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Discussion Starter #1
Need a little help, not sure if I should finish with a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 system. Need surrounds.


What I have now, just finished buying:

Onkyo TX-SR606

2 Front: Polk rti8

Center: Polk csi3

Sub: Sony SAWM40 (sub is my old large 12'' sony. Going to keep this for 6 months then maybe get the ED A3 300 if needed?)


I watch about 85% HD sports and blu ray/HDDVD movies on 1080p. Really into movies with my sound. I would say only 15% music.


So, this leaves the surround speakers. Since rti are discontinued I think I want to snatch them up before too late. I am not sure about this, 2 options?:


I could get a pair of rti6 and just set up a 5.1 system? $230 total for the pair


Or should I go with 2 pairs of rti4 and set up a 7.1 system? $308 total for the 2 pairs rti4.


I guess room size might be an issue? I have never set up a HT system before. How much room behind do you need for a 5.1 or 7.1? The room is about 18 feet by 13 feet and its a low ceiling only about 6 1/2 feet. So with that size room would it matter which above speaker options I got?


Also how strong of a subwoofer do I actually need? Im going to keep that sony for now (SAWM40: Built-in amplifier with 120 watts into 8 ohms from 20 - 200 Hz at 0.8% THD 12-inch long-throw driver) - but would upgrade in 3-6 months if needed.


Thanks for the help!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by drandom /forum/post/14195292


Need a little help, not sure if I should finish with a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1 system. Need surrounds.


What I have now, just finished buying:

Onkyo TX-SR606

2 Front: Polk rti8

Center: Polk csi3

Sub: Sony SAWM40 (sub is my old large 12'' sony. Going to keep this for 6 months then maybe get the ED A3 300 if needed?)


I watch about 85% HD sports and blu ray/HDDVD movies on 1080p. Really into movies with my sound. I would say only 15% music.


So, this leaves the surround speakers. Since rti are discontinued I think I want to snatch them up before too late. I am not sure about this, 2 options?:


I could get a pair of rti6 and just set up a 5.1 system? $230 total for the pair


Or should I go with 2 pairs of rti4 and set up a 7.1 system? $308 total for the 2 pairs rti4.


I guess room size might be an issue? I have never set up a HT system before. How much room behind do you need for a 5.1 or 7.1? The room is about 18 feet by 13 feet and its a low ceiling only about 6 1/2 feet. So with that size room would it matter which above speaker options I got?


Also how strong of a subwoofer do I actually need? Im going to keep that sony for now (SAWM40: Built-in amplifier with 120 watts into 8 ohms from 20 - 200 Hz at 0.8% THD 12-inch long-throw driver) - but would upgrade in 3-6 months if needed.


Thanks for the help!


Since you are more weighted towards movies vs music - you may want to consider dipoles from Polk for the surrounds with the same drivers as your RTI8s for matched sound....although for surrounds that is not as critical as having matched driver from fronts & center.


just something to consider,

Erik
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik Tracy /forum/post/14195642


Since you are more weighted towards movies vs music - you may want to consider dipoles from Polk for the surrounds with the same drivers as your RTI8s for matched sound....although for surrounds that is not as critical as having matched driver from fronts & center.


just something to consider,

Erik

Interesting, I was looking at the fxi3 because I cant find fxi5 anywhere. I dont know much about these, whats the pros/cons with adding the fxi3 to my system instead of my other two choices I listed above?
 

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Drandom, congradulations on your new Polks! I think they will be a great improvement over your Sony's. Your question of going 6.1 or 7.1 vs 5.1 is dependant on where your listening position is. You need at least 3 feet of space behind your listening position in order to get the desired affect from the additional speakers. If your listening position is against a wall, you won't get any bennefit from the additional 1 or 2 speakers.


As for your surround speaker choices, I don't know what to tell you. I've never listened to dipole or bipole speakers (the FXI series you're considering) because my room is too small for them. I use direct radiating (the RTI series type of speaker). I would suggest that you do a little more research on them. My understanding is that people either love or hate their effect. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground concerning them.


Since you've upgraded your speakers, I would also suggest upgrading your sub as well. You will be amazed at the difference a more powerful sub will make in your movie watching experience. I went from a cheap Fluance sub to a moderate Hsu VTF MKII and what a difference. My wife was even impressed! With my old sub, during the Lobby scene in The Matrix, all I heard in the bass line of the music was one note. However, with the Hsu, I was amazed to hear different notes! The explosions became more powerful and distinct. I could actually hear different layers of sound between the different guns (large vs small)! And the explosion after Neo and Trinity cut the elevator loose and it hits the lobby level seemed to really come alive, not only could you hear it but you could feel it!! If you really want to improve your movie watching experience, definitely consider upgrading your sub.


When I decided to upgrade my sub, I did a lot of browsing on the sub forum and narrowed my choices to 3 manufacturers. I e-mailed all 3 with my room size, current speakers, and listening habits. Dr. Hsu was the only one to respond, so I went with his recommendation and couldn't be happier!


Hope this helps. Good luck, and have fun!
 

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I think DogEarz nails it pretty well. IMO about 20feet is the minimum for 7.1 surround, anything smaller than that and 7.1 is overkill because your rear speakers are going to be right on top of you. If having 3 feet of space behind you is the minimum for rear surrounds then I'd say 6 feet behind would be more ideal (hell most people have their surrounds 2-3 feet behind them, about 110 degrees from the listening position). Go 5.1 and take the $200 that you save and put it towards your sub upgrade. You can always add the rear speakers to go 7.1 later down the road if you feel you have room and they're necessary. You'll get better bang for your buck, now, with a good sub upgrade.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DogEarz /forum/post/14196398


Drandom, congradulations on your new Polks! I think they will be a great improvement over your Sony's. Your question of going 6.1 or 7.1 vs 5.1 is dependant on where your listening position is. You need at least 3 feet of space behind your listening position in order to get the desired affect from the additional speakers. If your listening position is against a wall, you won't get any bennefit from the additional 1 or 2 speakers.


As for your surround speaker choices, I don't know what to tell you. I've never listened to dipole or bipole speakers (the FXI series you're considering) because my room is too small for them. I use direct radiating (the RTI series type of speaker). I would suggest that you do a little more research on them. My understanding is that people either love or hate their effect. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground concerning them.


Since you've upgraded your speakers, I would also suggest upgrading your sub as well. You will be amazed at the difference a more powerful sub will make in your movie watching experience. I went from a cheap Fluance sub to a moderate Hsu VTF MKII and what a difference. My wife was even impressed! With my old sub, during the Lobby scene in The Matrix, all I heard in the bass line of the music was one note. However, with the Hsu, I was amazed to hear different notes! The explosions became more powerful and distinct. I could actually hear different layers of sound between the different guns (large vs small)! And the explosion after Neo and Trinity cut the elevator loose and it hits the lobby level seemed to really come alive, not only could you hear it but you could feel it!! If you really want to improve your movie watching experience, definitely consider upgrading your sub.


When I decided to upgrade my sub, I did a lot of browsing on the sub forum and narrowed my choices to 3 manufacturers. I e-mailed all 3 with my room size, current speakers, and listening habits. Dr. Hsu was the only one to respond, so I went with his recommendation and couldn't be happier!


Hope this helps. Good luck, and have fun!
 

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Agree with others above me. You are better off going a 5.1 with a good sub than a crappy sub and 7.1. Sub is an important part especially for HT.
 

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I'm running RTi10s for fronts, CSi5 for center, and four RTi4 for surrounds and backs. I honestly think that if I could find four FXi5's in black oak, I'd switch out those RTi4 in favor of them. The improved imaging and reduced localization that dipole/bipole speakers provide can be a huge boost in a small HT.


Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all for the help! You have changed my mind. I will get a sub upgrade now and get rid of the old sony. I am thinking its also a good idea to stick with 5.1. I guess I have to decide if I want the rti6 or the fxi3 for surround?



As for sub upgrade, I found the ED A2 -300 for $315 online and that fits my budget much better than the larger ED A3 -300. What do you think about the A2 - 300 for a room my size?


Again thanks for all the help, learned a lot reading a few hours on these forums.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Did a lot of research people say the A2 300 is great for movies so I will be getting that.


I still need to figure out what kind of surround system I want to have? Do I go with the fxi3 or either the rti4 or rti6? All around the same price so its not a big issue.
 

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If you're going to be sitting in the middle of a traditional rectangular/square shaped room, I'd opt for the FXi3 just so you can go dipole/bipole on the side/back walls. If your room is a little more oddly shaped, the RTi4/RTi6 might be easier to place. For the FXi3 to work right, imaging-wise, you need a wide flat wall to mount them on with at least a few feet on both sides unobstructed. If anything's too close, you may get some nasty sound reflections. The FXi3, if you can fit them, will provide a wider dispersion and be a better 5.1 choice than bookshelfs I think.


The sub sounds like a nice choice. You won't regret a quality subwoofer!


Greg
 

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Drandom, looks like a good sub choice. I think you will be happy with it. As for the surrounds, the only advice I can offer is educate yourself on the pros/cons each type of speaker offers and decide from there. Or, order a set of each, listen to them, and return the ones that you don't like. Maybe not the most practicle idea, but then you will know for sure.


Good luck!
 
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