Moving back to 5.1???

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by DavidCooper, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    So, has anyone here gone from a 6.1 or 7.1 set up back to 5.1? If so...what are you thoughts?

    I currently have a 7.1 system but we are moving to a new house and although the new living room will support 7.1 I'm just not wanting to go through the all the extra hassle running those wires and putting more holes in our brand new house! LOL I sound like my wife!!!!!

    I'm thinking of just getting some dipoles for my side surrounds and going back to 5.1. I figure the dipoles might create that back soundfield/imaging well enough to not miss the 7.1 set up.

    I will say this though.....switching from 7.1 to 5.1 in my current set up really doesn't make a huge difference. Anyone else feel this way? Or been in the same situation?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I went back to 5.1 from 6.1 when I moved into a new place and didn't have a real spot for the 6th channel anymore. I thought 6.1 was a decent improvement, but I really don't miss it at all. I'm using monopole surrounds.
     
  3. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    I use dipoles for my surrounds and have a great read soundfield. I would probably go from a 7.1 to 5.1 myself if I were in your position. Now when the day gets here (and it won't be long) where you can have all your speakers setup wireless then I will add the extra speakers.
     
  4. Dan Keliikoa

    Dan Keliikoa Stunt Coordinator

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    Parker, I have a couple of questions about wireless as it pertains to surrounds.

    Do you think weight/bulk will be an issue, adding the neccessary electronics in the speakers to have them receive the information?

    Will they need to be self-amplified?

    Will they require power cords, so you'll still have some issue with wires?

    Just wondering what your take is on this...it's certainly an intriguing idea! I'm curious as to the 'hows' of it.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    No, weight should not be a huge problem. Not everyone wall mounts their speakers, nor is it necessary. Weight will likely be taken into account when the speakers are designed (for wall mounted).

    Without signal wires, they MUST be self powered, which means you will still have a power cord running to them and/or between them. Sony has done this with one of their new HTiBs already. One of the surrounds has an IR receiver and the amp inside, and it powers the second surround speaker also, with the one wire between them but no wires from the front to the back of the room. They are slim tower speakers, so wall mounting is probably not a possibility.
     
  6. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    I currently have 7.1 and I really don't feel that it makes all that much difference, at least not in the current configuration. I also have dipoles for my side surrounds and while it does provide a nice sense of ambience I find that I actually prefer having monopole surrounds as I prefer the directional sound.
     
  7. Mark Russ

    Mark Russ Second Unit

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    If and when everything does go wireless, I wonder if that will be endlessly debated like speaker wire and interconnect is now.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Joey Skinner

    Joey Skinner Second Unit

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    Monster will trademark the word "wireless" and sue anyone who tries to use it.[​IMG]
     
  9. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Dave:

    My understand is somewhat similar to what John is talking about with an IR or something along the lines of the new 801.g wireless that is used in wireless computer connections. As already has been stated they will need to either be plugged into an AC outlet or have a local power source in the speaker box. I doubt adding a amp in the speaker would add that much overall weight to the speaker itself that what is already being used.

    I know that these are being worked on and built. The real question is when they will make it to the market place.

    Personally if I were in your position I would get the dipoles for your rear surrounds for your new location and just enjoy the sound.

    Parker
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    David,

    I configured a 7.1 setup in my house when I moved in about a year and a half ago. My priorities changed and I decided to downsize my whole system, including going from 7.1 back to 5.1. Part of my descision was the fact that I found the 7.1 rear soundfield to be distracting. There was just too much going on, too many sound sources back there. I went back to 5.1 and don't miss the extra channels at all whatsoever. I prefer 5.1 personally. As always, YMMV.
     
  11. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice to know Philip.

    Yesterday I went home and listened to my current set up with Blade II. I went from 7.1 to 5.1 on the same scene several times. What I noticed was kind of interesting. If you are sitting at the main listening area you can't tell a difference between 7.1 and 5.1 at all.

    However, if you actually stand up and move to the back of the room and stand in a chair (LOL) you can hear the rear channel info. There isn't a lot going on back there but you can for sure hear they are working.

    I do have my HT calibrated with an SPL meter...just in case anyone chimes in saying to calibrate it etc.

    I think 7.1 is cool and more of a novelty rather than a big sound improvement. It's cool to say "I have 7.1" even though I only own about 5 DTS/DD discrete movies. The rest I run in matrix mode.

    I think it's safe to say I won't be losing all that much in the sound quality dept. moving back to 5.1. Now, if I had a dedicated room I would for sure put 'em back up!
     
  12. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    My air is better than your air.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  13. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    I had towers in the back on my last system. Went to dipoles on the new one and am tickled pink for movies. I am sticking with 5.1 as it does just fine in my room.
     
  14. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I went from 6.1 to 5.1 a couple of years ago when I upgraded my speakers, and have no regrets whatsoever (I'm running all monopoles in the ITU placement). I get pin-point imaging all across the rear soundstage, and would not even contemplate spending the $ for two more speakers and two more channels of amplification. Totally unnecessary.

    I can only imagine that those who really prefer 6.1/7.1 have less than optimal setups. For example, if one is using the traditional Dolby Labs setup with "side dipole surrounds", one might not get very good imaging across the rear soundstage. Likewise, if one is wall-mounting their speakers, the imaging will suffer greatly. But if you have plenty of space around your stand-mounted/tower speakers, properly placed (and, for me, that's the ITU placement, not Dolby Labs), then it seems simply extraneous to add another set of speakers for the rear-center.

    I should add that my system images equally well along the sides, mostly confirmed by such surround-sound demo discs as Tipper's "Surrounded" DVD-A which takes discreet sounds and sends them around the room at different rates, stopping/starting, reversing, looping around one another... can't say the music's all that impressive, but what a demo!
     

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