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Thread: Who needs 5.1

  1. #1

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    Default Who needs 5.1

    Not big news but just thought Id share.

    I have an old Dolby 2.0 surround system and got tired of not being able to hear dialogue clearly in heavy action scenes. I played a hunch and disconnected my surround speakers and just ran the 2 mains. Man, I liked it! It sounded clearer and more detailed and the stage seemed wider. I also got a better sense of left and right seperation. Ive been watching movies in 2 channel for over a week now and havent once missed the surround effects.

    Plus, I was kinda getting tired of all the stuff going on around me. It seemed too "cluttered" and tended to get on my nerves.

    So now Im thinking I may just skip buying a bunch of extra speakers, put all that money into the best set of mains I can and then get a good 2 channel receiver and be done with it. I mean hell, Ive only got 3 speakers in my truck. Left, right and sub. Car audio guys tend to shun rear speakers as it messes with your soundstage and can smear detail. Why would home audio/theater be any different?

    Didnt somebody on here once say, "Ill go multichannel as soon as I grow 3 more ears"?
    Last edited by MacLeod; 07-20-2005 at 10:09 PM.
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    I agree with you for most of that but for surround intensive movies like saving private ryan there is nothing like getting that feeling of being in the movie and hearing shots fly by your head. With other movies I have accidently watched half it in 2 ch and not noticed it until long into it. Since I listen to music about 95% of the time I don't put any money into ht.... it gets the hand-me downs from the 2 ch :p

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    Default Re: Who needs 5.1

    Originally posted by MacLeod
    Not big news but just thought Id share.

    I have an old Dolby 2.0 surround system and got tired of not being able to hear dialogue clearly in heavy action scenes. I played a hunch and disconnected my surround speakers and just ran the 2 mains. Man, I liked it! It sounded clearer and more detailed and the stage seemed wider. I also got a better sense of left and right seperation. Ive been watching movies in 2 channel for over a week now and havent once missed the surround effects.

    Plus, I was kinda getting tired of all the stuff going on around me. It seemed too "cluttered" and tended to get on my nerves.

    So now Im thinking I may just skip buying a bunch of extra speakers, put all that money into the best set of mains I can and then get a good 2 channel receiver and be done with it. I mean hell, Ive only got 3 speakers in my truck. Left, right and sub. Car audio guys tend to shun rear speakers as it messes with your soundstage and can smear detail. Why would home audio/theater be any different?

    Didnt somebody on here once say, "Ill go multichannel as soon as I grow 3 more ears"?
    +1 on all accounts, including the truck;)

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    I agree with you on most points. The 5.1 stuff is just too much crap to fool with when you want to just watch a quick movie. Most of the time, I feed the audio thru a Carver DPL-33 processor, just to split out the sub freq. from the R/L . About all you need unless you are selling tickets and serving popcorn.
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    Thats another good point.

    By not using the other 3 channels, you save money which you can use to buy more expensive 2 channel equipment!

    Goodbye Sony and Onkyo, hello Rotel and NAD! :D (Ive always liked manufacturers with the 'nads to name themselves NAD!)
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    Originally posted by MacLeod
    :D (Ive always liked manufacturers with the 'nads to name themselves NAD!)
    LOL!

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    Someone told me once but what does NAD stand for? New Audio Dynamics?

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    New Acoustical Dimensions, I think.

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    Originally posted by michael_w
    Someone told me once but what does NAD stand for? New Audio Dynamics?
    Here's your answer
    http://www.stands4.com/bs.asp?st=NAD&SE=1

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    I hope it isn't Noise Adding Device
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    Only problem I have with 2 channel movie viewing - if you're not in the sweet spot, or have guests over who aren't, you don't even get the stereo effect. Not a problem for people with rooms that are long and lengthy, but for those of us who are situatied close to the action, having at least a center channel really helps.
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    If your system isn't properly calibrated, then I can see this.

    If your center channel doesn't match , I can also see this.

    Using old Dolby surround , I can see this.

    Using a state of the art dobly digital/ DTS calibrated and matching I don't share this.

    2 channel isn't what todays movies are recorded in. You are now jamming all the info into 2 speakers. If this is what you like??? Then by all means.

    Dan
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    Gents, look for a Dynaco Quadaptor or a Fosgate surround decoder. You get 95% of the surround experience for much less $$. I got my Quadaptor for 24 dollars to my door. Sounds great for music too.

    BDT
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    Left to right may be better, but front to back and vice versa is non existant. You're missing out on the start of every star wars movie ever made! It's even better with 7.1.
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    TroyD,,help me out please,, I litsen to 2 ch, mainly music,, my wife prefers movies(dvd),, I seem to be missing dialogue from movies,, I have seperates ,, what would you suggest,, I could not locate the "quadaptor",, any help would be appreciated,,as I do not want to buy the "bose" system, which is what she wants.. Thanks

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    For HT you're really missing out with just the two speakers- as Dan points out, the source material was meant for more speakers. 2 channel music on the other hand only needs two speakers and I hate nothing worse than the people who put on "6 channel stereo" or its variants.

    Troy- are those QS or SQ processors? I think the QS algorithm is pretty close to the original Dobly, but with more L-R seperation in the rears.
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    Default Re: Who needs 5.1

    Originally posted by MacLeod
    I mean hell, Ive only got 3 speakers in my truck. Left, right and sub. Car audio guys tend to shun rear speakers as it messes with your soundstage and can smear detail. Why would home audio/theater be any different?
    But when you have back speakers in a car they will be playing the same thing as the fronts, so most def they would mess up imaging and smear detail, but on the home theater side of things the surrounds have there own seperate sounds to play so your are not smearing anything, what is meant to be heard from the front is heard from the front, what is meant to be heard from the back is heard from the back...

    I would be willing to bet that everything is not calibrated right if you really prefer the two channel. What kind of calibrations have you done?

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    Default Re: Who needs 5.1

    Originally posted by MacLeod
    So now Im thinking I may just skip buying a bunch of extra speakers, put all that money into the best set of mains I can and then get a good 2 channel receiver and be done with it. Didnt somebody on here once say, "Ill go multichannel as soon as I grow 3 more ears"?
    Amen brother.

    That's my quote BTW. ;)

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    I've actually started to miss 5.1 a little bit. I sold off my B&W surround rig about a year ago, and I'm actually thinking about putting together another video system. Maybe based on the Polk Monitor series this time.

    2ch is where it's at for music, but I'm not so sure anymore for HT. I went to a couple hi-fi shops recently, and did the 5.1 demo thing again - and it's neat. It's fun to have **** zipping around the room, from all directions. I mean, I'll never dump a TON of money into HT, but I think a separate video system has it's merits.

    My thoughts right now, after I move - I'm thinking I'll setup the big Line arrays for 2ch in the living room, and build a separate, small 5.1 rig again starting with the Monitor 40's (which I already have).

    Cheers,
    Russ
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    Originally posted by RuSsMaN
    I mean, I'll never dump a TON of money into HT, but I think a separate video system has it's merits.
    Cheers,
    Russ
    I agree with this, alot. I have all the necessary gear to put together a decent sounding HT already. I just don't see the point of putting thousands into a HT rig, unless it has to pull 2 channel duties also. Since I'm 90% music and don't have SACD, my 2-channel is going to get 90% of the $$$s spent on audio gear. I'm not going to knock anyone who wants to build a super duper HT rig, though, because if I had a dedicated HT room, I would probably look at going a little overboard, myself. But for now and the near future, what I have now is sufficient for movies. I'm concentrating on getting that damn ASL integrated amp:D , at this point in time.

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    I've gone back and forth on this one a few times and almost sold my HT gear but just coudn't bring myself to do it.

    My 2 channel system is coming along slowly and so is my HT. I just bought a second Anthem MCA2 on the relatively cheap to round out my front stage for HT. I just have to pick up another MCA2 to complete 6 channels. I've found that separate amps and quality interconnects feeding them make a huge different in enjoyability of the surround experience. All that good stuff, bass, transparency, clarity, yadayada.

    Nothing beats tubes for music though.
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    I don't miss 5.1 a bit. The Dynaco, as I said, provides me with all the ambient noise that I need.

    Google Hafler surround and you'll find anything you want to know about how it works.

    BDT
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    That's all you are getting, ambient noise - not what the director intended you to hear on all 5 discrete channels.
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    To me, a well setup and balanced 5/7.1 system doesn't have all of the draw backs discussed. If you have trouble with dialog, either the center is a POS or you need to run that channel hotter.

    I had the same issue but once you run Avia or DE with an SPL meter, they all go away.
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    Originally posted by RuSsMaN
    ...My thoughts right now, after I move - I'm thinking I'll setup the big Line arrays for 2ch in the living room, and build a separate, small 5.1 rig again starting with the Monitor 40's (which I already have).

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Don't short change yourself with a small rig bro, go big! If you need motivation, swing on by for a THX reference level demo.
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    Originally posted by wallstreet
    If you need motivation, swing on by for a THX reference level demo.
    Russ, you hold him down and I'll grab his LS90s and then we're outta there :D
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    I personally love my HT.
    I like the sound to be overpowering while I watch movies, just like at the theater.
    My system plays music fine enough for me, usually I just have music on in the background or I am blasting it so loud I can hear it while I am working in the yard or swimming at the neighbors house.
    Someday when I have the room and money I would like to build a nice 2 channel rig but until then I would rather focus on home theater.

    But thats just me.
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    I'm with Dan, Russ and the other pro-5.1 guys on this one.

    Again, there's no substitution for 2 channel when it comes to music, without a doubt.

    But you're just missing too much if you're not running a 5.1 setup.

    Mac, your findings may be different were you using a true 5.1 decoder. Using the 2.0 decoder to do 5.1 though, I'd probably come to the same conclusion as you.
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    Originally posted by Polkmaniac
    Russ, you hold him down and I'll grab his LS90s and then we're outta there :D
    That's the best idea I've heard in a long time.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

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    In my mind, I'm not missing a thing.

    A ****ty movie with a great soundtrack is still a ****ty movie.

    A GREAT movie is a great movie regardless.

    I'd say TRY the passive surround before summarily dismissing.

    Also, what you hear in Hafler surround is basically the same thing you hear with SDA so I don't know that I would call it ambient noise.

    Do directors actually master the 5.1 audio? I thought it was done by an engineer.

    BDT
    Last edited by TroyD; 07-21-2005 at 12:23 PM.
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