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Upgrading from 5.1 to 7.1 speaker config - please advise

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by George Kouzev, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. George Kouzev

    George Kouzev Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 30, 1997
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    I have upgraded from 5.1 to 7.1 system recently and now I have hard time choosing the right speakers for surrounds and rears. Here are the facts:

    * my room is 12x29 feet, with the mains on the short side, and the listening position is close to the middle of the room. Therefore, the surrounds on the side walls would be 6-7' from the listening
    position while the rears on the back wall would be at double that distance, about 13 feet.

    * my Anthem processor allows me to configure and use the rear speakers for 5.1 channel music (instead of the surrounds)

    * I do care about both, music and movies performance

    * For movies, I will be using THX/THX Ultra 2 processing most of the time, i.e.
    will get the benefits of Timbre Matching, Adaptive De-correlation and Advanced
    Speaker Array features which would help in reproducing the original theatrical
    experience with multiple surrounds. I am saying that since it may influence the type of surround
    speakers I should use.

    My question is about the type of surround speakers I need. My mains and center are Mirages (M5 towers and MC-si), so if possible, I would stick with the same brand, but Mirage offers direct/omni-polls and bi-polls surrounds, not di-poles.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Should I use direct radiating rear speakers and use them as the back speaker
    for music, given the shape of the room I have

    2. Should I use dipols, bipolls or direct, given the shape again, and the fact I
    will be using TXH processing. Should I consider using the surrounds for music,
    instead of the rears? Would that pose a contradicting requirements for the

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

  2. Jon_Liu

    Jon_Liu Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 26, 2002
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    It's all about personal preferences and it's just one of those things that you will never know for sure until you try it out, but here's my 2 cents...

    I personally like dipoles. I have 4 dipole speakers for my surrounds left/right and surr. back left/right. I think it gives a better sense of fluid-ness when it comes to panning effects. It still gives a good sense of directionality when called upon as well.

    I went from a 6.1 set up to a 7.1 set up recently, and while I can't say that the jump was a big leap, I can say I truly appreciate the differences. The directionality of 6.1 was good, yet the smooth pan effect was lacking a bit (still was better than my original 5.1 surround pan)

    Some of the difference may have been from the THX Select Post Processing from my receiver. A lot of people will disregard the THX certification, though. I, personally, like what it does for my system. I like the idea of taking the inherent brightness out of movies. It makes it easier to listen at higher volumes without ear-splitting high frequencies.

    As of right now, for music purposes I am using All Channel Stereo which seems to work really well with the 7.1 set up. Chances are most people like to use the standard 2 channel stereo set up for music.

    Anyway, I hope this helps a little!

    good luck!

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