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I have a Pioneer 1014 driving Athena Micras right now. Is it worth it to get two additional Micra speakers to upgrade to 7.1 surround? I see a set of Micras on ebay and thinking of bidding for it. But is the difference noticeable? Is it worth it? Everything sounds quite good now but will 7.1 sound even better. My living room is not very big, maybe 13' X 12 '. The two additional speakers would be placed at the sides of the primary couch. Also, the ebay speakers does not have the grill so I would need to buy the grills from Athena, plus speaker wires, of course. Thanks.
 

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I wondered the same thing a while back until I tried it. I now run a 7.1 setup and am very pleased. It gives a fuller sound in the rear even with 5.1 material. Plus listening to 6.1 material like LOTR, kicks butt !!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister_two
I have a Pioneer 1014 driving Athena Micras right now. Is it worth it to get two additional Micra speakers to upgrade to 7.1 surround? I see a set of Micras on ebay and thinking of bidding for it. But is the difference noticeable? Is it worth it? Everything sounds quite good now but will 7.1 sound even better. My living room is not very big, maybe 13' X 12 '. The two additional speakers would be placed at the sides of the primary couch. Also, the ebay speakers does not have the grill so I would need to buy the grills from Athena, plus speaker wires, of course. Thanks.


Where are your surrounds now if you plan on putting the rear surrounds at the side of the couch? I had (still have I guess) a 7.1 setup, but since our main listening position is on the couch which is just a foot away from the rear wall, it wasn't an earth shattering difference in sound. The way the in ceiling surrounds were wired was such that the L/R surrounds where about 3 feet in front of the couch with the rear L/R surrounds "in line"/next to the couch. Even though the "forward"placed surrounds had a directional tweeter, I found that my system sounded better to me and with the L/R surrounds coming from the speakers next to the couch so I switched from 7.1 to 5.1 and enjoy the surround sound field much more. Plus if the source material has a rear channel then it is played through both surrounds anyway. Sure I can't take advantage of pllx processing without 7 speakers, but my room really isn't setup for the true 7.1 experience.


There are diagrams and even formulas on where you should place your rear surrounds, but if you can't place them at least 2 feet behind you and 6+ feet apart then it probably isn't worth it (I say this not knowing where your current surrounds are in relationship to your listending position)


Just my $0.02 based on my own 5.1 vs 7.1 with couch against rear wall experience with a Yamaha v2500 and in ceiling sonance virtuoso series speakers for surround (using "traditional" floorstanding speakers for LCR).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The rear surrounds right now are about 3-4 feet behind the couch. If I purchase these side surrounds then these would be the nearest speakers to the couch.
 

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Here is a link that has the speaker positions from Dolby. The surround channels (4 and 5) go next to or SLIGHTLY behind you. Channel 6 or channels 6 and 7 go behind to fill in the gap which is MUCH larger then the front gap that the center channel is used to fill.


IF the source material takes advantage of it the improvement would be significant. The question is will there be enough good source material to justify your investment based on your available cash on hand etc. Only you can answer that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister_two
is the difference noticeable? Is it worth it?
Whether it is "worth it" or not is something only you can decide. However, IF set up properly, there are three differences that should be noticeable when using 4 surround speakers:


Greater envelopment - 4 speakers can literally 'surround' you better than 2 speakers can. More precise localization - directionality will come from 4 hard sources instead of 2. Better imaging stability - sounds from behind you will always come from that direction since there are speakers physically located there.


Difficult, if not impossible, to get this sort of stable rear-vs-side imaging in the surround field when using only 2 surround speakers. Even the 2 best speakers in the world can't be in two locations (at your sides and behind you) at once.


See attached diagram for a good 7.1 layout.


Good Luck,

Sanjay
 

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One of my friends had the same situation as you. I advised him to get a pair of AS-B1's and replace the fronts with those and move the satellites to the back to get 7.1.


This not only gave him the 7.1 (which isn't too much of a difference in his small room) but the AS-B1s in the fronts sounded much better compared to the satellites as the fronts.


Just my 0.02.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister_two
Is it worth it to get two additional Micra speakers to upgrade to 7.1 surround?
I have a room about that same size, and don't notice a humongous difference in sound b/w 5.1 and 7.1. In fact, I may take down the rears and use them in a second zone instead. Maybe a little more enveloping sound, but not a huge difference. Any way you can rig up some extra speakers to test it out?
 

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Is it worth it IMO? yup it made quite a noticeable difference in my system and I would do it all over again if I had to and Personally if you have the money, do it up baby!
 
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