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Rear Channel Speakers - Dipole or Direct?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jonathan_M, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. Jonathan_M

    Jonathan_M Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm getting ready to add a pair of rear channel speakers to my system to move to a 7.1 configuration. Currently, I have Polk RT55i's for my mains, a CS400i for my center, f/x500i's for my side surrounds (dipoles) and a Velodyne VA-1250X sub.
    My room is rectangular, 11 X 25 with the TV and mains along the short wall. The rear speakers will be going on the back wall and not mounted on stands.
    For those of you who have tried using direct and dipole speakers as your rears, what did you end up going with and why?
    Thanks for your inputs!!!
    ------------------
    "We're hosed. We lost the remote."
     
  2. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    I'm using two direct speakers, but I haven't tried both. However, I can tell you that both Dolby Labs and THX have said that either a single dipole or two direct speakers are both acceptable. Since these two standards allow for either configuration, I chose two direct speakers because this allows me to use the rear directs for multi-channel audio, which is the preferred configuration.
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    http://www.bus.ucf.edu/cwhite/theater/theater.htm
     
  3. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Jonathan: I am using two dipole/bipole rear center surrounds only because they sounded better to me, in my room, than a single dipole or a pair of direct radiating speakers. If you have the opportunity, try both out in your HT and see which sounds best to YOU. If you can't do that, make sure you buy from a store with a good return/exchange policy so you can swap it out if you don't like what you initially buy.
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    Take Care,
    merc
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    God Bless America!!!
     
  4. EricTaylor

    EricTaylor Agent

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    Jonathan,
    I just upgraded to 7.1 about a month ago. I, too was using the FX500s as my surrounds. After researching, I found that many places recommend direct radiating surrounds for discrete effects and dipoles in the rear for a seamless soundfield.
    Anyway the RT55s were on special at Crutchfield for about the same price that I could get them on ebay, so I snapped up a pair.
    I am verrry happy with the outcome. [​IMG] I can't say enough positive things about 7.1.
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    Eric,
    "Do not try and end your upgrading. That's impossible. Instead,only try and realise the truth."
    " What truth?"
    "There is no end to upgrading"
     
  5. Jonathan_M

    Jonathan_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,
    Thanks for your input. I too am interested in multi-channel audio for stereo sources as well and just realized if I went with the dipole all around, I'd have to switch each individual surround over from dipole to bipole (the Polk f/x500i's have a mode switch on them) which might be an inconvenience.
    When listening to a dts audio track like the dts release of the Police's greatest hits, the audio has a bad echo with the surrounds set to their normal, dipole setting. Switching to bipole straightens it all out.
    On another note, nice pics of your HT and residence on your homepage. What is that awning over your pool? Is it screen or is it glass? (Or is it open and I'm just blind...)
    -Jonathan
     
  6. Jonathan_M

    Jonathan_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Eric,
    Excellent info! So, if I understand you correctly your f/x500's are your rear left and rear right and your new RT55's are your left and right side surrounds?
    -Jonathan
     
  7. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    My best results seem to come from dipole at the sides and directs at the rear.
     
  8. Chris White

    Chris White Second Unit

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    What is that awning over your pool?
    Thanks for the kind words Jonathan. The pool is completely enclosed in with screens. They build the frame you see and then attach screens. These screen enclosures are very common in my area because the only way you can enjoy the pool is to keep out the state bird (which is the mosquito).
     
  9. EricTaylor

    EricTaylor Agent

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    Jonathan,
    That's correct. I have the FX500s as the rear channels & the RT55s as the surrounds. I read somewhere that this allows for better imaging of discrete sounds from the surrounds and more of a seamless soundfield in the rear.
     
  10. Jonathan_M

    Jonathan_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the info guys. I believe that I'll probably wind up keeping my setup as-is and add a set of direct radiators in the rear (another pair of Polk RT55i's). I have a suspicion that using directs as side surrounds would make the sound coming from them *too* directional instead of diffused.
    We'll see how it goes.
     
  11. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    I use a wide dispersion (in-phase/omnipolar) at the sides and direct radiating (voice matched bookshelves ) on the rear wall and use a receiver that allows me to do 5.1 with either or /both (7.1- o.k.,o.k. 6.1 out of 2 rear speakers)
    and I really like the possibilties !!!!
     
  12. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I like dipoles as rears for a more realistic surround ambience when it comes to movies and I like the suggestion someone else made of using the dipoles as side surrounds in a 7.1 system and using directs in the back. That makes a lot of sense inthat situation.
     
  13. Craig Beierlein

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    For those of you that have directs in the rear are they positioned in the corners angled into the listening area, or are they firing forward ?
     
  14. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    forward, no toe-in
     
  15. Richard_M

    Richard_M Second Unit

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  16. Jonathan_M

    Jonathan_M Stunt Coordinator

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