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Is anyone using different speaker combos for your 5.1 setups? What are you using?


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#1 of 31 OFFLINE   Keir H

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Posted July 31 2002 - 04:13 PM

Of course any educated HT enthusiast knows that the rule of thumb is to match speakers all around (timbre match) with the same brand of speakers for a more coherant sound stage and 5.1 experience. I am wondering if there is anyone unable to do this or doesn't go by this guideline for their HT/music systems. I was at a flag football teammate of mines house the other day and notice that he had mix-matched gear all around. He asked me what I thought of his "system". Of course I was polite but schooled him on what I know w/o making him feel like I was an "audio snob" Posted Image Here's what he had:

Mains were some Phase Tech bookshelves not sure the model.
Center was a NHT Super Zero set ontop the RPTV.
Surrounds were Paradigm Titans.

AS you can see, not bad speakers but I dont think these have any of the same drivers or even driver types to be anything close to matching timbre..he got all these speakers from "good deals" so they came in at different times when his wife gave him the nod to buy em. (poor guy). Using a Denon 2800, it only sounded good to my ears in stereo (of course!) It goes to show you that many people out there may have the same type of unmatched 5.1 setups. Any of you with better results.

Oh, he likes it that way, and that's just fine. He has to no one else afterall.

#2 of 31 OFFLINE   RandyRush

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Posted August 01 2002 - 12:09 AM

I also have differing speakers in my HT; mainly because I like the sound of what I have; not to say I won't eventually move to matched someday; I currently have Celestions as Front L&R; Bose C, Klipsch as my side surrounds and Polk M-1's as my back surrounds; also a M&K sub; part of my dilema was these are the speakers I had when I built my HT; everything in front is built into a facade wall that is 4 feet from the end of the room; I used cutouts in the wall to mount all speakers and equipment so each has it's own space; not easy finding replacement speakers or equipment that must match the existing cutout; just replaced my Onkyo with a Denon 4802 and had to redo the cutout by extending the height by about 1/2 inch; not fun to have to cut and then replace moulding around the box;but someday, I will replace those speakers with matching ones; just not now.

#3 of 31 OFFLINE   Howard_S

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Posted August 01 2002 - 07:51 AM

I have Paradigm Studios all around and do want to upgrade my fronts at least for music but am hesistant to do so because I'm worried that it might screw up my HT performance even though it will improve my 2ch music performance. Any speaker upgrade to the fronts will effectively force me to buy at least a new center channel speaker I assume?

I'd love to buy a set of Revel Ultima Studios if I can afford it. Although it maybe be the most stupid thing to do considering I might not have the high end gear to drive it.

#4 of 31 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted August 01 2002 - 08:17 AM

I used to have my front to rear stage mismatched, and I can tell you there was a dramatic improvement when I matched everything.
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
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#5 of 31 OFFLINE   Doug_B

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Posted August 01 2002 - 08:31 AM

Quote:
I have Paradigm Studios all around and do want to upgrade my fronts at least for music but am hesistant to do so because I'm worried that it might screw up my HT performance even though it will improve my 2ch music performance.
Depends on your priorities. If you can try a pair at home of whatever you are planning as an upgrade (such as the Revels) without risk, then give it a shot. Even if you don't have all the remaining gear to bring out the best in a speaker upgrade, not many of us can afford to replace our entire system at once. Speaker technology doesn't change much over time, and they tend to make the largest difference (room acoustics and placement issues do have a substantial impact as well), so it's not a bad idea to go this upgrade route first.

.., and I'm partial to 2 channel performance increases Posted Image .

Doug

#6 of 31 OFFLINE   Marty Lockstead

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Posted August 01 2002 - 08:00 PM

I have Def tech mains, surrounds and rear center, but my center channel is an Energy AC300 with a Paradigm sub. I had to "settle" for the energy center only because the place I work used to deal in def tech but not any more. When I realized I needed an additional speaker to take advantage of my current 6.1 set up I moved my then center to the back. The energy has a broader frequency range, is bi-wireable and the hardware manager suggested that this will somewhat match the definitive set up because it has a 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter that the def techs all do. I was afraid of doing that at first because of the whole timbre-matching issue, but now I have no problem with that comprimise, my next choice for an ht speaker brand would have been Energy anyhow. When listening to music I always switch my Yamaha RX-V3200 to 2ch "STEREO" mode. My BP8's sound great for that.
"Uncommon beauty is commonly overlooked".
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#7 of 31 OFFLINE   Bruce Chang

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Posted August 01 2002 - 09:09 PM

My whole system uses different components. I don't listen to 5 channel music so it doesn't really matter. I'm currently using PSB stratus goldi's (soon to be silverline audio sonatina mk2 once I sell my goldi's), totem mite T center, Axiom QS8 surrounds, home made sub encloser with an illusion audio nd15 sub. Everything sounds great!

#8 of 31 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted August 02 2002 - 06:50 PM

I used to have Def Tech all around:

BP-30 mains
CLR 2000 center
BP-20 surrounds
CLR 1000B rear

With a Vandersteen V2W sub.

But the literature and reviews for "phase correct" and "time aligned" speakers got to me. Posted Image I now have:

Vandersteen 2Ce Signature mains
Vandersteen Vcc Signtaure center
BP-30 surrounds
CLR 1000B rear

I listen to 80% 2 channel (crossed over to the sub) music, and this setup I like really well, because I *still* get the diffuseness of the bipolar BP-30s for the surrounds, but the better pinpoint imaging and detail of the 2 Ce Sigs for the mains.

I did look at Vandersteen for the surrounds and rear speaker, but after 2 conversations with them, they kept *heavily* recommending the wall-mount VSM's. But wall-mounts won't work for my room.

I believe what some of y'all allude too: only each of us individually can really judge what works or doesn't work in each of our systems and rooms... Posted Image

Good idea for a thread!
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#9 of 31 OFFLINE   Henry_W

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Posted August 03 2002 - 12:53 AM

I went through several years of speaker confusion.

When I matched my mains and sides (Klipsch Heresy) it was a dramatic improvement for HT. I do have an Acoustic Research AR2C for center and continue to be amazed at the center performance and matching, but cannot help but think that a modified Heresy center wouldn't work better.

As to the rear channel - I have had several in there and none seem to make a difference. All sorts of options should work well there.

Sub rarely requires manufacturer matching to get yur searched for sound.

Yeah most the snobs are right - consistency in speakers (read as the same all around) makes a definitive difference to the good.

#10 of 31 OFFLINE   Matt Jesty

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Posted August 03 2002 - 01:41 AM

I used to have my front to rear stage mismatched, and I can tell you there was a dramatic improvement when I matched everything.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Halleluia John!!
I have seen soooooo many "ht by e-bay" systems that I cringe........"a camel is a horse built by commitee".......
I have seen people with REALLY good speaKERS and amps that on their own (or in 2-channel only) are fine ,but paired up with other brands in a multi-channel system yields an incoherancy that I find pointless.....ymmv...imho...all those other disclaimers....
Reading about audio equipment is like reading about wine, food, sex, art, far-off places...nice to do but hardly a substitute for experiancing these things first hand....
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#11 of 31 OFFLINE   Greg Haynes

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Posted August 03 2002 - 03:10 AM

Current Setup:

Denon 3802
Parasound 1205A
Mains Paradigm 60's
Center Paradigm CC
Side Surrounds Polk 35i
Rear Surrounds Polk InWall RC85i

I plan on one day adding Paradigm ADP's to replace my Polk 35i's, but for now its sounds pretty good.

#12 of 31 OFFLINE   BobRoulier

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Posted August 03 2002 - 03:22 AM

Personally I think the front 3 are the most important to keep consistent with timber matching, the surrounds and surround backs are not on demand as much as the front sound stage. For me I use the 49tx and with the auto calibration it does the timber matching to the t among other things so you can use different speakers and the entire 7.1 sound stage is very seamlessPosted Image


I use:

Paradigm studio 100s (mains)
paradigm studio cc
mirage 595is towers (surrounds)
jbl control 5 bookshelf (surround back)


Bob

#13 of 31 OFFLINE   Howard_S

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Posted August 03 2002 - 12:09 PM

I agree with Bob that the front 3 are the most important. But it really makes a big difference matching up the sides as well. The rear centers not so much but with DVDs making more use of the rear side surrounds you should try to match them up for HT purposes.

#14 of 31 OFFLINE   Martin Rendall

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Posted August 03 2002 - 12:14 PM

Paradigm studios for the front three, and Energy Take 2 for surrounds. Sounds great to me.

Martin.
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#15 of 31 OFFLINE   kevitra

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Posted August 03 2002 - 03:49 PM

The front 3 are the most critical. I have ACI Sapphire IIIs as my mains. I will not part with them, and unfortunately they do not have a center (in my price range).

I tried a Dynaudio 122C and it was way off. I end up with a Diva C3. It matches pretty well.

The surrounds are Axiom QS4s.

I am a music guy, so this works great for me. Sure, the timbre of the bullets wizzing behind me isn't the same as in front of me, but I don't feel like dropping another $1200 just for surround speakers.

#16 of 31 OFFLINE   Matt Jesty

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Posted August 03 2002 - 04:19 PM

the timbre of the bullets wizzing behind me isn't the same as in front of me, but I don't feel like dropping another $1200 just for surround speakers.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++
Yeah, matching can be expensive ,and if any of your existing amps or speakers are older then it can be nearly impossible unless you find 'em used!
Reading about audio equipment is like reading about wine, food, sex, art, far-off places...nice to do but hardly a substitute for experiancing these things first hand....
Trust is easier to establish face-to-face, than via correspondance...
Insider experts and Outsider experts will often lock...

#17 of 31 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted August 03 2002 - 04:35 PM

I agree with the front 3 being the most important. And in fact, at least in my case, I believe I have a *better* sounding system by *thoughtful* (hee, hee) selection of speakers from different manufacturers between front and back.
If it's not worth waiting until the last minute to do, then it's not worth doing.

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#18 of 31 OFFLINE   Matt Jesty

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Posted August 03 2002 - 05:02 PM

Funny how NOBODY with matched speakers is going to go back to mismatched surrounds because they prefer it that way...O.k. ,I'm sure there is the one or two exceptions...
"...I know they look hideous hanging on the walls honey ,but the in-walls weren't matched .... yes dear, you're right the in-wall surrounds did sound better, what was I thinking...I'll take them back."
Reading about audio equipment is like reading about wine, food, sex, art, far-off places...nice to do but hardly a substitute for experiancing these things first hand....
Trust is easier to establish face-to-face, than via correspondance...
Insider experts and Outsider experts will often lock...

#19 of 31 OFFLINE   felix_suwarno

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Posted August 03 2002 - 05:56 PM

i use different brand of speakers for the rears, and have no problem whatsoever. i mean, it is really unnoticeable, or maybe i just got lucky.

#20 of 31 OFFLINE   Keir H

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Posted August 03 2002 - 06:27 PM

It seems more important if someone had different speakers all around to match the tweeter (types) most importantly at least than the woofer/midrange drivers, is it not?