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Anybody tried a 6.1 setup?

324 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Kevin C Brown
Hello, one of the receiver I'm looking at right now is a 6.1.

I wonder since it seems more like the popular stuff in either 5.1 and 7.1, anybody uses 6.1 with the center rear installed? Is it really nicer and 5.1? Is it more useful in music or in movie sound?

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I had a 6.1 setup for 18 months. I liked it, but...

a) There is a psychoacoustical effect called "reversal", whereby if you hear a sound behind you, it can be interpreted to be from in front of you (180 deg away, basically). A 7.1 setup minimizes this effect vs 6.1. (This is why, for example, Lexicon does not support 6.1 at all in any of their processors. Only 5.1 or 7.1.)

b) I personally think that 6.1 is an improvement over 5.1, but ... I found that 7.1 does a better job with spreading the sound out in the back of the room. (7.1 also improves the discreteness from left to right in the back of the room too.) The one issue with 6.1 that I had, was that sometimes the action in the rear speaker "pulled" the soundstage too far towards the back of the room. Reducing its level helped, but...

I say, spend the money and get a proper 7.1 receiver. :)
6.1 is better than 5.1, and 7.1 is better than 6.1.

I recently moved from 5.1 to 6.1 (all using the same 7.1 receiver) and surround effects in DD EX and DTS ES movies are much cooler, such as LotR and SW. Take for example the skeleton falling down the shaft in the mines in LotR-FotR. Much cooler.

I'll move to 7.1 one day, but I don't want to spend yet another $300 on another surround speaker for now.

At my receiver price point, everything was 7.1. I just don't use all of it yet. If you're looking at 6.1 receivers, you must be at a pretty low price point. As such, is the cost of getting a 7.1 receiver plus an additional surround speaker more than you care for? Of course, you don't have to buy that seventh speaker now, but would you ever?

I don't use the receiver for audio material, so no comment on 6.1 vs 7.1 for non-movie/game purposes.
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Due to my room layout, with the tv in one corner and the couch backed up into the diagonally opposite corner I'm pretty much forced to use 6.1 but am doing it with 2 back surrounds right next to each other. This was originally though to be the best way to do 6.1 as it eliminates the psychoacoustical effect called "reversal".

Now the conventional wisdom for 7.1 is to place the surrounds on the sides of the listening position and the back surrounds farther apart and to the rear, sorta where the regular sorrounds were usually located for Pro Logic or 5.1. This is mainly due to the advent of PLIIx which matrixes different sound for each of the rear surrounds, something the early 6.1/7.1 receivers couldn't do. Someday I'm gonna have to re-arrange all that heavy furniture and stuff and try this speaker configuration, but right now my "6.1 with 2 back centers" is gonna have to do.
Steve- Your 7.1 setup with the two rears side-by-side is actually also *one* of the recommendations by the THX Ultra2 folks. Does help left right discreteness in the back of the room to spread them out some. A la DPL IIx and Logic 7.
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