What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?



  • @rojoloco said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    You don't have a center on any normal system, where does the dialogue come from? Everything you use in normal life from headphones to televisions to stereo systems plays mono channels through both stereo channels.

    You're mixing apples and trucks. Of course stereo systems don't have center channels. Nobody here is talking about a center channel with a stereo system. That's why my first post said "SEPARATE YOUR MUSIC AND SURROUND SYSTEMS". 2 different animals. No reason (or speaker output) for a center speaker with a music system.

    and this thread has only ever been about Surround, it was never about music listening.


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    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    You don't have a center on any normal system, where does the dialogue come from? Everything you use in normal life from headphones to televisions to stereo systems plays mono channels through both stereo channels.

    In those cases, we aren't playing 5.1, 7.1 etc versions of audio. We're playing 2.1 or just 2. I have to assume (though completely willing to be wrong) that the collapsing of sounds from all sources (since you didn't like the term blending) to simple stereo is probably done with more emphasis on the speech track, making it louder, therefore easier to hear. By extension, this makes me assume that a center channel in a 5.1, etc, system also plays the speech channel a bit louder than the rest.

    I'm not talking about those times, I'm talking about all the times you use video games, movies, etc. on anything less than a full surround system. Are you saying you've never watched TV on anything but surround sound, ever?



  • @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    you have a false assumption and that X will not happen. Then you tell me that that is not helpful. Then we go round and round

    /sigh - ok my assumption was that the audio has to be blended into the mains.

    OK sir - please, inform me where the speech track will come from so we can hear it if there is no center channel?

    The fronts, of course. The things that produce all of the sound. The ones pointed at your ears instead of at your face. The ones that, in theory, have equal placement so that they have matching colour.

    i hate to disagree with you here but this is the same argument as having separate vm's, separate audio components. you want separate audio channels too. Having the center speaker separates the voice channel from the channels that go to the left and right fronts. separating them makes everything sound better in my opinion


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    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @rojoloco said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    You don't have a center on any normal system, where does the dialogue come from? Everything you use in normal life from headphones to televisions to stereo systems plays mono channels through both stereo channels.

    You're mixing apples and trucks. Of course stereo systems don't have center channels. Nobody here is talking about a center channel with a stereo system. That's why my first post said "SEPARATE YOUR MUSIC AND SURROUND SYSTEMS". 2 different animals. No reason (or speaker output) for a center speaker with a music system.

    and this thread has only ever been about Surround, it was never about music listening.

    And I've never talked about anything else. I'm just talking about how you can reduce costs AND improve sound quality by not giving in to the marketing of the speaker and amp companies.

    Their systems are designed to sound "ok" for lots of people, which might be your goal. But if you have just one or two well placed viewers, you get far better sound from just four speakers over any other possible configuration.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @rojoloco said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @rojoloco said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    Simple surround sound improvement tip... if you don't need it due to crappy seating, simply remove the center speaker for improved sound quality. The extra center channel is the biggest source of audio quality loss in those setups.

    Well.... it's a detriment to 2 channel music. I would recommend getting a center channel that is a grade or two better than the other speakers, because that's where the dialog comes out when you're watching TV/movies. Placement is still key, so it depends on the seating arrangement as Scott said. But if you can mount all the speakers in the "right" places, a good center channel will improve things greatly.

    My surround system has 4x Polk towers, 1x dual 6" + tweeter center, also Polk, and 1x Polk 150w / 12 inch powered sub. My cheap Harmon/Kardon receiver is soon to be replaced because the display died. Music system is an old Fisher receiver/amp (cheap and sounds amazing), some old JVC 3-way towers with 12" woofers and an old pair of Castle Durhams (audiophile grade bookshelf speakers from UK. I picked them up for $100 because they're beat up and they didn't know what they had).

    Even that the voice comes from there, you want it as high quality as possible and the center channel detracts from that. The human ear doesn't work in such a way as to make it sound better even with the speaker, even with the intention of it coming from there. You can get better blending and clarity from removing the speaker.

    Disagreed. I've tested it extensively, with many setups, many different speakers. For surround sound encoded TV/movies, excluding the center channel makes me need to turn on captioning because the front center dialog disappears. You certainly don't want the center channel cranked up, but I have zero complaints about clarity, blending, or sound placement in my current setup. Without the center, you mostly just get the reverb from the dialog, which makes it washy and hard to distinguish.

    The center cannot, it's impossible, have the same placement as the fronts. There is no way to make it sound as good with a center. It's impossible. You can make it "good", but you can't make it "as good".

    Well then, like Rojo I must have shit equipment. When my center channel was out for a while, I had a hell of a time hearing the speech track - it was washed out, at best even with the other sounds, but generally much more muted, meaning I had to turn the volume up higher than normal to hear the talking.

    Did you tell the system that your center was out? Or did you have it set to continue sending the dialogue to an amp that wasn't powering a speaker so that was filtered out from the audio?

    I've done this a lot, it's always better, always. Take any setup, remove the center (really remove it, don't just unplug it) and it improves.

    No - I guess I assumed it was smart enough to do that itself.. I'll see about giving that a try this weekend, assuming my receiver supports that.

    They all support that.

    Given that you describe it not working when it should have sounded better and the audio just vanished, it seems an odd assumption to think that it would "just do that." that's like assuming your car will drive you to the store, sitting in it and it not going anywhere, then complaining that the car was really slow instead of accepting that it didn't actually have an auto-pilot feature.

    I assumed it would detect the center channel is not in use, and auto correct/update for the new situation. Tons of things do that. Sadly, it appears my receiver might not.


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    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    you have a false assumption and that X will not happen. Then you tell me that that is not helpful. Then we go round and round

    /sigh - ok my assumption was that the audio has to be blended into the mains.

    OK sir - please, inform me where the speech track will come from so we can hear it if there is no center channel?

    The fronts, of course. The things that produce all of the sound. The ones pointed at your ears instead of at your face. The ones that, in theory, have equal placement so that they have matching colour.

    i hate to disagree with you here but this is the same argument as having separate vm's, separate audio components. you want separate audio channels too. Having the center speaker separates the voice channel from the channels that go to the left and right fronts. separating them makes everything sound better in my opinion

    It's a totally different animal and the human ear does not work that way. It's literally physically impossible for extra channels to improve sound quality. Four is the max that the human ear can gain benefit from in a plane. If you wanted to argue for above and below, that would be different.

    The center does NOT separate the voice, it plays a channel in the center. In the analogue surround world, it filtered OUT mono sound to play at lower quality.

    Basic acoustic physics in play here. The center is impossible to add audio benefits if the placement of listeners is good.


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    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @rojoloco said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @rojoloco said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    Simple surround sound improvement tip... if you don't need it due to crappy seating, simply remove the center speaker for improved sound quality. The extra center channel is the biggest source of audio quality loss in those setups.

    Well.... it's a detriment to 2 channel music. I would recommend getting a center channel that is a grade or two better than the other speakers, because that's where the dialog comes out when you're watching TV/movies. Placement is still key, so it depends on the seating arrangement as Scott said. But if you can mount all the speakers in the "right" places, a good center channel will improve things greatly.

    My surround system has 4x Polk towers, 1x dual 6" + tweeter center, also Polk, and 1x Polk 150w / 12 inch powered sub. My cheap Harmon/Kardon receiver is soon to be replaced because the display died. Music system is an old Fisher receiver/amp (cheap and sounds amazing), some old JVC 3-way towers with 12" woofers and an old pair of Castle Durhams (audiophile grade bookshelf speakers from UK. I picked them up for $100 because they're beat up and they didn't know what they had).

    Even that the voice comes from there, you want it as high quality as possible and the center channel detracts from that. The human ear doesn't work in such a way as to make it sound better even with the speaker, even with the intention of it coming from there. You can get better blending and clarity from removing the speaker.

    Disagreed. I've tested it extensively, with many setups, many different speakers. For surround sound encoded TV/movies, excluding the center channel makes me need to turn on captioning because the front center dialog disappears. You certainly don't want the center channel cranked up, but I have zero complaints about clarity, blending, or sound placement in my current setup. Without the center, you mostly just get the reverb from the dialog, which makes it washy and hard to distinguish.

    The center cannot, it's impossible, have the same placement as the fronts. There is no way to make it sound as good with a center. It's impossible. You can make it "good", but you can't make it "as good".

    Well then, like Rojo I must have shit equipment. When my center channel was out for a while, I had a hell of a time hearing the speech track - it was washed out, at best even with the other sounds, but generally much more muted, meaning I had to turn the volume up higher than normal to hear the talking.

    Did you tell the system that your center was out? Or did you have it set to continue sending the dialogue to an amp that wasn't powering a speaker so that was filtered out from the audio?

    I've done this a lot, it's always better, always. Take any setup, remove the center (really remove it, don't just unplug it) and it improves.

    No - I guess I assumed it was smart enough to do that itself.. I'll see about giving that a try this weekend, assuming my receiver supports that.

    They all support that.

    Given that you describe it not working when it should have sounded better and the audio just vanished, it seems an odd assumption to think that it would "just do that." that's like assuming your car will drive you to the store, sitting in it and it not going anywhere, then complaining that the car was really slow instead of accepting that it didn't actually have an auto-pilot feature.

    I assumed it would detect the center channel is not in use, and auto correct/update for the new situation. Tons of things do that. Sadly, it appears my receiver might not.

    Right, and many do. But it depends on a lot of things. They can't always detect not in use, depending on what has happened. And the decoder has to detect it, not the amp, so the amp would have to tell the decoder.

    But you detected it. That's the key thing I'm saying. You noticed that something was wrong that it wasn't playing the audio that it was supposed to.


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    Here is a thought experiment....

    If a center channel somehow improves audio quality for things front and center, why don't we use that with pure music recordings too? Audio is audio, better recreation is better recreation. So what I'm hearing is that everyone believes that if the studio was to mix a center channel for a concert, that it would magically improve the sound over stereo hi fi? If not, why is that logic used here?


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    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    i hate to disagree with you here but this is the same argument as having separate vm's, separate audio components.

    It's more like a SAN. The human ear can here only right and left, forward and back. It doesn't get more info from more speakers around the room. But each additional speaker is a point at which you have to timbre and color and position match the others. So each speaker is a point of failure (think SAN where you don't need one) but only the four required ones are needed. All speakers more than four aren't discrete, they are instead doing an overlapping job that something else is already there to do, but if any aren't perfect, and they can't be do to room acoustic placement requirements, they are a negative.

    It's weaker and weaker links in the audio chain. More things to go wrong, without adding benefits when the listener is placed correctly. They exist in theaters because movie theaters are about "making do" when maximum profits and cramming people in. Not audio quality.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    Here is a thought experiment....

    If a center channel somehow improves audio quality for things front and center, why don't we use that with pure music recordings too? Audio is audio, better recreation is better recreation. So what I'm hearing is that everyone believes that if the studio was to mix a center channel for a concert, that it would magically improve the sound over stereo hi fi? If not, why is that logic used here?

    Because surround is mixed and mastered onto 6 or 8 or more distinct channels, while music is mixed and mastered on 2 channels. But what do I know with my degree in audio engineering?


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    @rojoloco said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    Here is a thought experiment....

    If a center channel somehow improves audio quality for things front and center, why don't we use that with pure music recordings too? Audio is audio, better recreation is better recreation. So what I'm hearing is that everyone believes that if the studio was to mix a center channel for a concert, that it would magically improve the sound over stereo hi fi? If not, why is that logic used here?

    Because surround is mixed and mastered onto 6 or 8 or more distinct channels, while music is mixed and mastered on 2 channels. But what do I know with my degree in audio engineering?

    I totally understand that it is mixed that way. But that it is mixed that way doesn't make it sound better played back that way, because it is physically impossible to mix to account for the timbre and colour problems, and having more channels makes that impossible to match.

    There's no audio upside, only negatives. The mixing means you can't get back to as good a place as if they had started from 4.0, but it is the closest that you can get.

    Stereo being mastered on two channels has never been the reason. That gives it a better starting point, but the best finishing point still matters.

    Think of it like upsampling for video. It's nowhere as good as having a good source, but it is better than the pixelation.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    you have a false assumption and that X will not happen. Then you tell me that that is not helpful. Then we go round and round

    /sigh - ok my assumption was that the audio has to be blended into the mains.

    OK sir - please, inform me where the speech track will come from so we can hear it if there is no center channel?

    The fronts, of course. The things that produce all of the sound. The ones pointed at your ears instead of at your face. The ones that, in theory, have equal placement so that they have matching colour.

    i hate to disagree with you here but this is the same argument as having separate vm's, separate audio components. you want separate audio channels too. Having the center speaker separates the voice channel from the channels that go to the left and right fronts. separating them makes everything sound better in my opinion

    It's a totally different animal and the human ear does not work that way. It's literally physically impossible for extra channels to improve sound quality. Four is the max that the human ear can gain benefit from in a plane. If you wanted to argue for above and below, that would be different.

    The center does NOT separate the voice, it plays a channel in the center. In the analogue surround world, it filtered OUT mono sound to play at lower quality.

    Basic acoustic physics in play here. The center is impossible to add audio benefits if the placement of listeners is good.

    we have to be talking about the same thing here. as dash first mentioned this is about surround sound setup. when using surround sound it is better to use a center channel. i have heard many setups with and without a center channel. i worked for an av company for ten years and we had a dedicated sound room. i always thought this sounded better and i have heard a lot of setups from different high end brands. so again its my opinion and your certainly allowed to have yours. i know what physics is btw i have the degree. there is a lot more to it than what your stating but thats ok. the thing to remember is that from the physics standpoint you can't really meausure what is better. you can measure sound characteristics and rooms but every person will like something different. you can't call one person wrong if he likes a dead room versus a person who likes a bit livelier or warm. its just room characteristics. doesn't make it right or wrong


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    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    you can't call one person wrong if he likes a dead room versus a person who likes a bit livelier or warm. its just room characteristics. doesn't make it right or wrong

    Ah, you are talking about sound PREFERENCE not quality of playback. I'm talking about the quality. Very different things and there are ways to measure.


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    Okay, if everyone has a degree in physics or acoustic engineering, then a quick lesson for me... how physically is the human ear aided by the additional channels that sit between the left and right speakers. How does the sound quality physically improve when the same audio is sent from an extra source, how is the colouration fixed, how is the timbre fixed, how is the placement handled when the line of sight and the speaker need to be in the same space, etc.

    There are tons of reasons why center channels are a problem. In a pure audio setup (no screen) you can make it better, but you still have major unfixable issues.

    How do you overcome these and to what benefit? In pure physics terms, dont' hold back. I want to understand how my understanding of physics and acoustic engineering is lacking here because I've studied this a lot and tested a lot and have found no exception to what seems to be an obvious acoustic "fact". That observation, common sense, and my knowledge of acoustics all match and all acoustic engineers and physicists (my godson is an acoustic engineer, my roommate an acoustic physisist as well) that I've spoken to previously have stated this as obviously how things are. What am I getting wrong now?


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    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    we have to be talking about the same thing here. as dash first mentioned this is about surround sound setup. when using surround sound it is better to use a center channel. i have heard many setups with and without a center channel. i worked for an av company for ten years and we had a dedicated sound room. i always thought this sounded better and i have heard a lot of setups from different high end brands.

    Are you sure you weren't mixing incorrectly like Dash was and only removing the channel rather than including the channel through the fronts? That would, of course, make it sound worse.

    If it didn't, I can only say that your reaction should have been that the room wasn't set up properly and the center was being used to overcome problem with the fronts.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    how physically is the human ear aided by the additional channels that sit between the left and right speakers.

    its the separation of sound. the soundstage effect



  • @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    How does the sound quality physically improve when the same audio is sent from an extra source,

    i don't understand what your asking here. for one, you can't measure sound quality, only the resolution of the source. after that its pretty much preference. by separating the sound of voice into a different position our ears learn to recognize it and then prefer it. it is highly subjective though as many people just prefer different types of sound. there is also the amount of listening a person does. people who can not tell a difference will think one type of sound is better while others who have more refined listening tastes will prefer something else. it does not mean anything negative about either type, its just preference. i have seen lots of people i have worked with who have been designing audio setups for churches and sound venues(20-30 years) who prefer pure stereo sound but others who have just as much experience in designing systems that prefer and like other setups. i have seen and talked with several in each category and what i have learned is it is too subjective to call one right and another wrong. everyone's ears and hearing capabilities are just too complex and different.


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    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    how physically is the human ear aided by the additional channels that sit between the left and right speakers.

    its the separation of sound. the soundstage effect

    Exactly. Soundstating is the exact reason that you want only two speakers. Two speakers up front give you an unbroken, completely fluid soundstage. A center speaker guarantees that this won't be completely fluid, it's impossible to make the center speaker completely invisible on the sound stage because it cannot identically match the other front speakers. This is the core issue that makes the center impossible to compete, you can't get the flawless soundstage with it interrupting the right and left channels.


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    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    How does the sound quality physically improve when the same audio is sent from an extra source,

    i don't understand what your asking here. for one, you can't measure sound quality, only the resolution of the source. after that its pretty much preference.

    Preference is "what I want it to sound like." Hi Fi is about "reproducing the source as closely as possible." So you can certainly meansure quality.


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    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    by separating the sound of voice into a different position our ears learn to recognize it and then prefer it.

    Oh sure, no question there. But "prefered" sound isn't the same as quality. Preferred sounds come at the expense of quality.


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    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    it is highly subjective though as many people just prefer different types of sound.

    Ah, I see what's happened. Everyone is talking about making "sounds people like to hear". I'm talking about audiophilia and "reproducing the original as closely as possible and creating a solid soundstage - consistency." These two things are always at odds.

    Yes, if you want to make it sound "nice" instead of "accurate", then of course, lots of speakers might make sense for you.

    If you want a solid, invisible sound stage as close to the original sound as possible, you want something different than you'd want in that case.


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    Sorry for the quick lock, was just forking.


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    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    it does not mean anything negative about either type, its just preference. i have seen lots of people i have worked with who have been designing audio setups for churches and sound venues(20-30 years) who prefer pure stereo sound but others who have just as much experience in designing systems that prefer and like other setups. i have seen and talked with several in each category and what i have learned is it is too subjective to call one right and another wrong. everyone's ears and hearing capabilities are just too complex and different.

    Right, you aren't talking about hi fi, you are talking about pro audio and other things. Those are not situations where you can even talk about doing hi fi, let alone would you want to. You aren't talking about one person in the perfect listening spot in the middle of the room. You aren't talking about wall treatments for audio.

    Concert halls, for example, are designed to influence sound, to alter it. Hi fi is designed to reproduce accurately.

    These are very different kinds of things.

    You are right, one is not right and one is not wrong. But that's why I limited the scope of my point and none of those were included and don't apply to what we were discussing.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    it is highly subjective though as many people just prefer different types of sound.

    Ah, I see what's happened. Everyone is talking about making "sounds people like to hear". I'm talking about audiophilia and "reproducing the original as closely as possible and creating a solid soundstage - consistency." These two things are always at odds.

    Yes, if you want to make it sound "nice" instead of "accurate", then of course, lots of speakers might make sense for you.

    If you want a solid, invisible sound stage as close to the original sound as possible, you want something different than you'd want in that case.

    When you are watching TV or a movie, when would you ever want that? In person viewing of shows (live audience) often has horrible sounding sound. Sure it's what was really there, but that's not the desired effect for the real audience (aka the TV audience).


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    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @jmoore said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    it is highly subjective though as many people just prefer different types of sound.

    Ah, I see what's happened. Everyone is talking about making "sounds people like to hear". I'm talking about audiophilia and "reproducing the original as closely as possible and creating a solid soundstage - consistency." These two things are always at odds.

    Yes, if you want to make it sound "nice" instead of "accurate", then of course, lots of speakers might make sense for you.

    If you want a solid, invisible sound stage as close to the original sound as possible, you want something different than you'd want in that case.

    When you are watching TV or a movie, when would you ever want that? In person viewing of shows (live audience) often has horrible sounding sound. Sure it's what was really there, but that's not the desired effect for the real audience (aka the TV audience).

    Well not likely when watching a game show :) But for most any movie. I don't set my home up for "walking around or large audiences" for watching movies. I tend to set it up for two people in the middle of the room well situated to get correct audio. I want a seamless experience. If I can tell that there are more speakers, it means that those speakers are not doing their job.

    Most people want lots of speakes and to hear each and every one discretely so that they can be excited about... well about owning speakers. That's literally why most people do it, they have no idea what those speakers are for. And most people can't set up a stereo properly, so they need those crutches to just make things work. And some people like my BIL literally have a theater at home with rows and different heights and people sitting far on the left and far on the right so needs to sacrifice quality to make everyone able to hear.

    But for watching anything of any quality, when the option exists, and this includes video games, I want quality so that the entire experience is seemless and transparent. I want to feel like I'm there and experience the movie or the game, my goal isn't to "experience the speakers."



  • Definitely a good goal - and one I consider pretty lofty for most folks who are going to read this thread.


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    @dashrender said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    Definitely a good goal - and one I consider pretty lofty for most folks who are going to read this thread.

    Hardly lofty, though, that's the thing. It's often cheaper. The surround sound multi-channel systems are designed to make everyone money - at your expense. If you avoid them, you can do hi fi for way less than the cost of a decent eight channel system. You need half as many speakers, half as many amps, etc. If you put 50% more into each component, you still save a ton.

    If your goal is to make a large listening area for loads of people, it's totally impractical. If you are making a listening area for just one person, it's simpler and cheaper.

    So the goal isn't lofty, in at least 50% of cases, it is also practical.


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    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    So the goal isn't lofty, in at least 50% of cases, it is also practical.

    Can you give us a parts list of what you would recommend? I was thinking about replacing my receiver with something that has HDMI inputs so I can switch between the DVD player and the kids gaming consoles.


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    @mike-davis said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    @scottalanmiller said in What do you like for a non expensive audio setup for surround sound TV/movies?:

    So the goal isn't lofty, in at least 50% of cases, it is also practical.

    Can you give us a parts list of what you would recommend? I was thinking about replacing my receiver with something that has HDMI inputs so I can switch between the DVD player and the kids gaming consoles.

    Not likely parts, but maybe overall ideas. I'm a bit out of date. What's your room like? What will the setup need to fit into?


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    The room is 11'x17' with the TV on the short wall. I have some Kenwood speakers and a Sony receiver that is 20 years old. The system sounds ok. I was going to just replace the receiver with something that has HDMI inputs instead of the RCA inputs my existing receiver has, then your post made me think there might be something else I should consider.

    My main thing is something that any one can just turn on and use without having to press source buttons, etc. I had actually solved that problem years ago with a Logitech Harmony remote, but then the dog got ahold of it...


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