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7.1 setup.. front high speakers or 4 rear speakers?


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Tim Kline

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Posted May 11 2009 - 03:23 AM

Hi folks.

I have my new system all hooked up. Watched my first blu ray movie (transformers) last night and was really blown away by how great it all looked and sounded. And playing games on my PS3 is equally amazing. I almost wish I didn't buy a condo and went for a single home, so I could really crank the volume. oh well Posted Image

My receiver is an Onkyo TX-SR607. At first I set up my floor speakers to be bi-amp but after reading posts and hearing it I really don't think there will be any difference between the bi-amp setup or normal. So I can use those extra speaker ports for another set of surrounds. I don't think I have any room in my area for 2 extra rear speakers unless maybe I stuck them on the wall on either side of my sofa and up high, which I am considering. but one thing it says in the manual is you can also put 2 surrounds in the front, it calls them "front high speakers" so they would be up by the celling kind of above the tv, pointing down.

So generally what would be better? 2 extra speakers in the front, or 2 extra speakers on the sides? My regular surrounds are behind my sofa at around ear level pointing at an angle aimed at the middle of my sofa. If I do the front high speakers, will it just sound like everything is in the front and not enough in the back?
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#2 of 14 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted May 11 2009 - 04:20 AM

Hi Tim,

First, a few comments on your setup. Your surrounds in a 5.1 system go on the sides (or slightly behind you, not point directly at you). 7.1 systems have 2 additional speakers behind you. Putting all 4 on the sides would ruin the intended effect.

For 7.1 to really work, you need a good distance behind your listening area (at least a few feet). I haven't heard the new Dolby PLIIz yet, so I can't comment on the front height speakers, but I can tell you that Chris from Audyssey believes they are more important than the back surrounds (of course using Audyssey DSX Posted Image ).

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Tim Kline

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Posted May 11 2009 - 04:38 AM

hmm. Well, my 2 rear speakers are around 2 feet behind me, that's the closest I'm able to put them because of a big closet door that's right next to the sofa. I have them on 48" speaker stands. I thought aiming them at me would be better since they are farther back, but I can point them at each other too. The area behind my sofa is a walkway into the bedroom, and then behind that it's cut off with half the kitchen on one side and half the dining room on the other so there really isn't anywhere to put 2 more rear speakers other than also along the side walls up at the top. I attached a rough diagram of my room.

So, I have to use DPLIIz for the front top speakers? I always thought DPL was something for making stereo signals use the rear speakers more. Right now I have my receiver set to "Direct" which means it doesn't add any kind of processing or special listening modes to the audio, I figured that was the best way to get the purest sound. There is also something called EQ2 where I get a little mic and put it on my sofa, then it figures out the best way to automatically adjust the sound for the room. I haven't tried that yet though.

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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted May 11 2009 - 07:37 AM

Try the sides pointing towards each other and see how you like it. There's always a compromise. Posted Image

The only way to get the front height speakers is with PLIIx on your AVR. The signal is not present and has to be matrixed.

The EQ Mic is for Audyssey. It is best to use it with a tri-pod. Putting it on the couch will most likely influence the settings in a bad way. Check the Audyssey thread here at HTF for more information.

http://www.hometheat....2-post165.html

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted May 11 2009 - 08:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Willow
The only way to get the front height speakers is with PLIIx on your AVR. The signal is not present and has to be matrixed.
Don't you mean PLIIz?
Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Tim Kline

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Posted May 11 2009 - 08:30 AM

Thanks for the link Posted Image I have a few things to add to my system then after that's all done I'll calibrate everything with the audacity thing.

My speakers are mostly low end, I have 2 Polk TSi300 floor speakers, a Polk CS10 Center and my surrounds are 2 of my old JBL N24's. I did have 2 other N24's but I dropped one and now it buzzes Posted Image I would have liked to use them for the top speakers, now I guess I'll go with Polk again for the tops, probably these. I like to keep the same brand when I can, don't know why Posted Image I guess I just like stuff to match.

My sub is a generic one from my old Sony HTIB set from like 10 years ago, so I think it's about time to upgrade that too. I can run 2 subs on my receiver, but I don't know if I really need 2 going. Plus being in a condo and all I don't want my neighbors or the people below me complaining.

I do have some other small bookshelf speakers from a 5.1 PC speaker set I guess I can try out for the top speakers and see how i like it before I go blow more money. But I'm really starting to think the top speaker idea will be a lot better for me since I don't really have anywhere to place any rear surrounds anyway.
Some call me Tim.

#7 of 14 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted May 11 2009 - 12:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Moxley
Don't you mean PLIIz?

Yes, PLIIz is what I mean to say. Thanks Ed.

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Tim Kline

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Posted May 15 2009 - 08:16 AM

I emailed Onkyo about it and my receiver can only do standard 7.1 with rear surrounds OR 5.1 with front high speakers in DPLIIz. I thought I could have both rear surrounds and front highs together, guess not.

So, just wondering if anyone else has tried front high speakers and what you prefer, the front highs or 7.1 with rear surrounds?
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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Ed Moxley

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Posted May 15 2009 - 01:23 PM

I, personally, haven't heard high fronts, but I can't imagine it being better than speakers behind you. To me, 7.1 is more realistic than 5.1 and extra two higher speakers up front. Just my opinion though.........
Samsung HL61A750 (LED DLP)            Onkyo TX-SR805
Oppo BDP-83 Blu ray                                  Polk Audio LSi9
Polk Audio LSiC                                  Sony SS-MB100H
SVS PC12-NSD (Sub)                       ...

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted May 15 2009 - 01:39 PM

I don't think this is the type of question that someone else can answer for you. Best thing to do is try it both ways and see (or hear Posted Image ) which sounds best to you.

I've not really used 7.1 much, and front/high not at all, so my opinion really means nothing but I've read using high speakers up front pulls the dialog up to the middle of the screen when the center channel is located under the display. This seems to make sense but again, I've not heard it for myself.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#11 of 14 OFFLINE   David Willow

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Posted May 15 2009 - 03:21 PM

Try it and report your findings to us. I'm pretty sure my next receiver will be 9.2 or more (in a few years) and I'll be wondering the same thing.

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Tim Kline

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Posted May 17 2009 - 06:47 AM

OK I'll give it a try and see Posted Image for my room it would still be easier to add 2 more front speakers than 2 rear surrounds. But if all it really ends up doing is enhance dialog then it probably won't help me much, that part seems fine for me right now. I have my center right above my tv and I can always hear it just fine. But I'll see how it goes... Posted Image
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#13 of 14 OFFLINE   RobertLindemann

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Posted September 23 2009 - 12:24 PM

So what's your verdict Tim? I'm about to install the speakers and I'm interested what you did.



#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Brian Alley

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Posted April 03 2012 - 03:17 AM

Late to the party, but I would always choose a 5.1 with dipole surrounds over a 7.1 or having high front (presence) speakers. So much 7.1 is just 5.1 with an artificial rear surround added, plus with two dipoles, the surround speakers are less obvious. The room plan shown is particularly suited for dipoles, since the back is uneven, and doesn't have a good location for two matched surrounds anyway.





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