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Hello all.


I'm planning on upgrading my entire AV system.

Being that I live in a small nyc apartment, I have been using a 5.1 system but without the surround speakers, just the front R & L plus the center channel (and sub).


My question is this:

Am I ruining the 5.1 setup by only using 3 of the 5 speakers?

Should I purchase a 2.1 system for watching movies and TV if I'm not going to use the two sourround speakers?

Or is "3.1" still better than 2.1?


If it IS a bad idea to only use the 3 front speakers, maybe I should set up a solid 2.1 system and run both music and movies through it, yes?


Like maybe I buy two Aperion bookshelf speakers and not buy the multimedia Swans I was eyeing for my computer-based music library and just run everything through the one speaker set...


I greatly appreciate any advice given!


-=M=-
 

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Nothing wrong with 3.1 until you can afford rears.


3.1 gives you better dialog in movies (better than 2.1 IMHO)
 

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Agreed. A center channel is going to give you better dialog which is the majority of what you pay attention to anyways in a movie. Surround would be nice, but a 3 channel is going to be better than a 2 channel.
 

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Two schools of thought on this Max. The first is, the only way to get a perfectly seamless soundstage across the front three channels is to use three identical speakers all oriented the same way and at the same height. Not an easy thing to do unless they are behind an acoustically transparent screen. So, a center channel is usually a different speaker, normally positioned horizontally. Now, it may be designed and engineered (voice or timber matched) to sound like the other front speakers. But, by the very nature of it being different, it will not be "exactly" the same.


The best way to get a totally seamless soundstage across the front sound stage without using three identical speakers is to only use the R/L mains and use the phantom center setting on the receiver (turning the center channel OFF in the receiver's speaker set up menu). This splits the center channel signal equally between the R/L mains and sounds quite good all across the front. The one BIG draw back to this method, is it only sounds REALLY good right smack dab in the sweet spot. Anything off axis, even a little bit, won't sound as good as using a dedicated center channel.


So, I would experiment and see what sounds best to you, with your gear, in your room.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by quadriverfalls /forum/post/15522526


Two schools of thought on this Max. The first is, the only way to get a perfectly seamless soundstage across the front three channels is to use three identical speakers all oriented the same way and at the same height. Not an easy thing to do unless they are behind an acoustically transparent screen. So, a center channel is usually a different speaker, normally positioned horizontally. Now, it may be designed and engineered (voice or timber matched) to sound like the other front speakers. But, by the very nature of it being different, it will not be "exactly" the same.


The best way to get a totally seamless soundstage across the front sound stage without using three identical speakers is to only use the R/L mains and use the phantom center setting on the receiver (turning the center channel OFF in the receiver's speaker set up menu). This splits the center channel signal equally between the R/L mains and sounds quite good all across the front. The one BIG draw back to this method, is it only sounds REALLY good right smack dab in the sweet spot. Anything off axis, even a little bit, won't sound as good as using a dedicated center channel.


So, I would experiment and see what sounds best to you, with your gear, in your room.


So, are you saying that the idea setup is to have the exact same speaker for the center channel as the 2 front speakers? If you had a particular bookself speaker for your fronts, ideally you would want the exact same speaker for the center speaker?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshtee /forum/post/15549736


So, are you saying that the idea setup is to have the exact same speaker for the center channel as the 2 front speakers? If you had a particular bookself speaker for your fronts, ideally you would want the exact same speaker for the center speaker?

Yes, that is the ideal. People just frequently don't have vertical space, and prefer the aesthetics of a specially designed centre to a bookshelf on its side (which would be second best to having vertical and at the same height as the LR fronts).
 
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