Originally Posted by BluesDaddy56
Yes, "my own personal experience" would equate to "anecdotal evidence". I'm sure you controlled for confirmation bias and actually did A/B comparisons in the same room with unmatched versus matched, right? In MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, I've never heard a supposedly matched center channel speaker in a non dedicated room sound the SAME as the LRs using white noise.
As you know, doing a controlled test of certain things is not always possible. Even in medicine we can't do controlled, blinded tests of some things. Here is just one example:
In some cases, "expert opinion" is the final arbiter of whether procedures are beneficial or not. In others, consensus of opinion is the best evidence available. It's never the *best* evidence, and it should never override a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial. However, sometimes it's all we've got. In fact, there are actually classifications of evidence, and physicians are encouraged to use these levels to make the best clinical recommendations for their patients. In that regard, "expert opinion" is considered the lowest level of evidence and should only be considered last.
In Open Heart Surgery, where I know the literature the best, Clinical Practice Guidelines are still sometimes based on expert opinion, but with acknowledgement of that limitation of the evidence:
There is broad agreement that Clinical Practice Guidelines, (CPGs) should be based on rigorous evidence. However, high-quality randomized studies are often lacking in the surgical literature. Nevertheless, this lack of randomized studies does not necessarily preclude development of CPGs. Well-designed prospective cohort studies, or large registry studies that compare 2 interventions, can result in useful recommendations. In the surgical field, much of the published literature is based on single-center, noncomparative case series. Higher-quality evidence may never be obtained in certain areas, but lower-level data and case series may still provide opportunities to optimize outcomes that address important and often common clinical questions. In such scenarios it may be appropriate for the expert panel to use their best judgments to make specific and unambiguous consensus statements designed to reduce poor outcomes. The consensus of a diverse group of experts can provide enormous value in these areas with little to no comparative evidence....
I am not holding myself out as an "expert" in this regard. I don't imagine you are either. We're both just expressing our own opinions and personal experiences. I am merely relating my years of experience with design and installation in multiple home theater environments, for myself, friends and family. (I'm not a professional installer, I don't do installations for hire, and I don't accept money from friends or family for helping them.) Nonetheless, I have designed and/or installed at least 30 or 40 HT's for friends and family, all at different price points and layouts. In every case where I have been allowed to using matching or even identical speakers, the result has been significantly better, IMO. I recently did this theater for a friend:
Five JBL LSR 305's @ $129 ea. They include the amps. There wer also 2 Monolith subwoofers. That system sounded incredible... way above its' price point.
In my own particular case, I've had multiple different CC's in my system over the years, some identical, some sonically matching, and some not matching at all. I've had multiple surrounds in my system, some matching and some not. In every single case, there has been a benefit from matching the speakers as closely as possible.
My current system is not all identical speakers. I have a horizontal CC. It uses the exact same driver complement as my L/R's and the internal box volume is the same as the L/R's. The only difference is the woofers are deployed horizontally, not vertically. I am using smaller versions of my L/R's as surrounds. They use the same mids and tweets as the L/R's but the tweeters are not in a "dispersion lens" and there are no woofers., so they don't have the bass output of my mains. To compensate, I cross them to my subs at a higher frequency. I have just installed Atmos speakers that are completely different than all my other speakers. I need to spend more time listening to them and optimizing the installation before I decide if they are an adequate timbre-match for the rest of the system. The jury is still out on that one.
Of course, then there's always the simple logic that says that speakers that sound the same should work together
better than speakers that sound different. That seems intuitively obvious. In fact, virtually all of us observe that logic when we match the Left and Right speakers in our systems.
BTW, white noise is not a good signal for evaluating speaker timbre. It is an in-room, "steady state" noise. It will be more influenced by room reflections, and will portray those influences better due to the steady state nature of the noise. No speakers will sound identical in different locations within a room especially with a steady state noise signal. Anechoic or psuedo-anechoic, gated frequency response plots, especially on- and off-axis frequency response plots, are much better signals to use to evaluate speaker timbre. Decay plots are also useful to check for cabinet resonances.