• 04-13-2004, 07:49 PM
    wolfereeno
    surround sound rear speakers retrofit?
    I've been wondering if such a product exists (I think I saw something out of the corner of my eye at Radio Shack that does this but haven't looked into it yet.)

    My idea is this: I've got a nice conventional stereo and like it just fine. I'm not about to replace it to have a 5.1 system. But from time to time it would be fun to have surround speakers. And cheap ones would be acceptable.

    Anyone ever see anything that would go between the TV and my conventional stereo that would add rear speakers (and perhaps a center speaker)?

    I would think such a thing could be relatively inexpensive. A small processor and 3 cheap powered speakers. And it would just pass the front signals to one's receiver.

    Anyone ever see anything like this?

    Thanks
    -Bill
  • 04-13-2004, 08:27 PM
    Woochifer
    Yamaha used to make a Pro Logic processor that takes that stereo feed and powers just the center and surround speakers. Nothing like that for 5.1. Nowadays, you need something that can decode a DD or DTS signal, there's no way around that. Then again, even a mini system can now do 5.1, so the processing capability is pretty much standard issue with just about every multichannel home theater device out there.

    Another option would be to get a used Pro Logic receiver, which are very cheap since those are now just about the most undesirable components around. But, even if you don't want 5.1, you're getting diminished returns with a simple Pro Logic setup. Since most soundtracks coming out nowadays are encoded in 5.1, the two-channel analog mixdown is no longer optimized for Pro Logic extraction like the older 2.0 Dolby Surround tracks were. Therefore, your results will vary a lot. In general, you're better off with just two decent speakers, rather than trying to add a couple of very inferior surrounds. With 5.1 discrete soundtracks, the signals going to the surrounds are full range and discrete. Getting as close a match to the front speakers is the only way to keep potential mismatches (especially with multichannel music) from sounding overly distracting.
  • 04-13-2004, 10:10 PM
    kelsci
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wolfereeno
    I've been wondering if such a product exists (I think I saw something out of the corner of my eye at Radio Shack that does this but haven't looked into it yet.)

    My idea is this: I've got a nice conventional stereo and like it just fine. I'm not about to replace it to have a 5.1 system. But from time to time it would be fun to have surround speakers. And cheap ones would be acceptable.

    Anyone ever see anything that would go between the TV and my conventional stereo that would add rear speakers (and perhaps a center speaker)?

    I would think such a thing could be relatively inexpensive. A small processor and 3 cheap powered speakers. And it would just pass the front signals to one's receiver.

    Anyone ever see anything like this?

    Thanks
    -Bill

    There is a method of surround sound called passive surround decoding. There may be a device floating around called the Dynaco QD-2 that will create a center and 2 surrounds. The company that sold it was PANOR out of Long Island. I cannot however vouch how good this works but a late columnist, Len Feldman, felt it did a good job.

    You may be able to make your own passive system with some wire and two speakers.

    I have made a passive 5 channel system that I have used since I created it in 1987. I would say you must understand this circuits variables to work right but when it works, it can be fabulous on music and quite good on two channel movies that are in stereo surround sound.