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i just got my first real 5.1 surround system (HTD Level 2). I'm just wonder how much sound typically comes from the rear surrounds. I've calibrated my speakers with a Rad Shack SPL meter. However, it seems like most of the sound is always coming from the front speakers. The surrounds are definitely working, as sometimes I can the sounds which are intended for the surrounds perfectly. However, it just seems like most of the time the sound is coming from the front 3 speakers and the subwoofer. Is this normal?
 

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Yes, I believe this is normal. If you have "True Lies" DVD, pop that in and skip to almost the end where Arnold is in the helicopter and there are a couple of Harrier Jets flying by. You should hear your surrounds kick in. There are also parts of the movie where they are shooting guns and you hear pings and dings in the background as it hits an object.
 

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perfectly normal, that's your 'soundstage'

you don't want to be drowned out by your surrounds

all too often, people buy surrounds that are overkill.
 

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Yes indeed!


I broke down and bought an SPL meter three days ago, calibrated my speakers and found that my surrounds were running way too hot. I put in my "True Lies" disc and finally realized how it was supposed to sound. With my surrounds properly calibrated, the whole soundstage seemed clearer and when the surrounds did kick in, they sounded better than before....and, as an extra bonus, no more listening fatigue.
 

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People are often surprised that a properly set up HT system isn't constantly "blowing them away" with rear channel info or overdone bass. Well, if you hear enough of your neighbor's mass market system, then hear the demos in a mass-market store, you start to expect that that's the way they're SUPPOSED to sound. The rears should be subtle most of the time so that when they kick in for dramatic effect, the effect is more......dramatic.
 
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