Normal or Dipoles in 5.1

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by tryingtimes, Apr 9, 2001.

  1. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Hi all
    I am getting conflicting advice from my local dealers and thought I should ask here.

    Are dipoles good for use in a 5.1 system (ie not THX) or are they just a remnant of the pro-logic era when you had to spread the little sound you got as far as possible.

    Also are tripoles (such as M&K) a good (but expensive) compromise.

    My problem is that I have to have the speakers at the side of me as I have an open staircase behind the listening position.
    I am a bit worried that directional speakers will lose all the surroundness that I had when I used to have floorstanders behind me.

    Thanks!
    Alex
     
  2. Reiner

    Reiner
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    There are several ways of mounting directional (normal/monopole) speakers, ie behind or beside you, toed in or not, facing the wall or ceilling to disperse the sound or whatever you can imagine.
    A matter of your (room) layout and personal preference I would say.
    Dipoles were designed for DPL systems were the rears were mono and for THX certified homecinema setups.
    However for DD and DTS I don't see a problem using normal speakers, especially not if you are into multichannel music where normal speakers are actually recommended.

    And the way THX is going (now even certifying PCs, yes, Personal Computers) just shows what they are up to - to rip you off. Sorry, just my personal opinion ...

    So it's your call, or if you want to compromise listen to some bipoles which could just be what you are looking for though it is recommended that you match the rears with the fronts/center to maintain tonal balance (ie speakers should be of the same make and series).
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    There is much written about this on the TAG website. Use the search engine and you will find several good loads of info.
     
  4. bigalroz

    bigalroz
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    Personally I could never see the point of bi/dipolar rear speakers with DD 5.1. The whole point of multichannel sound is make a convincing surround soundfield (imaging between speakers should be enough to create this) with localized effects. If you use speakers that alter or destroy this effect then you may as well not bother. I used to think THX was the way to go but like Reiner I think it's just a "designer label" these days to rip you off, certainly in the home cinema environment anyway!
     
  5. Confucius

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    Prob'ly best not to lump bipoles & dipoles together like that. They have quite different sonic characteristics.
     
  6. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Thanks Nic
    I've had a read through - It's a little more high-end than I am looking at, but useful nevertheless.

    Opinion seems to be mixed. I have heard the M&K tripoles that someone mentioned and I thought these were good. A little dear for me, though. I was looking at the B&W DS6's and downwards (in terms of price!)

    Directional speakers are far cheaper but I would like them to be as slim as possible :(
    It is very difficult to find dealers that stock them and can give demos.

    One of my main difficulties is that I am trying to match to Rega Ela front speakers. They are fairly bright, forward but sweet.
    I have been looking for second hand Kytes but to no avail :(

    Any more thoughts?
     
  7. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Stay away from the B&W DS6 dipoles, they are overpriced and have a limited frequency range which suits only DPL but not DD/DTS.
    They are perhaps not bad speakers but IMHO unsuitable for "digital" setups and though THX certified cost a bomb.

    Perhaps some Mission 77DS (bipoles) could be what you are looking for!?
    They are reasonable but good performers, as well see if you can audition some Monitor Audio FXi (I think that was the model) - if still available.
     
  8. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    I agree with REINER ( again ) about the B&W rear speakers, they are long overdue a overhaul and redesign to fight off competion for the new digital age.

    If you are at all interested the look ar RICHER SOUNDS ( Im sorry if this offends some of you more dedicated audiophiles ) and check out there range of cheaper rear speakers.

    They did do 3 different models ranging from about £100 to £150.

    After demoing each model I went for the new MORDAUNT-SHORT models. These have clarity beyond belief and you will think that they cost twice as much. They are only little speakers but the certainly improve the quality and directionality of the rear soundstage. Anybody who was ever impressed with the MS T1000 center speaker from a few years back ( arguably still one of the finest centers ever made ) will be aware just how detailed these speakers are !!!

    Im running these on a Denon A1D with a front soundstage of B&W 603 and CC6
     
  9. Jagular

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    <STRONG>Alex,
    Unless you are using professional theatre amps or one that can set the phase of the dipole speakers in conjunction with the other front to back discrete channels, they’re next to useless!

    From what I understand, the only time dipoles should be used is to space out some of the directional nodes/nuls of multi-speaker theatre surround channels. If that’s what you require that’s fine, but used with 5.1 DD/DTS amps my personal opinion is don’t.

    Anyone who has already auditioned them will tell you that when used in 5.1 as rear channels they sound particularly weak – a pretty good sign they’re not meant for this configuration, that is unless of course you feel like experimenting with phase shifts in the home environment.

    Sounds like your best bet would be to use conventional speakers facing the rear wall. You could try reversing the phase on the rear speakers, to check the set-up use a suitable THX (opti-mode)or equivalent disc, if required!

    Rob.
    </STRONG>

    ;)
     
  10. Vixpy

    Vixpy
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    Just like to conflict with of most of whats above. I used to use directional rears positioned at the rear of the room, I found that the sound 'jumped' from the front to the back of the room. I now use KEF TDM34 positioned at the rear sides of the room( there bipoler) and i have to say the effect is amazing, the sound flows from front to rear. I'm not saying the others are wrong, far from it. its just i prefer this setup.
     
  11. Reiner

    Reiner
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    That's exactly my point - it depends on your personal prefence and perhaps "application" (ie more towards AV or multichannel music).
    Different people, different opinion - nothing wrong with that.
     
  12. Matt F

    Matt F
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    Agree with Vixpy - I use the KEF TDM34s and they are fantastic (so they should be at £699). One small point though - they are dipoles not bipoles i.e. they fire out of phase.

    As for the general question - have a listen and see what you think - and try them at at home if you can (after all that's where you'll be using them). Try some normal i.e. direct radiating speakers, try some bipoles (Mission, Eltax etc) try some dipoles (more expensive and not always the easiest speakers to drive) and, if you can stretch to it, you could even try M&K's Tripoles.

    Personally, I would say that direct radiating speakers may not be so appropriate for use on the side walls (unless you can get them back behind you) but at the end of the day it's your choice.

    [ 11-04-2001: Message edited by: Matt F ]
     
  13. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Thanks guys
    All good stuff

    It would appear that people are fairly divided on the subject which makes it very interesting.
    I would imagine (from what people are saying) that both systems can sound great when set up really well.

    I've actually found some bargain s/h Rega Kytes on Loot - picking them up tonight - so that means I'm going down the directional root (for now).
    They will integrate really well sound wise (they use the same drivers as my fronts). I will install these and then dem some dipoles when I'm sure I've got the sound as good as it can be!

    Thanks all
    Alex
     
  14. Guest

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    Just to jump on the back of this little bandwagon......i use mission 77ds rears. Until about 5 minutes ago, i thought that these were the bees knees.....mind you, that was also under the impression i have my digital setup not setup right! So are you guys in the know telling me i could well get a better sound using a quality set of monodirectional speaker......celestion A1's to be precise....?

    thanks!
     
  15. Black 5

    Black 5
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    Alex,

    Contrary to some posts here, I used to use B&W DS6s with my 5.1 setup and liked them a lot. I know their frequency is limited, but that didn't stop them impressing me. I now use the B&W SNTs and they are definitely in a higher league (and of course directional). Interesting contrasts, and I know you've made a choice, but maybe others might like to know.

    BTW, Kytes are really nice speakers aren't they? I've had a pair for years now and they presently do duty in the kitchen with a Denon receiver - just don't want to get rid of them ;)
     
  16. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Kytes
    They're just one of those hifi bargains that come along every once in a while like the old Nad 3020 amp, the Linn Kans the Rega ELAs and not enough others :(

    I got them last night and am yet to put it all together but, while I was listening at the vendors house, I was a little bit peturbed to find that they didn't sound as similar to my ELAs as I was hoping. Anyway they didn't cost very much so I thought it was worth a punt.

    I'll post on this thread after the weekend.

    Regards
    Alex
     
  17. JDC

    JDC
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    Alex - have you checked out the Sonus Faber 'Wall' speakers? I auditioned them recently against some B&W's and Bostons - I bought them but have not yet completed building my sytem. www.sonusfaber.com

    Any one out there with experience with these in a 5.1 only set-up?
     
  18. JDC

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    Ah. I bet the boys @ SonusF didn't anticipate sales losses for that reason! (What do you do for shoes?) I digress. The Walls will be placed infront of the seating on the side walls. I may change this to the corners once it's up & running, since the sofas are against the back wall, and there's not much ceiling height. The fronts are the SF Grand Pianos, SF centre & M&K sub (M&K are far better than REL, IMHO).

    Boston do make some very smart surrounds, depending on your taste - I just wanted a speaker that would be unobtrusive, and regular 2-way small standmounters didn't fit the bill.
     
  19. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    Hi JDC
    Unfortunately for me (I'm Vegan) the Sonus Faber 'speakers use leather on the fronts.
    So they're out.
    It's a shame because a lot of Naim users rate them highly and those surrounds do look like a real quality product - are you going to put them on the sides or rear?
     

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