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Sizing surrounds

 

New member
Username: Brianl

Post Number: 1
Registered: Oct-04
How does one begin to properly size surrounds?

I see lots of people buying the same size rears as fronts. Then others have big, expensive floor standing fronts with tiny surrounds. How does this affect the sound? Is one better for movies or for music? Does it all come down to room size?

I'm researching rear surrounds to go with my existing Infinity SM82 fronts (leaning towards Paradigm Titans). When I audition different speakers, they hook them up in a 2-channel arrangement. But is this the best way to audition surrounds?

I'm confused about what I will actually realize if I spend more money on surrounds.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 285
Registered: Jun-04
It depends on what you are using them for. If movies are your thing, then I would suggest spending a lesser amount than if you want them for music. Now if you are listening to music in multi-channel then I would suggest having the same speakers in the rear as you have in the front so that the sound characteristics would not change throughout.
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 286
Registered: Jun-04
In movies there is very little sound that actually is sent to the surround speakers, hence the reason for spending less.
 

New member
Username: Brianl

Post Number: 2
Registered: Oct-04
Thanks folks. Follow-up questions:

1) What sound comes out the surrounds when you are playing 2 channel audio? Or does that depend on the receiver setting?

2) For movies only, will there be an advantage going with Paradigm Titans over the smaller Atoms then? Since I don't yet have a sub (apartment) will the extra base of the Titans be noticed? I think they are only about $30 more at my dealer, so I'm thinking why not?

 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 288
Registered: Jun-04
No sound would come out if you are playing 2 channel (stereo), however receivers have DSP that emulate multi-channel. Now SACD and DVD-A are surround sound recorded disks. Basically that means it was recorded in a fashion that sends certain sounds to the surround sound speakers.

As far as movies go, your surrounds probably only receive a signal 15% of the time (differs on each movie) so having the smaller atoms would not hurt. The extra bass of the Titans would really only come into play noticeably if used as front speakers
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 289
Registered: Jun-04
I think you are having a small misconception of the surround sound duties. When you are watching a movie and let's say that an airplane flies by, you would hear the plane come from say the left surround to the front left speaker to the front right speaker. Does that make sense? In other words the sound would move around the room based on where the sound in the movie is coming from. If someone shuts a door in the movie to the right on your screen then you might hear a door slam through the right surround. Make more sense now? I hope this helps
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 290
Registered: Jun-04
Oh, by the way do you have a surround sound (5.1,6.1,7.1) capable receiver? If not, then you are not going to get true surround sound even by hooking these speakers up.
 

New member
Username: Brianl

Post Number: 3
Registered: Oct-04
Yep, have a Yamaha RX-V750. Very happy with it so far, although I haven't been able to experience all that it can do!

My thinking on the surrounds, and the plane flying scenario is that if the plane is behind me, then flies to the front, then the back speakers would have to have the same "capability" as the front speakers. I mean, the sound from the plane is just as loud, whether it's in front of me or behind me, right?

But this is my first surround sound system, so maybe all this is taken care of when calibrating the receiver. I'm just worried about undersizing, but still want to get the best value for my money!

Since I don't have a sub, I hope the extra base of the Titans may be useful in the meantime.

I've read alot that Paradigms seem to match well with Yamaha receivers... and I did like the sound when I auditioned the Titans. They're reasonably priced and sized, available locally, etc.

Thanks for your help!
 

Silver Member
Username: Rh1

Post Number: 291
Registered: Jun-04
Maybe a plane was a bad example, although a plane in front would be a lot louder.

I would suggest that you have pretty much made up your mind. If you liked the sound then $30 is nothing really. I would go ahead with it.
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