Simplistic question regarding how a receiver mixes to speakers


Established Member
Morning all,

Currently (slowly) building my first system. I have a Yamaha RX-V685 and a pair of Q Acoustic 3020 as my fronts.
As I am looking at the next ‘piece’ of the puzzle to eventually get to 5.1.2, I was wondering about how a receiver mixes the signal to what speakers. For instance, if I next get the two surrounds, will I get real 4.0 or will I just get stereo across 4 speakers? Similarly, if I next get the centre speaker, will dialogue come from that and everything else the two fronts or will it again be stereo, split across the three speakers?

Probably a daft question and I’m sure there’s a simple answer but I did have a quick look on the ol’ Google and couldn’t find anything.



You just tell the receiver what speakers are connected in the amp assign on the set up menu. If you just have four speakers then a 5.1 soundtrack or broadcast will get downmixed to suit those four speakers, ie, the centre channel will be split between the two front speakers. The receiver will do what you tell it to.

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