5.1 AV receiver with A/B or utilize 7.1 & Zone 2? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-16-2011, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd love a little help making a decision. I have been trying to find a good AV receiver to use in my living room. I will only be using a 5.1 but I would like to have a second set of speakers in another room. I have read a bit about the Zone 2 setup some 7.1/7.2 systems offer but the analog only issues has confused me to the point where I need to ask for help.

Primarily, (90% or the time) I want the second room to mirror what is currently coming out of the LR speakers. Most of the time this will be used for sports or music. I wouldn't mind adding the Zone 2 analog-only functionality for the other 10% but only if the done can handle the same digital signal when mirroring (I hope this makes sense).

Will the Zone 2 systems do what I expect them to or do I simply need to find an older 5.1 setup with an A/B setup.

Please ask for additional information if I did not provide enough and thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-16-2011, 12:57 PM
 
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The "analog issue" has been around since the advent of "2nd zone".

All it means is your SOURCE has to be connected analog RCA(the "old" red/white). Now if your source is a BD player, then you need to double up the connection. Same with your HD Cable/Sat box for the "radio" stations.

The snafu with that is, you have to pick ANOTHER input(on most receivers) than the one it is originally on.

Meaning...if your BD player is HDMI in to "dvd" than you can't connect RCA to "dvd" as well, pick VCR or CD. Same thing goes for the HD box.

The "lowest price" receivers that can take digital input and exit via the "other zones" are the Denon AVR 4311(could be the 3311???) and the Yamaha RX-A2000(again, could be the 1000...been a seriously long while since I looked, but you can gauge the type of receiver to do "digital multi-zone" by the price of the A2000/AVR4311).

Now about your "speaker A/B". Yamaha allows the 6/7 channel to be done 5 different ways...(there are more than just Yamaha)
Rear Surround
Speaker B
Bi-Amp
Zone 2
Height

So, with most AVR(and depending on how much you are "willing to spend") you can have both "speaker B" and "Zone 2", whichever way you want to do it. And "change it" on the fly.

Also...this "zone 2" analog requirement...
On some receivers...if the receiver is providing power...there is no "digital restraint" like there would be if you were using the pre-out.
Again, pick your "price point" and how you want to do it(pre-out or powered) then find the receiver that fits what you are willing to spend.

At your budget(whatever it is) I am sure H-K/Pioneer/Elite/Onkyo/Integra/Sony/Yamaha/NAD/Denon/Marantz/Sherwood Newcastle, one of them makes a "powered zone 2, non digital restrained receiver" for less money than everybody else.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-16-2011, 01:07 PM
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I don't know about the different source, different zone restriction mentioned above, but won't say it's not true on some receivers.

Simplest ways to have a second left/right speaker pair are -
* Using a second zone (with analog connections for sources you want to play in the second zone - internal sources usually work in the second zone)
* A speaker box with impedance matching to ensure impedance is safe

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-16-2011, 01:23 PM
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apalmer -
The "Front B" option would be your preferred configuration as long as you don't need an independent source to Zone 2 as it will pass any audio (HDMI, digital, or analog) to the Front B speakers. Note however, that with this configuration you also won't have independent volume controls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

The snafu with that is, you have to pick ANOTHER input(on most receivers) than the one it is originally on.

Meaning...if your BD player is HDMI in to "dvd" than you can't connect RCA to "dvd" as well, pick VCR or CD. Same thing goes for the HD box.

Not true with Denon AVRs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

The "lowest price" receivers that can take digital input and exit via the "other zones" are the Denon AVR 4311(could be the 3311???) and the Yamaha RX-A2000(again, could be the 1000...been a seriously long while since I looked, but you can gauge the type of receiver to do "digital multi-zone" by the price of the A2000/AVR4311).

More specifically, the Denon 3311/991, 4311 and 3312 can take a digital input via optical or digital coax ONLY and output it to Zones 2/3 in addition to analog while the Aventage series AX000 can output HDMI audio to Zone 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

So, with most AVR(and depending on how much you are "willing to spend") you can have both "speaker B" and "Zone 2", whichever way you want to do it. And "change it" on the fly.

Denon AVRs offer both Zone 2 and a Front B option beginning with the 1712 (MSRP $399) on this year's models and the 1611 (MSRP $399) on last year's models.

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-16-2011, 01:30 PM
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I think it's nice to offer a front B option for people. I suspect for many people, that's all they need.

You can do the same thing with Yamaha receivers with biamp terminals, by the way. The biamp output is identical, and uses your rear surround amps usually (as opposed to the old A/B switch on stereo receivers which use the same amp.)

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post #6 of 6 Old 05-17-2011, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the input. It looks like my price range would have been helpful to provide. I am looking to stay around $400 for this piece.
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