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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
currently driving psb stratus gold speakers from 4kilowatt cinepro amp. the sound is great and especially with some of the newer discs where sonic imaging is good (blade runner hd, etc) there is really good envelopement (is that a word?)


I am however thinking of going to a 7.1 setup. why? well, why not. anyway, which setup is best:

First Setup-monopoles all the way around or Second Setup monopoles for the rears(PSB stratus mini), surrounds for the sides perpendicular to the listening position.Choices are:

1) Intimus 534-SS (300 w max) from apeiron These are dipole/bipole surrounds that are switchable. the reason being, i dont really know what would sound better dipole or bipole.


2) psb s50 dipoles (200 w max). I hesitate about these because my amp blew out a pair of image 10S surrounds. The transients were so acute that the driver cleanly sheared off the cone (listening to Master and Commander)

I guess I could get a smaller 2 channel amp for the sides or surrounds. Which speaker set would typically carry more information-the sides or rears?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karos /forum/post/12937443


Which speaker set would typically carry more information-the sides or rears?

In my experience, both pairs of surrounds are equally active. If you're going to use dissimilar surrounds, then find the pair that is the closer match to your front speakers and place them at your sides. The other pair can go behind you.


It is the side speakers that are adjacent to your front L/R speakers. The sound from those two pairs will be creating phantom imaging along your side walls, expanding the soundstage and pulling it into the room. You want that transition (from front to side) to be as tonally seamless as possible. So use the side speakers that sound closest to your fronts. In this case it would be the PSB surrounds.


Sanjay
 

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Definitely dipoles for the side surrounds, you need good dispersion for a good spatial sensation, the rear wall speakers if very close to the listening position should also be dipoles, my room is rectangular with the narrower sides, so the rears are relatively far away, which allows me to use monopole bookshelves there. Similarly the fronts have 3 degree dispersion on the tweeters, so toe-in is mandatory.


Make sure at least the front and rear stages are timbre matched, and if listening to a lot of lossless multichannel music (SACD) you will need matching all.


Another tip if you do a lot of 2 channel pure direct listening, make sure your front have good LFE.
 

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Dipoles provide a "diffuse" soundfield. They are designed so that the listener sits in the "null" of the tweeters. The tweeters fire forward and rearward, but not directly at the listening position. The mids and highs bounce off the front and rear walls and the sound is perceived as ambient. This is great... if the sounds are recorded as ambience.


However, if the sounds are recorded as directional, (and lots of "surround" sounds are meant to be heard with directional cues), dipoles will not provide that directionality. OTOH, bipoles provide a wide dispersion pattern for the full range of sounds they produce. They fire the mids and highs in all directions uniformly. This allows them to be directional when needed. Since they also bounce sound off the front and rear walls, they can also provide ambiance when called for.


Monopoles, or directional speakers, *only* fire their sound in one direction, directly forward. Therefore, they are directional all the time. If ambiance is recorded into a soundtrack, it can still sound ambient with directional speakers, but it won't be as enveloping as from a dipole or bipole. For multi-channel music, monopoles are probably the best choice as multi-channel music is mixed specifically with directional and ambient cues in the surround channels. In fact, a "matched" set of speakers to your fronts is ideal for multi-channel music.


In general, if your listening is primarily movies, dipole or (IMO) bipole speakers are your best bet. If your listening is a mix of movies and multi-channel music, then bipoles are your best bet. If you only listen to multi-channel music, a matched set of speakers all the way around is the best option.


Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thank you all for your generous replies. interestingly the same question about 5 years ago yielded most opinions favoring direct firing for surrounds because dipoles were thought to 'muddy' the sound. i guess, as speakers, soundtracks, and encoding algorithms improved, dipoles are now good enough. To match my psb stratus golds , i'll add a pair of synchrony surrounds. now if only i could get my tag av32r repaired to tide me over until the classe and krell units are out.
 
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