Is it wrong to have 5.1 setup with a 7.1 receiver?


New member
Username: Cleosith

Montreal, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 5
Registered: Apr-05
Hi there,

Im a little confused about 5.1/6.1/7.1 receivers. My basement is pre-wired for 5.1. I'm just looking for a well reviewed receiver that will support my 5.1 setup, but most of the receivers Ive researched that I heard were great from this forum are 7.1 receivers like the Pioneer 1014, and the HK AVR-235.

Will these receivers work with my 5.1 setup, and am I spending extra money on something I'm likely not going to use? Pioneer is coming out with a new line of receivers (VSX 1015, 915, 815, 515) which seem to all be 7.1 except the 515 model which is 6.1. If I buy a 7.1 system, is it overkill and is it compatible with my setup?

Any clarification would be much appreciated.


Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 402
Registered: Feb-04
Will these receivers work with my 5.1 setup?

Yes they will. I use an h/k avr-325 7.1 channel receiver and only use 5.1.

am I spending extra money on something I'm likely not going to use?

Possibly, but very little. You're not likely to find 5.1 receivers in the future.

Bronze Member
Username: Voriand

Post Number: 17
Registered: Feb-05
Most current movies are in 5.1 format and is not going anywhere any time soon. All companies are jumping on the 7.1 bandwagon even though this setup not very feasable in most peoples homes unless you have a dedicated theater room.

Most receivers allow you to use the extra 2 channels on a different zone so you can watch a movie in 5.1 and listen to music outside on seperate speakers for example.

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 580
Registered: Jan-05

Also keep in mind that someday you might want to upgrade your sound to 7.1. Even if your 'space' isnt prime for that setup now, whos to say that your next residence wont be perfect?? I even take it a step further, and wont purchase any home that 'doesnt' have the perfect room for a HT. At least with that receiver, you wont need to buy new if you decide to upgrade.

I use the philosophy that "if theres a will, there's a way". with a little creativity, almost any room can be wired for 7.1.

Once you have a 7.1 setup, there's no going back!!

It doesnt matter if the DVD is encoded in 5.1 because that's what the 7.1 receiver decoders are designed to do. Watching a move with both surrounds and backs working is incredible. If it's a scary movie, the backs are liable to make you jump out of your seat when you least expect it!! There have been a couple movies that I've seen more than once using 5.1 format, then after I upgraded and watched it using 7.1 for the first time where 'exactly' that happened.

You can even use a 7.1 receiver as a two channel stereo receiver with no issues. It's a matter of choice and what material you're listening to.
Music is usually two channels and most everything else is 5.1. A 7.1 setup can sound damn cool though.
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