Bipolar vs. Regular Surrounds?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Jeran Kuenzie, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Jeran Kuenzie

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    Are bipolar surrounds better than a simple bookshelf-type speaker for surroud duties? I have a 14'x15' room with 11.5' ceilings and hardwood floors. The seating is very close to the back wall. I was wondering if it would be better for me to use a set of bi-polar surrounds so that I could "reflect" some of the music off of the back wall. I was thinking of mounting the bi-polars on the side wall toward the back corner so that I could use the angle of the speakers to bounce the sound off the back wall and create a more enveloping effect. I hope this is in the right section. Thanks for everyone's help.
     
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Difficult to give an absolute answer here. Both could be fine.
    Bipolar used to be the choice in Dolby ProLogic systems, while most people use "normal" speakers in 5.1 setups. After all, the 5 channels should be as similar as possible, according to the "official" specs.
    But some people still love bi-polars better, simply as that.

    BTW, you can have the sound bouncing off the wall with any type of speakers: simply point them to the walls, under an appropriate angle.

    Cees
     
  3. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    There is no definitive answer except for trying both types of speaker in your house. test also for differant mounting heights too. Just find what YOU like best.
     
  4. johnM

    johnM Auditioning

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    Be sure not to confuse Bipolar with Dipolar. They are different. Their are explanations out there better than I can give. If you do a search you will probably find something. Dipolars are often used as surrounds because they give a diffused sound. I personally have Mirage Bipolar speakers all around and love them.
     
  5. rob hoinsky

    rob hoinsky Auditioning

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    i believe that the 2 speakers in bi-polars are in phase with each and the 2 speakers in di-polars are in reverse face with each other.
     
  6. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    "i believe that the 2 speakers in bi-polars are in phase with each and the 2 speakers in di-polars are in reverse face with each other."

    Don't forget the ADP(Adaptive Bipolar) speakers from Paradigm. Below a certain point they turn from being out of phase, to reduce lacalization, to in phase to increase bass response.

    Brent
     
  7. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    Speaking of Paradigm, they suggest using what they call "reverberant soundfield" speakers rather than direct-radiating (monopole).

    Paradigm says that monopoles make it difficult to get the surrounds loud enough to blend with the front speakers but not so loud that they "draw attention to themselves."

    Paradigm specifies non-monopole speakers for most of their surround speaker systems but many speaker companies include identical speakers front R/L and rear.

    One drawback of reverberant soundfield speakers is that they have more drivers than similar monopoles and thus cost more.

    Also, some people who use surround speaker systems for multi-channel music prefer monopoles to dipoles/bipoles.

    Your best bet is to find an A/V specialty retailer where you can hear both types of surrounds. The Circuit City type stores sometimes have demo setups like this but they often just don't have the speakers set up so you can hear them in a proper 5.1 (or 6.1 or 7.1) configuration or if they do it will not be carefully calibrated.
     
  8. cabreau

    cabreau Second Unit

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    I am having the same dilemma. I'm about to upgrade my Paradigm speakers (6.1 or 7.1) depending on whether I buy the HK AVR 230 or 330. Right now I have Paradigm Atoms for the L/R and surrounds, with a CC-170 for center, and a PDR-10 for a sub.

    I can't decide on whether I want to go to the Monitor series (Mini-Monitors for L/R, CC-370 center, then ADP-370's for the surrounds, I can't go 6.1 or 7.1 if I get the Monitors because of my budget)...
    OR...if I get (Legends for L/R (floorstanding), CC-270 for center, then I can get 3 or 4 ADP-170's and have 6.1 or 7.1 surround.

    OR...should I just get Mini-Monitors instead of ADP-370's (cheaper) and mount them in the top corners of my ceiling and use those as surrounds? I've never heard Di-Polar speakers, so I have no way to judge.


    What do you peeps think?

    I'll also probably be upgrading my PDR-10 to a PS-1000. But my friend sent me a link to some SVS Subs that are cylinder shaped. What do you know about those?
     
  9. Evan M.

    Evan M. Supporting Actor

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    Hello cabreau, May I be the first to welcome you to the board. You will find this to be a great/informative place. It is one I recommend often [​IMG]. I like the Monitor speakers, heard them the other day with a good friend and liked them a lot. You might consider monitor 5's or 7's for fronts, the cc370 center and adp 170's for surrounds. I do not think that it will make as big a difference with the tweeters being different for your surrounds, as most of the info is ambient sound. I am sure a few may disagree with me on that one but it is a good way to get a very good front soundstage (the most important part to a good surround system in my opinion). I think that di-poles make a fine speaker for surround sound if it is for mainly movies. If you throw music into the mix you may get better response and accuracy with direct speakers. Svs is a fantastic sub. Your friend obviously knows his stuff. You should buy one for him too for recommending it [​IMG] .
     

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