AV discusion - front speakers v center channel

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by drmwevr08, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. drmwevr08

    drmwevr08 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2006
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    Ive contemplated selling my old speaker set up in favor of a simpler center channel set up with sub and wireless surround. As it stands I dont use my surrounds because i cant make the wiring work. Any opinions on either set up? I dont listen to a lot of music but how would that go without the main front speakers? Any thoughts or experience would be great.
     
  2. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    Going without surrounds is not a big deal but losing your main front speakers sucks. They would be the last speakers I would ditch.
     
  3. ccruzen

    ccruzen Member

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    Do you mean you're thinking about going with a soundbar and sub? There's no way I'd recommend going with just a center channel speaker and no front left/right but have heard decent things about various soundbars. Plus, some can be quite cheap to get started with. See here for some reviews.
     
  4. ruxCYtable

    ruxCYtable Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2007
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    #4 ruxCYtable, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    I'll reiterate what everyone else has said. You absolutely don't want to go without your main speakers. If you only have room for a center channel, a soundbar might be a good option for you. Sony makes a couple relatively inexpensive models that get good reviews for both music and movies.

    You might also consider a small 2.1 system with a hideaway sub. I'm not a fan of most Bose products but I think their 2.1 systems are pretty decent. I have a 2.1 system from Onkyo that is pretty good but I think it's been discontinued.

    EDIT: You mentioned wireless surround, so here's an option. Good reviews, a top seller on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/VIZIO-S4251w-B4-Soundbar-Subwoofer-Satellite/dp/B00CDIK908/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407503954&sr=8-1&keywords=visio+soundbar+wireless+surround
     
  5. Agclone91

    Agclone91 Well-Known Member

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    Why in the world would anybody pay $1,500 for a soundbar? I didn't even know that they made them that expensive.
     
  6. jbhtexas

    jbhtexas Well-Known Member

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    #6 jbhtexas, Aug 8, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    I agree with the others in that it would not be good to go without your front L and R speakers. For example, when watching HDTV, some shows put dialog in the center channel, but others put dialog in the front L and R channels. In the latter case, if you got rid of the front L and R speakers, you would be missing all the dialog, unless you somehow route the front L and R outputs into the center channel speaker.

    I don't know what kind of device you have to send sound to your speakers, but perhaps it is possible to program it to send all channels to the center speaker.
     
  7. drmwevr08

    drmwevr08 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2006
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    I guess I can clarify that it's a soundbar I'm talking about. Perhaps that yields a different hook up than a true center channel so yes, the question is typical towers for the front or a soundbar that is cleaner looking and takes up less space.
    Are these soundbar a hooked up differently than a true "center" more like fronts?
     
  8. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat Well-Known Member

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    Yes, soundbar is different than true LCR. Usually just the HDMi input, or maybe an optical audio input.

    It is not as good as the real thing, but a decent option, especially for a living room/watching TV setup.
     
  9. drmwevr08

    drmwevr08 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2006
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    Does the soundbar with sub do an adequate job on music though?

    Im leaning toward just keeping the old towers at this point :)
     
  10. capitalcityguy

    capitalcityguy Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have a soundbar and are you pleased with its performance? I already have a home theater (6.1 surround) in family room but would like to have better sound for our main TV in another room. I don't want to spend the money or do the wiring for a full surround system. A soundbar would appear to be a nice, clean solution, but I really question if I would be happy with the performance. Does anyone with a discerning ear have a soundbar they are happy with?
     
  11. aeroclone

    aeroclone Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2006
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    I would be interested in some opinions here as well. I have the full surround system setup in the man cave, but that sort of solution wouldn't be practical in the living room. I'd be interested in a soundbar, but am really not sure if they can deliver a big enough improvement to be worth it.
     
  12. drmwevr08

    drmwevr08 Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2006
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    Lots of questions, not too may opinions! For me it was a shot at a simpler, cleaner look. Also, contemplating moving and would like to downsize generally. In the end, I'm reasonably happy with what Ive got though (main, center and sub - surrounds are hooked up but sitting behind the tv!)
     
  13. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    I have a home theater with 5.1 surround and all my electronics are hidden in another room.

    For the living room I have a 2.1. I just put the sub behind the TV and the sound bar below the TV. It's nothing like the home theater set-up but it's better than the TV speakers.

    Speakers in the home theater

    IMG_20140813_142618.jpg



    IMG_20140813_142638.jpg
    IMG_20140813_142649.jpg

    Speaker in the living room
    IMG_20140813_142521.jpg
     
  14. BringBackJohnny

    Feb 12, 2009
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    Does your receiver offer you the ability to do a two speaker set up? I use to have an H/K that would allow me to run just my towers the sound was OK. It was much better with a true center but if you are looking to slim down and do music and movies running that option would be viable.

    I have been pleased with a few sound bars I have hear at folks homes. They are better now than they were a few yrs back I believe.
     
  15. Dino

    Dino Active Member

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    Wow 6.1, I'd forgotten they even pushed that for awhile. If your receiver can do 7.1, I'd definitely switch to that.

    As far as sound bars, TV's used to have decent speakers 10-15+ years ago but as things switched to flat panels they were having to use less real estate to make everything as slim as possible plus figuring people would be using their own separate sound system, so the speakers they have been putting in have been pretty poor. A decent sound bar will definitely outperform a TV's built in speakers, just don't expect the same quality as a surround system.

    OP, yes a sound bar is a stand alone thing; you don't use it with an existing receiver. If you have a good 2.1 or 3.1 system, I'd probably just stick with that, but if you really wanted to trim down your system, then you'd get rid of the receiver and its speakers and just go with whatever sound bar you choose.
     
  16. capitalcityguy

    capitalcityguy Well-Known Member

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    Of course my receiver can do 7.1, but my room is wired for 6.1 so it is not as easy to simply "switch to that". I have setup similar to other poster where all my equipment is in another room.

    The sounds is really good (yeah, 7.1 would give me two, rather than one rear channel) but I doubt it would be a dramatic enough difference to justify the cost and hassle of moving my current rear over and wiring for an addl.

    I'm guessing most on this forum that have home theaters are running 5.1, so I've got that beat anyway.
     
  17. dmclone

    dmclone Well-Known Member

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    With the right set-up, most people couldn't tell the difference between 6.1 and 7.1
     
  18. Dino

    Dino Active Member

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    No, they're pretty much the same as far as channels sent. The rear is a mono channel, 7.1 just splits it through 2 speakers. There was a period where 6.1 was king so those systems couldn't do 7.1. Wasn't sure if that was your setup or not. If you're happy with it, by all means, carry on.
     
  19. EJ4CY

    EJ4CY Member

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    Realistically no audio file will be content with a sub and sound bar. I've looked at a couple high-end sandbars cost in the range of $1500-$2000, however there still no match for my current home theater setup. You definitely lose depth sound quality and some coverage. Imaging is not nearly as crisp. Some bars are good in small applications for those who one sounds simply louder or slightly better than a box home theater system, or TV speakers.
     
  20. alarson

    alarson Well-Known Member

    Mar 16, 2006
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    Figured I might as well just use this thread for further discussion.

    So I'm down to the last component of my system to upgrade away from my htib setup.
    So heres my existing package:
    Onkyo tx-nr636 receiver
    Polk tsx150c center.
    2 pair of Polk T15 bookshelves for my fronts and rears.

    So I'm deciding between different subwoofers, the ones I've looked at are the PSW10 (the low end, which I know isn't at a good price anywhere right now), the PSW110, and the PSW121(both in the 170 range on amazon). Also looked at the PSW505 but its about $50 more right now. I've also had someone throw out a BIC F12 as a possible option in the price range.

    Any recommendation between these (or alternate suggestions?)
     

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