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Old 09-13-2019, 09:02 PM   #1
Joe D. Joe D. is offline
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Hi all,

My new Onkyo is 7.1 but since my older receiver was 6.1 only, have not added the extra speaker to my set up.

The onkyo settings were configured for 6.1with the mic. Am using a very good Yamaha front center speaker for the rear center.

Don't know if it's worth going to 7.1 since I would be replacing the single Yamaha with a pair of smaller and inexpensive rear centers (like Polk Audio OWM3). Would the enhancement be noticable with two rear centers or since the Yamaha is of high quality would it make little difference keeping my configuration at 6.1? I know this is subjective.

Am I also correct the two rear centers are fed the same mono signal?

Thanks all.
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:08 AM   #2
Alister_M Alister_M is offline
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Yes, 6.1 audio will have a dual mono rear channel, but then again, it's pretty uncommon on BD. I can only think of a handful of BDs with 6.1 tracks and they're all older titles. Since 7.1 soundtracks are pretty common now, you'll definitely be better off adding the extra speaker. Otherwise the surround field won't be as effective on 7.1 tracks.
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Old 09-14-2019, 02:32 AM   #3
Joe D. Joe D. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister_M View Post
Yes, 6.1 audio will have a dual mono rear channel, but then again, it's pretty uncommon on BD. I can only think of a handful of BDs with 6.1 tracks and they're all older titles. Since 7.1 soundtracks are pretty common now, you'll definitely be better off adding the extra speaker. Otherwise the surround field won't be as effective on 7.1 tracks.
Hi Alister,

Thanks for getting back!

So both channels are the same but there is even more added dimension, the same as using two front speakers in a stereo system expands the mono compared to one speaker.

Just a matter of getting good speakers then?
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:59 AM   #4
Alister_M Alister_M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe D. View Post
Hi Alister,

Thanks for getting back!

So both channels are the same but there is even more added dimension, the same as using two front speakers in a stereo system expands the mono compared to one speaker.

Just a matter of getting good speakers then?
The rear surround would only be mono if you're playing a disc with a 6.1 audio track. For 7.1, the back channels will be in stereo. You could also set your receiver to Dolby PLII mode, which would split the rear channel on 6.1 tracks and matrix-direct that channel in either direction depending on the surround activity in the right/left surround channels (this also applies to 5.1). And yes, just add some additional speakers of the same or similar type to your existing surround ones if possible, just for the sake of consistency. If you just get one more of the same type of rear speaker, that's ideal.
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:00 AM   #5
captainsolo captainsolo is offline
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6.1 was going to be the next standard. Dolby EX added a matrix center rear channel in 1999 and this was only used on certain mixes. Most would just have content spread around a bit more in the few theaters that had the decoder unit. Then DTS came out with their ES version and added the option to have it discretely encoded as 6.1. Even fewer did this and it was more aimed at the home DVD market so you can still find titles mixed that way on disc-then some of those showed up on BD.
THX and others found 6.1 could confuse listeners sense of directionality and thus mix up front center and rear center info so it was decided to split the rear and go into 7.1 which was first used on Toy Story 3.

Few to any mixers ever got to or cared to properly utilize the extra channels. The original mix on The Phantom Menace was the premiere for Dolby EX, Gladiator has a DTS 6.1 mix on the original DVD and I believe played in some theaters that way. Look at most end credits form the early 2000s and you'll see the monikers.

Some mixes still used this stuff without credits within the 5.1 codec. If you set you main surrounds correctly and equidistant to the sides of your space you can hear the phantom imaging behind your position as if there were a rear channel. The original Iron Man on Blu-ray does this very well and is only 5.1.

So in short, yes definitely go for 7.1!
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Old 09-15-2019, 03:18 AM   #6
frogmort frogmort is offline
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If you use a single rear speaker, the rear surrounds will be summed down to mono in the rear speaker, ie: 7.1 to 6.1. If you have independent rear surrounds, 6.1 will be played back with dual mono channels in the back, but 7.1 will be in stereo.

I'm running 7.1 now and plan to go full Atmos/DTS-X soon.

Also, dual subs can add a whole lot too. Better dynamics, deeper extension, smoother coverage, better blending, etc.
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Old 09-15-2019, 04:38 AM   #7
Joe D. Joe D. is offline
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Thanks everyone. Ordered a pair of Polk Audio OWM3 for the rear centers. My rear speakers face in towards the listener but my sofa is against the wall. These speakers can be mounted and tilted slightly downward so the speakers won't be protruding past the sweet spot but aimed toward it instead. Will use the microphone for proper distances, levels, crossover, etc.

Really excited about expanding my audio because I'm am also a 3D enthusiast and this new combination I assume will make the 3D home theater experience even more immersive.

Again, thanks for explaining the advantages of pure 7.1 compared to downsizing it to 6.1

Joe
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