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who uses bigger speakers for surrounds?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 OFFLINE   james vaughan

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Posted November 26 2005 - 04:24 PM

Just curious as to who uses large bookeshelf or floor standing speakers as the primary surround speaker and why?
Versus dipole? Bipole?

#2 of 19 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted November 26 2005 - 05:13 PM

Not sure what your version of "large bookshelf" is, but mine have 6-1/2" woofers.
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#3 of 19 OFFLINE   james vaughan

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Posted November 26 2005 - 05:23 PM

Thats what I am talkin aboutPosted Image
Have you tried dipole or bipole versus direct radiating?

#4 of 19 OFFLINE   WayneO

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Posted November 26 2005 - 05:31 PM

Well I originally had towers for my surrounds(Paradigm Monitor 7's) along with my mains(Paradigm Monitor 11's). I guess I bought the 7's because I thought bigger was better. As I read more in various forums and educated myself, I began to question my logic. Eventually I brung home some dipoles(Paradigm Monitor ADP-370's) to audition against my towers. Turned out I liked the dipoles much better since they were less distracting than the towers which were only a couple of feet away from my main listening position. So now I have a much smaller wall mounted speaker, which cost the same as the towers, but serves me much better for the use of movies. For multi-channel music they aren't as good, but I only have a couple recordings to even worry about that.
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#5 of 19 OFFLINE   Gralen

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Posted November 27 2005 - 12:58 AM

I have floor standing Celestion. They are far superior than my bose 201 which were my back surronds. Some times they can be a distraction but other they can be very good. my mains are mirage om10's
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#6 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted November 27 2005 - 09:13 AM

I have bookshelf speakers back there also with 6.5" woofers. Omnipolar, which is a cousin of bipolar. Mirage Omni 60's. I had the 50's, but I wanted the bigger woofer so I could run all large for SACDs and DVD-As.
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#7 of 19 OFFLINE   Johnny Ayala

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Posted November 27 2005 - 10:54 PM

I run Kirksaeter speakers all the way around....same size...and couldn't be happier.Posted Image
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#8 of 19 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted November 28 2005 - 04:56 AM

I run five of these all around.
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
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#9 of 19 OFFLINE   Scott Simonian

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Posted November 28 2005 - 06:27 AM

I guess I do. My surround speakers are my old front channels. They are older KLH towers and bookshelves. The surround back speaker are about 4.5ft tall and have a 12" woofer and 12" passive radiator. The side surrounds are the same thing but shorter with vents, not PRs. They have nice midbass punch. Not as bassy as you may think, especially the sides.

Why do I use these? Cause I have them. I will be replacing them with smaller speakers so they can be hung on the wall or on brackets. I don't like them being as low as they are. In one seat your ears are higher than the sides. Haven't decided if I'm gonna go dipole for the sides or go with an up firing method I'd seen over at the HTguide forums.

BTW - My mains are (diy) Adire 281s and a LCC for the center. The mains with two 8"ers go about an octave or so lower than the towers with 12"s. Go figure.
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#10 of 19 OFFLINE   MikeLi

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Posted November 28 2005 - 12:50 PM

I used to have large NHT towers on all fours plus matching center. Prior to that I had a smaller set but it had a dipole surround. I really liked it for movies and really missed it with the NHT setup with direct radiating speakers in the back.

I later found speakers I liked much better and went with them (Rockets) and went back to the dipole (their 300) and am very satisfied... Much much better for movies which is most of my use.
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#11 of 19 OFFLINE   Mark M. Smith

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Posted December 08 2005 - 07:19 AM

My upgrade plan is to use good quality bookshelves as mains and when I can afford the upgrade to expand out to quality towers and move the bookshelves out as my surrounds. At present though I'm using relatively average size bookshelves as my surrounds because, like others have said, they're what I had lying around. The positioning (and definitely the quality) are not ideal due to what I have to work with, but they do the job well.

My suggestion would be to look into some brick and mortar stores where you can hear demos and try to find places that use both options (or friends if possible) and see what you tend to prefer. It's not an ideal situation, but the only way you'll know what you like is to hear it for yourself.

#12 of 19 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted December 08 2005 - 07:27 AM

A decent store may actually let you borrow some speakers to try out as surrounds. Posted Image My local Paradigm dealer allowed me to bring home a pair of 40s for a week and a half.
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
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#13 of 19 OFFLINE   John S

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Posted December 08 2005 - 09:47 AM

I like the same speakers in all locations. I use JBL S38's.. 8" woof. I use them for my center as well.

#14 of 19 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted December 08 2005 - 08:09 PM

I bought some basic-but-decent sounding Pioneer bookshelfs with 8" woofers to use back there until I can upgrade to better ones.* They replaced some Realistic "Minimus" models with 5" woofers.

I use my system more for music than HT & bought them to help my 5.1 dvd-audio and 5.1 DTS-CDs sound their best because unlike most movies, music engineers regularly place full-range bass effects in the rear channels. The Pioneers were a big improvement! And fortunately, I also found that they help my movie soundtracks sound better. I'm lucky though that I am able to place these speakers several feet behind me (at ear level on stands)-this means these direct-radiator speakers are able to form an airy rear image behind me (i.e. their sound doesn't hit me in the back of the head Posted Image ), so I don't need bipole/dipole speakers to "spray" the sound around me. >>> Not everyone has tons of space behind their couch for my room's speaker placement & IMO di/bipolars are good choices for them......and, some people just prefer the very airy effect such speakers produce.

* This is the model that just replaced mine (that page is incorrect-it still has an 8" woofer). Saw it at Circuit already: it has a slightly different dome tweeter, totally different midrange and looks better too.

#15 of 19 OFFLINE   Robert_Gaither

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Posted December 09 2005 - 07:16 AM

I use Optimus LX8s for my rears and like them very much for this purpose. I think the success of the larger speaker will be more determined by distance and the ability to place them (I have a basement theater which means the rears are about 12' away and setup about three feet above ear level).

#16 of 19 OFFLINE   Greg Bright

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Posted December 09 2005 - 01:44 PM

I'd love to use large speakers as surrounds. The big problem is mounting them at a proper height. I've had the greatest success with the surrounds mounted at 6 feet. Finding the floor space to elevate a tower speaker an extra 2-3 feet or finding shelving to support a heavy and large 2 cubic foot bookshelf model (minimum size adequate bass response, IMO)... let's just say it's not been a workable option.

BTW, I currently use somewhat small switchable bipole/dipole models that have been known to show audible distress when trying to keep up with the tower mains.
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#17 of 19 OFFLINE   derekBannatyne

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Posted December 09 2005 - 01:56 PM

I'm thinking of using Athena AS-B1 fronts and rears, will they be ok? How will they compare to the micras? Thanks.

#18 of 19 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted December 09 2005 - 02:53 PM

Greg: how about doing the 70s thing by buying some colored fish net material, some sturdy hooks and hang those bookshelfs from the ceiling? Posted Image And don't forget to rake the shag rug after installing them! Posted Image

#19 of 19 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted December 10 2005 - 02:26 AM

I use large bookshelf B&W 602's as surround speakers to compliment my B&W 604 tower main speakers. I did not care for B&W's dipole surround speaker option in the 600 series when I bought the speakers about 6 years ago.