5.1.4 vs 7.1.4 -- rear surrounds worth the effort/$$$? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 53 Old 03-20-2018, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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5.1.4 vs 7.1.4 -- rear surrounds worth the effort/$$$?

Hey guys I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a Yamaha 2070 or 3070 and will be cutting holes in the ceiling and running wire for atmos and maybe also the back wall. I know that I have to go with the Yamaha 3070 if I want to run 7.1.4 and I do already have an external amp that would allow that. I'm just trying to figure out if the extra effort and $$$ is worth it to also cut holes and run wire for rear surrounds or if just adding the 4 atmos will suffice and spend slightly less for a 2070. Any help with this decision is appreciated. FWIW it will be a timber matched Polk rti system as I will go with 70rt's for the atmos and 65rt's for the rear surrounds. Cheers
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post #2 of 53 Old 03-20-2018, 07:00 PM
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It all depends on your budget and the size of your room.

If you can spare the cash, go for it. It prevents you having to ask "what if" someday.

If your room is small and there isn't much distance from MLP to the back wall, the surround (L/R Sides), surround back and top rear height speakers end up really close to each other, watering down the benefit of having all 3 on each side. I think you need 5-10 feet minimum behind MLP to have decent separation for these speakers.
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post #3 of 53 Old 03-20-2018, 07:29 PM
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Also if you don't have a second row and can put the surrounds directly behind you to the side, I would argue that you won't benefit from 7.1.4 vs 5.1.4 at all.
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post #4 of 53 Old 03-20-2018, 08:42 PM
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Incredible, I have been wondering about the same for a while, but could never find enough discussion about this. Usually it is about 5.1.2 to 5.1.4 (or 7.1.4) which is always deemed worth it due to how much more the extra pair of overhead speakers bring to the table. And just today, I was getting ready to ask the same question coming back from work, where I now see someone beat me to it

And the reason why I wonder, is because when Atmos was not a thing, I think that more often than not, the opinion was that 7.1 did not make that much of a difference vs 5.1. And this was my impression too. I went from 5.1. to 7.1 and did not get a sufficient bump in experience. I then downgraded back to 5.1 and never felt anything lacking.

But I am in the process of setting up for Atmos too these days, and am currently also debating the same question, does Atmos maybe make that extra pair or rear surrounds have more importance these days compared to before ?

And the reason I wonder is because, if I understand things correctly, before, the mixing used to be per channel, so the artist had to explicitly mix sounds for the rear channels, which maybe was not happening that often. But I keep hearing about Atmos being object / positional / 3D based, that is, the sound is not encoded for a specific speaker, but for a specific point in the 3D space / bubble. That does make me wonder if now just for that reason, it is as equally likely to have the rear surrounds producing sound as it may be for the side surrounds. If that is the case, maybe 7.1.4. vs 5.1.4 does make more sense and is more worthwhile these days, vs before Atmos, when we were comparing just 7.1 to 5.1. I could be very wrong about this though, so please correct me if so, it could be just a naive understanding of a noob (me).

But yeah, I keep wondering the same, is the extra pair of speakers, and the additional 2 channel amplifier worth it ? I did not think 7.1. was worth it before over 5.1, but if what I said above the difference in sound mixing with Atmos makes any sense, maybe 7.1.4 is indeed worth it these days (if your budget allows it).

I was looking at the Denon x4400 due to it being I think cheaper than the Yamaha 3070, but the thought of that extra amplifier taking space in the cabinet, potentially requiring additional work to turn it on every time (if trigger or autosensing does not end up working correctly like on various reports), the extra justification I need with my wife for the purchase of it even after purchasing a receiver, the thought of it making one pair of speakers maybe sound different than the other because the other will be powered by the AVR .. are all things that keep making me wonder whether the 7.1.4 will be worth it.

Maybe I should just keep saving, and wait until christmas, at which time maybe there will be some better deals on AVR that can power 11 channels with no need for an additional amp. Right now they are all more than my budget allows.
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post #5 of 53 Old 03-20-2018, 08:49 PM
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I did this exact upgrade pretty recently after buying an X4400H. It's not a huge difference, but it's definitely noticeable with certain content as it creates a more immersive bubble around you. All in all, I'd say since you're in the middle of an upgrade, buying a receiver, and running wire, it's worth the extra money and effort to just get it all done at once.
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post #6 of 53 Old 03-20-2018, 09:05 PM
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I have the 4400h. Just get a simple dayton audio or audiosource amp . the autosense works perfectly. run the sire now. enjoy for years to come.

BTW, get the auro 3d demo discs or the Atmos trailers are available free on vudu.
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post #7 of 53 Old 03-21-2018, 05:42 AM
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Play the ATMOS demo tracks on your current system (I suspect they will play without a ATMOS decoder):

https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/test-tones.html

There are effects in "Leaf" and several other demos where the sound object swirls around the listener. This is where 7.1.4 should shine in comparison to 5.1.4 and 5.1.2, etc. I believe that with more speakers (properly positioned, of course) comes better localization of the sound.

These demo tracks also highlight why timbre matching of ALL speakers is important unless your AVR can effectively balance the timbre of your speakers. As the sound moves around the room if the timbre changes, that will color the effect.

Now there isn't much, if any content I have heard (outside these demo tracks) that have sound objects swirling around you. However, almost every action movie has objects that move across the sound field (side to side or back to front) so I think that makes filling in the sound stage more important. Just as you have a center speaker to fill in the front sound stage, I think back and sides are just as important with ATMOS and DTS:X.
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post #8 of 53 Old 03-21-2018, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alextr75 View Post
I was looking at the Denon x4400 due to it being I think cheaper than the Yamaha 3070, but the thought of that extra amplifier taking space in the cabinet, potentially requiring additional work to turn it on every time (if trigger or autosensing does not end up working correctly like on various reports), the extra justification I need with my wife for the purchase of it even after purchasing a receiver, the thought of it making one pair of speakers maybe sound different than the other because the other will be powered by the AVR .. are all things that keep making me wonder whether the 7.1.4 will be worth it.
I had similar concerns but when I purchased a couple years ago, I had no choice: There were no AVRs with 11 amps. So I started by powering my rear speakers with a Cold War era stereo receiver that I had to manually turn on and off (a real BUDGET setup to go with my $$$$ AVR ). About 6 months ago, one channel on the old receiver died so I had to find a replacement.

I considered buying a 200-300 watt per channel workhorse amp for the LCR but modern AVRs don't have much voltage output on the pre-outs and therefore can't properly drive most (if not all) audiofile amps. So to do this, I would have to put a pre-amp in-between the AVR and that amp and that sounded like too much trouble and points of colorization and noise so that was out.

I never noticed a colorization problem with the old receiver amp so that wasn't worrying me as much as the input sensitivity of the new amp. I finally settled on the Audiosource AMP-102VS. 55 watts per channel with really low input sensitivity that I am using for my surround back channels. 55 watts doesn't sound like much but it has been working fine so far.

I am using the 12V trigger output of the AVR to turn on/off the Audiosource amp and my sub woofer. Works flawlessly. I cranked the gain on the Audiosource amp all the way up and ran room correction and the levels were set in line with the other channels in the system (-6 dB area) so I feel good about that. With the gain all the way up, I can't hear any hiss, even with my ear right up to the speaker.

No regrets but adding this amp does add about $180 to your system cost, so consider that when looking at AVRs today.

Last edited by schwaggs; 03-21-2018 at 06:05 AM.
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post #9 of 53 Old 03-21-2018, 06:08 AM
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It was only recently I got a copy of the Atmos demo disc with the Leaf and other clips on it. I have a 5.4.4 set up with Tripole side surround speakers, I also have really decent Atmos speakers (my previous LCR speakers relocated, plus I bought one more at considerable cost). This demo disc is the only time I've been aware that sounds aren't panning behind me. I've watched many films, TV programs and music discs in the past year since I set up this room and felt that I wasn't missing out not having surround backs.

It was a tough call as I have about 7' behind the sofa, but I wanted to do a really discrete set up (all 4 of my subs are hidden/in wall and all but the 2 surround speakers are hidden too). Adding the surround backs would have added complexity to my wiring and visual clutter (it's a living room set up and there is a window behind the sofa making location difficult). I'm also a big believer in having matching speakers, including heights and surrounds, so I'd have been looking at around $3,000 or more for a pair of surround backs, that would properly match the rest of my speakers. Plus I'd need a 2 channel power amp to run them. I just can't justify that spend when I only notice it when listening to a demo disc with obvious cues to speaker/sound locations.

Conclusion; don't listen to Atmos test discs.
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post #10 of 53 Old 03-21-2018, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post
... This demo disc is the only time I've been aware that sounds aren't panning behind me. I've watched many films, TV programs and music discs in the past year since I set up this room and felt that I wasn't missing out not having surround backs.
...I'm also a big believer in having matching speakers, including heights and surrounds, so I'd have been looking at around $3,000 or more for a pair of surround backs, that would properly match the rest of my speakers. Plus I'd need a 2 channel power amp to run them. I just can't justify that spend when I only notice it when listening to a demo disc with obvious cues to speaker/sound locations.
Its all about choices.... another example is some people take joy in reaching the lowest, subsonic octave with big subs, others could care less.

There are lots of movies with sounds that come from directly behind you. However, panning around you like "Leaf", not so much... so far. The only one that comes to mind is Guardians of the Galaxy II had a scene where the a voice circled around you. Thor Ragnarok had a voice that came from everywhere but I bet your 5.4.4 system with tripole speakers reproduced that every bit as good as a 7.X.4 setup.
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post #11 of 53 Old 03-21-2018, 07:19 AM
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Its all about choices.... another example is some people take joy in reaching the lowest, subsonic octave with big subs, others could care less.

Oh I agree completely. I was just pointing out in my own lighthearted way that after a year of running this set up I only really noticed due to this test disc. It's a $3,000+ option for me, so I'll leave it for now.

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post #12 of 53 Old 03-21-2018, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alextr75 View Post
Incredible, I have been wondering about the same for a while, but could never find enough discussion about this. Usually it is about 5.1.2 to 5.1.4 (or 7.1.4) which is always deemed worth it due to how much more the extra pair of overhead speakers bring to the table. And just today, I was getting ready to ask the same question coming back from work, where I now see someone beat me to it

And the reason why I wonder, is because when Atmos was not a thing, I think that more often than not, the opinion was that 7.1 did not make that much of a difference vs 5.1. And this was my impression too. I went from 5.1. to 7.1 and did not get a sufficient bump in experience. I then downgraded back to 5.1 and never felt anything lacking.

But I am in the process of setting up for Atmos too these days, and am currently also debating the same question, does Atmos maybe make that extra pair or rear surrounds have more importance these days compared to before ?

And the reason I wonder is because, if I understand things correctly, before, the mixing used to be per channel, so the artist had to explicitly mix sounds for the rear channels, which maybe was not happening that often. But I keep hearing about Atmos being object / positional / 3D based, that is, the sound is not encoded for a specific speaker, but for a specific point in the 3D space / bubble. That does make me wonder if now just for that reason, it is as equally likely to have the rear surrounds producing sound as it may be for the side surrounds. If that is the case, maybe 7.1.4. vs 5.1.4 does make more sense and is more worthwhile these days, vs before Atmos, when we were comparing just 7.1 to 5.1. I could be very wrong about this though, so please correct me if so, it could be just a naive understanding of a noob (me).

But yeah, I keep wondering the same, is the extra pair of speakers, and the additional 2 channel amplifier worth it ? I did not think 7.1. was worth it before over 5.1, but if what I said above the difference in sound mixing with Atmos makes any sense, maybe 7.1.4 is indeed worth it these days (if your budget allows it).

I was looking at the Denon x4400 due to it being I think cheaper than the Yamaha 3070, but the thought of that extra amplifier taking space in the cabinet, potentially requiring additional work to turn it on every time (if trigger or autosensing does not end up working correctly like on various reports), the extra justification I need with my wife for the purchase of it even after purchasing a receiver, the thought of it making one pair of speakers maybe sound different than the other because the other will be powered by the AVR .. are all things that keep making me wonder whether the 7.1.4 will be worth it.

Maybe I should just keep saving, and wait until christmas, at which time maybe there will be some better deals on AVR that can power 11 channels with no need for an additional amp. Right now they are all more than my budget allows.
Glad this is some help to others as well! I don't think I'd be considering it if I didn't already have the external amp. I do also have limited space behind me, I moved the couch forward from the back wall and will only be able to create about 1'-1.5' of room to keep about a 9' distance to the tv which I plan on a 75" size. But the 65rt in-walls I believe let you angle the tweeter so I would plan to angle those as much as possible towards the opposite sitting position. Whether I end up thinking they are worth it or not I think I agree with those saying to do it for the peace of mind and if I'm already going to be cutting holes.
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post #13 of 53 Old 03-21-2018, 11:38 AM
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Yeah, I am probably setting up 7.1.4 too. Due to some recent changes in my room layout, I will no longer be able to spread the speakers on the rear wall far enough for a proper 5.1 surround angle (due to having a door on the side), which is a reason enough for me to keep them as rear surrounds for 7.1.4 and add some side surrounds (which in my case actually end up in front of MLP). I believe the side surrounds will end up at ~78-80 degrees, where they are supposed to be 90-110 I think. Pushing the seating forward to remedy this, will on the other hand get me too close to my 120" screen, so will probably stay as is, but ah well, life is full of compromises. That is why I think in my case in particular, having 7.1.4 makes sense, as I need to also add some rear coverage.

But still, it is very useful to hear about experience from people that have actually tried both 5.1.4 and 7.1.4, sounds like it's somewhat like I expected, you can definitely hear the difference with demos, whereas in actual movies not so much. This was the exact same experience I had before Atmos too, when I was comparing 7.1 to 5.1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alextr75 View Post
Yeah, I am probably setting up 7.1.4 too. Due to some recent changes in my room layout, I will no longer be able to spread the speakers on the rear wall far enough for a proper 5.1 surround angle (due to having a door on the side), which is a reason enough for me to keep them as rear surrounds for 7.1.4 and add some side surrounds (which in my case actually end up in front of MLP). I believe the side surrounds will end up at ~78-80 degrees, where they are supposed to be 90-110 I think. Pushing the seating forward to remedy this, will on the other hand get me too close to my 120" screen, so will probably stay as is, but ah well, life is full of compromises. That is why I think in my case in particular, having 7.1.4 makes sense, as I need to also add some rear coverage.

But still, it is very useful to hear about experience from people that have actually tried both 5.1.4 and 7.1.4, sounds like it's somewhat like I expected, you can definitely hear the difference with demos, whereas in actual movies not so much. This was the exact same experience I had before Atmos too, when I was comparing 7.1 to 5.1
FWIW, pre-ATMOS, I had a 5.1 and 7.1 setup, and I didn't find that there was much difference when I set, in the 5.1 arrangement, the Surrounds at about 110 to 120 degrees (measured from TV screen). Even on the demo material is sounds pretty convincing. That setup with ATMOS now sounds really good. I suppose if I were setting up again and my room made setting up rear surrounds easy, I would go ahead and do 7.1 just 'because'.

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post #15 of 53 Old 03-24-2018, 10:24 AM
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Rewatched Blade Runner 2049 last night and I didn’t remember what an awesome ATMOS movie it is. It’s a pretty incredible bass movie too.

The first scene when he lands the ship at the farmer’s place is a great example of sound circling around you in a movie (just like in “Leaf”). It also has discrete sounds (more than just echo, rain/ambiance) that come from directly behind you, above you, from everywhere. Make sure to watch the credits. The sound engineer had some fun playing with ATMOS effects there.
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post #16 of 53 Old 03-25-2018, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aron7awol View Post
I did this exact upgrade pretty recently after buying an X4400H. It's not a huge difference, but it's definitely noticeable with certain content as it creates a more immersive bubble around you. All in all, I'd say since you're in the middle of an upgrade, buying a receiver, and running wire, it's worth the extra money and effort to just get it all done at once.
100% Agree. Rear surrounds don't make or break a system, but there is no question they enhance it. Content dependent of course. Having gone there, I would NOT want a system without now. Same with Atmos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by schwaggs View Post
Play the ATMOS demo tracks on your current system (I suspect they will play without a ATMOS decoder):

https://www.dolby.com/us/en/guide/test-tones.html

There are effects in "Leaf" and several other demos where the sound object swirls around the listener. This is where 7.1.4 should shine in comparison to 5.1.4 and 5.1.2, etc. I believe that with more speakers (properly positioned, of course) comes better localization of the sound.

These demo tracks also highlight why timbre matching of ALL speakers is important unless your AVR can effectively balance the timbre of your speakers. As the sound moves around the room if the timbre changes, that will color the effect.

Now there isn't much, if any content I have heard (outside these demo tracks) that have sound objects swirling around you. However, almost every action movie has objects that move across the sound field (side to side or back to front) so I think that makes filling in the sound stage more important. Just as you have a center speaker to fill in the front sound stage, I think back and sides are just as important with ATMOS and DTS:X.
"Unfold" is another good one....

And while there might not be tons of content with this kind of "demo sound", it is out there, of course depending on your preferred genre. Yeah, Hallmark Channel, don't really need those surrounds.....but jesting aside, if one gets into muti-channel music listening, this can be really incredible, the more channels the merrier, at least for me. In fact I do more music listening now in 7.2.4 than I do in 2-channel. I know BLASPHEMY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post
It was a tough call as I have about 7' behind the sofa, but I wanted to do a really discrete set up (all 4 of my subs are hidden/in wall and all but the 2 surround speakers are hidden too). Adding the surround backs would have added complexity to my wiring and visual clutter (it's a living room set up and there is a window behind the sofa making location difficult). I'm also a big believer in having matching speakers, including heights and surrounds, so I'd have been looking at around $3,000 or more for a pair of surround backs, that would properly match the rest of my speakers. Plus I'd need a 2 channel power amp to run them. I just can't justify that spend when I only notice it when listening to a demo disc with obvious cues to speaker/sound locations.
I have even less than that behind my couch, a lot less, and throw in a door where one speaker must go! This was a challenge for me as well, to run the wiring (actually that wasn't thaaat hard....), but I had to do this and make the speakers READILY movable. Talk about PITA. Not to mention, I wanted side and rear surrounds to match more or less, since the sides blended very nicely with the mains, so keep that trend. I had to make some tough, and not cheap calls to do these two speakers. For a result I was not guaranteed.

So glad I did! Like I mentioned above, rear surrounds are not a make or break, just an enhancement, but it was all worth it for me. Again, not just movie content, but music as well. Really, really liking the result in my less-than-stellar environment,

Quote:
Originally Posted by schwaggs View Post
Rewatched Blade Runner 2049 last night and I didn’t remember what an awesome ATMOS movie it is. It’s a pretty incredible bass movie too.

The first scene when he lands the ship at the farmer’s place is a great example of sound circling around you in a movie (just like in “Leaf”). It also has discrete sounds (more than just echo, rain/ambiance) that come from directly behind you, above you, from everywhere. Make sure to watch the credits. The sound engineer had some fun playing with ATMOS effects there.
HA! Watched this just yesterday myself for the 2nd time - it is incredible, no doubt. I will have to watch the credits next time, I have not done that.....I thought use of all of the speakers in this film was generous!

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post #17 of 53 Old 10-27-2018, 03:15 PM
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I am thinking of going from 5.2.4 to 7.2.4 and was wondering if it was worth the $$. Anyone did the jump and thought it was worth it??

MAKE AUDIO GREAT AGAIN | Dedicated Sonus Faber HT 7.2.4 | FRONTS: Sonus Faber Venere 2.0 CENTER: Sonus Faber Venere Centre FRONT WIDES: Sonus Faber Venere 1.5 SURROUNDS: Sonus Faber Venere 1.5 TF/TR - ATMOS-DTS:X: Sonus Faber Venere Wall (4) | RECEIVER: Marantz SR7010 AMPLIFICATION: Monolith 7x200 | SUBWOOFERS: Dual 18" Dayton RSS460 Custom Build | Behringer iNuke 6000DSP | Velodyne SMS-1 DISPLAY: JVC D-ILA RS-46 w/ 128" 16:9 1.4 TREATMENT: Custom Bass Traps and Acoustic Panels (11)
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post #18 of 53 Old 11-04-2018, 08:39 AM
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I am thinking of going from 5.2.4 to 7.2.4 and was wondering if it was worth the $$. Anyone did the jump and thought it was worth it??

I did, and yes, it was worth it. YMMV....
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post #19 of 53 Old 12-08-2018, 06:24 PM
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I was reading the Dolby Atmos guide the other day and there is a section where they imply that 7.1.2 would be preferred to 5.1.4. Those in-ceilings should be placed to deliver either your rear track or side track before adding a rear height. (All assuming you can alter the other 2 surrounds to be correctly placed as well)

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post #20 of 53 Old 12-09-2018, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Naylia View Post
I was reading the Dolby Atmos guide the other day and there is a section where they imply that 7.1.2 would be preferred to 5.1.4. Those in-ceilings should be placed to deliver either your rear track or side track before adding a rear height. (All assuming you can alter the other 2 surrounds to be correctly placed as well)
Good question I will be jumping from 5.2.4 to 7.2.4, so will be able to report on my impression in about 2 weeks.

MAKE AUDIO GREAT AGAIN | Dedicated Sonus Faber HT 7.2.4 | FRONTS: Sonus Faber Venere 2.0 CENTER: Sonus Faber Venere Centre FRONT WIDES: Sonus Faber Venere 1.5 SURROUNDS: Sonus Faber Venere 1.5 TF/TR - ATMOS-DTS:X: Sonus Faber Venere Wall (4) | RECEIVER: Marantz SR7010 AMPLIFICATION: Monolith 7x200 | SUBWOOFERS: Dual 18" Dayton RSS460 Custom Build | Behringer iNuke 6000DSP | Velodyne SMS-1 DISPLAY: JVC D-ILA RS-46 w/ 128" 16:9 1.4 TREATMENT: Custom Bass Traps and Acoustic Panels (11)
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post #21 of 53 Old 12-10-2018, 10:52 AM
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My other thought for the OP was consider X.2.X in your budget planning, maybe less Atmos and more Subwoofer

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post #22 of 53 Old 12-19-2018, 05:35 AM
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So I got the 7.2.4 hooked up and it's a bit of a disappointment. The native 7.1/Atmos/DTS:X sounds a bit more full, but everything that is 5.1 sounded better on my 5.2.4 in my opinion.

I really enjoyed 5.1 upmixed to 5.2.4 with DSU, but not so much to 7.2.4 as I feel like I am losing detail in the surrounds and that soundstage is diminished. Am I the only one?

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post #23 of 53 Old 12-19-2018, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgrise View Post
So I got the 7.2.4 hooked up and it's a bit of a disappointment. The native 7.1/Atmos/DTS:X sounds a bit more full, but everything that is 5.1 sounded better on my 5.2.4 in my opinion.

I really enjoyed 5.1 upmixed to 5.2.4 with DSU, but not so much to 7.2.4 as I feel like I am losing detail in the surrounds and that soundstage is diminished. Am I the only one?
5.2.4 and 7.2.4 should be pretty indistinguishable from the main listening position on an upmix.
I think I'd check to make sure that you didnt accidentally wire one of the rear speakers out of polarity and then double check your distances you reported to your AVR. These problems would possibly cause some canceling sound waves that would detract from 5.2.4 with your new 7.2.4.

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post #24 of 53 Old 12-19-2018, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgrise View Post
So I got the 7.2.4 hooked up and it's a bit of a disappointment. The native 7.1/Atmos/DTS:X sounds a bit more full, but everything that is 5.1 sounded better on my 5.2.4 in my opinion.

I really enjoyed 5.1 upmixed to 5.2.4 with DSU, but not so much to 7.2.4 as I feel like I am losing detail in the surrounds and that soundstage is diminished. Am I the only one?
Hi guys, i have just bought an 2nd set of Kef R50 upfiring atmos speakers for the rear to put on top of my rs6 floorstanders which i use as my back surround rears. Can anyone point me toward a decent power amp to power the rears as my current avr only does 9.2 channels so i need another 2 channels to complete my 7.2.4


I'm from the UK, most reviews i have found are from 2016 and folk recommending the Audio source amp102vs or the 210vs model, however i cannot seem to buy these in the UK and y help on picking a not too expensive amp to help me complete my sytem would be great thanks.
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post #25 of 53 Old 12-19-2018, 10:56 AM
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5.2.4 and 7.2.4 should be pretty indistinguishable from the main listening position on an upmix.
I think I'd check to make sure that you didnt accidentally wire one of the rear speakers out of polarity and then double check your distances you reported to your AVR. These problems would possibly cause some canceling sound waves that would detract from 5.2.4 with your new 7.2.4.
I found that moving the sides a bit to the back (+-12") improved the soundstage and gave more envelopment on my setup. I'll keep on experiencing different locations.

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post #26 of 53 Old 03-13-2019, 07:47 PM
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Dumb question, but can a 5.1.4 setup utilize the rear in-ceilings to play regular 7.1 tracks? I’m debating whether to go 5.1.4 vs. 7.1.2 (basically whether to put the rear speakers in-wall vs. in-ceiling)? I will have two rows of seating with back row against the wall in a roughly 14’x17’x8’ room. MLP is the front row roughly 10’ from the screen (7’ from the back wall).
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post #27 of 53 Old 03-13-2019, 10:00 PM
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Dumb question, but can a 5.1.4 setup utilize the rear in-ceilings to play regular 7.1 tracks? I’m debating whether to go 5.1.4 vs. 7.1.2 (basically whether to put the rear speakers in-wall vs. in-ceiling)? I will have two rows of seating with back row against the wall in a roughly 14’x17’x8’ room. MLP is the front row roughly 10’ from the screen (7’ from the back wall).

No, if you're doing in-ceiling for Atmos, you want the surrounds down, preferably at ear level or a bit above. You want a decent separation between the two layers, so you would not want to install the rears as in-ceiling if you can avoid it. That is tight for two rows of seating and installing rears.

7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
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post #28 of 53 Old 03-14-2019, 04:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richieroro View Post
Dumb question, but can a 5.1.4 setup utilize the rear in-ceilings to play regular 7.1 tracks? I’m debating whether to go 5.1.4 vs. 7.1.2 (basically whether to put the rear speakers in-wall vs. in-ceiling)? I will have two rows of seating with back row against the wall in a roughly 14’x17’x8’ room. MLP is the front row roughly 10’ from the screen (7’ from the back wall).

If you have to choose between the two, I would recommend going with 5.1.4. You can always add the 2 surround back speakers later if you want to for a 7.1.4 setup. Also, as @Jonas2 said, if you want to add surround backs, they should be lower (in-wall is fine), and technically should not be more than half the height of the floor to the ceiling to keep good separation from the base layer and the atmos speaker layer.
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post #29 of 53 Old 03-14-2019, 11:32 AM
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I've always had 7.1 with my current speakers across a 2009/10 Pioneer VSX receiver and then a Denon X4000.
Back then I didn't have my speakers setup properly, but even after correcting this I felt it was comparable to lesser 5.1 systems.

Currently have X4500 + 7.2.2 (upfiring) and while I do get more out of the SBRs, it's mostly quite subtle.
You can get decent use from action movies and some games, most of the time I'm just upmixing to fill in the sound which I do enjoy.

In terms of cost, I think most would recommend 5.1.4 over 7.1.2, especially if you are already running ceiling cable.
Most people don't have much floor space, so best to add SBRs when it makes sense finacially/spatially.
That being said, if you have already gone to the trouble of doing 5.1.4, I have a strong feeling that 7.1.4 is inevitable

Perhaps consider an extra sub before SBRs (5.2.4 instead of 7.1.4). My dual subs are mismatched so I don't think I'm getting the full effect but it's there.
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post #30 of 53 Old 03-14-2019, 11:58 AM
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I have ran a 9.1 setup from 2010-2018 (FL/C/FR/FHL/FHR/SL/SR/RL/RR) and always had a "full" sound (Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver powering everything but the sub).

Late 2018 I redid things and have both a 5.2.4 and a 7.2.4 setup with tower speakers front/rear(Klipsch RF-82s), side bi-pole surrounds (Klipsch RS-52s), Centers (Klipsch RC-62s) and heights top-front/rear (Monoprice Caliper 8") and heights top-middle/rear high. The 5.2.4 is powered by a Onkyo TX-NR787 and the 7.2.4 is powered by a Pioneer VSX-LX503 along with an Onkyo M-282 amp powering the rears.

I will say that ATMOS/DTS:X made a huge fundamental "leap" in regards to utilizing the rears/heights compared to earlier surround processing (primarily Audessey and it's various flavors).

So much so that on the 7.2.4 setup you have a complete "bubble" reaching from directly behind you, to overhead and all around. The 5.2.4 setup is not bad at all, but definitely gives up a bit of the "bubble" effect in that the back is "open" a bit. Positional queuing from the surround upscaler does a good job "filling in" things in the 5.2.4, but in comparison you can tell there is less "environment" behind. Panning in 360 degrees (like a few movies have done) is amazing with a 7.x.4 setup.

Now, who is to say if it is worth it or not, but it literal back-to-back tests on equipment that is basically identical you can most certainly tell a difference.

The big difference is with top-middle and rear-height vs top-front and top-rear. The top-middle actually does a better job of giving you an illusion that things are directly above you, as it is much more "in your face" sound-wise. The top-front and top-rear are much more subtle, yet more "natural" in sound.

I do believe the next step is a ".6" setup to become standard with a top-middle along with top-front and top-rear. Gotta figure that is in the cards here shortly, since they wouldn't "dead-end" the commercial opportunities of ATMOS with just a ".4" end-game. Heck, I could see them going to a "7.2.6.4" setup with top-front/top-middle/top-rear/front-side/rear-side setups at some point since the ATMOS/DTS and even the Aura spec all are object based and could support such a setup. Just have to push the receivers to start decoding all of it along with configurable amplifiers or just add-on accessory amps that could be made to "work together".

Honestly, I believe they are missing out on the configurability of most receivers and if the receivers allowed you to dictate actual location so that you could tell it that your side surrounds are slightly behind the MLP it could a better job of panning. As it is you can just imagine all the assumptions that are made in regard to speaker locations. I wouldn't be surprised that in a few years we might not be calibrating systems with two or more microphones because it would then be able to figure out spacial relationships automatically.
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