speakers--mix and match?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by ArnabC, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. ArnabC

    ArnabC Extra

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    hello all. i am a brand new member and this is my first post. i am almost completely a novice when it comes to home theater and i am glad to have found this forum. doubtless i'll have many questions over the years but here's one to start things off:

    how bad an idea is it (if indeed it is a bad idea) to mix and match speakers from different manufacturers in a home-theater setup?

    i ask because i began to put together a midlevel home-theater setup some years ago on the very long-term plan. i was a grad student then and all i could afford were a decent receiver (denon avr3300) and a pair of front speakers (boston vr940s). now that i have a little more money (just a little) and a home in which a home-theater setup won't look completely ridiculous i am almost ready to add the rest of the speakers. my problem? boston acoustics is not carried by any of the electronics retailers in my area.

    my options seem to be to

    a) have them shipped expensively from somewhere else

    b) ditch my current vr940s and start from scratch with a brand new 5.1 package

    or

    c) add speakers from a different manufacturer to the mix.

    thoughts? i am wary of option a. i am hesitant to follow option b since these vr940s are excellent, excellent speakers. this leaves me with option c but i don't know if this is a good idea--i've always thought (perhaps mistakenly) that all the speakers should be of the same brand and series. true? not true? if not, can anyone recommend a more readily available brand that might match the boston vr940s well?

    thanks in advance!

    arnab
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    It’s obviously best to have all the speakers matching, but it’s not the end of the world if that’s not possible. If you go with mis-matched, try to find something as close to your Bostons as possible, with similar drivers and in the same price range.

    Like similar tweeters. If the Bostons have silk-domes, go with that instead of metal domes. Likewise, if they have metal domes, try to find some with the same metal – aluminum, titanium, etc.

    Same with the woofer. Try to stick with something with the same sized woofer (unless it’s really big, of course). I’d also consider sealed vs. ported design, etc. and again go with what the Boston’s are.

    Are your Bostons still in production? If so your best bet would be to use smaller speakers from the same model line, since they typically use the same tweeter and a smaller woofer with similar sonic characteristics. This would be the ideal solution to get matching speakers all around.

    If they’re discontinued, looked to the used market. If you know the model numbers of smaller speakers from the same model line you might be able to get some used ones on eBay for a good price.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. ArnabC

    ArnabC Extra

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    thanks for the reply wayne.

    as far as i can tell from the boston acoustics site the vr940s aren't in production anymore. however, they're not listed on their discontinued products page either so i don't know what that means. i suppose i could email their tech support...

    i guess i'll look around a little more (and wait for more responses here as well) to see if there are reasonably priced boston surround/center speakers that would match well with the vr940s and which i can locate easily here in my part of colorado. (ideally i'd like to spend no more than $500 total for the surrounds and center channel.)
    if not, i'll have to try and figure out the specs of the vr940s so as to be able to match them with other brands/model-lines.

    has anyone here ever mixed and matched boston speakers with another brand? results?
     
  4. Leigh_M

    Leigh_M Stunt Coordinator

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    You can find the VR10, VR12, VR910, and VR920 on ebay quite often. A VR910 sold yesterday for $137. Any of these models would be a great match. Matching the surrounds would be the best, but not as important as the front three. I would consider the CR series as surrounds or a pair of the VRS.
     
  5. Mike_Gr

    Mike_Gr Stunt Coordinator

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    I suggest you try to locate a used center that matches your mains. If you can't find one, get in touch with Boston Acoustics and ask them how their current center channel offerings match your mains.

    If there isn't a dealer in your immediate area, locate the dealer closest to you and give them a call. Ask if they would be willing to sell you a center channel over the phone using a debit or credit card and then ship it to your residence. If that doesn't work, call Boston Acoustics and try to reach somebody high up and explain your situation. Sure doesn't hurt to try.

    As far as surrounds, it is less crucial to match them to your mains and center. This is more so the case if your surrounds are a bipole or quadrapole design. Why? Bipole (and quadrapole) surrounds diffuse sound much more effectively than a direct-radiating speaker, which makes it more difficult to discern any timber matching issues, IMO.

    Take a look at Axiom's QS4 and QS8 surround. They are a quadrapolar design and excellent at diffusing sound. They use a metal tweeter and are regarded as more forward sounding (much like the VR's). I have read posts in the past where the integration of Axiom surrounds as a mix-match ended up being successful. Perhaps you can try a search on this forum.

    Good luck.
     
  6. ArnabC

    ArnabC Extra

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    okay so i'm a moron and didn't realize my default display was set to only the last day's threads...

    i've started another thread (on "recommended receiver power") to continue this conversation and ask a new question. thanks all for already being a lot of help!
     
  7. ArnabC

    ArnabC Extra

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    an update:

    i managed to locate a vr10 on ebay and also a set of cr6s. so i am now set up with 2 vr940s in the front, the vr10 in the center and the cr's as the surrounds. have not yet purchased a subwoofer but am already enjoying the benefits of 5 speakers.

    a question about subwoofers: i'm keeping an eye out for boston subwoofers on ebay but very few seem to show up. brand new boston vr sw's are out of my price range unfortunately. worth it to wait till i can locate a boston vr sub or do people have recommendations for other brands that may match well?

    edit to add quick question: until i get a sub am i better of setting the front speakers to "large" on my receiver config? or should i set them to small? i assume once i get the sub i should set all other speakers to small.
     
  8. MarkWC

    MarkWC Stunt Coordinator

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    Boston has claimed through my own query that any VR Series should mate well with each other meaning same lines from different years should mix well. I have a VR10 with VRM60 & VRMX and the tonal match is really seamless. I would definitely look for a VR12 as this model boosts driver size from 5 1/4 to 6 1/2 which should make a small but noticeable difference. I would also opt for a VR Series rear to complete the package and look direct at HSU or SVS for subs.

    Since Tweeter has dropped the Boston line up there are more than one source other than ebay to find discounted speakers.
    If you go the ebay route just make sure you do your homework on the sellers before buying.

    Good Luck!
     
  9. ArnabC

    ArnabC Extra

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    mark, thanks for the reply. i've actually already purchased the vr10 and the cr6s for the surrounds--and i never buy electronics on ebay from anyone who doesn't have more than 100 positive reviews.

    my current question is re subwoofers.
     
  10. MarkWC

    MarkWC Stunt Coordinator

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    Boston Subs tend to be over priced for the performance you get from them. I originally..well still have a Mirage PS12..until I can afford a PB2+.

    The trend of these subs is no joke, embrace the opportunity to go direct to HSU or SVS and never look back!!
     

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