Poll: What to do?
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Nothing: stay with actual 5.1
25.00%
1 25.00%
Upgrade: get Hi-End 5.0(+1)
75.00%
3 75.00%
Total 4 vote(s) 100%
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[Help] loudspeakers: quality or quantity?
#1
In this moment I have a 5.1 audio setup, that includes front towers, center, small surrounds and a small sub.

I'm pretty happy with it, but as my amplifier has 9 channels amplification (+2 pre), I could get up to 11 speakers (plus sub/s) - DTS-HD MA or Dolby TrueHD 7ch + Audissey DSX/Dolby Pro-Logic IIx/z up to 11ch.

Thinking about adding some speakers to have a more "enveloping" surround - and use them if/when upgrading to a Dolby Atmos/DTS:X system.

But I also found a good deal, trading my complete system (and quite some €€€) for an Hi-End 5.0 system (plus a good center speaker that would be used as back center).

Now I'm torn... the Hi-End speakers have a lot of qualities: really great building quality, gread sound, beautiful pieces of art, very rare. Even if the price asked is not low in absolute term, relatively to the quality is a bargain. Big problem is that finding another pair of speakers of the same "family" or even brand, timbrically similar, is almost impossible, so most probably I'll be forced to stay with 5 speakers +1 back center for a while (or "forever").

Yet, with the money asked to get them I could get another six or eight speakers (of the same "family") and an Atmos amplifier (all used of course).

What to do, what to do...
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
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#2
I feel like if you're already concerned about flexibility then that's probably your answer: get a matched set of good speakers in the configuration you ideally want rather than getting yourself stuck with a very good but restricted setup, no?

It's all relative though, it depends how sensitive you really are to speaker quality and how bothered you are about having more speakers. I think if it were me in this scenario I might go for high end with fewer speakers, but I currently have a 7.1 setup (which is made up of cheap speakers) and it doesn't really do much for me. I'm actually considering switching mine for a more expensive 5.1 set, I could probably still keep 2 of my existing ones and use them as surrounds since it'll likely not matter too much if those blend completely seamlessly (more concerned with the L-C-R-LFE blending, which they don't at the moment). Equally, you could possibly do the same: get the high end set and either keep 2 of your better speakers to use as surrounds or just buy extra surrounds later and accept that they won't fully blend (but it probably doesn't matter as much due to it being fairly uncommon for sounds to move all the way from front to back or whatever).
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#3
With movie audio you do need to have the surround/Atmos speakers f om the same company, as the from speakers.
A good friend was in a HighFi Store to get a 5.1 system, and she has the three from speakers from a different brand as the surround speakers. It's more important that you like the sound of the speakers.
You might get the 5.0 set, use your current sub as +1 add on, if it fits acoustic wise. And then use your current speakers as additional speakers. If they fit to your listening preferences.

In general I would prefer quality over quantity. Because shit sou Ding sou d is shit sounding even in 3D...
"Never cut a deal with a dragon..."
- Old Shadowrun wisdom
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#4
Like pipe and brown said, it depends on a lot of factors like space and matching speakers, etc. But in general, quality over quantity. Better speakers over more speakers.

The old rules of thumb in the home theater space was that a good pair (or 5.1) of speakers will never go out of style. New TVs will come, new receivers, new formats, new services will appear; all of that changes over time and you will eventually have to upgrade. You know what never changes? A good speaker. Speakers built 60 years ago, properly cared for will work just as well as a modern pair. You should get the best possible speakers that you can afford at the time. That way, in the future when you have more money, you can spend it on more speakers or 8k TVs, rollable TVs, etc. and not upgrading the speakers you have now.

I'll use myself as an example. I spent all my money (well money not spent on dating girls) working in high school to get an amazing 5.1 set of B&W speakers. The are now 20-25ish years old and I'm as satisfied with them now, as I was day I first bought them. Which is great, since I can't afford anything close to what an equivalent speaker costs now.

My point is make sure you are happy with the speakers you have now, before you build upon them. If you are, go full Atmos/DTS-X. If not, well a speaker setup is like a building, make sure the base is stable and build from there. If you are not satisfied with your 5.1 you have now, you will not be satisficed with the Atmos you have later.
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#5
Amen, brother!

I'm still hoping to dump some cash on a new set myself but I've spent a significant amount of money on LD stuff that I didn't intend to when I first planned to buy speakers, so we'll see how that works out, hahah...
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#6
Wait are we talking LD vs speakers? Go LD. Those things aren't getting any younger. Wink

Kidding aside, I've used my speakers to play LDs matrixed then 5.1, DVDs, DVHS, HDVDs, BDs, UHDs and now streaming. All other things in my setup have gone by the wayside via the march of technology. Still got those speakers because they are amazing.

And lets be honest; no matter how much they change sound formats, 5.1 not going anywhere. Been with us for 50-70 years (depending on how you are counting it) and its going to be here for a long time in the future. Have the best 5.1 that you can afford before you chase after more.
New, low or non-posting members: Please do not post or PM me asking where to get something or what the current status of a project is. Such requests are ignored. Instead, stick around and become a participating member. Thank you.

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#7
(2020-11-04, 05:11 PM)PDB Wrote: Wait are we talking LD vs speakers? Go LD. Those things aren't getting any younger. Wink

Oh, I did: I'm 3 players and 180 LaserDiscs deep at this point... Blush
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#8
Thanks to everyone for your advices... but now I'm even more torn than before! Big Grin

Let me talk a bit more about the situation. I like my actual 5.1 system - it has good sound, punch, timbre, dynamic, everything a good home theater system should have. At -10db from reference level is powerful yet clear and not "tiring" - I'm not going upper in volume as I don't want to risk house going down/police arrest me and so on.

So, it's not because I'm not satisfied about my actual system - at the contrary, I am. But... you know, upgrade fever is always around, and it's a very bad virus that you are sure to have beaten forever, but it's like herpes, it will stay with you for your whole life, getting worse whenever you are weak, of course!

Let's say that the system I have could be considered, out of a scale from 0 to 10, a fair 7. Yet, the new (used) system could be 9, if not more... it's wonderful, great building, fabolous speakers, and it's HUGE - and I mean it... my 108cm tall and 24kg heavy front speaker pales in comparison to 134cm and 64kg!!! Eek as much as center and surround, that, even if not that small, are both half in comparison to the new one.

Do I need the new system? OF COURSE NOT!!! I could be happy for the next XX years with my actual one - and even more when upgrading to 7.1, 9.2 etc... still... there is that small voice that continues to say: "dump the actual ones, they are horses**t in comparison; get the new ones, they are masterpiece, at a fraction of list price, yet on par with speakers that cost three times more..." - now figure me covering my ears shouting against this voice, like in the best (worst) horror movies! Happy

If money does not matter, no problems, I had already jumped on the new ones, and this thread never existed... sadly, we live in a real world where money matters... but, as others here, I could be ready to not eat (enough) for the next months, to grab my hands on them... and, at the contrary to supercars, where you have to pay A LOT more on gas, taxes, maintenances, speakers require only the buying price - another point toward upgrade.

The only other factor against, as written before, is the rarity of the new one, that possibly will prevent to upgrade to 7 and over - still, I'd got a similar (but not same brand) center to use as back center, and no problems matching any good subwoofer when it will be the moment - SVS are tempting me so much! (edit: new ones use ribbon tweeter, hence rendering timbre matching with other brands even more difficult!)

Last word on quantity: sure, better 5 "9" speakers (3/2) against even 7 "7" ones (3/4), still adding two front wide speakers would improve front "wall of sound" in a quite impressive manners, so would eventually 5 "7" front speakers (left, center, right, plus two wide) wins against "mere" 3 "9" ones? And, what's about 7 "7" front ones (adding front height)? All of them joined by four surrounds, not "only" two.
Not an easy answer in my book - if it was, again, no need for this thread at all! Wink
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
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#9
How about get the good system for the basic 5.1 sound and extend it with some other speakers? Sure it won't be a perfect match or anything, but how bad can it be?
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#10
Hahaha I feel your pain @spoRv, mate. Part of my own current "predicament" (if you'll indulge me the melodrama of choosing that word) is that I'm projecting a huge image onto the front wall that's low enough to prevent me from being able to place floor-standing speakers underneath it, so I've been going back and forth on just getting another set of "bookshelf" ones to go on stands and going ahead and grabbing floor-standers but putting them in a different place, which would need to be closer to my sitting position and more directionally disparate (as in, more to my side than in front of me, though still in front of me). Neither is ideal, but I don't have another option. I've been agonising over that for ages and I still dunno the best thing to do...

(2020-11-04, 05:58 PM)TomArrow Wrote: How about get the good system for the basic 5.1 sound and extend it with some other speakers? Sure it won't be a perfect match or anything, but how bad can it be?

Aye, that's what I think too. I can't imagine it being a massive problem if your surrounds (or side surrounds possibly) don't perfectly blend with your front/centre, but it does matter if the front L+R don't blend right with the centre, for example.
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