I always watch movies in stereo. I couldn't care less about home theater. My main focus is on two channel music. I prefer the sound of my stereo for movies over the sound of my tv speakers. Because of that, if I were you, I would be investing in an integrated amp.
I agree. I'm perfectly happy using my 2 channel system for movies. I don't think I'll ever feel the need to switch to a multiple speaker system.
I watch movies through my Jolida 1501 RC Hybrid Integrated and it sounds great,
however, I would like to connect my digital cable box to an integrated with a digital connection
-- I don't know if one exists? --- so I could listen to the digital music channels in digital.
After being solely dedicated to 2-channel listening for nearly 20 years, I started an HT system with components I had kept from my audio system.
I realize that many people do not have the luxury to set up a system in on room for music and another for movies. But in the context of many homes with a TV/Movie setup in a family room setting and a basement room to set up a dedicated music system, it can be wonderful. And I must admit that it is very nice to have surround sound for so many movies.
Yes, it does make a huge difference with a lot of movies with special effects. For other movies where this is not the case, I would agree with the above posts.
Ultimately if I only had one room for all this, I would focus my attention and resources to the front 2 channels and start with a budget amp and speakers for the surround.
My personal preference is stereo for music and movie, it is real. The 5.1 and plus set up to me is full of distortion/exaggeration, which many may find to be enjoyable--unreal!
Apparently, I disagree with most people here.
I find that 5.1 is worth getting.
However, not to the exclusion of a good 2 channel stereo system. (First things first of course!)
I find that watching DVD's and listening to them in stereo is distracting, as you have to crank up the sound to get past all of the music, special sound effects and other crap, that is added from the front and rear surrounds, just to be able to listen to the dialog.
By having a center channel, (that pretty much only carries the dialog), I find I can listen to the movies easier without having to listen to the dialog through the extra music and special effects. (To me, the music and special effects coming through the surround speakers are mainly to augment the movies (and the dialog), not to dominate the sound.)
Now, if I had to choose between a good stereo system and no 5.1 for video, or good 5.1 and poor stereo system, I would pick the good stereo system everytime. (However, you are definitely going to miss the 5.1 soundtrack.)
I waited until I had my stereo built up to a decent level, and then added a second HT setup in the same room, which is a decent 5.1 setup, but in no way, shape or form competes with my stereo system. (I probably spent a 10:1 ratio between my stereo and my HT setup.)
Life is full of tough choices!
You need to make up your own mind which is more important to you, at this point in time: Music or Video?
I used to have my stereo and movie surround system all in the same room.
Recently, I moved the surround processor, multi-channel amp, sub-woofer, etc. to another room where the kids watch movies. They love the surround system. Most of their movies take full advantage of the surround system, sub-woofer, etc. In my listening room, I have a two channel system with a
43 inch plasma screen on the wall between my speakers. I play DVD's and
watch digital cable including HDTV on the screen with the sound coming out of my stereo speakers. My system puts the voices right in the center where the screen is located -- even though my speakers are about 8 feet apart. I don't find that I need a center speaker to locate the voices in the screen. I don't watch many of the whiz-bang type movies that would take advantage of the surround system. I found that, after watching a few of
those movies to enjoy the surround, I settled back into watching the types of
movies I usually watch -- and there was very little for the surround speakers or sub-woofer to do during these movies, if anything. If I want to watch a
whiz-bang movie, I can always watch in the other room, but I don't find myself doing that. So, if I had to make a choice, it would be two-channel for
both music and movies. A person on a budget who was more interested in
music than home theatre could concentrate his/her spending on two channels and acquire a far better system than one who has to split his/her spending among five or even seven channels. And yes, a two channel amp and a 5 channel amp at the same price is no contest, the two channel amp will give you much better sound. Same with pre-amp. And the same money spent on two speakers will give you far better sound that the same money spread over five speakers. Finally, all SACD's have a stereo layer, so even when considering High Rez, there is no absolute need for multi-channel. I love listening to SACD's in two-channel.
another vote for 2 channel home theather. yeah, multichannel is much more immersive, but it depends on what your priorities are. It's much more cost effective to do high end 2 channel with video graphed on, than anything else. Plus you get two *great* channels out of it. Forme its good enough.
Some guys do the HT-bypass thing and add a few more channels of mediocre quality, which is cool, but I'd rather spend than money on something else. I find well done 2 channel to be immersive enough (including action movies). To each his own.
Well the proof will be in the listening.....I just sold my B&K avr202, center channel, and rears.............and got a Musical Fidelity Integrated on the way. Thanks for all the input. john e
Depends on the movie. Silent films (0-channel) can be fun.
I used to have a stereo setup integrated with a HT setup, ie just add centre and surrounds and a AVR to drive the centre and surrounds. Later moved on to separate stereo and HT setups. Stereo system being a lot more musical and involving, than the HT.
Until I tried out SACD/DVDA and added a Yamaha AVR. Then the multichannel setup began to have something worth listening for, even in stereo! Of course diff rooms meant that the room treatments were required to get the rooms to sound good in the first place. Then I added some treatment to the HT setup and now it sounds like a serious contender against my stereo setup, just a different perspective.
What I'm trying to say is that a multichannel setup can be used for both HT and stereo, provided that :
a) the room is properly treated
b) things which are added for HT, eg TV, centre spk, sub, etc... are not too intrusive acoustically. I'm using a pull down screen with a carpet in the centre, so that helps.
If you want to watch a movie properly, then a serious multichannel setup IS required. There is no alternative. There are lots of information encoded into DVDs now, if you count the ES/EX, up to 7.1. Forcing that into 2ch stereo setup just doesn't do justice to the movie.
A lot of the problems associated with bad sound from DVDs are really created by owners who have not taken as much care with their multichannel setups, as they have with their stereo setups, so any comparison would obviously favor the stereo setup. Eg having the same brand and range of spks across all channels, as well as the amps, and not forgetting room treatments, and cabling, etc...
So IMHO, watching movies in stereo is just scratching the surface. The only exception I can think of is if you are using top flight spks which can throw holographic images and they must be full range to 20hz, else you're just kidding yourself. Watching the movie in the cinema would be more satisfying.
I agree that you need full range high quality speakers to be able to get by with two channel for movies -- but -- I also stand by the argument that you're more likely to be able to acquire that type of two channel system if
you don't have to spread your money over five or seven channels. I disagree with the argument that there is too much going on in movies for two channels. If your two channel system can resolve a Mahler Symphony, it can certainly resolve a movie sound track. But, if your taste runs to Star Wars
and Matrix type movies -- then two channel will not give you the same sensation. I just don't find myself watching movies like that. I watched them when I first got my surround system -- and there are about 10 movies that
will really give your system a work-out -- then I didn't go back to them. In
fact, I didn't even watch the entire movies. You end up watching the Pod
Race from Star Wars, the shoot-out scene in Matrix, the first five minutes of
Twister, and a few others. Most movie sound tracks don't even use the rear
surrounds or Sub-Woofer. In fact, when I think about it, there is some irony
in the fact that some people believe that there isn't enough music on SACD
to justify switching -- even though there are some 1,800 titles, while there
are only about 10 movies that really justify a surround movie system. And -- at that -- only a few scenes in those movies. Just my opinion.
My opinion is to get the best stereo experience you can and later add on HT components integrate with your stereo system.
Wish I had followed my own advice but hindsight being 20/20 and all ....
Started with a cheap Denon receiver and Klipsch speakers. Music listening was simply painful.
First upgraded the main speakers to JMlab Cobalt 816s and got the matching center speaker.
A few months ago I got a Plinius 8100 integrated.
Now, music listening is amazing. HT is better because the Plinius does a better job driving the speakers than the cheap amp section in the Denon.
The only thing I'm still tweaking is the subwoofer. Trying to optimize its performance for both stereo and HT is a challenge but I'm making good progress.
If I had a time machine I would have had hundreds more to spend on a better integrated or main speakers but them's the breaks.
While I don't agree at all with most of the posts to your question in a general sense, I do agree with them in your case. I would..if I were you and with the components you now own, upgrade to the highest level of two-channel (with flexability and the future in mind) that I could afford. I would branch-out from there IF or WHEN needed.
On that note: Your room is very important, the playing field is not level and what you can afford is not always what you need. I mention this because throwing money at something does not always get the results that a well thought out system does.
Amen Brother! I had a surround system and came to the same conclusion. I now use an integrated amp with two speakers. Most movies that i watch have mainly dialog from the characters. Action movies bore me. Buy an integrated amp and forget all the speakers/wiring etc.
I put together a two-channel system for our tv-watching, and it works fine. Most of the good stuff in a movie happens inside your head or in the dialogue anyway, so a good two-channel does fine. Of course, this is mostly for the kids, and it helps that they were brought up on mono black and white. To them colour with good stereo sound is nirvana.
I vote for quality over quantity.
Give your heads a shake!! This is the Home Theater category, not a place for anti-HT/2 ch.-only guys to post...
Just for the record, I love my two channel music system, and I've spent way more money on that system than my home theater.
However, listening to a movie in stereo, when it was designed and mastered with a good multi-channel mix, with the director's approval, for the best performance possible, is ridiculous!! You miss so much of the intended effects and rob yourself of the best performance. It's like watching pan 'n'scan instead of widescreen - there's information missing!!
Of course, there are always exceptions, and yes, a lot of music concerts sound better in two channel PCM than they do in "compressed" DD or DTS. But overall, the multi-channel mix in movies is the way to go.
One other thing.
Why did you post asking for opinions, then next day put up a post saying that you had already sold the old stuff and bought the new two channel?
Either you didn't really want or need the advice, or you wanted positive reinforcement knowing that you possibly made a mistake, or you wanted to start a war here, or you're thinking of adding-on to the two channel....?
What was the point of asking?
These posts are posted to the general forum. Anyone can respond.
No, really? Anyone can respond? Golly! >:-)
(This is humorous sarcasm, by the way...I thought that perhaps you'd need an explanation :-)
Rsbeck, you're missing my point. I wasn't saying that certain people can't post here. I was merely suggesting, after reading the content of some of the messages, that some narrow-minded anti-multi-channel people were posting here just to be seen.
But, (read my second message) given the timing of the original poster's thread and almost instantaneous swapping of equipment, we may all have been "had" and were wasting our time anyway.
Golden -- I get the unfortunate sarcasm -- but, this is what you wrote,
"This is the Home Theater category, not a place for anti-HT/2 ch.-only guys to post."
So, you presented yourself as a little confused. So, when you are straightened out, responding sarcastically isn't necessarily humorous -- at least in the way you may be intending, it just makes you seem that much more confused. As to your "being had" by the original poster -- who cares? He presented this as a discussion topic and we discussed it. Where's the victim? Finally, calling people "narrow minded" because they disagree with you is just more irony. You see, open minded people are those who can tolerate a difference of opinion. But -- golly -- you probably already knew that. Right?
I'm not "confused" at all, and you still choose to avoid the REAL points of my arguments, that people dismissing ALL multi-channel mixes as "unnecessary", "distracting" or as a conspiracy to rip-off gullible people into buying extra ampos and speakers are just wrong. THAT's narrow-minded thinking and that's a fact, not just an opinion.
It is nice that you finally revealed your REAL points, but I didn't see anyone making any of the arguments to which you refer. So, I not only think you are confused, I think your REAL points are non sequiters.
I'm sorry if I have created any bad feelling among the inmates.... Some of you are very deliberate and thoughtful about your decisions....I create the balance and do things on a whim or with no real in depth info. I'm sorry if I affended some of your sensibilities, or taken up some of your valuable time. I got the Musical Fidelity A3.2 integrated...sounded great, but in need of break-in...demoed the system for a dvd with my family......and got the looks. Next day put the unit on audiogon and sold it (some of you are in convulsions) and found a great deal on a B&K avr307; which is still on the way. Life I have found contains neither total bliss in your listening nor in your living...but it's give an take....and I'll especially take my wife and kids any day.
Yep, you trouble maker Jceisner...whats next?, a tube/SS post! Get it together PAL!
Damn you, Jceisner, you made us engage in a discussion under false pretenses. This world will never be safe until people like you are rooted out and shown for what you are -- a discussion starter! The worst kind of participant to have on a discussion forum. This simply can NOT be
tolerated in a civilized society. You start a discussion, next thing you know, people are weighing in with their experiences and opinions and -- this can only lead to total chaos! You must be stopped!!!
You're right, oh Rsbeck....I will take two aspirin, turn up the electric blanket and assume the fetal position and try to stay out of trouble. maybe helmlock instead. greatest appologies. I was naive enough to think that I was really asking a question....john e