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Discussion Starter #1
I'm wondering how important it is to match speakers in a surround setup. I currently have a 2.1 setup and would like to increase to 5.1, on a tight budget. I'm hoping I can just add speakers, rather than replace them. Is it important to have the same/similar models between the front and back pairs?

Also, I read in another post that it would be reasonable to add just the back speakers first, and the center later. Is that an okay setup? I've never really heard of a 4.1 system before...

Thanks.
 

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IMHO matching speakers is one of the most important aspects for high performance home theater, and I think the center channel is the most important in the system. The majority of sound for movies comes from the center. Buy the best you can piece by piece and build your system. My advice anyways :R
 

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I'm a big fan of matching speakers too,... or at the very least speakers with the same drivers throughout. Is it the best way to go? IMO yes! Is it necessary? Not at all. Many people have great systems and are very happy with a mix of speakers.

I would suggest you get timbre matched speakers across the front. For sides and/or rear speakers you can easily get by with different speakers. But the fronts,.... well most people notice a tonal difference when sound passes from one side to the other and the speakers are not the same. Course you have to take your room and other things into account,.... ie: you may have five identical speakers and your room and placement needs may cause them to sound like you have mismatched speakers.
4.1,.. sure that will work fine, or 3.1 works great too. It basically boils down to what sounds good to you and what you can do with your budget.
 

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I have had mismatched speakers in the past, and I always wasn't happy with the sound. Now that I have a matched set (see below), I love the fact that dialog can move around the room with no difference in the sound. Have fun, Dennis
 

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I think matching speakers is best if you can but if not then a good pair of speakers built specifically for use as surrounds will work as good, Imo. It would be just about impossible for me to match my fronts because of their size but the surrounds I use are Cambridge soundworks newton series s-300's,and they are great. If you are looking they have a set of the next in line newton surrounds for a steal here,
http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/store/category/clr_surround/53CW0010AA000-8/
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the responses. I definitely wouldn't mismatch any R/L pair of speakers, but I wasn't sure if having the mains match the rears was important.

TC, my current speakers are Cambridge Soundworks, and I was looking at some of the Newtons. I was thinking that I might get the Newton Series II MC55 or the Newton Series II MC105 since they can function as mains, center or surround. I would probably set the new ones up in front and use my current mains (which are also cubes) for the rear channels--that way if I got 3 of the new ones, my front speakers would all match, as has been suggested. How does that sound?
 

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TC, my current speakers are Cambridge Soundworks, and I was looking at some of the Newtons. I was thinking that I might get the Newton Series II MC105 since they can function as mains, center or surround. I would probably set the new ones up in front and use my current mains (which are also cubes) for the rear channels--that way if I got 3 of the new ones, my front speakers would all match, as has been suggested. How does that sound?
Its up to you, My .2c is that matching the fronts is the most important however that said in my case All my speakers except my center channel are matched and even so there is a very good seamless front sound stage and the center sounds and looks just fine.
My surrounds are all what would be called large bookshelf speakers and are well suited for the dynamics that are present in the new uncompressed audio formats. Small speakers may not have the db output necessary to be used as surrounds anymore but it depends on how loud you run your levels.
 

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I'm wondering how important it is to match speakers in a surround setup. I currently have a 2.1 setup and would like to increase to 5.1, on a tight budget. I'm hoping I can just add speakers, rather than replace them. Is it important to have the same/similar models between the front and back pairs?
If you can have the same speaker around is better, but not necessary.

But for the front it will be a good idea to at least timbre match them, that is not necessary for the surround ...but I'm sure it will help too.

My idea of buying a pair of surrounds before the center is because you can get a pair of speakers for the same price of the center, and also ...you can phantom the sound of the center channel through the front speakers, but you need the surrounds to fill the room with the movie effects.

I was using 3 way speakers in the front L+R, my center and surrounds were 2 ways ...so, I replaced them and now I have 3 ways all around the room; I think they sound better; just remember, you can have the best speakers of the world ...but you need to place it and calibrate your system right to get the best out of them :yes:
 

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Thanks for all the responses. I definitely wouldn't mismatch any R/L pair of speakers, but I wasn't sure if having the mains match the rears was important.

TC, my current speakers are Cambridge Soundworks, and I was looking at some of the Newtons. I was thinking that I might get the Newton Series II MC55 or the Newton Series II MC105 since they can function as mains, center or surround. I would probably set the new ones up in front and use my current mains (which are also cubes) for the rear channels--that way if I got 3 of the new ones, my front speakers would all match, as has been suggested. How does that sound?
It sounds fine. I do like Cambridge soundworks. I just sold a set of Towers I bought 12 years ago and they were still sounding excellent. I was hesitant to sell them but I know the guy who bought them is very happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great, thanks again, everyone, for all the info. I'm not looking to buy right away, so I'll see what my budget looks like a little ways down the road. I'll probably be back for more advice at that time.
 

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If you can have the same speaker around is better, but not necessary.

But for the front it will be a good idea to at least timbre match them, that is not necessary for the surround ...but I'm sure it will help too.

My idea of buying a pair of surrounds before the center is because you can get a pair of speakers for the same price of the center, and also ...you can phantom the sound of the center channel through the front speakers, but you need the surrounds to fill the room with the movie effects.

I was using 3 way speakers in the front L+R, my center and surrounds were 2 ways ...so, I replaced them and now I have 3 ways all around the room; I think they sound better; just remember, you can have the best speakers of the world ...but you need to place it and calibrate your system right to get the best out of them :yes:
Agree with this 100%.
 
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