2.1 or 3.1

I have a 2.1 setup currently for my main living room tv.

Polk T15 bookshelf
Polk PSW108 sub
Pioneer VSX524K receiver

I know setting up rear speakers is going to be a challenge with what I call "wife acceptance factor" so I have ruled those out.

My question is will adding a center channel be worth it?

Right now my receiver is downmixing to stereo and I'm not sure if downmixing to 3.1 will be an option or if I will be missing sounds. Just looking for advice.

If I did get a center channel I will probably stick with the T series center.

Thanks in advance!

Best Answer

Answers

  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 13,420
    Welcome Andy, the center channel carries the bulk of movies and would be a very good addition to your setup.
    Marantz AV-7705 PrePro, Classé 5 ch. 200wpc Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • My concern is without the rear speakers will switching to a mode that supports the center channel cause some of the audio to be pushed to a rear channel that doesn't exist? I guess it's really a question for Pioneer but I was curious to hear from those experienced with 3.1.
  • Btw @cfrizz thanks for the response!
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 13,420
    No, if there is no signal to rear speakers then sound won't be sent to them. Usually you have to go into the menu setting on the receiver and turn on the speakers.
    Marantz AV-7705 PrePro, Classé 5 ch. 200wpc Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,639
    andyrblank wrote: »
    My concern is without the rear speakers will switching to a mode that supports the center channel cause some of the audio to be pushed to a rear channel that doesn't exist? I guess it's really a question for Pioneer but I was curious to hear from those experienced with 3.1.

    When you set up the receiver for 3.1, you simply set it up like a 5.1 only you select no or none for rear speakers. Your receiver will route those surround signals to the front left and right. It's not going to give you that immersive 5.1 surround feel, but you won't lose information either.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • andrew82andrew82 Posts: 152
    With regards to whether or not the center channel would be worth it, it depends on which center channel you get. If you're going to get the T30, which looks like it retails for $100, then I'd say it's definitely worth it. I know nothing about a speaker, but adding center-channel audio for just $100 is going to be a huge marginal improvement over no center channel at all, especially if you have a varied seating arrangement in whichever room you've placed your system (better sound for all).

    I actually ran a Polk 3.1 for a while, and loved it. I have a 6.2 system right now and honestly can't tell much of a difference. Surround for most media such as tv shows and movies is poor. Games are where it really helps; nevertheless, I don't LOVE it. The center channel adds much more.
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