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Home Theater Tide Over

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cmchism

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So now that I've come close to completing my stereo setup, I'm itching to add the home theater. Seeing as how the current living situation is a NYC apt, size is at a premium.

http://www.martinloganowners.com/~tdacquis/forum/showthread.php?t=2190

Adding a subwoofer is my next step (which should be done in the next couple of weeks), but my question is this....Does anyone have suggestions/experience with creating a "budget" home theater around a good two channel setup. Eventually I hope to upgrade to the Stage, and Script I. In the mean time I'm thinking about picking up a decent reciever and a smaller center and surrounds to tide me over. The PS Integrated has a HT bypass so I don't need to worry about powering the Vantages off of the reciever. Any thoughts on what integrates with with ML and can be done for under 2k (reciever, center and surrounds)???????

Dolby-less in NYC,
Chris
 
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Tiberium

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You could pick up a receiver and just run 2CH for home theater because it will sound much better then "cheaping" out on something you are not planning on keeping. Surround sound for the most part is over rated.
 

attyonline

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Tiberium said:
You could pick up a receiver and just run 2CH for home theater because it will sound much better then "cheaping" out on something you are not planning on keeping. Surround sound for the most part is over rated.
Well, not really. Surround sound done right kills stereo.
 

DTB300

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attyonline said:
Well, not really. Surround sound done right kills stereo.
Agreed.

Three-Channel or Surround Classical Music really improves the soundstage of the orchestra (instrument placement is even better) and helps with the overall ambience of a typical hall an orchestra plays in.

Badly done surround music (sitting in the middle of a band) just sounds too tricked out and hokey.

Dan
 
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Tiberium

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Well, not really. Surround sound done right kills stereo.
When we do not have the software to do surround sound right it becomes a sales gimmic.

Three-Channel or Surround Classical Music really improves the soundstage of the orchestra (instrument placement is even better) and helps with the overall ambience of a typical hall an orchestra plays in.
You do not need surround sound becuase at a live event the orchestra is always in front.
 

DTB300

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Tiberium said:
You do not need surround sound becuase at a live event the orchestra is always in front.
That would mean the room, hall, or venue played at had no effect on the sound at all.

Sound just from the front was not what I heard at the last live concert I was at for the NSO. The sound of the hall gave width, depth, and of course the hall ambience to the orchestra. For instance, the sound of the organ enveloped me and did not just come from the front.

While surround sound, nor two channel will ever give us the reproduction of being there with live, a well done surround classical piece will sound much better than the two channel version. It has more of the "you are there" feel to it. Jazz, rock and others just do not have the same experience effect for me.

Dan
 
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Tiberium

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a well done surround classical piece will sound much better than the two channel version. It has more of the "you are there" feel to it.
Well that is your opinion.
 

amey01

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The problem is, very few people have "The best there is" - adding more speakers and amplifiers will never give you as good results as upgrading your current speakers and amplifiers.

Now, If I had a pair of Statement E2s, along with the best amplification there is (say from Halcro or similar), AND I could afford another 3 Statements and Halcros I'd be swayed that surround sound COULD enhance your listening experience, but not until - And that is assuming there is such a thing as a hi-fi surround processor? 2 Summits will always outperform 5 Vistas in my opinion.

Then you have setup issues - especially with 'logans. Most people don't have a hope of getting 2 speakers correctly positioned - where does 5 leave them? I would hazard to say "with an even more confused sound".
 
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twich54

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Tiberium said:
You do not need surround sound becuase at a live event the orchestra is always in front.
kinda yes.....kinda no, example, Kimmel Center,Verizon Hall in Phila has seating in what is called "The conductors circle" where one sits behind and above the orchestra and faces (looks into the eyes of the conductor). in that position the percussion section becomes more dominant, at least to my ears.
 

DTB300

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Tiberium said:
Well that is your opinion.
Yep. Like everything else in this hobby it all comes down to personal perferences. For non-classical SACD's that I own, I listen to them in two-channel. But there are even a couple of classical SACD's that have too aggressive a surrond mix and it just totally destroys the music.

And in regards to a surround version of a classical piece or reproduced music, it will never match live, and given the choice, I would rather hear it in person. No matter how good our systems or speakers are it just is not live.

Dan
 
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DTB300

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twich54 said:
kinda yes.....kinda no, example, Kimmel Center,Verizon Hall in Phila has seating in what is called "The conductors circle" where one sits behind and above the orchestra and faces (looks into the eyes of the conductor). in that position the percussion section becomes more dominant, at least to my ears.
Same type of seating here at Strathmore. I have not tried to sit there yet, but after your description I may just have to give it a try.

Dan
 

Matten Logan

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You know, i think this debate is a straw man. If you want a home theater, then its for movies not music (although it could be used for music as well). As for trying to match the vantages with cheaper stuff, dont waste your time. Its not possible and only sound like crap (like my 5.1). Your best bet is to get an inexspensive small 5.1 package and midpriced reciever just for home theater. Just go over to best buy and get a $300-500 yamaha reciever, and like a mirage omnisat v2 speaker system. This combination is under 1700 and for an apartment and HT use, its really nice. Enjoy your vantages, but as stereo, until you have the space or budget for the whole shibang.
And i dont think think those rock surround mixes are hokey, its kinda fun, in that "hey, i've had a few drinks, lets listen to Rumors on DVD-A. Whoa! its like the bands behind me, cool (stumble, trip, pass out)."
 

DavidG

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amey01 said:
Now, If I had a pair of Statement E2s, along with the best amplification there is (say from Halcro or similar), AND I could afford another 3 Statements and Halcros I'd be swayed that surround sound COULD enhance your listening experience, but not until - And that is assuming there is such a thing as a hi-fi surround processor? 2 Summits will always outperform 5 Vistas in my opinion.
Hmm 'hi-fi surround processor' - Try looking at the Meridian 861. IMHO it's the best there is out there at the moment. Trouble is, it'll cost you more than a pair of Summits.

Cheers,

David
 

SugarMedia

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cmchism said:
The PS Integrated has a HT bypass so I don't need to worry about powering the Vantages off of the reciever. Any thoughts on what integrates with with ML and can be done for under 2k
My Musical Fidelity A5 has the HT bypass feature. I think there are a few that can now be had at the price you're looking to pay.

Mirage is another company I'd look into for the center and rear channels.
 

kwr

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Heard Midori play the Britten and Bruch violin concertos at the Sydney Opera House with the SSO last night. Game over, our systems are not even close. If you are into classical this tiny violinist is very worth seeing. Memorable evening.

Kevin
 

edwinr

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For primary listening, 2 channel has to be the go. I reckon it's always better to get your 2 channel system as good as you can get it before even considering a multichannel music or home theatre option.

Why? You might ask. Well, in answer I suggest that the less variables that you have in any given situation, the less there is to go wrong. And you need to have a reference - a 'core' sound or in science I think you might call it the 'control'. Once you become familiar with the 'core' sound, any additions or changes should be immediately apparent - whether good or bad.

Obviously with a 2 channel system featuring maybe a source, amp and 2 speakers, and of course the room, you have more chance of getting everything right. But trying to tune a multichannel system from scratch is very hard. There's always more compromises at levels you wouldn't accept from a good 2 channel system. e.g. Vague imaging? Poor soundstaging? Boomy bass? Nevermind - just dial in some DSP and everything is fixed - kind of.

So what I'm leading up to ( in a roundabout sorta way), is that the only way to do home theatre, in my view, and without being silly, is as an add on to a good properly tuned 2 channel system. Introducing say, a reasonable quality receiver (Denon 2807?) and a pair of reasonable quality surrounds to a Martin Logan based stereo system is a good way to go if you want to add some brio to your HT. With surrounds it would be nice to have some matching ML's, but to start off I would recommend any reasonable quality bookshelf (B&W's?). Now for a centre, I initially wouldn't bother unless you get real serious. Of course a ML centre to match the ML mains would be nice too. But you can get away without that option for a while.

I am currently running a pair of Klipsch Heresys as my surrounds for movies only. No centre channel. My Summits supply all the front channel stuff - including subsonics. My Denon 2805 only provides the processing and the rear channels - the fronts and (phantom) centre signal is sent through to my Tact SDAI 2175 which drives the Summits.

Does it sound good? You bet. The beauty is, this setup doesn't impinge on my 2 channel system when I listen to music.
 
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frank d

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attyonline said:
Well, not really. Surround sound done right kills stereo.
This statement is absolutely not true. 2 channel at its best still provides the most "real" experience. For example, when you listen to Jazz live, the sound emanates from the front of the room. The soundstage is in front of you. Surround sound most often puts you in the middle of the music, which is not reality. This is why surround sound is still best for movies. Thank you.
 

DTB300

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frank d said:
This statement is absolutely not true. 2 channel at its best still provides the most "real" experience. For example, when you listen to Jazz live, the sound emanates from the front of the room. The soundstage is in front of you. Surround sound most often puts you in the middle of the music, which is not reality. This is why surround sound is still best for movies. Thank you.
I would agree with Surround that puts you in the middle of the musicians is bad.

But good surround that adds the proper room or venue ambience, which is present when listening to live music, makes the experience closer to live. The two channel still has this ambience present, but surround adds to it. Again when done correctly.

Dan
 
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Tiberium

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But good surround that adds the proper room or venue ambience, which is present when listening to live music, makes the experience closer to live.
Are all your speakers the same?
 

Statman

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My speakers are, at least pretty close enough when listening to surround formats. I still primarily listen in 2 channel to music but have a couple of surround discs. All of you that are rationalizing 2 channels advantage, and it does on some types of recordings have never heard a properly setup surround system? If you have please list it? I'm sure you have recordings that you've listened to and been amazed at how much depth and ambience is in that recording? Now imagine hearing that same recording with the ambience opened up enough to hear all around you, the same sounds that you would hear in a large hall. Not just in front of you? I'm not talking about instuments behind you either, that's just a gimmick to confuse people about the true potential of the format.

Are there any old timers in here that remember 4 channel quadraphonic sound? It died a quick death. If 5.1 hadn't become so popular in the last few years 2 channel would be just about dead. It's kept a lot of companies going including our beloved MARTIN LOGAN! Another example. How many of your friends have a surround sound system that they watch movies on versus a dedicated 2 channel system?
 
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