The Best / Most Unexpected Home Theatre Addition I've Made

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by MatthewKolden, Jan 28, 2005.

  1. MatthewKolden

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    This post is just to give a little information on my experience with the new addition to my home theatre system, because I was so impressed that I felt I had to share it.

    I bought the Onkyo TX-SR502 receiver a few days ago and UPS delivered it yesterday. When I got home from work I eagerly took it out of the box and began to set it up. I replaced a KLH R7000 5.1 receiver, which never had very crisp sound in movies or music, with the Onkyo, which is a 6.1 receiver.

    I got the receiver setup and decided to see how much of a difference it would really make having the sixth rear surround speaker, rather than just the two rear left and right surrounds. I was pretty skeptical about it making much of a difference in the overall experience of the movie, so I wasn't expecting much.

    I put in Lord of the Rings, the scene where the group is running from the Balrok (the fire monster). In that scene, there are creatures firing arrows from all directions at the group, and I was absolutely shocked to hear how clearly the arrows sounded as they flew between the speakers. I never expected to hear them fly so clearly from the left surround, to the middle rear surround, and the right surround speakers. It was an absolutely huge upgrade from only 5.1 surround. Part of it was undoubtedly the upgrade in receiver, but that sixth speaker really makes a world of difference. I only wish now that I had the 7.1 system, because I can only imagine how good that must sound.

    Again, I just wanted to share my experience with anyone who may be trying to decide if it's worth it to get a 6.1 setup, and even those who already have one who I can now join in surround sound happiness with. Thanks for reading.

    On a side note, I absolutely recommend the Onkyo TX-SR502 to anyone looking for a great value on an awesome receiver. This thing truly sounds better than my brother's 850 dollar Denon.
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    Hmmm.. You can gain 99% of what 7.1 gives you, by simply hooking up to rear speakers to the 6.1 rear center channel.

    I love those cheapo Onkyo's, I must of helped install 2 dozen of them last year.
     
  3. MatthewKolden

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    I'm guessing you meant "two" speakers and not "to." Is that right? If so, I may take that advice and do it because I do have some extra surround speakers of the exact same model as my current surround speakers.
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    Oops yeah to=two....

    You will be very surprised.. Ya know there still isn't really any 7.1 out there. So in a sense this is exactly what 7.1 AVR's / 7.1 Pre-Pro's are doing anyways.
     
  5. MatthewKolden

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    If I do that, is it going to take power away from those two rear speakers so i'll need to adjust the volume on them higher, or will they receive an equal amount of power and still sound fine?
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    Well, you will have to re-calibrate your audio / channels.

    Sort of funny how that will work, twice the power will be going to the speakers assume'n you do them in parallel. Plus more speakers, so your rear center channel will be louder.
     
  7. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    I was disappointed when I finally hooked up my rear surrounds.
    In certain scenes in some movies, it does make a bit of difference. Not a drastic difference though.
    I doubt you'll notice much, if any difference going from 6.1 to 7.1.
    The minor benefits really are not worth the cost, IMO. But I would do it all over again if I had the choice.[​IMG]
     
  8. MatthewKolden

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    I did what John S suggested and hooked both rear surrounds up to the one rear surround port and that's made a big difference. I think it sounds great.
     
  9. John S

    John S Producer

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    Welcome to the world of 7.1!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  10. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    The Onkyo TXSR 502 is a piece.
     
  11. martyTeboe

    martyTeboe Extra

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    I'm running a Yamaha HTR-5660 6.1 receiver, with Mirage Omnisats for my 3 rear speakers. If I'm following this thread correctly, I'm hearing that I can add a second rear-center Omnisat, and that would, in effect, give me 7.1 sound?

    I've realized that there are no true 7.1 recordings. So are you saying that 7.1 receivers simply split the rear-center channel signal internally anyway? I find that very interesting.... I had been told, or maybe I just assumed, that 7.1 was simply 5.1 with two speakers each for both of the rear-right and -left speaker channels. I guess I was incorrect. What I'm hearing here is that 7.1 is really 6.1 with two rear-center speakers...right?

    Finally, which would be the better way to wire that second rear-center speaker? Should I run a cable from the binding posts on the receiver to the second rear-center speaker? Or can I get away with splitting the signal at the binding posts on the existing rear-center speaker, saving me the pain of running all that wire?
     
  12. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    That is correct.
     
  13. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    I've been using two rear centers since 6.1 became a viable format. I simply "jumped" my speaker lead from one rear center to the other..... you have to decide which is better for ya.... series or parallel wiring. Check to see what your rear centers are in ohms and what the receiver will handle. There's not a lot of demand in the rear center usage so either may be fine. I have a Yam RX-V1 and have wired mine both ways from time to time and only have to recalibrate for reduced or increased power.

    For those who have limited space behind the listening position, 2 rear centers certainly do help. Mine are actually positioned just below my rear surrounds.......
     
  14. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    Radical experimentation with speakers really does the trick too.

    I have two Reference Paradigms Dipoles for R and L Rears. With DTS-ES or any matrix filling the rear, I could have gone with a simple centre channel. Problem is, that is a predetermined and localized setup.

    For virtually the same price, I went with two bookshelf speakers and moved them around to fill the rear soundstage. For me, I found having these firing towards each other and angling out (hard to describe) was the perfect fill for the rear soundstage.

    It's trickier to setup a 6.1 system but once done correctly, it is really fantastic. Instead of sounds in certain areas, it really puts you in the middle.
     
  15. Diallo B

    Diallo B Screenwriter

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    well, when i moved into my house in the middle of last year i really wanted to get my system up but i did not feel like messing with the rear surrounds.

    well after i got it all hooked up and watched a couple of movies, I HAD TO PUT THE SURROUNDS UP.

    it felt like i was missing so much compared to what i was used to. my girl even noticed.

    i know for a fact that i can not listen to my system without the surrounds, even with non-ex/es mixes, without feeling like i am missing something.

    6/7.1 is a good thing but it definitely spoils you.
     
  16. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    So much of 6.1/7.1 is speaker placement and room depedent for how much one might realize in a big, small, or near nothing sound change.

    Some even complain that it ruins their sound field. I can only assume they at least had their system calibrated, I would hope.
    There are a number of people who have tried 6.1/7.1 and not liked it even with ES/EX material. "WHY" This could be for a number of reason as stated above, even down to the speaker/s selected.

    There is no one type speaker placement, or even the speaker/s type thats right for everyones room and system. But if you experiment enough with one or two speakers, their type, and placement, you should find a better/more realistic filling sound stage I would think for at least true 6.1 film material.

    Took 2-plus hours to get it right for a friends set up, then it made a very nice difference. At first it actally sounded worse, [​IMG] but after different placement trys, it finally came together. [​IMG] The side surrounds and rears both had to be moved a number of times before it came together "for his room" and speakers..

    Never hurts to at least try it out. Definetly play with speaker placement if you have a/the speaker/s & wire laying around, and a 6.1/7.1 capable receiver.

    And the Onk~502 is quite a nice little AVR, many 502 owners feel very much the same as you about it...

    Cheers
    Geoff ¥
     
  17. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

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    I have my reservations that the ONkyo sounds better than the Denon. I switched from an Onkyo to a Denon, and the Denon recievers, to my ears anyway, just have a more full sound than the Onkyo's. Just my opinion though...
    Anyway, I have 7.1 and it does sound better than my 5.1 setup I had. The rear surrounds really do add a dimention that I was missing before. But I found that DolbyIIx makes the 7.1 setup sound a bit better than the straight ex/es setup in the rear surrounds. just my 2 cents.
     
  18. david_shy

    david_shy Agent

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    Matthew, was it the DD EX/ DTS ES version of the DVD, or the standard version?

    I have played the DTS ES version through my Denon 2805 in 6.1 and get a very good soundstage at the back - very impressed
     
  19. Robert Lovejoy

    Robert Lovejoy Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree - I went from 5.1 to 7.1 and the difference was far greater than I expected. It's just so much more immersive.
     
  20. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

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    > So are you saying that 7.1 receivers simply split the rear-center channel signal internally anyway?

    This is not always true. Logic7, for example, uses analysis of what is occurring in the discrete channels to derive independent information for the derived channels. DPL2X uses a different logical approach and different compromises to produce a different matrix. Both systems are surprisingly realistic in the sound they produce.

    If you can, audition these 2 systems and hear for yourself how convincing these methods can be.

    Marty
     

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