7.1 and 6.1 vs 5.1? Do you like surround modes > 5.1? Speaker placement?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Chris PC, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    I don't know how to search for any threads pertaining to this, so I took a chance on starting my own.

    I picked up an SR 14EX that is capable of doing 7.1 and I've asked how it handles certain material, but I was also wondering about 6.1 and 7.1 in general.

    How many of you folks use surround modes of 6.1 or 7.1?
    Do you use 6.1 or 7.1?
    Do the discrete formats make a noticable big difference in 7.1?
    How are your speakers arranged? (Rear 7.1 surrounds close together? Far apart? Side surrounds high up, low, close to the rear, farther forward etc etc.)
    How do you like it?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    First of all, there are no discrete 7.1 formats (with the possible exeption of TrueHD and DD+). There is a DTS-ES 6.1 format, but in 7.1, the 2 surround back speakers are generally mono. I don't really use any DSP modes, but I do use PLIIx with 5.1 to give me 7.1. It works great. The other day I watched U571 and my 11-year-old commented that it seemed like we were inside the submarine, while it was being bombarded by depth charges.

    If a DVD is actually encoded in EX or EX, I'll generally let the receiver auto sense it and go with that. I really think 7.1 adds direction and depth. I am a believer...
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Ok, fair enough. I only have THX EX 7.1 to play with. I can use one or two rear speakers.

    I've no DPL II in my receiver, never mind DPL IIx. I bought the 14EX because it is less expensive than the 9600 but has similar sound quality, and audio quality is my priority. I am thinking of trying 7.1 with this 14EX to see if it's useful before I look for an SR 9600 which has 7.1 including DPL IIx.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    DTS-HD and DTS_HD Master Audio are also capable of discrete 7.1.
     
  5. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    Yes, but so far the analogue outs on HD-DVD and BD are 5.1 only, AFAIK. Why the manufacturers would only put 5.1 outs on a player capable of 7.1 is beyond me... which forces people to upgrade to an HDMI receiver if they want the new 7.1 formats (maybe that's why they do it).
     
  6. Shane Harg

    Shane Harg Second Unit

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    How old is the receiver? I'm not 100% sure what "THX 7.1" is, but I would imagine it's more of a matrixed decoder, kind of like PLII or IIx. I personally wouldn't bank on one outdated receiver to determine the validity of 7.1 surround sound.

    In my own setup, I have my surround back speakers about 1.5 meters apart, mounted about 8 ft. up the rear wall and pointed down at the listening area. This works well for me in my approximately 17 x 11.5' room.

    A few films come to mind, which really impressed me in 7.1, even though they are encoded in 5.1. They are:

    1. King Kong
    2. U571
    3. Air Force One

    If any one of these fail to impress in 7.1, it's the receiver (or the way you have the speakers configured); not the movie itself.
     
  7. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    By THX 7.1 surround I mean THX EX. It can do this for either of DD AC3 or DTS.

    My room is small such that if I placed two rear surround speakers on the back wall and two side surrounds, they'd be pretty close to one another. I have a feeling that my room would benefit from a single rear speaker. Of course, I'm cheating in that I'd be using a PSB Image S50 which is a bipole and acts like two speakers.
     

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