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Bipole or Multiple Direct Radiating Surrounds?

4480 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Chris in Dallas
I'm building a fully active HT system, and am planning to use identical speakers all around. They would be bookshelf-size, with response down to about 60 Hz, crossed into a pair of sonosubs around 70 Hz. I have plenty of amplifier channels, so that is not an issue at all. The room will be roughly 14x20, oriented the long way. Ceiling height will vary from about 9' at the center (across the short span) to about 6'4" at the front and back. Currently planning on two permanent rows of seating (with room for more temporary seating, such as pillows on the floor in front).

My question is this: Should I go with multiple identical direct-radiating side surrounds, or with single (or multiple) bipole side surrounds? What about in the back? I can also use direct radiating speakers, but wire them out of phase with each other to create bipole speakers in separate cabinets, effectively.

In commercial theaters, they use multiple identical direct radiating surrounds to create a diffuse effect. Can I, should I, go for the same thing? I find the idea of 9 or 11 identical speakers appealing, and it sure would make building easy.
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Based on my understanding:

Dipoles will provide the most diffuse soundfield and required for THX setups.

Bipoles provide better imaging and are recommended for Dolby Digital and DTS.

Identical full range speakers are for high resolution multi-channel music such as SACD and DVD-Audio. They will also provide the most even timbre matching and are ideal if size and expense are not an issue.

Hope this helps
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