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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know already that everyone has a subjective opinion on one brand versus another especially if they already own one or the other. However, that being said I am looking for experienced ears that may "hopefully" have heard these combinations to give me a better idea since I can't demo these combo's.


I currently have a new Yamaha RXV-863 main unit. I have Bose 301's in the front with an Infiniti Infintessimal 4 center channel and an Infiniti SW-10 Sub. I am looking to fullfill my newfound 7.1 abilities. We watch alot of blueray movies and a fair amount of classic rock and newer music.


I currently have some cheap Realistic rear in wall speakers (I know what you are thinking, I had a real tight budget several years ago when I put these into my 5.1 setup and would never buy them again) These I want to replace and I am going to add some side surrounds.


I have looked at several brands and I think I have it narrowed down to a couple of options. I am considering replacing the rear speakers with either the Polk RC85i In-wall with an 8" woofer and a low frequency of 30 Hz to gain some better "low end" from the rear. The Polks also have a db of 90. My second option is the Yamaha NS-IW660 with the 6.5 inch woofer with a little higher low frequency of 50 Hz and a db of 88. I had also looked at some Klipsch models but several other forums I had read people had mentioned they seemed WAY to bright with a Yamaha receiver.


For the side surrounds I am looking at the Yamaha NS-IW560 for the ceiling or the Polk RC80i. both are 8" two ways with directional tweeters.


I was hoping to acheive a nice balance front to rear. I know this a "long winded" question, but I hope I can get some good feedback from people that may have heard these speakers and possibly with a Yamaha receiver and could maybe give some pros/cons for either/both brands. Thanks in advance for all your help and opinions.
 

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For a nice balance front to rear you would need another pair of 301's. You might get close with those you have chosen, but a really well matched system with mismatched speakers is only achieveable with in your house demoing. I would enquire about return policies with anything you buy and then try them out in your house to see if it works for you.
 

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In my opinion, if you really want a balanced system, you're going about it backwards. Since more than 80% of the sound in movies comes from the front 3 speakers, the most important consideration is that your front speakers need to match. And if you watch concert DVDs or listen to SACDor DVD-A multi-channel music, then it's important that your surrounds timbre match too. IMHO, you need to balance your front speakers before you do anything with your surrounds. If you continue on the path you have started, I believe, your surrounds are going to sound better than your front!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate all of your input. First let me say this. what may seem unmatched actually sounds incredible for just my front end. Now that I can decode lossless audio, I get an amazing sound from the 301's, infiniti center and the infiniti sub. One question, pardon my ignorance, what is timbre matching?


Now to be fair, the 301's were upgraded from Infinity infintessimal 4 small fronts about 10 years ago. The Bose 301's were a major improvement with the 8" woofers and two smaller drivers. They actually have pretty good imaging when placed the proper distance from the walls as they are reflective. I have them on top of my entertainment center with a wedge under the back to fire them down to the primary listening area. I have the center up on top as well and it is wedged to fire the same direction. The room size is about 14' wide X 19' deep with an 8' ceiling. The primary seating area is about 12' back from the main wall.


I would love to have some nice tower speakers, but I simply don't have room for them. So for the meantime I am a little stuck with what I have in the front.


Does anyone have any opinion on the actual sound quality difference between the Yamaha speakers I had mentioned vs. the Polks? If you don't think they would be a good match, why? Or, maybe another speaker for in wall and in ceiling that might be near the same price point for the sides and rears?


Thanks again for all of your input.
 

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 Wiki on Timbre


Timbre matching is when all the speakers have the same tone to them, meaning all are neutral sounding or laid back with rolled off high frequencies or the midrange more emphasized or the higher frequencies brought more forward etc. A discrepency in these sounds are noticeable to many people and for some, like myself, it becomes irritating when sounds in a movie or music pan from one speaker to the next and these attributes are not the same. The same tone on one speaker sounds slightly higher pitched on another or the music suddenly takes the forefront of the soundstage just because that particular noise you were listening to ended up on that other speaker that is different from the rest.


I think the best thing for you to do is find somewhere that you can listen to either one and pick the ones that you think will match the best.


Is there a particular reason you want to stay with in-wall speakers for the surrounds? I have never been much of a fan of in-wall speakers, there can be reflection point issues etc. and quite often for the same price range you can get better sounding bookshelf speakers.


So far as needing tower/floorstanders to get better sound, you can achieve better sound(very subjective here) with better bookshelf speakers than the Bose. I went from Bose 201's to Axiomaudio M22s and the difference in details I could hear was amazing. Piano's actually sound like a piano in the room, voices are more prominent, easier to hear. You really don't need floorstanders to achieve a better sound, just better speakers. Having said that I did like my 201s for nearly 10years as well, but I have found better speakers and learned much since that purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As for the wall speakers, I agree that some other option would certainly be better, but again I am limited on space (wife has bookcases, furniture etc. limiting space) plus I already have the cheap realistic wall speakers in the rear, so holes already exist with wiring.

As for upgrading the front, I have to agree again, I am sure there are alot better speakers out there than my 301's, but unfortunately I am not in a position to upgrade at this time. That being said, when I did buy the 301's, I had compared them to the 201's and felt they were much better, especially for the modest price difference.

I would LOVE to go hear these, but the BB stores (Or any other here for that matter) doesn't seem to carry these brands (Polk, Yamaha). They have MTX, Speakercraft, Musica, Bose 191's and a few others that are in my price range. Of course they have Martin Logan and other stuff I can't afford. Thanks again.
 

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I have a pair of Bose 301's that I've also had for about 10 years. I had been using them as my L/R in my 5.1 setup as well. I do, however, have the mathching Bose center as well. My system was always enjoyable for me, until I found these forums!! (haha).


I recently have a new home, and some new rooms to outfit with TV's and audio. I decided on Aperions for my living room. When I first got the center (the small 4c), I decided to hook it up where I now have my Bose 301's (bedroom) and run a sort of A/B test. I always thought I was getting "good, clean" sound from my Bose, boy was I wrong. Until I had done this, I really didn't know what to make of all the Bose bashing on these forums. But, trust me, there really is better out there for less money even.


The 4c from Aperion doesn't go as low (again, it's their smallest one), but it also isn't muddied up. Everything is nice and clear, and I don't have to boost the volume on it to hear the dialogue.


Anyhow, on to your dilemma. You have a 5.1 (or is it 7.1 now?) system that works. I will agree with some of the others that your best investment would be a considerable upgrade on your front 3, and possibly your sub (but I don't know a lot about that sub). Also, don't fret over going to 7.1 too much, there aren't many discs out there that even offer it, even with blue ray. My personal recommendation would be to save your dough until you've got enough to upgrade the front 3 with $1-$2k. I know you think that their doing a good job for you, but you can do a LOT better, especially in the price range I mention, and already mentioned is that 80%+ of a soundtrack comes from those 3 speakers and the sub.


Low extension (espeically to 30 hz) with an inwall or inceiling is going to be difficult to achieve with any type of decent sound quality, especially within your current budget, and it isn't really that necessary anyways unless you do a lot 5 channel music listening. The sub will take care of what the speakers cannot, for movie soundtracks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I appreciate all of your help. I have decided to go with the Yamaha NS-IW660 3 ways for the rear and the Yamaha NS-IW560C 8" 2-Way for the side surrounds. I may consider upgrading the front 301's in the future. I expect the new speakers next week and will let everyone know how they sound with my current setup. In the end I felt the Yamaha's would be a better match with the Yamaha receiver over the Polk's. Thanks again for all of your input.
 
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