Monitor Audio 5.1 or 7.1?

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Hi folks,

I recently purchased a set of 4 x Radius R90s, an R225 for centre and an R720 sub, all powered by a Yamaha RXV1065, based on doing a lot of reading of the forums here (which, by the way, are an awesome source of info - and to think, I used to think What Hi-Fi were good!)

However, I recently purchased a pair of R270s to give the front a bit more grunt. Consequently, I have a pair of R90s spare.

I have a buyer for them if I sell, but I thought I'd ask the question first - would you recommend putting them in 7.1 (so 270s front, 225 centre, and 4 90s as the mid and rear L&R)? Or would I be better off sticking to 5.1, given that the amp isn't the most powerful in the world?

The room they're in isn't large, but it's not likely that they will stay there, as I'll be moving the setup to a larger room in the next year or so.

Thanks for any advice.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
The benefits of 7.1 will depend on room layout. Since you have the speakers I would set them up temporaryily and try it out. I would not worry about the power of the reciever as it will be more than enough for the extra 2 R90s.
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Thanks, I will. Are there any technical reasons why one might be better than the other? I remember reading somewhere that for films that have the sound set for 5.1, putting the signal through a 7.1 system can sound a bit strange. Is that correct?
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
I ran a 7.1 setup in a room that didn't lend itself to 7.1 for the same reason as you; updated the fronts to floorstanders and had some spare speakers.

I'm now back with 5.1 and it sounds much better. However, with you planning to move to a bigger room, it may be worth keeping your speakers. If you sell your speakers, by the time you want to do 7.1, you may not be able to get the same speakers and i think that it's best to keep the four surrounds in a 7.1 system from the same range.

I guess it depends how much you can get for them and if you could really use that money now. I think it's worth keping a spare set of speakers around anyway.
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Yeah, I'm not really in need of the cash, and I'm happy to hang onto them. I think I'll stick with 5.1 until the move - the room they're currently in is really rather small!

Thanks guys.

EDIT: Out of interest, I see you have a pair of RS8s. I've got R270s - are the RS8s that much of an improvement, or would I need a better amp to hear the difference? I've also had interest in my 270s, and can get a new pair of RS8s for £550, and the tinkering bug is getting to me...
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
Thanks, I will. Are there any technical reasons why one might be better than the other? I remember reading somewhere that for films that have the sound set for 5.1, putting the signal through a 7.1 system can sound a bit strange. Is that correct?
Most films are 5.1. there are some 7.1, but not that many. Views differ as to what you should do with 5.1 soundtracks in a 7.1 system and it's down to personal preference.

An Av amp will allow you to add processing to the 5.1 track to make it 7.1. As I understand it, you get the same surround track playing in the surrounds and rear surrounds.

When I had a 7.1 setup, I prefered to listen to 5.1 in 5.1 so that the rear surrounds were silent. My thinking was, that I prefered to listen to the soundtrack in the way that it had been authored and not mess with it. Other people prefered to us all seven channels.
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
EDIT: Out of interest, I see you have a pair of RS8s. I've got R270s - are the RS8s that much of an improvement, or would I need a better amp to hear the difference? I've also had interest in my 270s, and can get a new pair of RS8s for £550, and the tinkering bug is getting to me...
The RS8s will be an improvment over the 270s. The general concensus from experienced people is that the 1065 will drive the RS8s, but a better amp will get more out of them. There are several forum members using RS8s with a 1065.

You should also replace you centre at the same time to ensure tonal matching across the front soundstage and get the RSLCR, which can be had for £140.

Monitor Audio RSLCR
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Thanks for the suggestion. The RS range look fantastic, but would be a fair step up in terms of cost on my Radius speakers. I paid £630 in all for:

2 x R270s
2 x R90s
1 x R225
1 x R720

Having had a quick look around at prices, even with the cheap deal on the LCR, it's going to be a fair layout to jump to the silver series. Assuming I'd need a sub as well, it's going to cost over a grand to get the RS8s, the LCR, and an RSW12 (all in cherry, since it's cheaper!)

I think I'll stick to the Radius for now - thanks for the advice!
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the suggestion. The RS range look fantastic, but would be a fair step up in terms of cost on my Radius speakers. I paid £630 in all for:

2 x R270s
2 x R90s
1 x R225
1 x R720

Having had a quick look around at prices, even with the cheap deal on the LCR, it's going to be a fair layout to jump to the silver series. Assuming I'd need a sub as well, it's going to cost over a grand to get the RS8s, the LCR, and an RSW12 (all in cherry, since it's cheaper!)

I think I'll stick to the Radius for now - thanks for the advice!
That was a very good pprice for the Radius package. You wouldn't have to ugrade the sub, at least not in the short term, that could be done when more funds are avaialble. I initially ran my MA speakers with my Mordaunt Short 309 sub (a sub £300 sub) and the sound was fine. I decided to get the RSW 12 when I saw that it was also half price at £375. You can now get them for £350.

BTW who was selling the RS8s for £550? You may be able to get some cheaper.
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Sevenoaks Sound and VisionMonitor Audio Silver RS8 Speakers

That's the best price on the RS8s I can find.

I've also found an RSW12 in Walnut for £350. I really shouldn't be looking at upgrading the Radius package, since I got a great price on it and I've not long had it, but if I can get the Silvers for an equally good discount, I'd be tempted, as the Silvers are pretty much the upper limit on what I'd be prepared to pay for a set of speakers (the Golds are a LOT more).

EDIT: http://www.quantumelectronics.co.uk/acatalog/monitor_audio_silver_rs6_av.html

That would've been ideal, but sadly they're out of stock!
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
Sevenoaks Sound and VisionMonitor Audio Silver RS8 Speakers

That's the best price on the RS8s I can find.

I've also found an RSW12 in Walnut for £350. I really shouldn't be looking at upgrading the Radius package, since I got a great price on it and I've not long had it, but if I can get the Silvers for an equally good discount, I'd be tempted, as the Silvers are pretty much the upper limit on what I'd be prepared to pay for a set of speakers (the Golds are a LOT more).

EDIT: Monitor Audio Silver RS6 AV Speaker Package - Quantum Electronics (UK) Limited

That would've been ideal, but sadly they're out of stock!
Did you phone Quantum? That says that they are doing the package, but it has the RS8 speaker at an extra cost. Quantum were the people I was going to suggest that you try to se what price they have on the RS8s, if they are selling them separately from the package.
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Did you phone Quantum? That says that they are doing the package, but it has the RS8 speaker at an extra cost. Quantum were the people I was going to suggest that you try to se what price they have on the RS8s, if they are selling them separately from the package.
Well, I gave Quantum a call, and they've got the RS8s, an LCR, and an RSW12 all in Cherry for £1,130. That's a good price, but given I'd need to grab a pair of FX rears as well (roughly another £200 or so), it's starting to look rather expensive.

Additionally, the rep on the phone said although my amp would power them, it certainly wouldn't make the most out of them (as has been mentioned above) so I'd be looking at spending another grand or so on an amp. Interestingly, he said there wouldn't be much of an improvement over the Radius' when it comes to films - the main benefit would be music.

Given that most of my time with the speakers is watching films or playing games, and given the extra costs, I think I'll settle with my Radius'. However, thanks very much for the advice - you've very kindly killed off my upgrade bug (for now)!
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Hi Laggy,

You didn't you get them brand new for £630 did you? That is so cheap it's unreal if you did!

Darren
I did mate. Bought the R90 AV225 pack (4 R90s, a R225 and the R720 sub) from Peter Tyson for £530. Speakers were all in silver, sub was white. Then bought the R270s for £200 from Peter Tyson (again, silver). Have sold a pair of the R90s to a friend for the price I paid, therefore all in I paid £630. Colours aren't ideal, but actually I like the silver - not a fan of the white sub though, but I'll probably change that for a BK a little way down the line!

The R90 pack is sold out now, but you can still get the R270s there for £200.

Have a look on their clearance section: Monitor Audio
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Well, I caved in today. I found a buyer for my old system (at a fraction less than I paid), and contacted Quantum, who sold me a full RS8 AV set. I got them for a great price, and in the finish I wanted (which was lucky, as there were only two full sets left, both in that colour)!

They arrive tomorrow, so I will report back after my first impressions! Very excited (and also poor)!
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member
you've very kindly killed off my upgrade bug (for now)!
That "for now" lasted a long time :D

Never say things like that on forums like this; you know there's no way it can be true! :D

I think you'll really enjoy your new speakers :thumbsup:
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
That "for now" lasted a long time :D

Never say things like that on forums like this; you know there's no way it can be true! :D

I think you'll really enjoy your new speakers :thumbsup:
It was always going to happen when I saw the Silvers going so cheap. Only issue was selling the Radius'. Patiently waiting for delivery at the moment!:thumbsup:
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Well, having sat and listened to them a bit this evening, I can honestly say they sound absolutely phenomenal. I'm over the moon with them - they sound amazing, and look wonderful in the rosenut finish.

Easily the best purchase I've ever made. Amp seems to handle them fine, though I intend to make that my next upgrade down the line.

Thanks for all your input guys - time to update the sig!
 
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LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Well, guess what? I've done some more forum reading, and I want to tinker some more.:rolleyes:

This time, my curiosity has been piqued by the possibility of bi-amping my RS8s, using the rear surround terminals on my RXV1065 (since I'm only using 5.1). I'm conscious that my amp is considerably underpowering the RS8s (which I believe are 175W, compared to the 105W the amp provides per channel), but I don't want to spend a fortune on a new amp.

Would this option be worth trying? I've got a fair bit of cabling left lying around, so that's not an issue. Would doing this be in any way dangerous?

Finally, if this is a reasonable option, I'd like someone to check that I'm actually going to do it the right way. My understanding of it is that I wire the top terminals on the RS8 to the Front terminals on the amp, the bottom terminals on the RS8 top the surround rear terminals on the amp, flick the amp on and set it to Bi-amp under the advanced settings.

Is this all that's needed, or are there any other things I need to be aware of, such as needing to use 7.1 options on films, or anything like that?

Apologies for the long post, and thanks in advance for any help!
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
Bi-amping them will give seperate amplification for the tweeter and woofer as I'm sure your aware, but because the tweeter is only drawing a tiny bit of power, your not saving much in terms of power by bi-amping, this route is usually taken for improvement in sound though so don't see why not to do it.

In terms of power, 105w is plenty and you'll probably never even get close to drawing this, even when very loud (unless of course your trying to fill a cathedral sized room!)

These speakers are very sensitive too, eg, to create 91db (reasonably loud) from 1m away, they only need 1 watt of power, thats leaves you 104 watts to spare:D
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
So would there be no real benefit whatsoever? I only ask because it seems a relatively simple procedure, and have read that some people have experienced some sort of benefit, and if I can improve upon what I already have without having to fork out any more cash I'll jump at the chance!
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
Absolutely! go for it, 2 spare channels not being used, it would be rude not to use them:D

I was just letting you know that you needn't be too concerned about your amp being underpowered and that bi-amping won't give you much extra power either, but for sound improvements, definately give it a go.
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Absolutely! go for it, 2 spare channels not being used, it would be rude not to use them:D

I was just letting you know that you needn't be too concerned about your amp being underpowered and that bi-amping won't give you much extra power either, but for sound improvements, definately give it a go.
Thanks! That'll keep me busy tonight. Just to check, was my understanding of how to go about doing it correct? Want to make sure I'm doing this right!:D
 

LaggyMonster

Well-known Member
Well, I've got the RS8s biamped now, and of course it's absolutely impossible to say whether there's been an improvement, as I stupidly did it as soon as I got home, rather than having a little listen beforehand!

Going on memory, I think they do sound a little better, but this is probably my ears telling me they do because I'm expecting improvement! Nonetheless, glad I'm making use of those extra channels.
 

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