Considering surround spacing is ES/EX worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeremy West, Jul 17, 2001.

  1. Jeremy West

    Jeremy West Auditioning

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    I'm looking into buying a new receiver. Price in the $600-$800 range. Like everyone else with the same dilemma, I have a list of receiver's, receiver spec's and my needs.
    My Polk RT25i surrounds are approx. 3 feet behind the couch, on stands, in-line with the outside arms of the couch. The spacing between the surrounds is only approx. 5-6 feet. With this distance would a rear center or rear phantom center make a noticeable difference in my listening experience? With the layout of my room I do not have the option of placing the surrounds further out or mounting them above the listening area. Having just purchased this condo I know that I will be with this set-up for a number of years. I definitely will not be moving into 7.1, no additional speaker space that the wife will approve of considering I already own the living room!
    With the above in mind would I be better off purchasing a good 5.1 receiver, possibly with DLPII that would help with TV/VHS sources.
    I have auditioned the Onkyo 696 and found this to be a nice receiver however, with piss-poor demo rooms at Circuit City, have been unable to really get a good feel for the DLPII. My other option is the Yamaha RX-V800 which would offer a phantom 6.1 but not the DLPII.
    Any comments on the above are appreciated.
    Jeremy
     
  2. MarshawnM

    MarshawnM Stunt Coordinator

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    J,
    Having both extended sound formats, is an investment against upgrading sooner. I have the Onkyo 787, which offers EX, but I don't have the room for an addition center back channel. As I plan on moving into a larger house, having a receiver that offers one of the 6.1 formats is nice, in case I have a new room for my HT. If a reciever that I really liked, did not offer one of these formats, I would still buy it. Their is such a lack of software out there right now that supports either, that it is a non-issue. How many times can we watch Gladitor and Seven? Although, that new Star Wars movie is being released Oct 16.....
    The new 696 is one killer piece. I would dare say that for it's price, its one of the best recievers out there. I would say if your ready to buy now, EX/ES is not really worth it, in the price range you've indicated.
    -Marshawn
     
  3. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

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    >My Polk RT25i surrounds are approx. 3 feet behind the couch, on stands, in-line with the outside arms of the couch. The spacing between the surrounds is only approx. 5-6 feet. With this distance would a rear center or rear phantom center make a noticeable difference in my listening experience?<
    Jeremy,
    Since you have your surround speakers in back of you, your sense of hearing will automatically place the back-channel between the two surrond speakers, behind you, without EX/ES decoding.
    Please note that you are not currently hearing the surround channels as they were meant to be heard. Surround sound in movies (unlike quad-recordings) is meant to be heard BESIDE the listener. That is why ths speaker-arrays are placed as they are in theaters. However, since the back-channel is meant to be heard BEHIND you, your current equipment and setup will do that properly, even though the surround channels will appear to be located erroneously.
    But remember the only way to hear the surround channels properly is to have them located beside you, or to have a DSP that will do that for rear-mounted surround speakers. You might want to look at the Yamaha receivers for that feature.
    Marty
    [Edited last by Marty Neudel on July 18, 2001 at 12:43 AM]
     

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