5.2.2 vs. 5.2.4?

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perzon57

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Not sure of your room dimensions but, if you have room for a 2nd row of seating, you could sit in the front row for quad & 5.1 listening, and back row for 7.1 and beyond.

In my opinion, if you don't have the depth for a 2nd row of seating, then there's probably not a need to expand from 5.1 to 7.1 at the user level (although I do understand the temptation of continued tinkering & upgrading!).

For what it's worth, I went from 5.1 to 5.2 to 5.2.4 to 7.2.4 in our last home (13W x 19L), and the biggest bang for my buck was puttingin the height channels. This rear vs side channel thing you mention is a real issue for quad and 5.1, and sticking with 5.2.4 solves that problem. I wish there was a standard setting in AVRs to change this, but I've never heard of such a thing.
On my Denon AVC 3700 there are two speaker presets, and I think it's possible to have two different speaker setups saved.
 

jlladuke

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Yeah, at the very least I've committed to the tinkering, so I'll see what I can find out... I'd be psyched if there was something similar I could figure out on my Marantz!

EDIT: This looks promising... I'll mess with it once I have the new speakers installed...

Yeah, I was thinking about that being a possibility, especially using the Audyssey app (I think it's like $20); however, I don't know that the main 5 channels are Assignable like the rest of them. So, I don't think you could use the rear surrounds in a 7.2.4 setup and then also use them as side surrounds in a 5.1 or quad setup. But I'd love to know if that's the case, so please keep us updated!

Good luck!
 

marpow

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I have a 5.2.4.
Actually 3 subs. 2 are LFE connected, 1 for the front L/R and 1 for the rear L/R. The 3rd sub is connected high frequency only directly to center channel speaker terminals. My 4 heights, I am sitting basically in the middle, a little closer to rears. I have the 4 heights adjusted up 3db after Audessy correction.
I have said many times the biggest bang for the buck compared to anything in my home rig was the bass traps, side absorbers and rear diffusers, all from GIK Acoustics.
Emotionally, so far, I have been listening to Dolby Atmos to almost two years now, is the lack of satisfaction. The mixes are all over the place, whether it be movies or music.
For beginners the 5 on the floor and at least one sub are paramount to a successful surround listen. The heights are of course extremely rewarding. I remember the first Dolby Atmos movie I bought, 1915, I think there where two scenes where the heights kicked in. Of course there are fantastic examples of Atmos, Abbey Road, etc.
What seems to be a common thread in my listening to Atmos (4) is when it is a lack luster height experience, the two rear heights seem to be the most active, this is not the rule, just an observation.
So, all that said, if based on my experience, I only had a choice of two heights, I would put them behind me. General rule is try to make your heights line up with your floors, and situate 1/3 to 1/3 in ceiling, more or less and get your seating as best you can in middle, again, my seating is a tiny bit closer to rear heights.
The 7 point speaker configuration on the floor is mostly fluff, sound redirected. Keep in mind 99% of all surround recordings are 5.1, 4.0, Dolby Atmos, it is not common to see a 7.1 option.
Glad @RustyStatic you are having fun with your new adventure, I find it so rewarding to scratch and claw through information I don't understand and eventually come out the other end, highly rewarding.
 

perzon57

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I have a 5.2.4.
Actually 3 subs. 2 are LFE connected, 1 for the front L/R and 1 for the rear L/R. The 3rd sub is connected high frequency only directly to center channel speaker terminals. My 4 heights, I am sitting basically in the middle, a little closer to rears. I have the 4 heights adjusted up 3db after Audessy correction.
I have said many times the biggest bang for the buck compared to anything in my home rig was the bass traps, side absorbers and rear diffusers, all from GIK Acoustics.
Emotionally, so far, I have been listening to Dolby Atmos to almost two years now, is the lack of satisfaction. The mixes are all over the place, whether it be movies or music.
For beginners the 5 on the floor and at least one sub are paramount to a successful surround listen. The heights are of course extremely rewarding. I remember the first Dolby Atmos movie I bought, 1915, I think there where two scenes where the heights kicked in. Of course there are fantastic examples of Atmos, Abbey Road, etc.
What seems to be a common thread in my listening to Atmos (4) is when it is a lack luster height experience, the two rear heights seem to be the most active, this is not the rule, just an observation.
So, all that said, if based on my experience, I only had a choice of two heights, I would put them behind me. General rule is try to make your heights line up with your floors, and situate 1/3 to 1/3 in ceiling, more or less and get your seating as best you can in middle, again, my seating is a tiny bit closer to rear heights.
The 7 point speaker configuration on the floor is mostly fluff, sound redirected. Keep in mind 99% of all surround recordings are 5.1, 4.0, Dolby Atmos, it is not common to see a 7.1 option.
Glad @RustyStatic you are having fun with your new adventure, I find it so rewarding to scratch and claw through information I don't understand and eventually come out the other end, highly rewarding.
As you I have bass absorbers in all 4 corners, Isobaric #Tubetraps and some half rounds i the ceiling for absorption/diffusion. Expensive, but worth it to me. When I went from 5.2.4 to 7.2.4 I was surprised on how much information som mixes have in the SB speakers that are different to the side surrounds. As I listen mainly to Atmos music from Apple Music and disc, I got me som LED bars from amazone so I could monitor if there's output in the heights. Some mixes have output all the time, some have something now and then, and some have not enough to move the LED bars.
 

RustyStatic

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So, both pairs of new speakers have confirmed shipping and are on their way, so I've started mucking around in the crawl spaces and pulling wires... I thought for sh*ts and giggles I'd move my rears to the sides to see what my AVR was gonna do with 5.1 and 4.0 mixes when I've got 7 on the floor.

Based on the fact that when listening before I was so often getting up to see what was going on back there, I thought that I might actually dig this setup... weirdly, this is the speaker configuration the Marantz shows for 5.1 when setting it up, so like others have said, the diagrams seem to change based on the provider and there's definitely a degree of personal preference here.

If I'm being honest, the soundstage isn't the same just in terms of the feeling of size. But I can hear so much more detail on the sides now that I don't wonder "what specifically is going on back there?" in the way I did...

I dunno, it's new, and very subjective. And a different kind of experience that I might just be geeking out on in the present. But I'm definitely not like "oh, hell no, this'll never do".

And yeah, @jlladuke, you're right, you can't assign speakers in that way to presets. I mean, if I wanted to get super anal about it I guess I could throw banana connectors on those two pairs (the sides and rears; I've just got wire now) and swap 'em if I'm really feeling like I need to for a listening session that I know is going to stay in 5.1/4.0 vs. Atmos/Auro/etc.
 

RustyStatic

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So, I got my second pair of heights hung and now I'm at 5.2.4 (will be at 7.2.4 hopefully by the end of next week if shipping cooperates). What I am noticing now is, yes, it sounds awesome... and immediately, stuff that sounded fabulous before now even has more definition and detail, like the new Tears for Fears that I now know so well. Like, I was surprised at how much additional detail was suddenly there when I already thought it was a 10. Wild.

But the other super interesting thing is that, when I only had the two overheads, they were directly to the right and left of my head. So, not only was there no movement to perceive up there, but also, with the benefit of hindsight, what I was hearing up there was often coming off as gimmicky because anything up high was RIGHT THERE. Very whizz-bang. Whereas now, information in the heights is more dispersed in the room and in the mix too... and at first things that were very prominent in the heights to me in the Atmos mixes I was really getting to know... I missed them being that overt. But then I started shedding that very subjective take and realizing how much more natural, balanced, and truly immersive it is with the 4 up there. Not gimmicky, with a "woah! what just whizzed over my head?!?" but much more serving of the music (I'm sure there will be some of that whizzy stuff but it'll be on purpose).

I just got going so I have a lot more tinkering to do, and that'll amp up again when the two surround-backs arrive... but it's an interesting and rewarding journey...
 
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