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Surround Sound Rookie: Remember when you first experienced you first surround sound? (1 Viewer)


Supporting Actor
Jan 7, 2003
Real Name
I looked at the individual forums and figured this was the best place to put this:


I had always been interested in perhaps a HTiB system but always knew I'd prefer a separate compenent system. I've been wanting a surround system for years. First, I figured I'd stay with a brand I was happy with, so a Sony system was my first research. Then recently was turned on to the Onkyo 770. Not liking it's sound from a "full" perspective, I ultimately then went crazy and bought a Yamaha/JBL system:

Yamaha HTR-5760 7.1 Receiver
JBL Northridge E80 (2) for Front L/R
JBL Northridge EC25 (1) for Center
JBL Northridge E30 (2) for Surround L/R
JBL Northridge E20 (2) for Surround Back L/R
JBL Northridge E150P (1) for Sub-woofer

Tonight I got everything hooked up correctly, tweaked my settings (haven't used the Yamaha YPAO system for calibration yet--will someday when I want to "play") to where I liked the levels from the center, front l/r, surrounds l/r, subwoofer, etc. First I was watching a few test discs and noticed PCM in the "auto" of the receiver, remembered I needed to change the settings on the DVD player to output Dolby Digital and DTS signals, assured myself with the "auto" of the receiver that I was indeed getting "Dolby Digital" and "DTS" (instead of the PCM) and... then put in the new Star Wars: ANH DVD...

Holy f***ing s**t :emoji_thumbsup: :emoji_thumbsup: :emoji_thumbsup: :emoji_thumbsup: (please excuse my profanity)...

My ears are blown away with this JBL speaker setup. WOW!

This coming from someone who hasn't owned a surround-sound anything ever... I'm so impressed that I think in the next week I will pick up another pair of the E20s (or E30s to replace the sur L/R and use the E20s for the sur back L/R [?]) for the 6.1 experience/7.1 future potential (LOTR is 6.1 and then for when 7.1 becomes standard in the next few years). Why not? I'm always of the mind that I like stuff that matches (so does the wife--c'mon, a lot of us know what I'm talking about ;))--and the JBL Northridges in black ash are very nice aesthetically, not to mention sound beautiful--and in a year or so JBL will change how things look and I suspect I'll never be able to pick up this "look" again (it happens with everything: even tennis shoes!). It's the "once you find something you like you want the same things again" security/aesthetic. Haha. Anyway...

Thanks to all who educated me after reading countless posts from those I "lurked" over the past year on researching and learning what I wanted to know about surround equipment. Inherently I knew I needed to spend "some" money but all of us try to be budget conscious, nevertheless, in the end, I caved into what I really wanted. Sometimes I attribute this to the "more money than brains" theory, but so be it. :)

Going from basic 2-channel front L/R for the past 20 years to Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS surround... well? Let's just say I will never watch movies the same way again. :emoji_thumbsup: What's wonderful it now I can go through all the movies in my collection and "experience" them again for the first time (what we all aspire to), however not visually, but "audio-phonically" (is that a proper phrase?) as I will be "listening" to them for the first time as I've never heard them sound before. I abhor the usage of the word "awesome," but my experience tonight fits the bill.

Later I'm going to check out what all the hub-bub about DTS is when I sample a few of those movies. I looked at the Led Zep DVD and the DTS sounded good on some segments from a specific "era," the Dolby Digital on others. I need to find a good DTS movie to watch for this experience.

Anyway, I hope I remind some of you who have had these great sound setups for the past few years of how you first felt when you experienced something of this caliber. It's a moment to relish, bask in, enjoy and not take for granted. And reflect upon and discuss on a discussion board. ;)

So, no work tomorrow with the house to myself. Fun, fun, fun. :D

Jeff Gatie

Senior HTF Member
Aug 19, 2002

This is not "playing". This is essential. Calibration, depending on how off your system is when you start, can up your listening pleasure by a huge amount. I've calibrated a few systems for friends and every one of them was amazed at the chenge in the system's sound after calibration.

Enjoy your new system, sounds like you have some good times ahead!


Jun 4, 2004
Real Name
This happened to me a few months ago, when I finally graduated from a fairly nice Sony HTIB to a real HT.

It's going to happen again when I get into high rez audio.

Enjoy! :D

Brian L

Senior HTF Member
Jul 8, 1998

IMHO, when you first hear an old favorite, done right in MC Hi-rez, the sh*t eatin' grin on your face will be permanent.

I have had a uni-player for two years, but the biggest kick I got was when Aerosmith released Toys in the Attic in MC SACD.

I sat there on the couch, volume cranked, bobbing my head like Beavis and Butthead.

I am of the correct age to have bought that LP new when it came out. I have heard in a million times, and didn't think anything could make it seem fresh again. But let me just say, hearing it done well in 5.1 was an absolute revelation. Stunning. Un-freakin'-believable.

MC Hi-Rez has a way of doing that.


Wayne A. Pflughaupt

Senior HTF Member
Aug 5, 1999
Corpus Christi, TX
Real Name
True story – In 1993 a buddy of mine invited me to a local hotel for a surround sound demo. It seems Yamaha had a traveling road show to promote their new DSP surround sound processors. They cued up the Terminator II canal chase scene and let ‘er rip. You have to keep in mind that this was only Dolby Pro-Logic, which was all they had at the time, but nevertheless I was totally blown away!

About a month later I was taking my wife out for dinner for her birthday and pulled into a local home theater store that I knew sold the Yamaha gear. It was conveniently located right on the way to the restaurant we were going to (nudge nudge, wink wink

And the rest, as they say, is history!

Wayne A. Pflughaupt


Aug 18, 2000
Brian, I'm going to use your story for guys at work who think I'm crazy for buying all the gear that all of us here get.

No matter what I tell them, they think it's a waste of time/money. I'm glad you were able to pick up some nice gear and come to the "dark side" :D ..and enjoy all the stuff us freaks/fanatics have been enjoying for years.:emoji_thumbsup:

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