similar boat..

I currently have a 2.0 system (just got a reciever for christmas). Hooked up some older Axioms and wondering if I should go with a Center or a Sub first? I don't have the budget to upgrade or buy everything at once.

Just get a sub, which makes biggest difference in watching action movies. Then, when you get enough funds, buy center and surrounds.
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