The 'Definative' Question on Bipolar vs Wide-Dispersion?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul Fa, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    If you believe Definative's marketing collaterals 'Bipolar Powered Towers' are the only way to go. I know that this company has won many awards for their speakers and they appear to be made with very fine engineering and components indeed. I also think using towers with w/ large powered low-ranging (sub)woofers built in and matched/optimized with the cabinet and other drivers is also a plus (w/ or w/o another separate subwoofer). There seems to be a movement towards using bipolar speakers throughout a 5.1 or 7.1 system. Will true two channel music suffer in such a widely dispersed (maybe muddier) soundfield? I really enjoy excellent music reproduction as well as the movie sound effects that 5.1 and 7.1 systems bring to life at home. My listening room is aprox 24'x24' with a high open-beam pine ceiling, thick walls, carpet over a slab, large windows w/ plantation shutters, and two openings into other rooms. I have pretty much narrowed my speaker choices down to possibly three makes: Paradigm Monitor 90P's/Studio 80's, Polk Audio LSi25's, or perhaps the Definative BP2000TL's - all with their matched separates and centers. I had thought of going 7.1 and having the side surrounds be bipoles and the backs foward radiating monos to pair with the mains for music - now I'm wondering if all should be bipoles??? Also, I have heard that the Paradigms w/ their emphasis on the NRC testing are very warm like many of the other 'European' makes. Would the Polks provide a little more brightness? How about the Definatives? I'm concerned because I will be using a Marantz 8200 (8300??) which is known as a warm sounding receiver - I don't want to multiply the warmth factor into muddiness! You all always want details so I hope I gave enough instead of too little! HELP! Please give me your own experience with these speakers and the all/most bipole environment in your own home!!
    PS: I know it's all up to my own ears etc., and will try to demo these setups once I get the Marantz, but I appreciate the vast amount of experience and real-world info on this board.[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    I have had Definitive Technology speakers for over 8 years, and my current setup has BP10 fronts, a CLR1000 center, BP8 sides, and BP1 rears. My room is about 24.5 x 18.5 x 8.5, with paneling on the walls, large windows to the left, a floor to ceiling mirror on the right, and two windows in back. The floor is wood, with a large area rug.

    I have enjoyed my Def Techs,which can play very loud and produce a soundstage that isn't confined to the speakers, with both movies and music. Having said that, as much as I've enjoyed them, of late I've also come to feel that the Def Techs leave something to be desired. My suspicion started after I read a post by Dennis Erskine, a well known custom installer. He explained that bipolar/dipolar speakers were originally intended for 2-channel, and produced a larger sense of space. In a multi-channel setup, however, he explained that dipoles/bipoles are at best redundant since the side and rear channels produce the sense of space. In a properly treated room, the rear waves are absorbed, but aren't missed because the surround speakers and the mix produce the space. In a non-treated room, he explained that the sound bouncing off the walls could lead to bad things. He said that the problems often manifest themselves in a need to chase the volume, turn it up during low passages, then turn it down when things get loud. I realized that I had that problem and started wondering how much detail I was missing.

    Recently I bought a pair of Paradigm Mini-Monitors for my bedroom, but before putting them in place I hooked them up in place of my BP10s. Although I didn't calibrate the fronts, which were a few decibels low compared to the other channels, I did notice more detail and improved dialogue during the short time I used the Paradigms.

    I now plan to add VMPS 626R fronts and an LRC center, which will give me direct radiators up front. I think my BP10s will move to the sides or rear, while the BP1s will move to the bedroom. Once I get the VMPS speakers, which are reported to be incredibly detailed, I'll see whether I really heard what I heard with the Paradigms, or whether it was all a figment of my imagination.

    Bottom line for me is that I think that the Def Techs are fine and have served me well, but I am convinced that the bipolar configuration is a compromise. Can they sound good? Sure. Do you give up something in terms of detail and clarity? I think so. I guess at some point you have to listen for yourself and decide which compromises you are willing to make.
     
  3. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow! Thanks Stacey! Your response is exactly what I've come to really appreciate about this forum - informative, educated personal experience! I have to show my own ignorance and ask about the VPMS? Who are they? Where can I get more info?
    As for the rest of the 35+ people who 'looked' but didn't respond . . . what, no opinion???
    Not what I've come to expect and love from this group! I tried to keep the subject broad and topical enough for lots to comment on - regardless of the specific speaker makers mentioned. Is my question too banal to stir up your interest? I really do want your advise and respect your opinions - good or bad. If I can't get a fairly representative response it does no good. Slam away if you'd like, it's better than silence! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    i auditioned the definitive tech line but found the sound not as precise as the klipsch that i ended up buying.
     
  5. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks RussKon! For all the others: OK, what about non bipolar mains with powered (sub)woofers? Can we at least get a dialog going on that question?
     
  6. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    Glad I could help.
    VMPS is a small speaker company that has been around for 25 years or so. The owner is Brian Cheney, and while he has various lines of speakers, his ribbon monitors are getting quite a bit of attention these days. You can get information at his website here:
    http://www.vmpsaudio.com/
    and at the VMPS forum on Harmonic Discord, here:
    http://www.harmonicdiscord.com/forum...?forum=22&1095
    As for speakers with built-in powered subs, there have been many discussion, debates, and flat out arguments on that topic over the last year or so. Try a search and I'm sure you'll get more than you want to know. My personal opinion based upon those debates, including one thread that listed actual bass measurements for several powered towers, is that you can do better if you don't pay for built in amplification and a sub. You can get better performance and more placement flexibility with a separate sub.
    Happy hunting.
     
  7. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks again Stacey. I'll check out the links you sent! I guess your reply also answers my question as to why I'm getting so few replies to my questions - I'm new and asking 'old' questions. It's just that some newbies ask a question like "How can I get a full $10,000 HTS for $200" or "Why doesn't my Costco branded system sound like the Anthem/Studio Paradigm system I listened to at Beverly Hills A/V?" and they seem to get three pages of replies - not all of which are derogatory!!![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  8. Matt Jesty

    Matt Jesty Second Unit

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    the Paradigms w/ their emphasis on the NRC testing are very warm like many of the other 'European' makes.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++
    I use A Mirage 7.1 system in my main listening area and have enjoyed it for some years now (in a few differant incarnations)...I ,personally , do not think that I could do better than the speaker system I have now in anywhere near the price range (with a couple caviats)...and let me explain why....
    I ,like Ian Paisley, believe that the "etched in space" imaging effect is an artificial construct of recording and playback and not representative of what I heard in years of live concert set-up work (staging and pro-sound)
    I enjoyed the pinpoint imaging that I had previously created in my "treated" room with non-parallel walls in my old 2 channel days, but could only appreciate the soundstage in that one "king seat" and as my hobby has become more inclusive of spouse, children, friends, children's friends,etc., I have my main listening area in my (for lack of a better term) Family Room. In this room the walls are not treated, the speakers are placed in a conformist relationship with the furniture (not the other way around) and my seats are all to some extent "off axis" from the "perfect spot".
    I enjoyed the depth of soundstage that I got from electrostats, but needed more dynamics and bottom end...
    I want a simple way to tame room problems (without tons of gear)
    I want everyone sitting in the room to be able to enjoy the system equally...
    I want the "stage" to stay in place when I do not.
    I want acoustic music to sound as if musicians are in the room....
    Most of my customers also have these common situations as well:
    Speakers need to go where they "fit" into the room....
    Walls are not going to be treated (except by accident)...
    Furniture and seating are not laid out to suit the needs of the audio system.,..
    Feedback destroyers , parametric eq's, and RTA'S will not adorn their stereo cabinets.....
    Many people in the household will be listening to this system from the queen, prince, and princess seats.......
    Mirage took much from the NRC's study as well and what they have done well (along with a few others) is to adress the idea of dispersion differantly than most mnfgrs and in my humble opinion, they are onto something.....
     
  9. Mike Gl

    Mike Gl Stunt Coordinator

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    My home theater system uses a CLR1000 center, BP10 fronts, BP2X side surrounds and Definitive Technology Celsius rears along with two SVS 20-39 CS+ subwoofers. The 7 Definitive Technology speakers are powered by a Rotel RB993 and 2 RB981 amplifiers using an Outlaw Audio 950 preamp/processor.

    The dialog sounded somewhat muddy at times. Moving the CLR1000 center channel from the top of my RPTV to a stand in front and just below the screen helped, but did not eliminate the problem.

    Recently, I purchased 3 pairs of used Bettercables interconnects from another Forum member. I switched out the XLO Twinax interconnects between the Outlaw 950 and Rotel amps powering the center, front and side speakers for the Bettercables. The XLO Twinax won praise in a Home Theater magazine comparison of interconnects a few years ago, so I was skeptical that there would be a noticeable difference. To my surprise the dialog seemed much clearer and more articulate at low volumes (constant DB level measured with my RS meter) and separation of the front and center channels appeared to improve noticeably with the Bettercables interconnects. The urge to replace my Definitive Technology speakers has been greatly diminished by
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  11. Paul Fa

    Paul Fa Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks y'all you're the best! Just what I was hoping for a clear, informative discussion of the issues. Anyone else???
     

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