2-way or 3-way main and center speakers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dylan, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. Dylan

    Dylan Extra

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    I'm upgrading my front Bose speakers (L, C, R) and my back left and right Bose 301 speakers (I have a 7.1 setup w/ Cambridge Soundworks 5.1 Surround as my rear L and R). Does a 3-way speaker create a better (i.e smoother) sound then a 2-way? I'm kicking around getting Ascend CBM-170 as mains, center, back L and R (but the Ascend's are a bit pricey for me, so I'm not too sure about them) and use my Cambridge (they have a dipole/bipole switch) as they currently are. Or getting JBL S36ii/38ii as my mains and backs and the JBL S-center ii for my center speaker (all are 3-ways). Or Yamaha NS-6390 as mains and backs w/ the NS-AC40X (because it says it can be voice matched to other speakers via a "High Range Level" control), or Sony SSM-B300H as mains and backs. I know this is confusing, especially if you don't have a catalog w/these speakers' specs in front of you, so at a minimum, if you could just make general comments on 2-way vs 3-way. To avoid voice matching issues I would think that the speakers should have close to the same freq. response and sensitivity as possible to avoid problems generally associated w/"mixing and matching", yes? The room I have is approx. 20 ft long and 10 ft wide w/ 3 walls (front, back, one side) and the TV et al are positioned along the long axis of the room.
     
  2. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    In a properly designed speaker it shouldn't make a difference. In theory, the more seperations you have, the less any one speaker has to do. But in reality, that is hard to do because of the way crossovers work. A 2-way only needs 1 crossover, where a 3-way needs 2. Crossover are tricky to implement. Getting 2 different speakers to blend at the crossover point is hard. So, the more crossovers you have, the more blending problems you might have. Also, bad crossovers can add distortion to the sound themselves. So, when designing a 3-way, manufacturers are more likely to pick 2 average crossovers instead of one good crossover for cost reasons.
     

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