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Discussion Starter #1
As many of you should already know that receiver has 5.1 channels, but has the option to add an external amplifier via surround back RCA outputs and turn it into a 7.1 channel receiver. The thing here is that there's so many options to do it that I'm undecided and was hoping to get some advise here to decide. As front and surround speakers I have two pairs of Polk Audio Monitor 40 speakers and a CS1 for center. For subwoofers, I'm building a pair of passive JBL GTO1214 powered by the Behringer inuke NU1000DSP.

The logical solution should be to add a third pair of Polk Audio Monitor 40 speakers along with an amplifier but I want to find a good amplifier for as cheap as possible and there's so many alternatives that I'm still undecided. I was checking the following amplifiers as possible solutions: amp A or amp B with this power supply. As you should have noticed judging by those alternatives, I'm looking for compact, budget amplifier solution for about $100. I was hoping that you know of another good alternatives for around that budget or even cheaper.

I was browsing eBay and I found some powered tower speakers that might not be timbre matched as a third pair of Monitor 40s, but has so many features that have me inclined to pick them up over the Monitor 40 plus amp. Here's the link to the tower speakers. Here you have some of the features that have me undecided:

1) the towers are priced about $150 vs about $220 for Monitor 40s and amp
2) the towers have an integrated USB/SD mp3 player
3) the towers are a 3 way design with 8 inch woofer
4) Bluetooth
5) remote control
6) Karaoke with mic input
7) decent power according to the specs
8) nice reputation according to net reviews

What do you think? Are all of those features good enough to pick a not timbre matched speaker for surround back?
 

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How much room do you have behind the LP? IME, at least 5' is necessary, and IMO, they should be up high like the side surrounds(5-6'). If you have the room, I'd go for the monitors. If not, you might consider saving the money for room treatments. I run 7.3 and the effects are subtle (but quite effective), but I have room behind the LP. If they end up right above the LP (like the couch is in the back wall), it's distracting and takes away from the presentation. Hope that gives some insight.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How much room do you have behind the LP? IME, at least 5' is necessary, and IMO, they should be up high like the side surrounds(5-6'). If you have the room, I'd go for the monitors. If not, you might consider saving the money for room treatments. I run 7.3 and the effects are subtle (but quite effective), but I have room behind the LP. If they end up right above the LP (like the couch is in the back wall), it's distracting and takes away from the presentation. Hope that gives some insight.
I have the surround side speakers where the surround back will be and I measured the distance and it is like 7' away. The surround side speakers will be about 5.5' away from the LP when I get the extra pair of speakers that will become the new surround side speakers and the actual surround side will become surround back. The front speakers are about 7' away on top of the TV stand 24" tall so they end up being 40" tall. The subwoofers will be about 10.5' away in a corner. Both surround side and back speakers will be on top of 3 tier bath shelves that I'm using as speaker stands and are 29" tall. So the surround side and back speakers will end up about 45" tall. What kind of treatments do you think I should give to the room? The couch will not be against the wall and that's why I'm interested in the additional pair of speakers, because I saw an image of a 7.1 system and the couch is not against any wall and there's enough room so the speakers are by your side and back. I rearranged the living room to have enough space for the surround back speakers. When I finish the subs and get the new speakers and amp I'll end up with a 7.2 channel system.

You already have a 7.3 channel system so you already are where I want to be and you think the effects are subtle? Do you think that spending $220 in speakers and amplifier is worth it for a tight budget like mine? Thanks for your reply.
 

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I'd caution against using towers for rear speakers. I do that and have never been totally satisfied . For rear speakers, apparently the best plan is "hang 'um high". Towers are really too low to get optimum effect.:eek:lddude:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd caution against using towers for rear speakers. I do that and have never been totally satisfied . For rear speakers, apparently the best plan is "hang 'um high". Towers are really too low to get optimum effect.:eek:lddude:
I understand now. What about side surround, are they all right at 45" high?
 

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Well, "worth it" is relative, but since you've invested your living space to accommodate, I'd say yes. Go for it. Sounds like your room is a perfect place to do it. As far as height goes I find that between 30-40 deg above ear height works best. This is usually 5-6-1/2' off the floor. In my case I started with 5.1 so my sides were already a foot and a half behind and pointed forward and down about 20degrees. Traditionally in 7.1 I think the sides would be more like 90deg to the LP. The reason to mount them such as mine(conventionally) is it balances ambiance with directional sound. IE: too high and directionality suffers. Too low, no surround bubble. Im out of room(phone app.) I'll describe my impressions of subtlety next post.
 

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I think you'd be fine with the 30s at the rear. The content they'll see, won't be full range and if you cross them over right, they'll be great. Probably easier to find mounts too, at less than half the weight.
 
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