Originally Posted by Electric_Haggis
I've used many different types of speakers as surrounds. But until recently, I always thought that regular front-firing speakers were better for the surrounds, as they were a closer match to the fronts.
Damn... was I wrong!
After trying out a few types of dipoles and bipoles, I wonder why everyone doesn't have dipoles in their system. I'm also amazed that more hi-fi shops don't sell or push them... or even KNOW about them, as is all too often the case here in Australia !
I know, pretty old post...
i have started with "pseudo surround" at home as soon as the first VHS movies with ProLogic became available. The first time with a simple single speaker connected to the both "hot" (red) speaker pins of the stereo amp, until I bought a Sony TA-E1000ESD AV 5.1 Surround Pre.
For that one I used DIY "all around beaming" surround speakers. That was a special construction with a 2" dome on the top.
at the beginning of the new century a Yamaha AX1 moved in and the speaker layout grow to 6.1.2 (5.1 + rear center + 2 front high). The "all arounds" became the front high which where perfect for the reproduction of the Yamaha DSP programs with just two height speakers in the front and all the rest standard front firing.
the source wasn't VHS tape anymore but DVDs with DD or dts sound with separated 5.1 channels.
but I played a lot and searched for the most suitable speakers for the various placements, especially when the system grew up to 7.2.4 with the Yamaha Z11 in 2008 (long before Dolby announced Atmos for the HT).
I bought 2 pairs of these T+A surround speakers
which are switchable between:
I'll try to make it short:
if you have a "normal" home theatre with enough space for the speakers (distance to the audience) on one hand but not more than one row of seats ("limited" listening area) there is no way around standard front firing speakers for ALL purposes/positions!
I really tried everything and anything else than a proper positioned direct firing speaker makes the precision and localization of effects worse!
there are cases when this "worse" is wanted. If the speakers are too near to (parts of) the audience a "fuzzy sound" may be more "pleasant".
but in general the direct firing speakers deliver the best result by far!
that can be expanded to height speakers as well. I tried all the different speakers as heights and the farer away they are from "direct dispersion" the worse it sounds.
maybe some people like this fuzzy sound at first. The sound seems to come from everywhere but that's not what you want! If the plane comes from behind to the front you want one precise "sound spot" moving through your cinema and not a cloud which fills the whole room and doesn't really move but just gets louder and quieter again.