Originally Posted by JKSaabh
I've been enjoying my x4100 in a 5.2.4 configuration for over a year now, and whilst going through the manual the other day, I read that "You can connect speakers for up to 13-channels for MAIN ZONE by using an external power amplifier. When you connect speakers for 10 or more channels, the output speakers automatically switch according to the input signal and sound mode."
I already have an external amp to power a pair of my ceiling speakers. I was wondering if I could just add a couple of rear surround speakers and if the receiver would either use 5.2.4 for atmos encoded media, and 7.2 (or will it be 7.2.2?) for non-atmos content. Essentially, leave everything as is and just add rear surrounds and have the media encoding determine the speakers to be used.
Has anyone tried this? I'd love to hear your experiences.
You can absolutely do that, with a few caveats. In fact, I consider the ability to connect up to 13 speakers (plus SW) in the main zone one of the outstanding features of the X4100/X5200 mid-level AVR's. If you include Zones 2 & 3, the AVR can selectively
send a discrete audio signal to up to 18 speakers via internal and external amplification, although the Main Zone maxes out at 9.1 at any given time (or 11.1 on the X5200).
Assuming you have already set up your X4100 using the 9.1ch Amp Assign Mode (p. 219 ff. of the owner's manual) w/4 Height Speakers and Top Rear (TR) Pre-out, you can then connect another pair of speakers to the Surround Back (SB) speaker posts of the AVR and off you go. (N.B.: Whenever you connect additional speakers to the mix you must rerun Audyssey MultEQ calibration in order to have Audyssey room correction recognize them.) Depending on the source signal you can then determine which speakers will be activated via the Sound Mode buttons on the remote.
One of the principal caveats is mentioned on p. 222 of the manual: If you want to have access to 9.1 (5.1 + SB + FW) in DTS Neo:X or Audyssey DSX sound mode, then you must externally power at least one more pair of speakers in addition to the TR.
As to your question regarding nomenclature, non-immersive audio is designated by separately counting the surround and LFE channels or speakers. So, for example, non-Atmos DD would be 7.1 or 9.1, whereas the same setup in Atmos would be 5.1.2 or 5.1.4 (or 7.1.2) calling out the top-level channels separately from the listener-level.