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Thinking about switching from 5.2 to 7.2.4 - NEED ADVICE

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Total newbie here, so short, easy to understand sentences are appreciated :) My current set up is this: Onkyo TX-RZ820 receiver; center, VC-35; L/R, VF-35s; subs, 2X Sub-10s; surrounds, Synergy S1s. I have had it for a lot of years (like 13 years haha), and have really enjoyed it. However, when I upgraded my receiver so I could get 4k video to my 85 inch Samsung QLED, I started getting more interested in setting up an Atmos system. I have been doing a lot of researching and trying to read as much as I can, as it can be a little complicated. And I have a few questions. I have purchased the following to set up a 7.2.4 (hopefully) system:

- Onkyo Tx-RZ820 will still be my main receiver

- R-52C (center)

- R-820F (L/R)

- R-120SW (X2)

- R-41SA (X4); height speakers

- R-51M (Surrounds)

- RP-402S (Surround backs)


Now, from what I understand, my receiver does NOT allow me to set up a 7.2 set up with height speakers (.4). A little disappointing to find that out as when I initially purchased I thought it did. But all my research has led me to believe it can only support a 5.2.2 set up. Either the surround backs or the height speakers are powered, but not both at the same time. So I started going down a rabbit hole, that I think I can set up a 7.2.2 with a separate 2 channel amp and use the height pre-outs on my 820 to feed the second amp which would power the height speakers.


First question - am I on track with that line of thinking?


Second question - if I want to go to 7.2.4, is it even possible? I can definitely answer my receiver only has a single pre-out for height speakers. No distinction for front highs vs rear highs? So even with a separate amp, would I even get an additional 4 channels? I still have my old received which is an Onkyo TX-SR607. Would I be able to possibly use that? Seems like overkill, but I have it just collecting dust. Or should I sell it and go with a dedicated 2/4 channel amp?


I know I will have few more questions, but figure I'll start with these! Thank you in advance for all your help.

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Your AVR has 7 amps so 7.2.4 won’t work unless you use pre-out and a second amp.  Use the 7 amps and then see if the 2 height/back pre-out connected to your second older AVR will provide the signal for height. This would lead to 7.2.2. You could split the height pre-out to get 7.2.4 but the front/rear height will have the same signal. Check your user manual as they usually have a chapter on how to do the 1 million different combinations. You might be better with 5.2.2 if you really want height monitors involved. Good luck, have fun experimenting.

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