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View Full Version : DTS Master Audio with 3 speakers possible?


TitusTroy
09-06-10, 03:19 PM
I'm in the market for my first 'real' Home Audio setup but I'm confused about something...can I receive DTS Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD sound from a Blu-ray with only a 3 speaker setup (2 fronts and a center channel)?...or do I need to have a minimum 5.1 speaker setup?...I hope I can get it with just 3 speakers as I live in an apartment and a 5.1/7.1 system is out of the question for now as the space and overall sound would be too much for my apartment as the neighbors would probably complain

I'm planning on getting either the Polk Monitor70 front/center speakers or the Aperion 5T and pair it with a Denon AVR-591 receiver...thanks for any help

Spiky
09-06-10, 04:17 PM
Well, I guess if you have a decoder for HD lossless sound, you can plug in as many speakers as you'd like. The rear speakers are not going to be the reason your neighbors complain, however, more like overall volume and possibly the bass. Running only front speakers, you'd have to compare whether the surround-sound-less-rears sounds better than simple stereo. It might be different for different shows, depending on how they are mixed.

Last time I was in an apartment, my wife had a large rug in the LR, so I ran flat speaker wires underneath it for the rear speakers.

TitusTroy
09-06-10, 05:40 PM
thanks for the reply...just so I understand correctly you're saying that I could receive DTS Master Audio as long as my receiver supports lossless sound regardless of the number of speakers?...according to the specs of the AVR-591 it says it supports Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital+ and dts-HD Master Audio so I'm going to assume it's fine...I asked around in other forums and received conflicting info on this with most saying that I couldn't get DTS HD etc without 5.1 speakers

you're right about the overall volume being more important then the number of speakers...I guess I could try 5 but a subwoofer is definitely out as the bass would definitely cause issues...I had a Klipsch 5.1 computer speaker setup once and I had to change it because my next door neighbor would complain about the noise (the bass was room shaking)

I'm sure even a simple 3 speaker setup would sound worlds better then the TV speakers even without the rear surrounds

JZ1276
09-06-10, 10:18 PM
Yes you can definitely get the hd audio with your setup...but it WILL NOT be true surround with just 3 speakers. My advice... get 2 more speakers for rears and disconnect the sub and your neighbors wont complain.

emoxley
09-06-10, 10:29 PM
Size of the room doesn't matter much, as long as the speakers are calibrated correctly.
If you're worried about the neighbors, invite them over to watch some movies with you....... :)
That might help to ease any tensions.

TitusTroy
09-06-10, 11:43 PM
I'm now tempted to get the full 5.1 setup but would it be worth it if I could only listen to it with the volume on low/medium settings?...plus I'm not sure of the value of the rear speakers as doesn't the vast majority of the audio come from the center/front speakers?...aren't the rears more for ambient type of sounds?

Mr. Salty
09-07-10, 03:03 AM
I'm now tempted to get the full 5.1 setup but would it be worth it if I could only listen to it with the volume on low/medium settings?
Read Spiky's advice above. The neighbors are going to complain about overall volume (the bulk of which will be coming from your front three speakers) and the bass --- the subwoofer or the .1 in a 5.1 system. If you don't get a subwoofer, the low frequencies will be redirected to the three speakers you do have. So, if volume is a problem, it will be a problem whether you have three speakers or 5.1.

..plus I'm not sure of the value of the rear speakers as doesn't the vast majority of the audio come from the center/front speakers?...aren't the rears more for ambient type of sounds?
"ambient" sounds are an important park of the experience if you're trying to immerse yourself in a movie.

Spiky
09-07-10, 07:14 AM
thanks for the reply...just so I understand correctly you're saying that I could receive DTS Master Audio as long as my receiver supports lossless sound regardless of the number of speakers?...according to the specs of the AVR-591 it says it supports Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital+ and dts-HD Master Audio so I'm going to assume it's fine...I asked around in other forums and received conflicting info on this with most saying that I couldn't get DTS HD etc without 5.1 speakers
People are probably saying that you "can't get HD sound" from 3 speakers because you are missing half the experience. It's semantics, really.

you're right about the overall volume being more important then the number of speakers...I guess I could try 5 but a subwoofer is definitely out as the bass would definitely cause issues...I had a Klipsch 5.1 computer speaker setup once and I had to change it because my next door neighbor would complain about the noise (the bass was room shaking)

I'm sure even a simple 3 speaker setup would sound worlds better then the TV speakers even without the rear surrounds
Sounds like you like to play it loud.

Subwoofers are usually quite boomy and affect the neighbors too much. But, if you get a really nice sub and calibrate the audio, that can be diminished. A few subs are actually designed to have a flat frequency response, and these would be better for an apartment. With even response, you can turn the volume up a bit more to still hear it, but without one note being so loud that it shakes and annoys other rooms. Bag End, SVS, Hsu Research are some subs designed like this. With my sub, even at low volume I can hear/feel the bass, without disturbing my wife in the bedroom directly above my HT.

TitusTroy
09-07-10, 09:24 AM
Sounds like you like to play it loud.

actually just the opposite, what I'm looking for is a set of speakers that sound amazing at low to medium volumes...I don't want or need window blasting audio just something that will make my Blu-ray's come alive...bass has always sounded artificial and too 'boomy' to my ears so that's why I don't really want a subwoofer

I will be using it mostly for movies on Blu-ray and on HD cable TV...always having used my TV speakers I feel like I'm missing out on half of the HD experience...I have a nice 50" 1080p HDTV but am using its built in speakers

Spiky
09-07-10, 09:53 AM
One other thing to watch out for on DVD, and even more on BD, is the dynamics. Some movies have used the dynamic range so well (or poorly, depending on perspective) that when you set the volume to a decent level for the effects, voices are barely audible. Some receivers have a Late Night setting, or now Dolby Volume controls to mitigate this issue. You may want to make sure that is on your shopping list.

And I promise that what I described above about subs is true. I've had pros over listening to my SVS that didn't even realize the difference a "real" sub makes. The question was, "Where's the bass, is your sub turned on?" My answer was, "there's no bass in this scene, what have you been listening to?" Then I switched to a bass-heavy scene and literally knocked him down into his chair with over 100db of low, low bass. Guess what kind of sub he wants now? People are used to poor subs, uncalibrated, with wrong placement. It's like driving a Ferrari in a cornfield.

TitusTroy
09-08-10, 04:17 AM
a little off topic but as far as effects/dialogue volume my Blu-ray player has various options that tinker with the volume...some options make the dialogue stand out while lessening the 'effects' audio and vice versa...and as you said it really is dependant on the disc being played...I usually have to change the audio options based on the disc...I never have to do this when I'm watching HD channels with my cable box

as far as the sub I'm still hesitant to get a sub as the sub really is the most 'loud' part of the entire system and even setting it at very low levels produces vibrations etc which travel through the floors/walls etc...at least with the 5 speakers the audio generally travels mostly in the air and with some volume adjustment I can get it to reasonable levels...I'm not sure the same can be done with a sub and if I have to lower it to the point of barely being audible then what's the point in having it in the first place?

One other thing to watch out for on DVD, and even more on BD, is the dynamics. Some movies have used the dynamic range so well (or poorly, depending on perspective) that when you set the volume to a decent level for the effects, voices are barely audible. Some receivers have a Late Night setting, or now Dolby Volume controls to mitigate this issue. You may want to make sure that is on your shopping list.

And I promise that what I described above about subs is true. I've had pros over listening to my SVS that didn't even realize the difference a "real" sub makes. The question was, "Where's the bass, is your sub turned on?" My answer was, "there's no bass in this scene, what have you been listening to?" Then I switched to a bass-heavy scene and literally knocked him down into his chair with over 100db of low, low bass. Guess what kind of sub he wants now? People are used to poor subs, uncalibrated, with wrong placement. It's like driving a Ferrari in a cornfield.

Spiky
09-08-10, 09:45 AM
Sounds like you are planning some nice speakers. Those should give you decent bass even without a sub. I set my sub differently from most, it only receives 50Hz and below. Maybe I'm an elephant, or the basement location amps it up, but I can locate 80Hz very easily, so I prefer a lower crossover. Anyway, I have fronts that go below 50Hz to accommodate this, and they sound pretty decent without the sub. Of course, when I want to play, I'm glad I can pound out 20Hz at 115db!