Existing 7.1, thinking about changing to a 7.2 or a 9.2, should I????? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-29-2014, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Currently, I am running a 7.1 system
Pioneer Elite VSX-94 AVR
Pioneer Elite Blue Ray
Energy CF-70 Left & Right
Energy CC-10 Center
Energy CF-30 Surround Left & Right
Energy CB-20 Back Surround Left & Right
Martin Logan 500 Sub

First, i do understand that other than current Blue Ray configurations, not too many 7.1 movies or source material, also, this setup is in my living room, not a dedicated home theater

I am thinking about up grading my AVR and I have an extra set of speakers, CB-10, these were my original back surround, and when found a pair of CF-30 for really cheap and brand new off Craigslist, I put these recently purchased as my surround left and right, and moved the existing CB-20 that were my surround to hold the back surround positions.

So, with this extra pair of bookshelf speakers, CB-10, is it worth moving to a 9.2 setup??? If I do, should these be set as Front Wide or Front High?
Should these CB-10 stay as my back surround, and move these new CF-30 as a front wide, these would be hard to set as front high, ceilings are not that high...
My gut tells me the addition subwoofer in either a 7.2 or 9.2 setup would provide some additional affect, but is the extra cost in a 9.2 AVR worth it?
Or, do I keep what I have and add an outboard 3 channel amp to run the front LCR, like emotiva's 3 channel 200 watt amp

As a side note, when I am watching a 7.1 movie, like the hobbit etc...I honestly never hear or really notice my back surrounds, now that could be coming from my existing setup and speaker placement, I did run the Pioneer MACC calibration, so the AVR knows they are there and their distance to the listening position...

I know there are several similar post on this topic, but the more I read, the more I seem to get confused...

Any direction or advice would be greatly appreciated...

Upgrade my AVR
Upgrade to an outboard amp
Upgrade to a 7.2 setup, sell these extra bookcase speakers, and add a second sub, buy a better tv etc...
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-29-2014, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dertitan2 View Post

My gut tells me the addition subwoofer in either a 7.2 or 9.2 setup would provide some additional affect, but is the extra cost in a 9.2 AVR worth it?

You don't specifically need a "x.2" AVR/processor in order to add a subwoofer (or subwoofers). Although there are AVRs and processors that may be able to calibrate (and even EQ) more than one subwoofer output, independently, I think that many AVRs' and processors' multiple subwoofer outputs are simply parallelled identical outputs that cannot be adjusted independently; something that can just as easily be achieved with a Y-splitter and any "x.1" AVR/processor.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-29-2014, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that suggestion on the subs...

One area I am considering in addition to the questions I ask above are the addition of acoustic panels, maybe add a diffuser etc..in looking at some of these products, they look as nice as the artwork i have hanging on my wall right now

I have a few emails into these type of supplier for some suggestions in improving the acoustics of my living room etc...currently have hardwood floors, and a vaulted ceiling etc...

What is your take on the whole 9.2 or even more 11.2 setups utilizing front high or front wide speakers etc...is this one of those things that in a dedicated home theater room, they are amazing additions, but in just a plain old living room, not so much etc...
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-29-2014, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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in some other forums, the first thing folks have suggested is to just replace the sub, when I purchased the martin logan dynamo 500, at the time, I thought I was buying a decent sub, at least decent for the money and the budget I was working with...

lets say i abandon this whole 9.2 idea, even abandon the 7.2, and just replace the sub, if that was all I was changing, and I had a budget of $750 to $1000, any suggestions on brand/make/model etc...for a sub
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-29-2014, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dertitan2 View Post

in some other forums, the first thing folks have suggested is to just replace the sub, when I purchased the martin logan dynamo 500, at the time, I thought I was buying a decent sub, at least decent for the money and the budget I was working with...

lets say i abandon this whole 9.2 idea, even abandon the 7.2, and just replace the sub, if that was all I was changing, and I had a budget of $750 to $1000, any suggestions on brand/make/model etc...for a sub

I'd pick something in that price range from Rhythmic, Hsu, or SVS and use both subs. I favor dispersed subs with independent eq for each sub. That needs to be done manually with software such as REW and a mic used to set up a MiniDSP 2x4 (about $100).
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-29-2014, 02:23 PM
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I don't have a 9 ch setup but did experiment with front heights in my 7 ch in my living room, went back to rear surrounds instead. Had wood floors, vaulted ceiling but don't know how much that played a part. Now I have a new living room recently and haven't tried again....yet. I think overall the difference in a 9 ch system will be subtle in any case, like going from 5 to 7 ch.

I'd agree a new sub might breathe more life into your setup than going for more speakers. How big is your room? That's a pretty small sub and ML isn't exactly a sub company. I'd look at SVS, Hsu, Power Sound Audio, Rythmik, Reaction Audio, etc. I think multiple subs are a good way to go, and my next subs I'm building (look up Marty subs in the DIY sub forum).

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post #7 of 13 Old 04-29-2014, 02:33 PM
 
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The top-end Denon AVRs, like the X4000 and 4520ci have two sub outputs that are actually separate in terms of calibration and level trim.  I have an X4000 and I can't say enough good about how it calibrated my two subs.  I've wanted that ability for years, finally have it.

 

Here's my "for what it's worth" on 7.1, 9.2 and 11.2.  7.1 discrete soundtracks do exist now, but mostly you're still looking at 5.1 tracks processed to fake the rears.  It's not a bad fake, but it's a fake none the less. However, in larger rooms, adding more speakers significantly smooths out surround coverage, and in the larger dedicated rooms I've designed, I push for 7.1.  I never define it as anything but 7.1, even if there are two subs, because there's only one LFE track.  9.2 and 11.2 only exist now as post-processes.  However, the boffins at Audyssey have figured out a really good algorithm for the wide and height speakers.  If you have to pick only two additional channels, pick the wides first (that actually comes from Audyssey), but the heights do really add the Z axis.  Surprisingly good for a post process, and worth it if you have the space and funds.  And someday...if ever...you're set for those channels if they are ever provided as discrete channels on a soundtrack. 

 

That said, I have heard 10.2, all discrete channels, slightly different layout than 11.2., in a home theater sized room.  I'm here to tell you, that is amazing!  10.2, or 11.2, discrete, is the target to shoot for, long term.  

 

The rule of thumb is, every time you double the channel count, every listener can tell the difference.  So 5.1 to 10.2 or 11.2 is clearly improved for even the uninitiated listener.

 

Dual subs...I always suggest dual subs, even if it means using two lesser subs to make the budget work.  Bass is such a challenge in small rooms, the more subs you have, the more seats get even bass response.  One sub, and you're almost guaranteed to get good bass in one location only...and it might not even be in a seat.  You might in some cases do better, but the chances aren't all that good.  And, where possible, I suggest more than two, though I usually stop at four.  It's never about bass volume, it's about even bass spectral coverage in all seats.

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post #8 of 13 Old 04-29-2014, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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room size is about 12' X 20', roughly, has three opening, one standard 3' opening into the kitchen, then a about a 9' opening into the dining room, and then an opening into the hall way

highest point of the vaulted ceiling is about 15'

with hardwoods

I am looking to some of those acoustic panels, they look just as good as the current artwork i have on the walls, i have a few emails into two companies that sell those, wasn't sure if they helped improve overall sound etc...plus they are not extremely expensive, and they look nice, that way I can spend money on the right items to improve
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-01-2014, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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i did a quick measurement of my living room last night, i have attached a very rough sketch, but 15' wide, 20' long, and 12' high vaulted celing

after some negotiations with my wife last night, I have between $3K and $4K to spend on upgrades

I like my energy speakers, so if they are staying, where would this money be best spent to really improve my experience...???
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-01-2014, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
I have between $3K and $4K to spend on upgrades...
where would this money be best spent to really improve my experience...???

acoustic analysis and treatments, either DIY or GIK/Other
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-01-2014, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
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too funny, just got off the phone with one of their reps...
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-01-2014, 10:36 AM
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Glenn (GIK) and Ethan (RealTraps) among others have helped many here.
They also are very active at GearSlutz, where the "real" technical talk is done.
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-01-2014, 10:09 PM
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I have an 18.16 surround sound theater (well, in some ways at least tongue.gif).

Technically it is still "7.1 Dolby / DTS HD format", but my LCR's are full-range (5hz to 20khz) with 4 surrounds, and then with tri-channel subwoofers (discrete stereo subs & LFE subs).
16 subwoofers in total (and counting).

For discrete/routable bass-DSP channels I currently have a 7 ".4" surround sound system by that standard.

With room for future expansion: eek.gif








You can check out my theater build thread and speaker build thread in my sig for full-details if you want. (note: It's still a work-in-progress.)


"Are all those speakers and processings worth it?"
So far... I'd say: YES.

I haven't heard anything beyond "7.4", so I couldn't tell you anything beyond that.

One day I will have 11.8 finished and it should be awesome (in-theory... I mean I can't see why not?).
Thus far, I'm a solid 2 years away from reaching that target ATM.
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