First off, I know this is a headphone forum. I did a quick google search for other high end audio forums, but this one popped up anyway. If anyone knows of a better place to post this, please tell me.
I currently have a basic two speaker+subwoofer system set up in my room. It is comprised of two Boston speakers (I'm too lazy to turn them around to read the model number. They're heavy!). My amp is an Adcom GFA 555II. The thing is, I have two of these, one of which is not in use. I was wondering if there was a way I could set myself up with a surround sound system using these two amps? I have no idea how I would do this, it's just a random thought that popped into my head. What would I need to drive this system? How could I link the amps together? Is this even possible? Am I losing my mind? Thanks!
Yep, easy. You need another pair of speakers, and either an A/V receiver with pre-amp outputs, or a surround sound processor. Hook one amp to the front speaker outputs, the other to the rear. Tell the receiver or SSP that you have no center channel, and level match your front and rear speakers. Done. Technically 4.1 surround, but center channels are highly overrated.
Most centers are small and have very limited bass response, and they use a stupid M-T-M design that has major off-axis response problems. Engineers hate it, but they are forced into it by their marketing departments because consumers like that symmetrical look. A typical dialogue heavy 5.1 movie soundtrack sends most of the audio to the center which probably can't do much below 100Hz, reducing your awesome 5.1 system to a mediocre soundbar and a subwoofer. Take away the center and you will probably find that the same movie sounds much better.
I think that in a typical living room setup with a TV, the center channel is completely unnecessary. With a real "home theater" and a projector that changes, then big four-driver center speakers start to make sense.