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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks,


Tried to set up the surround on my receiver/speakers using both the automatic and manual set up methods, and for whatever reason the receiver will not recognize what I am calling the back surrounds. In reality they are placed on the side walls behind the listening area. When doing an auto set-up, test tones come through them, and I get an error. When I switch the cables of these back speakers on the back of the receiver and plug them into 'side' surround jacks, it works, recognizes the speakers, and there is no problem.


Tried it manually too. It will not let me manually select back surrounds and configure them, unless I have the side surrounds already configured. Since I am doing a 5.1 set-up, I am wondering if having the receiver just recognize 'side' surround speakers will mean that any 'rear' surround audio will be lost on all inputs. If I get 5.1 regardless of whether the receiver thinks the surrounds are side or back, I am OK with that...just semantics. But if by having these back speakers set as 'side' means I will lose the rear channel, it's not OK.


Any ideas, or similar experiences out there?


Thanks


Frank
 

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I'm a bit confused on your setup and would like to help. Are u saying u are only using a 5.1 setup with surrounds located on the sidewalls and NO actual rear speakers on the wall behind u?


If that is the case, then the Pioneer is trying to setup them up correctly. If you actually have 7 speaker sets plugged in with 2 on the "side" and 2 on the back wall then the Pioneer should set it up for the backs.


If you do not have speakers on the back wall, but are using them on the sides, you will get full 5.1 functionality from Dolby Digital and DTS. You will not get the EX/ES modes which are the 6th and 7th speakers on the back wall.


You may be misunderstanding the functionality of the "sides" and the "rears", or it may be just semantics. In a 5.1 setup, what you are calling the sides are really the surrounds. You can position them on the back wall in a classic "quad" type arrangement, on the side walls behind the listener, or on the sidewalls adjacent to the plane of the listening position.


In a 7.1 setup, the surrounds are still the same whether placed on the sidewalls or back. The extra 2 channels to make up the"7", are for the monophonic Dolby & THX EX/SX channels, or DTS ES. The 2 speakers can be placed together for a THX arrangement or apart, like in each corner.


It can get confusing. Have you thoroughly read the manual on speaker placements and the different formats? To complicate things further, if you have the 7 speakers, you can still select 5.1 only configurations in the menu by "turning the rears off" or you can select 5.1 or 7.1 on the receiver front panel (at least on the 49TXi you can).


I hope this helps. But in case it doesn't, post again your configuration with the number of speakers you intend to use. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SS,


Thanks for the reply.


I have 2 fronts, a center (using my TV speakers as Center), a sub, and two 'other' smaller speakers.


There really is no back wall in this basement room....well, actually there is a wall that goes halfway across the back, with the other half being a hallway. Because of this, I mounted the 'other' speakers on the side walls, at about a 45 degree angle behind my couch. I figured to use these as 'back' speakers, since I believed for 5.1 you needed two back speakers....also believing that 7.1 allowed you to add side speakers as well. So it may be my misunderstanding altogether. SO when I connected these 'other' speakers, I conected them to the 'back' speaker terminals on the receiver.


Anyway, the mic on auto setup would send test sounds through these 'other' speakers, but then would show an error, on 'back' speakers. I figured maybe the mic 'understood' sonically, that these speakers were really not behind me, so it gave the error. I then switched the connection on the receiver so that the other speakers were connected to the 'side' speaker terminals on the receiver, and did the setup again. This time it went OK, and the receiver recognized the other speakers as side speakers. What I am concerned about, is the fact that I thought the typical surround audio required back speakers and that side speakers were for 7.1. If that was the case, then I would not get any of the 'back' signals since my receiver does not recognize that I have any back speakers.


I was thinking of reconnecting the 'other' speakers to the back input on the receiver; extending the wires to the speakers such that I could get someone to hold them behind the seating area (while kneeling) and run the test again, hoping that they would then be recognized as back speakers, and then just remount them where they were on the side wall. If I understood you, even with the receiver labeling them as 'side', I will still get 5.1 surround.


Frank
 

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Frank,


In short, yes. You will still get 5.1 surround sound by connecting your surround speakers to the surrounds on the 53TX. I use my back surrounds on my 45TX to run a 2nd zone for outdoor speakers, but I could eventually add to more speakers directly behind the main listening position, and they would have to be connected into the back surrounds. Hopefully, I just didn't confuse you anymore. Just hook up your 'other' speakers to the side surrounds, and you should be good to go.
 

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I think ss9001 explained it pretty good, but it seems like you still don't get it. In a 5.1 setup you have fronts, center, sub and surrounds. The surrounds can go to the sides of you or to the back of you. In 7.1 you have fronts, center, sub, surrounds and rear surrounds. In this case the surrounds go on the sides or a little behind (even though they're called "surrounds") and the rear surrounds go behind you. It seems as if Pioneer is calling the surrounds the side surrounds and the rear surrounds the back surrounds (or that's what you're calling them.) So with a 5.1 setup on a 7.1 capable receiver, you connect your surround speakers to (as you call it) the side surround output. It is indeed semantics. The rear (or back) surrounds ONLY get used with a 7.1 setup. You do not want to have someone hold your surround speakers above that half wall, because then the auto calibration the Pioneer performs will not be accurate. It calculates levels relative to the speaker's location, so if you move the speaker after the MCACC, the levels will not be correct. If you are still confused on this matter, go to Dolby's web site where they explain all of their formats in depth.


By the way, you bought a pretty sweet receiver and you're doing it a HUGE injustice by using television speakers as the center channel. If you can afford the Elite 53TX, I think you can afford a decent center. You'll be suprised how much information is produced by that one lone speaker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Erik,


Quote:
I think ss9001 explained it pretty good, but it seems like you still don't get it.
Actually I do get it, and I agree, 'SS' did a nice job explaining it. I wrote back because SS swaid he was not clear what my setup was, and I wanted to be sure his answer was in relation to the setup I actually have.

Your explaination helped solidify my understanding. Thanks

Quote:
By the way, you bought a pretty sweet receiver and you're doing it a HUGE injustice by using television speakers as the center channel. If you can afford the Elite 53TX, I think you can afford a decent center. You'll be suprised how much information is produced by that one lone speaker.
I wish my reality in this instance matched what you think, unfortunately, everything is relative as usual. I could probably throw-in another couple of hundred (over my budget already by ($500) and get a center channel (Polk, Infinity, etc.) but then I will want to get new fronts and rears (sides) too, as I am using some 25+ year old speakers for the fronts and smaller versions of the same speakers for the surrounds. In fact, I had been considering the Pioneer VSX 912K receiver which got good reviews in a few places I saw, and was only $300. Since this HT area is not my main music listening area, (but could become that) I am now wondering if the 53TX is overkill, since I just want a fairly nice surround setup for viewing DVDs on my new TV. Not sure I could return the receiver anyway just based on the fact that I overbought. If I could, and if I would not lose a lot of functionality in the process, I would consider it. Heck, other than being limited in the sub-crossover, I am not sure what the 53TX gives me that the 912 does not....maybe equalization, better amps?


If I had to guess, I would think this last paragraph will get to some here, since a lot of folks are really into audio/video, much deeper than I am, and would love to have the 53TX....maybe even think it's blasphemy that I compare it to the 912, and heresy that I do not appreciate its finer points.


At this juncture, I would like to watch a DVD on my new TV, and have yet been able to do so. That's another story all together, but I could have a $3K receiver and be in the same spot (connections, settings, input IDs, surround set-up, DVD set-up, etc.).


Frank
 

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frankb4 -


I think you've got the picture on the speaker setup. However you decide what's best for you for a receiver, please consider these things:


1. No matter which receiver you use, a good center channel speaker is WELL worth the money. Next to the fronts, I've come to believe it's next in line in importance. I used to use the TV speakers as center with OK at best sound. Then I upgraded to a Def Tech center and surrounds with planar speakers as my fronts. Sound was better, but dialog was compromised due to using a speaker with totally different sound characteristics. I finally reached what I was looking for this year by buying the same company's center speaker so that it timbrely matched and was the same dipolar sound.


Dialog and music vocals done with a good center speaker are impressive. Not only that, but the goal is to have a seamless front soundstage. TV speakers may sound OK by themselves, but probably will not integrate well with your fronts.


2. Receiver choice is up to you and your budget. I for one would not trade down to a $300 price point receiver. The electronics are not as robust and over time you may regret your decision.


3. If budget dictates a lower cost receiver is best, please consider - I have literally a new in the box Pioneer Elite VSX-29TX (5.1 Dolby, THX and DTS) that I bought about 2 years ago and never used. It is still in the box, in original wrapping. When I bought it, I was unable to complete my project. Time passed, new stuff came out and I decided to go with a new 49TXi. So, the 29TX is not used and more than likely, I will sell it. I could make you a good price on it if you were interested. I paid about $1400 for it, but something more than the 912 and less than a 53 may be of interest. And it really is new. My wife challenged my sanity, but there it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
SS,


Well, I was going to get a center, but my speakers (front and side) are very old, and I cannet get a center to match....at least brand wise. I am using my large Advents...which I always liked, and mini Advents on the side. I did not say this before, because most here might scoff at these speakers.


I have a set of Epicures in my main stereo listing area, and I would not trade them for anything short of $1000 a peice. Si I figured the Advents would do OK for the home theater. How do you match speakers like this with a new center? That's why I figured if I could not get a match anyway, might as well use the TV speakers. Maybe I will rethink this, if I can figure out how to match the Advents. Eventually I will get new speakers all around. Heard a set of Paradigms that were nice, but one step at a time.


Thanks for the offer on the receiver. Still thining about keeping this one. Not sure yet.


Frank
 

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Man, you've got some nice pieces of audio history!


I always liked Advents. Also, I have 4 EPI 100's or 90's (can't remember which) bookshelfs I bought in '72, fresh out of college. I used the EPI's in a quad setup for many years, then upgraded the fronts to Magnepans, keeping the EPI's for rears. Guess what: I still have 2 of them hanging on the back wall for my rears in my current 7.1 setup!


I understand how you feel about the Epicures. For their day, they put out a nice sound for the cost, to me very Advent-like. I was thinking of replacing them for my rears with new THX dipolars/bipolars, say from Polk on the cheap end to Energy/M&K on the high $ end. But, you know what: for the limited rear back wall channel action, I couldn't justify the price, so EPI's stayed. For the money, EPI's were hard to beat.


I didn't think my DefTech surrounds would work since they are bipolar with the drivers shooting out both front and rear. For back wall rears, a direct monopolar design is suggested. So, my DefTech surrounds are idled in favor of 30 year old speakers!! The DefTech center is also not being used.


You may want to see if Advent is still around or bought out by another company still making the line.


For the record, I've been a Magnepan fan since early 80's and that's what I went for to get my current integrated home theater setup. Maggies are dipolar planars, very detailed, great imaging & soundstage.


Let us know how you make out on the Advents.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by frankb4
I believed for 5.1 you needed two back speakers....also believing that 7.1 allowed you to add side speakers as well.
I think Erik already addressed this point, but just to be reeeaaally clear: going 7.1 allows you to add rear speakers, not side speakers. As for semantics: the two pairs of surround speakers are usually referred to as 'sides' and 'rears', while their respective channels are usually called 'surround' and 'surround-back'. You may find it easier to refer to them that way in the future.


Best,

Sanjay
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Folks,


Got my HT set up and its working nicely. The Pio is real nice. Still need to tweak it some, as the speakers are not balenced all that well. Plus, I have 4 reomtes to use for now (TV, DVD, Receiver, and Cable), so it may take a week or two of fiddling with the different surround modes, etc.


The sub also has controls, but I am not sure if the crossover is being controlled by it, or the receiver. Heck, I just wanted to see/hear the system work for starters.


Thanks for all the input and reassurances.


Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
SS,


Wound up getting an out of the box Infinity Center Channel for $150. Sounds nice with the Advents.


Regarding older equipment.....I still have in my basement storage area, my first receiver and speakers from back in 1968. A Scott 20 WPC receiver, and two EMI speakers (about 20 inches high). These are single cone speakers, but the tweeter is integrated in front of the woofer.


The Epicure Speakers I use for my main stereo in my Family room are only about 12 years old or something like that. They are floor standing probably 36-40 inches high. I do not know the model # but they sound great. The Advents in my HT are OK. Its funny. I always liked the Advents because they seem clean sounding and unbiased, yet, that is one of the reasons I do not like the sound from them too. I do not like boomy bass, and they are clean here. What I do like that they do not have is more 'upper bass', and a broader sound stage.


What speakers do you have? Anyone like the Paradigms. not sure what model, but the ones I heard were in the $900 per pair range, and were very smoth.


Frank
 
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