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#277627 - 11/04/09 03:10 PM Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1
Worfzara Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 738
Loc: London area, Ont, Canada
Hi Guys, I know this has been talked about alot here, just too lazy to look up the old threads.

I my wife and I are making some consmetic changes to our dedicated HT room. I am currently running 5.1 with QS8's on the side walls. When we built the house we roughed in the wiring for the back speakers if in case I ever wanted to go to 7.1. I need to know if as per our new decorating plan (due the location of moldings and accoustical panels) is if 7.1 in our future.

In order for myself to move to 7.1, I would need two new speakers, I am betting QS8's but I am open to suggestions. I would also need a 2nd power amplifer. My Rotel pre/pro is 7.1 capable, so that is a bit of a relief. With the additional amplifer and speakers I am probaly looking at around $500 to $800 (depending on speakers and amp).

I have looked at just about all 100 DVD's that I own and they are all in 5.1.

So the question is, for those of you that are running 7.1, is it worth spending $500 plus to move to 7.1? Yes, I know this is a very subjective question, but I trust you guys. Is there really that much of a difference, even though the software is only recoreded in 5.1? Or, is that money better spent on a new something or other? And what is up with movie industry and not moving to 7.1. It has been around for many years, whay are they sticking with 5.1?



Thanks

pn
_________________________
paul

Axiom M80, VP180, Qs8, EP500
Epson 3020
Rotel RB-880
Denon AVR-990

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#277630 - 11/04/09 03:18 PM Re: Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1 [Re: Worfzara]
myrison Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 1898
Loc: Denver, CO
Worf -

How long is your room (screen side to back wall) and how far away from the back wall do you sit when watching/listening?

I have 7.1 with the QS8s. In a 20' room, sitting about 8' from the back wall, I have never really felt like the extra 2 channels do much for me. If you sit in the back row of my room, you hear them more distinctly, but from the primary listening position, the effect is very subtle.

If money is no object, I guess I'd say go for it as it will provide a slight improvement in your listening experience. However, given that you have to get a new amp as well as new speakers, I'm not sure I'd spend the money unless your room is quite long and you have multiple rows of seating.

My 2 cents...

Jason
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Epic 80-800: HG Cherry

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#277634 - 11/04/09 03:26 PM Re: Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1 [Re: Worfzara]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
All of my discs are 7.1 thanks to Dolby Prologic IIx. That extracts matrix encoded audio or ambiance (Movie or Music mode respectively) from stereo tracks and spreads things around in a very convincing manor, or steers the surround channels of 5.1 mixes to the rears.

In all the other threads I've said, and I'll say again. With the QS8s to the sides of the listening area pans sounded as if they were going over head instead of behind me. But adding the 6th and 7th channels behind me made the movement of audio seamless. Right now I have my old monopole surround speakers back there, and the effect is good, I can only image it'll get better once I have a second pair of QS8s.

While you don't have any DVDs with more than 5.1, about 25% of Blu-rays being released today are 7.1, and that's probably only going to increase over the life of the format.

I like my 7.1, and wouldn't trade it for $500. Even if you don't make the jump right away, don't make any changes which would rule it out. The format, while not pervasive, is becoming more common.
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

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#277638 - 11/04/09 03:34 PM Re: Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1 [Re: myrison]
Worfzara Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 738
Loc: London area, Ont, Canada
Sorry, I forgot the room dimensions.

17.5' x 24.5'

Seating is 14' back for the first row with the second elevated row another 6' back.

Current QS8's on the side walls are 16' back from the front wall (screen wall).

Roughed in location for the additional two speakers are on the back wall same height as the existing 3.5' from each outside wall.

Some pictures here:

http://www.axiomaudio.com/images/wof/Worf.jpg

Thanks

Paul
_________________________
paul

Axiom M80, VP180, Qs8, EP500
Epson 3020
Rotel RB-880
Denon AVR-990

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#277645 - 11/04/09 03:55 PM Re: Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1 [Re: Worfzara]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6894
Loc: It's all about the location.
My room's only large enough to really justify 5.1 at just over 2000 cf, but your room is probably a good candidate for 7.1 at well over 3000 cf, Paul.
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Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#277686 - 11/04/09 05:51 PM Re: Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1 [Re: Adrian]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
That's a beautiful room, Paul. Certainly worthy of 7.1. Or 7.2 \:\)

I must say, I'm with Jason on this one. Because the QS8's are so good already, going from 5.1 to 7.1 (with 4 QS8's for me) did not blow my mind like I wanted it to.

Clearly, you have already demonstrated a "want" for 7.1, and I doubt that's going to go away. If you question is "do I want to eliminate the possibility of EVER going to 7.1 in this room?" I guess I'd counsel you to answer "no". Chris is right - 7.1 seems to be a well-entrenched standard now, and eventually you won't be able to contain yourself in spite of anyone's opinion about the subtlety of the difference.
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#277692 - 11/04/09 06:19 PM Re: Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1 [Re: tomtuttle]
Worfzara Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/25/05
Posts: 738
Loc: London area, Ont, Canada
Ya, 7.2. I like the idea!

You know, It really sounds great in there. The only thing is there are too many reflective surfaces and it's a bit of an echo chamber. However, that is going to be fixed in the cosmetic reno with the adaption of some accoustic panels. I've already done the R&D and I really like what I hear. Pictures will follow after it's done, ofcoarse!

I just can't imagine adding 2 more surounds, a 2nd sub or even a 2nd center channel will make it any better. However, those are "famous last words" I know.

Right now the budget doesn't allow for any extra goodies except the accoustic panels, some moldings and paint.

I guess I need to work around the 7.1 option for now. Maybe some well placed pictures will do the trick for the moment.

Thanks

paul
_________________________
paul

Axiom M80, VP180, Qs8, EP500
Epson 3020
Rotel RB-880
Denon AVR-990

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#277695 - 11/04/09 06:40 PM Re: Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1 [Re: Worfzara]
Riker Offline
devotee

Registered: 10/16/06
Posts: 375
Loc: Ottawa, Ontario
Hi Paul,

What did you end up going with for your acoustic panels ?

I am seriously considering ATS Acoustics panels.. they are very affordable.

Oh.. I had a 7.1 setup in the past, but when I moved my HT system from one side of the basement to the other, I did not reinstall the rears.. like others have said, I could not tell enough of a difference between 5.1 and 7.1.. so I just did not bother.. but I have the capability and space so it's an easy thing for me to go back if and when I need to.

Cheers,
Riker
_________________________
Acoustic Zen Adagio, Veritas center, Axiom EP500, QS8s, Anthem AVM20, MC20,Adcom GFA7400

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#277705 - 11/04/09 07:39 PM Re: Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1 [Re: Worfzara]
chesseroo Offline
axiomite

Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 5197
Loc: western canada
 Originally Posted By: Worfzara
And what is up with movie industry and not moving to 7.1. It has been around for many years, whay are they sticking with 5.1?


Everything else aside, consider that most tv viewers are still adjusting en masse to having a digital only signal and procuring the 'new' larger format, digital (some high definition), wide screen tvs.
Most people i know do not own any sort of stereo let alone a 5.1 surround system and these are career professionals with well paying jobs, families, movie goers, etc.

The industry will be promoting 5.1 for some time i suspect. It is only a rare small percentage that would be in a 7.1 category anytime in the near future i predict.

That being said, with Bluray coming mainstream and solid state storage ramping up fast in decreasing cost per unit, i can only wonder if the concept of discs will be gone in 5 years replaced by movies on USB memory keys or something of the like.
Time to start chopping up those old dvd media carousels into firewood...
\:\)
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"Those who preach the myths of audio are ignorant of truth."

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#277707 - 11/04/09 07:44 PM Re: Is it worth upgrading to 7.1 from 5.1 [Re: chesseroo]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
Because most people don't even have speakers outside their TV, much less a 5.1 setup, much less a decent 5.1 setup?

How many houses have you seen where there's 5 teeensy plastic speakers lined up on top of the entertainment center?
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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