Upgraded to 7.1 Surround Speakers (1 Viewer)

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bebop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 5, 2008
1,538
0
Idaho
Just upgraded to 7.1 speakers. It's kind of a hodge-podge of speakers, but they are all rated well. Going from 5.1 to 7.1 isn't that much better - but it didn't cost me anything extra. I got the two rear surround speakers from a friend and had the wire and extra outputs already on my Onkyo 606.

Anyone else running 7.1 surround speakers and have any comments good or bad about the setup? It's amazing how much better the home theater amp + good speakers can sound compared to the crappy TV speakers I was using form years. I pretty much run everything through my HT-receiver.
 
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Firehawk 157

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 30, 2008
67
0
Picayune, MS
Like you said, its better but not that much than 5.1, IMHO we have too many surround formats going on currently and the addition of HD just made it that much worse. Heck I have to upgrade my receiver just to listed to hd surround formats...:(
 
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jayn_j

Press On Regardless
Supporting Founder
Sep 29, 2003
10,690
3,295
Sheboygan, WI
Like you said, its better but not that much than 5.1, IMHO we have too many surround formats going on currently and the addition of HD just made it that much worse. Heck I have to upgrade my receiver just to listed to hd surround formats...:(

Which brings up an interesting point. The manufacturers count on the fact that the product life is much longer than the functional life, especially for receivers.

We have already been through 4 or 5 generations of Blu-Ray and the product is less than 4 years old. Each generation has added new and "essential" features.

If you look at receivers, you will see yearly model updates with new features, all of them "essential"

So, when is the proper time to upgrade? If you buy new equipmment every year, you lose about 2/3 of your investment on resale. If you wait, you start to get envious of all the cool stuff you are missing.

The trick seems to be sorting out what is really new from the gimmicks. I tend to wait until a year or two after something revolutionary happens as there is usually a series of improvements to the original concept. For example, when Dolby Digital came out, receivers added DTS about a year later. Then, quality of the produced sound remained the same for over 10 years until the HD formats emerged.

I will probably get roasted for this, but Audessey falls into the gimmick catagory. It may take a little longer, but you can set up a system that sounds as good without it. All Audessey does is take the work out of setup, and doesn't improve the inherent quality of the receiver.

You could argue connectivity either way. It is a convenience to have one stop switching, but toslink for digital and HDMI for the HD formats was an essential upgrade.

So, I have had three receivers since 1989; a dolby pro logic surround one, a dolby digital/dts one, and now a HD format capable one. I probably won't upgrade here, unless I decide that the DD/DTS receiver in the bedroom is inadequate. To be honest, I'm running out of switching there.

And in the end, emotion is what makes the decision. Man is a rationalizing animal and will find the excuse to justify what one really wants.
 

bebop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 5, 2008
1,538
0
Idaho
I just got my wireless keyboard/mouse setup for my HT and I'm using it to type my first message here! Kinda neat what you can do with technology. I won't use it much, but it works well and it more comfy on the couch instead of in the office.
 

Paul Wozniak

SatelliteGuys Master
Oct 26, 2005
13,193
5
Hamtramck,MI
Which brings up an interesting point. The manufacturers count on the fact that the product life is much longer than the functional life, especially for receivers.

We have already been through 4 or 5 generations of Blu-Ray and the product is less than 4 years old. Each generation has added new and "essential" features.

If you look at receivers, you will see yearly model updates with new features, all of them "essential"

So, when is the proper time to upgrade? If you buy new equipmment every year, you lose about 2/3 of your investment on resale. If you wait, you start to get envious of all the cool stuff you are missing.

The trick seems to be sorting out what is really new from the gimmicks. I tend to wait until a year or two after something revolutionary happens as there is usually a series of improvements to the original concept. For example, when Dolby Digital came out, receivers added DTS about a year later. Then, quality of the produced sound remained the same for over 10 years until the HD formats emerged.

I will probably get roasted for this, but Audessey falls into the gimmick catagory. It may take a little longer, but you can set up a system that sounds as good without it. All Audessey does is take the work out of setup, and doesn't improve the inherent quality of the receiver.

You could argue connectivity either way. It is a convenience to have one stop switching, but toslink for digital and HDMI for the HD formats was an essential upgrade.

So, I have had three receivers since 1989; a dolby pro logic surround one, a dolby digital/dts one, and now a HD format capable one. I probably won't upgrade here, unless I decide that the DD/DTS receiver in the bedroom is inadequate. To be honest, I'm running out of switching there.

And in the end, emotion is what makes the decision. Man is a rationalizing animal and will find the excuse to justify what one really wants.

What you said there is true, but I haven't heard a system yet, that didn't benefit from a proper Audessey set up. Keep in mind that Audessey goes a long way to addressing room issues, which is probably the biggest problem for even the best systems set up properly. It won't make crappy equipment sound great, and with the very best, (with the speakers set up properly), it shouldn't change the sound drastically. My system was set up with the utmost concern for proper location, but I still love what Audessey brought to the table.
 

bhelms

"Wannabe Retiree"
Lifetime Supporter
Feb 26, 2006
7,788
844
Central PA
I am now in 7.1 configuration. (My surrounds and SBs are all Paradigm Titans.) I have yet to calibrate it in this confguration. So far I have heard only 1 BD that claims to have a full 7.1 track but I can't say I heard any real distinction vs. 5.1. I do have some disks that claim 6.1 (DTS ES) and on one of those I definitely heard some effects that sounded like they were coming from directly behind me. I should reconfigure the speakers in the receiver back to 5.1 temporarily (which will eliminate the SBs and presumably reconfigure the surrounds) and replay that one to see if there is any real difference.

Agreed wholeheartedly about the overall upgrade however! I made what was for me a substantial investment in this sound system last year at this time to 5.1 then finally moved to 7.1 over the holidays. HUGE difference vs. the old stereo that I had abandoned some years back, and the simple L, R + sub. PC speaker system I was using for a bit before the upgrade. And what TrueHD and DTS HD MA brings to the audio party is stunning! AFAIK nothing I have now has been superseded yet, tho' I'm sure the codecs are improved in newer equipment...
 
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Paul Wozniak

SatelliteGuys Master
Oct 26, 2005
13,193
5
Hamtramck,MI
Just upgraded to 7.1 speakers. It's kind of a hodge-podge of speakers, but they are all rated well. Going from 5.1 to 7.1 isn't that much better - but it didn't cost me anything extra. I got the two rear surround speakers from a friend and had the wire and extra outputs already on my Onkyo 606.

Anyone else running 7.1 surround speakers and have any comments good or bad about the setup? It's amazing how much better the home theater amp + good speakers can sound compared to the crappy TV speakers I was using form years. I pretty much run everything through my HT-receiver.

I've found that keeping the front 3 in the same company, and preferably in the same model range, to be the most important. Next would be keeping the the first set of surrounds in the same vein. This is extremely important if you listen to SACD's and DVD-A's. Timbre matching is important. As for the final two rear surrounds, I've found that anything that makes sound will pretty much work see's that there isn't a lot of musical information there. I'm doing 6.2, with all Magnepans and two subwoofers. I use 2 center channel speakers for my center and rear surround. I've found 7.1 to be an over-rated experience for the most part. A 5.1 system properly set up will give you 95% of the experience without the headache and cost of the 2 extra speakers. If you got the speakers and the room for them, then that's great too. Most people ,don't have the room for a 7.1 set up, and for them 5.1 will work just great.
 

bebop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 5, 2008
1,538
0
Idaho
I put the final 2 speakers up front because I didn't have a good spot for them in the back and didn't want to crawl under the crawl-space. Maybe I will someday, but it's not worth the effort now.
 

Paul Wozniak

SatelliteGuys Master
Oct 26, 2005
13,193
5
Hamtramck,MI
I put the final 2 speakers up front because I didn't have a good spot for them in the back and didn't want to crawl under the crawl-space. Maybe I will someday, but it's not worth the effort now.

You would better off disconnecting them, rather than putting in the front of the room. That has to be making some interesting sound effects. 20 minutes in the crawl space solves your problem. Sometimes this hobby requires a little work.;)
 

jvc

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 25, 2004
116
0
nc
I'm using a 7.1 setup now. Not a huge difference from 5.1, but enough to know that I like it. I don't have a blu ray player yet, so I've not heard 7.1 discreet channels, from a real 7.1 source, on my system (I have on a friend's). I keep my receiver on Dolby Pro Logic IIx for tv and cds. It sounds very good to me. Watching a dvd, I still listen in 5.1 though.
 

bebop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 5, 2008
1,538
0
Idaho
I hardly play anything that would even be noticable on 7.1 compared to 5.1. I don't have the speaker wire now to run them all the way in the back of the room. My initial setup was to see how they sound and if I wanted to keep them connected. I'm leaning toward disconnecting them instead of buying the wire and crawling around under the house. I don't really have a good place to mount them. Unless it is worth putting them right next to the rear channel speakers anyway. I though it would be worth checking it out since the speakers were free.

Even when I play movies, the best sound seems to come from the all channels stereo setting on my Onkyo 606. My ear isn't that needful for the extra sound from these speakers, plus my room layout isn't that hot for 2 more surround-rear speakers.

Anyone have a good setup for the 7.1 instead of the 5.1 speakers?
 

Roxor

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 15, 2009
257
0
Indiana
Bigger is better!!! :D 80% of the audio comes thru the center speaker (set as small) . Get a good one and a good subwoofer (placed in front of you) and you're good to go.
 

bebop

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 5, 2008
1,538
0
Idaho
Bigger is better!!! :D 80% of the audio comes thru the center speaker (set as small) . Get a good one and a good subwoofer (placed in front of you) and you're good to go.
I have a 75 watt 8 ohm rated 'Mission' speaker on my center channel. When I set my receiver to play the most sound through the center channel it sounds the best. I'm working on a better sub, but the one I have now is not half bad and it's in front of me.

That being said, my setup is about 1000 times better than with no home theater setup. I've only invested about $300 into the receiver & speakers. I've been given a lot of stuff for free from people that didn't want what they had and didn't realize how useful it could be.
 
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