Pros and cons of 2 pairs of (4 total) front speakers? - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-25-2015, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Pros and cons of 2 pairs of (4 total) front speakers?

First post!

I'm auditioning a pair of little KEF T101 speakers to replace a pair of Klipsch SF-1 towers.

This is purely for aesthetics and space-saving. The KEFs are so small and thin that they will mount on a wall next to my flat TV and be completely out of the way. No only will the room look less cluttered but the little KEFs look very smart on the wall.

If I had never heard the Klipsch towers in my room, I'd be completely satisfied with the little KEFs (A criticism by reviewers is that the little guys lack bass. But I have a 12-inch active subwoofer and so there's plenty of bass to be had. And the system will be mostly used for movies.)

Unfortunately, I have had the Klipsch towers for a little while and I must say, there is a noticeable difference in performance. The towers are more "punchy" and to my [non-sophisticated] ears, are more "musical" too. I guess there's no way around a much bigger box being able to deliver better sound (all else being equal).

My questions:

1) Will putting another pair of the little KEFs in front help at all? I actually have 4 of them. The other 2 are meant for the rear surrounds. But since I have them, I can put them next to (or maybe above/below) the 1st pair and run them off the "B" output of the amp (and use something else for the surrounds).

2) How will have 2x Left and 2x Right speakers affect the "musicality"? Or the imaging?

I have some banana plugs and speaker wire arriving in a few days and then I can then test this 4 speaker setup out.

But in the meantime, I'm curious what you more experienced guys have to say.

I've attached some pictures of the 2 systems (found on the Internet) just so people can see the size discrepancy.
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post #2 of 11 Old Yesterday, 05:58 AM
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I have never tried setting up 4 front speakers. But logic says setting up 4 inferior speakers in place of 2 superior speakers won't make you happy. I'd go back to towers if you're not happy with your new speakers. Or get better bookshelf speakers.
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post #3 of 11 Old Yesterday, 06:37 AM
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I agree with Bill...two more speakers may play louder, but won't improve the sound quality. And my guess is that you are also missing the dynamic sound of the Klipsch compression driver...some love them, some dont't!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, Outlaw LFM1 Plus sub, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #4 of 11 Old Yesterday, 06:37 AM
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There are no pros. The major cons are impedance and phase cancellation problems.
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post #5 of 11 Old Yesterday, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avion View Post
Will putting another pair of the little KEFs in front help at all? I actually have 4 of them. The other 2 are meant for the rear surrounds. But since I have them, I can put them next to (or maybe above/below) the 1st pair and run them off the "B" output of the amp (and use something else for the surrounds).
Possibly. None of the pictures I've seen of them are without the grille, so the tweeter position is unknown. If it is close to the top of the speaker then you could put the second speaker above the first, placed upside down, creating a M-T-T-M array. That would sound considerably better than just one. That's the only configuration that would work well, any other would create phase issues. Do not wire the second pair to the B output, wire the second speaker parallel to the first. Your AVR must be 4 ohm capable.
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post #6 of 11 Old Yesterday, 12:44 PM
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Here are the Specs on the KEF T101 -

http://kef.com/html/us/showroom/home...101/index.html

Frequency response is 80Hz - 30kHz.

Impedance is a nominal 8 ohms.

Bass drivers are 115mm or 4.5".

1.) Will putting another pair of the little KEFs in front help at all?

What do you mean when you say "another pair"? Do you mean the KIipsch and the Kef, or do you mean TWO Kef?

The key to making FOUR Front speakers work together is for them to be as close together as is physically possible. That is, assuming both pair are at the front of the room.

From my understanding, with TWO pair of front speakers, because of the distance between the speakers, there is the potential for comb filtering and lobing. However, I have FOUR Front speakers. But the gain I get in output and impact more than offsets what I lose in the combination. That's the nature of audio, a series of trade offs, and making sure what you gain in one area is more than what you lose in another area.

2.) Musicality and Imaging?

In my case, I have two pretty large Front speakers in a Stereo system. For music, I only use one pair. Though on rare occasion I use both. For movies, I absolutely use both speakers, the impact for movies is huge. Also the second set have a bit more midrange presence, which is good for movie dialog.

Now, I didn't set this system up intentionally. From buying new equipment, I have old speakers and amps laying around that were worth more to keep than they were to sell. So, I decided if I have them and they work well, I might as well use them.

But again, you will gain in some areas buy using two pair, but you will lose in other areas. The key is being able to place the speaker, actually the speaker drivers, as close together as is possible.

Whether you will get the same benefit that I do, or whether you will find the trade-offs acceptable, I can't say.

Lastly, it will depend on your amp, and how well it will tolerated the additional load. Though with an AV Receiver, you many have spare, as yet, unused amps available. But how they are connected to the amp and the general capacity of the amp will matter.

Steve/bluewizad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
Possibly. None of the pictures I've seen of them are without the grille, so the tweeter position is unknown. If it is close to the top of the speaker then you could put the second speaker above the first, placed upside down, creating a M-T-T-M array. That would sound considerably better than just one. That's the only configuration that would work well, any other would create phase issues. Do not wire the second pair to the B output, wire the second speaker parallel to the first. Your AVR must be 4 ohm capable.
Thanks Bill, that sounds encouraging but my Sony STR-DG910 AVR's manual makes no mention about being 4 ohms capable. It only talks about 8 ohms. I must assume it does not support this configuration.

Will I blow the amp by hooking up 4 KEFs in parallel (4 ohms) to the A output?

What sort of degradation in sound will I get by using the B output?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
1.) Will putting another pair of the little KEFs in front help at all?

What do you mean when you say "another pair"? Do you mean the KIipsch and the Kef, or do you mean TWO Kef?


2.) Musicality and Imaging?

In my case, I have two pretty large Front speakers in a Stereo system. For music, I only use one pair. Though on rare occasion I use both. For movies, I absolutely use both speakers, the impact for movies is huge. Also the second set have a bit more midrange presence, which is good for movie dialog.


Steve/bluewizad
Yes, I meant 4 x KEF T101 speakers up front, 2 each for Left and Right.

From what Bill Fitzmaurice said, I will try them one above another, close to each other as possible, with the top one upside down for an, as he put it, M-T-T-M configuration.
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post #9 of 11 Unread Today, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avion View Post
Thanks Bill, that sounds encouraging but my Sony STR-DG910 AVR's manual makes no mention about being 4 ohms capable. It only talks about 8 ohms. I must assume it does not support this configuration.
Will I blow the amp by hooking up 4 KEFs in parallel (4 ohms) to the A output?
What sort of degradation in sound will I get by using the B output?
Typically the B output is connected to the same power amp as the A output, so there's nothing to be gained.
Sony typically will only work well with 6 ohm or higher loads. It may work OK with 4 ohm, especially if you don't push it hard. The worst that can happen is that the protection circuitry will temporarily turn it off. Since running two cabs in parallel will result in 6dB of voltage sensitivity you may find it doesn't cause a problem. If it does wire them series. The voltage sensitivity will be the same, so there won't be any apparent loss of volume, while the doubled displacement could allow higher maximum output.
If you're only using it 5.1 and it has passive bi-amp capability you can use that option to provide each speaker with its own power amp. It may work better.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avion View Post
Yes, I meant 4 x KEF T101 speakers up front, 2 each for Left and Right.

From what Bill Fitzmaurice said, I will try them one above another, close to each other as possible, with the top one upside down for an, as he put it, M-T-T-M configuration.
Though you seem to have already got it, definitely place the tweeters as close together as you can.

The problem frequencies are going to have the same wavelength as the distance between the drivers.

Placed vertically, there will probably be lobing, or the dropping out of frequencies off the center line, BUT those lobes will be toward the ceiling and toward the floor, so they really shouldn't be a problem.

You have everything already, so best to simply try it out and find the configuration you like best.

Keep us posted about the results. Always valuable information for the forums.

Steve/bluewizard
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post
There are no pros. The major cons are impedance and phase cancellation problems.
There definitely are Pros, but you are right about the impedance and phase cancellation.

But as I said in my original post, every choice in audio is a trade-off. What are you willing to give up to get other things that you want. If find the benefit of 4 large speakers in front far outweighs the cons. The impact and presence are tremendous. But, equally I acknowledge that I do lose something for that gain.

Only the individual can determine if the trade-offs are worthwhile to him (or her).

Steve/bluewizard
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