Originally Posted by aniban
I tried to search this topic, but did not find any good reference ... if there is already another thread on this topic, please can someone post the URL
Anyway, my question was, what works better? All the speakers of a surround system be of the same size ~OR~ diff sizes for the FL-FR, CC and RL-RR? Are there any pros-cons for each of them or is it a just personal preference?
Disclaimer: I do not claim to be a guru.
I have heard systems with all speakers the same and with significant differences. To me, having them all the same sounds best, given good speakers (I heard a system using B&W 802's all the way around), but it is rare that the surrounds/rears/center have as much LF content as the mains, especially with a subwoofer set at the typical 80 Hz suggested by THX (and many other folk). It is also rarely practical to match all speakers; there is usually not space or finances, and seating (chairs/couches) often requires the surrounds/rears to be higher than the mains, a problem for most floor-standers. From a sound standpoint, in my experience
, there is not enough full-range surround content to justify the space, cost, and set-up hassle.
I have had a variety of speakers in my system and prefer them reasonably matched, but since I have dipoles (Magnepan) I may be more sensitive than a typical system. I had less an issue when I had Infinity L/R/C (Alpha or Beta, I forget) and little Mirage Nanosats as surrounds. I would prefer to buy the same manufacturer and line, but see no special reason to force myself if there are other, better alternatives. I do think having the center match the L/R speakers reasonably well is important since you want a seamless (or as near as possible) across the front as dialogue and other sounds pan across the front. I find that less important in the surrounds. As always, YMMV.
I have noticed a significant amount of energy seems to go to the center if it is capable, so prefer a little deeper response than the surrounds. However, having additional LF response can complicate set-up since the placement is fixed more by aesthetics and concern for proper surround sound field than bass response. It may be hard to find the best compromise with a full set of full-range speakers versus a sub or three you can move around to optimize in-room response. I also tend to think a 60 Hz crossover is too low for most speakers since most surrounds (and many mains) do not handle large bass excursions. Big L/R speakers can often handle 60 - 80 Hz with aplomb, so I would not set all crossovers the same unless I had to. My mains go to about 35 Hz on their own and I have them crossed around 50 - 60 Hz. The surrounds are rated to 80 Hz and I have them crossed at 80 Hz. My little Nanosats I crossed around 100-120 Hz.
So, for me, having different surrounds provides cost- and space-savings and makes it easier to set up the system both physically and aesthetically. I prefer timbre-matched L/R/C since the sound needs to flow smoothly across the front; less so the surrounds/rears. The loss in sound quality is minimal and not noticeable to be unless I compare one after the other.
I do not think there is really a “right” answer but this is what I have found for myself.
HTH, IMO, FWIWFM, YMMV, etc. - DonEdited by DonH50 - 8/11/12 at 7:42am