SURROUND SPEAKERS - Bipole, Dipole, Quadpole, Omnipole... WHICH ONE? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: There are many surround speakers out there now, but the ones below would have to get my highest reco
Mirage OMD5 (or any other Mirage Omnipole) 26 21.31%
JBL P520WS / Infinity ES-250 / Infinity Classia C255ES (Dual-monopole for 4 channels from 2 speakers, but also Bipole & Dipole switchable) 8 6.56%
Axiom QS8 or QS4 (Unique Quadpole design) 34 27.87%
Paradigm ADP (Many models available with this design, where the tweeters run Dipole, but the woofers are Bipole) 20 16.39%
Monitor Audio BXFX or RXFX (Single woofer, but the tweeters can switch to either Dipole or Bipole) 14 11.48%
Monitor Audio GXFX (6 drivers, including a ribbon. (Monopole / Dipole switchable) 14 11.48%
KEF 26/2DS (Dipole only, alas... but with two 6.5 inch side woofers and a front-firing 8 inch!!! ) 7 5.74%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 122. You may not vote on this poll

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post #181 of 791 Old 11-26-2009, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Not as important. Even in this day and age of surround sound, the front soundstage remains critical. That's where your attention should be focused, whether watching movies or listening to music.

By comparison, the surrounds are less important. Save for the occasional direction effect, they're still used primarily for ambience. As such, tonal match between the front speakers and the surrounds is not as critical as between the various front speakers.

Of course if you can use the same speaker model at all locations, nothing like it. But that's impractical for most people. It's too bad JTR doesn't make an in-wall version of the Slant 8, using just their coaxial driver (frequencies below 100Hz from the surround channels can be rerouted to the subwoofer).

Happy Thanksgiving Louis.

Do you consider the Height speakers more as surrounds or as part of the front stage? I recognize they are placed in the front stage but I've been under the impression they are used more like surrounds, i.e., adding
ambiance.
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post #182 of 791 Old 11-27-2009, 12:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

Do you consider the Height speakers more as surrounds or as part of the front stage?

They're up front, where our hearing is most acute and discerning. But current processing sends subtle and general ambience to them. I'd go for a better timbre match than the surrounds, but no need to be identical to the L/C/R speakers. Slant 8s sound like good candidates.

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post #183 of 791 Old 01-30-2010, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

I am putting together an 11.1 system with the following components and I could use some assistance. I have zero real world experience with anything other than a stereo setup so I'm stepping into this big time. What I'd like to prevent is stepping into it'.

Here is my purchase list so far:
AVR - Denon AVR-4810CI - 11.1 (internal amps will be used for surrounds and other zones.
Outboard amp to drive the fronts and Wides - Wyred or Emotiva
LCR Speakers - JTR Quint8
Wides - JTR Slant 8
Sub - Danley DTS10

All that remains to make this complete are the surrounds. Please see the attached drawing for placement in the room.

I've read the various discussions arguing dipole / bipole / mopole / multipole, etc. Regardless of the theoretical merits on monopole, most seem to conclude that di / bipole is preferred by most people. But, the biggest qualifier is the room. As you can see from my room drawing, I have a pretty good distance between all the speakers and the nearest listening position is just under 7 ft for the surrounds (the left seat on the couch will measure about 6.5 ft to the right surround. The room is live'.

With the exception of the wides, all the surrounds and height speakers will be flush mounted into the mansard which faces down at 45 degrees and the speaker centers will be at approximately a 9' elevation.

I do want all position on the couch and to some extent the recliner to be in the sweat spot. I certainly wouldn't be happy if it was just the lonely man' seat in the middle. Well, I might be but no one else would be. ;-) I'm not too concerned about the table behind the coach.

So, with this setup I think I could go all monopoles but I'm ready to be convinced otherwise.

Let me know what you think and thanks for all your help. I'm very close to completing this setup and looking forward to getting it put together in the weeks to come.

Louis

I'm getting ready to cut holes in the mansard portion of my ceiling for the surrounds, rears, and heights. They will be located as per the attached drawing (the sides will be more inline with the seating - 90 degrees).



I've included a picture of the room so you can get a better idea visually of what I'm describing.



I'm using JTR custom S8s (no slant) that will be flush mounted. These are ported direct radiators. After reading this thread I believe they will be okay for this space because the surrounds will be 6' above the listening position and 7.5' from the closest listening position. My fronts are also JTRs. Subs will be dual Danley DTS10s.

I need to decide on the angle for the surrounds. If I install them flat in the 45 degree mansard, they will be pointing directly at the nearest LP. Seems to me that this would not be good. Conventional practice suggests that I angle these up so that they point across the room over the listeners heads. But going back to Rudman's post # 47 in this thread he states:

"Positioning side (not rear) monopoles firing over the head of listeners were considered inferior."

to ...

"aiming the speakers down to the floor 3 feet to the side of the listener was preferred."

Has anyone else experienced this? This is a very different approach from firing over the heads and intuitively seems wrong. It also seems wrong in terms of trying to minimize propagation loss.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Louis
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post #184 of 791 Old 01-31-2010, 05:45 AM
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Anyone?
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post #185 of 791 Old 01-31-2010, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

Anyone?

Hi Mathelo.

Just confirming, you're using this for all 4 surrounds, but with the non-slanted design, yes?

Hate to say it - but in your situation, this is what I'd definitely do:

* Mount the rear S8's in the mansard, angled down.

* Run bipoles for the side-surrounds, preferably on the side walls, around half-way between the height of the front width speakers and the rears.

* If not the side walls, then ceiling-mounted outside the mansard area as close to the side walls as possible. This would mean the drivers are angled downwards around 45 degrees.

(I've found that the side surrounds work a lot better placed as wide as possible and coupling with the side walls. Better for scale, soundstaging and sweet-spotting.)

* Either use bipoles from another similar-enough-sounding brand (and use Audyssey to compensate), or even better - use two pairs of S8's facing away from each other, so acting as bipoles.
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post #186 of 791 Old 01-31-2010, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric_Haggis View Post

Hi Mathelo.

Just confirming, you're using this for all 4 surrounds, but with the non-slanted design, yes?

Hate to say it - but in your situation, this is what I'd definitely do:

* Mount the rear S8's in the mansard, angled down.

* Run bipoles for the sides, preferably on the side walls, around half-way between the height of the front width speakers and the rears.

* If not the side walls, then ceiling-mounted outside the mansard area as close to the side walls as possible. This would mean the drivers are angled downwards around 45 degrees.
(I've found that the side surrounds work a lot better placed as wide as possible and coupling with the side walls. Better for scale, soundstaging and sweet-spotting.)

* Either use bipoles from another similar-enough-sounding brand (and use Audyssey to compensate), or even use two pairs of S8's facing away from each other if possible.

Thanks for your reply. I was beginning to think nobody was home.

Those are the speakers I have but in a regular ported rectangular box - 14x10x10. I have 6 of them and was planning on using them as sides, rears, and heights installed in the mansard portion of the ceiling.

When you say "Mount the rear S8's in the mansard, angled down" are you saying "flush" mount? That would be 45 degrees and directed at the floor just below the rear listening position.

There is no way for me to install the surrounds on the side walls. I have windows on one side and the room opens to the kitchen on the other side.





I also can't readily install them in the ceiling outside the mansard. Lights are installed in those locations.

I probably 'could' install S8s in a bipole configuration but I'd still need to put them in the mansard or the ceiling above. What are the negative implications of this approach other than requiring the purchase of 2 more speakers?

Again, thanks for your help.

Louis
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post #187 of 791 Old 01-31-2010, 08:56 PM
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Electric_Haggis,

I've taken a couple of measurements and I think I could actually place the surrounds in the ceiling just outside of the mansard. Something like this ...





Is that what you were suggesting?

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post #188 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 01:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

When you say "Mount the rear S8's in the mansard, angled down" are you saying "flush" mount? That would be 45 degrees and directed at the floor just below the rear listening position.

Well, going from the pictures - having the rear surrounds angled down around 45 degrees will give you better results than firing across the ceiling at that height. You could get away with it they weren't so high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

There is no way for me to install the surrounds on the side walls. I have windows on one side and the room opens to the kitchen on the other side.

Fair enough. Well, the arrangement in those later pictures with the speakers just outside the mansard would be slightly better. The further out to to the sides, the better.

That said, convenience and experimentation still count.
What I'd be doing (given you're stuck with at least one S8 to either side) is doing some listening tests, with someone else (or a ladder) holding the speakers in the various positions and angles (luckily, you won't run out of S8's!).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

I probably 'could' install S8s in a bipole configuration but I'd still need to put them in the mansard or the ceiling above. What are the negative implications of this approach other than requiring the purchase of 2 more speakers?

Given your limitations, a bipole config won't be worth it if you have to mount them in the inner-ceiling or mansard. Inner ceiling will be too high, and in the mansard will mean aiming them toward the room-centre.
So ideally, one pair of side surrounds ceiling-mounted outside the mansard, or even... a pair of side surrounds on either side with a foot or so between them (closer to a commercial cinema). As they'll be aimed at the LP, you could even experiment with wiring them out of phase.

Again - play around with every possible arrangement before cutting. Even try aiming the side-surrounds straight down at the floor, or somewhere in between.
(The only config I'd reject on theory alone is having all four surround channels shooting across the ceiling at that height with no angling.)

There are a lot of unknown quantities here, and you may be very surprised...
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post #189 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 04:47 AM
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Thanks. I'll experiment and report back.
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post #190 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 05:19 AM
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Also, can you recommend a DVD/BR that works well for testing surround sound?

Thanks again!
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post #191 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 09:32 AM
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This has me rethinking the location of the rears as well. Suppose I installed them in the ceiling below the mansard instead of in the mansard? What might I expect from a change like this?


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post #192 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

Also, can you recommend a DVD/BR that works well for testing surround sound?

Thanks again!

One of my favorites is Dragonheart. There is a scene where the dragon (Sean Connery) is flying in circles around Dennis Quaid's character. His voice and wing sounds should fly around your room.

The problem with obsessions is that they are insatiable.
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post #193 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 10:18 AM
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One of my favorites is Dragonheart. There is a scene where the dragon (Sean Connery) is flying in circles around Dennis Quaid's character. His voice and wing sounds should fly around your room.

That sounds like a good test.
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post #194 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

This has me rethinking the location of the rears as well. Suppose I installed them in the ceiling below the mansard instead of in the mansard? What might I expect from a change like this?


Spiderman I has a similar scene a few chapters in, with Willem Dafoe's voice moving around the room. Worth trying as well, but that Dragonheart scene would likely be better (Must try it myself, actually!)

For see-and-hear directionality, there's a scene in King Kong (a must-have on blu), where Naiomi Watts is strung up by the natives, waiting for Kong to arrive for the first time. We hear Kong emerging from the forest, and Naiomi's eyes follow him through the surround channels. The start of this chapter is also terrific for gauging bass boom.



As for those rear speakers, having them in the higher position would likely be a bad idea, but outside the mansard and closer to the back is more like it.
Too many people are forced to put their surrounds too damn high up, and apart from being a sonic compromise, they don't blend as well with the fronts.


By the way, why did you decide on custom S8's without the slant?
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post #195 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

Also, can you recommend a DVD/BR that works well for testing surround sound?

Chapter 11 of 'Mission to Mars', where the mission commander's voice circles the room in a smooth pan (you should be able to hear it travel seamlessly from speaker to speaker).

Sanjay
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post #196 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric_Haggis View Post

As for those rear speakers, having them in the higher position would likely be a bad idea, but outside the mansard and closer to the back is more like it.

Too many people are forced to put their surrounds too damn high up, and apart from being a sonic compromise, they don't blend as well with the fronts.


By the way, why did you decide on custom S8's without the slant?

Well ... my plan all along has been to install them in the mansard, which is already at 45°. As such, I really didn't need the slant. I'm going with JTR because my fronts are all JTR.

I guess the only ones that would be okay up high are the "heights."

I'm also considering your idea for using 4 S8s for the left and right surrounds. If I can get these into the ceiling outside of the mansard, do you think it will make a noticeable difference?
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post #197 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Chapter 11 of 'Mission to Mars', where the mission commander's voice circles the room in a smooth pan (you should be able to hear it travel seamlessly from speaker to speaker).

Excellent, thank you.
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post #198 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo View Post

I'm also considering your idea for using 4 S8s for the left and right surrounds. If I can get these into the ceiling outside of the mansard, do you think it will make a noticeable difference?

Well, luckily you have enough speakers to test this, but yes it should.

If possible, also consider angling them so they're aimed outwards at 45 degrees-ish rather than straight ahead at the LP.
Wiring out of phase is also worth trying.
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post #199 of 791 Old 02-01-2010, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Electric_Haggis View Post

Well, luckily you have enough speakers to test this, but yes it should.

If possible, also consider angling them so they're aimed outwards at 45 degrees-ish rather than straight ahead at the LP.
Wiring out of phase is also worth trying.

I assume they should be wired in series. Is that correct?
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post #200 of 791 Old 02-02-2010, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I assume they should be wired in series. Is that correct?

If there's only one pair of side-surround outputs on your amp, then yes.

I've never needed to do this myself - so be sure to check the impedence of your speakers and amp, and do some research beforehand.
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post #201 of 791 Old 02-04-2010, 06:42 PM
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I've read the entire thread, and I'm still unclear the ideal, or at least recommended, position for bipoles / dipoles. What's the preferred position, relative to the living room couch?

My room has the couch against the back wall and the surrounds are maybe 6 feet from the center and 3 feet from the sides. The sides particularly are unbalanced for surround effects.

I'm buying a whole new 5.1 speaker set and am considering di/bi-poles; they seem recommended for a setup like mine.
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post #202 of 791 Old 02-08-2010, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ShoutingMan View Post

I've read the entire thread, and I'm still unclear the ideal, or at least recommended, position for bipoles / dipoles. What's the preferred position, relative to the living room couch?

My room has the couch against the back wall and the surrounds are maybe 6 feet from the center and 3 feet from the sides. The sides particularly are unbalanced for surround effects.

I'm buying a whole new 5.1 speaker set and am considering di/bi-poles; they seem recommended for a setup like mine.

Hard to know without pics or diagrams. Trial and error helps too, but sounds like you already have the positions set.

Just for For what it's worth, click on my signature below. There are some pics there that might be of help.

Considering dual-monopoles for 7.1, rather than di/bipoles.



Also for what it's worth, here's the old room, back when I had space for 4 separate surrounds.
Best position was just in front of the side-surrounds, and the results were superb....

Sold the rear speakers to friends for their 5.0 setup. They have a rear-wall couch with them mounted in pretty much the same position as you.
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post #203 of 791 Old 02-09-2010, 06:12 AM
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My listening room is about 25" long and 15" feet wide. Due to WAF, my system is set up on the long wall. My couch is practically up against the back wall. I'm stumped as to where I can put the surrounds, and if I should get bipoles or direct radiators. I guess I can put them on the side walls firing towards each other from about 12" away, or get bipoles and put them on shelves in the corner with one set of drivers firing onto the sidewall & another firing towards the back wall. I guess another option would be bipoles on the back wall towards the corners.

Can anyone help me out with this issue?

Thanks!
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post #204 of 791 Old 02-09-2010, 09:00 AM
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...or get bipoles and put them on shelves in the corner with one set of drivers firing onto the sidewall & another firing towards the back wall.

That's the choice I would make in your situation: light up the back and side walls with reflected sound, giving you nice wrap-around envelopment.

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post #205 of 791 Old 02-09-2010, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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That's the choice I would make in your situation: light up the back and side walls with reflected sound, giving you nice wrap-around envelopment.


That sounds right to me too.

Three bits of advice to anyone seeking advice on this...

1* Post pics so we can see your room.

2* Experiment with different placement using boxes, ladders, or other people holding the speakers in position.

3* Always consider 7.1 with dual-monopoles, with the rear drivers firing at the back wall. In most cases like this, it's always better than 5.1 with two bipoles.
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post #206 of 791 Old 02-09-2010, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric_Haggis View Post

3* Always consider 7.1 with dual-monopoles, with the rear drivers firing at the back wall. In most cases like this, it's always better than 5.1 with two bipoles.

Please explain in detail what you mean by this. I don't understand this configuration. Which "rear drivers" do you suggest should fire at the rear wall? The rear surround drivers in 7.1? Where have you seen this configuration suggested by any of the entities such as Dolby, DTS or THX? And the statement that "...it's always better than 5.1 with two bipoles.", is that your opinion, or is there some basis for that statement in fact?

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post #207 of 791 Old 02-09-2010, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric_Haggis View Post

Hard to know without pics or diagrams. Trial and error helps too, but sounds like you already have the positions set.

Just for For what it's worth, click on my signature below. There are some pics there that might be of help.

I missed you response initially; thanks. That gives me an idea. I'll have to come back with a room diagram.

Is there an ideal position for dipoles? In my room, the middle, or null, of the dipoles cannot be positioned in line with the listeners' ears. The speakers would be back several inches. Some comments indicate that will have be very bad for the sound quality.

But in your room, you had them aiming forward, on either side of the listening position. I'd not really noticed that positioned recommended in the discussion.
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post #208 of 791 Old 02-09-2010, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I missed you response initially; thanks. That gives me an idea. I'll have to come back with a room diagram.

Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoutingMan View Post

Is there an ideal position for dipoles? In my room, the middle, or null, of the dipoles cannot be positioned in line with the listeners' ears. The speakers would be back several inches. Some comments indicate that will have be very bad for the sound quality.

Most would agree (myself included) that dipoles really only work well when positioned to either side with you in the null. (Obviously, the bigger the space, the more you can get away with.)
If you can't do this, dipoles aren't looking too good, unless you were able to mount each speaker on a 45 degree angle on the back wall, with the underside of each speaker aimed at the room centre...

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Originally Posted by ShoutingMan View Post

But in your room, you had them aiming forward, on either side of the listening position. I'd not really noticed that positioned recommended in the discussion.

If you mean my current room, they're not dipoles. They're two dual-monopoles running all four surround channels.
Not ideal, and not as good as the old room, but it's all I can accommodate.

Maybe click on the signature and have another read....
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post #209 of 791 Old 02-09-2010, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Electric_Haggis View Post

If you mean my current room, they're not dipoles.

Ah. The picture you posted is from a friend's room, with the bipoles mounted on the rear wall, facing outward. So do I understand correctly that the dipoles will not sound especially good like that?
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Please explain in detail what you mean by this. I don't understand this configuration. Which "rear drivers" do you suggest should fire at the rear wall? The rear surround drivers in 7.1? Where have you seen this configuration suggested by any of the entities such as Dolby, DTS or THX? And the statement that "...it's always better than 5.1 with two bipoles.", is that your opinion, or is there some basis for that statement in fact?

Craig


LOL. Well I guess the answer would be "no".
THX recommends dipoles for the sides, with directs for the rears positioned almost as one speaker.

Dolby make no mention of di/bi/dual-monopoles at all, and opt for a somewhat different approach.

DTS are a bit different again...
http://www.dts.com/Consumer_Electron...F031A734A.ashx
http://www.dts.com/Consumer_Electron...gurations.aspx

Surround placement is a very murky area.
I remember talking to a Dolby techo once who wouldn't go on record as endorsing any speaker type other than direct radiating, but actually had both dipoles and bipoles at home.

In the end, all you can really do is research thoroughly, think it through, experiment as far as possible, and listen for yourself.

Having tried pretty much everything over the years, I've found that when space is limited, using dual-monopoles and Dolby IIx, running four channels with the rear drivers acting as the rear channels, aimed at either the back wall (or the centre-back if you're stuck mounting on the back wall like me) produces the best results every time.

You get better front-back/side-side steering and panning, a better spread of 3D sound, none of the loss of bass or phase issues that can be a problem with many dipoles, and still remain accurate.

And of course, when you slip in the occasional disc that actually features a true 7.1 or 6.1 mix, you're covered.
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