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Stereo setup incompatible with movies?

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bigmoose's picture
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Joined: 9 May 2009
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Hi there,

Does anyone here use their stereo setup for both musc and movies? I recently trade in my 5.1 system for a stereo as I used it mainly for music. I'm definitely happy on the music side, with a very balanced sound and bass that are just right for my taste (not too bassy). 

I gave it a try on movies and while the voices are definitely clearer, something was missing.action movies like 300 were missing emotion. I tried to add a subwoofer, which did the trick, but then, I didn't like the effect on music.

Is pure stereo system incompatible with home cinema? Is the trick to have a subwoofer that you turn on and off?

Help!!!

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Linn Majik DSM + 4100 / Tannoy DC8 / Something Solid XF / Audioquest Rocket 44 / Chord Cadenza / AKG 701

bigboss's picture
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RE: Stereo setup incompatible with movies?

1) Are they the same speakers & amplifier? What system have you got?

2) The surround speakers add significantly to the overall sonic performance when watching movies. I'm not surprised at your experience.

3) What is the crossover set at? Are the speakers set to "small" or "large"?

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My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Stereo setup incompatible with movies?

If you connect the sub to the pre-outs, you should be able to turn it on for av and put it onto standby for music (ie set to manual rather than auto).

Your other option is to reduce the sub's volume for music, to give much more subtle integration......use this as, and when needed, according to music/taste.

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bigmoose's picture
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RE: Stereo setup incompatible with movies?

Hi BigBoss,

The system is a Majik DSM which provides a HDMI passthrough - The Speaker are Tannoy DC8 which are on the large side. There is no cross-over option on the amp. I tried to play around with the options available for home cinema, but could not get the results I was hoping for. Sadly, even the sound from my TV manages to give more grunt to movies than my stereo!   Crying

I think what is missing is the "Boom" that goes with explosions. Surround sound is also important for immersion, but not an option for me.

At this point, I think I have to give more thought about the subwoofer option. I was just wondering if any managed to successfully build system that excells at both music and movie (Without spending silly money that is).

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Linn Majik DSM + 4100 / Tannoy DC8 / Something Solid XF / Audioquest Rocket 44 / Chord Cadenza / AKG 701

bigmoose's picture
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RE: Stereo setup incompatible with movies?

Hi Cno,

I really wanted to avoid the sub, as I want my system to be as little of a bachelor-pad as possible. At this point, I'm kind of resigned to start saving for a B&W PV1D.

Your system look very much primarly oriented for music. How does it perform for movies?

Thanks.

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Linn Majik DSM + 4100 / Tannoy DC8 / Something Solid XF / Audioquest Rocket 44 / Chord Cadenza / AKG 701

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Stereo setup incompatible with movies?

bigmoose wrote:

Hi Cno,

I really wanted to avoid the sub, as I want my system to be as little of a bachelor-pad as possible. At this point, I'm kind of resigned to start saving for a B&W PV1D.

Your system look very much primarly oriented for music. How does it perform for movies?

Thanks.

Hi BM, FWIW here is my opinion:

- A sub is essential if you like your movies to have proper impact, especially if you have had a 5.1 system. I could live without the surrounds, but not the sub.

- Which sub you should get depends on the size of your room, where it's going to be positioned and whether you are going to use it for 2 channel.

- The size of your room will dictate the size of your sub.

- If the room is awkward or you are going to place it in a corner, it pays to get built-in EQ, especially as your amp doesn't have this.

- If you have a suspended floor, you will need something like an Auralex Gramma to isolate your sub from it.

- If you are going to use it for 2 channel, you need a sealed sub, that produces a tight, fast sound, that plays tunes...and the EQ will help tailor it to the room and prevent boominess. A remote control (easier to change settings) and pre-sets/different EQ settings (ie. film/music/natural etc) This is all less important if it's only for AV use.

- The PV1D is ideal, but I also rate Velodyne's SPL Ultra range; Paradigm Seismic 110 (outstanding small sub); SVS SB13-Plus (outstanding value).

- If you just want to add impact to films and are happy with a more basic spec, BK are hard to beat.

I'm lucky enough to have a system that's maximised for both. I have the AVR600 for AV and the AMS 35i (connected via pre-outs) for 2 channel. My sub is very versitile and can have its pre-sets maximzed for both (I only use it, if I think the 2 channel recording needs it). The Kef Refs are one of the best speakers for both movie and music duties.

My guess is if you get the right sub, properly integrated, you won't look back.

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"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again."  André Gide

bigboss's picture
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RE: Stereo setup incompatible with movies?

bigmoose wrote:

Hi BigBoss,

The system is a Majik DSM which provides a HDMI passthrough - The Speaker are Tannoy DC8 which are on the large side. There is no cross-over option on the amp. I tried to play around with the options available for home cinema, but could not get the results I was hoping for. Sadly, even the sound from my TV manages to give more grunt to movies than my stereo!   Crying

I think what is missing is the "Boom" that goes with explosions. Surround sound is also important for immersion, but not an option for me.

At this point, I think I have to give more thought about the subwoofer option. I was just wondering if any managed to successfully build system that excells at both music and movie (Without spending silly money that is).

From what you're describing, your system isn't performing well in the lower frequencies, for which a subwoofer is needed. I'm not sure how to sort this on a stereo amp, if it is at all possible. What 5.1 system did you have before?

__________________

My Home Cinema  Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90

Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H

Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router

bigmoose's picture
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Joined: 9 May 2009
Posts: 69
RE: Stereo setup incompatible with movies?

Thanks both for your replies, looks like I seriously need to consider a sub if I'm getting serious about watching movies again!  doh!

I used to have a Kef coda surround with a MJ Acoustic pro 100 sub. I still have the sub and linked it up my existing system using high level connections (it connects directly onto the speaker bindings at the back of the amp). While it works great, it doesn't have any "sleep" mechanism and I need to switch it on/off manually... It just got irritating after few years of use.

The  biggest kick in the teeth is I would only use the system for movie 10% of the time max... I'm not a bass head and would not use the sub for music. The B&W PV1 seems a good choice as it switches on/off automatically and is quite discreet... The investment just seem silly for the little use I will make of it.

Looks like I'll use my TV for a little while, and will try saving for a new sub...

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Linn Majik DSM + 4100 / Tannoy DC8 / Something Solid XF / Audioquest Rocket 44 / Chord Cadenza / AKG 701