Should I get a stereo or surround sound receiver?

Should I get a stereo or surround sound receiver? Topic: How to write a music reviews
July 17, 2019 / By Benedicta
Question: In my bedroom, I have a boombox with detachable speakers as my amp and speakers for radio AM/FM, cassette deck and aux in for DVD player. I have a switcher box that is a 4 in one switch so that I can plug in DVD player, cable box stereo audio, iPod. Even the boombox speakers sound better than the speaker on my TV. But with the cheapo system I have now, I am thinking how much better it could be with a sound system upgrade. I am not sure if I should get a surround sound receiver or simply get an old fashioned stereo receiver. I am looking on Amazon for deals and found a Onkyo Surround Sound receiver. I am comparing that with a Sherwood stereo receiver. So far I have selected a pair of JBL stereo speakers. At this point, because I am using the sound system as not only a music sound system but also a sound system for TV and movies via the cable box and the DVD player, I am thinking of upgrading to a surround sound receiver and skip the stereo receiver. I was going to get a pair of BOSE speakers, ( as I live in the Boston area and this is Bose country) but I have not heard that great reviews nationally on those speakers. What I thought I would do is just buy the surround sound receiver and start with just a pair of stereo speakers for now and then build the rest of the speaker system as I go ( and do research, save up the money). I like the idea of getting a subwoofer next to handle the bass. Well, enough for now. I love to write and most people have a Jethro Klampett sixth grade education level of ADD attention span, so I will stop.
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Best Answers: Should I get a stereo or surround sound receiver?

Adrianna Adrianna | 1 day ago
The advantage of a home theater receiver, even if you are just going to play it in stereo mode, is that it has the ability to accept the digital audio feed from a television set. While adapters (digital to analog) are made for use with stereo receivers, the home theater receiver will already have this feature built in. Remember, you CAN use a home theater receiver for just stereo. When you purchase the receiver, there is a setup process where you are asked about the speakers you have connected. You simply enter that you have 2 front speakers. The rest is automatically handled by the receiver. The setup is outlined step-by-step in the owner's manual.
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Adrianna Originally Answered: What is THX? what is surround sound?
THX stands for Tomlinson Holman Experiment. Mr. Holman developed his own standard for quality of surround sound playback, initially for movie theaters and then later was implemented into consumer systems. He then developed his own certifications standards for speakers and equipment which manufactures can send in their equipment for evaluation and have there equipment certified with THX branding. I give him credit for trying to create a standard for good quality surround sound playback, but for the most part his certifications are only for mid level equipment. Most hi-end manufactures do not feel having THX certification is important. Surround sound was originally developed for the theater and the first recorded surround sound playback system was for the Disney movie Fantasia in 1940. It wasn't really till the late 80's that surround sound for the home became available and popular. Surround sound is a incode decode process were the sound engineers for movies or music record the sound track or music on separate channels depending on where they want certain effects to come from in the sound field. It is then on your DVD or surround sound music disc that when played back is decoded to the appropriate channels to give the same effects that the original engineer was trying to create with sound. In your menus on both the DVD player and Receiver you must select the corresponding surround sound effect depending on the amount of speakers you are using. 5.1, 7.1 etc. My criticism of "most' surround sound systems and speakers is that because of the design of most surround sound systems and speakers high quality music reproduction is not of major importance here but rather the reproduction of effects. It is important to know that Home Theater and Hi-End Home Music Speakers are designed completely differently for specific reasons but there are trade offs. Home Theater Speakers are designed for directionality so that the room acoustics will have less effect on the overall sound and to give you more pinpoint placement of where sounds are coming from. Were as Hi-End Home Music speakers are designed to be less directional and create a more open sound field or soundstage. The trade offs are that "dedicated' surround sound speakers are easier to place in a room, as the room acoustics will have less effect but the quality of music playback is not the main focus of importance. Also Surround Speakers do not create a realistic soundstage for music. Music speakers on the other hand are designed to be less directional and be more open sounding with a emphasis on detail and tonality of instruments. Music speakers are significantly more difficult and more critical to place within a room as room acoustics become more a factor. So the key is what is important to you, surround sound or music reproduction. You can have the best of both worlds though if you design a system around a Hi-End home speakers and equipment, but care full attention to speaker placement and setup is critical to get good sound. Kevin 35 years Hi-End Audio Video Specialist
Adrianna Originally Answered: What is THX? what is surround sound?
To answer the question you actually asked and not what the people were comfortable answering. I think the Select 2 sounds a little better. I think that SurroundEX is a little more harsh, and depending on the size of the room and distance from the speakers, I would recommend going with the Select 2, however you need to listen to both and see which you like more. And in response to some of the other posts, no not every high end amp will have THX certification. THey may not have wanted to pay for the testing to get the certification, or maybe they didn't pass. It is a very subjective certification however, so it depends solely on the person listening to it, and awarding the certification, as to whether or not a system gets it. Best of luck to you.

Thad Thad
You can certainly use a AV receiver in stereo mode, where it will, by the way, deliver higher wattage. If your goal is eventually to go to surround sound by buying piecemeal over time, that is what I would do. If I were only interested in stereo I would consolidate my dollars into a better cut of stereo, separate components or a very good receiver. and not smear it out over in an AV receivers guts. Also. AV receivers tend to ah, "change" in terms of tech quite quickly, and out date. That's nice, in terms of (one would hope) better theater sound, but can end annoyingly expensive at moments you my not be prepared for. Perhaps two years from now, all new surround recievers will be WIFI only, or use gobletygoop plugs instead of HDMI. I won't use the term "planned obsolescence" but about a quarter of the questions here have to do with "obsolete" equipment connectivity problems. Read, gear that is perfectly fine, works well, but no longer is supported by or no longer connects well to other stuff. As far as I know, no issue has ever come up about why someone could not connect even a 60 year old amplifier to a set of speakers, or recieve FM broadcasts, so its a matter of what you want.
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Pompey Pompey
Aerial Acoustic speakers are made in Wilmington...They are kind of expensive but they are about 150 times better than Bose... Also there is a company called Daedalus that also makes speakers in MA somewhere I don't know that much about them but they may be worth checking out especially if you can find a local dealer where you can audition them ...also Boston Acoustics now makes speakers in China but I think there is still an office or Warehouse or R & T facility outside of Cambridge... hard to say for sure what it is used for from the outside I have just seen it on google maps so not sure what it is....Oh also get a quality AV receiver better flexibility and more possibilities....
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Pompey Originally Answered: Surround sound PLEASE HELP?
dynamic range is the difference between the loudest and softest sounds in a music, or a movie. In a movie the difference in sound level between actors whispering and an explosion is quite great. If you set the volume so that you can hear the whisper, then the explosion is going to be extremely loud. If you set the sound so that that explosion is not very loud, then the whisper may be inaudible. With DRC you can make the whispers louder and the explosions quieter. Your unit lets you decide how much compression it will do. If you want the full movie effect, then you should disable it. But you may find that the dynamic range is too much and your system may not be able to handle the sound difference or if you live with other folks, that the sound disturbs them. In which case you want to enable it and experiment with the different levels.

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