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I'm having cabling installed for a 7.1 home theater system, I was leaning towards the Onkyo 905 or the Yamaha 3808 but my question is can I use the 2 rear surround speakers by themselves for stereo sound and flip back to 7.1 when I want to use the home theater? I have an area right behind the theater area that will eventually have a pool table and I was wondering if it is possible to take those 2 rear speakers and have music just play thru them and not everything else. The whole area is open and I am putting the speakers on swivel mounts and hoping I could just turn on the radio and have these play while shooting pool? Thanks!
 

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Nice idea, but if I am not mistaken, you cannot do it with a simple button press on either the Onkyo or Yamaha. These receivers do have assignable amp-channels, but then use different connectors for surround back and powered zone-2 speakers. So in addition to changing options in menu, you have to reconnect the wires to different receiver channels. My Denon uses the same speaker terminals for zone-2 and SB, so your configuration would be possible, but again, with more than just one button press, as you must go into setup options and reassign SB/zone-2 output.


Another option would be to draw another set of cables to the back of the room and use another pair of speakers connected to the front-B speaker outputs on the receiver. Just don't catch on this idea and connect both, surround back and front-B, to the same speakers - this will most likely cause permanent damage.


- Val
 

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I saw an AVR recently with 2 extra amps and speaker connections (makes 9.1 channels) so you don't have to reassign the SB as zone 2. Don't remember the model but my HK525 has reassignable SB and is a slight inconvenience as I need to have a monitor (the TV) connected to view the OSD to make the switch.

It works well though. I can listen to radio, CD etc while gaming with the remaining 5.1.


I can also play just the 2 zone 2 speakers by themselves with the rest of the receiver off. Only works with analog connections. Has its own remote.


Edit: Looked at Yamaha 663 tonite at BB. Definitely has 9 speaker connections. 7.1+2 dedicated 2nd zone!
 

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If you have another amplifier you can purchase a switch to toggle one set of speakers between 2 amplifiers. Niles audio makes an amplifier switch.
 
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