Rear speaker advice?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Broadman, Aug 31, 2001.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    OK, folks, here's another chance for you experts to shine! Hit me with some friendly advice, please.
    What's the standard practice for getting rear speakers? Are they supposed to be the same as the front? less? Does it make that much of a difference? Is it worth the money?
    I'm using B&W 600 Series 2 speakers for the front and center. I guess they're considered small or mid-size (approx. two or three feet tall. I know, it's not much, but I have a small living room.) I'm also using B&W sub woofer (don't remember the model or anything like that).
    Right now, I have a couple of small, cheap rear speakers. I bought my speakers and receiver in one shot, so I didn't want to spend even more for rear speakers. Now I'm thinking of upgrading.
    Will better rear speakers effect the sound much when watching TV, also?
    Thanks
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The idea is to "voice match" or have the speakers timbre match. Most manufacturers will recommend other speakers in their lineup that will compliment the ones you already have. Sounds like you have the front taken care of. I bought identical mains and rears (4 Paradigm Titans). I recommend identical speakers completely, though that is not always possible space or budget wise. At the very least, get a smaller pair from the same line of B&W with similar drivers and sound characteristics and you should have no problems.
    ------------------
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    [Edited last by John Garcia on August 31, 2001 at 01:28 PM]
     
  3. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Mike, what exact 600S2 speakers do you have?
    If your livingroom is small maybe the 601S2's would work well for you. However, identical speakers all around is optimal. If you do go with small surround speakers just make sure you set them to small. BTW, I use 602S2's for surrounds. [​IMG]
     
  4. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    Unless you plan on listening to a bunch of DVD-A multichannel music, I don't think the rear channels make that much of a difference.
    If someone told me they had 2k to spend on 5 speakers, I would say spend 1600 on the front soundstage and 400 on the back. I think the sub and the front soundstage are the most critical in 99% of dvd's, and 2 channel music.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  6. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Hey hey.
    John Garcia,
    No, getting the same exact speakers aren't really a good idea given my room setup. But I will lean towards getting the same brand.
    Frank_S,
    My fronts are just plain 600, not 601 or 602.
    If you use 602 for surround, what do you use for front? (I bet it's something awesome that will make me green with envy [​IMG])
    Mickey,
    Hmm, no, I don't plan on getting into the DVD-A thing anytime soon. I listen to music at work and in the car, so I'd like to keep my music media in the same format so I can use it everywhere. Besides, I listen to weird stuff that will only get put onto DVD-A if it replaces CDs as the primary music recording medium.
    I also like to listen to music with just the 2 channels. I'll very rarely turn on the sub. Tool sounds good with the sub on.
    Taking into account everything you guys told me so far, it looks like smaller B&W speakers might be the best course of action.
     
  7. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Mmmmmmm Tool. [​IMG] [​IMG] I like the new album. I don't know if Tool really fits into a category, but I love their sound.
    [Edited last by John Garcia on August 31, 2001 at 05:54 PM]
     
  8. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "My fronts are just plain 600, not 601 or 602."
    Mike, are you sure? I didn't know that these existed. Maybe they are an older model? I know this is the second series (now availiable from B&W) in the 600s, but they don't include the 600 per se...there is the 601s, 02s, 03s, 04s, and 05s...The last three are floor standers.
    What is cool about the 600 series is that they use the same mid and tweet drivers as the Nautilus line. They can be mixed and matched a bit.
    I started with 602s in the front, bought an LCR6 (center in this series), and then a pair of 604s for the front (moved the 602s to the rear). I recently traded in my 604s for a pair of Nautilus 804s (front). I was in a hurry to upgrade my center, but not any longer. The front sound stage is well matched with the LCR and the Naughties. The 600 series is VERY easy to timbre match....even the DS6 dipole speaker sounds fantastic in the rear.
    I would find out for sure what model # you have. If it is an older model....the drivers will not match the series 2 speakers. This may change things up a bit for you, but you could still move the old ones to the rear and set up a new front sound-stage.
    Jeremy
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Mike: Ideally, the rears would match the fronts.
    But lets face it: for movies, critical sounds dont come out of the rears. It's kind of a waste of money to have music-quality speakers in the rears.
    Try this: take a favorite/typical movie of yours. Disconnect your front 3 speakers, leave the TV off and start the movie. Sit down with the newspaper and just listen to how much sound really comes out the rears. (Make sure you turn off any DSP modes on your receiver). I think you will find that the rear speakers are not used very much. Think about that when budgeting for new rear speakers.
    If you get new rears, make sure you find a model sold in singles so you can add a rear-center later for Dolby EX.
    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Yeah, after typing up that bit about my "plain" 600 series speakers, I felt something was wrong. I just had a chance to go back and look at my speakers more carefully.
    My main speakers are the 601. My center is CC6.
    My speakers seem to be the lowest model in the series. So, in order to upgrade my rear speakers properly, it looks like I would have to move my main to the back and get better ones for the front, which seems like more money then I had hoped to spend.
    My rears are the weakest link in my modest setup. But, I only watch DVDs once or twice a month and I can't imagine it would make a very dramatic difference when watching TV since TV is Dolby Surround without dedicated channels for the back. It also won't effect music.
    I must say that I'm also quite happy with the B&W. The main reason to get all this stuff was for music, which is my true passion. I went into the stores with a Charles Mingus CD and found these to have the most "soul" in my price range (not the most scientific method, I know, but there it is).
    Dolby EX? What is that?
     
  11. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    Mike, a pair of 602S2's are only $150(US)more than 601S2's.
    I would move the 601's to the rear and put 602's as your mains. I had 601's originally for surrounds a long time ago and just for fun tried them as mains to break them in. The 602'w are much better and you will notice a difference in bass response with them up front. The 601's are small, so they are easy to place as surrounds.
    I am actually in the process of upgrading my speakers but for now my setup is: CDM7SE(mains)CDMCSE(center)601S2(surr)
    Rel Storm III(2-channel sub)SVS20-39PC(LFEsub)B&WAS6(surr. sub) I'm probably going to buy Nautilus 804's with HTM-1 and move my CDM7's to the rear but Aerial has also been looked at. Anyway Mike, since you enjoy 2-channel music I think the 602's would give you the most bang for buck if you want to stay with B&W.
    Finally, if you want to find out more about EX, check out Dolby's website. It offers many tips and explains speaker placement, EX, all that good stuff. Good luck! [​IMG]
    www.dolby.com
     
  12. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I just spent a few minutes looking around my living room and got very frustrated.
    First of all, I'm renting the second floor of a house, so I can't to much "damage."
    I'm living in an old house, where the walls are practically made out of cardboard. I can't even put a screw in the wall; it gets swallowed up like quicksand.
    Currently my rear speakers are sitting on a CD rack. They are very small, so it's not a problem. If, however, I do put my 601s in the rear, I'll have to set them up differently.
    Getting speaker stands is an option. The problem is that there is the entrance/exit to my apartment on the left side rear. Next to that is the entrance to another room. So, I can't put a speaker stand anywhere in the living room to my left rear. Also, my living room is small (relatively, for home theater at least) and speaker stands would add clutter.
    One possibility is to put them directly behind my couch. But then the speakers would be too close to my ears. I guess I could adjust the receiver settings to make them quieter. What do y'all think?
    Anyway, sorry to ramble.
     

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