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2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

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  • 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

    Okay, I used to be a fan of 5.1 and up. But, since I found the love for a folded horn and rear loaded horns a 2.1 setup seem to fit my needs alittle better.

    My question is for the diy world.

    I know this might sound like a stupid question but, why do we need 5, 7, or 9 or even 11 channels and at the most 2 subs?

    The only thing I can think of is a very large room, to fit are needs, or maybe a large ego.

    Dont get me wrong I had a 7.2 onkyo and I could get away from the "PURE AUDIO" sound field. Which is a 2.0

    I just dont know how or what the guild lines are to different sound field settings. But the majority of them sounded like a muffed fart out of a tin can.

    It seems the onkyo sounded the best with just a left and a right channel going. Shortly After, Thats when I sold my 7.2 and bought a 2 channel amp and got into t amps.

    Im I the only one that thinks this way?

    Thanks

    Bart
    I love Diy audio, because its just me and my ideas and my shop. I can make and mold my ideas and put them to play, its an amazing thing to be able to do!!

  • #2
    Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

    I used to have a 5.1 system and then built a 2.1 system. Mainly because I got tired of buying AVRs that were dated before I even got them home, but also, I couldn't afford to do high end surround and I wanted something really nice for music.

    It turned out, that I actually like it better for movies as well. Surround sound is better for movie effects and the front to back moving sound can be neat, but I've found that I actually prefer 2.1 more.

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    • #3
      Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

      Originally posted by generic View Post
      I used to have a 5.1 system and then built a 2.1 system. Mainly because I got tired of buying AVRs that were dated before I even got them home, but also, I couldn't afford to do high end surround and I wanted something really nice for music.

      It turned out, that I actually like it better for movies as well. Surround sound is better for movie effects and the front to back moving sound can be neat, but I've found that I actually prefer 2.1 more.
      Same here. I used to have a complete 7 speaker polk audio system with RM40Ts in the front and Monitor 40's for surrounds as well as a CS1 center channel and a Klipsch Sub10. I ended up replacing those with a set of Statement Monitors that I built for myself after selling off the rest of the system, and the whole theater overall sounds 10x better. I really never cared for music that came out of more than two speakers, and I get immersed enough in movies to not really care for the "surround sound" either.
      Modding the Lepai T-Amp

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      • #4
        Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

        IMO 2 channel is best for straight music. Surround can be cool on a concert disk but does lose some qualitiy.

        I really enjoy my 7.1 for movies. Kinda cool to get a door knock from the side of the room or a good rainy storm fill-in.

        But as I say, whatever you like best is the best for you.
        If dynamite was dangerous, do you think they'd sell it to an idiot like me?

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        • #5
          Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

          Originally posted by the kid View Post
          IMO 2 channel is best for straight music. Surround can be cool on a concert disk but does lose some qualitiy.

          I really enjoy my 7.1 for movies. Kinda cool to get a door knock from the side of the room or a good rainy storm fill-in.

          But as I say, whatever you like best is the best for you.
          +1 I have a "modified" 5.1 in that I have the front mains, front wide, surrounds, and a sub. I have really come to enjoy the Audyssey DSX wide feature with movies. I'm not sure how it does it, but it definitely does push the sound further left and right when it is called for. As for music, unless it's dvd audio, I just select the 2.1, seems to sound the best in my application.

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          • #6
            Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

            I say 2.2 :D
            Audiophiles listen to the equipment, not the music.

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            • #7
              Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

              Music is recorded in 2 channels (generally) and as a result will sound just fine and proper in 2 channels. Movie sound tracks are done in 5.?, 7.? or what ever, and will sound good on those. Listening to music on a 5+.1 system is the wrong tool for the job. Some AVR have a surround setting for music, and that does sound better, but I still prefer music in 2.1. Just use the right tool for the job.

              So your not wrong for liking your 2.1 system, but you will lose some of the sound effects in movies. I also like my center channel for dialogue.

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              • #8
                Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

                Originally posted by AMC View Post
                Music is recorded in 2 channels (generally) and as a result will sound just fine and proper in 2 channels. Movie sound tracks are done in 5.?, 7.? or what ever, and will sound good on those. Listening to music on a 5+.1 system is the wrong tool for the job. Some AVR have a surround setting for music, and that does sound better, but I still prefer music in 2.1. Just use the right tool for the job.

                So your not wrong for liking your 2.1 system, but you will lose some of the sound effects in movies. I also like my center channel for dialogue.
                Some disk have 2.0 tracks on them and players can down-sample to stereo. While stereo looses surround effects, it doesn't actually loose any of the detail of a movie. I've thrown Tron Legacy at my system, and I've heard it in 5.1. I still prefer it on 2.1

                I think one misconception about surround sound is (I've fallen for this in the past) that you actually need a center channel to hear all the dialog and the back speakers to hear the parts that get sent to the back speakers. I've found that this is not true at all. All the movies details can still be heard from a 2.1 system.

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                • #9
                  Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

                  I never cared for 3.0 or higher systems, for music or movies. They always sounded contrived or overbearing with an emphasis on getting that 'surround impact'.

                  2.x for the win.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

                    I have a 5.1 and a 2.0 in my living room. I listen to music on cd and vinyl on the 2.0. Tube power, full range speakers.

                    I watch movies and TV on the 5.1. If you ever watched the "Black and White Night" live Roy Orbison show from HBO many years ago now on BluRay, you might change your mind about multi channel playback.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

                      Originally posted by Taran View Post
                      I never cared for 3.0 or higher systems, for music or movies. They always sounded contrived or overbearing with an emphasis on getting that 'surround impact'.

                      2.x for the win.
                      Funny. I gave my GF's sister's family a 5.1 setup for their big screen TV. The sister's husband complains that there isn't enough sound coming from the surrounds. He says sometimes there isn't any sound at all.:(I set it up for him, but he has jacked it all around to his taste. Opinions vary, I guess.

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                      • #12
                        Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

                        I haven't found many movies yet with 7 channel capability; and the few I have enjoyed, I have a hard time discerning if it is actually better than 5 channel. But to me, enjoying a movie to the best extent the director presents it is important to me. Further, when I can experience superior enjoyment while sitting on my couch in my living against going to an actual theater, it supports the argument even more.

                        However, I listen to most of my music 2.1 with iTunes or MS Media Player as a source, and on a separate system entirely than my HT setup.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

                          5.1 for movies and 2.1 in another room for music. Space constraints and optimum speaker location dictate different rooms.

                          Black and White, an amazing disk! True rock superstars paying homage to the King of Falsetto. Give me; a sunny day, a convertible, a pair of Ray Bans, Black and White and an open road. Now that's living! :D
                          If life were fair, Elvis would still be alive today and all the impersonators would be dead.
                          ~ Johnny Carson

                          Bungelow Ed's Photo Album http://techtalk.parts-express.com/album.php?u=8594

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                          • #14
                            Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

                            Originally posted by generic View Post
                            Some disk have 2.0 tracks on them and players can down-sample to stereo. While stereo looses surround effects, it doesn't actually loose any of the detail of a movie. I've thrown Tron Legacy at my system, and I've heard it in 5.1. I still prefer it on 2.1

                            I think one misconception about surround sound is (I've fallen for this in the past) that you actually need a center channel to hear all the dialog and the back speakers to hear the parts that get sent to the back speakers. I've found that this is not true at all. All the movies details can still be heard from a 2.1 system.
                            With Dolby Digital you will lose dynamic range once you downmix even one channel...say with a virtual center. Part of the DD spec for decoders requires the activation of DRC to prevent overloading the remaining channels with the redirected downmix content. IIRC, some titles showed as much as 10dB loss in dynamic range when tested with a virtual center channel...search AVS for the full thread with measurements. I don't know if anyone's tested TrueHD/DD+ to see if they behave similarly, but one would expect Dolby to include similar safety precautions.

                            Not sure how or even if DTS tries to account for the increased signal in the downmix channel(s). Things could get ugly fast with the potential for exceeding 0dBFS before the downmixed channel hits the DAC.

                            -Brent

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                            • #15
                              Re: 2.1 vs 5.1,6.1,7.1,7.2,9.2

                              AMC hit the nail on the head--it's all about how the music/sound was recorded. 2.1 upmixed to 5.1 just doesn't sound the same, and you lose a lot when you downmix 5.1 to 2.1.

                              Note, fellas, that a lot of the comparisons you're making are when upgrading from a 'so-so' or 'decent' 5.1 setup to a 'Great' 2.1 setup. It's not exactly a fair comparison! ;)

                              I personally the TV mostly for movies and games, so I really see the benefit from the surround sound. Games especially--with some of the modern shooters, you can accurately position other shooters just via the surround sound. Heaven forbid I need to split the screen with someone and share the sound output--my effectiveness goes way down!

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