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Matching speakers... does this sound right?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi. I was hoping to get some opinions here on whether I received good advice from an HT shop. After researching speakers to build out a 7.1 system, I had decided I wanted to check out the PSB speakers. So, while on a road trip, I stopped into a shop that carried them. I explained that I would soon be completing my HT and planned a 7.1 sound system, but to keep costs down, I wanted to use my current pair of Infinity Kappa 8's as my front mains. I told the sales rep that, yeah, I knew all about timbre matching and such, and that it might not be ideal, but at least for a year or two, I really wanted to live with it. At that point, he said, "Infinity Kappa 8 mains, with everything else PSBs? That's going to sound terrible!" And I thought, here it comes, he's going to lecture me on timbre matching and how I had to buy new front mains because he wants the boost the sale. But, to my surprise, he said, "I'm very familiar with your Kappa 8's. They are phenomenal speakers. You should absolutely use them as your front mains. But, PSBs are not a good match for them. We have a line that is very similar in design to the Kappa 8's and will match well with them and give you a great complete system. He then recommended Focal speakers and proceeded to demo them to me, as well as the PSB's. I definitely agreed that the Focals sounded more like what I was used to and sounded great. From further research, they appear to be a very good line of speakers that I should be happy with. So, I'm looking at the Chorus 800 line of surround and center channel speakers to match up with my Kappa's.

So, I just wanted to check out this advice and see if people here agree I was given good advice, or a bum steer. Does the above sound reasonable? Also, if so, would you stick with a Focal subwoofer, or go with something like an HSU?

I greatly appreciate all help.
post #2 of 8
There's no reason why you need to match the sub with the speakers, and Internet direct subwoofer manufacturers HSU, SVS Audio, Outlaw Audio, Rhythmik, and Power Sound Audio are almost always a much better buy than traditional speaker company subs, unless you are getting a HUGE discount.
post #3 of 8
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Yes, I've definitely gotten the impression that the direct subwoofers offer excellent value. I think based on what I've read I would lean towards a Rythmik FV15HP.

Can anyone comment on the recommendation that Focal Chorus CC and surrounds would pair well with my Infinity Kappa 8s as front mains?
post #5 of 8
Focal surrounds would probably be ok.

Typically it's (strongly) recommended that the center match the LR mains. (You want as seamless a front sound stage as possible.)
post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

Focal surrounds would probably be ok.

Typically it's (strongly) recommended that the center match the LR mains. (You want as seamless a front sound stage as possible.)

Agreed. I would rather run no center (4.1) than a poorly mismatched one.

Consequently, unless someone has heard that Focal center with those specific Infinitys, they won't be able to tell you if it's a great match.

However, since the HT shop you visited say it will, tell them that you need a 100% return option and get the Focal center and try it out yourself. As long as you are satisfied. As long as you are satisfied, that's all that matters smile.gif
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks, good idea. I will ask them if they will stand behind their recommendation. Not sure what options I have if it turns out not to be a good match. I don't really want to shell out for a new set of front mains at this point, and constantly bringing home various centers and trying them sounds like an extreme logistical nightmare. I suppose I could try to find replacement mid and tweeter drivers from my Kappa 8's and build a matching CC, or try running the Kappa's as a virtual CC...
post #8 of 8
Unless you know a lot about speaker design, building a matched center channel is way more complicated than you are probably thinking. You would need to find out the Thiele/Small parameters for the drivers, properly design the cabinet size and the location of the drivers, and design and built a crossover. Probably better to try running a surround set with a phantom center.
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