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What is better for MY purposes - surround or stereo?

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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,


I've been thinking lately, whether I should get 2 speakers or 5 or 6.

I have a surround receiver, but the thing is, I don't have many surround sources.

I listen to about 60% music, 20% TV, 10% movies, and 10% games.

Of those 4 categories, only the last 2 actually have multichannel audio, although I would consider using Pro Logic IIx on the TV if it works any good.


I was going to buy 2 Floorstanding speakers for around 1000 bucks, but I realized that I can get 5 or 6 bookshelf speakers for the same price. (I'm not talking about BOSE cubes here or anything, I do mean real speakers, just smaller ones).


What do you think, would my loss of stereo performance be made up for by extra performance in the surround area? Would I only be getting improvement with my movies, or would PLIIx also "improve" the TV sound? (by improve I don't mean make it have better quality or something, I understand you can't get something from nothing, but I just mean would it sound better / more immersive?)


One thing also to bear in mind is that my stereo listening is 9/10 of the time non-critical listening, whereas with movies/TV I pay attention to the sound a fair amount.


I know this is a matter of opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I won't get a definitive answer here.

However I'd like to ask that although you post your own opinion, you are as fair as to answer which you think is best for my purposes, and not for your own.


Thanks
 

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It's difficult for me to say what would work best in your situation. I will say this though: if my speaker budget were about $1000, I'd be looking at buying the best 2 speakers I could for that price rather than getting a surround setup.


That doesn't necessarily mean floorstanders though. It could be a pair of high quality stand mounts instead (though I am partial to floorstanders).
 

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I grew up on stereo so I know what it sounds like. But in my opinion listening to music, or anything else for that matter, sounds much better in 5.1 or 7.1 which is what I use. Especially when listening to concert DVD's does the music sound fantastic coming from a surround system. Give it a try and I doubt you will ever want to go back. That being said, $1000.00 is on the lower end for even a good 5.1 system, depending on many factors such as room size, and personal needs. So I would start with a good set of towers and then get a sub, then the surrounds, then a center channel. Just my $0.02
 

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You have the surround receiver, use it. For music set it to all channel stereo. For surround set it to some type of surround. With the receiver you have both.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaseman /forum/post/12886446


I grew up on stereo so I know what it sounds like. But in my opinion listening to music, or anything else for that matter, sounds much better in 5.1 or 7.1 which is what I use. Especially when listening to concert DVD's does the music sound fantastic coming from a surround system. Give it a try and I doubt you will ever want to go back. That being said, $1000.00 is on the lower end for even a good 5.1 system, depending on many factors such as room size, and personal needs. So I would start with a good set of towers and then get a sub, then the surrounds, then a center channel. Just my $0.02

+1
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hello,

Thanks for the answers. It looks like it's pretty close right now.


I would like to add that with either system, I would be open to adding a sub as needed when I move into a house.

And also with the 2 channel setup, I will try to assure that there is a matching center and surround speaker in the line that I buy, for future upgrading.


Ultimately my goal is to have surround (or else I wouldn't have bought the surround receiver), but the question at this point is just where I should start with my 1000$ budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaseman /forum/post/12886446


I grew up on stereo so I know what it sounds like. But in my opinion listening to music, or anything else for that matter, sounds much better in 5.1 or 7.1 which is what I use. Especially when listening to concert DVD's does the music sound fantastic coming from a surround system. Give it a try and I doubt you will ever want to go back. That being said, $1000.00 is on the lower end for even a good 5.1 system, depending on many factors such as room size, and personal needs. So I would start with a good set of towers and then get a sub, then the surrounds, then a center channel. Just my $0.02

Definitely a valid point. I just wanted to point out that some of the systems I have been pricing for 1000$ include:

-Klipsch RB-51, RC-51 and two RS-10 rears

-KEF iQ3 x4 & KEF iQ2c

-Klipsch RF-10 surround system (ie RF-10, RC-10 & RS-10)

and the likes, which are certainly not high-end, but at the same time not disreputable speakers, and that sound fairly good to me.


btw the room is 170 square feet, or 1870 cubic feet. ( pic )
 

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Get two speakers and a sub. Add surrounds and center in the future when funds are available.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks


That brings me to another question - can one reasonably audition surround speakers to go with ones fronts at a hifi shop? considering the sound varies depending on the room.
 

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Well, one would presume to add identical or smaller/dedicated surrounds from the same speaker line as your mains. Same goes for the center channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by rynberg /forum/post/12890158


Well, one would presume to add identical or smaller/dedicated surrounds from the same speaker line as your mains. Same goes for the center channel.

Well, I'm with you on the "same line part", and definitely regarding the center.


However, in another thread, I have been discussing the merits of using direct firing versus dipole surround speakers, and of course the best way to figure that out would be to give it a test-listen.
 
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