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Beware single rear in 9.1 (8.1) and 11.1 (10.1) bad idea


Established Member
Not looking for help but just wanted to flag an issue should others be thinking about the same.

I recently wanted to upgrade my cinema speaker setup with a view to it being sorted for a good while. I would have gone for 11.1 but due to placement of windows was really limited to a single surround back so effectively 10.1.

I diligently read all the manuals for the receivers I was interested in and finally chose a Pioneer LX87. The manual clearly states that using a single rear is supported.

The manual also documents a configuration limitation, specifically that the amp won't drive wides and heights at the same time.

However the issue I and some folks in the US have hit is that if you have a single rear the amp will cut off all rear sound if you try to drive heights or wides. To me it's crazy if you have a pure 7.1 movie to drop the rear speaker in favour of the less useful heights or wides so effectively wides and heights are unusable.

Pioneer's response if basically tough and that's how it works. When I suggested this should be documented (like the wides and heights restriction) their helpful comment was that the receiver doesn't make toast and that's not documented either ! So 0 points to Pioneer support. Peter Tyson where the amp was purchased from were good enough to offer to take the amp back with a restocking fee which is an option.

So just wanted to warn anybody who was thinking of doing the same. Single rear in large setup = bad idea.


Distinguished Member
The issue isn't the fact it doesn't make toast, the issue is that Pioneer infer that the receiver can do something it cannot within its literature. This technically breaches UK consumer law and you are quite within your rights to request your money back. I'd suggest this to be why Peter Tyson were so amenable, although it must be said that the fault isn't with Peter Tyson, but more a matter of Pioneer's false claims. Whether a genuine mistake by Pioneer within their literature or not, they are at fault. Pioneer can technically be prosecuted for this and I doubt their defence would be throwing up the toaster analogy, especially given that you'd never actually attempted to make toast with the receiver?
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Established Member
Pioneer can technically be prosecuted for this and I doubt their defence would be throwing up the toaster analogy, especially given that you'd never actually attempted to make toast with the receiver?

Actually it does run quite warm so maybe I should give the toast a go.

To be honest if I thought an alternative amp would have solved the problem I'd pursue it more enthusiastically but I suspect lots of av receivers do sneaky stuff when nobody is looking. There's posts around which says they often drop to using the core audio when matrixing additional channels.

Still I'd be interested if anybody knows for sure if say a Onkyo 929 does the same thing. I spoke to the Uk tech support people to try to find out but the best I got was "we'll it doesn't say it doesn't so you should be fine" but after my Pioneer issue I wasn't confident.


Distinguished Member
Again, if you speak to anyone working for a concern or selling products made by them then what they relate to you in relation to that product has to be fact. The fact you asked and got a response means that the response you got has to comply with UK consumer law. If what they related turns out not to be the case then your rights were breached and they broke the law by mis-selling a product to you.

The guidelines outlined here can help you to determine whether or not you were mis-sold a product:
Mis-selling Products/Services - Claim Mis-sold Compensation

In brief:

Mis-selling often refers to sales and marketing activities that are generally ambiguous, deceptive, confusing, dishonest or oppressive and can in some cases mean you have a case to claim compensation for the mis-sold product or service.


Established Member
Thanks for your thoughts. Just to clarify when I refer to asking I mean as regards the Onkyo rather than the Pioneer. 'All' I did as regards the Pioneer prior to purchase was read the manual though having said that neither the retailer or the first line at Pioneer customer support were aware of the 'feature'.

Any other opinions ? Is this just a minor quirk of the amp or a major design flaw making it useless in my situation ?

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