Biggest Bang: Moving from 5.1 to 7.1 or 5.2? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-24-2013, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I know it depends on the room size etc. I am posting this 20% for me and 80% because it seems everyone wants to go to 7.1 from 5.1...

In most rooms and given content etc I think that better dollars spent is moving from 5.1 to 5.2.

If people do move to 7.1 ...should they be doing front heights or rears or front sides?

Again all things being as equal as they can be ..what gives you the best + to your surround experience?

To muddy the waters a tad more... better to go from 5.1 to 5.1 + buttkickers?

My understanding from being in the forums too long is -- 5.1 > Room Treatments > 5.2 > 7.2 Front Heights given most rooms...

Just opening up the discussion and trying to figure out my next steps...sometime. Now off to take care of a sick kid.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-24-2013, 07:15 PM
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I'd definitely go to dual subs before worrying about 5 vs 7 channel (altho I didn't do it that way). In my living room when setting up a 7ch setup I experimented briefly with both front heights and rear surrounds where I could switch back and forth and preferred the rear surrounds. Some day I'd like to try front wides, just haven't bothered, as from what I've read that seems to be a better way to go in general. Never tried buttkickers.

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post #3 of 10 Old 04-24-2013, 08:31 PM
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Dual subs! Forget about buttkickers, you should use actual bass to kick your butt! Accept no substitutions! Buttkickers can shake your seat, but that ain't the same as feeling that bass in your chest. Try some near-field bass if you can.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-24-2013, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post

Dual subs! Forget about buttkickers, you should use actual bass to kick your butt! Accept no substitutions! Buttkickers can shake your seat, but that ain't the same as feeling that bass in your chest. Try some near-field bass if you can.

This...
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-24-2013, 08:52 PM
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dual subs should be first before 7.1

buttkickers are fun and I'd do them over 7.1 personally (real bass is always better - but on a concrete slab there is some effect that buttkickers provide that I've never felt any subs provide on concrete slab. yes it's not 100% similar to subs - doesn't matter - it''s still fun. Not everybody likes them however. I had three guys in my theater one night for some demos sessions. None of them had experienced buttkickers before. 1 guy loved it - said he was ordering them the next day, wanted me to turn them up. 2nd guy liked the effect, but didn't like too much of it, 3rd guy said turn them off and keep them off. All experienced the exact same effect because I had four identical buttkickers - one in each of four chairs wired in series/parallel appropriately and running off a single inuke dsp 3000 amp channel with identical timing (accurately) set for all units.

5.1 to 7.1 is not very noticeable unless you have a room that accommodates. Make sure not to put the last two channels too far back or they'll be un-noticeable. Mine are in the back of my room facing forward and I can never heard them from my seating position. Even when I'm back behind my seating postition they are more or less unnecessary IMO.

I did heights and front wides and they are both mostly placebo in my opinion. they are fun - just for the same reasons all channel stereo is sometimes - fun - but since it isn't discreet sound being sent to them - and they are a blend - it's functional, and even desirable - but sort of a gimmick. I'd think man it sounds awesome on this scene with heights. This is the real deal - that helicopter sounded like it flew overhead! Then I'd disable the heights watch the same scene and think - hmmmm still sounds like that helicopter flew by overhead. pshh -- placebo is okay sometimes right? wink.gif

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"

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post #6 of 10 Old 04-24-2013, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

dual subs should be first before 7.1

buttkickers are fun and I'd do them over 7.1 personally (real bass is always better - but on a concrete slab there is some effect that buttkickers provide that I've never felt any subs provide on concrete slab. yes it's not 100% similar to subs - doesn't matter - it''s still fun. .

My theater is on a concrete slab, but my seat gets its butt kicked plenty- by virtue of near-field placement. The bass hits my sofa with me on it before it hits anything else so I get to feel a lot of its energy. Archaea, you might try something where you can set up the woofer to fire right into your seat, maybe try placing a front firing sub right behind your seat. You might try two subs flanking your seat as well. You don't need a massively powerful sub for this either, I think it would work great with a mid range subwoofer. Some subs that I think would work fine for this, try the Premier Acoustic PA-150, Hsu MBM-12 or VTF3, or even the Klipsch RW-12d might work well for this. The Outlaw and PSA subs should do great in this role as well.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-24-2013, 10:05 PM
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I do need to try a near field sub in my room, but since my recliners are in the middle of the room it isn't ideal for long term use. FWIW I have felt an HSU MBM at carp's house and yes it's cool and more realistic than the buttkickers...but I'm not sure it's as tactile as the buttkickers -- and that sort of over the top tactile is fun in it's own right.

Check out a couple spots in this video I made showing the buttkicker mini LFE. Then imagine that unit anchored to the wood in your recliner chair -- it's very aggressive feeling -- more so than acoustic energy. And these buttkickers are just the little guys - -- - the mini lfe units.

http://youtu.be/n-404Vh4nvw?t=2m38s
Shakes water out of a bowl

http://youtu.be/n-404Vh4nvw?t=4m7s
jumps the board it is attached to


Here are the big guys in action


The big brother LFE unit is much more powerful
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoB_FlR3y_A

or about the craziest video with a buttkicker I've seen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ady5fjbbMgI

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-24-2013, 10:16 PM
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When you say 5.2 do you mean stereo subs or do you mean two subwoofers playing off 1 channel?
If it is the latter, I would definitely say adding a second sub adds much more experience than adding two more speakers to a 5.1 setup.
In fact, I'd vote on 10Hz at +10dB over reference before going to 7.1.

Here is the order I'd go:
5.1 -> room treatment -> second sub -> +10dB over reference @ 10hz -> 7.1 -> flat to 3Hz. -> biggrin.gif
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-25-2013, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnatsch517 View Post

When you say 5.2 do you mean stereo subs or do you mean two subwoofers playing off 1 channel?
It's the same thing. Dual LFE outs are paralleled, with the same signal, offering the convenience of not having to use a Y connector to hook up two subs. Dual subs will almost always work much better than one, as dual subs can smooth room modes, one cannot.

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post #10 of 10 Old 04-25-2013, 09:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

It's the same thing. Dual LFE outs are paralleled, with the same signal, offering the convenience of not having to use a Y connector to hook up two subs. Dual subs will almost always work much better than one, as dual subs can smooth room modes, one cannot.

Depending on the AVR in use (such as the Onkyo 3010), each sub output can be independently calibrated by Audyssey whereas a Y connected set of two cannot be. But you are correct in that the initial signal sent is identical before Audyssey gets it.
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