Help!! Which receiver and 7.1 question!!!


I have two problems...First, which receiver should I purchase: I'm down to the Harman Kardon AVR-525 and Yamaha RX-V1300. I'm favoring the Harman becasue it's has a speaker calibration and 7.1 capability. The Yamaha does not to my knowledge.

Secondly, I want to have Digital EX sound so I'm adding a sixth speaker. The Polk RC80i's I'm buying only come in pairs so I'll have four speakers for the surround so I thought I might as well hook up my system with 7.1. Only a few companies seem to make receivers that have this. Is there a way to hook up a second rear center channel to 6.1 or is it not worth having the second rear center channel speaker?

Any advice on what I need to do would be greatly appreciated. I'm knew to all the new formats and after talking to salesmen at stores they have managed to confuse me even more!! Thanks!!!


Definitely go with the Harman/Kardon 525 if you are going with Polk speakers. I have not heard the RC80i's, but I am acquainted with Polk, which has a tendency to be a bit on the bright side. Likewise the Yamaha, so go with the H/K, which has a smoother, warmer sound. Additionally, a recent review of the Yamaha RX-V730 shows that it does not deliver its claimed power into 5 channels (I seem to recall reading that it only delivered about 39.5 wpc into five channels instead of the claimed 75 wpc). Haven't seen the RX-V1300 tested, but it is the very next model up in Yamaha's line, so I am suspicious. (H/K hasn't had this problem.)

Second, don't know your HT setup, but can you mount an extra RC80i as the front center speaker? Thus, you would have six identical speakers (3 pairs) for your 6.1 HT, which is really the best set up. Is only a problem if the RC80i is not video shielded and you are putting it next to a direct view TV (CRT).

Hope this helps!

As you noted, the HK will give you the 7.1 configuration with 7 amplified channels. I originally had the two rear surround channels hooked-up to a pair of speakers in another roon (2nd zone). I recently upgraded to the 7.1 and reconfigured the HK. The 7.1 set-up gives you a better surround sound envelope than the 6.1 does. I have noticed that the extra speaker in the rear gives you a better 360-degree sound, which idealy is what you want. I'm using direct radiating, not dipole/bipole. But, with the right placement, you can still difuse the sound.

Thanks for the info! It sounds like I need to go with the HK AVR-525 receiver.

I'm going to be probably using all Polk speakers with them:

Center: Polk csi 40
Front: Polk rti 70
Subwoofer: Polk PSW 404
Surround: Polk rc80i

I have not purchased any of these except for my surround so any recomendations would be appreciated!!


I just purchased the Polk rc80i at for 170.00 for the pair (delivery was about 10-12 days). I purchased them for my patio because of their composition. They sound darn close to my Boston Acoustics 455's and the BA's were over twice the price of the rc80i. Good choice on them. As for the HK vs. the Yamaha - I'm just as interested in this thread as you - I have an older HK and want to upgrade. good luck!

Thanks Shoe. I'm still not sure about the other speakers. Haven't heard too much about Polk. My friend recommended them so I'm going by his suggestion. I read somewhere that it is optimal to have all of the speakers from the same company. Is this true? Do Polk produce good speakers?
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