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Old 06-12-2008   #1
SMS
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Default Does any 7.1 AV receiver have selectable rears in 5.1 mode?

Does any 7.1 receiver (or pre/pro) allow the user to select which pair of surround speakers to use (L/R surround, or L/R surround back) as the surround speakers when playing a 5.1 source?

This feature is important to me for 5.1 multi-channel audio. I'll explain...

I have a 7.1 setup that uses the Dali IKON line of speakers. I use the Phantom in-wall model in the ceiling as the L/R surround. I made the in-ceiling compromise because it best suited the room, and I only intend these speakers to be used for movies, not multi-channel music. I use the IKON on-wall model as the L/R surround back in a position well suited for multi-channel music. I connect the L/R surround of the 5.1 analog output from my SACD/DVD-A player to the L/R surround back of the 7.1 input on my receiver so that I can use the on-wall speakers (rather than the in-ceiling) for DVDA/SACD.

This setup works excellent! But what happens with new Hi-Res formats like Dolby True-HD or DTS Master-HD with audio transferred over HDMI? (assuming multi-channel music will some day be released on these formats) What if I want to transfer SACD/DVDA over HDMI in the future? How can I redirect the surround channels to the on-wall speakers?

Hopefully this is all making sense. Does anyone know of any receivers (or pre/pro) that can do what I am asking? Any other suggestions?

Thanks!
Brad
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Old 06-12-2008   #2
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Default Re: Does any 7.1 AV receiver have selectable rears in 5.1 mode?

Brad,

Many do allow you to assign which set of speakers you use for which source, you'll need to check the ones your interested in to see if they do it, but it is quite common.
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Old 06-12-2008   #3
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Default Re: Does any 7.1 AV receiver have selectable rears in 5.1 mode?

Ken,

I just downloaded and reviewed the manual for the Denon 4308, and it does not seem to do what I want... unless I am missing something.

It has "surround" A & B plus "rear" L/R connections. You can select between surround A, surround B, and surround A+B from any source, but there is no way to redirect the "surround" source material to the "rear" speakers (and turn off the surrounds), which is what I want to do for 5.1 hi-res audio.

I can do this today using the 7.1 analog inputs, but I want to be sure when I upgrade my receiver I will be able to do this when my source marterial comes in through HDMI.

I shall continue my search.... maybe Pioneer Elite, Onkyo or Yamaha?

Regards,
Brad
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Old 06-13-2008   #4
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Default Re: Does any 7.1 AV receiver have selectable rears in 5.1 mode?

Sorry, I was thinking you wanted to select the surrounds, I misunderstood.
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Old 06-13-2008   #5
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Default Re: Does any 7.1 AV receiver have selectable rears in 5.1 mode?

No problem. It is difficult to explain and understand. But, it doesn't seem like an unreasonable feature. I just want a standard 7.1 setup, but I want the ability to assign the surround channels to the rear speakers... leaving the surrounds off.

I checked the manuals for Yamaha and Onkyo, and they don't have this feature either. I'll start looking at preamps now.

Brad
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Old 06-13-2008   #6
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Default Re: Does any 7.1 AV receiver have selectable rears in 5.1 mode?

Not sure this is something you can do w/o physically plugging/unplugging speaker connections on most receivers/pre-pros.

The only other way I can see you being able to do this is if you have additional, programmable zones on your receiver/pre-pro. My Halcro has an additional zone for a pair of speakers that you can program with any sound info. you want. For example, I am able to mix sound to get an output of 50/50 front and surround for side-fills.
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