is 5.1 better than 6.1?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by david*mt, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. david*mt

    david*mt Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am currently using the 6.1 Onkyo system with my Yamaha HTR-5560 and someone over at AVSforum told me that 5.1 is actually better than 6.1 because 6.1 has localiztion problems. Is that true and should I unhook my rear speaker and go back to 5.1? I watched the entire Star Wars trilogy over the weekend and never really noticed any problems.
     
  2. Robert*S

    Robert*S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hey david*mt -
    The question for you is how does your setup sound to you?

    If you like your 6.1 setup and it you have no problems, I would leave well enough alone.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A single speaker placed behind the listener can "confuse" the brain to percieve, that the sound came from the front.What he was trying to say is that 2 surround back speakers are better to use[even if it's the same signal] then 1 for the above reason.
     
  4. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It is preferable to use 7.1 configuration, even if you have to wire two speakers off of one rear output, over a 6.1 setup. But I wouldn't say that 5.1 is better than 6.1.
     
  5. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2002
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I tried out 6.1 with a pair of speakers used for the B/S and liked it. Cosmetically it didn't fit in very well and with my seating up against the back wall, I decided to go back to 5.1.. Give it a try and see what you think. If you can work it out after trying the single and like it. Try out a pair. I never did feel as though I was missing out going back to 5.1. To my ears and in my situation the surrounds seem a little more prominent in the 5.1 mode which I like. In the end this is about what works best for you though.
     
  6. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree with some of the other posters: forget about 6.1. Two speakers in the back (7.1) is a much better solution than one (6.1).

    I also believe that for people with the space and denaro, 7.1 will usually sound better than 5.1. The only execption is when the main seating position is up against the back wall. In that case, there's no easy place to put the one or two rear speakers, so 5.1 might be the best setup.
     
  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had a 7.1 setup for a few months, but I've gone back to 5.1. I prefer 5.1 to 7.1 because in 7.1 there is too much going on in the rear channels, I personally find it distracting. 5.1 is much simpler for my brain to figure out.
     
  8. Bill Mullin

    Bill Mullin Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 1999
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Interesting! I have 7.1, but I find all the additional information coming in from the rear speakers to be exciting, not distracting! Different strokes . . .

    - Bill
     
  9. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 1998
    Messages:
    2,918
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    610


    Au contraire, mi amigo.

    I do have a room that requires the couch be placed toward the back of the room, which also happens to have windows, so no wall placement is possible. But, my center back is a fairly small center channel design, and it sits quite nicely on the window sill, firing up.

    In an unconventional placement such as this, it seems to work pretty well. Its about a foot below seated ear height, and about 3 feet behind. Obviously, the back of the couch blocks direct sound from hitting my ears, but I find that in this position, it sounds pretty diffuse.

    As a bonus, I use monopoles for my normal rears, stand mounted, outboard and slightly behind me when seated on the couch.

    When there is ambience across all three back channels, this arrangement does a nice job of it. And when there is a discrete fly over from center back, that seems to work well too.

    So, all I can say is don't be afraid to experiment if you are unable to do things in a text book fashion. The results may surprise you.

    BGL
     
  10. Bill Mullin

    Bill Mullin Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 1999
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A quadpolar speaker such as this one might do a great job as the rear channel in a conventional 6.1 environment, since it sends out sound in four directions!
     
  11. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 1999
    Messages:
    3,134
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I also went back to 5.1 as my direct radiator surrounds[same as the fronts] imaged so well in their current position that it filled up the back of the room with good "localization",just like when I had back speakers.I think if you use dipole surrounds and they are positioned on the side wall on the same horizontal plane as the listener,back surround speakers make more sense.
     
  12. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 1998
    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Seems like you already answered your own question, ... so enjoy it.

    For more fun, ... Force-on the Matrix 6.1 and play some of your DD/DTS-5.1 DVD's to hear how they decode.

    For example, ... with "Dragonheart", during the scene where Draco (Sean Connery voice) fly's around Dennis Quaid (old knight) about 3x, ... discussing the 'old knight's code', ... it's an excellent scene demonstration on how effective the Yamaha forced-on Matrix 6.1 decodes original 5.1 material correctly using the Rear Center channel with 360-degree seamless surround effects.

    My Rear Center Channels speakers are approx. 10' back from my 'sweet spot' and the voice/flapping wing effects are audibly distinct, ... providing a visually imaginary pin-point direction that is seamless, as the action transitions from the Front Left Speaker, > Center, > Right Side Surround and moves around clockwise towards the Rear Center Channel area, ... basically expanding the effect with more depth. It seamlessly continues to circle around to the Left Rear Side surround back towards the Front area! It's one of my DVD demo's since the Mixing Engineer matched Draco flight precisely around. [​IMG]

    So, have fun and watch more DVD's!!!
    Phil
     
  13. Rob.melone

    Rob.melone Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If you have 6.1 setup properly, and you’re watching a DD EX movie, there is no comparison, IMO. Give a listen to Jurassic Park III where the Velociraptors communicate with each other. In 5.1, their call is center between the surround speakers. In 6.1, their call is distinct coming from the surround rear speaker. 6.1 can add an invaluable dimension to the sound/viewing experience. Just make sure things are setup properly and you are watching a true DD EX movie (not a 5.1 movie running 6.1 in matrix mode).
     
  14. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    BGL:


    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page