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System help: Adding channels to existing 2.1 setup...

facefirst

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Jun 20, 2021
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Right audiofam,

My current setup is pretty basic: two speakers and a sub driven by a 2-channel amp. Specifically, this:

Naim Uniti Nova
Sonus Faber Olympica II
Sonus Faber Gravis II

And a sexy pic to help:

IMG_6811.jpeg


What I'd like to do is add in a set or rears and a centre speaker to create a 5.1 system...but I don't really want to change my existing set up. My system has HDMI Arc which gets my TV audio signal to my amp. I guess I need some kind of three channel amp and possibly something to sit in between the TV and the current amp to extract the signal into 5.1...

The rear speakers will need to be pretty small / nice to look at / a bit matchy matchy with the walnut theme I've got going on. The centre speaker might end up hiding inside the TV unit.]

Have at it:
 
You probably don't want to hear it, but you are better off just getting a good mutichannel AVR. Most will allow to select different output types for different inputs.

TV/video streaming/BlueRay - dolby atmos/multichannel
Turntable - 2 channel stereo
etc.
 
I would agree with the AVR recommendation. Some of the higher level Denon's and Marantz's also provide pre-outs which have measured well so you can still use your amplifier for the front two speakers if you want. Room correction from Dirac (multiple manufacturers), Anthem, or Lyngdorf are all well reviewed.

For speakers I would stay with Sonus for the center channel -- it's the only way to get matching walnut details and that is the most visible speaker. Just try to get a three way which will perform much better than a two way.

For the satellites I would do in wall if possible -- Revel and Monoprice THX both have excellent choices. If that isn't an option then it will be a matter of size and cabinetry. The newly released Monoprice THX speakers are small, coaxial, measure well, and would be my first choice sound wise, but I doubt they will meet aesthetic requirements. Other than that try going to spinorama.org and looking through speakers with measurements to see if any will work.
 
Another "reverse thinking" approach would be using the big OLED(?) TV as second PC monitor of your audio-visual PC (or Mac) computer; I mean that only the visual-video signal should be fed into TV through one HDMI cable from PC, and all the audio-sound signals are treated by your ordinary PC-(DSP)-based multichannel audio system. Nowadays, you can handle TV tuner function within your PC through optical-fibre high-speed TV program services using proper digital TV tuner module or even TV tuner software.

Of course, you can go with this approach for PC-based audio-visual streaming programs including watch/listen to YouTube video clips.

I discussed this approach in my post here, and you can find my latest system setup (including Panasonic 55-inch OLED TV as second PC monitor) here on my project thread.
 
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