-

Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

***Official MERGED "Should I get 6.1 (or 7.1) - Is it worth it?" Thread***


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
107 replies to this topic

#1 of 108 Andrew_P

Andrew_P

    Auditioning

  • 8 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 02 2002

Posted November 13 2002 - 04:45 PM

i ve been thinking about getting a 6.1 reciever with EX and ES or should i get a better 5.1 reciever. does 6.1 really sound that much better?

#2 of 108 David Judah

David Judah

    Screenwriter

  • 1,479 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 11 1999

Posted November 13 2002 - 05:58 PM

I think it does add to the overall presentation.

In my case it certainly helps because of surround placement issues. In other rooms I've had my equipment in I could get good rear center phantom imaging, but in the present room, I needed 6.1 to get that back fill.

What price range are you considering? If it's over $400, chances are it will have 6.1 capability anyways.

DJ
Lecktor: Then how did you catch me?
Graham: You had disadvantages.
Lecktor: What disadvantages?
Graham: You're insane.

#3 of 108 Eric Samonte

Eric Samonte

    Screenwriter

  • 1,325 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 31 1999

Posted November 14 2002 - 12:42 AM

I guess u have to experience it to make a decision. Given ur current situation of getting a new receiver, it would be quite wise to invest in something that would not require another upgrade in the near future.
Just my 2 cents.....

#4 of 108 Alf S

Alf S

    Screenwriter

  • 1,298 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 23 2000
  • Real Name:Alf

Posted November 14 2002 - 01:11 AM

I concur with the above posters. My Pioneer 811 6.1 really helps movies like SW-AOTC jump off the screen.

Alfer
WOOSAH!.

 


#5 of 108 Angelo.M

Angelo.M

    Producer

  • 4,007 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 15 2002

Posted November 14 2002 - 01:44 AM

Deleted.

#6 of 108 Alf S

Alf S

    Screenwriter

  • 1,298 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 23 2000
  • Real Name:Alf

Posted November 14 2002 - 01:50 AM

Angelo,

I understand your thought pattern, but curious....have you audtioned BOTH receivers in your home for an extended period of time to determine the HK is more appealing than the Pioneer, or are you just going by hearsay about it's (Pioneer) sound compared to the HK?
WOOSAH!.

 


#7 of 108 Lou Loomis

Lou Loomis

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 70 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 26 2002

Posted November 14 2002 - 02:41 AM

I agree with Angelo about the H/K over the 811 - too much distortion on the Pioneer.

a salesman at a high end shop in NYC game me his thoughts on 5.1 vs. 6.1 - he said in some applications he prefers 5.1, particularly in smaller rooms. he pointed out that 6.1 doesn't give you any "new" information, just spreads it across another channel. often it can create a fuller image. however in some situations, such as smaller rooms where the center channel is quite close to the listener, as many seating arrangements would have, it can make the surround too directional. in other words, you know it's coming from a particular speaker. there is left/right information yes, but with surround sound you want it to be rather non-specific, to fill the rear with ambient sound. in some (not all) situations, 6.1 can work against that.

I don't trust everything sales folk say just because it's in a high end shop (I've seen some actually hold their breath and push Bose- I guess b/c of the high profit margins or something) but his words made sense. but again, his thoughts, not mine. just thought I'd pass them on.

#8 of 108 Angelo.M

Angelo.M

    Producer

  • 4,007 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 15 2002

Posted November 14 2002 - 03:23 AM

Deleted.

#9 of 108 Chris Purvis

Chris Purvis

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 151 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 11 2001

Posted November 14 2002 - 04:54 AM

another thing to consider is whether or not you have a room that will really let you take advantage of a 6.1 setup - think about where the speakers would go and where you'll be sitting and make sure it will integrate into that space. I know someone who was all excited about buying a 6.1 receiver because it was the latest whiz-bang thing, but he had nowhere to put a 6th speaker besides the ceiling or a free-standing pedestal midway between the back of his couch and his kitchen - once I pointed that out he decided to just stick with what he had.

#10 of 108 Wayne McRae

Wayne McRae

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 235 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 28 2000

Posted November 14 2002 - 06:02 AM

If you have a few feet behind you, then yes 6.1 is worth it. Almost all newer receivers come with DD-EX or DTS-ES included. Just look at the 2 hottest releases: Clones=EX and LOTR=ES discrete. Each month more and more DVD's are coming out with these formats. Why someone who has the room would not take advantage of it is beyond me. Lou, you may want to find a new salesman. DTS-ES discrete offers a fully discrete channel providing seperate information. LOTR,Glaiator,Blade2 sound incredible coming from 2 direct rad. speakers 4 feet behind my couch.

#11 of 108 Rich Malloy

Rich Malloy

    Producer

  • 3,999 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 09 2000

Posted November 14 2002 - 07:36 AM

I think we must remember that few of us have unlimited budgets, and we are constantly making trade-offs. So when someone asks whether he should go 6.1, remember that for most of us that will mean less money toward quality speakers and quality amplification, because now we must allocate funds toward two more speakers and two more channels of amplification. The question isn't necessarily whether 6.1 will sound better, but whether the same funds allocated differently might make an even greater improvement.

The processing is the cheap part. The cost of two matching speakers for the surround back channel plus the cost of the extra amplifier channels, on the other hand, ain't. Whereas one might spend $600 for a pair of rear speakers for a 5.1 setup, now one must spend $1200 for a 6.1 ("7.1") setup. The cheapest multichannel amps are now made by Outlaw, but you'll have to pay $500 more for the 7-channel vs. the 5 channel amp (or give up on the idea of 200watts/channel altogether and get the cheaper 7-channel amp with only half as much power). Is this a good trade-off?

If you're in a room where 6.1 is largely unnecessary because you can achieve satisfactory rear imaging, and you don't happen to possess an unlimited budget, then I don't think it is a good trade-off. Better speakers and more amplification will improve most people's systems far more. If going 6.1 means you'll have to skrimp on quality speakers and amplification, then I think you're well on your way to crappy sound... just more channels of it.
"Only one is a wanderer;
Two together are always going somewhere."

#12 of 108 Angelo.M

Angelo.M

    Producer

  • 4,007 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 15 2002

Posted November 14 2002 - 08:12 AM

Quote:
Better speakers and more amplification will improve most people's systems far more. If going 6.1 means you'll have to skrimp on quality speakers and amplification, then I think you're well on your way to crappy sound... just more channels of it.


Rich:

Couldn't agree more, and couldn't have said it better myself.

--AM

#13 of 108 Joe Szott

Joe Szott

    Screenwriter

  • 1,962 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 22 2002

Posted November 14 2002 - 09:55 AM

I agree with Rich and Angelo 100%: if it is a budget-limited choice between a better 5 speaker/amp 5.1 setup and a lower quality 6 speaker/amp 6.1 setup, I'd go for the 5.1 setup every time. As a matter of fact I did with my JBL S series setup and HK 520. Could have gone for less of an amp and N series all around for 6.1, but I don't miss it a bit.

It's all opinion...

#14 of 108 Jeff.bart

Jeff.bart

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 93 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 06 2002

Posted November 14 2002 - 01:41 PM

Any ideas on how far the surround center has to be. In my room, I'd have a foot and a half tops at ear level. Up to 2 1/2 feet if I placed it 6 feet high. Seems to me like it would be too close and I should do without.

#15 of 108 David Judah

David Judah

    Screenwriter

  • 1,479 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 11 1999

Posted November 14 2002 - 02:07 PM

I guess it would help to know what Andrew's price range is.

After all, unless he is looking in the $400 range and under, chances are he's going to get a 6.1 channel receiver anyways, so the point about a better 5.1 receiver is moot.

Andrew?

Jeff,

I entered the 6.1 arena with a bit of trepidation because my listening position is right against the back wall. I came across some Infinity OWS-1 speakers(wall hangers that are only 4.5" deep)that I got for free, so I thought I would give it a go.

Long story short, they worked wonderfully, even though convention says they shouldn't work effectively so close. So, I would say give it a shot, for I have found on more than this occasion that theory doesn't always translate well into real world performance.

DJ
Lecktor: Then how did you catch me?
Graham: You had disadvantages.
Lecktor: What disadvantages?
Graham: You're insane.

#16 of 108 Scott Adam

Scott Adam

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 63 posts
  • Join Date: Jun 23 2003

Posted June 27 2003 - 09:37 AM

As owner of an Onkyo TX SR600 six channel receiver but only running a 5.1 Polk speaker setup, I am wondering...truthfully, how valuable is a 6.1 surround setup with that back surround channel? Am I missing much by not having this speaker? Right now, only a handful of my DVDs have an extended soundtrack to use this channel---Gladiator in DTS ES, Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen Before in Dolby Digital EX and Star Wars Episode II in Dolby Digital EX---am I missing something so earth shattering without this rear surround speaker? Is 5.1 still "good enough" for home theater, pretty much?

Also, I asked this in a previous post, but, without the back surround speaker, can I watch DTS ES and Dolby Digital EX soundtracks? Are the effects from the sixth channel "matrixed" into the rear surrounds when there is no back surround channel present? How does this work?

#17 of 108 Martin Rendall

Martin Rendall

    Screenwriter

  • 1,047 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 05 2000

Posted June 27 2003 - 10:10 AM

Necessary? Not even remotely. Nice? A little bit... but in my experience, only for content encoded for the rear channel. And no, you don't need the back channel to enjoy movies encoded ES or EX. Your other questions I'll leave to the experts.

Martin.
Hopelessly out of date DVD Collection Listing

#18 of 108 ChrisWiggles

ChrisWiggles

    Producer

  • 4,791 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 19 2002

Posted June 28 2003 - 06:23 AM

Also, I asked this in a previous post, but, without the back surround speaker, can I watch DTS ES and Dolby Digital EX soundtracks? Are the effects from the sixth channel "matrixed" into the rear surrounds when there is no back surround channel present? How does this work?


Yes. All are TOTALLY 100% backward compatible. DD EX and DTS ES-matrix is only 5.1. Period. There are 5.1 channels on the disc, and either you engage EX/ES processing, or it is engaged by a flag (often misflagged) then a 6th channel is created behind you (if you have that speaker and is set up in your receiver as such), that is derived across the two surrounds in the same way as the center channel is derived in pro logic. If your system is only 5.1, or setup as 5.1, then the 6th channel is not being "matrixed" into the two surrounds, because there is no 6th channel. It's just 5.1. The 6th channel has to be CREATED to get 6.1.

DTS ES-discrete is also backward compatible, and ALSO compatible with receivers that can only do DTS ES-matrix. The 6th channel is included on the basic 5.1 mix equally in the two surrounds, just as it would be on a matrixed mix or a DD EX mix, but it is ALSO included in a discrete 6th channel that comes in on a rider that (i beleive) is also used for the extended resolution for DTS 96/24. This discrete channel is captured by decoders capable of using it, and the redudant 6th channel information is stripped from the two surrounds so you don't end up with twice as much sound coming from behind you as should be.

---am I missing something so earth shattering without this rear surround speaker? Is 5.1 still "good enough" for home theater, pretty much?


So, no you are not "missing" anything. Not a single bit of data or sound. The problem, is, it's difficult in most situations for even a properly set up 5.1 system to image very well behind you, thus the rear channel improves this. 5.1 is still stellar, and while 6.1 provides a nice improvement, it's really up to the individual. in your case, you have a 6.1 receiver, so it wouldn't be hard to find a rear (preferably two) speaker if you have the space. For those with only 5.1 receivers, then the upgrade is much more formitable. I would err on the side of better speakers for 5.1 rather than stretched your money on crappier stuff in a 7.1 arrangement, but 6.1 is pretty nifty. You should go hear it at a dealer, or borrow/move speakers from somewhere else and experiment with it in your own system. But really, you're not missing ANY sound, nor any earth-shattering stuff going on behind you too much.

#19 of 108 HienD

HienD

    Stunt Coordinator

  • 189 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 14 2003

Posted June 28 2003 - 07:48 AM

I just picked up an Onkyo tx-sr600 yesterday. The sound quality between it and my old pioneer d711 is very noticeable. The Onkyo gives a smoother, cleaner, fuller and more dynamic sound. I was wondering why my speakers sounded so much better in the store. I know now, it was the Onkyo amp used to demo them. This is on a $800 5.1 speaker setup. Try to get a decent 6.1 receiver if you can. If not, get a good 5.1 one.

#20 of 108 Grant B

Grant B

    Producer

  • 3,213 posts
  • Join Date: Mar 29 2000

Posted June 28 2003 - 08:26 AM

I have the Sony TAE 9000ES Preamp which came out before 6.1.
Sony updated the SW to a virtual 6.1. Some owners have bought one of the 6.1 add ons with positive results. In my small room (10 x 12... my 6 KEFs take up a lot of space already)I doubt that it would add much except for $$$$.
We watched "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" last might in the 6.1 DTS Mode and it sounded great! The live performances were exceptional. A great way to get a 6.1 performance without the extra speakers and amps etc.
BTW I have noticed more and more 7.1+ recievers etc but never material claiming to be recorded in 7.1. Can you play 5.1 in a 7.1 mode with good results?
"Whatever it is, I'm against it!" G. Marx

Sony TAE/TAP/TAN(2)9000ES;DVP-CX860 DVP-CX777ES
Sony CDP-CX270 CDP-CX355 CDP-CX270 CDP-CX355
Sony S-TS 700ES XPR32450Pioneer Elite CLD 79 KEFs (5) Q75s & 20B Subwoofer