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YK Thom

Scaling Back

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Perhaps I’m getting old and crotchety or perhaps they don’t make them like they used to. I find I’m watching far fewer movies than I used to - one a week, maybe. That being the case I’m considering dropping the rears (RB 61s), and carrying on with either a 3.1 or even a 3 speaker set up. The 61s and their stands would work well as a small system in my den. This would allow for some changes in the living room as far as couch placement and such are concerned. Sort of going against the stream of ever larger and more complex set ups I know, but we watch more regular TV and listen to far more two channel music than we used to. Are many doing this?

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The same thing happened to me. I got into this wanting the most bombastic HT setup I can get my hands on but as I got deeper into it I found music far more engaging and enjoyable. By the time I got my LaScalas I had already dropped surround my surround channels. Now that we moved here to Colorado,  I have nearly my entire basement dedicated to my 2 channel rig and just have my single HIP Heresy for watching movies.

 

Lol I had a buddy over in my basement a while back and he asked, "Wow this is a nice basement, what are you going to do with it?" I just looked at him then looked at my stereo. B)

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I am with you Thom, I am not using the main theater setup anywhere near that I used it.  I have a 3.1 in my family room and it is more than adequate for the family and my taste.  It is all a cycle and things can change or remain the same.

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Fwiw, I too appreciate music more than movies but I primarily listen to Multichannel material every night and haven't listened to 2-channel since we called it "stereo." That said, my wife and I still like watching movies on the rig below and do so usually twice a week or so. 

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My system is full duty TV, Movies, Music, Dinner, 

All 5.1.Channel --All the Time.

Of course I'm poor and don't have room to set up all my gear.

I guess if I lived in a bigger place, I'd take stuff out of storage.

I like 5 channel music, I can get it to sound better than 2 channel. IMHO

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3 hours ago, YK Thom said:

That being the case I’m considering dropping the rears (RB 61s), and carrying on with either a 3.1 or even a 3 speaker set up.

 

3 hours ago, YK Thom said:

but we watch more regular TV and listen to far more two channel music than we used to. Are many doing this?

I've got enough speakers and AVR processing to run 7.2.4 right out of the box.  I usually run 3.0 or 3.1 for TV in the living room.  RF-83, RC-64 and a 10" sub.

 

I also run 3.1 in the Mancave which covers my sports TV watching and music via Youtube.  CF-4, and nice Usher based MTM center and a 15" DIY sub.

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2 minutes ago, wvu80 said:

 

I've got enough speakers and AVR processing to run 7.2.4 right out of the box.  I usually run 3.0 or 3.1 for TV in the living room.  RF-83, RC-64 and a 10" sub.

 

I also run 3.1 in the Mancave which covers my sports TV watching and music via Youtube.  CF-4, an of-brand MTM center and a 15" DIY sub.

I saw pics of yur rig --is that a HTIB ?

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To me, 5.1/5.2 is perfect... it's my sweet spot for Movies (also much less than I used to even though I have several hundred... at least 500-600) and more and more 5.1 music.

5.1 music is amazingly good, even when it's simulated multi channel.

One thing about movies and my system is that the overwhelming number of movies I enjoy can not take advantage of modern processing... mainly because I love old movies.

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All my TV watching is in 7.1 .  Although I  prefer to use multi channel stereo setting on pre amp. It's just an enveloping sound with  a  front focused voice sound stage that at lower levels never has me wondering what the heck someone said.  And watching music based shows,  I can rock out.  I  agree that I probably only watch 1 or 2 movies maybe in a week. When I want to jam,  I  switch over to the 2 channel  setup also in the basement. 

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Well it seems I’m not alone on this trajectory. Over the past few months I have been noodling around with the settings on the weekends. We listen to a lot of music on weekends and I have been dropping my front mains to 40 for two Channel. A couple weeks ago I started setting them to large and full and turned off the sub. It occurred to me, why do I have nice floor standing mains rated down to 32 cut off at 60 and using a sub? Might as well be using bookshelf type speakers. For music I’m really liking it. When switching back to TV and movies I kick them back up to 60 (centre and rears at 80). For an experiment I’m going to disengage the rears for a few weeks to determine whether or not to slide permanently into 3.1 and set the rears in the adjacent room and run them through my zone 2 as a separate system.

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26 minutes ago, YK Thom said:

We listen to a lot of music on weekends and I have been dropping my front mains to 40 for two Channel. A couple weeks ago I started setting them to large and full and turned off the sub. It occurred to me, why do I have nice floor standing mains rated down to 32 cut off at 60 and using a sub?

Fwiw, I have RF-7s and my RSW subs hit those lower notes more efficiently than the speakers and it takes strain off of the AVR. 

 

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I use surrounds because they're in-walls and add some nice effect without being too much. I ran phantom center for the longest time, but recently reintroduced a center channel and am warming up to it. I do have 3 large subs and there's no way I'm getting rid of those by choice.

 

But atmos? 11 channels? 13 channels? nah.. The 5 primary channels are my cap and I feel adequately immersed.

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28 minutes ago, YK Thom said:

When switching back to TV and movies I kick them back up to 60 (centre and rears at 80).

Whether movies or music if you have good sub coverage this should be the best setting, imo. That said, if you are talking only 2 channel sources then I can see where you are going for that material but I even use the subs to hit the lower notes because they really THUMP given the size of my subs drivers compared to the RF-7s. 

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1 minute ago, Thaddeus Smith said:

But atmos? 11 channels? 13 channels? nah.. The 5 primary channels are my cap and I feel adequately immersed.

Imo, it's about what your budget and expectations end up being...I agree with the sentiment above if you didn't have any urge to upgrade or put more speakers up. Everything I've been reading about Atmos seems to be a legit upgrade to movies and could enhance Multichannel music as much as Dolby PLIIz, which I use on everything and enjoy quite well. I believe they are now re-calling that addition Dolby Surround Sound. 

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18 minutes ago, Zen Traveler said:

Whether movies or music if you have good sub coverage this should be the best setting, imo. That said, if you are talking only 2 channel sources then I can see where you are going for that material but I even use the subs to hit the lower notes because they really THUMP given the size of my subs drivers compared to the RF-7s. 

I hear you although I don’t really listen at volumes that would require the thump. I live in a high rise condo so I can’t go too berserk. I have noticed for two channel in particular with the sub on auto how little there actually is under 40 with what I listen too - primarily jazz, New Wave and some classic rock. It is to have nice for reggae. As far as two channel sweet spots I think perhaps 40 is the place to be, it gives me what I feel is a more balanced and time aligned sound with the sub picking up the wee bits that drop below.

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I like atmos and immersive Dolby technologies... I love them, but in a theater not in my home.

They've gotten really really good at moving sound around and creating sensations that we hadn't experienced before, but I've never wanted to chase that ideal for my home 

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I, too, transitioned to 3.1 from a surround setup. It's still exciting and sound great for movies, but I'm way more interested in music and getting that right.

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1 hour ago, wvu80 said:

Interesting numbers. I wonder what if any changes there are in 2018. For us, the movie experience started to wane when our last movie rental shop closed two years ago. We would normally rent four or five every weekend. The Netflix experience just doesn’t cut it for us. Because of our governmental rules Canadians have access to just 10% of the movie library. Most of which tend to be older and previously seen. We are considering dropping it as well. I’m not the sort of guy who likes to purchase movies. We have some classics but let’s face it they aren’t like music and you don’t want to keep replaying them.

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2 hours ago, YK Thom said:

Because of our governmental rules Canadians have access to just 10% of the movie library. Most of which tend to be older and previously seen. We are considering dropping it as well. I’m not the sort of guy who likes to purchase movies. We have some classics but let’s face it they aren’t like music and you don’t want to keep replaying them.

Wow, I can see what you're saying. I have about 600 movies on disc and access to Netflix streaming, Amazon Prime video, and Netflix DVD.com.  Among my music videos are probably 5 dozen Blu-Ray discs of music performance, including many classical music performances (Beethoven's 9 symphonies --Bavarian Radio Symphony, Mariss Jansons dir., is among the best that I own or that I've every heard).   Without these music discs (and the sound quality of the room/loudspeakers), the surround experience would be pretty dull indeed.

 

On Monday I reassembled by center channel K-402-MEH after about a 18 months of going without it (...a long story in itself).  I am again listening to all the surround sound music and movies with good film scores that I've missed, and it's amazing to me the effect of each loudspeaker in the array and its importance.

 

The point of the story is that I believe that some of this is performance threshold-specific.  If you've got a really outstanding surround sound system (I've got a pretty good 5.1 with two subwoofers and surround Cornwalls, with dimensions of 15.5 x 40 feet, 9 feet high), and I can say that it captivates me every time I get it all together with good music. I don't plan on giving anything up anytime soon.

 

Chris

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