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I'm planning my surrounds for my new home theater (probably something akin to Paradigm Studio40s for fronts and 20s for the rears) and I have a question about the types of surrounds and their applications.


For movies, everywhere I look seems to suggest bipole/dipole surrounds to get a "diffuse" feel. Direct radiators are poo-poo'd because they directionalize the effects that are supposed to evelop you.


However, for 5-channel music, I would think that a diffuse effect would be totally wrong, and that direct radiators would be most appropriate.


I want to use my system for both great movie sounds AND great music sound. Sure, I guess I could run both kinds (the Denon 4802 i'm going to buy can do that), but I currently only have 1 pair of rear surrounds wired in the walls and doing a second would mean running cables through the room (ugh!). What would people recommend?


Thanks!

--Mike
 

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Your question has been debated back and forth by people smarter than me, so I don't pretend to have an answer. But I find that for certain effects in film soundtracks, precise localization of sounds in the rear speakers is a good thing, while at other times it is extremely distracting and a more diffuse effect would be more desirable. I use direct radiating speakers for surrounds, but I have them facing away from the listening position so that they are partly facing the rear wall. This way, I get more reflected sound with a more diffuse effect, while preserving some of the benefits of localization.


There are speakers with mutiple drivers that let you switch back and forth between dipolar and direct radiating dispersion patterns. Off the top of my head I know that Revel and Von Schweikert Audio make these types of surrounds, and I'm sure that other manufacturers do as well. I don't know if Paradigm does. Anyway, such a speaker may be what you are looking for.


Jim
 

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Bite the bullet and go for a 7 channel setup. It is already a requirement to have at least three channels of surround to properly reproduce EX and ES film soundtracks.

If you go with side and rear surrounds, you can, with proper processing, properly reproduce both film sound and 5.1 music ( most people use dipole sides and direct radiating rears in that scenario).
 

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I had a similar queerie. You can read my thread here. After furthur indecision and recommendations to audition other speakers, I finally decided to buy:


fronts: Studio/40

center: Studio/CC

rears/surround: Studio/20

sub: PW2200 (although that might still change).


I am only interested in building a 5.1 system for my apartment livingroom where I do not have the appropriate side walls for correct dipole (i.e. Studio/ADP) placement. (I am very limited as to speaker placement due to WAF.) It may be a compromise to use the 20's as the rear's for certain apllications, but I was more concerned with having rears that sonically matched my front speakers.


I haven't actually made my purchase yet (now I am waiting on certain funds expected to arrive in December), but my mind is made up on what speakers I will get.
 

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My understanding is that 5.1 audio is mixed on and for identical speakers all around. While some music may be mixed with more subltle ambient sound to the rears, much of it will have primary instruments or vocals surrounding you.

At the AES convention in SF a few (2?) years back I attented 5.1 music demo by respected engeneers from Nashville to Japan. Some of the Nashville stuff had you in the 'middle' of the studio. All of the demos (and there where also a few on the show floor) where with identical monitors all around. With similar Paradigms all around you may be 'close enough for rock and roll', I don't know, but I think you'd want to get the room as evenly balanced sonically as possible.


I don't have 5.1 set upmyself yet but I'm planning to get DVD audio (probably the RP91) fairly soon. I also just found a pair of my vintagte Infinity RS-4b mains on ebay (yeah!) so I can have matching rears. I was pretty impressed by the Paradigm Studio series myself but wouldn't want to trade my tweaked old infinities just yet.

-Noam
 

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I use both. I have matching monitor speakers in rears and front(tyler), I also have some polk fx500 dipoles mounted high in the rear, both sets of speakers have their own cable runs, I mostly listen to music so I keep the monitors connected, when the family comes in to watch a movie I simply switch cables on my amp and use the polks, it is very simple and gives the best of both formats, good luck
 
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