Dipole/surround speaker question

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Mike_S, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Apologies ahead of time, if this sounds like a silly question. I'll be moving to a condo next year. The particular area I'll be turning in a home theater space will be part of the main living room. Room shape is a bit odd. The spot I have in mind is kind of in the middle of the room, so there will not be side walls in the viewing listening area, to mount either a traditional surround speaker or a dipole speaker. TO ELABORATE FURTHER, THE BACK OF THE COUCH ON WHICH I'M SITTING TO VIEW MOVIES OR LISTEN TO MUSIC WILL BE RIGHT UP AGAINST THE BACK WALL ON WHICH I PROPOSE TO HANG THE DIPOLES. My question is this: Is it a mistake to mount dipole speakers (or rear surround speakers for that matter) on the rear wall. In the case of the dipole speakers, should they be horizontal or vertical mounted? I suppose that I could have the rear surrounds on speaker stands kind of on the sides of the seating area. Maybe I've answered my own question. Basically, are dipoles out of the question in this scenario? I hope this makes sense. I'd value any responses. After all, you're the experts. Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  2. William_Gravem

    William_Gravem Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    I'm no expert, but I'm in a similar situation: moving into condo, non-ideal shape, want the best sound system given constraints...

    Sounds like the rears will be quite a distance behind the viewer, almost like the viewer will be at the midpoint between the screen and the rears, and that rears will be placed on the wall behind the viewer, correct?

    If this is so, I would probably tend to steer clear of dipoles. But again, I'm pretty new at this as well.

    Good luck,

    ---Bill
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Nothing is out of the question...your ears are the final judge.

    As for dipoles, unless things gave changed, the point is that you want then on the sides, so your ears are in the null created by the two drivers firing in opposite directions, out of phase. If you can't do that, then I am not sure dipoles are the right choice, but if you already have them, no sense NOT experimenting..

    I personally have my rears (direct radiators) mounted on stands as you propose, a bit behind the main listening position, and to the outside (my couch is to the back of the room, windows behind me, so stands are the only viable option I had).

    I really like the way that works for MC music, and it also works quite well for film. Here is a link to a Dolby document that talks about speaker set up in a MC music mixing suite, similar to what I am trying to do (but not quite):

    http://www.dolby.com/tech/Multichannel_Music_Mixing.pdf

    There are all sorts of guidelines out there, but we all have to make do with the rooms that we have, right. No matter what you do, I assure you that the HT Police will not arrest you!

    BGL
     
  4. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I've edited my original first post (see capital letters) to further elaborate on my seating position relative to the back wall. My original dipole question still stands. Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  5. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    OK then, your arrangement sounds like mine, save for the fact that I have windows on the back wall, so no wall mounts for me.

    I would think that being up against the back wall, a mono-pole loudspeaker firing forward over your head might sound a bit odd. Even angled down might still seem weird. But if you had dipoles (or bipoles) firing left/right (the only way you could do it, I suppose) they should do a decent job of creating ambience.

    I don't know that I would like it for MC music (more because of the height than the fact that they are geared more toward diffusion), but I would think it would work well for films.

    Or, you could do what I did....nudge the couch forward just a tad, so you can position stand mounted loudspeakers.

    Let us know what you ultimately decide!

    BGL
     
  6. anth_c

    anth_c Stunt Coordinator

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    Have you seen M&K's Column Surrounds?

    http://www.mksound.com/surround_speakers.html

    They are tripole speakers that are designed to be placed against the rear wall and can almost be hidden behind a couch as they are only 4 inches deep. They have an upward firing tweeter and woofer, a pair of 3 inch dipoles on the side, and a 6.5 inch woofer.

    I have not heard them, but am a big fan of M&K speakers.

    Regards,
    Anthony
     
  7. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the replies guys. Those M & K's look interesting. The viewing position is just shy of 12' (couch to screen; a front projection set up), so moving the couch even 6" forward might be a problem. That's why I had considered the dipoles on the back wall. The speaker system I have in mind are the Rocket loudspeakers. Probably the RS750's (maybe the 550's) up front with the RSC200 center channel. The dipoles on that rear wall would be the Rocket RSS300's. I'd throw in the Rocket UFW-10 subwoofer for good measure. I think I'll just have to 'go for it' and hope for the best. As Brian noted, it might not be as good for music as it would be for movies. I'm willing to take a chance. I'd certainly welcome any other opinions. Thanks.

    -Mike
     
  8. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    Those MK's might allow you to have your cake (good diffusion for films) and eat it too (ear level loudspeakers for MC Music).

    Bet they are pricey though. IIRC, there was a review of those in one of the major buff books...damned if I can recall which one and when.

    BGL
     
  9. anth_c

    anth_c Stunt Coordinator

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    Check out the online owners manual...they show a number of different set-ups:

    -behind the couch
    -on the sides of the couch (would allow you to place the couch against the back wall)
     
  10. Mike_S

    Mike_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Anth. I'll check that out.

    -Mike
     

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