start with 2 channel setup w/ center speaker?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by hashilli, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. hashilli macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    I'm interested in getting some Polk Monitor 70's for some fronts, stereo listening for now. (Don't have an amp picked out yet) I am wondering if it I should add a Polk CS20 for a center channel to start with? I'd don't think I want to add a sub, not nor in the future. I'd rather get some monitor 50s to the sides?

    For now, I'd like to start with just the monitor 70's in the front. Would it be beneficial to start the setup with a center channel too? Is it even possible?

    Would you just simply set this up as a 2 channel setup with the 70's only? Start with a 5.1 amp and run the fronts and center? Or is it better to get the fronts only and get the center when I can get the sides?

    If you feel like offering any more help, any 5.1 amp suggestions? Movies, internet and music will be coming from a PC with a optical/3 color audio out and an old video card with just s-vid, component and composite out. Of course this will change into the future.
  2. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    IMHO, for movies and TV programmings anyway, center channel is the most important channel in home theater. If your room allows it, there is nothing wrong with using identical speakers across the front, although accommodating tower standing speaker as a center channel such as Polk Monitor 70 can be a challenge.

    As a rule of thumb, you want the timbre (tonal quality) across all the multi-channel speakers as similar as possible, which means having identical speakers is the most ideal.

    Regarding receiver, it is my understanding (although I am not particularly familiar with this model) that Polk Monitor 70 is fairly efficient and laid-back sounding speaker so it should work fairy well with most decent receivers. I have no idea as to your requirements (price, features, usage), but both Denon (e.g., AVR-790 and AVR-890) and Onkyo (e.g., TX-SR607 and 707) are fairly popular among budget-minded audiophiles.
  3. hashilli thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Would having two fronts and one center only be too weird?

    I think you slightly misunderstood me. This will be a HTPC setup to a TV but also for music playback. My main question was questioning if having two Monitor 70's in front in setup would be benefited by adding a center channel - the Polk CS20.

    It seems like an odd setup when I think about it. I guess my question is can I use a 5.1 receiver in a setup with out the sub and side speakers? Would having two fronts and one center only be too weird?
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Most receivers allow flexible speakers configuration. You can have 1.x (C), 2.x (L-R), 3.x (L-C-R), 4.x (L-R-LS-RS), and so on. All you have to do is specify whether the speaker is present or not. And most allow you to specify whether the speaker is small (poor low frequency response) or large (good low frequency response). (If you configure Monitor 70 as large and CS20 as small, bass/low frequency effects from the center channel may be routed to Monitor 70.)

    Of course, you won't get much of surround sound with 2.0 or 3.0 setup. If you watch TV programs or movies with dialog, you will definitely want the center speaker. This way, you will get clear dialog and solid center channel effects. Stereo setup can support dialog, but only for those sitting in the sweet spot.
  5. hashilli thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2007
    So, 3.0 is possible.

    Thanks nut for the detailed response. Would you still recommend any of the receivers that you listed above for a 3.0 setup?
  6. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Sure, both Denon and Onkyo are very good choices. They have many models, so you may want to look at features and reviews to select what's right for you.

    At the risk of simplifying, it all boils down to:
    • Quality of the power amp section: rating isn't as important as the quality
    • Number of inputs
    • Video scaling: better models will upscale all video signals to 1080i/p
    • Audio codecs and/or processing modes: aside from Dolby IIz and THX processing modes, all the new models should have everything covered
    • Analog-to-digital audio converter and digital-to-analog audio converter
    • Ergonomics, design, build quality

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