Hi guys, so I finally found a 7th speaker to complete my 7.1 setup, but sadly I must say I am quite disappointed. To be fair, it may simply be the limitations of my room, and perhaps more tweaking will resolve the problem (but frankly, I've lost my patience).]
The rear channels are unable to create a convincing soundstage behind the listener... and the problem becomes worse, much worse, for anyone not sitting in the sweet spot. No amount of angling could fix the problem for one person without messing it up for other listeners. So the end result is that there is usually a massive void of sound behind the listener, which was obviously never a problem with 6.1. 7.1 gives you more depth than 5.1 but (for me) it doesn't adequately fill the gap between the speakers. But again, I think it probably has to do with the fact that my rear speakers are very far back and I can't quite get them far enough apart.... to get the ideal angle, they would be further apart than my surround speakers and obstructed.
So even if 6.1 has it's disadvantages and limitations, which I fully accept, the benefits far out weight those disadvantages, at least for me. Specifically the advantages are ease of set up, and a guaranteed soundstage directly behind the listener regardless of seating position.... the sound comes from the back, every time, no matter where you sit. It fills the void created by 5.1... nothing more, nothing less. Like mama always said, sometimes it's better to leave good enough alone.