What should I buy - 5.1 or 2 speaker setup?

Discussion in 'Audio Equipment' started by Wad, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. Wad

    Wad Guest

    I have just bought a projector and screen for my home theatre. Now I
    have about $1000 to spend on audio. I know this is not a lot of money
    so I was wondering if its better to go with a 2 speaker and amp setup
    rather than a 5.1 speaker and amp setup. With the former I can add
    speakers as I go, but will I really be losing out by not having a 5.1
    speaker system for movies? I will also be using the speakers for music
    so I thought the 2 speaker setup would be better. Thoughts?


    Wad, Sep 11, 2006
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  2. Well, it seems to me that, if, as you imply, you will be using the
    speakers for music a significant part of the time, definitely go with
    2 speakers to optimize that. Just select a pair that has
    complementary, matched center and surround speakers available for your
    future expansion. Ideally, all five would be identical but few (of
    us) do that.

    Kalman Rubinson, Sep 11, 2006
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  3. I agree. But get an amp capable of 5:1 so in the future, it will be
    easy to just add the additional speakers.

    See ya
    Stephen Worth, Sep 11, 2006
  4. Wad

    Wad Guest

    Thanks guys!

    Any recommendations on an amp and 2 speakers? I am willing to go up to
    $1500 initially. Thanks again.


    Wad, Sep 11, 2006
  5. Go audition speakers. It's impossible to choose them without
    listening. Take a bunch of your favorite CDs to your local
    electronics store and park yourself in the speaker room and
    listen to every one they have. Keep a yellow pad handy for
    notes, so you don't forget which is which.

    See ya
    Stephen Worth, Sep 11, 2006
  6. Wad

    Jeff Findley Guest

    IMHO, yes, you'll be missing out with only a two speaker system.

    Jeff Findley, Sep 11, 2006
  7. But not for long. OTOH, spreading his currently limited resources on
    a ful 5.1 system may lead to many years of missing out on high quality
    sound for music and movies.

    Kalman Rubinson, Sep 11, 2006
  8. Get a 2 channel amp to go along with 2 speakers. When you decide to go to
    5.1 you can buy the matching speakers and more channels of amplification.
    This way you can get better gear in the beginning. In any system the front
    channels are the most important. Don't buy extra amplification until you're
    ready to buy more speakers.
    FRANCES EVANS, Sep 12, 2006
  9. $1000 spent on 2 channels will give much better sound than the same amount
    spent on 5.1. Plus one can always add more speakers and channels of
    FRANCES EVANS, Sep 12, 2006
  10. Wad

    Khee Mao Guest

    unless you're 5.1, you're missing _a lot_ in regards to movies, yes.

    $1000 will get you a solid pair of speakers and a 5.1 receiver though, and
    you can build from there. I've got a (nearly) completely mismatched set of
    speakers (advent mains, polk surrounds and center, and a velodyne sub), but
    I can only hear the "color" difference when playing back test tones...movies
    and music sound fantastic.
    Khee Mao, Sep 12, 2006
  11. Wad

    Wad Guest

    Thanks Jeff, but wouldn't 2 high quality speakers (with s/w) produce a
    better quality sound than 5.1 speakers for the same money? Granted I
    will have lost the surround sound!


    Wad, Sep 12, 2006
  12. That's lousy advice. In order to decode 5:1 through optical
    cable, you need an amp capable of pushing all six channels.
    You can't just get "additional amplification" for the four more

    He should get two speakers and an amp capable of 5:1.
    Otherwise, he'll have to chuck his amp and start over when
    he wants to upgrade.

    See ya
    Stephen Worth, Sep 12, 2006
  13. Definitely.

    See ya
    Stephen Worth, Sep 12, 2006
  14. Wad

    Jeff Findley Guest

    For stereo listing, yes they will. So if stereo listing is more important
    to you in the beginning, then by all means, get better stereo speakers to
    begin with and add the rest later. As others have suggested, you could pick
    your stereo speakers from a line that also makes center and surround
    speakers which would match.

    For me, I watch more DVD's at home than listening to stereo music, so I'd
    personally miss the surround sound experience on the DVD's.

    Jeff Findley, Sep 12, 2006
  15. Wad

    enoch Guest

    Yamaha or denon recievers give you the best bang for the buck. don't
    cheap out and get Sony, JVC, Technics, RCA, etc. It'll be worthit in
    the long run. Also, to get you in the running for movies, consider a
    subwoofer with the two speakers.
    enoch, Sep 13, 2006
  16. That is not lousy advice. You are uninformed. You need only a surround
    capable preamp or a receiver preferebly with preamp outputs. The optical
    signal is fed from the CD/DVD or other source to the surround processor or
    preamp. The 5.1 line level signals from the processor/preamp are fed to
    power amps.
    I feed a coaxial or optical signal to my Lexicon MC8 surround processor from
    there it is decoded into separate outputs for my separate power amplifiers.
    I use dual sub woofers fed by an Adcom GFA-545. Acoustat electrostatic
    speakers for my front left and right fed by 2 Dyna MK-III tube amplifiers
    and another pair of Acoustats with a sub woofer for the rears fed by another
    Adcom GFA-545 and a Hafler DH-200 for the rear sub. I don't have a center
    channel speaker but use phantom mode because I can't find a center channel
    speaker that timbre matches my electrostatic panels.
    It would seem that you don't really know what you are talking about.
    FRANCES EVANS, Sep 13, 2006
  17. See my answer to this question in my response to Stephen Worth.
    FRANCES EVANS, Sep 13, 2006
  18. What you suggest is the way to go if ultimate sound quality is the result
    you are looking for. This is what I suggested already. It seems that some
    people don't quite understand.
    FRANCES EVANS, Sep 13, 2006
  19. Wad

    Khee Mao Guest

    yeah, I saw your response, and your solution sounds like a great setup...if
    the original poster had an unlimited budget. since $1000 was stated, I'm
    going to go out on a limb and assume that he doesn't.
    Khee Mao, Sep 13, 2006
  20. That would cost considerably more and wouldn't give you
    any better sound. Why not just get a 5:1 amp to begin

    The concept that separate preamp/amp sounds better than
    integrated amps is a myth. That only applies to very high
    end equipment (which is rarely available in integrated form,
    so it's an apples and oranges comparison.)

    See ya
    Stephen Worth, Sep 13, 2006
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