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Combined stereo/HT system advice


May 18, 2021
I'm planning to combine my current stereo set up with a 5.1 (and potentially 7.1 farher in future) surround sound set up. At present, I have a simple, good sounding system. The room is 5 metres by 4 metres. The stereo set up on the 5 metre wall. I know that normally it would be set up on the 4 metre wall, but there are contraints on how I can organise the room for the moment. The speakers are Genelec 8030c high-passed through a Genelec 7050c sub. I'm using an RME ADI 2-Dac. We have a 65" television. The set up for the speakers/main listener is about 2.1 metre equilateral trianlge. I'm not having any problem with sound pressure levels, given that we do not listen at very high volumes. The sound is realy pleasing. This is a new space, and I haven't set up Dirac yet. Even without it, aside from a few unwelcome dips, the response according to REW is reasonably promising. Subjectively, the sound is pleasing with a broad soundatage and a solid phantom centre.

But I'd like to extend to a 5.1 system. I don't want to be fanatical about it. In addition to the kit above, I also own a pair of Canton 876.2 speakers and a SVS 3000 micro subwoofer along with a purfi-based amp. I originally had set-ups in two different rooms, but our new place isn't conducive to that.

Right now, there is a large sale on in Europe on the Denon AVC X4800H receiver. I was thinking of buying it with an eye to using Dirac's DLBC. The Genelec is performing pretty well at main seating position, but I'd like a larger spread for when we are both watching or when guests visit.

I'm open to any sort of advice, but I had three specific questions and would be very appreciative of any advice on offer about them in particular.

1) Is there likely to be any audible difference between using the RME and the Denon when listening to music in the stereo configuration, on the assumption that I am not using the Denon's amplifiers? The SINAD score for the Denon looked high enough that problems would be below the threshold for audibility. But I may not understand that issue well enough.

2) Could I use my speakers for surround sound without having to buy something new for the sattelites? I like the Genelecs as the main speakers, as they produce a particular clear phantom middle. I haven't set the Cantons up in this room yet. If they seem okay, then can the Genelecs be used as rear speaker .

3) Is there any obstacle to waiting on getting a middle channel speaker – I guess it would be a 4.1 in that case – if the dialogue and phantom middle are good enough without it?

Lastly, I know there are some reasons to get subwoofers with lower output for rumble and so forth, but that isn't a very high priority for us, given most of what we watch.

I'm grateful for any advice.
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