Originally Posted by primetimeguy
I recently added two more Athenas to my system to got from 7.1 to 5.1. While it is more than a subtle difference it is not a huge difference. To me it is hard to explain what the difference is but it is there and I definitely prefer the 7.1 setup. I think it depends on your room. If you have say 4-5ft or more behind you to place the back surround and can put the other surrounds directly to the side I would do it.
I would have about 4 feet behind me. I don't know if it is just hype but the ASA feature on my receiver looks intriging:
"Advanced Speaker Array (ASA)
ASA is a proprietary THX technology which processes the
sound fed to 2 side and 2 back surround speakers to provide
the optimal surround sound experience. When you set up
your home theater system using all eight speaker outputs
(Left, Center, Right, Surround Right, Surround Back Right,
Surround Back Left, Surround Left and Subwoofer) placing
the two Surround Back speakers close together facing the
front of the room as shown in the diagram will provide the
largest sweet spot. If for practical reasons you have to place
the Surround Back speakers apart, you will need to go THX
Audio Set-up screen and choose the setting that most
closely corresponds to the speaker spacing, which will reoptimize
the surround sound-field.
ASA is used in three new modes; THX Select2 Cinema, THX
MusicMode and THX Games Mode"