Can I hook up my Fronts, Center and Sub only or do I need rears as well?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Alex_Santos, Nov 25, 2002.

  1. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recently purchased an Onkyo 600 receiver and have Paradigm Mini Monitors and a CC370. I also have a Sony WM40. My question is, can I hook all of them up at once without distorting the sound or do I have to go with the fronts and the center only, or even just the fronts?

    Also, what sound mode will I have available to me. (i.e., can I use any of the Dolby's or DTS or only stereo).
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    25
    Real Name:
    Carl III
    I'm not sure about DTS but most Dolby receivers have a mode that uses center, left, and right speakers.
     
  3. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alex - There SHOULD be a setting on most receivers that you can use to simulate surround sound with 2 speakers.

    Be aware that these pseudo-surround modes are EXTREMELY dependent on speaker positioning, and you can easily lose this illusion if you move from the intended listening area.

    TRUE surround sound can only come from 5 or so speakers.

    That nonwithstanding - check your manual and it should indicate a way for you to do such processing. I can't find anything on Onkyo's web site that indicates such a feature, but I'm pretty sure its there.
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    alex -

    this is really more of a question about your receiver's features. maybe you should ask a mod to re-title and move this for you.

    somewhere, there should be a setting to allow you to route all the rear-signal info to the front. in the old days it was called "three-channel" but who knows what they're calling it now. at least that way, you hear the rear-signal action.
     
  5. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not really, the receiver question was basically secondary. What I really wanted to know about was the speaker setup. Everyone seems to be missing that. Can I use the fronts, center, and sub at the same time without the rears or just the fronts alone. Thanks.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    Ted sort of answered the question.

    Yes, you can use just the front stage. Every DD capable receiver I have ever seen, in ~10 years, has the ability to turn off the rear speakers and re-route that information to the front or ignore it and/or just playback in stereo.
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  8. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understanding what you guys are getting at but I think that your kinda missing my question. Just for reference I have an Onkyo sr600. I know the Onkyo has all the features and routing abilities.

    This is what im trying to get at. If I hook up just the fronts, center and sub, will it provide a distorted soundstage? Would the sound be more proper with just the fronts? The fronts and the Center? Since I dont have rears right now and probably wont for the forseeable future, im looking for the best possible way to enjoy my system with what I have.
     
  9. Robert_Gaither

    Robert_Gaither Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,370
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you want to do that then my advice is to buy a spl meter and a calibration disc to help setup your system. You should also adjust your AVR based on the positioning of the speakers from the listening position (thus you will have to either input speaker distance from the main listening position or use the delay in mili-sec based also on how far the speakers are from the main listening position). How well the soundstage will appear will depend on if your source (if the engineer knew his stuff), your calibration (both for delays and spl levels), your room (reflections, bass gain, and treatments), speaker position (correct toe-ins, height, and tilt), your listening position (in the event you sit in a null or area that's saturated from relections), your head tilt/rotation from the axis the speakers (whether from fatigue, habit, or other distractions), and the processing of your AVR (some AVRs do process better than others, your settings should be set to mains/small, center/small, rears/none, and sub/on with delays set appropriately). Only you can be the judge of whether this is acceptable enough in the end and easiest way to do this is simply start and add/subtract the gear that is necessary.
     
  10. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2002
    Messages:
    998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Alex,

    Many people have run just the front three for a while. It doesn't matter to the receiver what number of speakers you have.

    In DD or DTS you will get normal undistorted playback...and you will simply lack the effects location and definition that comes from 5.1 or higher. You will always want to run these modes with the center speaker in the mix if you have it. While there are many 2 channel 'trick' soundfields they cannot compare to the greater dialogue localization and enhancement that comes from a proper center.

    If your receiver has a 3 channel and/or 5 channel or higher stereo selection you can use them without any sound 'penalty' when listening to 2 channel music.
     
  11. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Paul. Im glad someone got the gist of my question. Everyone please understand that im not asking about soundfield logistics. Believe it or not, I understand that quite well. I also own an spl meter and the sound and vision test disk, so im well stocked in the calibration department. All I want to know is if I should go with just the fronts, the fronts and the center, or the fronts center and sub. Thanks.
     
  12. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anyone else?
     
  13. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,357
    Likes Received:
    293
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Alex,

    If you have fronts, centre and sub, use them. You can always add the surrounds later. No problem, you will be able to get a proper sound. No distortions.

    It would be a pity if you left either the centre speaker or the sub out. Don't forget that the sub carries the LFE channel.

    Cees
     
  14. DustinF

    DustinF Agent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2002
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    I personally have ran just the front three and sub. I found not adjusting anything on the receiver works best. Let movies play in 5.1. and don't use 3stereo, or whatever your receiver calls it.

    I tried downmixing the rears to the front and it just doesn't sound right. So set up your receiver as though you do have the rears.
     
  15. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the great replies guys. Ive run into another slight hurdle. At the moment, the listening position is not directly in front of the speakers but off to the left. I don't know if setting up the speakers turned to the side will screw up what im trying to accomplish. Wondered what you all thought. Thanks.
     
  16. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,357
    Likes Received:
    293
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Alex,

    If it's only slightly off, don't change the setting. Stereo balance is best when everything is set as if the position was central, and sitting slightly to the right or left (but not significantly closer to one of the speakers) is OK. Just like in a real theater.

    If your off-center position is absolutely fixed and will not alter for a long time, you can try to make minimal adjustments (make every speaker "point" to that seat) and listen if you find it better (or not).

    Cees
     
  17. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2001
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thats what I was thinking but if I think about it, wouldnt I have to turn my speakers to where the left speaker was lined up diagonally to the other speaker. Something like this, with the center turned the same way as the right speaker:


    L
    C()
    TV
    R

    Listening
    Position
    (Bed)

    This is what I would most likely have to do to get the bed centered between the speakers. What do you all think?
     
  18. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 1997
    Messages:
    19,357
    Likes Received:
    293
    Real Name:
    Cees Alons
    Alex,

    The most important question when (dis)locating the center speaker is: do sounds (voices) that are supposed to come from the center really sound as if they're located at ("in") the screen? If so, that would be right, if not, you won't find it natural.

    My suggestion is: start with a "normal" position, then try changes. Keep what you like best in this respect.

    Cees
     

Share This Page