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Is HT audio a compromise if you like high end , non-video music listening too?

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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Mark Kingston

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Posted June 24 2003 - 01:14 PM

I'm new to HT setup , and it's something I'd like to have to some degree or another, but, I also like very high fidelity sound that moves a lot of air ie- just listening to music CD's, .wav files ,etc...Every store setup I've seen of HT systems sounded good for movie dialogue and soundtrack music, but just doesn't cut it for music the way I want to hear it (lots of power, where you can really feel those low, but not too low frequencies...from 60hz to about 200hz or so...a range that HT speakers/systems seem abysmal at). The surround speakers just are nowhere near beefy enough for my taste..it's like you get a major dose of ultra low bass from the subwoofer, and then all this higher range stuff (albeit very clear) with absolutely no kick...Seems like HT surround sound is a poor compromise if you want raw , clublike power ala those great 12" or 15" woofer loaded speakers from the 70's! What I envision having is a switchable system with dedicated amps for a pair of big woofer stereo speakers in the front and the same pair in the rear for strictly audio listening ,where the single stereo signal gets fed to both pairs via a sound mixer, and then maybe later adding surround type speakers that get the full surround information from the DVD, programming, whatever...I just don't feel music needs to be in surround for music listening , because that's not what you hear when you see a great live rock band or orchestra play..it's all binaural. Anyways, maybe I just haven't heard a good HT speaker setup playing strictly audio yet that sounds like I want, as I've only been to a few chain stores...I did have my eye on a nice Carver preamp though, to get the ball rolling....my reference for sound for the last several years has been a Marantz CD player fed into my M-Audio Delta Omni soundcard ,monitoring with Yorkville YSM-1 studio monitors and Sony MDR-7506 phones.

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted June 24 2003 - 03:18 PM

Gee, another guy that likes great-sounding music! This is what I have done. First, having five tiny speakers just doesn't cut it. You can get the big floorstanders too, (for the front right & left). In theory, all five surround speakers should be the same size. The perfect example to depict this is having a T-Rex come up from the side and scare the crap out of you before you can even see it on your screen, but this would require 4 large speakers. The front center is used 99% of the time for voice only, so you don't need a 12" to carry that. Also, if you did have large speakers, you wouldn't have to get a subwoofer. I have 12" fronts and 8" sides, but with most Pioneer stereos they have A & B speaker sets. I've put the 'B' set behind me, and play the L & R fronts and the 'B's when listening to music. Note that if you do this, you should not use the digital signal from the CD player to your stereo, because then the signal is treated as a digital signal, and the front center and the sides will have sound coming out of them too, and since it is digital, the Pioneer units won't let me play the 'B' set because the 'A' set is in digital. But, some will argue.. Glenn

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted June 24 2003 - 04:53 PM

Yes, a typical 5.1-channel (or more) home theater surround system, as typically set up, may not serve the needs of critical music-listeners (if such is your primary requirement). It is necessary, then, to come up with solutions, compromises. Very "musical" results can be achieved with just a little work.

#4 of 6 OFFLINE   JamesHl


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Posted June 24 2003 - 05:41 PM

The best way to accomplish this goal on a reasonable budget is to try and get decent speakers that go from at least 60 hz or so, get a sub and set your xover around 80 hz. This way, all your important bass and 'punch' is covered.

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Frank Zimkas

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Posted June 25 2003 - 12:05 AM

I think that the audio portion of any HT can and should sound great for music as well as movies. You just need to be willing to try various combinations of speakers & electronics. Placement will have a huge impact on what you hear. I'm very happy with the musical performance of my stuff in my HT. Keep in mind that when you go to a B&M store to audition audio gear in an HT setup, the stuff your listening to is going to be setup to show off the HT performance. Kind of like looking for a new tv, we all now that retailers tend to adjust the picture to look good to the average customer that walks in the door, same goes for the audio. The audio gear won't be setup properly, Subs are run to hot, as well as surrounds.

Keep looking/listening...the quality of sound reproduction your after is outthere...somewhere!Posted Image

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   BruceD



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Posted June 25 2003 - 02:13 PM

My 2-channel/HT combo system is very very good at music and HT DVD movies. I've been using this system with it's compromises for the last 4 years with great enjoyment. Basically I took a 2-channel preamp, with CD player and TT sources connected to it and just connected the L&R front preouts from the HT system into a spare AUX-IN on the same 2-channel preamp. You can check how I actually connected a HT 5.1 system into my 2-channel system by clicking on "Equipment List" in my signature below. I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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