Originally Posted by mfrey0118
So conceivably, I could go 5.1 and use Zone 2 as pre outs that go to miniDSP. What kind of amp would be recommended for my situation and current equipment?
Not sure what you are hoping to achieve with that as the zone 2 outputs will not work as an addition to your 5.1 setup as additional speakers to give a true 7.1 channel setup. It is as what the name implies; a second distinct audio zone.
If you truly insist on running your speakers through a MiniDSP this is what you will need to do:
a. Get a new receiver with MCH RCA outputs for as many speaker channels you need.
b. Get a pre-pro with as many RCA outputs for as many speaker channels you need.
c. If you want to keep your existing receiver, get a high level speaker input to low level RCA output converter for as many speaker channels you need.
All of the above options will require that you get external amplifiers with as much power as you need for as many channels you will want to run in this configuration. Any option you choose will run you over $1000 to implement at the very least for a 7 speaker setup. The MiniDSP 8x8 is $400 not including shipping and plugin. Another $500 for a smallish 7CH amplifier and add in the cost of whichever option you choose above. Amplifier choice will be dependent on your needs. If you have very efficient speakers or sit close to them, a low power amplifier will be fine. If you're speakers are not very efficient or you sit far from the speakers then you will need a higher powered amplifier which can get real expensive really quick if you can't go the pro amplifier route.