Using different brand names & spkr. placement

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Neil B, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. Neil B

    Neil B Auditioning

    Dec 7, 2003
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    This is my first post on this site and I must say, I have learnt a great deal. So I would to thank everyone for their info.

    I started off with a cheap HTIB and now I have polk audios, jbl or soon to be at least. I have to admit, home theater is very addictive. I started off with cheap stuff and now I just want more and more quality. I also bought 30 dvd's in 2 months!!. I just can't go back to watching dvd's with tv speakers. Anyway, enough of my rambling and on to the question.

    I'm planning to buy some home theater speakers. They all consist of different brands such as polk,jbl and paradigm. Will I see difference if I use mixed speakers?. Meaning, will it be worse?. I heard you get different tonal characteristics or something.

    Secondly, right now I have my surround setup exactly like it shows on dolby's website. I'm not satisfied with the rear sound though. They are facing each other and are 3 feet up from hearing level, just like dolby says. I'm not getting any rearward surround effect though. You know, the sound thats directly behind you but not beside you.

    A friend of mine has his speakers facing the tv and gets lots of rear effect. He doesn't get much side effect like me though. On dolby's site, it says my setup is optimal placement. So i'm confused here. How should I place it to get the most rear and side effect from the surrounds?.

    Being a newbie, I ask for the veteran's help[​IMG]
  2. Jon_Liu

    Jon_Liu Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 26, 2002
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    Well, I'm some-what considering myself a veteran. I've only been into Home Theater for about 5 years now, but been in it very, very immersed into this world upgrading WAYYYYYYY too often!

    Anyway, Chances are you don't want to be mixing brands. It's a decent task as it is just trying to get matching speakers from the same brand. When talking about different speakers you will come across the word "Timbre-matched" which is the tonal quality/characteristic that you were talking about is matching to each other. Try and stick with one brand to suit your needs, chances are they are going to be timbre-matched pretty well.

    I can recommend Polk Audios myself. I've been a pretty avid polk fan for a while now. I can't say any comparisons between JBL or Paradigm, but I know those are good companies as well! Chances are you'll want to test them side by side in a store or something to see which speaker brand's sound you prefer. Anyway, My current set up is CSi30-center, Pair of R40-Front Left/Right, Pair of Polk FXi30-Surround Left/Right, and another Pair of Polk FXi30-Surround Back left/right. Which brings me onto your next question!

    The way dolby website has it set up IS ideal. The reason it is ideal is because the surrounds were meant to be used a lot for ambient noises which, with the set up of 3 feet higher and directed right toward the other speaker, produces just that! The reason you are not getting directionality from the back is because that wasn't necessarily the purpose of the Surround Left and Right Channels. Most of the sounds coming from them were meant to be coming from around you and not really from behind you!

    Now, if you were to have a 6.1 or even a 7.1 set up, the affects of these extra one or two speakers were meant to do exactly what you were interested in. The sound that is directly behind you! It gives for a more enveloping sound stage as you can probably guess. From combining the side effects that you are getting and rear effect that your friend is getting into one surround stage you get more fluid motion from the surround sound speakers and you also get the directionality of the Surround back speakers being directly behind you!

    Hope this helps, Neil!

    Anymore questions (which I know there will be, because in Home Theater there is never an end to the questioning, wondering, and need for more!) just ask and you will receive an answer!!
  3. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

    Jul 7, 1999
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    Yes, stick within the same speaker brand and within one lineup in that brand for best results. As for your setup, are you sure you have the speakers to your side and a couple of feet back? Meaning, not directly to the left and right of the listener but a foot or two back on the side walls? If so, and you still aren't happy with it you can try alternate placements. While the Dolby diagram shows the "Ideal" position, it only really applies to the "Ideal" room....which most of us don't have. You room shape, size and characterists will determine what setup is best for you. I have a door to the right of my seating position so I couldn't put a speaker there if I wanted too. I have mine mounted to my rear wall and firing forward. It sounds very natural to me. There are a few alternates you can try.

    Here's what I would try if I were you:
    1. keep them where they are and try firing them at an angle off the back wall
    if that isn't better....
    2. Move them to the back wall and aim them forwards
    No Luck?
    3. Move them to the back wall and aim them at an angle to the side walls.
    Not right?
    4. Move them to the back wall and aim them at each other.
    If nothing else...
    5. Make up your own positioning!

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