Do surround speakers have to match?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by Bod2020, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Bod2020

    Bod2020
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    I've recently dismantled a dedicated theatre room, and I'm looking at my options for incorporating some things into my living room.

    My question is, how important is it that the rear/surround speakers in a 5.1 setup match the front three (L/C/R). In my case I'm considering a PMC Twenty 21 and Twenty Centre front end, but utilising my existing Monitor Audio Radius R90's for rear duties.

    The fact of the matter is I have neither the space, nor the budget to have PMC rears, so is this really an issue if I have MA R90's for rears?

    Any help is much appreciated.

    Cheers
     
  2. lindzap

    lindzap
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    When I read the magazines that show people's theatres I often note that people don't have matching rears. From my own experience I'd also say that it's far less critical than to have matching L/C/Rs. That said choosing matches with similar characteristics like the tweeter material for example may make a difference. If I were you I'd try it and then see, that way you are putting money in the bank if you do want to have PMC rears at some stage in the future.
     
  3. Bod2020

    Bod2020
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    Thanks for the reply, anybody else have any thoughts?
     
  4. dante01

    dante01
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    It is beneficial to use speakers from the same range and manufacturer throughout, but having the same speakers at both the front and to the rear isn't as important as having the same tonal match across the three front speakers. It is better to have all the speakers tonally matched, but it isn't essential to have the rears the same as the fronts.
     
  5. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965
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    When I set my room up a few years ago I had PMC TB2+ fronts and centre, but M&K K4 tripole side surrounds and M&K K5 monopole surround backs (7.1 set up of course).

    Earlier this year a pair of white PMC Wafer 1s came up in the classifieds for about half the new price, so I bought them. I put them as side surrounds, high up each side of my sofa as per the photos below. Wafers have a 'beam down' function that gives the impression that the speaker is lower than it is and it works very well: At the start of Skyfall the motorbikes sound comes from the rear to the front and with the Wafers it really does sound like the bikes pass just by my shoulder. :D With music too they have much more weight than the K4 (which are small not unlike the Radius 90s). Despite me giving up tripoles as side surrounds and going to monopole side surrounds, the better match with the front and weight to the sound made it a worthwhile change.

    However, it was only once I'd bough them that I found this out. I didn't really want the Wafers in some ways as they look a bit too big IMHO where I have them, but they sound sooo good being well matched to my front three. In fact I'm considering changing my wall mounted TB2+ front speakers for more Wafer 1 speakers as they can be better positioned in my set up than the current arrangement which has the left rights jammed a bit too tight into the corners and the centre fitted too low. Then I will have perfect matching (apart from the surround backs which I've moved the K4 tripoles to this position so I can use the K5s in another room). If I don't go for more PMC Wafers, then I'll be getting an all MK system for the same reasons; so that they all match perfectly.

    So IMHO, it's worth doing if you can afford it, but don't sweat it if you can't. It's much more important to have matching front speakers: For a while I had a mix of TB2+ centre and DB1+ left right speakers and it didn't work so well for example. Once I got all matching TB2+ there is just a wall of sound across the front.

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    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  6. g60chubb

    g60chubb
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    I've been thinking about the exact same thing. I was wondering about having b&w s3 centre and fronts and the m1 or lm1s at the rear. Would it be a good match? I'm a noobie but have just started the upgrade from my unmentionable first budget speakers although they have lasted me throughout my teens and college... now 28. Way late.
     

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