Thinking about switching from 5.2 to 7.2.4 - NEED ADVICE - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Question Thinking about switching from 5.2 to 7.2.4 - NEED ADVICE

Total newbie here, so short, easy to understand sentences are appreciated My current set up is this: Onkyo TX-RZ820 receiver; center, VC-35; L/R, VF-35s; subs, 2X Sub-10s; surrounds, Synergy S1s. I have had it for a lot of years (like 13 years haha), and have really enjoyed it. However, when I upgraded my receiver so I could get 4k video to my 85 inch Samsung QLED, I started getting more interested in setting up an Atmos system. I have been doing a lot of researching and trying to read as much as I can, as it can be a little complicated. And I have a few questions. I have purchased the following to set up a 7.2.4 (hopefully) system:
- Onkyo Tx-RZ820 will still be my main receiver

- R-52C (center)

- R-820F (L/R)

- R-120SW (X2)

- R-41SA (X4); height speakers

- R-51M (Surrounds)

- RP-402S (Surround backs)

Now, from what I understand, my receiver does NOT allow me to set up a 7.2 set up with height speakers (.4). A little disappointing to find that out as when I initially purchased I thought it did. But all my research has led me to believe it can only support a 5.2.2 set up. Either the surround backs or the height speakers are powered, but not both at the same time. So I started going down a rabbit hole, that I think I can set up a 7.2.2 with a separate 2 channel amp and use the height pre-outs on my 820 to feed the second amp which would power the height speakers.

First question - am I on track with that line of thinking?

Second question - if I want to go to 7.2.4, is it even possible? I can definitely answer my receiver only has a single pre-out for height speakers. No distinction for front highs vs rear highs? So even with a separate amp, would I even get an additional 4 channels? I still have my old received which is an Onkyo TX-SR607. Would I be able to possibly use that? Seems like overkill, but I have it just collecting dust. Or should I sell it and go with a dedicated 2/4 channel amp?

I know I will have few more questions, but figure I'll start with these! Thank you in advance for all your help.
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 02:55 PM
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You require an AVR/AVP than can PROCESS 11 channels of audio plus LFE: Left, Centre, Right, Surround Left, Surround Right, Left Surround Rear, Right Surround Rear, Top Fronts x2, Top Rears x2, plus whatever subwoofers you have.


The Denon x3600 PROCESSES 11 channels, but you need an extra 2-channel amp to power a pair of speakers - ANY pair of speakers (I believe). You do not need massive power, I use a Monoprice 2x100W amp with my Anthem MRX 720. AVRs that AMPLIFY 11 channels of audio are much more expensive.
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post #3 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by bballjames View Post
Total newbie here, so short, easy to understand sentences are appreciated My current set up is this: Onkyo TX-RZ820 receiver; center, VC-35; L/R, VF-35s; subs, 2X Sub-10s; surrounds, Synergy S1s. I have had it for a lot of years (like 13 years haha), and have really enjoyed it. However, when I upgraded my receiver so I could get 4k video to my 85 inch Samsung QLED, I started getting more interested in setting up an Atmos system. I have been doing a lot of researching and trying to read as much as I can, as it can be a little complicated. And I have a few questions. I have purchased the following to set up a 7.2.4 (hopefully) system:

- Onkyo Tx-RZ820 will still be my main receiver



- R-52C (center)



- R-820F (L/R)



- R-120SW (X2)



- R-41SA (X4); height speakers



- R-51M (Surrounds)



- RP-402S (Surround backs)



Now, from what I understand, my receiver does NOT allow me to set up a 7.2 set up with height speakers (.4). A little disappointing to find that out as when I initially purchased I thought it did. But all my research has led me to believe it can only support a 5.2.2 set up. Either the surround backs or the height speakers are powered, but not both at the same time. So I started going down a rabbit hole, that I think I can set up a 7.2.2 with a separate 2 channel amp and use the height pre-outs on my 820 to feed the second amp which would power the height speakers.



First question - am I on track with that line of thinking?



Second question - if I want to go to 7.2.4, is it even possible? I can definitely answer my receiver only has a single pre-out for height speakers. No distinction for front highs vs rear highs? So even with a separate amp, would I even get an additional 4 channels? I still have my old received which is an Onkyo TX-SR607. Would I be able to possibly use that? Seems like overkill, but I have it just collecting dust. Or should I sell it and go with a dedicated 2/4 channel amp?



I know I will have few more questions, but figure I'll start with these! Thank you in advance for all your help.
For my understanding the 820 has 7 channels and can only process 7 channels so no way to go 5.1.4 (9 ch) or 7.1 2 (9 ch) and less 7.x.4 (11 ch).

Again, I understand the pre-outs on the 820 will only allow to relieve the 820 of power to push less chanels using an external amp but no to add more channels, like the 740/840 allows.

You will have to upgrade to an 11 channels processing AVR (9 channels internal + 2 external amp) to use 7.x.4.

Last edited by asabrag; 03-26-2020 at 03:12 PM.
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post #4 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bballjames View Post



- R-52C (center)



- R-820F (L/R)



- R-120SW (X2)



- R-41SA (X4); height speakers



- R-51M (Surrounds)



- RP-402S (Surround backs)


By the way: I have the RP line, but the R41SA x 4 may be too small for good atmos (wall hanging)

I was so happy buying the RP140SA but I sold them after less than a week (only one 4" driver too poor for me, and I have quiet a small room).

I still have to get my hands on the 5" atmos but since I could find them around I replaced them by RP250S and I am very happy with them.

Last edited by asabrag; 03-26-2020 at 03:37 PM.
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post #5 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by asabrag View Post
By the way: I have the RP line, but the R41SA x 4 may be too small for good atmos.

I was so happy buying the RP140SA but I sold them after less than a week (only one 4" driver too poor for me, and I have quiet a small room).

I still have to get my hands on the 5" atmos but since I could find them around I replaced them by RP250S and I am very happy with them.
Ceiling speakers out of the question?

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post #6 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by asabrag View Post
For my understanding the 820 has 7 channels and can only process 7 channels so no way to go 5.1.4 (9 ch) or 7.1 2 (9 ch) and less 7.x.4 (11 ch).

Again, I understand the pre-outs on the 820 will only allow to relieve the 820 of power to push less chanels using an external amp but no to add more channels, like the 740/840 allows.

You will have to upgrade to an 11 channels processing AVR (9 channels internal + 2 external amp) to use 7.x.4.
Thank you everyone for the quick replies! So I have quickly be brought to realize that I have some real limitations given my receiver only processes 7 channels. I guess I'll have a good Christmas list for the end of the year I read some conflicting stuff that it was possible to do a 7.2.2 system with my receiver, and I think the printed info that Onkyo has on this is very misleading. It says 7.2.2, BUT with a caveat that you can only have sound from either the rear surrounds OR the height speakers haha so wouldn't that only be a 5.2.2? or a 7.2? I am guessing even if you were using the pre-outs for the height speakers, and had a second amp, that does not change the fact that the receiver is only outputting sound to 7 channels total still?

SO I guess that leads to my next question - should I stick with a 7.2? Or would a 5.2.2 be better? I am leaning more towards the 7.2 but would definitely appreciate your advice.
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post #7 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bballjames View Post
Thank you everyone for the quick replies! So I have quickly be brought to realize that I have some real limitations given my receiver only processes 7 channels. I guess I'll have a good Christmas list for the end of the year I read some conflicting stuff that it was possible to do a 7.2.2 system with my receiver, and I think the printed info that Onkyo has on this is very misleading. It says 7.2.2, BUT with a caveat that you can only have sound from either the rear surrounds OR the height speakers haha so wouldn't that only be a 5.2.2? or a 7.2? I am guessing even if you were using the pre-outs for the height speakers, and had a second amp, that does not change the fact that the receiver is only outputting sound to 7 channels total still?



SO I guess that leads to my next question - should I stick with a 7.2? Or would a 5.2.2 be better? I am leaning more towards the 7.2 but would definitely appreciate your advice.
Its very misleading if thats the case, but I guess the print material only says 5.x.2 or 7.x
Remove the subwoofers since that may mislead you (thats why I replace the Saw by x)

My experience was going from:
5.0
5.0.2 (Fronts)
5.0.2 (Rears)
5.1.4
7.1.4
7.0.4 (unfortunately my RP112SW died 2 weeks ago).

You can try all the different possibilities once you have the equipment.

I thought the Rear Surrounds were not vey useful but I was mistaken.
Once you start the Atmos implementation you will not be able to stop until 7.x.4, so, point that way with the amp.
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post #8 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by asabrag View Post
Its very misleading if thats the case, but I guess the print material only says 5.x.2 or 7.x
Remove the subwoofers since that may mislead you (thats why I replace the Saw by x)

My experience was going from:
5.0
5.0.2 (Fronts)
5.0.2 (Rears)
5.1.4
7.1.4
7.0.4 (unfortunately my RP112SW died 2 weeks ago).

You can try all the different possibilities once you have the equipment.

I thought the Rear Surrounds were not vey useful but I was mistaken.
Once you start the Atmos implementation you will not be able to stop until 7.x.4, so, point that way with the amp.
Thanks - I will definitely give a different implementations a try to see what sounds best.

As a reference this is straight from the 820 manual: and it does clearly state that Surround Backs cannot be used at the same time as the heights, just seems odd they would label it is 7.X.2
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by bballjames View Post
Thanks - I will definitely give a different implementations a try to see what sounds best.



As a reference this is straight from the 820 manual: and it does clearly state that Surround Backs cannot be used at the same time as the heights, just seems odd they would label it is 7.X.2
Oh, yeah! Thats totally misleading
I saw the advertising brochures/features and they wernt misleading there.

By the way: I have the 840 and was trying to buy the 820/920 since then. So, luckily for me I couldnt get the RZ till a couple of months ago!
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-26-2020, 05:08 PM
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I went from 5.1 from an old, pre-HDMI Yamaha to 7.1 with a newer one, an Aventage RX-A1030.

When I went 4K and wanted Atmos, I got an RX-A3070, which processes all 13 channels and has independently delayed and eq'd sub outputs. Like most - maybe all - top of the line AVRs, it has only 9 power amplifiers.

To conserve amplifier power output for the 7 ear-level speakers, I found a second-hand Denon 2307CI that still has the multichannel analog input, which I connected to the four presence (a/k/a height) pre-amp outputs to drive all four "quad on the ceiling" Atmos/DTS:X speakers, and told the Yamaha that those channels are being powered by an external amp. (The Yammy still does the room correction for the whole system.)

So I'm running 7.2.4, with subs under the front right and left rear speakers.

A tip: since all room correction microphones point at the ceiling, while our ears point forwards, the automatic system thinks the rear and ceiling speakers are louder than our ears do - so after the automatic routine finishes, I tweak the result by giving a bit of boost to the rears and ceilings to make them sound as loud as the others.

And I'm finding that, at least with my Yamaha, that Neural:X is the clearest-sounding upmixer - even on Dolby TrueHD soundtracks, so I leave it on by default except when a film has an Atmos or DTS:X track, in which case I switch to "Straight." (For stereo material, I use the "9 Channel Stereo" setting, which sends the same signal to all the channels on each side of the room. "Car Stereo" mode!)
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-28-2020, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I went from 5.1 from an old, pre-HDMI Yamaha to 7.1 with a newer one, an Aventage RX-A1030.

When I went 4K and wanted Atmos, I got an RX-A3070, which processes all 13 channels and has independently delayed and eq'd sub outputs. Like most - maybe all - top of the line AVRs, it has only 9 power amplifiers.

To conserve amplifier power output for the 7 ear-level speakers, I found a second-hand Denon 2307CI that still has the multichannel analog input, which I connected to the four presence (a/k/a height) pre-amp outputs to drive all four "quad on the ceiling" Atmos/DTS:X speakers, and told the Yamaha that those channels are being powered by an external amp. (The Yammy still does the room correction for the whole system.)

So I'm running 7.2.4, with subs under the front right and left rear speakers.

A tip: since all room correction microphones point at the ceiling, while our ears point forwards, the automatic system thinks the rear and ceiling speakers are louder than our ears do - so after the automatic routine finishes, I tweak the result by giving a bit of boost to the rears and ceilings to make them sound as loud as the others.

And I'm finding that, at least with my Yamaha, that Neural:X is the clearest-sounding upmixer - even on Dolby TrueHD soundtracks, so I leave it on by default except when a film has an Atmos or DTS:X track, in which case I switch to "Straight." (For stereo material, I use the "9 Channel Stereo" setting, which sends the same signal to all the channels on each side of the room. "Car Stereo" mode!)
Thank you everyone for all the responses! I think I'm going to sit tight and wait until the 2020 receivers come out (whenever that might be). And then weigh between buying a newer model receiver, or at least the price on current 11 channel processor receivers come down a bit.

Although, I did see a few refurb options for the X3600H for $750 which was tempting. I was also following another thread closely for the comparison of the X4500H and X3600H. Oh what to do. I've had great luck with Onkyo's for 15 years. I used my old TX-SR607 for 10+ years? and it did a fantastic job. Looking around online though, it seems most people prefer Denon or Yamaha.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-28-2020, 10:04 AM
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Thank you everyone for all the responses! I think I'm going to sit tight and wait until the 2020 receivers come out (whenever that might be). And then weigh between buying a newer model receiver, or at least the price on current 11 channel processor receivers come down a bit.



Although, I did see a few refurb options for the X3600H for $750 which was tempting. I was also following another thread closely for the comparison of the X4500H and X3600H. Oh what to do. I've had great luck with Onkyo's for 15 years. I used my old TX-SR607 for 10+ years? and it did a fantastic job. Looking around online though, it seems most people prefer Denon or Yamaha.
I'm tired of saying this, but I will tell it again so you dont follow the masses as I did when I switched from Onkyo 646 to Yamaha 681 and then Denon 4300H.
Dont do it!
It took me 2 and halve years to be able to return to Onkyo!!! If you love the Onkyo Onkyo distinctive sound, nothing you do to them will make you feel as listening an Onkyo!
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post #13 of 25 Old 03-28-2020, 10:28 AM
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@bballjames there is no need to wait, you want 11 channels with good power and that onkyo sound that asabrag speaks about, your welcome!

https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-RZ73.../dp/B07CVPLJZQ
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@bballjames there is no need to wait, you want 11 channels with good power and that onkyo sound that asabrag speaks about, your welcome!

https://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-RZ73.../dp/B07CVPLJZQ
Just to be clear, that will require the use of a two-channel power amp. It will process 11 channels, but natively only powers 9.
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Thank you! I found a deal on Accessories4Less for the RZ830 for $699. Seems like a pretty good price, and with a two channel amp would be able to handle a 7.2.4 setup.
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Thank you! I found a deal on Accessories4Less for the RZ830 for $699. Seems like a pretty good price, and with a two channel amp would be able to handle a 7.2.4 setup.
And thank you for pointing me to that deal. I had an RZ730 coming from Amazon that disappeared in transit last Monday. After dealing with their atrocious customer support and finding out that any replacement I ordered from them would now take 3 weeks to arrive, due to them prioritizing other shipments first, I chose not to use them again for buying an AV receiver. I'm setting up with a 5.1.4 for now but the room is pre-wired for 7.2.4 and hope to expand in the near future.
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And thank you for pointing me to that deal. I had an RZ730 coming from Amazon that disappeared in transit last Monday. After dealing with their atrocious customer support and finding out that any replacement I ordered from them would now take 3 weeks to arrive, due to them prioritizing other shipments first, I chose not to use them again for buying an AV receiver. I'm setting up with a 5.1.4 for now but the room is pre-wired for 7.2.4 and hope to expand in the near future.
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Thank you! I found a deal on Accessories4Less for the RZ830 for $699. Seems like a pretty good price, and with a two channel amp would be able to handle a 7.2.4 setup.
Note that going 7.x.4 shouldnt be expensive. Buy a cheap stereo amp that will suit for amp'ing the surround back channels..that is: dont sace to go for a audiophile stereo, since it will only will be driving the two back surround channels
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Yes, indeed. I purchased a simple Dayton 2 channel amp on Parts Express for $110 based on another thread I saw on here.

Maybe a dumb question - when I adjust the volume on my RZ830 will the volume adjust for the speakers powered by the second amp automatically?
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Yes, indeed. I purchased a simple Dayton 2 channel amp on Parts Express for $110 based on another thread I saw on here.

Maybe a dumb question - when I adjust the volume on my RZ830 will the volume adjust for the speakers powered by the second amp automatically?
Yes.
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Note that going 7.x.4 shouldnt be expensive. Buy a cheap stereo amp that will suit for amp'ing the surround back channels..that is: dont sace to go for a audiophile stereo, since it will only will be driving the two back surround channels
I just don't have the budget for it atm, not worried about audiophile level gear. I've stretched past my wife approved budget already and don't think I have any more room for negotiations.
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post #21 of 25 Old 03-28-2020, 09:59 PM
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I just don't have the budget for it atm, not worried about audiophile level gear. I've stretched past my wife approved budget already and don't think I have any more room for negotiations.
..It seems the Wives behave the same way about our hobbies no matter where in the world they are
I dont understand why they bother...
I just dont seek for approval anymore, else I wouldnt have most of my gear.
Since a couple of years ago, I just arrive to the door and ask her gently to help me carry the new gear inside (whilenshe arrives to the car, I start playing music on my airpods)....
I arrived last tuesday with a couple of RP8000F (owning a pair of 280F already)....

I am amazed Im still around
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post #22 of 25 Old 03-29-2020, 12:32 AM
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I thought the Rear Surrounds were not vey useful but I was mistaken.
Once you start the Atmos implementation you will not be able to stop until 7.x.4, so, point that way with the amp.
Completely agree. I think a 5.x.4 is really just about as good as 7.x.4 (at least for the main listening position).

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Originally Posted by asabrag View Post
..It seems the Wives behave the same way about our hobbies no matter where in the world they are
I dont understand why they bother...
I just dont seek for approval anymore, else I wouldnt have most of my gear.
Since a couple of years ago, I just arrive to the door and ask her gently to help me carry the new gear inside (whilenshe arrives to the car, I start playing music on my airpods)....
I arrived last tuesday with a couple of RP8000F (owning a pair of 280F already)....

I am amazed Im still around
Truer words have never been spoken. We're actually finishing out the entire 1,500sqft basement so she's watching how much we're spending really closely atm. I'll have more freedom to finish the 7.2.4 setup within the next year but will have to survive with 5.1.4 until then. I actually just received my atmos ceiling speakers yesterday from Amazon.
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post #24 of 25 Old 03-31-2020, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by the_Brayn View Post
Truer words have never been spoken. We're actually finishing out the entire 1,500sqft basement so she's watching how much we're spending really closely atm. I'll have more freedom to finish the 7.2.4 setup within the next year but will have to survive with 5.1.4 until then. I actually just received my atmos ceiling speakers yesterday from Amazon.
In between I ordered what I thought to be a couple of RS52II...I bought only oneeee
Why do they sell the 8000F, the 14M as pairs but the 52SII as singlesssss
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post #25 of 25 Old 04-02-2020, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
Completely agree. I think a 5.x.4 is really just about as good as 7.x.4 (at least for the main listening position).
If you rely completely on your AVR's automatic room compensation, you probably can't tell the difference, but that's because the microphones supplied for that function face the ceiling, unlike our ears, which face forwards.

As a result, the AVR thinks the rears are louder than they sound to your ears, and thus sets them too quiet, so you can't even tell they're on.

What I do with my Yamaha AVR is, after the automatic routine concludes, I have it play its test tone out of each speaker in turn and I give a bit of a boost to the rears so they sound as loud as the others.

In fact, since the mike is pointed at the ceiling speakers, those tend to be set a little too quiet as well, so I do the same for those.

Phil
True 4K/HDR10/3D JVC DLA-RS1000 (NX5) projector, 7.2.4 Paradigm/Boston Acoustics/Onkyo speakers, fed by Yamaha RX-A3070 w/ Denon 2307CI to power 4 overheads. Sources: Oppo UDP-203, 4K Roku Ultra, Dell Win 10 PC via HDMI for Amazon Music HD and sampled grand piano.
My water-themed landscape photography website - only 24 pix up so far.
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