7.1.6 on Denon/Marantz - How does it work?

I

Isak Öhrlund

Junior Audioholic
Hi,

I'm currently running a 7.1.4 system on a Denon X4500H with the height channels configured as "Front heights" and "Rear heights". My "Rear heights" are actually "Surround heights" as they are located on the wall above my surround speakers, but I recently discovered that my AVR does not decode Atmos properly with that setting (the surround heights are not playing when 7.1.4 Atmos test tones are being played from the Spatial Audio Calibration Toolkit Blu-ray). With this setup, I can use both Auro 3D (in which case the surround back speakers are deactivated) and Atmos, which is great.

However, my surround heights now act as if they were placed above my surround back speakers, which might sound odd if sounds are being mixed in between the bed and height speaker layers, as sounds panning from the front to the back of the room will reach the "Rear heights" sooner than they reach the back surrounds, making the sound "stick" in the middle of the room.

This got me thinking about what would happen if I added actual Rear heights, i.e. if I expanded my setup to a 7.1.6 system. Since I don't have such a system to test, I'd like to know how a Denon/Marantz AVR would handle this before making my decision.

Having looked in the Denon X6700H manual (the most affordable AVR capable of 13.2 channels of processing), it seems it is possible to configure a 7.1.6 setup with Front, Surround and Rear heights. However, how does Atmos and Auro 3D work with such a configuration?
1. Are the surround heights used when fed a 7.1.4 signal? I.e. will sounds panning from the front heights to the rear heights travel across the surround heights? Currently, my front and rear heights produce a phantom image between them when sounds move from front to back. I'd like to know if the same will happen between front and surround heights, as well as between surround and rear heights when running a 7.1.6 setup.
2. Can Auro 3D be used with such a setup, and if so, what speakers will be used? I heard that Denon/Marantz have been playing around with the speaker layout format compatibility lately, but I am not sure how.

Thanks in advance to all Denon/Marantz users with a 7.1.6 setup who can help me figure this out.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Hi,

I'm currently running a 7.1.4 system on a Denon X4500H with the height channels configured as "Front heights" and "Rear heights". My "Rear heights" are actually "Surround heights" as they are located on the wall above my surround speakers, but I recently discovered that my AVR does not decode Atmos properly with that setting (the surround heights are not playing when 7.1.4 Atmos test tones are being played from the Spatial Audio Calibration Toolkit Blu-ray). With this setup, I can use both Auro 3D (in which case the surround back speakers are deactivated) and Atmos, which is great.

However, my surround heights now act as if they were placed above my surround back speakers, which might sound odd if sounds are being mixed in between the bed and height speaker layers, as sounds panning from the front to the back of the room will reach the "Rear heights" sooner than they reach the back surrounds, making the sound "stick" in the middle of the room.

This got me thinking about what would happen if I added actual Rear heights, i.e. if I expanded my setup to a 7.1.6 system. Since I don't have such a system to test, I'd like to know how a Denon/Marantz AVR would handle this before making my decision.

Having looked in the Denon X6700H manual (the most affordable AVR capable of 13.2 channels of processing), it seems it is possible to configure a 7.1.6 setup with Front, Surround and Rear heights. However, how does Atmos and Auro 3D work with such a configuration?
1. Are the surround heights used when fed a 7.1.4 signal? I.e. will sounds panning from the front heights to the rear heights travel across the surround heights? Currently, my front and rear heights produce a phantom image between them when sounds move from front to back. I'd like to know if the same will happen between front and surround heights, as well as between surround and rear heights when running a 7.1.6 setup.
2. Can Auro 3D be used with such a setup, and if so, what speakers will be used? I heard that Denon/Marantz have been playing around with the speaker layout format compatibility lately, but I am not sure how.

Thanks in advance to all Denon/Marantz users with a 7.1.6 setup who can help me figure this out.

For 7.1.4, if you follow instructions as follow, it will work the way it is supposed to, that is, they way you want it:

1694781271445.png
 
I

Isak Öhrlund

Junior Audioholic
For 7.1.4, if you follow instructions as follow, it will work the way it is supposed to, that is, they way you want it:

View attachment 63396
Thanks. I already have 7.1.4 working as it is supposed to, am I not? I'm looking for deeper info on how 7.1.6 works with surround heights and rear heights.

For example, can I play Auro 3D with 5.1.4 (as I am today)? Will the surround heights take care of sounds located in between the front and rear heights (instead of having the front and rear heights produce a phantom image, as they do in my current setup)?
 
Last edited:
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
You may not find anyone with a similar speaker layout but I can share my thoughts. I recently purchased an X4800H so I referred to my manual. Your system seems to work as I would expect it to. You are trying to combine Auro 3D and ATMOS setups which are not really compatible. Surround Heights are used by Auro 3D, so when configured as Surround Heights they get ignored by the ATMOS calibration disc. When configured as Rear Height, you are lying to the AVR about speaker placement, so it is not surprising that sounds "stick in the middle" of the room. Surround decoding will not work properly if the physical speaker placement does not match the configuration in the speaker setup menu.

Here is the Dolby ATMOS specification in PDF.

While the spec has examples using front and rear height speakers, there are no examples with side height speakers. If you were to install two rear height speakers and configure the side height speakers as Surround Height, I would expect the Surround Height speakers to get used with Auro 3D and the Rear Height speakers to get used with ATMOS. Auro 3D uses a single Top Surround, so the rear heights may get ignored in Auro 3D.

This is with discrete surround decoding. The Denon has upmixers that may make use of all speakers in certain modes, like Neural-X. The front display and Info button on the remote should show which speakers are active for a given surround mode. Hopefully a member with more expertise will correct me if I have some aspects incorrect.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
The X4500H powers 9 channels. You will need an external amp with a 7.1.4 configuration for Dolby Atmos or a 5.1.5 configuration of Auro 3D. If configured for 7.1.4 without using an external amp, the rear height speakers will not produce sound and the Atmos presentation will be gimped. With no external amp, a 5.1.4 configuration can work for both Auto 3D and Dolby Atmos.

Screenshot 2023-09-15 at 9.13.37 AM.png

Screenshot 2023-09-15 at 9.13.56 AM.png

Screenshot 2023-09-15 at 9.27.05 AM.png
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks. I already have 7.1.4 working as it is supposed to, am I not?
That's not what I read/interpret, must be some loss in translation.

For example, can I play Auro 3D with 5.1.4 (as I am today)? Will the surround heights take care of sounds located in between the front and rear heights (instead of having the front and rear heights produce a phantom image, as they do in my current setup)?
I guess that's the part I got confused, not really sure what the issue is as I don't understand what you mean by " Will the surround heights take care of sounds located in between the front and rear heights (instead of having the front and rear heights produce a phantom image, as they do in my current setup)?" Can you post a diagram to help illustrate what you think the issue may be, or the question you are really asking?


Again, if you follow the instructions, and as long as you have the necessary speakers, you can configure your system to do 5.1.4 and auro 3D. So far, we have posted several pages from the instruction manual, are you having trouble following any of them?

Until you clarify your question, take a look of what Trebdp83 covered earlier:

1694868496826.png


I'm looking for deeper info on how 7.1.6 works with surround heights and rear heights.
The AVR-X4500H can only process 11 channels and the subwoofer channel, so to do 7.1.6 you would have to upgrade it to something like the AVR-X6700H, 8500, A110, A1H, 6800.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
It takes a few reads of the original post to sort it out. But, according to the original post, it is a 7.1.4 configuration. There are surround back speakers and four height speakers that are configured for FHL/FHR and RHL/RHR with the rears placed like SHL/SHR. The placement is incorrect for the configuration as @Eppie mentioned.

Regardless of placement, when setup for 11.1 in the Main Zone with a 7.1.4 configuration, no sound will be produced from the RHL/RHR speakers when playing Dolby Atmos tracks unless an external amp is powering those channels. Without the external amp, only 9.1 is possible and a 5.1.4 configuration with RHL/RHR speakers will work for both Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D.
 
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