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Rear surround speaker choice for 6.1 setup? Center channel or single bookshelf?? (1 Viewer)

Scott Stephens

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 23, 1999
Hi. My question is actually two questions. First, if you are looking for speakers to use in a 6.1 setup, would a center channel speaker be ideal or would a single bookshelf serve the system better? Do either of these choices offer any benefit over the other?

Second, what do you guys feel is better, a 6.1 setup or a 7.1?? I know most people think, "the more speakers the better the sound," but I was wondering if anyone had any preference based on their past experience. Does a 7.1 setup offer THAT much more sonic benefit over a 6.1? And is it really worth the extra $$ to purchase a 7.1 receiver over a 6.1??

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


Second Unit
May 5, 2002
I would try to get the same speaker for the rear surround as you are using for the L/R surrounds. This will give you the most natural sound when there are pans. This is also idea for center speakers (to get identical ones as the fronts). Of course space sometime prevents this but be sure to get timbre matched speakers at the very least.


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 16, 2001
For me a 7.1 setup is the way I went. It's not for everyone but my room is 20X30 so I needed 2 back surrounds. If you have a smaller area you could get away with just one. Although most speakers are sold in pairs :)

Phil Iturralde

Oct 7, 1998
Does a 7.1 setup offer THAT much more sonic benefit over a 6.1? And is it really worth the extra $$ to purchase a 7.1 receiver over a 6.1??
JoelM gave an excellent reason why the 7.1 solution was the answer for his 20' x 30' room.
I have basically the same size 20' x 30' w/10' high vaulted ceiling HT/family room, although I have a rear wall located 20' back from the front wall. So, I can put either another JBL S-Center - for 6.1 or two more JBL S26s - to match my four JBL S26 Fronts and side Surrounds.
Sometime next year, when more EX/ES** DVDs are available, I'll review which AV Receiver fits my budget (usually dependant w/profit sharing) at the time. Since I'm using a Yamaha RX-V995 for my Main HT setup and the Yamaha R-V905 (authorized mail-order version identical to RX-V595) @ my vacation house, I'll review what Yamaha DTS ES, Neo 6, DTS ES Matrix 6.1, Dolby Digital 6.1 and Dolby Pro Logic II decoding AV Receiver is on sale or on close out! I bought the MSRP $999.99 RX-V995 for $540 including 3-Day FedEx S/H a couple of years ago.
** The full naming convention is ‘Dolby Digital Surround EX’ which abbreviated is often DD EX and ‘DTS Extended-Surround Matrix’ or DTS ES Matrix 6.1. Surround EX is often also referred to generically as 5.1EX, 5.1+1matrix, and 6.1 (the latter technically incorrect and misleading.)
The proper numbering convention for the soundtrack master is 6.1 (6 discrete full range channels plus the discrete but bandwidth limited LFE channel.) The term ‘6.1’ is often misrepresented as a decoding convention. The proper decoding convention label is 3/2:3.1 which represents 3 discrete front channels; 2 discrete rear channels decoded into 3 separate channels (RS, LS, EX rear) and the .1 discrete but bandwidth limited LFE channel. - From Dereks excellent Surround EX webpage..

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