6 or 7 Chanel Sound with Separates

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ron Duca, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Ron Duca

    Ron Duca Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 29, 1999
    Likes Received:
    I'm a long time receiver owner, but am now curious about separates. My question may sound ignorant, so please bear with me.

    Does the amp OR the preamp determine the number of channels that can be decoded and played? In other words, if I want 6.1 sound, do I need to find a six channel amp, or a preamp that will handle 6 channels of sound, or both? I have the same question for a 7.1 system, although I'm sure the answers will be the same.


  2. David John

    David John Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 26, 2001
    Likes Received:
    You will need a pre-pro that decodes 6.1 formats, which will most likely have 7.1 pre-outs. (the 2 surround back pre-outs send the same info, the 6th channel's info)

    Then you'll need 6 or 7 channels of amplification to run 6 or 7 speakers. That is up to you.

    you can use a 6.1 capable receiver as the pre-pro as long as it has pre-amp outputs.

    However, you will get better results using a true preamp/processor but at a higher cost most likely.

    So the preamp/processor really determines how many channels you can playback, and then you need amps for each channel.
  3. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

    Jun 11, 1999
    Likes Received:

    The pre-amp's decoder will determine what formats can be decoded. As there is no 7.1 discrete format yet, pseudo-7.1 channel output is derived from manipulation of the decoded center back channel from DTS-ES (discrete 6.1 or matrix 5.1) or Dolby Digital EX 5.1 decoding (the channel number designations are for how many discrete channels are available in any given format).

    Some processors split the mono center rear channel identically to two outputs for two speakers, and some add additional DSP manipulation to create a "stereo-like" effect for the mono center rear channel which then demands the use of two center rear speakers.

    On the back of the 6.1 or pseudo-7.1 pre-amp you will have output jacks for 6.1 or 7.1 speakers. You need (simply speaking) as many amps and speakers as their are available surround pre-amp output jacks (to get the most out of any given product). One amp per speaker.

    Take for instance the Outlaw Audio Model 950: There are 7.1 output jacks for front left, front center, front left, side surround left, side surround right, rear surround left, rear surround right, and subwoofer speakers.

    You would then need amplification for 7 speakers and one subwoofer.

    Hope that is of some help.


Share This Page