Surround Speakers? - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 35 Old 06-07-06, 12:45 PM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

I am not saying that dipole/bipoles are right for everyone, but I so often hear the argument against them from people that have not owned them. Conceptually, it makes sense to go with direct radiators, I was in that same mindset. Many argue that dipole/bipole is a dinosaur from the prologic days, but this is just not true. In reality, you still get a lot of direction from dipole/bipole. I challenge you to do a search on dipole or bipole on any forum and look for the posts of people that have actually went the distance and had both dipole/bipole in their home to A/B against direct radiators, and you will find that a large majority chose the more diffuse surround. Again, not right for everyone, but I really like mine.
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post #12 of 35 Old 06-07-06, 06:45 PM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

I agree,.... I think they sound fine for 5 ch stereo music also. Then again I never really listen to music that way (but I had to hear what they sound like). Once in a while I'll listen to some audio cd's recorded in DD. Maybe if I went out and bought myself a "critical listening ear" I'd be able to hear what is so bad about them

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post #13 of 35 Old 06-08-06, 12:00 AM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

I have mono-pole rears as I listen to alot of music. Implementing DTS NEO:6 Music to define a listening enviroment represented by the rears and the stage and its dimension to be created by my bi-polar front channel towers. This method I feel is extremely emersive and entraps you into a new world rather then just your room and music in it.

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post #14 of 35 Old 06-08-06, 06:45 AM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

Quote:
Axiom wrote:
In cinemas, there are typically four or more direct-radiating surround speakers along each side wall, with a couple on the back wall as well... But in most living rooms or family rooms, the room dimensions are a tiny fraction of those of a commercial movie theater, and we donít have the space (or the budget) to line our walls with multiple surrounds.
Does anyone here have a HT large enough where you might try out more than one direct radiating speaker for each surround channel? That would seem to be the ideal. With 7.1 speakers I'm pretty well covered, but what's really happening is Dolby PLII is usually splitting up two surround signals from a 5.1 soundtrack and sending it to my four surrounds. I seriously thought about buying an impedance matcher to use four surrounds when I was still running a 5.1 receiver, but I decided to upgrade to a 7.1 receiver instead.

For what its worth, the dipoles or bipoles often cost nearly twice what a direct radiating speaker does. You could buy twice as many direct surrounds for about the same price. You just need the wall space to accomodate them, and consider the amplifier loads.

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post #15 of 35 Old 06-08-06, 10:52 AM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

Quote:
Ayreonaut wrote:
For what its worth, the dipoles or bipoles often cost nearly twice what a direct radiating speaker does. You could buy twice as many direct surrounds for about the same price. You just need the wall space to accomodate them, and consider the amplifier loads.
That is actually a solid point. Getting good dipole/bipoles can be pretty expensive. If you are comparing dp/bp speakers to directs that are the same price, you are not really comparing apples to apples. If I had the space (and the WAF approval ), I may very well like 7.1 with monopoles better than 5.1 with diffuse surrounds.
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post #16 of 35 Old 06-08-06, 05:55 PM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

I have a 7.1 reciever and previously ran a 7.1 setup with dipole surrounds and direct radiating rears. All my speakers currently use the Kef 165mm UniQ drivers which I decided was the best way to go about tonal matching all around the sound field. My rears were a pair of Kef KHT2001 'Eggs'. Still UniQ, but 4" drivers in a cast aluminium cabinet.

My thoughts, for what they are worth, are that it depends very much on the shape of your room and your program material preferences. I am lucky. I am a film buff. My room is rectangular, I can sit dead central and I can mount the surrounds 18" from the ceiling directly (give or take 6") to the side of the listening position.

For enveloping surround effects this rules. No question. The diffuse sound field provided by the dipoles not only produces enveloping effects, but top quality soundtracks allow the dipoles to pull the imaging provided by the fronts all over the shop and you can clearly visualise effects outside and above the main speakers. The sound stage is massive.

But friends of mine are not so lucky. If you have to place your screen in a corner and orientate everthing toward it, then I've found direct radiating/monopole speakers to be more satisfying. The success of my room is based on its even handed reflective characteristics and that's not possible (as easily) when all the walls are not at easily accomodatable angles to the listening position.

I personally rather enjoy the dipole effect with 5.1 music for the sheer sense of space, but have heard friends direct radiating setups and quite enjoyed that too. But for me and this was a biggy, my amp allows me to forego the two rear channels in favour of bi-amping the front left and right. The moment I tried this, there was no going back and I flogged my rear speakers.

This may/will not apply to people with rooms that are less regular, or importantly, longer than mine, but I find the additional rear channels to be over hyped in their effectiveness/usefullness and in my current room can see no real reason to go back to using them.

Dipoles are expensive, but within a given manufacturers range, they cost no more than two pairs of monopole speakers and may provide a more effective 5.1 dipole setup than a 7.1 monopole setup. It depends on your circumstances.

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post #17 of 35 Old 06-08-06, 07:00 PM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

Hey Russell,

Very nice post. I share similar preferences and as you point out, this could be because of the rooms we have to work within.

So, Do you use your center channel ?
I am seriously thinking I could very well live without it.. The phantom center stereo image is so strong and lucid , I doubt that the addition of yet another sound source would be necessary or even welcome....
We are many months away from actually moving the projector down to the theatre room, so I am basically watching movies in a well treated, dedicated 2 channel audio room. Possible not something I should get used to.....LOL
I suspect that my theatre will be much more challenging to get to sound this good..

Quote:
The diffuse sound field provided by the dipoles not only produces enveloping effects, but top quality soundtracks allow the dipoles to pull the imaging provided by the fronts all over the shop and you can clearly visualise effects outside and above the main speakers. The sound stage is massive
.

Hearing program material outside the plane of the front speakers is very common in high end 2 channel setups. It is also very recording specific and room dependent. Getting sounds to appear to come from a point behind you ( without surrounds) is also possible but indeed less common. This to us, is what separates the men from the boy's..... 3D Holographic imaging is one of my primary focuses in 2 channel playback.
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post #18 of 35 Old 06-08-06, 07:35 PM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

Gosh, all I have is a pair of LaScala's for surrounds. Am I being deprived?

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post #19 of 35 Old 06-08-06, 07:55 PM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

I'd say those are way too small if you only have a pair Ron... you might consider getting a couple more to hang on the walls. I'd say at least 4 of those (2 side and 2 rear) should get you where you need to be. You might need some serious power to get them to play loud enough to use them for surrounds. You may even have to narrow your room up to a max of 10' wide and maybe 16' deep. They'd probably be loud enough then if you had a couple hundred watts going to each one. Next time try to get a bigger speaker... don't you know that size matters?
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post #20 of 35 Old 06-09-06, 10:15 AM
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Re: Surround Speakers?

Darrel, re you question on whether you could get away without a center speaker and use phantom........

I used that approach for a number of years and thought it was OK, but found that I need to be in the sweet spot to get decent center imaging. About a year ago I switched to a physical center channel (Axoim VP150) and the difference was more than dramatic ..... not even close, especially off center. I would never go back to phantom center. Just my experience ....
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