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Old 01-28-2011, 05:05 PM   #1
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5.1 vs. 7.1


I have an old Dolby Surround receiver (three front plus rear, not 5.1). I want to upgrade to a newer system.

Has anyone had a 5.1 system and upgraded to 7.1? How much difference do the extra two speakers make?

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Old 01-28-2011, 05:12 PM   #2
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5.1 vs. 7.1


Rear speakers in a surround system are rarely heard, but they do make a dramtic difference, what really makes a big difference and if I read your post correctly you have never had, the .1 part (the sub woofer), now there is a big difference, especially if you go with a powered sub, and only use the output signal of the amp to turn the sub on.

As far as the difference between 5.1 and 7.1 again as the back speakers the middle (surround speakers) are rarely heard, but they do add the dramtic depth to any sound system presenting movies.

Personally, if you are going for it, do the 7.1 amp, you can always add the speaker later

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Old 01-29-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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5.1 vs. 7.1


In my current setup, the main speakers have 15" drivers, so I don't feel the need for a subwoofer, but it would definitely make a difference in the speakers I see marketed for home theater use. Part of the reason for wanting to upgrade is to get smaller speakers. It's a new house and the room is smaller and a different shape, and the big floor speakers won't really work well.

I understand exactly what you mean with the rear speakers, because I have them, but it's the old kind that only have a single channel for the rear. I'll never forget the first time I saw the opening sequence of Star Wars (with a rear channel) where the Star Destroyer comes from behind and overhead.

The difference in cost between 5.1 and 7.1 isn't all that much, but it will make a difference in running wires and mounting speakers, so I probably only want to do it once, if you know what I mean Sounds like we may as well do 7.1.

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Old 01-29-2011, 03:24 PM   #4
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5.1 vs. 7.1


I don't have 15" but I do have 12" a pair of old Yamaha NS-690's for the L&R front channel, I, was thinking the same thing with regard to base, but I bought a 14" Acoustic Research powered sub, man what a difference.

The amp balances the sound between the L&R Fronts and the Sub, based on a timed response, and it really does make a big difference.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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5.1 vs. 7.1


Isn't there also the issue of source material being recorded in 7.1 format? How much material is really available? Just newer stuff?
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:51 PM   #6
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5.1 vs. 7.1


A good amp will decode 5.1 to output 7.1, so yes if the sound tracks origin is 7.1 is will have better sound quality, but 5.1 will sound very close to it put through a 7.1 amp.

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Old 03-08-2011, 05:18 PM   #7
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5.1 vs. 7.1


If you have the space to place the two additional rear speakers, it does sound a little bit better. Not too much in my case. I would still upgrade to a 7.1 receiver even I don't plan to utilize the additional 2 channels though.

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