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  1. #1

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    Default More Surrounds, Whatís Better 5.1 or 7.1 ?

    Hi All: I am looking to add an additional set of rear surrounds ( Rtia4ís) to my Onkyo 806 but I have some question regarding the best way to go with all of this?

    Currently, I have an Onkyo 806 w/ a Emotiva xpa-2 connected to my fronts ( Rtia5ís).
    Emotiva xpa-3 for center ( csi3) and surrounds ( fxi3ís)
    I also have a Polk PSW505 sub.

    Since adding the xpa-2, my fronts are a lot more solid.
    Iím pretty satisfied with my HT, Iím just wondering if I could take everything up an additional notch by adding the Rtia4ís. Also, I watch most of my movies on Dtv, I have a HD DVD player but I honestly don't rely on it too much for movies. I'm not sure if this is the only opportunity I would have to get the benefits of 7.1 ? I have some asking 100 for their Rtia4's.

    In case it makes a difference, my listening room is about 30í x 22í , the room is very elongated.

    Thanks,
    Brad

  2. #2

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    It doesn't sound like this is a pressing problem for you. You're not going to find HD-DVDs that have much in the way of 7.1, and it's only recently the new B-ray discs are just beginning to figure out how to take advantage of 7.1 and put out a few discs in that format.

    When you get a Blu-ray player you might want to consider the upgrade. I wouldn't worry about adding amplification back there. Just use the Onkyo....and save some money...those tracks will not carry much info nor require power amps?
    cnh

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    It doesn't sound like this is a pressing problem for you. You're not going to find HD-DVDs that have much in the way of 7.1, and it's only recently the new B-ray discs are just beginning to figure out how to take advantage of 7.1 and put out a few discs in that format.

    When you get a Blu-ray player you might want to consider the upgrade. I wouldn't worry about adding amplification back there. Just use the Onkyo....and save some money...those tracks will not carry much info nor require power amps?
    cnh
    Thanks, I figured as much but wasn't sure.
    Although I'm still wondering if the rtia4's will give me anything addtional when listening to music through all channels given that the Emotiva's are powering all of my speakers except the sub of course.
    I just didn't want the two rear surrounds on the Onkyo to go to waste. :D

  4. #4

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    I just realized that I selected “Review rather than HELP”
    sorry about that

  5. #5

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    If you have a big area with adequate room behind the seating area to place rear surrounds, DO IT. The vast majority of 5.1 tracks sound fantastic using DPL-IIx Movie Mode to create the rear surrounds, and you'll get much more precise placement of surround channel sounds. Dolby even recommends DPL-IIx Movie in 7.1 for tracks mixed for theatrical Dolby Digital EX (and I strongly agree).

    You don't need native 7.1 material to enjoy a 7.1 setup. Personally, I use DPL-IIx Movie on all 5.1 sources (especially my Xbox 360 - DPL-IIx with games is outstanding). The only ones that aren't enhanced by it are the ones with largely monaural surrounds (i.e. older movies), which tend to collapse to the rear speakers. Most modern soundtracks have enough sound mixed between the side surround channels in varying increments to greatly benefit from the precise placement DPL-IIx Movie offers across the rear soundstage.

  6. #6

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    That's a good point. Why don't you just give it a listen and see what you think. This is a bit subjective...I am not particularly impressed with (what sounds to me) artificially expanded sound on DolbyD-IIx, but you might like it? I rarely use any of the DSPs on my AVR...just let it process as the original disc format defaults to.

    cnh

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    I'll give you a big ole caveat, because I see a lot of people talk about the artificiality of DPL-IIx: Hit Dolby's site, set your speakers up at the intended angles from the listening position, then CAREFULLY match the levels with a SPL meter or auto-setup program. Audyssey MultEQ on your 806 should do a good job of lining things up, assuming you're careful with the mic placements when you do all 8 positions.

    Also, the biggest problem I normally hear with 7.1 setups is the distance/delay settings. Get 'em wrong and the rears will hit the listening position too early, giving you a sense of things being way too rear-oriented (which is usually the cause of "artificial" complaints). When properly set, you should be able to hear pans between the side surrounds make their way across the rear soundstage smoothly. I know it'll sound crazy... but a good tool for judging this, if you have an Xbox 360 or PS3, is Rainbow Six: Vegas or its sequel. Find an area producing a directional sound and slowly rotate, or get a friend to move around behind you slowly. If you really nail DPL-IIx across the rear, you should be able to pinpoint the sound as it moves across the rear soundstage, with no noticeable change in level as it moves between speakers. (It also makes it insanely useful in multiplayer, because you can hear specifically where shots come from or if people try to sneak up behind you.)

    Also, let's not lump DPL-IIx in with the usual artificial soundfield creators typically associated with DSP modes. One of the primary goals of DPL-IIx was to avoid sounding artificial, which is why Jim Fosgate made sure there was no sound ADDED to the mix - only phase/level/feedback associated steering. Unlike DSP modes, it adds NO reverb or any other artifact that isn't there in the original source. It simply compares the two surrounds and positions the sound based on how much of that sound is in each speaker. Ambient sounds meant to be out of phase in the surrounds so they're generalized will still be reproduced that way. However, in-phase sounds are steered to the rear based on how much is in each side surround (i.e. 50% of the sound in each side surround = steer to both rears; 25% left surround and 75% right surround = steer between the right surround and right rear; etc.). Proper setup will give you a far more cohesive rear soundstage than 5.1 can provide, and will sound fantastic with the vast majority of material you throw at it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kuntasensei View Post
    I'll give you a big ole caveat, because I see a lot of people talk about the artificiality of DPL-IIx: Hit Dolby's site, set your speakers up at the intended angles from the listening position, then CAREFULLY match the levels with a SPL meter or auto-setup program. Audyssey MultEQ on your 806 should do a good job of lining things up, assuming you're careful with the mic placements when you do all 8 positions.

    Also, the biggest problem I normally hear with 7.1 setups is the distance/delay settings. Get 'em wrong and the rears will hit the listening position too early, giving you a sense of things being way too rear-oriented (which is usually the cause of "artificial" complaints). When properly set, you should be able to hear pans between the side surrounds make their way across the rear soundstage smoothly. I know it'll sound crazy... but a good tool for judging this, if you have an Xbox 360 or PS3, is Rainbow Six: Vegas or its sequel. Find an area producing a directional sound and slowly rotate, or get a friend to move around behind you slowly. If you really nail DPL-IIx across the rear, you should be able to pinpoint the sound as it moves across the rear soundstage, with no noticeable change in level as it moves between speakers. (It also makes it insanely useful in multiplayer, because you can hear specifically where shots come from or if people try to sneak up behind you.)

    Also, let's not lump DPL-IIx in with the usual artificial soundfield creators typically associated with DSP modes. One of the primary goals of DPL-IIx was to avoid sounding artificial, which is why Jim Fosgate made sure there was no sound ADDED to the mix - only phase/level/feedback associated steering. Unlike DSP modes, it adds NO reverb or any other artifact that isn't there in the original source. It simply compares the two surrounds and positions the sound based on how much of that sound is in each speaker. Ambient sounds meant to be out of phase in the surrounds so they're generalized will still be reproduced that way. However, in-phase sounds are steered to the rear based on how much is in each side surround (i.e. 50% of the sound in each side surround = steer to both rears; 25% left surround and 75% right surround = steer between the right surround and right rear; etc.). Proper setup will give you a far more cohesive rear soundstage than 5.1 can provide, and will sound fantastic with the vast majority of material you throw at it.
    Ok, this is pretty informative. I do have to confess that I have no clearance behind my seating position. I guess I would place them behind me above my head from a seating position. Does this still make sense? Thanks

  9. #9

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    If your seating is flush with the back wall, don't bother with 7.1. You won't be able to get the speakers at an angle that would make them work well, and if you put them too close to your head, they're going to be WAY too obvious.

  10. #10

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    Default

    I say for the FULLY immersive sound of complete and utter surround, go with the 23.5 system. It'll be coming out in July, 2017...
    TNRabbit
    NO Polk Audio Equipment
    Sunfire TG-IV
    Ashly 1001 Active Crossover
    Rane PEQ-15 Parametric Equalizers x 2
    Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature Seven
    Carver AL-III Speakers
    Klipsch RT-12d Subwoofer

  11. #11

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    ok, got it. Thanks

  12. #12

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    Nicely written and explained kuntasensei.

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