Author Topic: Home theater question.  (Read 189 times)

Offline Guy 13

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Home theater question.
« on: November 24, 2019, 05:03:22 AM »
Hi all.
Does the center channel of a 5.1 receiver speakers
can do the same job as a sound bar when the source (Movie)
is ony in stereo.
I'm asking, because if the receiver center channel speaker output
is doing the same jon=b as a sound bar,
then I won't have to by a sound bar and use a pair of speakers
I already have or even built my own with a few 3'' drivers.
Waiting suggestion and expert advice.

Guy 13
 
Grace Digital Mondo RIT
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Offline Barry (NJ)

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Re: Home theater question.
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2019, 06:58:52 AM »
A sound bar is used when you don't have a receiver and separate L/C/R speakers.
I just use separate left and right speakers with my living room TV, no receiver or center channel, and I'm very happy with the result.
I suppose it really depends on what you're trying to achieve(?)

Offline djdube525

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Re: Home theater question.
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2019, 07:56:03 AM »
related to sound bars... have been pleasantly surprised with the Sonos Beam as a standalone speaker. Using for ambient music in a couple spots (kitchen/dining/living area - no sub, and office w/sub) where wanting background music.

If in a pinch, limited space, WAF factor dictating minimal #'s of speakers and wanted something for a TV... I wouldn't hesitate. Not sure I would go the sonos route for a complete 5.1 setup simply due to the fact that things start to add up if outfitting a 5.1 outfit and you have a number of options at that point. Although not having to run speaker cables could potentially be a bonus.

Offline James Edward

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Re: Home theater question.
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2019, 01:19:42 PM »
If I understand your question, you want to know if you are losing something by using only 2 speakers
in the front and no center channel. You should still have all the audio channels, but they will be combined into the left and right speakers. This is done when you set up the receiver- you 'tell' it you only have a front left and right speaker, and it sends the all important dialog to the 2 speakers.
A soundbar is usually used INSTEAD of a 5 channel, or in your case, a 2 channel system. They are not really designed to be used as a center channel speaker.

Offline Guy 13

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Re: Home theater question.
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2019, 03:48:04 PM »
Thanks to James Edward, djdube525 and Barry (NJ) for your
comments.
Once in Canada, I will buy a 55'' flat screen (Smart) TV
a bluray player and since my Pioneer receiver is too old
a new receiver with HDMI connections.
I will keep my pair of GR Research M3 speakers.
To get the HDMI connections I have to buy the 5.1,
since the stereo only receiver don't have any HDMI connections.
The reason why I want a sound bar or any equivalent
is that according to my past experience with several home theater set up,
the voices from the TV programs or movies are never clear,
dificult to clearly understand the words of a conversation.
I don't care about the 5.1
the two speakers stereo is fine with me.
Connection for the sound bar is simple via HDMI connection,
but I find those a little pricey.
I have a small Sony amplifier with bookself speakers,
I would sure like to put to use those.
Hope the above is clear and make sense ? ? ?

Guy 13
 
Grace Digital Mondo RIT
Cambridge Mini sub 2.1
Schiit Fulla 2 DAC
Schiit SYS PCC
Sony Passive Bookshelf speakers
Lot more stuff on storage
prior to moving back to Canada.

Offline Barry (NJ)

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Re: Home theater question.
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2019, 09:25:16 AM »
In my living room set-up, where surround sound and ultimate hi-fidelity aren't required, I just run the analog outs from my TV into an amplifier, and use the TV as my source and pre-amp. I have a Roku Stick plugged into the TV for streaming music from Pandora, Amazon, or YouTube, or movies from any of my subscription services. The variable output of the TV directly feeds my Bel-Canto amplifier which feed a set of older KEF floor standing speakers. For music throughout the living area of my home it suits my needs for full rich sound a TV just can't provide, and is also more than adequate for casual TV and Movie viewing, if someone else is using the Media Room.

Offline tmazz

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Re: Home theater question.
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2019, 04:48:26 PM »
The function of the center channel speaker is two fold. One it allows the dialogue in a 5.1 system to be placed at a spot where it is coming from the same general space as the screen, so the voice sounds as if it is come right out of the mouths of the characters in the movie. In theory this can also be accomplished by sending the center channel signal equally to the front L & R speakers, but this assumes that those speakers are place in the room in such a way that you will get a good , clear center fill. In my experience, since most HT systems are in a shared living space, our wives usually insist that the speakers are placed more by where they will look good rather than where they will sound the best. Hence the center channel insures that the dialogue is placed properly in the sound field even when the L& R speakers are not in a optimal position.

The second advantage of a dedicated center channel speaker is that the center channel is used primarily for dialogue and as such has a much more limited bandwidth to deal with. A center channel speaker does not have to deal with the low bass and extended highs that a full range speaker does and as such the designer is free to optimize the speaker for only the midrange tones it will be call upon to reproduce. Of course this is not to say that all center channel speakers sound good. just as withe anything else there are some great sounding CC speakers and some really crappy ones out there. I have found that in my system , there is a definite advantage to using the CC instead of just the stereo L&R front speakers.  But that is in my HT system. As with everything else in this hobby YMMV.

And just for the record, I am using a low end  Sony 5.1 receiver and all Paradigm speakers  in my HT System (A good Canadian company.  ;) ) If I was using better equipment perhaps I would not need the CC speaker, but this system throws a nice surround image in spite of the speakers being tucker against the wall and right next to the TV cabinet. I am sure it could be better, but for the amount of time that I spend in front of the TV, it is good enough for me.
Remember, it's all about the music........

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Offline Guy 13

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Home theater question.
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2019, 06:00:36 PM »
The function of the center channel speaker is two fold. One it allows the dialogue in a 5.1 system to be placed at a spot where it is coming from the same general space as the screen, so the voice sounds as if it is come right out of the mouths of the characters in the movie. In theory this can also be accomplished by sending the center channel signal equally to the front L & R speakers, but this assumes that those speakers are place in the room in such a way that you will get a good , clear center fill. In my experience, since most HT systems are in a shared living space, our wives usually insist that the speakers are placed more by where they will look good rather than where they will sound the best. Hence the center channel insures that the dialogue is placed properly in the sound field even when the L& R speakers are not in a optimal position.

The second advantage of a dedicated center channel speaker is that the center channel is used primarily for dialogue and as such has a much more limited bandwidth to deal with. A center channel speaker does not have to deal with the low bass and extended highs that a full range speaker does and as such the designer is free to optimize the speaker for only the midrange tones it will be call upon to reproduce. Of course this is not to say that all center channel speakers sound good. just as withe anything else there are some great sounding CC speakers and some really crappy ones out there. I have found that in my system , there is a definite advantage to using the CC instead of just the stereo L&R front speakers.  But that is in my HT system. As with everything else in this hobby YMMV.

And just for the record, I am using a low end  Sony 5.1 receiver and all Paradigm speakers  in my HT System (A good Canadian company.  ;) ) If I was using better equipment perhaps I would not need the CC speaker, but this system throws a nice surround image in spite of the speakers being tucker against the wall and right next to the TV cabinet. I am sure it could be better, but for the amount of time that I spend in front of the TV, it is good enough for me.

Thanks tmazz for your clear explanation, that's what I was looking for.
I will make sure that the hi-fi store (Fillion Electronique - Montreal) where
I will buy all my HT components have a 15 or 30 days return policy,
that way I will be able to choose carefully the best components.
I would like to buy all Sony components (TV - Bluray - Receiver)
because of compatibility and also because I like Sony products,
but that's not a priority.
I've notice that Fillion Electronique sell or push more Panasonic TV and Yamaha receiver.
So I will see when time comes, which is not tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Guy 13
Grace Digital Mondo RIT
Cambridge Mini sub 2.1
Schiit Fulla 2 DAC
Schiit SYS PCC
Sony Passive Bookshelf speakers
Lot more stuff on storage
prior to moving back to Canada.

Offline djdube525

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Re: Home theater question.
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2019, 11:32:07 AM »
Since it's not my money... throwing out alternatives: If you wanted to stick with Canadian, there's always NAD... I was intrigued by the C388DD which allows you to add modules depending on needs... for instance they have a 4K HDMI switcher that can be plugged in. I ended up going another direction, but thought long and hard about that one.

When you get to Canada, and if you don't mind purchasing online, and if prior year, or reconditioned models work for you, then check out https://www.accessories4less.com/

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they cary Sony, but they do have Marantz, Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, Integra, and a few others... could be a way to save some money, or possibly stretch into something you would have liked but discounted due to price.

HTH

Offline Guy 13

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Home theater question.
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2019, 03:54:29 PM »
Since it's not my money... throwing out alternatives: If you wanted to stick with Canadian, there's always NAD... I was intrigued by the C388DD which allows you to add modules depending on needs... for instance they have a 4K HDMI switcher that can be plugged in. I ended up going another direction, but thought long and hard about that one.

When you get to Canada, and if you don't mind purchasing online, and if prior year, or reconditioned models work for you, then check out https://www.accessories4less.com/

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they cary Sony, but they do have Marantz, Denon, Yamaha, Pioneer, Integra, and a few others... could be a way to save some money, or possibly stretch into something you would have liked but discounted due to price.

HTH

Hi djdube525,
thnaks for your advices.
No used - reconditionned items for me.
The NAD doesn't seems to have any HDMI connections ?

Guy 13
Grace Digital Mondo RIT
Cambridge Mini sub 2.1
Schiit Fulla 2 DAC
Schiit SYS PCC
Sony Passive Bookshelf speakers
Lot more stuff on storage
prior to moving back to Canada.