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Can you use a 7.1 receiver/processor for a 5.1 system?


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#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Hoang

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Posted November 24 2003 - 05:42 AM

I'm still trying to understand HT a bit more. I only want a 5.1 system in my home. However, most of the pre/pro these days are either 6.1 or 7.1. Would I still be able to use these in a 5.1 system?

I am currently in the process of picking up a Parasound 2205A. Please point me in the right direction. I don't mind buying a used component so any suggestions of a new or used pre/pro for a 5.1 system would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

#2 of 11 OFFLINE   JamesHl

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Posted November 24 2003 - 07:21 AM

Yes, you would.

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Hoang

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Posted November 24 2003 - 07:38 AM

Any disadvantages?

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   JamesHl

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Posted November 24 2003 - 08:51 AM

Only advantages, really. You could upgrade to a 6.1 or 7.1 system in the future with more amps/speakers.

#5 of 11 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted November 24 2003 - 11:46 AM

Yes, the ability to upgrade by just adding speakers is a very significant value. All you need to do is be sure that you tell your receiver that you have no 6th/7th speaker, and you're good to go.

#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Gavin.F

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Posted November 24 2003 - 12:16 PM

So, can you have a 7.1 reciever and use it as a 6.1 reciever? Would you do this by changing a setting on the reciever menu about the number of speakers connected?

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted November 24 2003 - 01:34 PM

I'm not familiar with specific receivers, and how they deal with 7.1 outputs, etc, there are a lot of ways it can be done. But you can guaranteed do 5.1 on a 6.1/7.1 receiver. the thing with 7.1 receivers, they could be two outputs in mono, which is 6.1, with the recommended dual backs, but often there is processing such that those two added speakers get slightly different info. I can only assume that you could configure 6.1 on a 7.1 receiver, but again specifics may well vary. And it is strongly recommended to use dual rear backs, to eliminate the reversal effect. I do this on a 6.1 receiver.

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   Hoang

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Posted November 24 2003 - 05:43 PM

Thanks for the great info.

Now, which processor/receiver should I get to go match the Parasound 2205? Should I stick to Parasound or would it be ok to mix/match brands when it comes to amps/preamps? What do you recommend?

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   George Caronan

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Posted November 26 2003 - 05:38 PM

To Hoang and Gavin,

As noted, a majority of receivers or pre-pros can be configured to not having rear surround speakers. Although it is not crucial with so many titles being DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1, having such a set-up does assist in a more uniform panning from side to side along with the ideal platform to hear DTS-ES [Matrix or Discrete], Dolby Digital EX, THX Surround EX and the upcoming Dolby Pro-Logic IIx. There are some receivers such as Pioneer and Sonys [I believe] which ca simulate a "virtual" surround back though I reckon you have to be in the perfect sweet spot to even feel it in a sense. I have an Anthem AVM-20 v.2 run through Parasound amps which provide excellent results. There are those who feel that it would be synergistic to use matching makers but it can also be argued that a better amp matched with a great pre-pro can reap even better yields. If you are going to use a receiver as a pre-amp, I suggest trying a Denon or a Marantz. Best of luck in your quest. Cheers!


#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Hoang

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Posted November 26 2003 - 06:14 PM

George,

I'm thinking of going with the Rotel 1066 processor. What do you think of that with the Parasound amp?

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   George Caronan

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Posted November 27 2003 - 11:08 AM

Hi Hoang. I think a Parasound amp would be a good match with the Rotel RP-1066. Rotel manufactures great amps but for some reason they are just a bit laid back for me. Parasound amps have the level controls per channel plus it's THX certified to boot. Parasound amps have a little more presence in the highs and midrange along with a tighter bass. One way for me to describe it is that it has more "bite" to the presentation. Of course, this is dependent on the speakers you use. Bright sounding speakers tend to accentuate these qualities. Rotels don't impart their own character on the processing unlike mid-priced receivers out there. It presents the recording as is due to its high quality processing chip and DACs. I don't think you could go wrong with the combination at all. My Anthem makes my speakers sing through my Parasounds. There have been some users in the Rotel Club that have this combination where their reports have been quite positive. If you have a chance to audition them both for an A/B comparison, I highly recommend that you do after all your perception could very well differ from everyones. The RSP-1066 is a very nice processor. Separates are definitely the way to go. I sincerely hope that things work out to your satisfaction. Cheers!