a dumb question from a newbie

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by andrew markworthy, Nov 18, 2001.

  1. andrew markworthy

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    This is a really dumb question, so please don't bite me!
    I'd like to improve the sound quality of my TV/DVD, but would find it v. difficult to use rear speakers because of the room arrangement (in addition, I'm honestly not all that fond of rear sounds anyway). However, I would like to be able to distinguish the front left and right effects and music from the dialogue. I'd also like a subwoofer to deal with some of the effects - we have a good quality Phillips set, but some of the bass notes obviously trouble it.
    Okay, so here's the dumbass question - if I buy a 5.1 system, can I use it without using the rear speakers?
     
  2. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    Hello,
    In short, yes you can. Most receivers allow you to setup your speaker configuration to exclude rear channel speakers. I assume the information that would normally be sent to the rears will be sent to your main L/R speakers.
    At some point I recommend that you experiment with well placed and properly configured rear channel speakers. Once they become a fully integrated part of your home theater the speaker should almost disappear, leaving only a fantastic surround effect.
    - Jeff
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  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  4. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    Hello,
    While I agree with you that this is not an ideal configuration for a home theater I believe you are over stating the negative effects of running a 5.1 source with only three front speakers.
    Sure, you are not going to get a realistic surround experience. This should be obvious given the lack of surround speakers. You will still, most likely, enjoy watching a movie a lot more then you would through standard TV speakers. With good speaker placement, you might even think you have surrounds...assuming your main speakers image well.
    Listen to your system with the front three speakers and decide if you want to upgrade later. You will not be doing any damage to your components.
    Thanks,
    Jeff
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  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  6. Jeffrey_Jones

    Jeffrey_Jones Second Unit

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    I'm not trying to argue with you. If you read what I wrote, I said that you will not get a realistic surround experience. That is a given fact considering you are not using surround speakers. You're post made it seem as if you could do damage to your system by not using surround speakers and I'm saying that is just not the case. You might lose surround information at times and you might get the surround information through your front speakers.
    That being said. I have given demonstrations to people with surround encoded material but only using my stereo speakers and they would swear that all five speakers were playing. My speakers image very well and my receiver does a good job of handling surround information in stereo mode. It is no where near the experience of using all five speakers, but it works just fine.
    Thanks,
    Jeff
    PS - Not everyone has the time, money or environment to setup a full 5.1 or 7.1 surround experience. They will be fine with three speakers until their lifestyle, budget, circumstance allow them to upgrade to a full surround configuration.
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  7. andrew markworthy

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    Thanks for the advice guys. Actually, I have heard a few decent surround systems, and I can appreciate their merits, though I can honestly say that I personally prefer stereo (I just cannot get used to the idea of a sound source unconnected with the picture!). The simple fact is that for very tedious but sensible reasons it would be impossible to use the rear speakers in the room we use at the moment, and we like our house and neighbourhood too much to alter our arrangements just to accommodate our TV watching! However, I would like to distinguish dialogue from the other sound effects and music, so I may just risk leaving the rear speaker unconnected.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  9. andrew markworthy

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    Michael - neat idea re: placements. I may just try that. My wife is hankering after a dinky little Sony system (in fairness, it doesn't sound all that bad, and the room is acoustic hell anyway, so anything beefy will sound dreadful) and we may be able to get away with some tiny speakers in the configuration you suggested.
     
  10. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    Unconnected sound? My surround speakers(even thought they aren't the best, or even matched with my JBL fronts) don't sound unconected to the picture. I think they add to it.It actually does make it sound more realistic. I respect your opinion, though, and if it sounds better to you, more power to you, for me, though, I'll stick with my Dolby Digital 5.1. could you explain to me, if possible, why you think it sound unconnected? I'm just curious..
     

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