Building a HT setup to play music too?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Drew Wallner, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Drew Wallner

    Drew Wallner Extra

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    Hey folks!

    I hope this is not off-topic, please lemme know if it is.

    I just purchased my first home and am looking forward very much to making an addition off the back into an HT, but as I'm on a budget I will be reusing my one and only receiver (a modest Pioneer, but hey it has DTS).

    I've been thinking lately about two possibilities as far as speakers.

    Today I own what basically consisted a decent Pro-Logic setup many years ago. I have large powerful front speakers, itty bitty rears, a modest sounding but well shielded center, and no sub (apartments and subs don't mix well).

    OPTION ONE:

    Keep everything I have today, purchasing large rears which match my fronts, and a modest subwoofer.

    OPTION TWO:

    Get rid of the speakers I have now (ebay) and buy a modest "boxed" set of speakers. Most of these in the lower price ranges include a large bass unit, and then four satellites and a center.

    My concern about option two is, what happens when I play music?

    Today, I typically use my receiver in "surround" when watching a movie, which amounts to either AC3 or DTS depending on the film. However I prefer to listen to music in straight stereo - my receiver has all sorts of "mock surround" modes but I'm not a big fan of them. Therefore, I like that my fronts have large woofers and rich sound for this purpose.

    My question is, to those people out there who have these "boxed" style solutions with such itty bitty satellites - do you ever listen to music on them and if you do, how do you like to do it?

    I hope that all made sense!

    Thanks for any advice. [​IMG]
     
  2. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    Option 1 is what I'd do, depending on how good the fronts are.
     
  3. Drew Wallner

    Drew Wallner Extra

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    They are nothing fancy, Yamaha's from the "Natural Sound" series. They were very affordable at the time I got them many years ago and have been faithful over time. Each has a 12" woofer, a 4" midrange and a decently loud and clear tweeter. They don't sound like JBL's or Paradigms but then again, I was a starving college student.

    The exact speakers are no longer made by Yamaha, but very very similar ones are. I think they're just changed the colors a little, hehe.

    There are some very tempting affordable "box set" solutions out there though. Onkyo for example sells entire sets on their website for as little as $300 and reconditioned they will even sell you an entire 6.1 setup with an amp for $350.

    Veyr hard to pass up, but I gather not nearly as good at playing 2.0 music as my current setup would be.

    Thoughts?
     
  4. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    What is your budget? What receiver do you have? What size will the room be? If it is a decent receiver you may want to upgrade your speakers. Fluance has a hell of a package that is dirt cheap. What is wrong with the sound of you current speaker package. You say it is decent for music so your fronts should sound good. Maybe if you call Yamaha and ask about which one of there current centers would match well with your mains. Maybe you do not like the sound of the HT right now because of the center channel. 70% of all info is going into that center channel. It IS the most important speaker. I don't care what anyone says [​IMG]!!
     
  5. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    ·Many satellite/sub combinations are a bit weak in the upper bass/lower mid-range. If you listen to music closely, you may be disappointed with this combination.
     
  6. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    For playing music when you have a sub and using the
    LFE connection all tones below the crossover point you have your receiver at will go to the sub. You are really listening to "stereo" as 2.1.
     
  7. Drew Wallner

    Drew Wallner Extra

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    I apologize for not being more detailed, thanks for these excellent follow-up questions:

    What is your budget?

    I would like to spend no more than about $400 on speakers as part of this budget HT setup. I base this on what it would cost to buy two more matching Yamaha's as rears, a Yamaha center and a cheap powered sub.

    However it bears mention that if I ebayed my existing speakers, this budget would go up to perhaps $500 or more for "option two" if I decided to go that route.

    What receiver do you have?

    I don't have the exact model number in front of me but it's a Pioneer, purchased in 2000. It does 100W peak by five channels and has and LFE out for a sub. In addition to AC3 ("Dolby Digital") it does DTS as well. It's not the greatest thing out there, but it passes the "it sounds good to me" test.

    What size will the room be?

    The theater itself is 9' x 16' with two small rooms off of it, a closet and my "office" which will house all my computers and the playback devices and receiver. The surround system will be in this room, and I will use the "B" outputs from my receiver to also drive two small speakers in my den for when I want to listen to jazz by the fire.

    What is wrong with the sound of you current speaker package. You say it is decent for music so your fronts should sound good.

    Well what's "wrong" with it is basically that I put it together back in the Pro-Logic era when "surround" meant a limited range signal to the rear and center, so my existing center is improvised and my rears nowhere near match my fronts in response or volume (I have to compensate with the receiver heavily). For a modern digital setup with true 5.1 (or 6.1) channels, matching rears and a real center would be preferable.


    Basically, my big decision will have to be to go with option one or option two. Implementing either won't be "hard" it's just a matter of which makes more sense.

    I'm very interested by the person who mentioned a receiver being able to use the LFE even when playing 2 channel, I actually don't know if my receiver does that because I don't have a sub today. I will get the exact model number when I get home and check with Pioneer to find out. That might be an excellent solution. If the LFE is engaged during simple stereo music playback, I might not mind the missing low end of smaller satellites...
     
  8. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Your room is a decent size but I do not think it will hinder anything. It sounds like you are happy with you fronts. Your receiver sounds fine too. If it were me I would contact Yamaha or find a Yamaha dealer. Bring your speakers in and see what is out there for matching centers and rears. This will save you money for a decent sub.
    About your sub question: check your receivers' menu and set the speakers to small when you get a sub. Also make sure that in the menu the sub is turned on. It may say something like....Bass-Sub or Bass-mains. You want bass-sub. With your speakers set up at small all bass below the receivers crossover point will be sent to the sub. If the speakers are set to large no bass will be sent to the sub for music as no LFE is recoeded in music(2 channel playback). Good luck.
    If you are not happy with your speakers at all check out Fluance speakers. They have great speaker packages (tower in fact) for dirt cheap and they look great. I never heard them but they get a lot of positive feedback around here. I do not think there is a better deal around right now.
     

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