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Rusty, Engineer
Category: Home Theater-Stereo
Satisfied Customers: 5915
Experience:  Let my expertise help solve your technical problems. Over 20 years electronics and sound equipment experience.
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I have a VSX-80 that replaced a VSX-60. When the 60 was

Customer Question

I have a VSX-80 that replaced a VSX-60. When the 60 was installed in 2012, the speaker setup was for a 7.1 system. I also have a separate amp for running zone 2. I have two sets of speakers on zone 2, and the red/white RCA jacks are connected from zone 2 preout to the separate amp. After the VSX-80 was installed, there was no audio from zone 2. The installer came out to fix it, and said that I would need to disconnect the surround speakers and run a 5.1 system if I wanted to run a zone 2. It seems to me that the VSX-60 was running both 7.1 and zone 2 originally. My question is, is it possible to run both a 7.1 system and zone 2 through the VSX-80 automatically?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Home Theater-Stereo
Expert:  Rusty replied 2 years ago.

Hello, my name is Rusty. Absolutely, you can run 7.1 sound and zone 2 at the same time. The trick is, only analog inputs will go through zone 2. In addition to the HDMI cables, also run red/white RCA cables. Zone 2 only selects the red/white inputs. It's perfectly normal to use HDMI as well as RCA to make your necessary connections. You have 3, DVD, CD and SAT/CBL.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I understand that zone 2 is analog only, and I am only using the red/white to the other receiver, no HDMI except for DVD and SAT/CBL. The installer detached the surround speakers from the back of the VSX-80 because he said there was a conflict, and I can only run 5.1 on the main along with zone 2 to the separate speakers. How do I set the system up so that I can run both 7.1 and zone 2?
Expert:  Rusty replied 2 years ago.

Did he connect your second amp, or did he connect your zone 2 speakers to the 7.1 speaker terminals?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Zone 2 speakers are through the second amp, not the speaker terminals.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When the surround speakers were connected to the terminals, zone 2 was outputting through the surrounds and that's why he disconnected them. I have the system setup set for zone 2.
Expert:  Rusty replied 2 years ago.

I found something... You can have 7.2 surround, but can only use zone 2 by switching to 5.2 surround. When you turn off zone 2, 7.2 surround will come back, but it's not telling me exactly how. Click here, and look at page 94 under Zone Setup. This is where I believe you tell it to use the audio outs, not the speaker terminals for zone 2. It will still shut off 7.2 when you use zone 2, but it will allow you to keep your surround speakers connected. Take a look in the menu and see if you can find that setting.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've read that page many times, and still can't understand it. If the surround terminals are connected, do I have to go into the system setup and change each time I want to use zone 2 if I'm using 7.2 on the main?
Expert:  Rusty replied 2 years ago.

No, you shouldn't have to, but that's one way to do it. This is what it says in the beginning of the manual, which turned me away from the 7.2, but it sounds like they both can be used when I got to page 94.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Do you have a recommendation on what settings I should use under on screen system setup and on the physical hookup to get this working properly? I didn't understand what the JPG you sent was showing.
Expert:  Rusty replied 2 years ago.

That's showing the different configurations that you can use. I think that it's meant to connect 7.2 and a speaker B, but that sounds pretty useless to me, unless the room happens to have a use for that configuration. Go to your menu, manual speaker setup, and set it to normal. Now try zone 2, that shouldn't affect your surround speakers. Tell me the results.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When manual speaker setup is set to normal, audio for zone 2 is output through the surrounds.
Expert:  Rusty replied 2 years ago.

Hmm, not what I was expecting... I think we're limited to 5.2 with zone 2, or 7.2 with a separate system for the second zone. Here's a work-around: Since you already have an amplifier and speakers, this is pretty simple, but we'll need a matrix switch. Click here. Connect your devices to the four inputs, and connect the output to your amp. That will allow you to have 7.2 sound with a second zone.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's an analog switcher, so I assume you mean connecting the amp (the second amp, not the vsx-80). What devices would connect to it? Does this mean running zone 2 speakers separately from the vsx-80? All the connections to the vsx-80 are HDMI.
Expert:  Rusty replied 2 years ago.

You can connect whatever you want to it. It will be a separate system than the vsx-80. HDMI goes to your receiver to produce 7.1 surround, and connect your analog outputs from your DVD, cable box, CD player, etc... to the analog switcher.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's not a viable option since I've consolidated the control of the system with Pioneer's iControlAV5 and a Harmony One. Looks like I can't do 7.1 and zone 2 unless you can think of another solution.
Expert:  Rusty replied 2 years ago.

It looks like you're stuck with 5.2 and a zone 2, or 7.1 and a switch. The switch will still work with your system, but you will not have the ability to change the source with your remote.