Surround speaker types

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Jim Mcc, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    For a 5.1 system, what type of surround speaker do you prefer and why?1) Direct radiating2) Bipole3) Dipole
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    For 5.1 I prefer monopoles as long as you can place them behind you. Monopoles can be "tweaked" with positioning to produce the best blend of direct/diffuse sound.
     
  3. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Thanks John. You mean behind, but on the side walls, correct?
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Side or rear wall would be OK, and aimed to give the desired level of direct/diffused sound. If you sit against the wall, I'd do rear wall with them aimed toward the center of the room. If you sit away from the wall, then either location would work. I stand mount mine because I like having them at ear level personally, and that doesn't usually work with wall mounted speakers and WAF.
     
  5. Type A

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    Depends on seating distance and your listening habits. If your closest seat is 6' or closer from any surround speaker (including rears) I think the defused sound of a bi/di is a better option. Also, if you tend to listen loud I'd also recommend bi/di. Personally Ive never had the luxury of a room wide enough for DR , and I listen at reference levels most of the time so its a double whammy for me. Bottom line its just too easy to directionally locate surrounds or rears if either of those situations apply to you.
     
  6. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Thanks. I've never heard of choosing the type based on seating distance from the surround speakers. Where did you come up with the 6' distance, experience? I currently sit 5' from 1 surround, and 5.5' from the other. I currently use bipoles on rear wall, but I'm thinking of trying direct radiating surrounds, on side walls. The problem I have is on one side, I have a boxed in steel column between the side wall and my seat.I'm hoping for some more opinions from you guys.
     
  7. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I don't have any experience with bi-pole or di-poles as I've always used bookshelves as surrounds (in a 5.1 setup). They're placed 5 1/2 to 6 feet from the sweet spot (meaning ...me), about 1 1/2 to 2 feet behind, on 24" stands which places the tweeter 6-8 inches above ear level and pointing at each other. The room is 14 1/2 ' wide. I can't put bi/di's directly to the sides because of room/furniture layout. But I'd love to try them out.

    I also think bookshelves are better for surround music but since I've never owned the other types I can't say for sure. Just seems logical :wacko: . Also, bookshelves are usually quite a bit less expensive then the other two.

    I also have Infinity OSW-1's (shallow wall-mounts) mounted on the back wall in another room. Sounds fine to me but it wouldn't surprise me if others find fault with that arraingment.

    I have tried (just for fun) placing bookshelves directly to the sides of the listening position but didn't care for the sound pointing straight at my ears. Maybe if the room was 20' or wider it might sound O.K. Slightly behind seems to sound much better.

    I remember reading long ago that di-poles tend to give amplifiers fits. Haven't heard a word about it lately however.
     
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  8. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Thanks again. This room is our theater, and we don't listen to music in there. I'm thinking of trying a pair of small bookshelf speakers for surrounds, and see how that sounds.
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Monopoles on the sides need to be pointed somewhere other than direclty at the listener and ideally would be behind as well. Side wall mounting inline with the seating postion favors bi/dipoles, however in your case, I'd probably opt for monopoles in the rear. My current surrounds are less than 2ft behind on stands at ear level and angled up 8 degrees. With proper calibration, it isn't an issue or distracting at all. I was concerned it would be too easy to localize and ruin the effect so I actually ran 3.1 for a long time in the current setup. I was surprised when I set them up like this that it actually works, so as always, it takes some experimenting with positioning to find what works for a given room.

    I listen very loud and it hasn't been a problem with monopoles in over 10 years. Bi/dipoles tend to also be more geared toward movies IMHO, while monopoles are likely to benefit music.
     
  10. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I use ITU guidelines.

    The only di-pole I ever recommend are ESL and planar.
     
  11. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    What is ITU?
     
  12. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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  13. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Thanks Sam. I never heard of the ITU before. My situation is different though, because it's used 100% for home theater. Now it has me thinking of moving my seating closer to screen. That may help out my surround speaker mounting options.A new question guys. If your room was used 100% for home theater, what type of speakers would you use for surrounds in a 5.1 system? Bipole, Dipole, or direct radiating? ASSUMING PLACEMENT IS NOT AN ISSUE !!
     
  14. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    This is hardly my area of expertise but I think a lot depends on placement. If you can put them directly to the sides then I might try bi-poles or di-poles. Anyplace behind the seats and I'd go with direct radiating. But again, i really shouldn't be commenting on this.

    I also like brighter, metal dome tweeters for HT. But that's another topic.

    I also like DTS's original advice on surround speaker placement. Identicle full range speakers at all locations placed in a circular pattern, all equidistant from the listener. But who could really do that? I can't :( . But imagine...5 or 7 Revel-SalonII's. You'ld never hear from me again.
     
  15. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Assuming placement isn't an issue, of course !!
     
  16. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I know a guy, who back in early days, bought 4 Klipschorns and a LaScala.The LaScala was originally designed to be the center speaker and pull double duty as a TV stand.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I prefer direct which is what I have in my 7.2 speaker configuration.
     

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