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Discussion Starter #1
I have an Onkyo 705 7.1 receiver

In theory I need all matching speakers for a surround sound system, but my main left and right speakers are $900 and my center is $700. I wanted good left and right speakers for listening to music, and a matching center to ensure a seamless front sound stage. I have heard that the rear channel are not as critical as the front three.

I don’t want to put the same amount of money into the rear channels. I can buy 2 lower model speakers from the same company for $400 to complete a 5.1 system. Or I can buy 4 older model speakers by the same company that will match but not as well as the newer ones for $300.

So for $100 less I can have four speakers in the back or for $100 more I can have just two but matched. Heres the thing the newer speakers in the lower model have 5 1/4 woofers where as the older speakers are of the higher model and have 6.5 woofers.

My Onkyo has pro logic IIx so any stereo or 5.1 signal will be up converted to 7.1 and all channels will be playing.

Which way should I go, two well matched or four closely matched.
 

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I would say that you'd need to think about what you use your system for most.

now this is just my opinion however....

if you listen to alot of music then having a good set of stereo speakers in the front would be very nice.

if you watch more movies then the sound is best matched by identical or close to identical speakers all around.
 

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The surrounds are not as important to match, generally if they are the same line of speaker you will be just fine it does not have to be the same model.
 

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when I am watching a movie that has surround and something happens behind me I dont notice how it sounded, I just notice it was there. I was in a similar situation as you and I chose the cheaper surrounds to get 7.1 and I am glad I made that decision. I have a nice set in front for that can handle music or whatever else and cheaper surrounds just for the experience.

If you will be playing a lot of music in 5.1 that changes things. If you stick to stereo for music then this is a no brainer IMO.
 

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About the only time you will notice mismatch between fronts and surronds is if there is an effect pan from the front to back. An example that I remember is a starship flyby from front right to rear right in a Star Trek movie. When I upgraded to matched surrounds, it seemed smoother and more realistic. But, hey, what is a starship flyby supposed to sound like, anyway?:bigsmile:
 

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I agree with the previous opinions.

Just be sure to at least match all the surrounds; I had some JBL's in the front and Polk's as surrounds (they worked fine), but later I replaced the Polk's for some JBL's and I think sound better :yes:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The two speakers I am looking at are of the same company and are fairly close in specs. I could see there would be a big difference with using different brands. However, because the two speakers I am looking at are so close, would having 4 channels in the back make up a very small difference in 2 perfectly matched speakers?

hjones4841-

I think that star ship flyby was in “First Contact” right? Just after star fleet destroys the borg ship. And unfortunately I know what a star ship flyby sounds like... No sound at all, being in space and all. :bigsmile:
 

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hjones4841-

I think that star ship flyby was in “First Contact” right? Just after star fleet destroys the borg ship. And unfortunately I know what a star ship flyby sounds like... No sound at all, being in space and all. :bigsmile:
Could very well be - haven't seen any of the Star Trek movies in a while. I used to demo that scene for folks who had not heard 5.1.
 

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I really think matching speakers is the way to go, but I haven't seen Star Trek in a while either, so I think I might check it out for a good sound pan.
 

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One question is if you listen to MC music as much as movies on that system? For MC DVD-A/SACD or even stereo>MC its ideal to have identical speakers all around.

That said, if not using identical, as long as the surrounds are a sonic match to the mains then its still quite good.
I personally like, and do, have identical speakers all around, and I don't mean small identical speakers, but large 3-way tower/wall mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
When listening to Music I use the pure audio mode on the receiver and only two channels are playing. I do not have any multi-channel music and may get one CD just for fun but plan to stay stereo for music.

I have been going to the movies theaters and listening to the rear channel effects. I even missed a lot of what was going on in the movie. I did not hear too much panning or any effects in the rear. Maybe a few bird off to the left side. I think I may just go with 5.1 for now based on the set up cost related to another set of speakers.

I wonder is there is a lot of lower end bass sent to the rear channels. Somewhere in the 45Hz to 90Hz range? Are rear channels with larger woofers doing anything?
 

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When listening to Music I use the pure audio mode on the receiver and only two channels are playing. I do not have any multi-channel music and may get one CD just for fun but plan to stay stereo for music.

I have been going to the movies theaters and listening to the rear channel effects. I even missed a lot of what was going on in the movie. I did not hear too much panning or any effects in the rear. Maybe a few bird off to the left side. I think I may just go with 5.1 for now based on the set up cost related to another set of speakers.

I wonder is there is a lot of lower end bass sent to the rear channels. Somewhere in the 45Hz to 90Hz range? Are rear channels with larger woofers doing anything?
Its a mixed bag of tricks as to what will be in the surround channels, every movie is different. As far as the movie theater, there are more surround speakers along the side walls than across the rear wall.

You don't have to have rear surrounds, so just go with the sides for starters. You can always add the rears later.
Some people like having full range speakers for the surrounds, but as long as the surrounds produce good mid-bass that's all you really need.
And its always better to have at least two matching subs, instead of only one. Having two well placed subs will produce a better bass response thoughout the entire seating area.
 

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I wonder is there is a lot of lower end bass sent to the rear channels. Somewhere in the 45Hz to 90Hz range? Are rear channels with larger woofers doing anything?
In some movies there is a lot of information sent to the surround channels, Particularly with the uncompressed formats on BluRay. I have large surround speakers that go down to 40Hz and I have played around with the crossover many times and have found its still best to use 80Hz setting and let the sub do its job.
 

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I'd recommend two closely matched speakers for a 5.1 system.

There isn't that much available in 7.1. If at a later date, you decide that you can't live without 7.1, then consider two more to match the better surround speakers.

I found that trying to hobble a variety of speakers even within the same manufacturer to be expensive because eventually I wound up with 7 identical high quality speakers. All the other ones I either ebayed at a deep discount or still have in storage taking up space. Think hard before you buy anything.
 

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Remember that (at least in my 7.1 setup) the surround info for 5.1 is sent to the side speakers, not the rears. The side speakers are where most folks compromise on timbre matching, primarily due to space.
 
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