I figured out how to change the title of the thread (duh), it's now more fitting with what I was going for.
I'm curious to know what kind of an improvement others have experienced in their rooms when going from 5.1 to 7.1, also include if you use front wides and/or front heights.
When I was researching myself to see if going from 5.1 to 7.1 was worth it I looked at a lot of threads and read a lot of opinions but it would have been nice to actually see the room that each person was referring to, that I could get a better idea of how it would work in my own room.
Man, I should have done this years ago (hmmm, I said the exact same thing when I went to higher end subwoofers and when I went to front projection...)
I know I'm WAY late to the party, but I finally went to 7.1 surround. I hope I'm not beating a dead horse starting a thread like this, but before I bought 2 new speakers for 7.1 I did search through all the old threads I could find comparing 5.1 to 7.1 and I appreciated every single one of them - so maybe someone else who is considering the move can read this and get some more impressions and ideas for their own room.
I really like how much more enveloping the sound is both for music and movies. Music is my priority, and I do like to listen in surround modes. Recently (when I still had 5.1) I had been using a lot of neo 6 but now that I have 7.1 I prefer Pro Logic IIx Music mode with the center width at 4 and the other presets on their default. It is so enveloping (not sure that's the word I'm looking for...) with music now. I love when background vocals come on and I really do feel surrounded by the music. At the same time though, the main vocals don't stray from the front soundstage, so it's really addicting to listen to - at least for me.
For movies it's great too, and a movie doesn't have to be in 7.1 to enjoy the improvement. I have to admit, a large part of the improvement is simply getting the surrounds closer to the side of me instead of way behind like they were when I was 5.1. Still, having the 2 rear surround speakers makes an obvious improvement too since I can toggle back and forth between having the rear surrounds on and off. When I turn them off there is suddenly a big empty void behind me. Another member (Holt7513) mentioned a similar impression, turning off the rears made it seem like there was a huge hole in the back of the room - that's a good description.
Now, I'm sure you have to have a room that will work to be able to notice a big improvement so I'm not saying 7.1 is for everyone but luckily it works in here.
I posted a bunch of pictures in my room configuration thread, getting the speaker wire through the wall proved to be tricky but thank god it's all done and nice and neat.
Click the link to see the pics: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1407184/carps-basement-hide-out/120#post_22384733
Edited by carp - 9/12/12 at 6:09am