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How important, exactly, is the quality of surround speakers?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by hermand, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. hermand

    hermand
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    Right,

    I want to buy some new surround speakers to go with my Mission M73s and M7C1.

    Now I know the obvious choice is the M7DS surrounds, but would they significantly improve my audio experience over, say, the Gale
    3060B bipoles, which are a fair bit cheaper, and easier for me to get hold of? (I also think they look a bit nicer)

    (btw - Does anyone have, or know anything about the Gales?)

    I can't help feeling that they are fairly similar surround speakers, and given the nature of their use, it won't make a whole lot of difference.

    FYI - I am using a Yamaha 630SE Amp.

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers

    Herman
     
  2. Brad_Porter

    Brad_Porter
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    Surround speakers are a very important aspect to that DD/DTS enveloping soundstage.

    They mainly set all types of atmospheres such as waves on a boat, or people chanting in a crowd scene. Also, scenes with helicopters, cars and spaceships flying around the room also heavily use these speakers to complete the feeling of enveloping sound.

    As for quality, well it’s a case of you get what you pay for. More importantly, it’s about matching the sound of the surround speakers to the sound of the front three. When, a ship from Phantom Menace comes from behind and goes over your head, you don’t want the back speakers to sound different to the front speakers or you wont get that smooth transition from back to front.

    Its always best to stick to the same make/brand of speaker (in my opinion) so that the timbre remains the same throughout the system. Thus, smooth transition throughout.

    I cannot comment on the Gales. I have never heard them. However, I hope my opinion on 'surround speakers' as a whole has given you some food for thought. I couldn’t be without mine.

    Regards,
    Brad
     
  3. Lowrider

    Lowrider
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    I did live happy with lesser surround speakers for a while, still good speakers from the same brand, but audiophile friends did say that they heard them, and usually asked me to lower their level a bit... Also I could hear them if I turned my head back, and there was a defenite difference in the direct and surround sound, I even thought I needed 7.1 to fill the gap... no problems with movies, in fact the wife prefered them to the new ones...

    Now I got new speakers that match exactly the fronts timbre, and the gap is gone, the transition between the direct and surround sound is perfect... it is much better with music, also with movies, but there, some people might even prefer different speakers to listem "more" the surround effects, like my wife does...

    So, if you listen to music, particullarly CDs with DPLII, as I do, you should get the surrounds that match closer your fronts...
     
  4. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    Hi Lowrider. When you listen to CD's with PLII activated on amp, is your player CD player or DVD player? If CD, is is connected digitally or via analogue phono leads to the amp? Have you tried alternate method? Cheers.
     
  5. Brad_Porter

    Brad_Porter
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    With my sorround speakers I have them around 3 or 4 foot above my head and about 8 foot away on the side walls. Because of the distance, I cant place the sound, so I dont mind having the backs set to 75db from listening position.

    I do have some friends who turn there sorrounds down, however, because they are closer to there ears and that causes the speakers to be easily pin-pointed and direct.
     
  6. Lowrider

    Lowrider
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    Nobber,

    I use a DVD player, the FMJ27, thru the digital connection to the TAG, otherwise I would have two extra conversions...

    When I had a receiver, I would use the analog connection, and direct mode to avoid the digital processing, and get better sound, but only for critical listening, I prefer DPLII most of the time...

    Try both ways, if the DACs in your CD/DVD player are better than the ones on the processor, you may like better analog...

    Brad,

    I also don´t like the surround speakers close to me, they became very distracting... I have mine in the back corners of the room, 10 feet away, approximately same distance as the fronts and center, but same stands...
     
  7. Brad_Porter

    Brad_Porter
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    Lowrider,

    I know what you mean. I try and get my sorround sound speakers to be as 'vague' as possible. Pretty much to the point where if I have all the lights off and watching a film (yes....a NORMAL film :) ), I cant really pinpoint the sound exactly; especially those dreaded back speakers. If anything is going to ruin the sound its going to be back speakers that are sitting right next to your ears!

    Get 'em up and get 'em away!!
     
  8. Lowrider

    Lowrider
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    Defenetly up if they are close, but more and more people are recomending ear level, like the fronts... I wouldn´t mind a few inches higher, but I use the same stands, and they are not variable height...

    They image very well, though, so I still get the sound stage high...
     
  9. Dave N

    Dave N
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    Herman,

    Dont know how myuch the Gales are but Mission 77DS from Richer Sounds for £99 sounds like no brainer bargin imho - would give you a Mission Series 7 setup (like mine) which Im v pleased with (and just added one of Erics Velodyne subs)

    R
    Dave
     
  10. Brad_Porter

    Brad_Porter
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    I would agree with Dave N on both counts.

    1. Keep to the same brand - buy Mission sorrounds to keep the same timbre throughout the system.

    2. Get yourself the biggest, baddest and most evil subwoofer thet you can afford/fit into your room. If the Mission reviews are correct, they lack a little 'weight' that a sub would bring back into the system. Velodyne offer good weight and value for money according to Uncle Eric - I cant comment as I have never listened to one but people say they are good.
     

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