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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently installed a Atlantic Technology System 8200 center channel into my personal home theater system and have been pondering the affects of driver size to tonal characteristics of a speaker. I've got 8200 front mains on order to complete the front sound stage and am debating on whether or not I should also get the 8200 mains for side and rear surrounds or continue using what I already have.


The driver compliment on the 8200 center and mains are as follows: two 8" woofers, two 5.25 midrange and one 1" silk dome tweeter.


Distance to primary listening position ranges from 13 to 11 feet depending on measurements from center or mains with a room volume of something like 9,700 cubic feet. Time delay in preamp is set appropriately.


In the past I've had other speaker/speaker systems that as the drivers were progressively smaller, the thinner they sound. In other words, If you were playing a test tone of 250 Hz, for instance, you would still get 250 Hz from all of the various speakers, but they would sound different in terms of pitch, in part, I'm assuming because of their difference is driver size.


Although I'm a strong proponent of using the exact same speaker in all speaker locations, it occurred to me that side surrounds that are only 8 feet away would sound different than the exact same speakers that are 13 feet away. Maybe smaller drivers in nearer speakers actually makes some sense. Obviously, other factors also come into play such as room effects, crossovers, etc.


Just wanted to throw this out to see what other forum members thought.
 

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Although I'm a strong proponent of using the exact same speaker in all speaker locations, it occurred to me that side surrounds that are only 8 feet away would sound different than the exact same speakers that are 13 feet away. quote]The difference in distance should be heard more in the high frequencies than the mid and lower. Speakers always sound brighter the closer they are.
Quote:
Maybe smaller drivers in nearer speakers actually makes some sense.
The main factor there is the physical size of the room. Basically, big rooms are “bass soaks.†They require speakers with better and deeper output to sound the same as smaller speakers in a small room.


Here’s a “for instance†I’ve experienced in the past. I used to have some speakers that sounded great in the living room where we lived. They had 10†woofers with 12†passive radiators and the bass was great – deep and powerful.


Then we moved to another place with a larger living room that was also fully open to the kitchen and dining room. I fired up the stereo (remember those?), and it was like “Holy cow, what happened to the bass?†The speakers sounded much “thinner†than before.


A couple of years later I was shopping for some used speakers and I went to hear some at an apartment with a smallish living room. I liked them, but noticed they sounded a bit bass heavy. I remembered what had happened with the other speakers moving from a smaller to a larger space and figured these would sound just about right when I got them home. Sure enough, they did – they weren’t bass heavy at my place.


So, it really doesn’t make sense to expect that smaller speakers that are closer will matter, at least where their sound from the lower midrange and down is concerned. The speaker still has to fill up all that air space.


Regards,

Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wayne,


Thanks for responding.


The other day I was playing around with the small 13" TV that sits next to my computer monitor. With the audio playing from the TV's built in internal speakers, at 4' it sound fuller than it does from across the room, which would be around 17'. Room volume didn't change, distance to speaker did.


I tend to agree with you that total room volume affect tone, but I also think that distance to speaker and size of the drivers also affect the tone.
 
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