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Mix and match speakers

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Gliese 581c, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. Gliese 581c

    Gliese 581c
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    Just been told by a hi-fi dealer to never mix and match speakers as it could upset the tonal balance of the whole system..

    I have the b&w htm2 centre channel and wanted to add the JM Labs Micro Utopia's as fronts...

    Any ideas/thoughts please ?
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Ideally it's best to choose speakers from within one manufacturer's ranges,in the hope of getting the best tonal match overall.
    It doesn't however mean that you can't get a very good result by mixing and matching,and I'd expect the tonal balance of the Micro Utopia's to be a reasonable match for the B&W centre.
    The only way to be sure,and this applies to speakers from a single manufacturer as well,is to try it with your own system.
    Since you're in the market for Micro Utopia's you could also consider B&W 805 signatures,and the Wilson Benesch Arc as reasonable alternatives,and all worth a try.
     
  3. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    What your dealer is saying is all about the tone of different speakers, specifically their different tweater characteristics.

    Tweaters from the same range sound the same and therefore 3 speaker setups will sound similar - why not identical? Well, you have to take cabinet size and shape into consideration too. Floorstanders and centre speakers may share tweeters and woofers, but don't have the same internal volumes. The sound of each will vary due to cabinet design differences.

    B&W centre will sound different to the JM Labs tonally and you will likely notice chnages as sound pans left to right during DVD movie sequences - the once-smooth pan has a noticible lift/drop as the sound moves to the centre and then out to the floorstander again. Even matching fronts/centres from B&W aren't perfect - you need 3 identical fronts for that.

    Rather matching B&W fronts or 3 x JM Labs IMO.
     
  4. Gliese 581c

    Gliese 581c
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    Will it sound awful if it doesnt match correctly ?
     
  5. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The extent of the awfulness will depend on the extent of the missmatch. If you have a centre that is completely different in tone to the main speakers it will be noticeable at certain times.
     
  6. Gliese 581c

    Gliese 581c
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    So you wouldnt recommend doing it ? Would a decision like that make you not buy a set of speakers you like ?
     
  7. Ian J

    Ian J
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    You ask the most awkward questions :D

    I have three identical M&K speakers at the front with the "centre" lying on it's side underneath the TV perhaps two feet lower than the main pair. When I listen to setup discs like Avia I can hear quite a noticeable difference in the test tones between centre and mains but in ordinary use I can't hear any difference at all.

    Only you can decide whether the difference in tone is annoying or not. The obvious answer is to try and get a demo of the combination that you are interested in and use a film like Training Day which from memory has a lot of talking whilst moving from centre to the side and make your own mind up.

    I am no expert in either set of speakers so can't give you specific guidance.
     
  8. Gliese 581c

    Gliese 581c
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    Thanks Ian, good advice, I'll do that....and thanks to the others too :)
     
  9. kiddi

    kiddi
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    I wanted to keep my B&W 602's for fronts and get a center speaker and surround back speakers. Since B&W isn't awailable in Iceland and I had no chance of getting them anywhere I set out to find speakers I felt would "match" the sound from my B&W's. After listening to several brands and considering price I went for Canton. They seemed to fit in perfectly. I've tried listening to all kinds of movie soundtracks and music and can hear no tonal/tweeter difference. Even the test tone sounds the same in the center as in the fronts. So for me mix and match can work, but you have to choose carefully.

    Sorry for the longish post...:rolleyes:
     
  10. Gliese 581c

    Gliese 581c
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    not at all kiddi, thanks for the heads up on the Canton's.

    I'm now, provisionally, the proud owner of a set of micro utopia's if they fit with my system....testing will commence this week sometime.
     
  11. rags

    rags
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    Arcam - what happened to the 804's ?

    I take it that JMlabs dont do a matching centre ? Surely in these AV fueled times they must do.
     
  12. Gliese 581c

    Gliese 581c
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    804's - long story mate, too many dealers coming the c*nt !
    805's - If I ever find a second hand set I'll eat my pants....805's from dealers ? they want £1400 ex dem and thats what they cost new..

    Put the extra money towards the utopias, they are meant to be amazing......will test before I buy in my house.
     
  13. rags

    rags
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    Yeah I know you had a tough ride re the 805's.

    The JMlabs etc probably justify you shelling out a bit more on your amp at a later date.
     
  14. Gliese 581c

    Gliese 581c
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    para 2205 is what i want mate, cant go wrong there ?. should drive the jm lab's just fine.
     
  15. rags

    rags
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    Yup - drives most speakers just fine !! Good value if you can pick one up.
     
  16. Gliese 581c

    Gliese 581c
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    Got the Utopia's.....will test them out tonight, still in work :(
     

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