Take the 2-minute tour ×
Sound Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for sound engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to help my father get surround sound capabilities from his older stereo system.

Current System:

Bose Lifestyle Model 5 Music Center
The system has eleven speakers in a 5.1 configuration. The corner and center channels each have two box speakers wall mounted with in-wall wiring.

Possible new system:

Phillips 5.1 Home Theater 3D Blu-ray Player (HTS3541/F7)


  • Blu-Ray Player
  • Actual surround sound (rather than stereo sound to all speakers)
  • Netflix and other streaming media


  1. Can an older Bose system (the label says made in 1995) still produce better sound than a new system?
  2. If I did the upgrade, should I use the new speakers or existing speakers?
  3. Are there any issues connecting older speakers to a new system? I would need to splice the wires as the two wire connectors are different.
  4. What else should I consider?
share|improve this question
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about home theater, not Audio-Video Production. –  AJ Henderson Dec 27 '13 at 19:48
Please suggest a more relevant Stack Exchange site. –  Steven Dec 27 '13 at 20:12
I don't think there is one currently. I will throw in that if you already have a decent set of speakers, your best bet is probably just to get a new receiver though. This would work whatever devices you use with it and could easily support 7.1 rather than just 5.1. –  AJ Henderson Dec 27 '13 at 20:15
add comment

migrated from avp.stackexchange.com Jan 27 at 15:10

This question came from our site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation.

2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The only part of this question that is relevant to AVP is to point out that, for the most part, speakers are speakers. As long as they have the correct impedance (measured in ohms generally) and cover the proper frequency range, they can be used with any system of your choice that needs speakers in that frequency range, uses that impedance and doesn't exceed the rated power of the speakers. You can actually even use speakers with a lower max wattage, but if you turn up the volume too much, you will damage the speakers then.

share|improve this answer
add comment

1) Depends on the quality of the Phillips speakers. I don't personally have experience with either of those speakers, but old high end speakers (assuming they're in good condition) will sound better than new low-end speakers.

2) I'm not sure how your 11 speakers are hooked up now, but it sounds like the new speakers might be easier to hook up, as they will have 1 for 1 connections. But that might require some thinking before plugging in.

3) I'm not an electrician so I can't comment on the actual wiring, but do a google search about that. Plugging in old speakers to a new system shouldn't be an issue.

4)As AJ Henderson mentioned, if theres nothing wrong with your current speaker setup, then just buying a receiver may be more affordable and end up sounding better. A lot of the newer ones have nice features like built in Airplay, etc.

share|improve this answer
How would you damage the speakers from not having enough power? That's the same as if you just turn the volume down. Too much power will push a driver beyond its boundaries and cause damage, but too little power simply won't move the driver. Impedance mismatches can cause issues though as it will spike the power way up compared to what is expected, but that goes back to an overdrive issue. –  AJ Henderson Dec 30 '13 at 2:36
Hmm, I did some researching and you are correct, that is my mistake, I will edit the answer. I'm not very savvy electrically, but it was something I was always told not to do. Upon further reading it may be blown out of proportions, but it seems under-powering them wont cause damage, but if you buy a weak amp, and end up turning the volume all the way up and always sending a clipped signal, it isn't good for your speakers. –  elburzs Dec 30 '13 at 3:30
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.