Importance of surrounds & matching them w/ main&center

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Treinen, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Brian Treinen

    Brian Treinen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 1999
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've recently upgraded my sub and DVD player, next in line is surrounds. I have Polk RTA11t mains, CS400 center and am using the mains I got with my Kenwood HTB503 HT in a box kit as the surrounds. I've been thinking about popping for the Polk fx500i surrounds. I can get them for about $350 for the pair.
    My question is how important is it to mate the drivers of your surrounds with the mains & center? Do the surrounds make that big a difference? I'm hoping someone else has pondered this and will be able to say upgrading the surrounds make a huge difference! or - save the $350 and keep the Kenwoods, surrounds don't make that much difference....
    Thanks!
     
  2. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Jeff Lam
    The surrounds are not as critical as the front three. The front three must match perfectly to get the correct sound. Surrounds are supposed to be for fill. They are supposed to create an open spacious sound that surrounds you like a theater. They are however full bandwidth now with DD/DTS so good surrounds will just sound better but it is not critical to match them with the rest of your speakers.
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It is a bit of a judgement call. Try this:
    Turn off all DSP modes on your receiver and disconnect the front 3 speaker wires. This should leave just the rear speakers connected.
    Fire up a favorite DVD and just sit and listen to the ammount and quality of the rear-sounds.
    Then ask yourself: do I really care if the rears match?
    If you DO decide to get new rear speakers, go the extra route and get 3 (for the dolby-rear center channel). If not, you will be posting a year from now: "How important is it to match the rear-center with the other rears?" and "Where can I buy a single Polk speaker for a rear center?".
    Hope this helps.
     
  4. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2001
    Messages:
    584
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    would you use your kenwood surround speaker as your right front and your polk as your left front? Do you know why fully discrete ,full range channels are good to have in multi-channel music and movies?Do you only listen to DSP modes and pro-logic?If you don't understand then I shouldn't go any further...I know it costs more but not having matched speakers in a 5.1(etc) system is ridiculous.
     
  5. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 13, 1999
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have matched speakers all around (para Stud 60's, whatever the center is, and the 450's behind), and they do make a difference from unmatched (compared at a friends house.)
    The one thing I used to compare- and where it REALLY shows!- is the helecopter wrap-around at the top pof Apocalypse Now. I remember seeing that in 70mm, and getting that effect is an important part of that movie, to me. That, and it is a GREAT test of surround timbre matching.
    Now, I would not just spend more JUST for AN, I just pont out that it is a good test to see if you need matched all around. It makes it really easy to hear.
    I would also suggest that it is better to put off a purchase a month or two, and get the "right" speakers... (I say put it off because inevitably, the "right" speakers are always more expensive! [​IMG] )
    So have fun, and test some.
    dave
     
  6. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2000
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have Paradigm Monitor 7 mains and atoms (from the lower performance line) rears. I will probably upgrade my mains to the reference line before I change the surrounds.
    But.
    My current setup is matched in my ears, even though it is not. I don't feel the need to upgrade the surrounds to the monitor line, even with 5Ch Stereo. But then keep in mind that I am still sticking with the same manufacturer.
    I don't think I helped any but eh... [​IMG]
    --
    Holadem
     
  7. Bob-N

    Bob-N Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2001
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm in the same dilemma. I've got B&W 602's as front, an LCR6 (on it's way) center channel. I don't mind spending the $500-600 for another pair of 602's but the problem is this: they are too big as surrounds IMHO. I don't have the floor space to put them at the corners of my room and they are much too tall to mount on the wall. Mounting them side ways will probably make them look a bit goofy.
    So my choices were to get a set of the smaller 303's, possibly the 601's (still possibly too big) or go with a DIY speaker (Dayton BR-1's).
    I figure if I go to the 303's, the drivers are smaller (6") than the 602's (6 vs 7") and are fiberglass/paper vs. kevlar in the 600's. So why not go to a driver that's closer in size to the 602's for a better driver match in the Dayton speaker (7" vs. 6.5"). Faulty logic?
    Any thoughts?
     
  8. MarkO

    MarkO Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 1999
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    IMHO It is very important to match all the speakers in most formats. I have found in DD and dts 5.1 soundtracks mismatched speakers caused the soundfield to collapse or in some circumstances draw too much attention to the channel itself.
     
  9. Shad R

    Shad R Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2001
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, I don't have matched speakers.(poor college student)
    I have KLH(don't laugh) for rears, and really good reference JBL's for fronts, and I really don't notice a difference, even with pans. Just my 2 cents
     

Share This Page