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Newbie questions

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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 John Walker

John Walker


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Posted April 24 2003 - 01:53 PM


We recently bought a small townhouse and are getting interested in home theater. To date my equipment has been non-HT Yamaha components from the top 1/4 of their product line. I have two very respectable floor standers (NEAR 40M's) that will remain dedicated to listening to audio CD's. I want to protect these speakers from the LFE's of HT and understand I can do this with a HT receiver and sub.

We auditioned the Energy 5.2 system, etc and would really like sub woofer and surround effect for movies, however we are not looking for something to knock pictures off the wall and are respectful of our neighbours (for now!).

The room is 12'x17' with the TV centered on the long wall and the floor standers in the corners. The couch is on the other long wall but off center due to the room entrance. There are two "pass through" type openings in the long wall behind the couch. These, combined with the room entrance leave about 1/3 of this wall "missing". Construction is wood frame with carpet floor covering.

Questions are:

1) Is timbre matching mainly a function of the tweeters or the entire speaker? (Looking at manufacturer's pictures of timbre matched speaker lines I see all sizes of speakers.)

2) If timbre matching is mainly a tweeter thing, can I simply get two tiny rears with the same tweeter as the NEAR's (and a sub)? I am thinking of 4.1 for now. (The NEARs have Vifa 1" tweeters that I could get the model number off etc.)

3) I kind of like the idea of in-wall speakers but assume that lack of ablility to aim the tweeter at the listening position is a serious weakness for HT. Am I correct?

4) The Energy 5.2 system seems good yet the speakers are a lot smaller (4"x7"x7" approx.) then what others here seem to have (ie Atoms or larger) Is there an approximate threshold size (driver diameter or enclosure volume) where you leave plasticy "PC" stuff behind and move into mid-fi HT? My space is somewhat limited and I don't really like the asthetics of wall brackets and wires everywhere. I have no idea what size enclosures I should consider as the minimum.

5) What I really want is 4 or 5 Tivoli Model Ones! My wife independantly said the same thing which is really spoky, especially after I told her we needed two 1000watt subs for her XBox. Anyway the model one is incredible and only has a single 3" (3.5"?) driver. Can I find something similar and make 2, 4 or 5 tiny speakers?



#2 of 5 Greg*go


    Supporting Actor

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Posted April 25 2003 - 08:29 AM

John, here's a quote from the primer that's posted at the top of this section..

Timbre Matching
This is the term used to describe a set of speakers
that are sonically matched to each other. This is
very important to ensure that you get the same "type
of sound" out of every speaker. Imagine a motorcycle
in your left speaker...as it moves towards the center
the sound starts changing...by the time it gets to
your center speaker the motorcycle now sounds like a
moped! That's not good HT. Ensuring that your speakers
are timbre-matched will ensure a good sonic imagine
throughout your room. Many companies now offer HT
speaker packages with similar drivers in them...those
will definitely be timbre matched.

The tweeter is the main thing in timbre matching, but the speakers are designed to match together overall. You might see some companies match an entire series of speakers, with some of the speakers varying in size. It's more important for the front speakers to match then it is for the rears, if that's a concern for you. If you're interested in making your own speakers, I suggest directing questions to the DIY section. I'd also suggest getting a center channel before you get the rears. The center is a crucial part of an HT. You won't sound as involved with the surround sound, but you'll notice a very big improvement nonetheless.

In wall speakers do have that disadvantage that you mention. Plus some feel that the wall absorbs some of the output of the speakers. Also, speaker placement is something that sometimes takes a while to get right, so before you go putting holes in walls, make sure they are in the right spot.

And remember one thing, speaker size isn't the most important thing, the sound of a speaker is. If you have small speakers, they can still sound very good assuming you have a decent sub.
I certainly don't expect anyone to remember me 65 years after I die, but you wouldn't know that from the way I act.

#3 of 5 John Walker

John Walker


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Posted April 25 2003 - 01:00 PM


Thank you for your reply. I did read all that in the FAQ but I still had questions about my specific and perhaps unusual needs.

I am prepared to have a 5.1 speakers AND the existing floor standers but that would be my last resort.

For the centre speaker is it unreasonable to consider the following:
a) Buy three crossovers and replace the aged ones in the floor standers. (Someone suggested I might want to upgrade them due to age or design. I guess the capacitators breakdown or something).
b) Buy the exact same Vifa tweeter.
c) Buy a similar woofer based on specifications.
d) Build a centre speaker.

I know size isn't everything, nor is the number of drivers in a given enclosure (my 2 ways made my old 3 ways sound aweful). I was hoping for a guideline or something.


#4 of 5 Greg*go


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Posted April 26 2003 - 12:06 AM

How many speakers are in each floor speaker? If they are 3-way, then wouldn't you only need 2 crossovers per speaker? And if the crossovers are aged to the point of replacing, then the drivers might be a bit too old as well. I've never went ahead and built my own speaker from scratch, so that's just a guess on my part. My guess is that although you might be using the same tweeter and woofers, there may not be timbre matching due to the differences in the way the enclosures affect the sound coming out of them, but I could be(and probably am) mostly wrong. These kinds of questions would be better off in the DIY section. Go ahead over to there and do a search for this topic first, if the search option is working, and if you don't find any answers to your question, then post it. They're HC over there. Good luck to you. Posted Image
I certainly don't expect anyone to remember me 65 years after I die, but you wouldn't know that from the way I act.

#5 of 5 Mike Mundt

Mike Mundt

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Posted April 26 2003 - 10:34 AM

ok, i guess everybody seems to think speakers