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Timbre-matching


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9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 Christian_R

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Posted May 29 2003 - 04:09 AM

To tell you the truth, I have no idea if this is something to consider or not so I was hoping you guys could help. I am no audiophile, but I do want to have a good set of speakers that will last and do a good job. Is Timbre-matching important and can I accomplish this between two different lines from the same company?

I was looking at several products, and I liked many of them, including B&W and KEF. But Paradigm did the job and seemed to show better value for the money. My concern is whether I can mix product lines. For example, the setup I am looking at is:

Fronts: Mini Monitor
Centre: cc 170, 270 or 370
Sorrounds: Titans
Sub: Velodyne (I am pretty happy with this sub so I won't be changing)

What do you think of this setup? Can I mix the Monitor line with the Performance line from Paradigm? Should I go with smaller sorrounds? And does anyone have any throughts about the speaker channel.

(Boy, I sound like a kid who asks too many questions...any help is appreciated.)

Thanks, Chris

#2 of 10 Lam Nguyen

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Posted May 29 2003 - 04:50 AM

Fronts and center speaker are most important when it comes to timbre matching because these channels get most of the signal. I think the setup you're looking at looks good, you could save a little by going with the Atoms instead of the Titans, don't worry about matching the sub because it's just for low frequencies. I use two different product lines in my system (B&W CDM & 600 Series) and couldn't be happier.
Good Luck.

#3 of 10 Phil Iturralde

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Posted May 29 2003 - 06:18 AM

Quote:
Fronts and center speaker are most important when it comes to timbre matching because these channels get most of the signal.

A common recommendation that somewhat represents the partial picture of DD/DTS-5.1/6.1 surround sound encoded playback, ... which is especially noticeable once you play a blockbuster DVD that includes a 360-degree high frequency panning surround effects like Dragonheart or Spiderman**.

Quote:
Is Timbre-matching important ...

Yes!!!

The following is from Dolby Labs 5.1-Channel Production Guidelines:
Quote:
3.2.1 Front Speakers (pg. 24)
To promote good imaging, all three should be identical, just as conventional L and R stereo speakers must be matched. If all three cannot be the same model, the center speaker may be a smaller model from the same product line.

3.2.2 Surround Speakers (pg. 25)
Whenever possible, use the same speakers all around to achieve uniformity.

So, based on the above documentation, it's no mystery why IDENTICAL speakers all-around would enhanced the 100% seamless surround Blockbuster DVD Movie experience! Identical speakers would not change it's SPL high frequency character as it pans speaker to speaker to speaker to speaker, including those high frequency effects crossing the room diagonally.

Which is one reason why I bought another set of JBL S26s for my REAR Center Channel location, (JBL S26 = Fronts, Side and REAR Center Channel Surrounds, (w/timbre-matched JBL S-Center / SVS 25-31PCi & Yamaha RX-V1300) to maintain that excellent seamless precise imaging in my 20' x 30' HT/family room. If it's good enough for the DD/DTS-5.1 / 6.1 Mixing Engineer, ... it's good enough for me! Posted Image

The following is from my HT Spot Yamaha RX-V1300 subjective review, 'forcing-on' the Matrix-6.1 mode with my blockbuster DD/DTS-5.1 DVD's ...

Quote:
**... still playing with my new RX-V1300 and I did find some time to sample a couple more DD/DTS-5.1 movies w/forced Matrix 6.1 encoding respectively to hear how it translates.

o 1) "Spiderman" - (forced DD-EX) scene where Willem Dafoe hears the voice of the Green Goblin for the first time!!!

Surround Effects: One of the GG voice panning effects started just beyond / behind my Left Side Surround and panned back slightly towards the REAR Center Speaker and continued to move towards the Right Side Surround speaker.

The difference between the 5.1 & 6.1 is ...

.... a) 5.1 - the sound visually moved from the Left Side Surround, across / behind and towards the Right Side Surround - basically sounds like a straight line pan from left to right.

.... b) 6.1 the sound visually moved in an arc shape panning effects line, enhancing the depth of the rear soundstage - described in the Surround Effects above.

It's exactly what I remember when we saw this movie @ one of the better 6.1 Cinema Theaters in Santa Clara - AMC Mercado 20. Yeah - I'm super excited that the Spiderman DD-5.1 DVD decodes very nicely with DD-EX. - YES! Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image
o 2) "Pearl Harbor" (forced DTS-ES) sampled the scene where Ben Affleck flying his Spitfire in defense of England over the ocean and initial Pearl Harbor attack up to just after the Arizona is sunk! That's all the time I had to sample the scenes.

Anyway, this is another DTS-5.1 DVD that decodes very nicely by sending directional panning effects correctly from the Front(s), or Center, or either Side Surrounds towards the Rear Center & visa-versa.

One of the most impressive effects is when you first see from the air panoramic Hawaii surrounded by some clouds and the Japanese Zero, etc. planes starts roaring overhead you from a number of different rear, rear side, rear center, etc. locations, ... starting from the right rear.

Some of the action where the plane shows up directly overhead the screen, the DTS-ES correctly decoded the associated panning effects to start in the Rear Center area and move overhead towards the screen, matching the assigned Japanese plane on-screen action precisely!

I now automatically 'force-on' the Matrix-6.1 mode for All my DD/DTS-5.1 DVD's, and so far, the routing of the effects (some DVD's very subtle, some DVD's jaw-dropping Posted Image impressive) has just added the same dimension of complete 360-degree surround soundstage that my 20 or so encoded DD EX & DTS EX DVD's deliver!

Quote:
... can I accomplish this between two different lines from the same company?

My concern is whether I can mix product lines.

If your not very critical with the high frequencies sounds & surround effects, then you can probably mix two different lines from the same company. You wouldn't be the first to do that.

I personally don't recommend it since timbre-matched HT Speaker Series / Lines, have the same identical tweeter in size / material and based on Dolby Labs recommendations above.

Those that have experienced HT setups with @ least identical speakers for the Fronts/Side/REAR Surrounds channels (w/timbre-matching Centers), have never regretted the choice, especially when they finally hear & experience what was precisely encoded by the Mixing DD/DTS-5.1/6.1 Sound Engineer.

The path(s), some straight, some in a half or full circle panning effects, going right, moving left, panning across the room, flying overhead - originating from the front or rear locations and visa-versa, ... can be visually followed, matching the direct action(s) on the screen with Identical Speakers around you.

Food for thought,
Phil
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#4 of 10 John Garcia

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Posted May 29 2003 - 09:02 AM

I have Monitor 5s + CC370 up front, with Titans as rears. I can hear the difference between the Titans and the others, but it does not play such a large role between surrounds and mains, even when I am listening to SACDs. The front stage is much more important to match, which means you will need to stick with the 370 as your center if you want to have Monitor mains.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#5 of 10 Todd Alexander

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Posted May 29 2003 - 09:10 AM

I agree with the above post. The front L & R should be timbre matched with the center. The rear speakers are not as essential. I also hae a Velodyne sub with my Paradigm speakers and it sounds awesome. I think you've chosen a pretty good setup, I did something similar.

Just make sure the front sound stage is matched and you'll be fine.

#6 of 10 Mike Nep

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Posted May 29 2003 - 10:07 AM

Just had some Ellis 1801's hooked up in place of my studio 80's. They were matched up with a studio cc and I honestly couldn't tell a difference. Please don't flame me! Maybe I wasn't listening for it, but it definitely didn't pop up as a concern. Actually preferred the 1801's over the 80's, especially during soundtrack music playing. I'm all for timbre matching and the theory behind it, however after actually doing a test between different and similar speakers paired up to a center, I'm going to believe my ears over theory. Then again, maybe it differs from speaker to speaker. For the dude who asked it, don't always believe everything you hear around hear. Sometimes you need to try things on your own. Good luck.

#7 of 10 John Garcia

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Posted May 29 2003 - 02:20 PM

I have actually tried the CC170, 270, and 370 in my system, and I could hear the difference between them without question. I have a CC170 laying around, and I returned the 270 after trying out the 370, because the difference was obvious to me. With the mismatch, I could "hear" the center, even after a moderate break-in period and calibration. Once I switched to a matched center, the center almost disappeared; the front stage has a seamless balance to it. This is only my opinion though.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#8 of 10 Albert Damico

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Posted May 30 2003 - 12:17 AM

I struggled for years with this issue. I originally had Infinity RS4's for mains and an Infinity CC2 for a center. The front sound stage just never sounded right to me. Despite calibration and endless playing with speaker placement. So I moved to Infinity Overture 2 speakers as mains. The front soundstage was even worse. So I upgraded to an Infinity HPS center channel. Much better, but just not right. I am now two sets of mains and two center channels and over a year into this and despite the fact that I used speakers from the same manufacturer, there was just something missing, especially in the center imaging. So I upgraded again, to an Axiom VP-150 for a center. This was a monster center channel with 5 speakers and it was a fabulous center channel speaker. But it did not match the mains. Now I am two sets of mains and three center channel speakers into this. I then removed the center channel and used phantom mode. Many, many, audiophiles believe that (sweet spot concerns aside) the center will never match and that a good, no a great pair of mains are all you really need. Well, as I sprung about $3,000 for the Infinity Overture 2's, I figured they were good enough to cover. Problem was that there was always a "hollow" sound to dialog in the center now. Further investigation showed that many people going with a phantom center had this same issue. Well, I finally bit the bullet and purchased three new speakers, three EXACT same speakers (Dunlavy) for the front. I positioned them the same (all vertical), I used a laser to aim each tweeter so that it hit my ears in the seated position where I sit, and I must say that the difference in sound and imaging has been nothing short of phenominal. Long story to say...don't make a mistake and settle for what you think may work. Whatever speakers you use, do yourself a favor and buy the exact same speakers for the front, just as THX suggests. In the long run, you will be happier,and probably save a bunch of money. But this is just my opinion!!Posted Image

#9 of 10 Christian_R

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Posted May 30 2003 - 01:15 AM

Thanks guys. Lots of things to consider, but at least I am heading in the right direction.

Chris

P.S. The first movie I will be trying when I have it all setup, (including the new plasma) is Star Trek Nemesis which arrived in the mail last week but I have been holding off until I am totally ready! Yeah baby! I am really looking forward to it.

#10 of 10 Mike Nep

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Posted May 30 2003 - 04:14 AM

Based on the above post, calibration, toe-in and the such do play a big role in your imaging and overall listening experience. I DO agree with that: Maybe a bit more fiddling and I'll get it to the level I'm looking for. But, then I'd have to find a new hobbyPosted Image It's a never ending battle... or hobby?... or battle? Sometimes I find myself in front of this damn computer instead of enjoying what I have.


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