7.1 => 5.1 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-26-2010, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Forgive the dumb question, but I'm not too sure what to search for ... feel free to point me at an existing discussion.

I'm in the market for replacing my Denon 5.1 AV receiver, and while I was almost impressed with Futureshop's offerings this Boxing Day, I ended up convinced that I really wanted the Harmon/Kardon 3600.

Now to my question ... a point was brought up during a topic re a highend Pioneer vs a similar Yamaha, that the Yamaha was capable of dedicating 2 of its 7.1 channels for providing extra power into the front of 5.1 (whereas the Pioneer wasn't). I suppose I'm hoping the HK is also capable of this, but I don't know how to check prior to purchase(?) It would seem that most would be capable and that this would be a common feature -- am I wrong?

TIA and cheerios from the Avalon

cheerios ... michael shaffer
Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-26-2010, 04:17 PM
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It is called bi-amping and is pretty common on most 7.1 receivers above the very basic ones.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-26-2010, 05:56 PM
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Not sure bi-amping is useful enough to base your buying decisions on it.

For movies, it's questionable whether it would add power, as power could be limited by the power supply or limiter circuits, and using two amps per channel may not help.

Seems more likely it would help for two channel, such as music, but realize that the high freq side of a speaker may need substantially less power than the low side, and your real world gain from bi-amping seems limited at best (and useless at worst.)

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post #4 of 11 Old 12-27-2010, 07:09 AM
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Bi-amp capability is a common feature in many 7.1 AVRs, but its actual application is very limited and if it is, usually not correctly. If you search for bi-amping you should be able to find how to do it properly and that will likely make my point. Don't use bi-amping as a buying consideration point unless you fully research this option and have all the proper equipment.
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-27-2010, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sptrout View Post

Bi-amp capability is a common feature in many 7.1 AVRs, but its actual application is very limited and if it is, usually not correctly. ...

1st ... thanx all for your responses ... but I'm more than a bit mystified!

I can understand the subject being complex ... and granted, this particular feature should be considered amongst many others ... but what mystifies me is that apparently no manufacturer has assumed (leastwise allowed for):

... that some (if not most) of us will not take their speakers beyond 5.1
... that our primary audio library is still stereo music, and all we really want coming from the rear is something to fill the room (... eg, ambiance)

And, I do understand that I could pre-amp out to another dedicated amplifier (my Denon currently pre-amps out to a NAD 2400). However, I didn't believe that was needed, and I also might believe it would confuse the AVR's room speaker calibration (... but maybe not?) IE. I am willing to spend the $$ for it all to be in one component.

I'll certainly look further into bi-amping, and I have found research material on the web ... still, if anyone here, with more knowledge than I, has an opinion as to a particular manufacturer having correctly implemented passive or active bi-amping ... then your opinion would be much appreciated.

TIA

cheerios ... michael shaffer
Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-27-2010, 08:57 AM
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Here is a good article describing bi-amping: http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-27-2010, 09:09 AM
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you cannot "correctly" bi-amp speakers from the speaker level outputs of the avr...

* technically, you could, but it wouldn't make ANY sense at all to do it that way... you'd have to convert the speaker level output back down to line level output, and you'd only use one pair of the speaker outs if you were going to do it that way anyway...

"correctly" bi-amping explicitly means "active bi-amping"...

"passive bi-amping" is of zero value, and to base a buying decision upon the ability of an avr to do it wouldn't be prudent, imo...

afaik, there's no current avr out there that allows active bi-amping...

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post #8 of 11 Old 12-27-2010, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sptrout View Post

Here is a good article ...

Thanx sptrout!

The importance of speaker crossovers in this article has me wondering if the term bi-amping is the correct term for what I'm wanting to buy into. That is, when I browse a potential future AVR's user manual, and when the instructions imply that the 7.1 configuration can be instead be configured for 5.1, what is actually being changed? Or ... are the amplifiers supposedly dedicated to the side speakers that much different from those dedicated to front, that 7.1=>5.1 configuration needs to consider crossover frequencies?

Or ... maybe I'm over-analyzing, while I'm only trying to drive a Bose passive woofer + satellite speaker system(?) But I'm still trying purchase a state-of-art AVR with HDMI v1.4, which are 7.1 systems these days, and configuring it for 5.1 and wanting the AVR's room calibration to work properly.

TAIA

cheerios ... michael shaffer
Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-27-2010, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarewolf View Post

maybe I'm over-analyzing,

yup...

don't worry about the 7.1 vs. 5.1... the avr will figure it out all on it's own... the GREAT majority of people who have a 7.1 avr only have a 5.1 setup...

don't sweat the stuff that doesn't matter...

make sure the avr you buy has the "features" you "need" (and no, bi-amping capability isn't one of them ), and make sure that you like the looks of it...

that's it... it's relatively easy if you don't make it hard...

- chris

 

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post #10 of 11 Old 12-27-2010, 11:06 AM
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The OP may be referring to bridging, which can improve output subject to the limitations that MJH mentioned. The Onkyo 3007/3008 and 5007/5008 can have some of their amp channels bridged. Not sure what other AVRs are capable of this.

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post #11 of 11 Old 12-27-2010, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

yup...

don't worry about the 7.1 vs. 5.1... the avr will figure it out all on it's own... the GREAT majority of people who have a 7.1 avr only have a 5.1 setup...

don't sweat the stuff that doesn't matter...

make sure the avr you buy has the "features" you "need" (and no, bi-amping capability isn't one of them ), and make sure that you like the looks of it...

that's it... it's relatively easy if you don't make it hard...

Right. Just configure the receiver in set up for the number of speakers you will be using, the receiver takes it from there.

As to the "biamping" using the receiver's leftover channels, it's not going to hurt anything but there is no additional power delivered to the speakers by doing it.

Just because there is a knob doesn't mean you should turn it.
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