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5.1 speakers to use as 2.1 or 2.1 system?

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
I am currently thikning about setting up a HT audio system that I can hook my PC, 360, cable and PS3 to. I narrowed the A/V reciever to the onkyo tx-nr609 and the 5.1 speakers to the Energy 5.1 take classic. However I want the system to be versitile in that I might be moving to a small room (college/study abroad apt) and I want to be able to use it in a larger room when I move back.

I was wondering with the Energy 5.1 take classic, is it possible to convert it to a 2.1 system when I move to a smaller room or would it not be good and should I buy a 2.1 system for such a move? I hear the Energy 5.1 take classics is good with music so thats why I was considering doing this instead of buying a 5.1 and a 2.1 speaker system
post #2 of 75
With a receiver, yes....its just a simple push of a button to turn it to 2.0 / 2.1.

Those speakers are all AWFULLY small. So expect to be missing mid bass, or have a very directional subwoofer. Otherwise, they shouldn't do TOO badly. And I very highly doubt that subwoofer will go as low as it claims either.
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post #3 of 75
Thread Starter 
well according to cnet and the 5 star rating on amazon.com based on 100+ reviews, it seems these speakers are great for the price. cnet picked it as an editor's choice. what speakers would you recommend. I don't wanna spend above 400 bucks for 5.1 speakers
post #4 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by edo101;15426869 
well according to cnet and the 5 star rating on amazon.com based on 100+ reviews, it seems these speakers are great for the price. cnet picked it as an editor's choice. what speakers would you recommend. I don't wanna spend above 400 bucks for 5.1 speakers

For a full 5.1 setup, they're fine. You're going to be VERY hard pressed to get 5 speakers and a powered subwoofer for $400. If you could settle for a better 2.1 setup, that's another story.

My biggest concern is the size and frequency response on the low end. They're just too small in my opinion.

They'll probably sound just fine. It's just that the subwoofer is going to be directional....or you're going to have a HUGE gap in mid bass.
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post #5 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneerisloud;15426904 
For a full 5.1 setup, they're fine. You're going to be VERY hard pressed to get 5 speakers and a powered subwoofer for $400. If you could settle for a better 2.1 setup, that's another story.

My biggest concern is the size and frequency response on the low end. They're just too small in my opinion.

They'll probably sound just fine. It's just that the subwoofer is going to be directional....or you're going to have a HUGE gap in mid bass.

what do you mean by directional? and would a 2.1 setup give the same surround sound effect...I really want surround.

hmm so if the satellite speakers are fine, should i then buy a better standalone sub later?

also what would be your recommendation for a 5.1 setup regardless of price as long as it is below 800 USD
post #6 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pioneerisloud;15426904 
For a full 5.1 setup, they're fine. You're going to be VERY hard pressed to get 5 speakers and a powered subwoofer for $400. If you could settle for a better 2.1 setup, that's another story.

My biggest concern is the size and frequency response on the low end. They're just too small in my opinion.

They'll probably sound just fine. It's just that the subwoofer is going to be directional....or you're going to have a HUGE gap in mid bass.

what do you mean by directional? and would a 2.1 setup give the same surround sound effect...I really want surround.

hmm so if the satellite speakers are fine, should i then buy a better standalone sub later?

also what would be your recommendation for a 5.1 setup regardless of price as long as it is below 800 USD
post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by edo101;15426960 
what do you mean by directional? and would a 2.1 setup give the same surround sound effect...I really want surround.

hmm so if the satellite speakers are fine, should i then buy a better standalone sub later?

also what would be your recommendation for a 5.1 setup regardless of price as long as it is below 800 USD

Directional, meaning you can hear where the subwoofer is at physically. You're not supposed to KNOW where the subwoofer is at. It's only there for low end fill. It's just there....you're not supposed to hear where its at.

Usually, this means you'll hear voices and other stuff coming out of the subwoofer instead of just the low end rumble.

A subwoofer is SUPPOSED to stop between 60-80Hz at the most (80Hz is the highest you can go while being non directional, and that depends on the room). Those 3" satelites extend to 110Hz, so say 120Hz as the crossover point. That's VERY high for a subwoofer to go.

I would recommend:
BIC 6.5" Venturi tower speakers ($119 each)
BIC 6.5" Venturi Bookshelfs ($111 pair)
BIC Venturi Center ($107)

For the subwoofer:
Dayton SUB120 - $150
or
BIC Formula F1 - $215

Total = $606 with the Dayton Subwoofer
Total = $671 with the BIC F1 Subwoofer

The Formula F1 will extend a little lower, and have more punch in those super low notes. The Dayton SUB120 will be a little tiny bit cleaner, but at the expense of output and lower frequency. Both are great bang for your buck subwoofers.

If you wanted to go closer to that $800 mark, there's 8" models of the towers as well, that would do a little bit better for the fronts.

Or, if you wanted SMALLER (than towers) for the fronts, just grab two pairs of the bookshelfs instead.

And honestly, while you're in the smaller room, the tower speakers alone without the subwoofer would be more than enough.
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post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by edo101;15426960 
what do you mean by directional? and would a 2.1 setup give the same surround sound effect...I really want surround.

hmm so if the satellite speakers are fine, should i then buy a better standalone sub later?

also what would be your recommendation for a 5.1 setup regardless of price as long as it is below 800 USD

By directional, he means the frequencies coming from the sub. Subwoofers should handle only low frequencies, which are omnidirectional (this is a simplified explanation). Around 80hz is where sound starts to become directional, meaning you can tell where it is coming from. For music-only applications you might be able to get away with it but in a HT system, you want explosions and whatnot to envelop your space.

For surround, 5.1 > 2.1. Yes, there are DSP programs that can (very well) mimic surround (like some soundbars) but the laws of physics sides with a 6-speaker system.

Now as for getting a subwoofer or not, there are quite a few bookshelf/floorstanding speakers with nice output to 60hz. My advice would be to check out a few bookshelves to see if you can live with their bass output until you can afford a nice subwoofer. Saving up for a nice sub makes all the difference.

Would the $800 budget include the price of the TX-NR609 (~$400)?

edit: dammit pio beat me to it >.>
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post #9 of 75
Thread Starter 
Thanks Pioneer! hmm kinda expensive. I'll have to see if those go on sale. would it work fine lets say if i bought the Energy system and a stand alone woofer the Dayton one?

out of curiousity can you bi-amp any of those speakers you recommonded?
post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by edo101;15427168 
Thanks Pioneer! hmm kinda expensive. I'll have to see if those go on sale. would it work fine lets say if i bought the Energy system and a stand alone woofer the Dayton one?

out of curiousity can you bi-amp any of those speakers you recommonded?

You'll still have the same problem. Those Energy speakers will only extend down to about 120Hz. So your subwoofer will still have to make that up.

Bi-amp, is honestly an overrated term. There's no difference between bi-amp and hooking them up regularly.
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