Happy 3.1 seeking opinions from happy 5.x, 5.x.2, 5.x.4, 7.x.2, 7.x.4 and above

k-pad

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Hi all,
Do you remember your basic set-up before you upgraded? Are you more happy with the experience you are now getting than before?
I have seen so many people comment about downgrading and being happy. Would love to know the reasons from them - I don't have handles ready to tag, but I remember quite a few.

Most times, we look at how a 5.1 and above system sounds with effects movies.
But in these last few months, I have realised I watch all kinds of content, and talkies score effects 70-30.
And this 3.1 is conveying spatial sounds really well.

So, in a small room, will adding more speakers muddle the sound? Or will it improve the sound, all factors considered?

A very particular question is this:
Having sampled a few 5.x.x, I am beginning to believe that the bleed mix of dialogue to side channels is a bit unnecessary.
Is this observation unsubstantiated in your view? Or do you like bits of front-spoken dialogue bleeding out of surrounds and think it is a good thing?

Final question: In a 5 or 5+ and sub and 2 or 4 atmos, what has your experience been of very talky content?

Would be much grateful for any insights/inputs.
Regards
 

argho

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In my view, for TV watching and movies, even a good 2.1 system provides 80% of the experience.
Caveat - the amp should be able to decode surround sound codecs and correctly downmix. The amp should correctly channel the LFE to the sub. A stereo amp wont provide the same experience.

Its only in say action sequences you have some sound effects from surround speakers.

But if you have the space and can afford it, then why not a 7.2.4 :)
 

liverpool_for_life

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So, in a small room, will adding more speakers muddle the sound? Or will it improve the sound, all factors considered?

It's not about the size of the room, although I'll grant it can feel like it is. It's all about the angles. If you're up against the back wall, I'd go with five ear-level speakers (and spread the front LR as close to 30 degrees from the MLP as possible) and two overheads at around 80 degrees elevation and placed so that they're between the center and mains on either side. Go for it and enjoy immersive sound in your HT.
 

liverpool_for_life

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Its only in say action sequences you have some sound effects from surround speakers.

Likely true for older mixes, if that's where your taste in movies lie. In fact, just the other day, I was watching a movie titled "Music Teacher" (Hindi, Netflix). Not what you'd call an action movie;). Yet, there was plenty of ambient cues mixed into the surrounds to help with off-screen visualization. And this isn't the only one. While action can be (and often is, unless extremely extended and overcooked) fun, surrounds and overheads can definitely add a lot to the ambience as well. More than can possibly be explained to the OP until he actually experiences it for himself. And I mean no disrespect by that. IMO, it's just reality.

But if you have the space and can afford it, then why not a 7.2.4 :)

But, of course!
 

Enkay78

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Let me share an interesting experience:

I had an issue with my denon AVR (I had shared that as a thread) in the past....and so resorted my HT into a 2.1 set (using a Sabaj D5 dac, Kali LP8 monitors and Klipsch subwoofer). I enjoyed both my music and movies with this system for months.

Then my AVR somehow got working....and I changed to my usual 7.1 system in a dedicate HT. The caveat was : not much was missed as sound quality in my 2.1 vis a vis 7.1. I was little surprised to note that fidelity was more in my 2.1 set.

IMO 2.1 can be enough.
 

prateekatasniya

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Centre channel is a must for better dialogue clarity. ( Dialogue from a single speaker in front of the listener sound cleaner when compared to dialogues coming from 2 speakers)
So 3.1 is the bare minimum .
 

k-pad

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Centre channel is a must for better dialogue clarity. ( Dialogue from a single speaker in front of the listener sound cleaner when compared to dialogues coming from 2 speakers)
So 3.1 is the bare minimum .
Agree. In this, i have the zeal of a convert. :)
 

insane79

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Centre channel is a must for better dialogue clarity. ( Dialogue from a single speaker in front of the listener sound cleaner when compared to dialogues coming from 2 speakers)
So 3.1 is the bare minimum .
Center Speaker is the most important speaker in a multi-channel setup, people who cheap out on the center channel, have no idea what they are missing..
 

mail2sumanth

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In the course of time, I realized many factors and reasons for these different perspectives. Technically there are reasons why downgraded setups sound good. And content plays a center role in all these. Having more speakers in a room is NOT bad. (Assuming multi channel formats for movies)
1. System power.
2. Speaker specs. (more towards identical and power matching)
3. Decoding and up mixing capabilities of processors.
4. Finally how the room is tuned.

If you take care of these 4 areas, any content in any speaker configuration will sound at its best.

I have learnt in this journey that if a system surprises you every time, it’s a great system irrespective of speaker config. There is a reason according to me why a system gets uninteresting. Not all recordings are same, we all know the core function of a good system is to be able to reproduce accurately. If it is coloring your sound more often and the 4 factors are not helping, this is when you feel bored of your system. Coming to the number of speakers in a room, Trinnov advocates to have more surround speakers and placed close enough to have a immersive effects for sound placement. Many people like music in multi channel. It’s a big hit with Atmos. Recently I went to a demo in Bangalore, they have all the great gear in the room, but everything was miss configured. It is altering the sound to a extent I don’t listen some of the frequencies anymore. It felt hollow and missing. I asked them, and they told me that due to constant change of gear in the room, they never do any calibration. They only make sure the bass is managed well and the surround works. :oops:

Question around dialogue bleeding to surround channels is very common in Indian content to appeal the mass audience. Sorry to make it so blunt but it is true and works. This is for the fans to take them high ;).

Technically it’s the taste of the creator. This is changing now, this topic comes in above 4 points, if the room is not tuned and the speakers are not working as one system (level matching in this case), you will be overwhelmed with this issue more often.

And I have to tell, some of the content in Prime have this problem. For one of the movie front channel are moved to surrounds and surrounds are having max sound coming.
 

insane79

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Then my AVR somehow got working....and I changed to my usual 7.1 system in a dedicate HT. The caveat was : not much was missed as sound quality in my 2.1 vis a vis 7.1. I was little surprised to note that fidelity was more in my 2.1 set.

IMO 2.1 can be enough.
How is that possible as the Denon x2500 measures so well? Just yanking your leg ;)

On a side note, yes 2.1 is more then enough for shows & streaming movies, the only time a good HT Setup shines is with a dedicated bluray player(4k preferred). Streaming audio is too compressed & less dynamic so sounds louder which you noticed.
 

Enkay78

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How is that possible as the Denon x2500 measures so well? Just yanking your leg ;)

On a side note, yes 2.1 is more then enough for shows & streaming movies, the only time a good HT Setup shines is with a dedicated bluray player(4k preferred). Streaming audio is too compressed & less dynamic so sounds louder which you noticed.
:D:D:D
If only I knew about x3700h/x4700h
 

superczar

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My path has been 2->3-> 3.1-> 5.1 -> 7.1
In my experience, like with everything audio, the returns are diminishing.

The first two were quite nice upgrades.
The third (5.1) was a nice one to get.
The fourth (7.1 ) adds some spatial feel to the sound at times but isn’t as wow as you’d have wanted it to be.

This is also the reason when I was setting up a 2nd HT room, I planned for a 7.1 with no further upgrades planned and fwiw, It’s currently wired for 5. 1 with the remanining wiring getting deferred for the last 6 months .
 

k-pad

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Question around dialogue bleeding to surround channels is very common in Indian content to appeal the mass audience. Sorry to make it so blunt but it is true and works. This is for the fans to take them high ;).
Thanks for your detailed response, sir.
This point is exactly what i was worried about.

And I have to tell, some of the content in Prime have this problem. For one of the movie front channel are moved to surrounds and surrounds are having max sound coming.
And Amazon does end up being a culprit in most such issues :(
 

liverpool_for_life

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This point is exactly what i was worried about.

Content is never to going to be perfect. If this issue were pervasive, I can understand system decisions revolving around it. Best I can tell, it seems to be limited. Why cripple a potentially wonderful surround/immersive experience for that? Just disable the surrounds for such cases.

And Amazon does end up being a culprit in most such issues :(

I do watch the occasional regional movie that's exclusive to Amazon and I can't seem to recollect instances of this issue where the dialogue bleeds from the mains to the surrounds. Any examples?
 

k-pad

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Content is never to going to be perfect. If this issue were pervasive, I can understand system decisions revolving around it. Best I can tell, it seems to be limited. Why cripple a potentially wonderful surround/immersive experience for that? Just disable the surrounds for such cases.
Yes, that's a possible solution.
I do watch the occasional regional movie that's exclusive to Amazon and I can't seem to recollect instances of this issue where the dialogue bleeds from the mains to the surrounds. Any examples?
My issues are mostly around aspect ratios in the Amazon library. Since sumanth mentioned their audio mixing woes too, I mentioned that they just butcher content in more ways than one, sir.
 

Donivlapog

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Hi all,
Do you remember your basic set-up before you upgraded? Are you more happy with the experience you are now getting than before?
I have seen so many people comment about downgrading and being happy. Would love to know the reasons from them - I don't have handles ready to tag, but I remember quite a few.

Most times, we look at how a 5.1 and above system sounds with effects movies.
But in these last few months, I have realised I watch all kinds of content, and talkies score effects 70-30.
And this 3.1 is conveying spatial sounds really well.

So, in a small room, will adding more speakers muddle the sound? Or will it improve the sound, all factors considered?

A very particular question is this:
Having sampled a few 5.x.x, I am beginning to believe that the bleed mix of dialogue to side channels is a bit unnecessary.
Is this observation unsubstantiated in your view? Or do you like bits of front-spoken dialogue bleeding out of surrounds and think it is a good thing?

Final question: In a 5 or 5+ and sub and 2 or 4 atmos, what has your experience been of very talky content?

Would be much grateful for any insights/inputs.
Regards
Currently I have a 7.1 (or.2 with Y splitter two subwoofers splitting one subout in AVR, signal sharing I guess so 7.1 only I will assume) in one room with an old AVR and 3.2 in another room with a modern avr. Four surround and heights speakers are yet to be fixed. The 7.1 therefore has better sonic performance even with the grandpa vintage optical only amp upmixing and outputting a octopus effect in sound doppler. The 3.2 is good for music though. But once the 4 speakers are fixed it would spring to life an entire new experience I hope. But I am a rookie. Just telling from my experience and not theorising.
 

sud98

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I have moved from 2.0->3.0->3.1->5.1->5.2->5.2.4

To be frank, adding a sub made a lot of difference. The phantom centre was ok, but a dedicated one was better. The atmos speakers come to life with downloaded content and not so much with OTT. So I think give you the least bang for the buck. Since my room is small and my recliners are very close to side walls and back wall 7.x was never a possibility.
 

Donivlapog

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I have moved from 2.0->3.0->3.1->5.1->5.2->5.2.4

To be frank, adding a sub made a lot of difference. The phantom centre was ok, but a dedicated one was better. The atmos speakers come to life with downloaded content and not so much with OTT. So I think give you the least bang for the buck. Since my room is small and my recliners are very close to side walls and back wall 7.x was never a possibility.
Downloaded from torrents is it? Do rips under say 35-50 gb bluray grade give good audio output?
 

DB1989

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Centre channel is a must for better dialogue clarity. ( Dialogue from a single speaker in front of the listener sound cleaner when compared to dialogues coming from 2 speakers)
So 3.1 is the bare minimum .
I respectfully disagree (with some caveats).

It depends upon the speaker, placement of speaker and listening position.

I have Quad S5 L/Rs' and a Quad SC-2 centre for my 3.1. Dialogue clarity from my front L/R's is indistinguishable from that with the Centre channel engaged while the speaker placement remains perfectly in the centre from my listening position (if the scene demands it).

This is most evident when I turn centre spread on - dialogue during movies remain entirely unaffected whereas during music, the added reinforcement of the information being sent to the Front L/R's add to the mix.

The flipside being that without a centre channel, you are restricted to one very selfish listening position.
 

prateekatasniya

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I respectfully disagree (with some caveats).

It depends upon the speaker, placement of speaker and listening position.

I have Quad S5 L/Rs' and a Quad SC-2 centre for my 3.1. Dialogue clarity from my front L/R's is indistinguishable from that with the Centre channel engaged while the speaker placement remains perfectly in the centre from my listening position (if the scene demands it).

This is most evident when I turn centre spread on - dialogue during movies remain entirely unaffected whereas during music, the added reinforcement of the information being sent to the Front L/R's add to the mix.

The flipside being that without a centre channel, you are restricted to one very selfish listening position.
the role of psychoacoustics is there.
The sound wave hitting the human head from a single speaker is processed differently than from two Speakers.
And also the sound wave hitting a head from such angles would be processed differently ( think 20-30 degrees)
And how many rooms would be perfectly symmetrical leading to same sound being reaching to the listener at the mid point of the speakers..
Centre channel makes huge difference.
 
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