Can I take a 5.1 system and just not use the two back speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Refinishing my room and I have an old htib cheap system, wanted to upgrade to a new receiver and just use the sub woofer the centre and the two front speakers and not have to find a spot for the back two. The crappy system I have now really doesn't project much sound out the back speakers. Ideally I would like a wireless system for the front speakers and the sub woofer but I assume that would cost more. Or should I just by a single sound bar and not worry about the other speakers.
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post #2 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 08:54 AM
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Sure, just go into the receiver and set the surround speakers to "off." All the surround sound will get rerouted to the fronts.

As for wireless or a sound bar, that's a whole different matter, as you're talking way different technologies. The type of room can affect whether a sound bar is really worth it or not. Would need to know more about the type of speakers, subwoofer, room layout, etc.

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post #3 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a really large room with a projector and I am debating just getting a new receiver and using my old speakers although as half my square room (25 by 22 feet) is dedicated to the projector and the viewing area and the back half is a bar and sitting area. I did not really want to hang my surround speakers off the ceiling and that is really the only option as I can't put them in the far back corner. So with that dilemma I am thinking of just using the front speakers. After I got thinking about that I figured why not just go with a bar speaker in the front although if my existing speakers will work I did not want to shell out a few hundred bucks for no reason.

What would I need to look at on my existing speakers to see if they are any good or not.


Thanks for your input it is really appreciated.
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post #4 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuispamsisCuse View Post

I did not really want to hang my surround speakers off the ceiling and that is really the only option as I can't put them in the far back corner.

Can they go to the sides of the seating area? In 5.1, you want the surrounds to be more at the sides rather than the rear.

But if you want to forgo surrounds entirely, that's up to you.
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What would I need to look at on my existing speakers to see if they are any good or not.

Well, a brand would be a start.

But honestly, a new receiver won't make sub-par speakers sound any better. You want a new receiver for newer and better features. Better sound is best addressed through room acoustics first, speakers second, and receiver much further down the line.

Or get a sound bar, though for surround effects the room tends to need to be symmetrical. Otherwise, it might be cheaper to just get some better speakers up front.

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post #5 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Tulpa, the brand is Sony, I bought the HTIB about 6 years ago, I am not home right now do get more details. Thanks for the tips on the setup, I may take your advice and upgrade the speakers, I could put the surround speakers more to the side up in the corner on the ceiling and they would be out of the way. I guess then if that is the case do I go back to another HTIB or buy a receiver and new speakers as well. Budget is about $500. Only reason to upgrade the receiver is for the video capabilities more than then the audio as this is only for movies and sports mostly.
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post #6 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuispamsisCuse View Post

Refinishing my room and I have an old htib cheap system, wanted to upgrade to a new receiver and just use the sub woofer the centre and the two front speakers and not have to find a spot for the back two. The crappy system I have now really doesn't project much sound out the back speakers. Ideally I would like a wireless system for the front speakers and the sub woofer but I assume that would cost more. Or should I just by a single sound bar and not worry about the other speakers.

I run a 3.2 system - LCR and 2 subs. Works great, just a matter of telling the AVR the surround speakers aren't there.
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post #7 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 12:43 PM
 
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Arnyk, why don't you have surround speakers? You're missing 50% of the sound!
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post #8 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

You're missing 50% of the sound!

No, he isn't. He shouldn't be missing any of the sound.

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post #9 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Arnyk, why don't you have surround speakers? You're missing 50% of the sound!

I know you are joking. ;-)

The reason why I haven't reached into my collection of speakers and pulled a pair for surrounds (including an idle pair of P363s that would be a great match with the fronts) is WAF. My wife says that surround gives her vertigo. I enjoy watching TV and videos with her enjoying herself, so that makes it pretty easy.
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post #10 of 18 Old 12-26-2013, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Arnyk, why don't you have surround speakers? You're missing 50% of the sound!

oh do tell. i am very curious as to how this is because my secondary system is a 3.0 set up. if im missing out let me know how this is happening.

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post #11 of 18 Old 12-27-2013, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Arnyk, why don't you have surround speakers? You're missing 50% of the sound!

2.1 works great for me.

You just have to spend $6000 on the front speakers.
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post #12 of 18 Old 12-27-2013, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

2.1 works great for me.

You just have to spend $6000 on the front speakers.
I can take surround or leave it.[/quote]

I couldn't get by with $5500?
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post #13 of 18 Old 12-27-2013, 04:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Arnyk, why don't you have surround speakers? You're missing 50% of the sound!

2.1 works great for me.

You just have to spend $6000 on the front speakers.

The above post appears to me to be yet another recitation of the audiophile myth that there is a linear relationship between sound quality and price.

I think that many sophisticated audiophiles have figured out that in modern times the primary performance characteristic of loudspeakers which is frequency response, can be obtained in surprisingly small cheap speakers. However what are the two most important secondary characteristics of speakers which are nonlinear distortion or dynamic range, and controlled disperson are not yet so easy to obtain.

So here is a cheap (under $150) speaker's frequency response and dispersion:



And here is a more costly (over $500) speaker's frequency response and dispersion:




Which do you want? One is a little smoother in the midrange, but the other has maybe a tiny bit more bass extension and better dispersion. Maybe not.

What about nonlinear distortion?

So here is the cheap (under $150) speaker's non linear distortion:



And here is the more costly (over $500) speaker's non linear distortion:




This time it is a little easier, I'm not so happy with the peak in distortion around 2 KHz in the less costly speaker's performance, which is one reason why I prefer its 3-way bigger brother. Not that there is a serious problem here, as a highly respective reviewer says:

"... if you're looking for a speaker that will present detailed, uncolored, dynamic, and involving musical and home-theater experiences independent of the type of music or volume level, you can rest easy in knowing that the Primus P162 will satisfy all of your needs, and will likely give many years of musical satisfaction without you ever feeling the compulsion to upgrade."

The woodwork on the more expensive speaker is of significantly higher quality, IMO.
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post #14 of 18 Old 12-27-2013, 04:13 AM
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I can take surround or leave it personally. I have a 5.1 system in the family room and a 2.1 system in the bedroom. I enjoy watching movies in the bedroom. I don't feel like I'm missing all that much. I view the surround channels as a fairly minor addition to the overall scheme of things. When you get to 7,9 or 11 channels I think it is motivated by peer pressure and advertising more than sound. Just opinion. I have a 7.1 receiver and spare speakers in the audio storage closet but I just don't care enough to set things up that way. The negative of room clutter outweighs my perception of what it would add to the sound.
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post #15 of 18 Old 12-28-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

No, he isn't. He shouldn't be missing any of the sound.

Ever heard of surround sound? You think 3.1 = 5.1? In what reality and universe are you living? smile.gif
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post #16 of 18 Old 12-28-2013, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Ever heard of surround sound? You think 3.1 = 5.1? In what reality and universe are you living? smile.gif

Placement-wise, no, 3.1 can't duplicate the directional surrounds from surround speakers. But the sound itself is rerouted to the fronts. This happens with every receiver when you shut off the surrounds. NO sound gets discarded.

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post #17 of 18 Old 12-28-2013, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Heinrich S View Post

Well, if you aren't hearing the information as intended, then no, its not better than dropping the information. For one, you won't notice the surround effects. If you hear flybys in the front channels, how is that better than not hearing flybys in the front channels? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is a very disturbing connection scheme.

rolleyes.gif

What's your point? Everyone can't or doesn't have a full surround setup. No one is arguing that surround speakers are not needed for a full surround experience.

But where do you think the surround channel information (when present) is reproduced for the vast majority of people who simply listen to their AV audio through their television's speakers? Huh? I've never heard anyone with only a television complain that the helicopter sound wasn't in the right place.


Again, no one said that rerouting the surround information to the front channels was ideal. But you should try it sometime if you are curious. It is simple enough to do. Yes, of course it's not surround sound. Duh. But you wouldn't find it distracting. You know they are being rerouted but its not something that you really notice unless it is a soundtrack you are familiar with. Then, of course, it will sound different.

You said arnyk was missing sound. He's not. Quit trying to argue something else.

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post #18 of 18 Old 12-29-2013, 05:37 AM
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Bickering removed, infractions issued, thread closed.

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