5.1 and 7.1 dilemma

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Adnan, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. Adnan

    Adnan Auditioning

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    I'm in the process of building a house, and as dry wall hasn't been put up yet, I have the luxury of deciding how to wire the rec room for home theater (speaker wire). My question is should I go for 6.1/7.1 or 5.1? How much is out there right now in 7.1 and is it likely to increase in the future, or will 5.1 be the standard for sometime to come? We plan on staying in this house for about 5 years.

    Is 7.1 the system that has a center-rear?

    Also, any receiver recomendations will really be appreciated. Budget will be $1200-1500 new or used. Speakers in the front and center channels will be Magneplanar MMGs (4-ohm), and for now, the rest will be Polk monitors. The reciever/amp will spend 80% of its time just playing music through the front two channels.

    I also have a 2-channel 50W tube amp at my disposal if it needs to be worked into the system some how (that's right, I don't know much about HT).

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Dave Nibeck

    Dave Nibeck Stunt Coordinator

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    Both 6.1 and 7.1 are rear center. 6.1 is one center rear speaker. The 7.1 is two speakers on the rear wall making the rear center (output is identical).

    Since you are pre-rock, wire for the 7.1. The price difference should be minimal and you would be ready for expansion if you elected to start with a 5.1 system. I would run the rear centers to the actual center of the room then out towards the sides. This way your wire would be in place if you opted for 6.1.

    For the receiver, I am partial to the Denon line but you may want to poke around the receivers forum.
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    ABSOLUTELY wire for 7.1. Speaker wire is dirt cheap, I'd run a bunch extra probably just in case, a bunch of extranneous wires for god knows what, like a projector probably too.

    I digress. I think 5.1 versus 6.1/7.1 is covered in the primer pretty well. There is nothing available in 7.1. It should really be called "7.1" and is often just 6.1 with two rear centers wires together, instead of just one, to eliminate the reversal effect. More advanced receivers/processors do some extra processing and have separate amps for each. I strongly recommend that if you go beyond 5.1 that you go to 7.1. There is really no reason not to. If you are that strapped for cash to only get one center rear, it could probably be spent much better for better speakers elsewhere, or just other stuff.

    There are a zillion receivers out there.

    HK, Marantz, Denon, yamaha, pioneer elite, outlaw, rotel, integra/onkyo, sony ES, and a bunch more that i always forget and remember later.

    As for HT, 6.1/7.1 systems are pretty much the norm these days. Almost all 5.1 movies (there are TONS) sound great with the added channels.
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

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    Dolby EX post processing that comes on nearly every 6.1 and 7.1 reciver makes effective use of 6.1 and 7.1 systems on most sources.

    So yes wire for 7.1 absolutely.
     
  5. Adnan

    Adnan Auditioning

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    Thanks for the advice guys... looks like the last decision to make is the Reciever (or amp/preamp combo). I've been looking at the NAD T763 and the Rotel rsx-1055.
     
  6. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    no brainer - you should absolutely wire for the future. heck, wire like there's no tomrrow. think about electrical outlets, roof or center-mounted projectors, etc.

    now is the time to do it ... you're lucky!
     
  7. keith jay

    keith jay Auditioning

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    definitly wire for 7.1. hell, wire for 9.1 and anything else you can think of. just had tweeters out last week hiding wires for my surrounds and rears at $150 a wire. i have 4ohm speakers and suggest that you call the speaker and receiver manufacturers and ask for their recommendations because you're going to need alot of current. i'm currently using a bk avr 507. both the nad and rotel are excellent products but be sure to crank them up with 4 ohm loads before you buy, especially if your room is going to be accoustically dead. aloha keith
     
  8. Geoff S

    Geoff S Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree, wire for 7.1

    Who knows what the future will hold. If there will be a discrete 7.1 system in the future you'll be ready for it.
     
  9. Dan_Whip

    Dan_Whip Agent

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    Hell, I'd go one step further. Since wire is so cheap, why not wire for 15 or 20 speakers. You never know what new technology is going to come out and "revolutionize" the industry. JVC just came out with a 9.1 receiver, and I'm sure there's more to follow. It's much easier and cheaper to do it now than try to do it later.

    As for the receiver, I'd go with the Rotel, but that's just because whenever I hear NAD, it makes me think of that Australian hair remover commercial. I don't think you could go wrong with either choice.
     
  10. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    I'm with Dan, wire EVERYTHING you can now it will cost you a lot more to have it done after everything is enclosed. Also think of intercoms, outside speakers, bedroom speakers, antenna connections & computer lines & anything else you can think of because who knows what will be coming down the line in the future. If it's a big room I would also consider if you needed 2 speakers each on each side wall instead of one on each side. You might also want to take a look at what www.smarthome.com has to offer it may just give you some ideas of what you might like to have in the future or now.
     

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