regular stereo or home theatre receiver..

Old 12-25-03, 09:18 AM
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regular stereo or home theatre receiver..

not really a repair question.. hehe but I hope someone knows.

Ive bought a reciever a few days ago and found the same company makes a Home theatre version of it for $50 more ... im thinking of returning the regular stereo version one I have and getting the 5.1 sourround receiver instead which also has dolby processig. (I may do a ht setup in the future)

However someone told me that the home theatre receivers dont do well with just 2 speakers... that because they split the signal 5 ways therefore you have signal loss with just 2 speakers..

1, will running only 2 speakers on a ht 5.1 surround unti sound pretty bad or does it really make no difference?

2. how important is dolby processing worth $50 bucks more?
Old 01-01-04, 12:21 AM
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Lots of questions here.

First, anyone who has heard it will tell you that Dolby Digital (not Pro Logic) is worlds better than 2 ch for Home Theater. By all means spend the $50.

As far as money goes, there are many 5.1 receivers out there that are $200 and less. Sherwood makes one that is $99 and is supposed to be good for the price. I would receommend buying one with as many Digital Optical and Digital Coaxial inputs as possible.

1. 5.1 sources do not sound bad in 2 channel mode. The processor built into the receiver will take all the sounds from the 5.1 speakers, and send them through the 2 ch just like any other stereo recording. The receiver will have a setting that lets you tell it how many speakers you have.

2. Yes. It is worth $100 more.

Some tips - when you upgrade to 5.1 don't skimp on the sub. Try to spend about have your speaker budget on just the sub. Trust me, the expressions on your friends faces when you have them over will be worth it.

5.1 speakers don't have to be expensive. Radio Shack has "Die Cast" (do a search on their site) small speakers for about $30 each, that are very small and work great for a budget HT when paired with a sub.

Try to buy the same speaker for all 5 speakers. This will make effects that go from front to back or side to side seamless. The sub can be from any manufaturer, and doesn't have to match.
Old 01-02-04, 12:06 AM
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Speakers are probably the most important components in the system and good ones do cost quite a bit of money. You could buy cheap and small speakers to build a 5.1 system. However, if you are on a limited budget the question you need to ask is whether to stick to the 2 Ch system and two fairly good speakers or to spend the little extra on the amp and get a bunch of cheap speakers. It is a matter of personal preference.

I own a simple 2Ch setup. However, the two speakers cost around $1500 for the pair and a matching 5.1 setup with the same brand/model would be around $7000. In my case I am quite happy with the 2Ch system and the quality of audio it delivers. I have listened to other people's 5.1 setup with cheaper speakers and they sound horrible to me.

Untimately it is down to your budget and preference but think about the speakers at the same time as upgrading the amp.
Old 01-02-04, 08:33 AM
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rav12 makes a good point about speakers. The majority of your budget should be spent on speakers. However, $50 isn't going to be the difference between a good set of speakers and a crappy set.

My first serious HT was a 2 channel setup with $2k/pair speakers. I currently have a full 5.1 setup with those speakers, and a cheap second system with the RS speakers and a sub like a I described below. For HT, the effects from the extra speakers and dedicated sub make the cheap 5.1 system (to me) sound better than the more expensive speakers did when I only had 2 of them. However, the cheap system doesn't sound all that great for music.

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