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What all do you guys think in order is the most important pieces to upgrade to a 5.1 system? Right now I have a pair of Ascend 340 SE mains and and a Yamaha R-V1600. What is the most important thing to uprgrade next? Sub? Center channel? surrounds? For the subI am planning on getting a HSU VTF-3 MKIII and an Ascend 340 center channel and Ascend 170 SE's for surrounds. And also is it recommended to have a center channel and no surrounds or should I just wait to i have both to hook them up? Say one day if I have a 3.1 system(mains, sub. center) would the receiver decode the 5.1 information and convert it to 3.1? Just trying to get some feedback on how I should build my system.
 

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This is how I would do it but others here certainly would dissagree as different people have different tastes.


I would go sub first, then surrounds, and then see if you really want a center.


I have one, a good one. My front soundstage was perfect as I had 3 paradigm 100s. I took the center out and like it more. WAY more for music in stereo mode (IMO the best way to listen to music).

Music purists will say to skip the surrounds too(and some would say the sub as well...) but you have to figure out what you like best.

It may not be "pure" but I like the way that some music sounds in 5 channel stereo mode(with 4 speakers) The sound is just more full sounding to me and can sound more like a live show.


For HT I like stereo too so again, no center channel is needed. You may find that you want to watch movies in dolby digital or dts and may find that you really like a center channel.


As to your other question I'm not sure but I believe that I have read before someone posting about how the reciever compensates and changes the way that it puts out the sound if you have less speakers than what the format is made for.

For 5 channel stereo on the other hand with 4 speakers it just cuts out the mono signal sent to the center so nothing lost there.
 

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Denon AVR-X3500H; Sony UBP-X800M2; EFE speakers; Outlaw Model M amps; SVS sub; Epson 8350 projector.
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I used to be a 2.0 purist, but have discovered the wonders of surround sound for both movies and music. But I would also prefer a good 3.0 or 3.1 system to a mediocre 5.1 surround system. So I'd start with a timbre-matched center, then a sub, and then surrounds to match your fronts.


But it depends on what you listen to and how you plan to use your system. The way movies and music are gloing, I'd say the best 5.1 system for long-term use is 5 of the exact same speakers all the way around plus the best sub you can afford.
 
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