Can dipole surrounds be worked into multichannel music?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Martin Rendall, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    The subject says it all. Has anybody accomplished it? Can it sound good, and still be functional for HT?

    Thanks,
    Martin.
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Neil Joseph
    All I can give you is my own input. I have tried it and did not like the results. For x.1 music, I much prefer directs, and fullrange at that (ie towers). I don't know about other types/brands of dipoles though.
     
  3. Larry Becker

    Larry Becker Agent

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    Martin,
    I went with the Energy Veritas system -- 2.3's, 2.0C, and the 2.0R dipoles for the sides (older 2 way directs for the backs for now). The Veritas 2.0R's have an adjustment dial that lets them be more or less direct, as well as a switch for corner use, so they offer some flexibility.

    I am a dvd-audio lover, and I am aware of the need/desire for full-range direct speakers all around. BUT I like to use my system for HT as well. My Pioneer Elite 49tx does bass management, distance calibration and individual speaker eq., so I am able to make it work for both. The 49tx has the music extentions for THX Ultra2 when using Dolby Digital 5 channel software, and I really like it matrixed out in 7 channels. The receiver also bass-manages dvd-audio discs so it makes good use of my speakers as well.

    The Denon 5803 is the only receiver I'm aware of that lets you hook up dipoles AND direct speakers for the sides at the same time, but that's a lot of speakers to have -- 8 is quite enough, but 10?

    So, the short answer would be that I have it working ok, but without proper bass management it would sound thin. The diffusion of the dipoles might "blur" the sound a bit. I find it working quite nicely in my system.

    Larry
     
  4. Steve & Karen

    Steve & Karen Stunt Coordinator

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    I've got Paradigm Studio 40s in front... could one use the the Energy mentioned above, or would the mismatch outweigh the advantage of the adjustability...?

    I've been having the same question... adequacy of direct for HT and/or acceptability of bipole/dipole for music.

    Furthermore, my configuration is a little different than ideal, but I suspect not uncommon in the real world... This is a ~24x24 foot multi-purpose room... den, library, home study, home theater. It really will be used for pure audio music as much as home theater!

    I want the three dimensionality for both music and home theater, so some sort of surround.
    I do NOT care about specifications or certifications per se (Dolby, DTS, THX, etc.)

    In addition I have two additional configuration problems (please also see picture below ) :

    1 - the main seating is against the back wall... there is no space behind... so "rear/surround" speakers will either be on side or above (without being behind).

    2. background music use the room is asymmetric, since TV/Theater is on one side )left) and Home Office/Desk on the other (right).

    Receiver is to be Rotel RSX-1055, DVD maybe the forthcoming NAD T571. Speakers are Front L/R Paradigm Studio 40s, Center Paradigm Studio/CC, and the Pinnacle Baby Boomer (all already bought) .

    Therefore under these circumstances, does it make more sense to go with

    a. Bipole/Dipole such as Paradigm 170/370/Studio ADP...?

    or

    b. Monopole Direct such as Paradigm Studio 20....?
     
  5. Larry Becker

    Larry Becker Agent

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    Steve & Karen,

    I guess I'd recommend staying with the same brand and series of speakers. Some are using the Veritas 2.0R's with systems that don't offer bipoles, but since Paradigm offers the ADP's, that would be the best for timbre-matching for your other Paradigm speakers.

    Can you test drive some direct Paradigms and the ADP's? Best in your home, but at least in the showroom? Make sure to use your own software to do it. I took some favorite DVD's (Superbit Fifth Element, Eagle's Hell Freezes Over) and DVD-Audio discs (Corrs In Blue and Vivaldi's Four Seasons) and had a blast. I could quickly distinguish what I liked and didn't care for in speakers, and soon discovered I had expensive tastes.

    Also, don't discount the various decoding modes too quickly. I REALLY LIKE the THX Ultra2 movie and musicmodes (for 5.1 software). Often the Neo6 and DPLII modes are good as well (for stereo only stuff). Remember that your music/movies are just software data, and your receiver is just a computer with amps (over simplification). As with any software, if the computer can't read it correctly, you get odd results. These modes in the receiver help/enable the receiver to reproduce the music/movie software as it was intended to be heard (within reason). I'm firmly in the camp of getting the most up-to-date software possible in my receiver. THX Ultra2 is great, but it requires 7 speakers and a sub.

    What's your movie/music ratio? If it's 90% music, maybe directs, like the Paradigm 20's, would be better. I use my system for satellite tv viewing, DVD's and maybe 30% music, so dipoles made sense for me -- and they are spec'd for THX Ultra2 modes anyway...

    Hope this helps -- but I'm fairly new at this, too. Others will probably chime in...

    Larry
     
  6. Aaron H

    Aaron H Supporting Actor

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    I just happened upon the Polf rear effects speakers, the LSiFX, which seem to be switchable from bipole to dipole. Does this solve the problem? I'm really not too sure what these different *-pole terms means, but if there was a speaker that could somehow switch from direct radiating for multichannel music to the dipole design used for movies, well, I guess we'd have the whole problem solved.

    Did Polk do anything special by making these speakers switchable like this?

    Thanks, Aaron
     
  7. Steve & Karen

    Steve & Karen Stunt Coordinator

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    The other way to put the original question would be can direct monopole speakers provide adequate surround effects, when place either behind or on side...? The argument I've heard made is that dipole came in for early Dolby, but is not longer the best way of doing it... not for multichannel music, not for DTS, and not even for recent dolby or THX, etc... some argue for Bipole as an in beteen alternative... and the audiophiles insist on direct.

    Comments...?

    Meanwhile, per above I am stuck with choosing either Paradigm ADP or Studio 20s...?
     
  8. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    S&K,

    I think I'm stuck with the same decision. I've been planning on the ADP's, but now you've got me thinking...

    Martin.
     
  9. Larry Becker

    Larry Becker Agent

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    The THX Ultra2 DOES specify dipoles on the sides, directs in back. I'm pretty sure audiophiles won't be enthralled by it (at least initially), but I have to say I'm really impressed with it in my system. I ALWAYS use it for 5.1 movies and, in the Ultra2 "musicmode," 5.1 concert and music dvd's. It adds a real richness to the experience.
    With stereo sources (cd's, stereo dvd's, stereo satellite), I often Dolby Pro Logic II, which also specs dipoles on the sides.
    The only time I'm NOT glad to have dipoles there is for DVD-audio discs, which do prefer dipoles. Because of the unfortunately small number of DVD-audio discs, this makes up about 20-30% of my music listening--but the part I enjoy most. But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, my dipoles have a dial that lets me vary the effect, as well as a switch that lets me configure the speaker for positioning somewhat.
    IF the future is in THX Ultra2, and I think it is to some degree, then the diffused speaker is appropriate. If you have no interest in such things, go direct. I wanted, with my first real HT experience, to try to do it well. I am quite pleased with the results.
    I'm probably in the class of audiophile wannabe, and genuinely appreciate clear balanced sound, so for me, it's something to be satisfied. It's almost surprising. I auditioned several speakers/receivers with my own software before I purchased. "YMMV" [​IMG]
    Larry
     
  10. itai

    itai Stunt Coordinator

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    Martin, my paradigm adp's sound great, no matter if music or ht! sure, studio 20/40's would have been beter, but currently, with so litle 5.1 music only titles out there, its no biggy.
    besides, for live concerts dvd's, dipoles are way beter, imo, anyway.[​IMG]
     

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