Possible "phantom" rear channel?


Bronze Member
Username: Mitchbd

Post Number: 71
Registered: Feb-04
Someone asked me the other day if it was possible to connect a centre REAR surround channel to a receiver that's only set-up for 5.1 surround. This receiver does not have provisions for the 6th channel (6.1), by means of either a speaker connector or a dedicated rear centre RCA output (for use with an external amp).

From a straight stereo amplifier (no surround receiver), I've read that it's possible to create a poor man's 'phantom' surround, by connecting the positive outputs of EACH side (left and right) of your mains, and connecting them to two rear speakers. It would be connected as follows...

(sorry I can't draw it!)

Amp Left + to Rear L Speaker +

Rear L Speaker - to Rear R Speaker -

Rear R Speaker + to Amp L +

SO - the question is... would this actually work? I know that the connections are as such to create an out-of-phase environment - thus the illusion of surround. Anyone have any insight? I am wondering that if this works for a 'phantom' surround gimmick, would it work if you used the two rear surround channels in your 5.1 setup - and connect them as you would above (swapping the "Amp L +" for surround L +)?

My answer to this person was to go out and buy a 6.1 receiver if they really wanted it that bad... but alas, no luck.

New member
Username: Gavincumm

Post Number: 2
Registered: Feb-05
I am not sure if it will work, because it could lower the resistance of the currant going to the amplifier, and possibly damage it. What I mean by this, is that if the speakers are 8 ohms, wired like this, they will draw 4 ohms (someone correct me if I am wrong).

However, I know that there are speaker companies that advise doing this for a parallel center channel, but in phase. (IE magnepan with the MMG-W's)

I am not too sure about the physics, but I wouldn't recommend it just on the basis that it wouldn't sound pleasing (to my ears anyway)


Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 295
Registered: Oct-04
It would be feasible if you wanted low-medium volume music in a larger area. But if you're thinking of splitting the signal and adding another speaker I would be wary of ruining the amp in your receiver. As the above posted the resistance would be greater, also the load on the amp would be much greater in times when the surrounds are used heavily.

With the right amp you probably wouldn't have a problem, I wouldn't risk it though, unless that 5.1 receiver is spec'd for 4 Ohms and has lots of power.

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest



Bronze Member
Username: Mitchbd

Post Number: 73
Registered: Feb-04
J. Vigne... thanks for the info. I've passed it along, and I'll let that person make their own decisions. The answers here are better than what some thug wrote in the other section that I posted this in. I appreciate your help guys!
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