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Would this 5.1 setup be worth it for movies and games ?

5339 Views 56 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  JustinThyme
Hey, been a long time since I've posted here.

This would replace a near-dead Logitech Z-5500 system with severe crackling speakers that's 15 years old. The reason I'm going with a traditional receiver is that the Xbox Series S and PS5 no longer have optical out. I want to spend as little as possible while also getting an upgrade in sound from my Z-5500 digital system. I recently got 200 BluRay movies from someone that switched solely to streaming and I want to utilize the True HD and DTS MA tracks on the discs and apparently the PS4 does support that but only via HDMI.

Front + Back speakers

Center Speaker

Subwoofer

5.1 Receiver I'm likely to get

Much more expensive 7.2 receiver I might get due to more HDMI inputs

An alternative option that wouldn't support current-gen consoles is.

Logitech Z906 5.1

I have a few questions/comments regarding the home theater system.

First off, the center speaker is 6ohms, the other speakers are 8ohms. Will that be an issue ?
Technically the front speakers are supposed to be using a set of different tall 6ohms speakers, but that set also uses the same 8hms speakers as rear speakers, will that make much of a difference ?
The Z-5500's didn't have tweeters so I don't think there would be much of a difference in the systems.
I'm contemplating getting a set of these for my PC to replace my 2.1 Klipsch system as the sub has blown out, but the Klipsch system has tweeters so I wonder if the Logitech set would be a downgrade.
I noticed Amazon has nearly every receiver listed as 'discontinued by the manufacturer' so it's hard to find anything under $1k on there.
Is that subwoofer compatible with the receiver ? I read something about having to change things on the back.
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I guess I'm easily impressed since I was fine with my Z-5500 system, I've also never heard what I assume the audiophiles here would call a 'proper high-end' home theater system before. I know the Z-5500 was considered entry-level and it was excellent at what it did and I thought the Polk setup I was going to get was considerably higher in the quality department. I do have a Sound Blaster Zx and i'm aware an option would be to encode everything to 5.1 DTS/DD on-the-fly and connect to a receiver via optical, but a setup like that would be significantly more expensive.
There's just no good reason to make the outlay on a HT system and go back to using DTS Connect / DD Live over TOSLINK. As you stated originally, your goal out of this is to bitstream lossless mutlichannel formats like TrueHD and DTS-HD MA (and possibly to ensure compatability with HDMI-only sources like PS5?). The way to achieve that is HDMI to a receiver that supports those formats. Figuring out how to make this work, within your budget and with speakers you'll be happy with, should be your focus. The rest is just noise that will get you sidetracked.

Also, don't worry about what "audiophiles" consider great; after all, this is an industry that manages to convince idiots to pay $2,000 for power cables and $600 for ethernet switches because they somehow magically make digital signals better. I find that most enthusiasts just want to keep you from wasting your money on something you wind up not enjoying. As always, the best thing is to demo speakers yourself before committing, although I understand that's not always possible.
 

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Terrible, terrible options.

Why are you adamant in getting a 5.1 by spreading your budget thin? I guarantee you that you'll get a whole level better of audio experience if you put all that money into a pair of 2.0 instead, then build up from there over time.
 

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You're a straight up moron. Go bark at someone else kid.
Very happy to be the moron correcting your blatant misinformation.

If you want people to stop barking at you - perhaps consider not posting garbage.
 

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For 5.1 on a PC, there are some things to consider. The most important speakers are your front left and right. Without the assistance of something like a sound card, music is almost always stereo which means it will only come from your front right and left speakers, and even when doing other things like movies or games, your front left and right speakers are still more important than the rest. Priority should be as follow: Front L/R then center then back L/R. What this means is you don't have to spend a lot on all the speakers.

Front: Amazon.com: Klipsch R-51M Bookshelf Speaker: Home Audio & Theater

Center: Amazon.com: Klipsch R-52C Powerful Detailed Center Channel Home Speaker - Black: Home Audio & Theater

Rear: Amazon.com: Klipsch R-41M Powerful Detailed Bookshelf Home Speaker Set of 2 Black: Home Audio & Theater

Sub: Amazon.com: Klipsch Reference R-10SW 10" 300w Powered Subwoofer (Black): Home Audio & Theater
@ bolded
That's only true if you DO NOT have a center channel. As soon as you add a center channel, up to 80% of content comes out of there. The center channel is by far the most important speaker in a 5.1 and above setup. The main L and R becomes a glorified effects channel after that.
 

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If I really wanted to.. I could afford that + a receiver, but idk...significantly more than I was looking to spend. It's still entirely possible I may get the Klipsch speakers and only a sub $300 receiver instead of a $500 one.

I do have a Sound Blaster Zx and i'm aware an option would be to encode everything to 5.1 DTS/DD on-the-fly and connect to a receiver via optical, but a setup like that would be significantly more expensive. I've used FFDShow in the past to on-the-fly convert 5.1 FLAC audio tracks from subbed anime to something my Z-5500 could process, but the Z-5500 is now in another room and is also basically useless since every speaker hisses/crackles.
If you're happy with the entry level for 5.1, there's nothing wrong with that. IMO it just wouldn't make sense to switch to a full blown home theater setup unless you're going to invest enough into it for the upgrade to be worth it.

Some sound cards can encode to DTS but its far from ideal, and I don't think it works for games. IIRC, if you want to play games you will only get 2 channels via an optical cable unless the game specifically supports it, though I'm not sure about that. I used to use an optical cable and there were a lot of limitations. Movies sounded great but other things didn't work as they should. I ended up switching to HDMI which had a lot of the same issues as optical thought definitely not for games; and then I switched back to analog via a sound blaster Z. The extra controls and features from using the sound card in analog mode was the best setup for me after some experimenting. HDMI sounded a little more crisp but the lesser control from not having any sound card features was too annoying, and the noticeable difference in audio quality was very minor to non-existent for anything less than a very high quality audio source and even then, it was minor at best.
 

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@ bolded
That's only true if you DO NOT have a center channel. As soon as you add a center channel, up to 80% of content comes out of there. The center channel is by far the most important speaker in a 5.1 and above setup. The main L and R becomes a glorified effects channel after that.
That's not true at all. The center speaker is almost as important as the front right and left, but not quite. If you're watching movies in surround sound and most of the audio is coming from your center speaker, you have some kind of problem with your setup/config. The center channel will be used most for voices/dialog, at least for video content.

Home audio setups have so many options, and there are so many different situations where one config might work better than another or vice versa. If the center speaker is more important to you in you're setup because thats how you prefer it, that's fine but general the front left and right speakers do most of the work and that's common knowledge.
 

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For the receiver I think it will work great. But if you're willing to spend more, instead of the Pioneer I would go with the Denon AVRX2600H. I have it and it's great - I run it with 2 Fyne Audio F501 speakers (front L+R), a Fyne Audio F300C (centre) 2 Cambridge Audio Minx Min 22 (rear) and a Cambridge Audio X301 subwoofer. I'm not sure what supply of Fyne Audio and Cambridge Audio stuff is like in US though as they are British brands but I'd definitely take a look if you can :). I also have 2 Bose speakers running in a 2nd zone which works well (the Denon and HEOS apps work great).

In terms of the AVRX2600H, it's 4K/HDR10/4:4:4 10-bit, etc... so it's got all the features you might want and tons of inputs. But it is just down to budget and whether you would use the feature set!
 

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That's not true at all. The center speaker is almost as important as the front right and left, but not quite. If you're watching movies in surround sound and most of the audio is coming from your center speaker, you have some kind of problem with your setup/config. The center channel will be used most for voices/dialog, at least for video content.

Home audio setups have so many options, and there are so many different situations where one config might work better than another or vice versa. If the center speaker is more important to you in you're setup because thats how you prefer it, that's fine but general the front left and right speakers do most of the work and that's common knowledge.
You're quite wrong. Looks and sounds to me you've never had a 5.1 or higher setup, nor have you even tested such a setup to begin with. You probably think you know it all by just going to the local cinemas often.

Gave you a way out to prove at least you know something factual due to all the bs you've been spewing on this thread, but looks like you want to keep digging.

But anyways, it's no big deal.
 

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You're quite wrong. Looks and sounds to me you've never had a 5.1 or higher setup, nor have you even tested such a setup to begin with. You probably think you know it all by just going to the local cinemas often.

Gave you a way out to prove at least you know something factual due to all the bs you've been spewing on this thread, but looks like you want to keep digging.

But anyways, it's no big deal.
I am surrounded by my 5.1 setup right now.

It's cool that you are so confident in your opinion but that doesn't change anything.

"
The center channel speaker can be one of the most important speakers in your surround sound setup, but it isn’t essential for everyone. It all comes down to how you use it and where you are setting up your system. If you are unsure and have the money to spend, then I say go ahead and grab one.

One of the main functions of your center channel speaker is to provide balance between your left and right front speakers. That way what you hear is a seamless balance of sound coming from all your speakers. It makes what you hear sound more natural across all your speakers. In some cases, this is very important, but it really all comes down to your setup.

Most movie dialog is broadcast from the center channel when made in surround sound. The goal is provide clear dialog that you can easily hear.

Now, because of balance between your speakers and the importance of dialog in your favorite movies, you may think that a center channel is a necessity. In some cases, it certainly is. For example, if your left and right front speakers are close to the television and you are in a small room, then you can probably get away with the phantom center they create.

On the other hand, if your setup is in a large room and your speakers are spread apart, then you will definitely need a high quality center channel so there aren’t holes in your sound. If you don’t, you will find that your center sound is weak and you may even notice dialog in your movies just doesn’t sound quite right. "
How important is the center channel speaker, really? | AVS Forum

TL'DR, it really depends on your room and your setup. There is no absolute rule one way or the other that fits every situation. That said, IMO, the quality of the front speakers is more noticeable for home theater since the center speakers will spend a lot more time doing easy things like dialog, and whenever things actually ramp up and get loud, they're not going to come through just one speaker anyway.
 

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Some sound cards can encode to DTS but its far from ideal, and I don't think it works for games. IIRC, if you want to play games you will only get 2 channels via an optical cable unless the game specifically supports it, though I'm not sure about that.
DTS Connect definitely supports games; I used it for many years for PC gaming. The implementation though depends on the game. DTS Connect is actually the combination of two distinct DTS brands, namely DTS Interactive and DTS Neo: PC. With DTS Interactive, natively multichannel games have the channels encoded into a DTS stream. In anything other than pure sound quality (since DTS is lossy) and anything dependent on receiver setup, this shouldn't be much distinguishable from the original game's PCM stream. For games that don't support multichannel, even if DTS Interactive is enabled, the audio stream should simply be passed through, as is (as opposed to being re-encoded into multichannel).

OTOH, DTS Neo: PC takes native stereo content, matrixes it into 7.1, and encodes it in DTS. I never used DTS Neo: PC. It obviously can have suboptimal results because it's trying to generate things that never existed (same reason, as I said above, why I strongly contest that multichannel users desire to playback stereo source music as multichannel).
 

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That's not true at all. The center speaker is almost as important as the front right and left, but not quite. If you're watching movies in surround sound and most of the audio is coming from your center speaker, you have some kind of problem with your setup/config. The center channel will be used most for voices/dialog, at least for video content.

Home audio setups have so many options, and there are so many different situations where one config might work better than another or vice versa. If the center speaker is more important to you in you're setup because thats how you prefer it, that's fine but general the front left and right speakers do most of the work and that's common knowledge.
Please note that even your recommended speaker maker (Klipsch) disagrees: What is a Center Channel and Why Do I Need One? | Klipsch

To quote, "A center channel speaker is the most important speaker in a surround sound setup because it does most of the work. Most of the action, and conversation, in a movie, happens front and center on your screen, meaning that the center channel is the one reproducing it."
 

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This is completely incorrect, even your recommended speaker maker (Klipsch) disagrees: What is a Center Channel and Why Do I Need One? | Klipsch

To quote, "A center channel speaker is the most important speaker in a surround sound setup because it does most of the work. Most of the action, and conversation, in a movie, happens front and center on your screen, meaning that the center channel is the one reproducing it."
A good rule of thumb is you generally don't ask a salesman if you should buy something because they will always say yes. People already know they need at least two speakers. Klipsch wants to argue that people need to buy at least one more.

I know this is going to make your head explode but Klipsch having a short blurb on their website that tries to convince people to buy more speakers is not exactly great unbiased evidence to support your argument.

But you know what it really doesn't matter. If you and some others think the center speaker is really working harder than the left and right despite the fact that their man purpose is for dialog when it comes to actual home theater usage, thats fine. My point was mostly to say that it doesn't hurt to get cheaper REAR speakers. This debate about left right vs center is stupid because its entirely subjective. Still, you're wrong. Left and right are more important for anyone with a brain rested firmly between the ears they'll be listening to their speakers with.
 

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So I game 99% of the time with headphones cause I am talking with people. However! Back around 2007 or so I had a creative 5.1 setup and even though it wasn't a $1500 setup for single player and movies it was awesome. I remember FREQUENTLY I would end up looking behind me cause I thought something was there. So not used to anything besides 2 spears or headphones. I've lived in an apartment since so headphones work however when I move to another setup I am sure I'll hook the 5.1 up again. It's a great overall experience for single player emersion and movies even if it's nothing fancy. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I have no idea what else to get to replace my Klipsch 2.1 Pro Media system since Logitech appears to be the only company still making sets with the F/R/C 3.5mm jack inputs. I do have a Sound Blaster Zx and i'm aware an option would be to encode everything to 5.1 DTS/DD on-the-fly and connect to a receiver via optical, but a setup like that would be significantly more expensive.
....you picked out parts in your OP and I offered a similar alternative in the 2nd post, what do you mean you "don't know what else to replace it with"?

if it's a money problem: then don't go 5.1? a good 2.1 is gonna **** over a budget 5.1 setup and you can upgrade that 2.1 system to a 5.1 later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
....you picked out parts in your OP and I offered a similar alternative in the 2nd post, what do you mean you "don't know what else to replace it with"?

if it's a money problem: then don't go 5.1? a good 2.1 is gonna **** over a budget 5.1 setup and you can upgrade that 2.1 system to a 5.1 later.
I have no idea what other 5.1 PC setups to get, I don't see any others as being available anymore. I thought you were recommending a 5.1 home theater setup, not a PC 5.1 setup.
 

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I have no idea what other 5.1 PC setups to get, I don't see any others as being available anymore. I thought you were recommending a 5.1 home theater setup, not a PC 5.1 setup.
they're the same thing except one you hook up to a PC and the other goes in your home theater, lol.
 

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I could if I wanted to, if that's a large upgrade over the Z-5500 and Polk system I might do it, seems like a great deal, but then again those are new to me.
It's not a bad option on a budget by any means, but I would suggest you consider the fact that if you get something better now, you're much less likely to want to upgrade again in the future so over time the cost could be less overall. A good set of speakers can practically last a lifetime.
 
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