IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
Should a Hi-Fi Speaker Setup Only Be In 2.1?
NinjaSquirt
post Nov 1 2011, 20:18
Post #1





Group: Members
Posts: 1
Joined: 1-November 11
Member No.: 94862



Hi all, I'm new to the forum and just wanted to ask a question I've been wondering about for a while but not finding answers to.

I've always used a 5.1 speaker setup (Logitech Z-5500) that's not really high end but recently I've gotten into the Hi-Fi game starting with headphones but now I'm looking at speakers which can reproduce music more accurately.

As listed in the title, if I want to get as close to the recording as I can, should I lose my dependence on all this fancy 5.1 formatting and the Logitech ProLogic II stuff and just get a good 2.1 setup? Are audiophile speaker setups typically only setup in a 2 speaker format?

This post has been edited by NinjaSquirt: Nov 1 2011, 20:20
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
DVDdoug
post Nov 1 2011, 22:04
Post #2





Group: Members
Posts: 2596
Joined: 24-August 07
From: Silicon Valley
Member No.: 46454



You can have an awesome 5.1 or 7.1 home theater system, and you can listen to 2-channel stereo in 2.0 or 2.1 mode and you'll get awesome stereo reproduction.

If you are only going to use a pair of speakers, of course you'll get more bang-for-the-buck if you put all of your money into the speakers you are actually listening to. wink.gif

Personally, I like a little "hall effect" reverb in the rear channels (when I'm not playing 5.1 concerts or movies). But, I think most "audiophiles" would avoid any artificial "enhancement" and stick to 2-channels (when the original is 2-channels). Any artificial "enhancement" does violate the hi-fi rule of "close to the recording as I can".

If you are going really high-end stereo, I assume 2.0 (with full-size speakers) is generally preferred over 2.1. But with speakers, there are no "hard rules" and you really have to listen and choose whatever sounds best in your price range.

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Nov 1 2011, 22:26
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
LANjackal
post Nov 2 2011, 17:06
Post #3





Group: Members
Posts: 731
Joined: 26-October 05
From: Various networks
Member No.: 25371



Don't forget that original surround audio recordings exist! If you have any interest in DVD-A, for example, you're best off keeping your surround setup.


--------------------
EAC>1)fb2k>LAME3.99 -V 0 --vbr-new>WMP12 2)MAC-Extra High
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
slks
post Nov 2 2011, 22:32
Post #4





Group: Members
Posts: 400
Joined: 31-March 06
From: Houston, Texas
Member No.: 29046



For just playing music, I'd go with the best 2.1 system that you can get, since it would probably cost less than an equivalent 5.1 system.

Now, like Lan Jackal said, there ARE some albums available in true 5.1 mixes on DVD-A. I have a couple by Pink Floyd and the Flaming Lips, and they sound awesome. Be aware that you'll need to buy either a standalone DVD-Audio player, or software, to play these. A standard DVD player will NOT work. There's also very little music released in 5.1. That's why I've got my stereo speakers hooked up now. I've got three albums in surround, the other three thousand are stereo.

If you also want to play video games, or watch movies with this system, you'll want the 5.1 system for sure, since just about every movie comes with surround sound, and many games support it now. If you do get surround, I would recommend playing stereo music out of ONLY the front two speakers and the sub. Having the same sound wave coming from that many speakers introduces phasing effects in my experience. It's especially noticeable if you're walking around the room. Personally I wouldn't use any "enhancement" processing like ProLogic either. I suppose some people like it, but it does change the sound from how it was actually mixed. So if you're really trying to get as close to the recording as possible, that's not the way to go.

Basically, it just depends on what you're using it for. For simply music, I'd go with the 2.1. If you want movies or games, the 5.1 would be useful.


--------------------
http://www.last.fm/user/sls/
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
xrandom
post Nov 2 2011, 22:36
Post #5





Group: Members
Posts: 3
Joined: 2-November 11
Member No.: 94900



QUOTE (NinjaSquirt @ Nov 1 2011, 20:18) *
Hi all, I'm new to the forum and just wanted to ask a question I've been wondering about for a while but not finding answers to.

I've always used a 5.1 speaker setup (Logitech Z-5500) that's not really high end but recently I've gotten into the Hi-Fi game starting with headphones but now I'm looking at speakers which can reproduce music more accurately.

As listed in the title, if I want to get as close to the recording as I can, should I lose my dependence on all this fancy 5.1 formatting and the Logitech ProLogic II stuff and just get a good 2.1 setup? Are audiophile speaker setups typically only setup in a 2 speaker format?



Something you could do without having to fight with your wife:

- 2 main speakers;
- 1 subwoofer. It should go down "well" to 16Hz (crossover frequency = 40 Hz or below);
- 1 DSP sound processor to recreate the "ambience". I still love my old Yamaha DSP-1 (you have not to "hear" it, you have only to "perceive" the change);
- 1 Carver's sonic hologram generator . Here:

http://www.cloudynights.com/ubbarchive/sho...psed/sb/5/o/all

you can find how it works.

The subwoofer must be independant to find the best position for it in the room. If you read something about the low frequencies and their interface with the room you'll likely agree with me.

Then, all you really need is your brain. To understand what is "improvement" and what is "selling fireflies for lanterns".

Happy listening !
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
DVDdoug
post Nov 3 2011, 01:50
Post #6





Group: Members
Posts: 2596
Joined: 24-August 07
From: Silicon Valley
Member No.: 46454



QUOTE
1 subwoofer. It should go down "well" to 16Hz
16Hz??? OK... The lower the better, but it takes BIG speaker to go down to 16Hz, usually an expensive-exotic design and/or several 15" or 18" drivers. And, it takes lots of amplifier power. 30Hz is a bit more realistic, and if you want smooth-even response down to 30Hz, that isn't cheap or easy either...

Just for reference, the lowest note on an electric bass guitar is about 41hz. (Standard-tuned 4 string) That's a really low note and with enough volume, you can feel it in your chest. Most commercial (usually 18") subwoofers are only rated down to about 40Hz. It's just too hard to fill and auditorium or club with loud, really deep, bass. But again, with the voume cranked-up you can feel the bass.

Home woofers can more-easily go below 40Hz since you're not trying to fill an auditorium with sound. And the booms & explosions on a DVD might contain some really deep bass.

I've got a pair of 15" subwoofers and a DBX Subharmonic Synthesizer, but I don't think i can get down to 20Hz.
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
krabapple
post Nov 3 2011, 19:31
Post #7





Group: Members
Posts: 2274
Joined: 18-December 03
Member No.: 10538



I find DPLII upmixing to 5.1 to enhance 90% of the 2-channel music I listen to, and to even beat some dedicated surround mixes of the same material. I like DPLII so much I'd hate to be without the option. But of course it's simply a preference.

Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
xrandom
post Nov 3 2011, 20:58
Post #8





Group: Members
Posts: 3
Joined: 2-November 11
Member No.: 94900



QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Nov 3 2011, 01:50) *
QUOTE
1 subwoofer. It should go down "well" to 16Hz
16Hz??? OK... The lower the better, but it takes BIG speaker to go down to 16Hz, usually an expensive-exotic design and/or several 15" or 18" drivers. And, it takes lots of amplifier power. 30Hz is a bit more realistic, and if you want smooth-even response down to 30Hz, that isn't cheap or easy either...

Just for reference, the lowest note on an electric bass guitar is about 41hz. (Standard-tuned 4 string) That's a really low note and with enough volume, you can feel it in your chest. Most commercial (usually 18") subwoofers are only rated down to about 40Hz. It's just too hard to fill and auditorium or club with loud, really deep, bass. But again, with the voume cranked-up you can feel the bass.

Home woofers can more-easily go below 40Hz since you're not trying to fill an auditorium with sound. And the booms & explosions on a DVD might contain some really deep bass.

I've got a pair of 15" subwoofers and a DBX Subharmonic Synthesizer, but I don't think i can get down to 20Hz.



Hello, Doug,

great to have someone else talking about this subject.

Well, one thing to say is that I just love the pipe organ music. So maybe I'm a little partisan.
And I was a bass player, in a hard rock band about.. say 40 years ago: 1970-72.
(so I I think I well understand what you say about the filling with bass frequencies properly reproduced an auditorium: it was my problem too, and with much less power available from our amps !)

Anyway I think a full and linear coverage of the audio spectrum is the first need for a good HiFi listening.
And the wide HiFi field offers chances for everyone. Not necessarily hig-priced.

I designed (and built and tested) a subwoofer system with frequency response starting from 9 Hz and with 12 Hz at 0 dB. It was made of 8 x 10" speakers equalized to extend their response, driven by an external 200W/channel main amp. Well... it was... uhuhummm... about 25 years ago...

I don't think I would do it today: there are very interesting subs ready to buy.
You in US are lucky, you can easily find things difficult to import here (I am italian).
Here they make good and not so expensive or hard to put in a living room subs:

http://www.hsuresearch.com/

And also here: http://www.svsound.com/ (but now they have more highly priced their models)

and here you can find models to go down to 8 Hz (the lowest pipe organ note: from the 64' organ stops you can find in the world only in Sidney and Atlantic City):

http://www.bagend.com/bagend/theater.htm#anchor26113

There are one or two very interesting american brands for the DIY users, but in this moment I cannot remember their name. If I do I'll post them.

Given that you talked about bass contents in DVDs, here you can find an interesting list of bass in movies with frequency charts:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1333462

Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
Roseval
post Nov 4 2011, 00:20
Post #9





Group: Members
Posts: 487
Joined: 26-March 08
Member No.: 52303



QUOTE (xrandom @ Nov 3 2011, 21:58) *
You in US are lucky, you can easily find things difficult to import here (I am italian).


Here you find a sub Italian style: http://curiousphotos.blogspot.com/2009/12/...r-in-world.html


--------------------
TheWellTemperedComputer.com
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
xrandom
post Nov 4 2011, 18:11
Post #10





Group: Members
Posts: 3
Joined: 2-November 11
Member No.: 94900



QUOTE (Roseval @ Nov 4 2011, 00:20) *
QUOTE (xrandom @ Nov 3 2011, 21:58) *
You in US are lucky, you can easily find things difficult to import here (I am italian).


Here you find a sub Italian style: http://curiousphotos.blogspot.com/2009/12/...r-in-world.html


Thank you, Roseval, I knew that system, the owner is less than 100 miles from my house, I had even contacted him for a listening test, then I did not do anything.
Always curious to know if there is anyone who did "more" :-)
I listened another interesting self made system, horn loaded, always here in Italy, the mouths of the horns were about 4 inches large and 10" high, they were at the front corners of the room from floor to ceiling and the horn was in the contiguous room.
Anyway, it sounded a little "colored" in my personal opinion. My favourite bass loading system is the transmission line. Not easy to find something in such configuration that goes really "down": maybe the old IMFs or TDLs.
About big speakers: I liked very, very much how this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PAIR-ELECTRO-VOICE...=item3cbe07980d

sounded. It's another 15 Hz woofer (30" big !).
Very rare to find. Very. If anyone of you can, go to Glendale AZ and listen and buy these, they are really hard to find.
The owner of the ones I listened to sold them for a couple of JBL 4350. Crazy !
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post
derty2
post Nov 5 2011, 15:51
Post #11





Group: Members
Posts: 581
Joined: 5-June 11
Member No.: 91257



Now that you mention "TDL" ...they are part of my stereo setup:

2x FOSTEX SM 6600 Studio Monitors at the far end of the room against the walls . They have a "Boundary Contour" switch on the front for "Wall" or "Free" adjustment . They also have EQ controls for "Mid" and "High" (Wall: Min -5, Max +3 | Free: Min-4, Max +4) . I pull the "High" back to minimum, and I pull the "Mid" back to just before minimum (-4) . This cuts down the high end (trebles) and gives a strong low end impression from the far end of the room.

2x TDL Electronics nearfield monitors on a shelf just in front of me above and behind my 2 computer monitors -- I am positioned in one corner looking into the room.
The TDL speakers are small (12" x 10" boxes) but they have amazing presence !!

The 4 speakers are mixed to stereo using a Yamaha RX-V430 with built-in Dolby Pro Logic II on the "Music" setting.

My room is small (14 feet x 12 feet x 12 foot ceiling, hardware and obstacles everywhere, the only thing that has a fully clear line-of site is the TDL's)

My favourite piece of music for checking my setup is:
Helmut Walcha - Plays BACH on the organ at St. Laurens church Alkmaar Holland (1959-64) - Archiv Produktion/Deutsche Grammophon

To me it is listening heaven; any audiophile friend who comes to my place and sits next to me through a listening session is awe struck.

I wish there were more amps and receivers made today with dedicated outputs for 2 pairs of speakers (ie, A+B). Many older amps had such outputs.

I'm never going back to 2 speaker stereo again; 4 speaker stereo is just superb.

If I was to further enhance my system, and I could afford it, I would include a sub-woofer by Wilson-Benesch (or something close to that).

I guess that makes my ideal setup 2+2.1

This post has been edited by derty2: Nov 5 2011, 15:58
Go to the top of the page
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 21st September 2014 - 10:56