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Timbre Matching

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by wilborn f, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. wilborn f

    wilborn f Agent

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    Hi, im still a newbie in the HT hobby, can you help me with my concern? Is it possible to achieve timbre/tonal matching or compatibility using different brands of speakers?

    Do certain speakers have a "signature" tonal quality that would make it compatible with certain brands? Do speakers, let say from U.S. have a distinct tonal quality that would make it easier to match with compatriot speakers? Pls enlighten me on this.

    Thanks
     
  2. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Timbre matching is tough even with the same brand of speakers due to production variances and differing positions in the room(center is sometimes higher than the mains, for example).

    Obviously, using different brands makes it tougher, but it's not something I would lose sleep over if the speakers are of equal quality.

    Sure, different brands have different sonic signatures due to varying designs and materials, but it's not a geographical thing.

    DJ
     
  3. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    If it's good enough for the DD/DTS-5.1/6.1 Mixing Engineer, ... it's good enough for me!!!

    Key words in the above Dolby spec., ...

    1) Identical

    2) Same product line.

    The common denominator with the MFG. designated 'timbre-(voice)-matched' speakers is, ... they all have the same Identical Dome Tweeter.

    Phil
     
  4. Nathan W.

    Nathan W. Stunt Coordinator

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    The tonal difference of my HT speakers never bothers me. Mains are Def Tech, both centers are Bohlender Graebener, and surrounds are BIC America.

    You'll be fine as long as the speakers are of decent quality - read: no Bose cubes.
     
  5. Nathan Bjork

    Nathan Bjork Stunt Coordinator

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    If anything try to get the same sized tweeter. If you came, mabey even the same meterial the tweeter is made with (titainium, aluminum, etc).

    -Nate
     
  6. wilborn f

    wilborn f Agent

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    Thanks for your comments. What was recommended to me was something similar to that raised by Nate. Im currently using a Jamo E650 for my fronts (with inverted tweeter) and they are recommending a JM Lab CC700 center speaker with an identical tweeter construction. Is there any rule of thumb which may be unconventional apart from tweeter construction that can be followed as far as timbre matching is concern?

    Thanks again for your inputs


    wilborn
     
  7. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Let put it this way, ... if HT is your priority, ... once you've experienced at the very least REFERENCED Calibrated Identical Speaker anchoring your Front, Side and Rear Center Surrounds (w/timbre-matched Center) in place of your present mix and matched speakers, ... you'll never mix your speakers types again!!! You'll finally hear the seamless 360-degree effects or any Mixing Engineer designed angles that they painstakingly spent months creating for the movie project on-screen action and events.

    If the Mixing Studios use Identical Speakers around them to encode your DVD's with, ... then it makes sense to me to reproduce the same sonic environment to playback that blockbuster DD/DTS-5.1/6.1 DVD Movie!

    Watching "Master & Commander" last night @ -10 dB below REF Level with my JBL / SVS setup put me right in the middle of the beginning ambush battle! I Forced-ON the DTS Matrix-6.1 Mode and the first volley that sprayed the top deck of Capt. Aubrey's ship filled my HT room with seamless effects moving from the multiple front locations to the rear behind me.

    Following Dolby Labs 5.1-Channel Production Guidelines recommendation by using identical direct mono-poles all-around (w/timbre-matched Center) & located / positioned in my 20'x 30' HT/family room like the Dolby Lab's Mixing Studio recommendation, ... I can visually hear with no tonal differences the multiple seamless sounds travel from speaker to speakers, ... i.e. the flying shrapnel and debris moving front to back, around & above me to the rear center locations at all multiple locations between the Left Side Surround, Rear Center & Right Side Surround locations. My first reaction was to duck with the on-screen crew!!! [​IMG] Man, that put me right in the middle of all the action and, ... it was Most Glorious [​IMG] - to quote a well-known Klingon! Oh yeah, another great DD/DTS-5.1 blockbuster that sound super with Forced-ON Matrix 6.1!!!!

    As a musician, I'm a little more critical with my HT / Music sonic experience and wanted the best possible Cinema Theater Sound & Dynamics I could produce in my HT/family room, so for me, ... following Dolby Labs 5.1/6.1 Mixing Studio speaker specification by using at the very least, Identical Speakers around me w/timbre-matching Center, ... was the HT experience ticket.

    Phil
     
  8. Bill Blank

    Bill Blank Stunt Coordinator

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    While it's possible to come close by mixing brands it's not recommended. By staying consistent with the brand, and even further with the series and version, you're ensuring the best possible result. While 3 identical speakers up front are ideal it's not feasible in 99% of actual home theaters. Quality speaker manufacturers purposely design their center channels with this reality in mind.

    I look for a center channel with identical drivers in size and shape to that of my front L&R. That is why I chose the smaller Paradigm Reference Studio CC-470 v3 over the CC-570 to match my Studio 100 v3. The bigger 570 uses an identical tweeter but it's midrange unit is half the size of the units in the 100's.

    Bill
     
  9. Nathan W.

    Nathan W. Stunt Coordinator

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    No way am I recommending anyone else to mix brands and designs. I'm just pointing out that it doesn't bother me my brands are all mixed up. Mine are mixed up because I bought them here and there - online and in stores. Several years ago Ubid had alot of great bargains on some good speakers (my Bohlenders came from there), but not so anymore.[​IMG]
     
  10. wilborn f

    wilborn f Agent

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    Thanks to all of your learned opinions and those were greatly appreciated. However this exchange of opinions led me to another problem and that that is how to get the much reverred SVS subwoofer which i assume is part of most of the members' HT set-up here.

    Again thanks for all of your priceless opinions.


    wilborn
     
  11. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    So should I grap one of the $149 Polk RTi70's from CC to replace my center? I currently have two to choose from to go with my RTi70's, JBL S Center II & Polk CSi20. I was going to get CSi40, if I can find one but if RTi70 would be the ideal choice I'd rather get one of those as they would also be cheaper to get than CSi40. Or actually get 3 and replace the surrounds as well (currently Infinity RS5).
     
  12. DorianBryant

    DorianBryant Screenwriter

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    Sami,

    I am looking for the S Center. Let me know if you decide to get rid of it. Thanks, Dorian
     
  13. Maurice Shapiro

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    Greetings to all.

    Not everyone has a discriminating ear. I once had this attribute and was able to discern minor differences in tonal quality and frequency response; not now.

    Now, my ability to hear the range of sound I once was able to hear has greatly diminished. Nevertheless, I still want to “taste” as much of the audio spectrum as I can. I have found that the best way for me to do so is by matching as close as possible the timbre and capabilities of my speakers.

    The way I found to do this was to purchase all of my speakers within the mantle of a single manufacturer series. I recognize that my criterion is subjective. I say this because it is not based on instrument measurements or upon price-value. It is based solely upon what pleases my ears.

    I chose M&K as my brand of speakers because I find the tonal quality and mastery of frequency of their speakers to be bright, not shrill at mid to high frequencies and always rich quality at low registers regardless of db level settings. To put it another way, I find the sound of M&K speakers to be like a French horn as opposed to a slide trombone.

    I bought the 55 series speakers for a 14’ X14’ size room and the 150 series speakers for a 30’ X 36’ size room. Each series of speakers fill their respective rooms with rich and reverberating tonal qualities regardless of frequency or db level settings.

    I believe that high quality speakers should be consistent from speaker to speaker. Mine are. The subwoofers produce deep-mellow sounds. The center speaker presents full and bright (not brittle) tones. Both the front and surround speakers reproduce crisply and with mellow resonance. I do not find dullness at low range or sibilance at high range of sound at any db settings.

    IMO, matching the timbre of the center and front speakers is the single most important factor influencing the overall quality of a home theater audio system. It is also my opinion that the best way to achieve this is by buying different position speakers within the same manufactured series.
     
  14. MuneebM

    MuneebM Supporting Actor

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    I agree entirely with Phil. I also watched Master & Commander 2 nights ago at -8 dB below reference level and the experience was truly amazing. I felt completely immersed in the action and the pan from front soundstage to surround soundstage was entirely seamless.

    When I was upgrading to JBL Studio Series speakers I was having lots of difficulty finding matching surrounds and center speaker as they're discontinued. I was considering purchasing a different line of JBL speakers instead, but Phil advised me against it. I am so glad that I took his advice and persisted until I found all matching JBL Studio Series speakers. The results are incredibly satisfying [​IMG]
     

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