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There's no reason to move beyond 5.1 for 99% of home theater enthusiasts. The 1% are for those with really large rooms.
Phil, you must be selling tickets over there What is your favorite brand of receiver? Amp?
Can you tell a difference between Onkyo, Emotiva and Hegel amplification that you can describe? How do the Ohm speakers compare to the Thiels?When you find out what recording engineers have to do to make recordings you appreciate why audiophiles try different approaches to reproduce it. I use a Marantz preamp in my HT. I like Audyssey and the various sound modes. It gives you the ability to change things up depending on the recording and format you are listening too. Recordings from the 40's and 50's are night and day different from today (tubes vs protools). Live recordings are different from studio recordings. The Marantz also does two channel pretty good using Pure Direct mode. I like DTS-Neo X for live recordings, Auromatic and Pure Direct for studio recordings.
Keep in mind, that I have them in different systems in different rooms. I do make many of my own cables and that can give somewhat of a clue as to sensitivity to such changes among the various combos of things (besides what I mentioned, I do also own a NuPrime IDA-8 in the main system, which is an integrated amp/DAC. The NuPrime, which is in my office system, drives Selah Audio SA2 speakers which are a two way big bookshelf with a ribbon tweeters). The Thiels, when they were made were their flagship speaker. The Ohms are their entry level floorstander. The Ohms are in a small bedroom (and are not recommended for a big room) and use a Walsh Driver (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Walsh).Amps built into receivers share power supplies, probably similar to the entry level (I think there was one model below it but back with the old Emotiva line, I'd consider almost all of their amps as entry level high end) older Emotiva amp in that regard. The amp in the Hegel, which, I believe is one up from the bottom of that line is quite beefy (150 into 8 and 250 in 4 ohms) and should be considering its $4k list price (I think their top of the line integrated/DAC/server is $11k). None of the receivers would even be able to drive my Thiels (I'd be lucky to get dentist office background levels without causing a problem). For 2-channel in the system with the Emotiva (which doesn't get used often in 2-channel mode), I use it in conjunction with a Sherbourn preamp (which has HT Bypass).I basically buy refurb receivers (from Accessories4less.com) and view them as disposable and I upgrade if there is a new format I think will be appropriate and I can wait a year and get a bit better of a deal. I'll rotate what I was using, assuming it still functions, to another system and either sell or give away what gets displaced. As to my main system, per most of the local audiophiles I've had, it's more or less said that if they go to an audio show with the silly expensive stuff, there might be 2 or 3 systems in the show that might be a bit better. It's really high end and when I had a friend who worked at a local audio shop many years ago I did basically almost all his set-ups and deliveries with him (over about 6 years, and many of the them were more expensive than mine (and for the most part not really better). I have listened to the receivers driving some of my other speakers and while I wouldn't call them terrible by an means, they just don't compare with something designed properly solely for audio vs. designed to be a jack of all trades. It's much like if one bought a stock $500 Oppo for CD playback vs. a well designed CD only player in the same price range (e.g. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_745C546BEE/NAD-C-546BEE.html?awkw=75621373705&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=47439156025&awdv=c&awug=9011833&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4ciBiu7r3gIVWbjACh00awaMEAQYAiABEgKGZfD_BwE)
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