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9.1 Audio

snedie

Standard Member
So, I'm thinking to go to 9.1 audio in my home cinema. I'm using the Acoustic Energy Neo 1 v2 for my satellites, and the upgrade from 5.1 to 9.1 is only £300~.

Now, before I spend my not so hard earned Uni loans, does anyone have any experience with 9.1 systems? Any info or suggestions you may have are very much welcomed. I'm interested in such things as:

-Will the audio be virtual (Like stereo to 5.1.....in this case 5.1 to 9.1)
-Audio support for 9.1 on Blu-Ray movies

Thanks for any info you guys have
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
-Will the audio be virtual (Like stereo to 5.1.....in this case 5.1 to 9.1)

Yes, there aren't any 9.1 sources at the present time. We're only just starting to get a decent amount of 7.1 discs thesedays and I've had 7.1 for about 4 years. Having said that, I've been using the rear 'matrixing' function on my various amps over the years (when the source was 5.1) to good effect, but maybe stretching 5.1 to 9.1 by matrixing could be a stretch too far.

-Audio support for 9.1 on Blu-Ray movies

See above.

Re the extra £300 for four speakers...IMHO you'd be better off increasing your 5.1 budget instead and buying a better 5.1 setup to start with (unless you already have the speakers, in which case, sorry for my rudeness about your equipment. :)).

If you have an amp that can simultaniously supply 9 speakers plus the sub, then it probably deserves a better quality speaker being connected to it.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Let me take a different track and ask - Why?

What is it you are missing that you think 9.1 is going to fix?

No... I'm not being a wiseguy. If you feel you current system is somehow lacking, then tell us how and why, we might be able to fix it or improve it for a lot less than £300.

Also, I'm concerned when people want to go with 7.1. You need a reasonably big room for that. For 9.1, I would also think you need a pretty big room; bigger than average.

Also, I confess I understand 9.1 is 9 amp channels plus Sub, but what is the purpose of those extra amp channel. There are additional width channels, and additional height channels, additional center channels, etc.... Know what you are getting and how to apply it, and more specifically how to apply it to your room and your circumstances.

If the acoustic in you room are bad, then more channels in not the answer. But, if the acoustic in your room are bad, then you can clean it up for a lot less than £300, assuming you have some degree of ingenuity.

So, I think an understanding of why you want 9.1 and what you hope to gain from it would be valuable to the conversation. Knowing what you hope to achieve, will help us guide you toward achieving it.

Also, have you checked the prices on 9.1 channel AV amps? I don't expect them to be cheap.

Just a few thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Some very good points there by Steve. :thumbsup:

I only recommend 7.1 (let alone 9.1) if you have plenty of space behind your listening position otherwise you just end up trying to jam four surround spekaers together. I have about 2 metres behind me, so there is some benefit in using the extra surrounds in my setup, but it's not bad if I just use the side tripoles in 5.1 mode...there's just a little extra filling so the surround spreads around when it's an ambient effect like reverb for example. Some 'spot' effects do seem better spread between the four surrounds though, but it's not a huge difference.

The best example I have for 'upconverting' 5.1 to 7.1 is the King Kong disc, where the biplanes really sound like they're flying round the room; you can hear the difference if you drop down to 5.1 after hearing the effect in 7.1.
 
Obviously room layout and acoustics have a big part to play in your system as whats already been mentioned.

However pending what your reply is as to why you want / feel the need to go for a 5.1 it maybe worth looking at a better amp.

I've heard a few good, not necessarily expensive amps that can really drive the sound around the room and fill it. Others I've heard have had the sound at the front middle.....slight gap.....left.....slight gap.....rear left.......slight gap etc etc.

Mark
 

snedie

Standard Member
Thanks for all the replies. I am currently running the Onkyo TX-SR608 amplifier with the Acoustic Energy Aegis Neo v2 5.1 sound system (In Vermont, a nice colour :)).

The room I have my cinema in is fairly small, and I have about 1m behind my seating position if moved forwards. Currently the rear channel speakers are sat on shelves, that are attached to the window ledge. This places them just in front of my listening position (I have my seat against the wall) and about 1m to either side.

The reason for me wanting a 9.1 audio setup is simply for atmosphere in movies. Currently the distinction from rear to front audio is quite large, and as audio is emitted from the rear channels it is very apparent. It's my hope that with a larger physical sound stage that I can eliminate this rather undesirable affect.

I agree with the points about "Stretching" the 5.1 audio source to 9.1, and presumed that this would be the case. At £150 a pair (I may be able to get a discount on that price again) the Neo surround speakers are great value, and the speakers themselves are excellent quality: I use a pair on my PC.

So, feel free to critique all of that :)
 

snedie

Standard Member
Here are some rough drawings of my current configuration and the proposed 9.1 configuration (7.1 if you just imagine the front surrounds aren't there).

current.jpg

Proposed.jpg


For those wondering why the centre channel is on the floor, it's simple because of a lack of positioning available. Also, the Onkyo amplifier is to big to fit into the TV stand, so that is currently supporting the centre channel speaker. The speaker itself is angled upwards towards my ear height, which is around 0.3 meters above its position.

If I go to 9.1, and put the front surrounds on the wall above the plasma I will also mount the centre channel there at the same time. All speakers are positioned to face the listening position, and the subwoofer faces towards the door which gives the greatest effect.
 
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why not look at moving the seating forward slightly along with the mid channels and placing hem high up on the walls to give a better sound dispersion.
 

snedie

Standard Member
That picture isn't to scale (I drew it at work), but I didn't think about doing that. The room itself is only about 8m long and 5m wide, so positioning is rather difficult.

I'll look into wall mounts this weekend, thanks for the tip.
 

mikeinmk

Active Member
I am currently running the Onkyo TX-SR608 amplifier

Hey,

Your Amp will not do 9.1, It will take 9 speakers and 2 subs but willl not power all the speakers at once :mad:
If you have a 9.1 speaker configuration it will allow you to switch between having the 2 highs/wides (depending on config) on and the backs on.

I know this as I have the same amp with a 9.2 config. In reality the amp will only do 7.1 or 7.2.

I have 2 highs and occasionally switch them on for movies that have more hight, if that makes sense.

I went for 9.2 as I wanted to get as much as I could from the Amp. I have lots of room behind my sofa and use dipole speakers for the sides and backs, have to admit it sounds awesome with the upscaling of 5.1.

Cheers, Mike
 

snedie

Standard Member
Hey,

Your Amp will not do 9.1, It will take 9 speakers and 2 subs but willl not power all the speakers at once :mad:
If you have a 9.1 speaker configuration it will allow you to switch between having the 2 highs/wides (depending on config) on and the backs on.

I know this as I have the same amp with a 9.2 config. In reality the amp will only do 7.1 or 7.2.

I have 2 highs and occasionally switch them on for movies that have more hight, if that makes sense.

I went for 9.2 as I wanted to get as much as I could from the Amp. I have lots of room behind my sofa and use dipole speakers for the sides and backs, have to admit it sounds awesome with the upscaling of 5.1.

Cheers, Mike


Interesting, I was unaware of this limitation. I may just go for 7.1 then.
 

snedie

Standard Member
But we didn’t really buy it to be just another run of the mill 5.1/7.1 receiver. We bought it for the so-called 9.1 channel options. Because the unit has built-in amplification for 7 channels, with the SR608 you have your choice of how you want to use the 2 extra speakers. You can go beyond 7.1, by connecting 9 speakers, but only 7 of them can be active at the same time. Using the remote, it is very easy to switch between traditional 7.1 and a Pro Logic IIz, DSX wide or DSX height mode. You can use an external amplifier to run Zone2 audio as well. Unfortunately, you can't use the external amplifier to create a real 9.1 system (all 9 speakers active). For whatever reason, the Zone2 line out doesn't send the front height or front wide audio. We aren't sure why Onkyo left this out.
Code:
http://www.htguys.com/podcasts/2010/8/6/podcast-437-onkyo-tx-sr608-review.html

Hmm, seems I may be able to use a spare amplifier to make the other speakers active at the same time. I'll experiment with that as soon as I purchase a pair of the Neo 2's (i''l use the ones on my pc to make up for the other pair).
 

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