Where are all the 7.1 speaker packages???

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by John Watts, Sep 11, 2007.

  1. John Watts

    John Watts

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,961
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Leeds
    Ratings:
    +80
    Hi again all,
    Why is it when i search for speaker packages it seems they are almost ALL 5.1?
    I realise before you all get on my back that you can choose your extra 2 speakers as you want to. But i cant find many 7.1 solutions reccomended by manufacturors.
    It seems a bit strange as just about every amp/reciever even the budget ones these days is capable of DD/EX or DTS-ES so why are the speaker makers not doing the same thing?
    Please tell me if i'm wrong.
    Regards,
    John.
     
  2. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Messages:
    20,601
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Spaghetti Junction (really)
    Ratings:
    +1,923
    I couldn't name a single DVD with a 7.1 soundtrack.
    That and the fact that most people don't have enough room for 7 speakers might have something to do with it.

    I'd guess 7.1 might become more popular as the HD formats catch on, though.
     
  3. lazymatt

    lazymatt
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,999
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Croydon
    Ratings:
    +188
    You've pretty much answered your own question there, really.

    Badgers right too...there's only a very few DVD's with a 7.1 sound track, so all the amp does is interpolate the effects.

    Plus our traditionally small room sizes don't lend themselves to 7 speakers.
     
  4. MI55ION

    MI55ION
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +690
    I think it's because for most people 2.0 is enough (that's from the tellies).

    5.1 is moderate to extreme.

    7.1 is fanatical.

    8.1+ is taking the ****

    :D

    Honestly, I just don't think that the demand is there for 7.1 packages, our living conditions just doesn't warrant the extra speakers. Plus, as you've said already, you almost always have the option to add further speakers to a 5.1 package so it's available if you really want it.
     
  5. iainsilvester

    iainsilvester
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    573
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +44
    We can take of leave rears, that is our choice. The only DVD we have that is 6.1 is Pearl Harbour, and it does have immense aerial audio scenes. But you need space between rears and sofa.

    I originally went down the 5.1 route and my irritation at that time was paying for 7 channel amps when I was convinced I only wanted 5. I had this argument with the Arcam guys at the Bristol show in 2005 and they told me everyone wanted 7 these days and I was so last century :eek:

    For me rears add value and fill a gap, I use inwalls all round so the LS/LR are 5m apart. Also immense for PS3 games, though that it entierly my boys interest not me :mad:

    Bottom line is a good 5.1 is way better than a compromised 7.1
     
  6. lazymatt

    lazymatt
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,999
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    Location:
    Croydon
    Ratings:
    +188
    To a certain extent, they were probably right....the customer perceives it as added value getting an extra 2 channels of amplification, so it's there if we want to use it...although most won't.
     
  7. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    23,930
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Fylde Coast
    Ratings:
    +13,685
    I don't think 7.1 actually exists other than extrapolated to make use of a pair of rear surround amplifiers. There's 6.1 ES/EX and the Discrete variant, which can be "turned" into 7.1, but as the extra two channels are derived from a single channel, the only good it can do is to help with steering rear surround effects.

    As many amps tout multi zone set ups, having a pair of rear surround amps (a la "7".1) and the ability to assign them to pwer amp or zone duties, makes more sense IMO than having a single amp for ONLY the 6.1 material that is available.
     
  8. John Watts

    John Watts

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,961
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Leeds
    Ratings:
    +80
    I get what your saying about space for the extra speakers guys but not about the number of movies available.
    Here is a list from as long back as 2001 and there must be thousands more now http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/archive/index.php/t-17262.html

    That was the first search i found on google i'm sure more digging will unearth a much more comprehensive list regardless i'm sure there are plenty of films out there. Also even with a "matrixed" or whatever ES/EX surround mode companies want to call it i'm supprised there are not at least a few more 7.1 packages out there.

    I seem to remember Mordant short offering the THX select 500 package as 7.1 with 2 pairs of the di/bipole surround rears and also KEF did a 7.1 package too.

    Anyway if you guys see some good 7.1 packages please give me a heads up as i'm getting that itchy upgraditus bug again.

    Cheers,
    John.
     
  9. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Messages:
    20,601
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Spaghetti Junction (really)
    Ratings:
    +1,923
    My understanding is that they're matrixed tracks.
    If that's true and they are not discrete, I'm not interested at all.

    End of the day, the interest isn't there, simple as, IMO.
     
  10. John Watts

    John Watts

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,961
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Leeds
    Ratings:
    +80
    My understanding is that they're matrixed tracks.
    If that's true and they are not discrete, I'm not interested at all.

    End of the day, the interest isn't there, simple as, IMO.

    Thats fair enough badger but with all due respect and please dont think im looking for an argument here i wasn't looking for your prefered opinion on movie soundtracks. I simply wanted to know if and where i could find a 7.1 speaker package. Please dont get me wrong as i appreciate your thoughts but my post was not intended as a debate about the merits or otherwise of 7.1 surround sound.
    Kind regards,
    John.
     
  11. thelawnet

    thelawnet
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Messages:
    102
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +2

    Seemed that way to me.

    You didn't ask "Can someone recommend a good 7.1 set of speakers for me", you asked "why are the speaker makers not doing the same thing?", which seems like a debate question which leads on to movie soundtracks....
     
  12. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    23,930
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Fylde Coast
    Ratings:
    +13,685
  13. iainsilvester

    iainsilvester
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    573
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +44
    Bottom line guys if you have a large room, your sofa isn't pinned on the back wall and your LS/RS are pretty far apart rears can add value. Doesn't bother me whether the producer mixed 7 channels or my amp does clever things to create 7, there is a benefit.

    I was under the impression THX specifies direct radiators all round? So maybe a 6 tripole is as good as 6/7 direct? Anyway I ended up wirth 6/7 tripoles :)
     
  14. MI55ION

    MI55ION
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    5,851
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +690
    Would you not be limiting yourself profoundly by looking at, what appears to be, a very small selection of 7.1 packages in comparison to the 5.1 (+ take your pick of extras) variety? Not to mention that you are also limited to a subwoofer from the same manufacturer - well I suppose that's ok if you want everything to match aesthetically but I've often found, sound for pound, the subs to be lacking in packages.
     
  15. John Watts

    John Watts

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,961
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Leeds
    Ratings:
    +80
    Okey dokey guys......
    Sorry for the confusion,

    Can anyone reccoment a good package of 7 speakers please?
    Subs don't have to be matching.
    Must be better than my current system is Def Tech pro cinema 80's and wharfdale WH2 (i think) that i use for ES/EX.

    Budget of 2K and i would be more than happy with buying second hand.
    There you go. Please fire away.
     
  16. John Dawson

    John Dawson
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2001
    Messages:
    852
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    Ratings:
    +112
    Not sure about the "so last century" bit but we would (in my opinion) sell very few 5.1 AVRs when a 7.1 version only costs a marginal amount extra. And we'd have 2 SKUs instead of 1, and need new safety and type approvals etc etc - so it would probably not save money anyway. Most people like the idea of 7.1 even if they only use 5.1 (or less) in reality. In practice many Arcam customers run our AVRs in bi-amped 5.1 mode, where the spare channels are used to bi-amplify (passively) suitable bi-wireable FL and FR speakers. It usually does sound significantly better and the 6th and 7th channels are assignable in the setup menu.

    Hope this helps!

    John Dawson (Arcam)
     
  17. iainsilvester

    iainsilvester
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    573
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +44

    Thanks for the response John, I'm sure it wasn't you I spoke to. Don't you just love product marketing managers :)

    Wasn't too happy after my chat on your stand, pity too I was in serious spending mode that day ;) Maybe next time.
     
  18. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Messages:
    20,601
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Spaghetti Junction (really)
    Ratings:
    +1,923
    I see what you're saying now :smashin:

    In which case my advice would be buy the best 5.1 setup you can.
    Then, given the very little work the surround rears do, spend a few bob on those.
    I really wouldn't go down the 7.1 road until there are soundtracks that can push the last 2 channels to the max.
    A lot of people say spend the money on a good front 3 and don't worry so much about the rear 2, in a 5.1 setup and I agree.
    Hence, IMO, 6 and 7 come even lower in the pecking order.
    I just wouldn't waste the money, myself, but it's up to you, of course :)
     
  19. Isco 3

    Isco 3
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    429
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    North West
    Ratings:
    +34
    The thing is that if you have a larger room, where a riser is in place, then you will be looking at a 9.4 configuration, in order to make it work.
    Your existing processor would give up, and external processing would be required, so the room could be calibrated properly...

    And you are complaining about the 7.1 combo?:D
     
  20. iainsilvester

    iainsilvester
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    573
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +44
    It makes absolutely no difference whether the sound is an original 7.1 mix or not. Either the director believes there needs to be sound imaging from rear stage (and anywhere between rear and front soundstage) or there doesn't.

    LCR gives you stereo with a dialogue channel. Sides/rears give you surround sound. Do you want sexy stereo or surround sound?
     
  21. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Messages:
    10,617
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Detached from reality
    Ratings:
    +1,635
    I recently upgraded to a 7 channel amp (Arcam FMJ P7) and decided to get some additional rears, 'what the hell I thought' :D

    I have been fortunate to own some of the best surround speakers you can buy (M&K CSs) and adding a pair of Xenon LCR36s for rear duties has not changed things greatly. One disc that does sound really good though is Ghost in the Shell 2 which has a LPCM 7.1 soundtrack but I couldn't honestly say the improvement was worth the outlay. However my layout is compromised as I am pretty much pinned to the back wall...

    I would heartily recommend a superior 5.1 package for movie listening (such as M&K) over getting a mediocre 7.1 package :smashin:

    Adam
     
  22. iainsilvester

    iainsilvester
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    573
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +44
    The "what the hell" applied to me, 7 was not my original intention, and M&K told me not to bother. Also worried would never get matching rears if I didn't jump now, with M&K's situation. My room layout made it viable too.

    5.1 done well is awesome, sexy stereo misses the point. 7 can add value if your room layout permits, but never at the expense of a good 5, thats it IMO.
     
  23. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Messages:
    10,617
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Detached from reality
    Ratings:
    +1,635
    Yeah, I also decided to buy in case the Xenons became impossible to get hold of later... I guess part of me had always wondered if 7.1 would be better but in my room it really doesn't make much difference.

    Adam
     
  24. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Messages:
    23,930
    Products Owned:
    2
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    The Fylde Coast
    Ratings:
    +13,685
    Was/is the 7.1 supported over optical or coax?
     
  25. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2004
    Messages:
    10,617
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Detached from reality
    Ratings:
    +1,635
    I don't think so, I used 7.1 analogue via my HTPC and then you have to factor in Cyberlink downampling the track to 48hz/16bit....:boring:
     

Share This Page

Loading...