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Dipole or Bipole?

 

Bronze Member
Username: Joe_s

Post Number: 11
Registered: 12-2003
Are dipole rear surrounds the way to go for high fidelity audio? Or will a pair of bookshelfs be better? Or am I just confused? I am trying to pick a pair of rear surrounds and center speaker. Ascend sells their front HTM-200's as rears, but Paradigm's rear Cinema ADPs are dipoles. Which is right?

I have a Marantz 5300, Kef Q70 mains, and will be buying a center to match the rears, either the Paradigm CC-170 or Ascend CMB-170. I listen to music half the time and movies/cable the other half. Room's about 15x19 with the TV on the long wall.

Thanks, Joe
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sjordan872

Post Number: 18
Registered: 01-2004
This is a great question that you don't read much about on here. It makes a lot of differnce in which line of speakers you decide to look at. Some lines only offer a bipole surround option and some only a direct radiating, while still others offer a rear surround that is both di and bipole ( there's a switch on the speaker to change it's output ). It all depends on where you plan to place your surrounds. Dipoles are becoming a thing of the past it seems because they were primarily designed for pro logic which sends a mono signal to the rears. The later formats (DTS etc.)send a more accurate stereo signal. Check out Polk Audio's website for a great explanation. Go to the Q&A tab at the top. Polk has the most informative speaker website I've seen. And that is very important to me as a consumer. A lot of these "high priced" LOL speaker websites (Focal-JMlab) give the buyer absolutely no help and rarely give an MSRP. I think that's bad business. Especially for someone like myself who isn't an audiophile.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sjordan872

Post Number: 31
Registered: 01-2004
Does anyone else care to chime in on this? It's a great question since some brands only offer direct speakers to be used as surrounds.
 

Silver Member
Username: Elitefan1

Post Number: 213
Registered: 12-2003
Joe,
Why are you buying a center to match your rears? The center should match your mains and a Paradigm or Ascend is no match for your Kef's. Buy a Kef center before anything else.
As for the surrounds, I think either bipole or dipole's are better than direct radiators for movies but I prefer directs for music and concert dvd's which I watch alot of . I recently switched
speakers and went with directs for my surrounds and they work well for movies also and great for music. The quality of the speaker is the most important factor regardless of it's type.
 

Anonymous
 
how are the q1 kef and how much power can they really handle.
 

New member
Username: Invierno

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2004
Paradigm says surrounds should be dipoles, with the listener in the null -- see http://www.paradigm.com/Website/AllAboutSound/Surrounds.html for their descriptions.

Wharfedale says surrounds should be bipoles, with one driver aiming at the listener and the outward facing driver facing the walls to create reverb and ambience -- see http://www.iagamerica.com/wharfedale/evo.pdf page 9 for their description of this. This makes intuitive sense to me.

Dali, in their surround sound Suite line suggests direct radiators for sides and rears, aiming over the head of the listener, but in line with them. See http://www.dali-usa.com/PDFFILES/currentmanuals/Suite_UK.pdf page 13 and 16 for details.

Polk, at http://www.polkaudio.com/home/library/downloads/hthandbook.pdf page 11 and page 18 says they could be any of the above, or direct. (For direct, they suggest firing over listeners heads, in line with the listener if from the side, and aimed past the listener if from behond on the rear wall.) However, they say the most imortant feature is that they match the high frequency range of your front speakers and go at least as low as 80 Hz.

Another poster said direct radiators may be better for music. I don't know if this would be because direct radiators are usually bookshelf speakers of higher quality than many smaller surround speakers, or for some other reason.

Any other opinions or personal experiences out there? I myself am currently trying to decide which way to go, so I'd like to hear more comments on this.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Sjordan872

Post Number: 47
Registered: 01-2004
Great post Invierno! Anybody? Anybody? Beuler, Beuler?
 

New member
Username: Invierno

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2004
Okay, how about we simplify the question (kind of). What surround setup are people using that they really like or really hate when used for movies AND for music?

Let us know if you're using dipole, bipole, or direct, 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1, what height the surrounds are at, how they are oriented, how well they work for movies, and how well they work for music.
 

New member
Username: Invierno

Post Number: 1
Registered: 02-2004
To add more fuel to the fire, Rotel in their home theatre brochure http://www.rotel.com/support/pdfs/brochures/hometheaterbrochure-bwrotel.pdf on page 7 says "experts now recommend direct radiating speakers" and "there's no argument that direct radiators are far preferred by knowledgeable audiophiles for multi-channel music reproduction in the home."
 

Bronze Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 11
Registered: 12-2003
yup, there are so many opinions on this matter. Specially from manufacturers selling their wares. The most important thing is the listener, and what their preference would be. I like the direct radiating set-up, myself

cheers
 

Gemini
Unregistered guest
I already post a similar question a few mintues ago, but I will copy it here, since it is very relevant to this great discussion:
"Using Floor Standing Speakers as Rears!!!

I know it is an overkill, but I found Athena AS F2 speakers on a very tempting sale, so I got them (as I have the same pair as my fronts already, and I love them).

Now the question is: Till I setup a new audio system for my bedroom (where I will be using these speakers) I will hook them up as my rears in my current family-room HomeTheater setup.
(I already have a pair of al-cheapo speakers hooked as rears,so I am gonna replace them with tose high-end speakers)...

Will they sound very good, consideringthat they are not gonna be mounted or elevated or anything (though they are high enough to align with your ears when sitting). Will this setup work? Will they sound good, or maybe better to get less expensive bookshelf speakers and use them as my rears?

I am not taking about price, I am talking about perfrmance, specially concerning 3D imaging and sound stage blah blah

Help please... "

I will test this setup, and let you know :-)


Cheers...
 

Silver Member
Username: Project6

Post Number: 294
Registered: 12-2003
I have played with that set-up using Axiom M60s as fronts and the Athena ASF-2 as rears, being driven by Outlaw Audio 7100, and WOW...I was blown away. I don't think it's overkill at all...hehe, I like wretched excess

cheers
 

Unregistered guest
If i have my lounge up against the back wall,how do i place direct radiator speakers for surrounds and if i use bipole do i place them on the side wall or back wall(how high,how far in)no one in high fi stores can give me a direct answer
 

Bronze Member
Username: Invierno

Post Number: 15
Registered: Feb-04
I also will be trying to make direct radiator surrounds work in a situation where the couch has to be up against the back wall. (Worse, the back wall is full of windows, though I've got light curtains to dampen the noise reflections.)

My current thought is to move the couch forward a foot or two (that's all I can manage) and angle the surrounds to point at the wall behind the listeners head (placed higher as well). That way I get some of the direct effect and some bounce.

I've seen some of the hi fi stores do this in their own setups, but always when the back wall was an uneven surface (like equipment racks) that could diffuse the sound better than my windows/curtains combination.

So my guess is I won't be happy with this and will change to having the surrounds aimed right at (and above) the listener.

Anyone else who has actually tried to solve this situation out there?
 

Bronze Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 39
Registered: Feb-04
Jason

Look here:
http://dolbylabs.com/ht/Guide.HomeTheater.0110.html
 

Bronze Member
Username: Invierno

Post Number: 18
Registered: Feb-04
Funny that Dolby shows all their examples with direct radiating speakers at http://dolbylabs.com/ht/Guide.HomeTheater.0110.html from My Rantz post above while THX shows all their examples with dipole/bipole configurations at http://www.thx.com/mod/techlib/speakers.html. Especially since the two companies used to be connected (so I hear). I guess it shows that THX is focused completely on movies while Dolby is being more general.
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