Matching Speakers? Please help Newbie.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by chris.dillon, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. chris.dillon

    chris.dillon Auditioning

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    I am finishing my basement and realized the other day that I was going to have difficulty with tht center channel speaker. I am putting a Plasma above a fireplace with a 7' ceiling. Once the Plasma is on the wall there will not be room for a speaker above or below. So I was looking into ceiling speakers and found the Kef Ci200QT These are ceiling speakers that when needed are motorized and swing down to point toward the listener. It seems like my best option.



    I have a couple of questions:



    1) Should the front speakers all be the same maker?



    2) Should the front speakers all be at the same level?

    If not where is it appropriate?



    3) It's alright for the surrounds not to match correct?



    Thanks for your help.



    Chris
     
  2. John Desmond

    John Desmond Stunt Coordinator

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    1) Should the front speakers all be the same maker?

    If at all possible. Not just the same maker, but the same model or models meant to match up with each other. The more they sound the same, the better. It is possible to find models from different manufacturers that will match, but it would require a lot of research

    2) Should the front speakers all be at the same level?

    If not where is it appropriate?

    Again, if possible, matching height is best. Usually you want the speakers to be at ear height. (that's why they use perforated screens, the speakers are right behind the screen) It sounds like you will likely have to have your center above the screen height, In that case you will want to aim it down at the listening position.

    Another possibility is to forego the center and set your setup to phantom center. Two good quality speakers at left and right, toed in toward the listening position will create a very good center image for people sitting near the center of the room. Those sitting off axis of the center will likely not get as good a center image as if you had a good center speaker.

    3) It's alright for the surrounds not to match correct?

    True, but once more, the best results will be with speakers that sound the most like the front. This is especially important with music-multi channel like DVDa and SACD. Also important for well recorded soundtracks. The newer stuff often has more involvement in the rear tracks
     
  3. Richard Harvey

    Richard Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,

    If at all possible, you want your center and mains to be using matching drivers; although sound levels can always be balanced, you can't balance the tonal quality (warmth, brightness) of the speaker. This is why pairing a center like, say, a Klipsch with anything other than Klipsch mains is near impossible.

    As for placement, the general rule I've always heard is you want the sound from the center to appear to emminate as close as possible to the visual display. Usually if you can't get your speaker to sit on the top (or just below) the TV, many people will wall mount it. It sounds like this is not an alternative for you, so I'm not quite sure what the best approach is. I would be concerned that a ceiling speaker would seem out of sync while watching the display, but I could be wrong.

    As for surrounds, they aren't as critical (since most are simply used for effects, not dialog), but still again it is best if you can balance the tonal quality with your center and mains.

    Rich
     
  4. chris.dillon

    chris.dillon Auditioning

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    I think it may be deceiving to say ceiling the way the speaker I am looking at works. If it performs as Kef says it does, because of my low ceiling height it should be at just above screen height. I am thinking that it will be very similar to having it mount above the screen. After the walls are up I will have about 6-8" above the screen and the Kef rotates down 6.5". What do you guys think? Am I dreaming?

    Thanks,

    Chris
     
  5. Lito

    Lito Agent

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    how 'bout the thiel power points??
    they're flush mountable to the ceiling and appear to be aimable.
    www.thielaudio.com
     

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