1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

Going From 5.1 to 7.1 is there a difference?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Don K, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. Don K

    Don K Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I set up my 5.1 speaker system, when I was remodeling, I also placed additional speaker wires in case I ever wanted side speakers for a 7.1 system. I am in the process of replacing my 5.1 AV with a new 7.1 Pioneer Elite so the question is again is it really worth going to 7 speakers. Would like to know from people that have gone form 5 to 7 speakers and get their opinion. From the few that I could search out it was even, one saying it didn't make any difference to one saying he was quite happy with the results.
     
  2. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 1999
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    1
    7.1 or 6.1 is better than 5.1 IMHO!!
     
  3. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Messages:
    3,764
    Likes Received:
    0
    speakers 4 & 5 are the side speakers. 6 & 7 go behind you.

    Aside from that: You certain can't do any worse for using 7 speakers, whats the worst that could happen? They'll remain quiet during some of the movie?
     
  4. steveKlein

    steveKlein Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    i would say that going from mono to stereo is kind of a big deal. going from stereo to 5.1 is a HUGE upgrade. going from 5.1 to 7.1 is a lot less of a big deal, but still could enhance your experience (but don't expect to be blown away like going from 2.0 --> 5.1)

    this analogy might work: vhs ---> dvd (2.0 ... -> 5.1) and then dvd ---> blu-ray (5.1 ---> 7.1)
     
  5. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    1,127
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you have multiple rows of seating it is worth it.
     
  6. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,838
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene
    From what I've read around here over the years, it seems to be "the bigger the room the bigger the improvement". I'd like to try 7.1 but don't feel my room is large enough (sigh).
     
  7. mojomike

    mojomike Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    The difference is very content dependent. Some movies like the Star Wars releases of recent years are actually coded for it and certain stuff like flyovers seem to benefit, but the improvement is subtle.
     
  8. frogpond

    frogpond Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    The bigger the room the better and the above post about multiple rows is right on. Here's the thing start looking at your movie collection, start looking at the specs on the back. What you will find is 5.1 is the norm, 6.1 is rare and 7.1 in non exisistent (yes even in Star Wars which is 6.1). With a 5.1 movie and a 7.1 set up the receiver is doing all the work and makes phantom channels. Mastering in 7.1 takes would take a lot of precious space on a 4.7gig DVD which is why its not done. Now with HDDVD and Bluray we might start seeing 7.1 but as of yet its still a ways off.
     
  9. frogpond

    frogpond Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oops! Just checked my Star Wars collection and they are 5.1 not even 6.1!!
     
  10. mojomike

    mojomike Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Revenge of the Sith" is EX.
     
  11. Lord Dalek

    Lord Dalek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,519
    Likes Received:
    222
    Real Name:
    Joel Henderson
    The sixth channel is matrixed (just like the center and mono surround are matrixed into a 2.0 LT/RT track) into the rear two so it is a 6.1 of sort.
     
  12. frogpond

    frogpond Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm in the minority, but I went from 5.1 to 7.1 and I found the rear soundfield to be distracting / too much in 7.1 (Dolby ES / DTS EX). I went back to 5.1 and am happier with it.
     
  14. djsHTnut

    djsHTnut Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    I tried 6.1 and also found it to be bothersome. I went back to 5.1 and sounded much better. At least for now I feel 5.1 is better because that is what it is produced in.
     
  15. MikeLi

    MikeLi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    0
    Like a few of the above posters have mentioned, it really depends on several things. #1 being your room then equipment and so forth down the line. Again its not all that giddy like going from even straight old dolby to the newer dolby. (Even the EX). But you never know until you try.

    I have a long and narrow big room that does double duty for a family room but really is set up more like a HT. (I like being on the same floor as the family and others when they stop by so I prefer not to have a dedicated theater but mine is set up better than some dedicated ones people have done) I too wanted to try 7.1 when I made a processor change that had 7.1 just to try it. Had to buy a couple more amps but what the heck. I wound up getting some good speakers (Non dipole for the rears). My leather couch which is also around the sweet spot backs up within 15" from the back wall with a picture window above it. I have the window sealed and also a nice heavy duty drape over it. Can't put the speakers above unless you pointed them straight down, plus it would look weird.

    So here is what I did. I bought some speaker stands that are only 16 inches off the floor and put the speakers facing straight up jut past the ends of the couch. Actually 1/3 of the speaker is behind the couch. It traps the sound a bit making the other side of the couch to hear the opposite side speaker when needed and vice versa. Had to up the volume notch on these speakers 2 higher that what the calibration thing said to do and it works great. There is not a whole lot that goes through these speakers and I way overspent on what I put there but it does sound good. Also took the covers off and got some thin but strong plastic thats like a mesh and cut it to protect the speakers incase something fell on them and put the covers back over them. Won't stop any water from getting in there but I should not have that problem where they are at. Anyway works for me.
    Mike
     
  16. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    7.1 is not an insignificant improvement.

    6.1 one should avoid. Always try to use a 7.1 array, even in a 6.1 processing environment.
     
  17. MikeLi

    MikeLi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    0
    Definantly not like going from bookshelves to floor standers up front but there is a slight noticable difference. I say if you have the money and can figure out a way to put the speakers. They can be small as they are not used that much but it is kind of neat. Still though I would rather have a great 5.1 than a crappy 7.1 anyday.
     
  18. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,564
    Likes Received:
    126
    Location:
    Lake Worth, Florida
    Real Name:
    Gaston
    I have a 7.1 one set up and enjoy it immensely. There are so many variables involved from the size of the room to speakers to arrangement to amplifier/processor that your mileage will vary greatly. With my current setup, I will never go back to 5.1. The sound field is truly impressive. Will you have the same results? Possibly. But it will probably be either better or worse (again, due to the many variables involved). An expensive experiment perhaps, but you will have to try it yourself.
     

Share This Page