a few 6.1/7.1 surround questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chess Martin, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. Chess Martin

    Chess Martin Agent

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    right now, i have a 5.1 surround setup consisting of 4 Energy eXL-16s and an eXL-C. my new receiver has 6.1/7.1 capability, and while i'm not in a huge hurry, those extra binding posts are getting hard to look at. [​IMG]
    1. how much benefit do you really get from a 6.1/7.1 setup vs. a 5.1 setup. it seems to me that a matrixed rear channel could potentially break up or weaken directional effects from the disrete rear surrounds.
    2. how important do you guys think it is to timbre match back surround/s with the other 5 speakers? considering the fact that the sound is matrixed and not discrete, i was thinking "not very". i know I don't want to buy another set of eXLs, but i was considering something in the way of a set of Take 2s. or maybe i could just look for a cheaper but similar (to my ears anyway) sounding pair of speakers.
    thanks fellas.
     
  2. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a 7.1 system and I can tell you that the improvement over 5.1 is HUGE. The improvement is not in terms of quality of sound. Its just that the sound field is so complete in its enveloping the listener. sounds pan back to front, side to side, diagonally across the room perfectly and smoothly without any "jumping" from speaker to speaker, without any holes in the 360° sound field. Ambience effects like rain or the sounds of the engines on a space ship are frighteningly realistic. You really feel like you are THERE.

    as far as the timbre matching of the additional speakers, I felt it critical so all 4 of my back speakers are NHT 1.5s. I can't say that not having them matched won't work because I haven't tried it that way. good luck!
     
  3. Chess Martin

    Chess Martin Agent

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    thanks haru.

    i'll probably go for it. who was i kidding, anyway.

    i timbre matched my 4 existing speakers, but i just can't see devoting that kind of money and space on a pair of speakers that won't get that much work. i'll just keep an eye on ebay and the forums for a good deal on a pair of take 2s...they should be pretty close in timbre to the eXLs.

    any other suggestions for a pair of semi-bright, fairly small, fairly cheap 7.1 surrounds?
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I wouldn't call it huge, but it is definitely a noticable improvement.

     
  5. Chess Martin

    Chess Martin Agent

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    you're right, i haven't. purely speculation on my part. i was under the impression that there wasn't a whole lot of 6.1 software out there...am i mistaken? i can't see myself using the simulated sixth channel, but i'm not one to say "never".

    i found a pair of eXL-R surrounds used for $100 that would be timbre matched with my mains/surrounds, but i think they are dipoles. there seems to be some debate about which is preferable between single center channel, 2 monopoles, 2 dipoles.
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The list of EX/ES titles is growing very rapidly:
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...ighlight=DTSES
    I am using a single rear center. I was using 3 identical monopoles and it sounded great, but I recently upgraded my main center and moved my old center to the rear (not much better, but I am no longer wasting one of a pair as a single surround). I prefer monopoles, personally.
    If you get the dipoles, mount them on the sides, and put the monopoles in the rear.
     
  7. Chess Martin

    Chess Martin Agent

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    thanks again john...i really think a pair of energy take 2s might be the way to go, and they're not too hard to find used online.
     
  8. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    In my experience, 6.1 occasionally offers a small improvement, and occasionally causes the collapse of a better 5.1 soundstage. After much A-B'ing with my previous speaker setup, I decided to forego the 6.1 thing and stick with 5.1 when I upgraded my speakers.

    But if you do go 6.1/"7.1", then definitely timbre-match. IMO, a matched 5.1 system (properly positioned, calibrated, blah blah) would be easily superior to an unmatched 6.1 system.

    Remember: you're trying to create a single, all-encompassing environment, not a bunch of discrete channels vying for aural supremacy. Anything that causes a speaker to "stick out" or otherwise draw attention to itself - particularly, non-matching timbres, but also poorly integrated and unmatched levels, etc. - will destroy that sense of a single aural environment.
     
  9. Chess Martin

    Chess Martin Agent

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    i doubt the take 2s i'm currently bidding on will be perfectly timbre-matched with my eXL-16s, but i'm pretty sure they have the same tweeter, which should make them close. any strong feelings either way...does someone know something i don't?

    how much should i pay for a pair of used take 2s? i'm thinking $75-$100 shipped.

    i'm pretty sure i can get an eXL-C for about $175 new online. do you think it would be worth twice the price for perfect voicematching, or would having the rear channel even with the front channel do more harm than good?
     
  10. Chess Martin

    Chess Martin Agent

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    found a pair of eXL-15s on ebay for $115 shipped. decided the improved timbre matching would be worth the extra $30-$40 over the take 2s.

    looking forward to seeing how they sound!!!!

    thanks for the advice fellas.
     
  11. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    I was worried about the lack of a rear soundstage when playing 5.1 in a 7.1 configuration. After carefully looking at the possibilities, I threw up a pair if Reference series Dipoles on the sides. They throw the sound in behind as well.
    Whatever the choice (I sound like a broken record here), for your buck the solid way to set this up is with two rears, EVEN if you are only going 6.1 (for now [​IMG])
    The reasons for this are simple:
    -If/When 7.1 becomes reality or if you get a Lex, you're set.
    -Perhaps more importantly, you take away from the localization of a single rear speaker, by running your two 6.1 rear speakers in series off the source (if only a 6.1 output on your pre/pro / receiver). Besides, 6.1 runs the same source data through each of the rears anyway, so it's the same thing.
     
  12. Chess Martin

    Chess Martin Agent

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    i agree, or at least it makes sense in theory. the pair of eXL-15s are on their way via FEDEX ground. should get here saturday or so. [​IMG]
    i'll let you guys know what i think when i hook em up and test em out.
    my Pioneer VSX-D811S fortunately has 7 sets of binding posts, but i may wire them in a series anyway just so i have one less wire to run/hide. i'll wire it both ways and if i can't detect a difference in sound quality, i'll go with the single wire.
    i've never wired a speaker in a series, so please refresh me: + on one speaker, - on the other and then connect the other + and - together...right?
     

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