3.1 vs 5.1 speaker setup question

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by steve_jk, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. steve_jk

    steve_jk Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2001
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    We just finished have our kitchen redone & having an addition built that the kitchen opens up into. Having recently bought my 1st HDTV (JVC also with Sony NS55P dvd player) I'm now thinking about putting sound into the room.

    The way the adjoining wall between the kitchen & the new room is layed out putting rear speakers in isn't convienent. We went over budget on the work and the kids use the room alot so I'm only looking for a basic budget system.

    I saw a Panasonic receiver/5.1 speaker system (SCHT40) in CC for a cheap price. The receiver has Dolby Digital & DTS It looks like it would fit my needs.

    My question is if I just want to hook up the center/front speakers & sub-woofer and leave the rear surrounds for possibly a later time, would that work for watching movies with 5.1 soundtracks? Would that cause any problems for the receiver if there's no where to send the rear signals to? Do those signals come out the fronts or I just would never hear them?

    thanks
     
  2. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,135
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Central FL
    Real Name:
    Phil
    Should cause no problems not having rear speakers hook-up. You just want to set-up the speaker configuration in the rec'r as to what is hooked-up and the size, levels, etc.
     
  3. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    Real Name:
    Ed
    Would it be convenient to have the surround speakers, more to the side, instead of in back? If you calibrate the speakers right, that would work fine too. Having the surrounds, will make a huge difference, in my opinion.

    If you must use just a 3.1 setup, I'd say to use a stereo setup. Without the surrounds, it's defeating the purpose of a surround system. I'm not positive, because I've never tried it, but I think if you choose the 5.1 sound track of a movie, and just use 3.1 speakers, you're gonna miss hearing a good bit of the movie, because of the 5.1 channels being discreet. It might work better for you in that case to use Dolby Pro Logic II, since it takes a stereo signal, and sends a matrixed signal to all the speakers. That may not work well either, since it'll try to send the signal to 6 speakers.

    I say, without surround speakers, your best bet is to use stereo.
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    I ran 3.1 for awhile when I was in a townhouse that had a layout that wasn't conducive to surround speakers. I don't think I was missing a huge amount. The surround speakers definitely do make a difference, but if you can't have them I think running 3.1 is a decent alternative.

    Do you have a drawing of your room layout that you could post? Perhaps we could come up with some creative suggestions for speaker placement.
     
  5. steve_jk

    steve_jk Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2001
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's not much of a wall between the kitchen & the addition; one side is totally open and the other side where there is a wall has a large window opening. A small desk with a PC is against the only continuous solid portion of the wall.

    It really wouldn't work with the traffic flow of the room to have rear floor speakers. The wife is also dead set against speakers wires running along the side walls. I was also looking at a Sony HT-DDW700 system that seems to be a little more favorably reviewed. Both systems have small surrounds so I'd probably could just mount the rear surrounds to the ceiling.

    Since I have attic access I could run the wires up the back wall where the receiver would go & into the attic and then poke holes in the ceiling right behind where the rears would be mounted. That would hide the wires, but the pitch of the attic roof makes it a tight fit to work near the corners.

    I'm sure I could do it, but given all the other things in the job jar, work, kids, etc I could see it being a couple months before I get around to it. Which is why I was wondering if a 3.1 setup would work until I eventually get around
    to hooking it up.

    thanks for the replies.
     
  6. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,135
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Central FL
    Real Name:
    Phil

    There's speaker wire that is 1/64th of an inch thick like www.decorp.com that can be painted over. There's also plenty of cable organizer products that looks like hollow shoe moulding to run wires into. There's also wireless Bluetooth speakers on and hitting the market. If you have the time at some point, running speaker wires would likely be the best route to go.
     
  7. steve_jk

    steve_jk Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2001
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    ***Another question***

    While I was at Sears I saw a similiar Sony system. They both have hard-wired speakers (using 22 AWG) While the length of the supplied cable would work for the fronts & sub, it wouldn't work for the rears no matter how I could run the wires. While hard-wired speakers are giving me 2nd thoughts about these systems - how would you go about extending one of these wires?
    Could I just get a second speaker wire and twist the ends together then tape it with electrical tape or is there some type of bridge/connector for this purpose?
     
  8. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,135
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Central FL
    Real Name:
    Phil
    For a long run, 22 ga. is pretty small. You could connect another wire with a butt connector or electrical connector (like your electrical ceiling fixtures use). How long is the hard-wired wire and how much more are you think about extending it?
     
  9. steve_jk

    steve_jk Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2001
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    The speakers come with ~12ft of wire. I guess around another 20 feet would be needed to get it across the attic and down the wall. Couldn't a thicker wire be used for that part?
     
  10. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1

    This advice really is quite wrong in all aspects.

    You don't lose *anything* assuming you setup your receiver properly so that it knows which speakers are not present. It will downmix to whatever 3.1, 3.0, 4.0, 2.1, 2.0, etc that your system is setup as. There is nothing wrong with a 3.1 system, and I would definitely reccommend this over stereo-only for an HT system.
     
  11. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    2,701
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    Real Name:
    Ed
    Read my quote...........
     
  12. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1

    That's fine, and now you know. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page