How Many Speakers Are Too Many? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: How Many Speakers Are Too Many?
9 122 20.93%
11 103 17.67%
22 166 28.47%
45 46 7.89%
You can never have too many speakers 146 25.04%
Voters: 583. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-30-2014, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

I have installed more sound bars this year and trying to talk clients into a much better 5.1 /7.1 system is getting harder to do but on the same note we have put in more whole house stereo with every room having a stereo pair including bathrooms and porches.

That's a good point. People keep buying these god-awful soundbars, which barely even give enough separation to call them 2.0, if that, even though they attempt to put out "surround sound". I see so many cases where people just don't understand the need for surround sound and a properly sized TV. People seem to think that a 50" TV and a soundbar will work in a good sized living room. People laugh at how "big" my 60" TV is in the relatively small area it is set up in (couch around 9'), but it's quite a bit smaller than THX recommendations (6' for a 60" TV, a 90" TV for my couch distance). The reason that it's almost too big is Comcast's tri-muxing.
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Originally Posted by blazar View Post

The whole point of object oriented surround is to use whatever number of speakers that you own. I foresee that you would need to input into the processor the relative locations of your speakers. Then the processor steers the sound effects based on whatever speakers are in the matrix. The number of speakers you could use would then be totally be dependent on the specific capabilities of the processor.

AVRs can already do self-calibration with the little microphone... even my $700 HTIB has this capability. It seems to work well, and it creates a "sweet spot" wherever you want (i.e. the main couch). The only thing is if your setup is significantly unbalanced in terms of speaker location, you would lose a lot of volume capability, as it would have to run some speakers close to maximum output, and some with far less power.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:07 AM
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Most of us on these forums want more of everything within reason but the average consumer you know the ones that keep these mfg.'s going by buying in mass are getting overwhelmed and thats why i think the sound bars are selling so well.
If they truly want to sell more goods make them cost effective and easy to use.
Set up dedicated rooms to show off the advantages and make sure the advantages are very noticeable.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:12 AM
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For dedicated home theaters, again, a number isn't very helpful, because for a larger area, more speakers would generally sound better. Even though it isn't reflected in the poll, I would think that a basic set of speakers plus MULTIPLE subs would give a better audio experience.

Symmetry pleases the eye, but it usually offends the ears where low frequencies are concerned. -Yoda Fitzmaurice
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvu80 View Post

For dedicated home theaters, again, a number isn't very helpful, because for a larger area, more speakers would generally sound better. Even though it isn't reflected in the poll, I would think that a basic set of speakers plus MULTIPLE subs would give a better audio experience.

That's true. But what do you consider a basic set of speakers for a home theater?
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Most of us on these forums want more of everything within reason but the average consumer you know the ones that keep these mfg.'s going by buying in mass are getting overwhelmed and thats why i think the sound bars are selling so well.
If they truly want to sell more goods make them cost effective and easy to use.
Set up dedicated rooms to show off the advantages and make sure the advantages are very noticeable.
+1 For enthusiast we get enjoyment out of setting up and tweaking our systems. The average consumer is simply overwhelmed. As for me, my 7.1 paradigm monitor setup is enough. If my pockets were deeper, I'd probably jump to the studios and maybe presence speakers. I like this topic. We could argue/discuss this subject forever.
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:35 PM
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7 is good for anyone even real cinema

 

for me 2 tower speakers does the job

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Old 03-30-2014, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

I see so many cases where people just don't understand the need for surround sound and a properly sized TV. People seem to think that a 50" TV and a soundbar will work in a good sized living room.
That's OK, since they aren't the target customer for Atmos, any more than they were the target for 11.2 receiver from Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, over the last few years.

There are almost 900 Blu-ray titles with discrete 7.1 soundtracks. More often than not, those tracks are being heard on TV speakers. That doesn't make it futile to introduce more and more 7.1 soundtracks, both on Blu-ray and theatrical releases. Same with Atmos; the fact that most consumers will hear them on TV speakers or a soundbar won't hinder the move to object-based mixing.

You can't convince someone to add height speakers to their surround set-up if they don't have a surround set-up to begin with. I can understand lamenting the fact that many/most consumers don't want 5.1 or 7.1 set-ups. But no sense complaining about them not being early adopters of Atmos. They weren't the target customer anyway.
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:40 PM
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Stop making so much damn sense, Sanjay!

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Old 03-30-2014, 02:14 PM
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When home builders are able to get improved appraisals for these setups, it will make a greater difference. Right now, a "home theater" is like any other room and in most houses the price of the home theater isnt electronics makes almost zero difference in appraisal. The average customer of a new home is looking at price/sq ft of the total house and the comparison ends there...

You get a lot of things bakes into a modern house but 90% of homes are junk architecture and the deepest budget materials that a builder can find. This audience is looking for the cheapest house possible and builders will likely throw in some monoprice speakers here and there for "wow" factor and call it a day.

The home "theater" even on a small scale is usually not even pertinent until you hit the $500000+ market house.

The "rich" will need to keep buying this stuff to subsidize the manufacturers who can eventually bring more to the "masses"

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Old 03-30-2014, 02:57 PM
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Has anyone ever been to a Dolby Atmos equipped theater?  If you think that 45 speakers is a lot, a Dolby Atmos theater uses up to 64 individual speakers!  Dolby created a special processing system that can take a movie that was filmed for 7.1 speakers and separate, organise, and calibrate the audio to 128 lossless elements in a mix, and then distribute them to the 64 speakers.  From what I gather they moved the speakers around from the standard arrangement and then stuffed a few more in there.  They put more behind the screen, and more on the sides, and the rest hang from the ceiling directly over the audience.

 

The whole this is pretty stinkin cool.

 

http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/technology/movie/dolby-atmos.html

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Old 03-30-2014, 02:59 PM
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7.1 is old. Time for change.

More is better. I think 11.1 would be an ideal number.

It IS coming.

The additional channels will be 'folded' into the typical 7.1 track (as Auro is doing) so the channels will be there if you have the set up.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

7.1 is old. Time for change.

More is better. I think 11.1 would be an ideal number.

It IS coming.

The additional channels will be 'folded' into the typical 7.1 track (as Auro is doing) so the channels will be there if you have the set up.

.1 is old.. it's time people move to .4 or more. tongue.gifbiggrin.gif

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Old 03-30-2014, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

.1 is old.. it's time people move to .4 or more. tongue.gifbiggrin.gif

.4 is not needed on the actual soundtrack. The processor needs to be able to analyze the room, individual subwoofer response, and then EQ each sub independently and run multiple permutations to get the best combination possible. To get a linear response for the maximum number of positions.

Summed multiple mono subs are how it is done now... I don't know enough about the science to understand if this is best way to get the best linear bass outcome.

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Old 03-30-2014, 03:30 PM
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Agree that .4 is unnecessary. If matching units, the subs shouldn't be eq'd independently but the delay should be calculated separately as per Audyssey SubEQ.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:36 PM
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More speakers are great for the vendors.....

What we in reality need are rooms that are better acoustically treated and speakers that are both better (in terms of power response) and has a dispersion pattern that fits the need.
The use for correct diffusion will give spaciousness and combined with attenuating early reflections there will be an encredible immersive experience with only 5.1.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

.4 is not needed on the actual soundtrack. The processor needs to be able to analyze the room, individual subwoofer response, and then EQ each sub independently and run multiple permutations to get the best combination possible. To get a linear response for the maximum number of positions.

Summed multiple mono subs are how it is done now... I don't know enough about the science to understand if this is best way to get the best linear bass outcome.

I was referring to the processor. We have 11.2 in many systems without the tracks to support that man channels. Audessey xt32 supports 2 subs as of now, but It would be great if they supported 4. Many people use 4 or more subs in these forums, but we use external eq and measure room response. MiniDSP and REW works well for this.

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Old 03-30-2014, 03:44 PM
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I think the question is incomplete, because a big factor is missing:

expected size of the listening area

The problem with multiple speaker (>LCR) setups is that often listeners seated anywhere but the one perfect spot have everything collapse to the nearest speaker.

I'm more interested in solutions to that problem first. Dr. Toole mentions one in Sound Reproduction: line array surrounds, or better yet Keele CBT's for surrounds. But that's at cross-purposes with some of these diagrams that show surround heights, etc. Because line arrays need to be very tall (floor-ceiling) to be actual line arrays.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fookoo_2010 View Post

That's true. But what do you consider a basic set of speakers for a home theater?

That's a good question. In the last year, I have upgraded to a 5.1 living room setup. I know the dedicated home theater setup is such a different beast because many people remodel their basements, but there are a BUNCH of guys who drop 25k in a home theater, and they are works of art! For larger systems, I think it is easier to justify bigger bucks for more speakers, although the law of diminishing returns say the improvements will be incremental, not monumental.

Some AVS guys like a 4.1 system, preferring a phantom center to a dedicated center speaker. I am the opposite, I love the center speaker because it really anchors speech to the center of the TV. A 3.0 L/C/R system would satisfy most of what I like to hear. After that I would pick 3.1, 5.1, then add wides before I would add the rear surrounds.

For those with "average" home theater setups, I would imagine a 5.1 setup is still the way to go, because the audio/video movie content is still overwhelmingly 5.1 standard. I hang out on the DIY forum, and many over there are sub fanatics and they swear by that sub sound for their HT's. So for a basic HT, I would think F/C/R size would be in the 12" woofer range, surrounds with 8" drivers, and probably two 15" subs.

Like most of us here, I like "more is better" but frankly whatever you have, be it 5.1, 7.1 or larger, you get used to what you have and you don't really "miss" the sound you never heard. Some people like the audio image of an airplane circling (bee buzzing? smile.gif ) over your head. That's OK for those who demand the ultimate, I am just not one of those people.

I didn't read further upstream before replying. Do have an opinion on minimum speakers for a HT?

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Old 03-30-2014, 04:05 PM
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7 speakers are more than enough for me. My room is about 1700 cubic ft so DTS and Dolby better get to work on pleasing me with their MDA and Atmos cause 7 it stays.

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Old 03-30-2014, 04:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

.1 is old.. it's time people move to .4 or more. tongue.gifbiggrin.gif
I do agree most strongly that 11.4 is the way of the future for home theater, I have one now and would not trade it,,,,,,,My wife agrees,,,,,,,and that is inportant!
Wouldn't you agree?
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:33 PM
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This topic is for folks who want to keep chasing that dam sound.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvu80 View Post

That's a good question. In the last year, I have upgraded to a 5.1 living room setup. I know the dedicated home theater setup is such a different beast because many people remodel their basements, but there are a BUNCH of guys who drop 25k in a home theater, and they are works of art! For larger systems, I think it is easier to justify bigger bucks for more speakers, although the law of diminishing returns say the improvements will be incremental, not monumental.

Some AVS guys like a 4.1 system, preferring a phantom center to a dedicated center speaker. I am the opposite, I love the center speaker because it really anchors speech to the center of the TV. A 3.0 L/C/R system would satisfy most of what I like to hear. After that I would pick 3.1, 5.1, then add wides before I would add the rear surrounds.

For those with "average" home theater setups, I would imagine a 5.1 setup is still the way to go, because the audio/video movie content is still overwhelmingly 5.1 standard. I hang out on the DIY forum, and many over there are sub fanatics and they swear by that sub sound for their HT's. So for a basic HT, I would think F/C/R size would be in the 12" woofer range, surrounds with 8" drivers, and probably two 15" subs.

Like most of us here, I like "more is better" but frankly whatever you have, be it 5.1, 7.1 or larger, you get used to what you have and you don't really "miss" the sound you never heard. Some people like the audio image of an airplane circling (bee buzzing? smile.gif ) over your head. That's OK for those who demand the ultimate, I am just not one of those people.

I didn't read further upstream before replying. Do have an opinion on minimum speakers for a HT?

Of course, this depends on what one is looking for. Going up in terms of the number of speakers is an evolutionary process for most: start with fewer speakers and go up. I have an 11.2 setup, but really only run it as 9.2 (2 subs) in which I have taken out the wides, although I could run them. Just my impression that the Audyssey version of wides, DSX, corrupts the front sound stage for the worse, hence I no longer run them. I am looking forward to running 4 heights eventually and create a sonic bubble within the room. Running PLII-Z is awesome and the difference is not subtle.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natemads View Post

Has anyone ever been to a Dolby Atmos equipped theater?
There are 15 of them within driving distance here in Los Angeles. Quite a few posters in this thread have been to multiple Atmos equipped theatres over the last couple years.

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Old 03-30-2014, 06:50 PM
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I currently have a 9.3 system running in 9.2 because my smallest SW died. I think this discussion is about the law of diminishing returns.

Instead of adding more speakers I'd rather put the $$$ into more sound processing which you'll have to do anyway if you get more speakers.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:15 PM
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After listening to binaural recordings it amazes me what they can accomplish with 2 speakers and that tells me the studios could do the same with 5.1/7.1 and very nice speakers instead of 22 fair to good speakers which i am sure some will say you don't need to have nice height and wide speakers match your mains which was the philosophy of surround over 10 years ago ,fast forward today and most systems that use multiple speakers are of good quality and voice matched, but I guess anything over 7.1 for the consumer is not discreet so cheap speakers may be alright since it is synthesized.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:03 PM
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7.16 with lms5400s is a good start.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

That's OK, since they aren't the target customer for Atmos, any more than they were the target for 11.2 receiver from Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha, over the last few years.

There are almost 900 Blu-ray titles with discrete 7.1 soundtracks. More often than not, those tracks are being heard on TV speakers. That doesn't make it futile to introduce more and more 7.1 soundtracks, both on Blu-ray and theatrical releases. Same with Atmos; the fact that most consumers will hear them on TV speakers or a soundbar won't hinder the move to object-based mixing.

You can't convince someone to add height speakers to their surround set-up if they don't have a surround set-up to begin with. I can understand lamenting the fact that many/most consumers don't want 5.1 or 7.1 set-ups. But no sense complaining about them not being early adopters of Atmos. They weren't the target customer anyway.

7.1 sound would be great, although the vast majority of sources are still split pretty evenly between stereo and 5.1. That's just the reality of it. Good sound processing can interpolate that out over more channels, but at some point, adding more channels that aren't in the actual signal is kind of pointless.

I'm not saying that they ever were the target audience. I'm just trying to figure out who is. There are very few sources with more than 5.1, and nothing above 7.1. Then you add the complexity of adding heights, and I think that the market for anything more than 7.1 is a <0.1% market. The good thing, I guess, for people that want more and more channels is that AVRs that can process 11.2 or maybe even 13.2 or 14.4 or something will likely continue to be available, since it's relatively cheap to add those extra channels and have them feed pre-amp outs only, which is fine for the target market who isn't going to be using the amps built in to a receiver anyways. I would also expect that we see the two different interpretations of what 11.2 is come together and form 13.2 or even 14.2 or 14.4 (adding in that rear center that we lost after 6.1 died).
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgwalsh View Post

.1 is old.. it's time people move to .4 or more. tongue.gifbiggrin.gif

That's easy, since it's doesn't require extra processing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wvu80 View Post

Some AVS guys like a 4.1 system, preferring a phantom center to a dedicated center speaker. I am the opposite, I love the center speaker because it really anchors speech to the center of the TV. A 3.0 L/C/R system would satisfy most of what I like to hear. After that I would pick 3.1, 5.1, then add wides before I would add the rear surrounds.

For those with "average" home theater setups, I would imagine a 5.1 setup is still the way to go, because the audio/video movie content is still overwhelmingly 5.1 standard. I hang out on the DIY forum, and many over there are sub fanatics and they swear by that sub sound for their HT's. So for a basic HT, I would think F/C/R size would be in the 12" woofer range, surrounds with 8" drivers, and probably two 15" subs.

Do have an opinion on minimum speakers for a HT?

5.1 without question is the minimum, and a good configuration for many. 7.1 is good as well. Anyone who recommends 4.1 is absolutely nuts. The center channels is the single most important speaker in a 5.1 channel setup. Like today, my center channel was doing a lot of heavy lifting, with all of the commentators' voices coming out of the center channel only, with the game sound coming mostly out of the L/R speakers. Setups that don't have a center channel make it harder to hear the announcers or dialog/narration, as you lose a discreet channel for voices. The center channel is the most under-appreciated channel, and it works by far the hardest in a 5.1 channel setup. For someone who, for whatever reason, can't do a 5.1 channel setup, 3.1 is a bare minimum for decent TV/movie viewing, as it provides a full front soundstage.
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

7.1 sound would be great, although the vast majority of sources are still split pretty evenly between stereo and 5.1. That's just the reality of it. Good sound processing can interpolate that out over more channels, but at some point, adding more channels that aren't in the actual signal is kind of pointless.

I'm not saying that they ever were the target audience. I'm just trying to figure out who is. There are very few sources with more than 5.1, and nothing above 7.1. Then you add the complexity of adding heights, and I think that the market for anything more than 7.1 is a <0.1% market. The good thing, I guess, for people that want more and more channels is that AVRs that can process 11.2 or maybe even 13.2 or 14.4 or something will likely continue to be available, since it's relatively cheap to add those extra channels and have them feed pre-amp outs only, which is fine for the target market who isn't going to be using the amps built in to a receiver anyways. I would also expect that we see the two different interpretations of what 11.2 is come together and form 13.2 or even 14.2 or 14.4 (adding in that rear center that we lost after 6.1 died).
That's easy, since it's doesn't require extra processing.
5.1 without question is the minimum, and a good configuration for many. 7.1 is good as well. Anyone who recommends 4.1 is absolutely nuts. The center channels is the single most important speaker in a 5.1 channel setup. Like today, my center channel was doing a lot of heavy lifting, with all of the commentators' voices coming out of the center channel only, with the game sound coming mostly out of the L/R speakers. Setups that don't have a center channel make it harder to hear the announcers or dialog/narration, as you lose a discreet channel for voices. The center channel is the most under-appreciated channel, and it works by far the hardest in a 5.1 channel setup. For someone who, for whatever reason, can't do a 5.1 channel setup, 3.1 is a bare minimum for decent TV/movie viewing, as it provides a full front soundstage.

I agree, a phantom center channel is for the birds... It's not even remotely as good for cinema, especially outside the very center sitting position. In fact phantom center is downright ghetto. The typical comment is always to "buy the best main speakers possible and run phantom if you have to".... I agree with this if your goal is 2 channel music and theater is simply a distant afterthought.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by blazar View Post

I agree, a phantom center channel is for the birds... It's not even remotely as good for cinema, especially outside the very center sitting position. In fact phantom center is downright ghetto. The typical comment is always to "buy the best main speakers possible and run phantom if you have to".... I agree with this if your goal is 2 channel music and theater is simply a distant afterthought.

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Old 03-30-2014, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fookoo_2010 View Post

Of course, this depends on what one is looking for. Going up in terms of the number of speakers is an evolutionary process for most: start with fewer speakers and go up. I have an 11.2 setup, but really only run it as 9.2 (2 subs) in which I have taken out the wides, although I could run them. Just my impression that the Audyssey version of wides, DSX, corrupts the front sound stage for the worse, hence I no longer run them. I am looking forward to running 4 heights eventually and create a sonic bubble within the room. Running PLII-Z is awesome and the difference is not subtle.

This is where I get left behind, in terms of modern thinking about a proper sound stage. You want a "sonic bubble" but I am just old enough to remember a "front sound stage" which dominates my impressions of where I think good music should come from. I admit, I don't know much about modern movies which were created with a 5.1 mindset.

Even if you could create your "sonic bubble," does the technology exist to give that to you in your living room, or HT? And if the tech is there, what about the source material?

I'm not challenging your model, I'm just posing questions for which I have no answer. You are pushing the envelope, but sometimes instead of being on the leading edge, you end up being on the bleeding edge.

Symmetry pleases the eye, but it usually offends the ears where low frequencies are concerned. -Yoda Fitzmaurice
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