Di-Poles or Direct Radiators for Surround?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Evan S, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Question for everyone...am I the only one who doesn't know this? I know that Di-Poles are the superior choice for Surround speakers than direct radiators...HOWEVER...if you are looking to set up a system that really utilizes the benefits of 5 channel audio on SACD or DVD-Audio, are Di-poles a good choice? Will they sound as good as direct radiators in this format or will I lose something in the sound? Also, if I go the direct radiator way, will I lose something in HT? What's the trade off?
     
  2. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    It depends on a couple of things. First are you set up to even use dipole speakers. Dipoles (I believe) are more effective when the sound area is wider and spacious which needs dipole speakers to fill in the space. My personal preference would be Monopole or direct radiating speakers for DVD-Audio and multi channel SACD. When it comes to music I like the directional approach as it comes to sound. As for HT I find a really good pair of speakers (Platinum Audio in my case) positioned optimally can be very effective as far as sound directing.

    The other factor is whether the Dipoles can go as low as direct radiating speakers. For example I auditioned the Polk FX 300 dipole speakers before getting the Platinums and I did find that the sound was very nice and clean but when it came time for the speakers to playback real crash bang material, I found it to be a little lacking as far as impact was concern. Now I can attribute that to my belief as stated or the sound guy in Circuit City had the setting all wrong. Those FX 500 was the bomb when it came to sound however. Dipole requires side mounting also and with DVD-A I'm not sure how it would sound.
     
  3. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Well what if you have dipole surrounds. Would monopole rear centers be the logical choice?
     
  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Howard, depends on the size of your room.

    If your sitting area is very close to the back wall of your room, you are going to want to go with a dipole rear center to better disperse the sound. If you have a good 5 feet at least between your listening environment and your back wall, you are better off with a monopole rear center for 6.1. My original question was more aimed at benefits/non-benefits of dipoles for 5 channel audio, which I plan to get into in the near future.
     
  5. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    It all comes down to the acoustics of your room and your own personal choice. This is not something that is cut and dry by any means. The purpose of most surround audio tracks is, I believe, to reproduce the ambiance of the material and not to necessarily place you in the middle of the sound source (except for some gimmicky titles). Therefore, I would think that in most cases you would want your surround audio listening to behave in similar fashion to the surround audio from your video presentations.

    That said, you might find that you actually prefer pinpoint sounds from surround locations (I don't, but that's my choice, not yours). In other words, you should provide yourself with as many options as possible in case you find you prefer one setup over another.

    Short of actually bringing in various sets of speakers to audition in your listening environment (not a bad idea by any means but often impractical for some people) I would suggest that you look at surround speakers that provide you a choice of sound distribution. For example, I happen to use M&K 150SS surround speakers (I love them) and one of the nice things about them is that you can set them for dipole and/or direct firing mode (and just about anything in between) so that you can see what you like best and adjust them accordingly. And the beauty of this is that if you change your mind later on (or if you change the location of some of your surrounds as I will eventually do when moving from DD5.1 to DD7.1 and beyond) the speakers can be switched to a different sound dispersal pattern.

    You can see my surrounds on my HT site.
     
  6. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I've seen some links to people's HT's on this website, but that is the mother of all home theaters!!! I am humbled just being on the same thread as you!!! Great job!!! Something for us all to aspire to! Thanks for the advice as well.

    -Evan
     

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