Any way to NOT need an A/V receiver? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-25-2016, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Any way to NOT need an A/V receiver?

Never thought I'd posting this question.

I justtttt got a Def Tech 5.1 system installed and really like it. I went from a much larger setup with towers, huge center, big home entertainment cabinet, to a smaller, on-wall speaker system with a smaller rack for my components. Reason being, we were expecting a baby and needed a play area.

Fast forward... and almost out of nowhere... I sold the house and bought a new one. The new house has a unique layout, and unfortunately, doesn't afford much space for a component rack.

Which brings me to my odd question......

Can I run 5.1 without a receiver? Time Warner can hide a small cable box behind the TV on the wall, but I have this awesome Yamaha receiver that I actually have to consider eliminating due to space.

If a solution is so obvious, I apologize. I've always run receivers.

I was also thinking about replacing my 5.1 def tech for a GoldenEar soundbar. Maybe.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-25-2016, 10:13 PM
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you can get fake 5.1 with certain soundbars but if you want true 5.1 you'll need a receiver.

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post #3 of 20 Old 06-25-2016, 10:41 PM
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If you don't want speakers hung on walls you'll need a soundbar. There's no way around it, to get a clean look need to get rid of bulky components. That's what I did for my living room, got a cheap $150 soundbar. I don' watch much movies so all my expensive equipment are in my bedroom doing 2channel music.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-25-2016, 11:00 PM
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The only 5.1 I can think of without a "receiver" would be a Dolby Digital Decoder with 6 channel outs to powered speakers.

In general you are looking at PC/Multi-Media Speakers, or getting a stand-alone decoder like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Tekimbe-Digit...igital+decoder

And running it to powered monitors/speakers/towers. You would of course, need to get some really long RCA cables in that case since those are now substituting for speaker wire.

The only downside to this I see is you are now manually level-matching your speakers with a microphone or by ear and tuning the volume knob on each powered speaker you've got. Also if you aren't going to run a separate amp, you are stuck with using commercial powered speakers which are generally designed for a desk form-factor, not ones designed necessarily for flat wall-mounted decor/form-factor.

Last edited by astrallite; 06-25-2016 at 11:06 PM.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-26-2016, 05:31 AM
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That must be one strange space you got there. With ubiquitous networking and modern remote control technologies, the receiver doesn't even have to be on the same floor as the speakers, let alone the same room. Stick it in a closet in the basement, problem solved.
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-26-2016, 05:51 AM
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I have a difficult location for my TV between 2 doors in the living room. There is no place for LR to go properly. I have a Polk Surround bar that puts a bunch of unpowered speakers in a bar for 5.0. It sounds decent for tv, but this is not the main theater. I have a 12" svs sitting under the bar so it has plenty of bass. I also have 2 remote satellites to open it up a bit, so it is really 7.1 but you almost never hear anything from them. It does not do well with music.

It looks like this,not sure if it is the exact model.

https://www.audioholics.com/soundbar...iew_fullscreen

For music, I use the receiver's zone 2 to run another set of speakers in the same room. It's a bitch to get the sub to play with both zones, but I sort of have it in control.

I'm not sure if anyone is making them anymore. I have another down in the basement for the exercise room tv.

So the upside is you can use the receiver, the downside is you need a receiver.

I'm not sure if this picture will work.

https://*******/photos/55iCRXWfBMi6ysbb9

Last edited by gregoryperkins; 06-26-2016 at 06:00 AM. Reason: Add picture
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-26-2016, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew4392 View Post
I was also thinking about replacing my 5.1 def tech for a GoldenEar soundbar.
You'd be better off with a pair of self-powered speakers than any soundbar, IMO. I'd rather take the superior separation of two speakers over the fake "simulated" surround of a soundbar any day.

JBL LSR305 or 308, Emotiva (https://emotiva.com/products/emotiva...red-monitors-0) are what I'd look at.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-26-2016, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew4392 View Post
Never thought I'd posting this question.

I justtttt got a Def Tech 5.1 system installed and really like it. I went from a much larger setup with towers, huge center, big home entertainment cabinet, to a smaller, on-wall speaker system with a smaller rack for my components. Reason being, we were expecting a baby and needed a play area.

Fast forward... and almost out of nowhere... I sold the house and bought a new one. The new house has a unique layout, and unfortunately, doesn't afford much space for a component rack.

Which brings me to my odd question......

Can I run 5.1 without a receiver? Time Warner can hide a small cable box behind the TV on the wall, but I have this awesome Yamaha receiver that I actually have to consider eliminating due to space.

If a solution is so obvious, I apologize. I've always run receivers.

I was also thinking about replacing my 5.1 def tech for a GoldenEar soundbar. Maybe.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
The Golden Ear soundbar is passive, and will need a receiver. Get yourself an infrared to RF remote control mechanism and be done with it. Alternatively, you can go the soundbar route, but you will need a powered version that has inputs for your other equipment. Vizio is best on the cheap, Yamaha is better, and there are high quality soundbars out now, but they can be expensive.

You might find this helpful: http://hometheaterhifi.com/reviews/speaker/soundbars/

You decide how best to approach it.

Last edited by RayGuy; 06-26-2016 at 02:05 PM.
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-26-2016, 09:18 PM
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In case it helps, Marantz makes low profile receivers. Similar width and depth profile as standard AVR, but smaller in height.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
Living room HT: Energy RC-50, Ascend Sierra Horizon w/RAAL, Ascend Sierra 1, PSB Imagine XA | PSA V1500 and CHT SS 18.1 | Denon X4200W | modified Dayton SA1000
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-27-2016, 07:50 AM
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How about a powered speaker system

Something like a Sonos 5.1 system. It's fed from your cable box/TV/etc. with an optical digital connection, and is actual 5.1. I've heard it, and when setup correctly, it sounds very good.
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post #11 of 20 Old 06-27-2016, 08:05 AM
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Snobbish audiophiles please avert your eyes

I have a Vizio soundbar with a wireless subwoofer to which the rear channels are wired. All my sources connect to the TV via HDMI and out from TV to soundbar via optical. Works and sounds great.

https://smile.amazon.com/VIZIO-SB385.../dp/B00SMBGGV6
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post #12 of 20 Old 06-27-2016, 08:08 AM
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If your only issue is space I'd also investigate computer audio setups. I use to use a Sound Blaster Extigy whenever I needed an impromptu receiver (no computer attached). It's smaller than a cable box, accepts optical and coax and has 1/8" jacks for all speaker channels. You'll obviously need powered speakers to do this.
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post #13 of 20 Old 06-27-2016, 08:11 AM
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I use the older version of this in one setup. If it sounds as good as mine, it would work.

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Z906...surround+sound
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Last edited by PeterDoubt; 06-27-2016 at 02:43 PM.
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post #14 of 20 Old 06-27-2016, 10:01 AM
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not thinking out side the (receiver) box?

Wow, I guess nobody here has ever considered that a high-end PC soundcard outputs 5.1 (or 7.1 for that matter) analog channels. ASUS has some good ones, I personally use their old Xonar D2X. It has excellent audio performance.

Now you'll still need amplification, but that certainly does not require a receiver. I suggest you research Class D 5.1 amplifiers. They are newer technology, you may need to be a little careful to find a good implementation that meets your audiophile (or not) requirements. These are typically much smaller and power efficient than the big ADCOM power amps that I use.

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post #15 of 20 Old 06-27-2016, 11:32 AM
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Yamaha Sound Projectors are AVRs and a "speaker bar" all-in-one. I have one in my living room and use it all the time.
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post #16 of 20 Old 06-27-2016, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterDoubt View Post
I use the older version of this in one setup. If it sounds as good as mine, it would work.

https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Z906...surround+sound
I used to use the Logitech Z5500 5.1 for years in my living room. The mostly PSA system I have now is vastly superior, but for not taking up much space, the z5500 had very good sound for very little money. I got mine for $180 and free shipping. Plus, I made money on it when I flipped it on ebay a few years back.

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post #17 of 20 Old 06-28-2016, 05:07 AM
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5.1 without a receiver

I had a situation where I remodeled a room for my wife, mounted a TV on the wall and wanted good 5.1 surround without using a receiver. I purchased a Vizio 5.1 surround sound setup and it was the best investment I made. I auditioned many top rated sound bars side by side in my house that had fake surround, and they all sounded terrible to me. The Vizio has a 3 speaker sound bar for the front 3 channels, then broadcasts wirelessly to a subwoofer at the back of the room that also runs two separate (wired) rear channel speakers from the subwoofer. The setup is similar to using a receiver, where the volume of the rear speakers is set separately from the front. I have the sub under a side table, and the surround speakers on both sides of the sofa. The sound cannot compare to a $1000 setup, but it is really very good. The surround aspect for movies is excellent, and the subwoofer pounds out good bass. I'm very happy with the setup, and it didn't break the bank.


-edit-
(duh!) I just saw that post #11 by unclfuzzy already talks about the same setup as mine....(I need my coffee this morning!) so we both are using the same great setup...

Last edited by JustMovies; 06-28-2016 at 05:25 AM. Reason: add comments
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post #18 of 20 Old 06-28-2016, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morbidcorpse View Post
I used to use the Logitech Z5500 5.1 for years in my living room. The mostly PSA system I have now is vastly superior, but for not taking up much space, the z5500 had very good sound for very little money. I got mine for $180 and free shipping. Plus, I made money on it when I flipped it on ebay a few years back.
It always puzzles me when I see people trying to sell USED stuff on eBay at the same or higher prices as new stuff on Amazon...but I guess SOMEBODY must be buying them after all! Good for you, in any case.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #19 of 20 Old 06-29-2016, 04:17 PM
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Your best bet is to get an Oppo 103 and a HDMI input matrix box.
https://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-...-Features.aspx
http://www.monoprice.com/category?c_...&cs_id=1011002
Just make sure you get a matrix box that has the features you need.

I believe Crestron makes some 1 rackunit amps. Others might too, you'll have to look around.

Or as what was already suggested, just throw it in another room and run speaker cables.
http://www.parts-express.com/jsc-wir...00-ft--100-782


Secondary Alternatives:

The miniDSP HDA is the smallest unit I know of, but it only supports LPCM; and it only has 2 inputs, both HDMI.
https://www.minidsp.com/products/ht-series/nanoavr-hda

For just $70 there is a 7.1 DAC, but it only has 1 input.
https://www.amazon.com/Digital-Conve...dp/B019RF7ZVA/

With the Crestron HDDA2 you can only do stereo decode:
https://www.crestron.com/products/model/HD-DA-2

Crestron also has a compact AVR, but I bet it is at least $2000. LOL
https://www.crestron.com/products/model/HD-XSPA

Last edited by BassThatHz; 06-29-2016 at 04:21 PM.
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post #20 of 20 Old 06-29-2016, 04:37 PM
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Crown makes a CT series of amps.
8 channels in just 1.75inches tall.
Probably costs a fortune though...
http://www.crownaudio.com/en/products/ct-8150
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