Relative importance of various speakers in a 7.1 setup

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

  1. Vietor

    Vietor Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 13, 2001
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    Ok, The question is this, in a 7.1 setup, that is going to be used for a mix of movies and music, what is the importance of various speakers? Let me illustrate.
    Keep in mind that all qualitative terms used, such as 'good' and 'mediocre' refer ONLY to the given speaker relative to the other speakers. These terms are not ment to be taken in an absolute sense.
    Get awsome mains, and a matching center, and then 4 equal midiocre sides and surrounds?
    Good mains and matching center, pretty good sides, and ok surrounds?
    What should the relative distrobution of funds be?
    I ask only to fuel my pipe dreams of one day owning an awsome system, and to think about my upgrade path. This question really ahs no relevence to me for atleast another 8 months or so.
    Dream with me people, do I keep the 4 Titans I ahve and plan on upgradding to awsome mains in a few years? Or do I upgrade one set of Titans, + the CC-170 to something from the monitor line, and thus take advantage of Paradigms upgrade path, and in the end have better sides, at the cost of my eventual mains? Or do I stick with the Titans, and then use them as sides/surrounds, and get a better pair of mains + center?
    My dream ship is stuck in a fog bank, help me out people.
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Jun 24, 1999
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    I have 4 Titans and a 170 right now. I am actually quite pleased with them. To hear a real difference, I think you need to step up to the Studio line. I did an in home, side by side demo of some Mini-monitors with my Titans, and it wasn't as big of a difference as I expected it to be. I do like the Minis a lot, and I will probably still trade in a pair of the Titans for a pair of Minis. The Minis are simply much more accurate and clean, in particular at very high listening levels. I liked them better for music, but for HT, they sounded basically identical (set to small).
    The good news is, the Minis blend perfectly with the 170 and Titans (which means the Atoms will work as well). When I move to the Minis, I am considering picking up a CC370 instead, but with them both set to small, I'm not sure there will be that much difference.
    I would say that if you were going to spend less on anything, it would be the surrounds. I would match all 4 surrounds, but they are not as critical as the mains. The issue with Paradigm is, that side surrounds should be bipole/dipole, and Paradigm's bipole surrounds are much more expensive than their respective monopole counterparts.
    I plan on just having a single center for the rear because my receiver has a powered 6th channel. Eventually I may move to 7.1, but I would probably need a very good reason to do it.
    All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism,
    to live beyond it's income.
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  3. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

    May 10, 2001
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    In decreasing order of importance:
    1. left and right - while you can still tell it's your mother on a speaker phone and how she's doing, music looses its emotional content when it comes from bad speakers. I'd argue the same for film, because the score is still mostly coming from the left and right.
    2. sub - if you're going to high-pass the mains, you need the sub woofer to be tight and articulate. A decent sub also gives you the ability to use good but less expensive (IOW, with less bass extension. monitors in place of floor standing, 2 way in place of 3-way, etc) mains and still be happy with music.
    3. center - it's anoying when voices go from natural to artificial when you toggle between 2-channel and surround. Regardless, it needs to match the mains.
    4. side surrounds (most notably w.r.t. bass extension) - bass everywhere leads to a more immersive experience, especially with Lexicon bass enhance.
    5. rear surrounds.
  4. Bob_A

    Bob_A Supporting Actor

    Jul 30, 2000
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    I generally recommend getting the "best" mains that you can afford. Then for a HT setup, try to add the matching center and rear surrounds. Somewhere down the line you will definitely want a quality external sub.
    Most users here tend to upgrade their systems in the long run I say take some time finding a nice set of mains, and go from there.

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