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Is It Time For 5.1?

heeman

Well-Known Member
Famous
My system is a 2.1 Stereo System and we really like the perfomance for both music and movies. But is it time to upgrade to a 5.1??

My concern is that I do not want to sacrifice the quality of my Stereo listening.

My intent would be to use my Paradigm Studio 60's; B&K Stereo Power Amp and SVS Sub within the 5.1 system. I would then purchase 3 matching speakers for the Center and Rears (not to expensive) and a 5.1 Receiver.

Will I still be able to listen to my music in stereo through my Paradigm/SVS System?

I would power the center and rears with the amplifier in the new receiver and the Front Right and Lefts will be with the B&K Power Amp.

Can this be done? If so, can you recommend the right receiver and reasonably priced center and rear speakers.

:text-feedback:
 

yromj

Well-Known Member
Many of us, myself included, have designed/built our 5.1 systems by starting w/ the notion that stereo listening is paramount and then let the 5.1 be an expansion of that system. That's exactly where you are.

Your plan is perfect. You won't lose or change anything for your stereo listening (except that you'll be using a different processor - that difference will be slight, and hopefully, better).

As for the speakers, I would try to go w/ 3 identical bookshelves that are as close as you can get to your 60s (those are floorstanders, right?). If a bookshelf center is impractical (due to location and size constraints) then you'll have to go w/ whatever CC Paradigm offers in that line.

Since your speakers are a little older, and you are on a budget, you are a prime candidate to check the used market. Getting the same generation speakers as you currently have will help with timbre matching and that is important in 5.1, IMHO.

John
 

-B-

Well-Known Member
But of course it can be done, and with most receivers it defaults to the last setting you used on any given setup. If you use "stereo" on the cd input it will stay on stereo so there is no changing settings. As for the receiver, the main thing you want to look for is what capabilities you need as far as video switching etc. All of them are really not a bad choice. Best bang for buck in my experience is Onkyo. Another low cost high feature set is Pioneer, Marantz, Yamaha, Denon, Sony....you really can't find a poor choice. Of the mentioned I find the Denon and Sony to have the most difficult user interface....that's a personal opinion.

Another cool item if you'd like to keep a stereo setup separate from a 5.1 setup the Parasound Classic 2100 pre has a pass through feature that allows you to use it for stereo and bypass it for use of your surround rig.

My choice for a good semi timbre matching speaker in your case would be the Paradigm Mini Monitors. Great value and will be very similar to the sound of your Studios. Titans and Atoms can be found on the cheap too. There is a local craigslist ad that has a full setup of Paradigm Mini Monitors, center and ADP rears. He will separate, I want those mini monitors but have no real excuse to get them other than upgrade my Atoms in the bedroom. He's asking $250 for them.
 

PaulyT

Behind the Curtain
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Superstar
It most certainly can be done, assuming the 5/7.1 receiver has pre-outs that you can feed to your B&K. And yeah, it'll still play "just" stereo, though most (probably all) receivers these days have options to play stereo recordings through all surround channels, via various algorithms (dolby PLII/x etc.).

There are a lot of choices on receivers... just make sure it has pre-outs for at least the l/r mains, though most I assume would have preouts for all channels if they have any at all.
 

yromj

Well-Known Member
-B- addressed some good points that I missed. You definitely don't have to listen to everything in some sort of quasi-surround (I hate all of those modes for music and NEVER use them with music). A 5.1 channel receiver can do everything a 2 channel receiver can, plus surround sound.

As for the choices, I agree about the Onkyo and also agree about the Sony and Denon interfaces. I will add, that IMHO, the Denon's hassle is possibly worthwhile (I generally like their products) while the Sony's is not.

My personal recommendations would be Onkyo 1st then probably Yamaha 2nd. I will be honest though, the Yamahas of today aren't quite the Yamhas of 2-3 years ago, IMHO.

John
 

Zing

Retired Admin
Famous
yromj said:
I will be honest though, the Yamahas of today aren't quite the Yamhas of 2-3 years ago, IMHO.
In a good or bad way? Elaborate, please.
 

MatthewB

Grandmaster Pimp Daddy
Famous
I hate to listen to music in surround sound (unless it's a specially made SACD or DVD-A that was made for surround like Pink Floyd DSOTM, but otherwise it's stereo for me and even with my complex system running 7.1 when it comes to CD's or any type of music, I just listen in stereo with fantastic results.
 

Zing

Retired Admin
Famous
MatthewB said:
...and even with my complex system running 7.1
First, why is your system "complex"?

And second, don't you mean 7.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1? :teasing-tease:
 

Botch

I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S!
Superstar
Zing said:
MatthewB said:
...and even with my complex system running 7.1
First, why is your system "complex"?

And second, don't you mean 7.1.1.1.1.1.1.1.1? :teasing-tease:
:laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling: :laughing-rolling:


I have nothing to add to the above, Heeman; I made the jump to 5.1 a year ago and love it, but still do a lot of music listening in stereo.
I too tried a couple surround algorithms on my Yamaha when I first got it, and preferred straight stereo. Recently however I've delved a bit deeper and there are some algorithms that are much more subtle, and I've found one that actually sounds pretty good on a lot of material. Fun to experiment, at least!
 

Botch

I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S!
Superstar
heeman said:
Botch - what components do you have in your system?
Yamaha RX-V765 receiver
Oppo BDP-83 universal disk player
LG 47 LH90 LED TV with local dimming
Monitor Audio RS Silver speakers with the large towers and surrounds. :music-listening:
 

yromj

Well-Known Member
Zing said:
yromj said:
I will be honest though, the Yamahas of today aren't quite the Yamhas of 2-3 years ago, IMHO.
In a good or bad way? Elaborate, please.

Unfortunately, not in a good way. They have lost some functionality (e.g., being able to watch a video source while listening to an "audio only" source is one that jumps to mind cuz it bit me in the @$$); they're not as meaty as they used to be (pick one up from 2-3 years ago and pick one of today's up - I literally almost threw one when moving it in a warehouse); their menu configuration is getting confusing as well; limited numbers of optical coaxial inputs; inexplicable feature disappearance (I've got two examples of this: last year's $600 receiver had an ethernet port for firmware updates and some web features, the new Aventage line at the same price point does not; when using the new wireless dock for Zone 2, Zone 1 must also be on and on the "Dock" input - nice use of Zone 2 huh?).

That's some of it for now.

John
 

Batman

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Famous
yromj said:
Zing said:
yromj said:
I will be honest though, the Yamahas of today aren't quite the Yamhas of 2-3 years ago, IMHO.
In a good or bad way? Elaborate, please.

Unfortunately, not in a good way. They have lost some functionality (e.g., being able to watch a video source while listening to an "audio only" source is one that jumps to mind cuz it bit me in the @$$); they're not as meaty as they used to be (pick one up from 2-3 years ago and pick one of today's up - I literally almost threw one when moving it in a warehouse); their menu configuration is getting confusing as well; limited numbers of optical coaxial inputs; inexplicable feature disappearance (I've got two examples of this: last year's $600 receiver had an ethernet port for firmware updates and some web features, the new Aventage line at the same price point does not; when using the new wireless dock for Zone 2, Zone 1 must also be on and on the "Dock" input - nice use of Zone 2 huh?).

That's some of it for now.

John
Wow. Yamahas must sound pretty damn good to have that many shortcomings and still be ~2nd on ones short list of recommendations...
 

heeman

Well-Known Member
Famous
If any of you like to spend other peoples money, please suggest to me what to buy for my upgrade.

Can we keep the receiver around $800 and the Speakers; rear and center around $600?

Let me know your suggestions!
 

Batman

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Famous
^You may be able to switch those amounts and find a receiver in the ~$600 range and put more towards your speaker solution...
 

-B-

Well-Known Member
heeman said:
If any of you like to spend other peoples money, please suggest to me what to buy for my upgrade.

Can we keep the receiver around $800 and the Speakers; rear and center around $600?

Let me know your suggestions!


What are you looking for in features?HDMI switching, 3d capable? I think just finding the least expensive model with pre outs should buy you all of the other necessary functions.
 

Botch

I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S!
Superstar
Might I present an argument against some of the Yamaha naysayers? :eek:bscene-buttred: :teasing-neener:

http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/gear/2011/01/test-report-yamaha-rx-a3000-av-receiver

This is their flagship and not in the price range you're looking for, but a 9.7/10 rating isn't anything to sneeze at.
My new receiver replaced my Yamaha amp that I bought in 1979, and it still works perfectly. Could say I'm a Yamaha fan, my stereos, thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments, reverbs and synths, and even my 0-to-60-in-3.4-seconds motorcycle are all Yamahas, and they've never let me down.

Hmm, you just gave me an idea for a thread... I'd check what's available in your price range (definitely check used) and if it doesn't have all the bells & whistles, does it do what you want it to do? Good luck!
 

-B-

Well-Known Member
For instance, onkyo's tx-nr708 is the starting point where they have pre outs. They show up on a quick web hunt for anywhere between $6-800
 

Doghart

Well-Known Member
That Denon 4310 ci on amazon had Audissy and HDMI (no 3D support on the hdmi though). for around 950....

Networking capability opens up your AV system to audio and jpeg photo streaming and Internet radio.
HDMI 1.3a Repeating (5 input, 2 output, one front panel) provides one cable connection between the receiver and TV
1080p HDMI connectivity supports Blu-ray disc surround sound formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DD+, dts-HD and dts-HR
Audyssey DSX and Dolby Labs Pro Logic IIz Matrix decoding featuring front height effects channels
Audyssey MultEQ XT, Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ


http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AVR4310CI-7 ... =8-1-fkmr0

D
 
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