Any disadvantage to using 5 small speakers and a sub?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sacha_C, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. Sacha_C

    Sacha_C Second Unit

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    Are there any disadvantages to having 5 small satelite speakers and a subwoofer compared to using large front speakers and a subwoofer? Would the sound be better with large front speakers?

    Thanks
     
  2. Michael_V

    Michael_V Second Unit

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    The quick answer is yes.

    My first HT set-up used the Energy Take 5 system: five small satellites with an 8 inch sub. Since I was very new to HT at the time, I thought it sounded amazing. And it really did. For movies. Music was all right but got tiring pretty quickly.

    Several upgrades later and I have gone from towers (Monitor 7s) back down a hair in size to Studio 40s/20s. But I could never go back to satellites because, all other things being equal, satellites will never give you the smooth, even sound (particularly in the midrange) that full range speakers will.
     
  3. Dan Joy

    Dan Joy Supporting Actor

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  4. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I would say a loss of midrange. Problem with letting the sub handle the lower midrange is a sudden localization of the sub.
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Stunt Coordinator

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    I would think that it depends on what you are using for your "minis", little Bose cubes or something bigger with some lower mirange/upper bass capability. I am quite happy with my JBL NSP1-II system which uses 4" satelite speakers with a dual 5" center speaker. That system also received very good reviews.

    http://www.geocities.com/p_iturra/JBL_Labs.html
     
  7. I have "satelites" that use 5 1/4" mid/woofers in a sealed alignment, and they integrate perfectly with NO localization with my subwoofer. I run the sats full range (natural 80hz roll off), and XO the sub at 80hz.

    Also, 5.25 will tend to have a much better midrange sound than say an 8"
     
  8. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    As has been mentioned, it depends on the sats. If they're pretty potent down to the crossover, then you should be ok.
     
  9. Sacha_C

    Sacha_C Second Unit

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  10. Dan Joy

    Dan Joy Supporting Actor

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    Sacha,
     
  11. Sacha_C

    Sacha_C Second Unit

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    My sub only has 1 input and its line level, but my receiver has built in bass management, so doesnt this do the same thing?
     
  12. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

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    If you have the room just get floor standers,they will sound better imho.If limited then some of the previously suggested set ups(excluding anything under 4").
     
  13. Chris Quinn

    Chris Quinn Screenwriter

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    Sacha-there are many better speakers available. There may even be some around that price point.

    Are you wanting to learn how to get the most out of what you own or are you looking for suggestions for speaker upgrades?

    If desiring speaker upgrades what is your budget, size of your room, movie v. music percentages, receiver and its watt rating, and personal preferences in looks of speakers. These things will help posters give you suggested speakers to go listen to for yourself.
     
  14. Tyson

    Tyson Stunt Coordinator

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    General rule is never by speakers that have a woofer smaller than 5.5 inches. Smaller than that and it's impossible to avoid gaps in frequency response when integrating to the sub.
     
  15. Greg-ST

    Greg-ST Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm somewhat new to the surround sound game as I don't have an absolute killer/expensive system. Currently I have the Kenwood HTB-205 (not Mr. Moneybags here), but I have to say that it's a really nice system. The 3" satellites are surprisingly loud, powerful, have no discernable distortion at high volumes, and the frequency range actually covered is quite good. I don't recall ever hearing gaps in the frequency response in anything I've listened to, even frequency sweeps. I know that a lower end system like this couldn't compare to the higher end stuff. I think the internal crossover may be set to around where the satellites cut off (120Hz or so?). I don't have any way to really check this easily though, nor do I have the ability to manually adjust the crossover.

    Of course I'll be upgrading the speakers at a later time when I have the money. Does anyone know if Kenwood actually makes their own speakers or are they made by someone else? I'm just curious because these 3" buggers are really surprising. I love showing them off with something like the Star Trek Voyager theme.
     
  16. Kyle P

    Kyle P Extra

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    You should determine if you were going to use you system much for music. Any music SACD, DVDA or stereo will benefit greatly from using larger (Full range speakers). Larger speakers for the most part are more efficeint so you will use less amplification for your desired listening level. A very good point was made above is that using you sub (especially if placed outside the main fronts) to carry the lower midrange and upper bass would create an unnatural sound stage for music.
     
  17. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    Is using the THX crossover of 80Hz okay for music, or will there be some bass localization? Is there enough of a bass slope in THX speakers and sub to avoid a bass 'hole' if you set the sub a bit lower, to say 60Hz?
     
  18. Ole

    Ole Stunt Coordinator

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    Define bass localization. Is it hearing the bass come from a box on the floor or does it have to do with an emphasis or hole in he bass frequency response?

    If it is the latter, you may want to set your crossover using a frequency sweep test such as that found on the Avid test DVD coupled with a sound level meter like the inexpensive model from Radio Shack. While it won't tell you anything about distrortion, it will tell you about the overall frequency response of your system in your room. Adjusting your receiver settings (small/big speakers) and the crossover numbers can optimize your setup.
     

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