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5.1 to stereo

Islandlad77

Standard Member
Im currently using a sony 5.1 system (1 box type). But i miss the music quality that a proper amp and speakers provide.
Has anyone else gone from 5.1 to 2.0 and if so any regrets. My lounge isnt that big so would be looking at some smallish standmounts.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
A stereo amp is always going to sound better than a 5.1 system for music. I run a fairly high end Denon receiver for my surround sound but don't like it for stereo music and employ a stereo amp for that job and the different is noticeable. Budget would be handy to know.
 

Islandlad77

Standard Member
A stereo amp is always going to sound better than a 5.1 system for music. I run a fairly high end Denon receiver for my surround sound but don't like it for stereo music and employ a stereo amp for that job and the different is noticeable. Budget would be handy to know.
Im looking through the used market. Budget is only £350 so ive been looking at the arcam alpha 8 due to its apparently warm sound.
Not sure on speaker choice though yet.
 

reevesy

Distinguished Member
just down scaled my set up to 2:1....was using 3:1 for a little while
no complaints here...i still think a half decent stereo set up can still place a few effects here and there
 

Surtsey

Member
Your system is only as good as it's weakest link which is rarely the amp. As 95% of my listening originates from an MP3 or MP4 the source material is already comprised. There are four audio systems in my house, three of which were originally based on 5.1 or 2.1 systems. Before throwing the baby out with the bathwater try replacing all the satellite speakers with decent bookshelf speakers. It makes a world of difference. The quality is the speakers is further enhanced by not having to deal with sub-bass which is not their forte.
 

Islandlad77

Standard Member
Your system is only as good as it's weakest link which is rarely the amp. As 95% of my listening originates from an MP3 or MP4 the source material is already comprised. There are four audio systems in my house, three of which were originally based on 5.1 or 2.1 systems. Before throwing the baby out with the bathwater try replacing all the satellite speakers with decent bookshelf speakers. It makes a world of difference. The quality is the speakers is further enhanced by not having to deal with sub-bass which is not their forte.
My system is the sony n5220w so jusr replacing speakers isnt an option for me.
 

Islandlad77

Standard Member
So ive sourced some speakers locally (q acoustics 3020). Just need an amplifier. £200 budget for something second hand.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
So ive sourced some speakers locally (q acoustics 3020). Just need an amplifier. £200 budget for something second hand.


Two to start your search off.
 

Islandlad77

Standard Member


Two to start your search off.
Thanks, the marantz is local pickup only, not sure on the Yamaha. I dont mind going abit older, i like abit of warmth to my music too.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thanks, the marantz is local pickup only, not sure on the Yamaha. I dont mind going abit older, i like abit of warmth to my music too.
I knew that because I'm psychic. ;)

Should suit your speakers, nice warm sound as is so typical of Marantz.
 

password1

Well-known Member
Fo around £200 its possible to go for brand new with warranty and free delivery.



This yamaha with 3 year warranty is also sold as a package with q acoustics speakers at pt
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Fo around £200 its possible to go for brand new with warranty and free delivery.



This yamaha with 3 year warranty is also sold as a package with q acoustics speakers at pt
Always best to get a new amp with warranty for peace of mind.
 

password1

Well-known Member
The onkyo A9010 is the leading contender at the moment (based on reviews) and the fact that money is spent just on amplification really appeals.
The Onkyo is a quality product Ive seen it on display and its well built, better built than the marantz pm6006 (less flimsy) and it has a decent remote control as well.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
No reason you can't keep the Sony in place for 5.1 & have a completely separate setup for music.
 

password1

Well-known Member
Tbh a good 2.0 or 2.1 would probably sound better than that cheap all in one sony system for movies/tv as well.
 

1992

Active Member
just down scaled my set up to 2:1....was using 3:1 for a little while
no complaints here...i still think a half decent stereo set up can still place a few effects here and there
Hey Reevesy, by 3.1, I assume you're referring to a centre for films. Can you tell us a little more about how moving to 2.1 has affected your film-watching experience?

Matt
 

reevesy

Distinguished Member
Hey Reevesy, by 3.1, I assume you're referring to a centre for films. Can you tell us a little more about how moving to 2.1 has affected your film-watching experience?

Matt

well long story short id already removed my rears....ended leaving my centre speaker in place for a bit....so had front 3 speakers and sub...

ran the yamaha receiver's set up again....apparently 70% is through your centre..and i had a half decent centre so to be honest i did'nt really notice not having surrounds...sounded alright to me

then sold my centre and got a quad amp/cd player combo with some standmounts

set that up ...left my receiver in place for now as it's doing a lot of switching ...but still running in 2:1 via pre outs

got one media player going straight into the quad via a digi cable...by passing the receiver.


first film i tried out was the first 20 minutes of saving private ryan...sounded pretty good to me .

...ok you're not getting things wizzing around behind you but you still get a sense of effects

was only going to give it a quick whirl but ended up watching the whole film


not planning to go back to full surround unless my next house and budget can accommodate it ...even then i might not bother

for music..and music vids/gigs etc on your tv it's a no brainer really
 

1992

Active Member
well long story short id already removed my rears....ended leaving my centre speaker in place for a bit....so had front 3 speakers and sub...

ran the yamaha receiver's set up again....apparently 70% is through your centre..and i had a half decent centre so to be honest i did'nt really notice not having surrounds...sounded alright to me

then sold my centre and got a quad amp/cd player combo with some standmounts

set that up ...left my receiver in place for now as it's doing a lot of switching ...but still running in 2:1 via pre outs

got one media player going straight into the quad via a digi cable...by passing the receiver.


first film i tried out was the first 20 minutes of saving private ryan...sounded pretty good to me .

...ok you're not getting things wizzing around behind you but you still get a sense of effects

was only going to give it a quick whirl but ended up watching the whole film


not planning to go back to full surround unless my next house and budget can accommodate it ...even then i might not bother

for music..and music vids/gigs etc on your tv it's a no brainer really
Interesting stuff. What about the centre speaker--did you miss it? To my ears, I tend to think that the centre is actually what defines the cinematic sound (rather than the rears as might be thought) and I find that sometimes dialogue is less comprehensible without it.

Matt
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
well long story short id already removed my rears....ended leaving my centre speaker in place for a bit....so had front 3 speakers and sub...

ran the yamaha receiver's set up again....apparently 70% is through your centre..and i had a half decent centre so to be honest i did'nt really notice not having surrounds...sounded alright to me

then sold my centre and got a quad amp/cd player combo with some standmounts

set that up ...left my receiver in place for now as it's doing a lot of switching ...but still running in 2:1 via pre outs

got one media player going straight into the quad via a digi cable...by passing the receiver.


first film i tried out was the first 20 minutes of saving private ryan...sounded pretty good to me .

...ok you're not getting things wizzing around behind you but you still get a sense of effects

was only going to give it a quick whirl but ended up watching the whole film


not planning to go back to full surround unless my next house and budget can accommodate it ...even then i might not bother

for music..and music vids/gigs etc on your tv it's a no brainer really
Much the same or me, from 5.1 to 2.1 but with the intention of going 3.1 by building a small PA for the centre speaker when time and money allowed. I ended up buying one instead and fortunately one from the same brand as my stereo amp so the front 3 sonically are much the same.
As said, unless i'm in a position where i can have a dedicated HC room which can be similar in size to my living room or a little smaller, i'm very content with 3.1

What about the centre speaker--did you miss it?..... I find that sometimes dialogue is less comprehensible without it.
Not missed 5.1 at all but did missed the centre when running 2.1 for a few years. Just felt the vocals got a bit lost during some scenes/films with everything else that is going on and the sweet spot was narrower. Don't get me wrong, A Phantom centre can do a very good job but adding a proper centre was a much improvement for vocal separation.
 

reevesy

Distinguished Member
Can't say I miss anything by not having a centre speaker..

I don't get any sense of my stereo pair sending sound left or right to be honest .

Might be the ribbon tweeters in my z1's but I find dialogue is handled really well
 

xmb

Well-known Member
You probably don't need a centre speaker if you are always sat more of less between the two speakers. However, in most homes where more than one person is watching TV the positioning may be well to one side or the other of the ideal centre viewing position (e.g L shaped seating arrangements). In this case a centre speaker is the only way of locking dialogue to the TV screen.
 

password1

Well-known Member
Isnt terrestrial tv broadcast in stereo only anyway? or have things changed since the days of nicam stereo.

ive never owned a tv and dont have a tv in my house.
 

butcherpete

Member
I listen to a mix of bluray/TV and 2 channel, I bought a power amp just to run the front speakers, and switch the sub on now and again, as the mood takes me
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Isnt terrestrial tv broadcast in stereo only anyway? or have things changed since the days of nicam stereo.

ive never owned a tv and dont have a tv in my house.
All ITV channels are stereo. You do get the occasional 5.1 on BBC, CH4 and CH5. All SD channels are stereo. Many of the HD channels on the Sky platform are 5.1, some in Atmos as are most of the streaming platforms. I would seriously miss my surround sound if it had to go.
 

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