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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've decided to replace my sony es receiver and monitor audio speakers.


However, after listening to all sorts of gear over the past 6months I think I'm going back to 5.1.


I'm leaning toward Thiel speakers powered by Bel Canto amps. I'm still undecided on the processor but I should be able to find a used Proceed or Krell for a decent price.


I'm tired of the constant upgrading and I feel I can get some great gear on the used market as people move up to 6.1, 7.1, ect.


Anyone else feel the same?
 

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My penchant for large planars limits me to 5.1, plus, frankly, with a properly aligned setup I get excellent rear center imaging.


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I also run large planar speakers and cannot easily upgrade to a 6.1/7.1 system. Heck, I don't even run a subwoofer. Still, I look at it like this:


If I have X dollars to spend on speakers, I can either get 5, 6, 7 or 8 speakers for a system. Will 5 super high quality speakers give me better performance than 8 lower cost and lower quality speakers? (Yes, higher cost doesn't always mean better quality, but if it cost more and was the same, it wouldn't be in the list of options).


I have the speakers to go to a 7.1 set-up, but the cost is fairly high just in the amps for me to drive them and I don't really need them. If I have 20 people over for a movie, I can set them up, but most of the time the extra speakers just sit in storage and take up space. I have yet to have people mention to me that it would sound better with more speakers.
 

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Space constraint of my planars also prevents me from implementing 7.1, Although I tested a 7.1 setup. The main benefit would seem to be music surround modes in which frontal soundstage naturally expands beyond the left and right speaker and being more enveloped by the ambience.


On movie soundtracks, I've never had a problem with rear imaging so there is no need for 6.1/7.1. This is most likely due to the fact that people with planars don't usually put their suround speakers on the side in the first place.
 

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We aren't missing out on anything. The EX channel is matrix encoded, and there are but a handful of DTS-ES (discrete or matrix).


Properly implemented, a 5.1 setup will solidly image the phantom center surround anyway.


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I've heard the THX EX demo with the character flying to the rear and buzzing back and forth between center and side. I had no problem getting a solid center imaging.
 
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