What would you do...better surrounds or better sub? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-29-2004, 06:50 AM
After finally settling on speakers for my new setup, I've purchased my front towers and center channel. Now I'm looking at picking up surrounds for a 7.1 system, and a sub. My budget would allow me to get either 4 bookshelf speakers for surrounds, and a bigger sub, or it would allow me to get 2, possibly 4 dipole surround speakers and a *good enough* sub.

The speakers I'm looking at in particular are (4) Monitor Audio Silver S1's for surrounds (side and back) and then a SVS 20-39+ PCi, or Monitor Audio SFX dipole/bipole (4) and a SVS 20-39 PCi.

I guess my question is how good of a thing for movies and multi channel music are the di-pole/bi-pole surround speakers. I tend to think that a bookshelf, especially a well reviewed one like the S1's would have better sound quality. The di-pole/bi-pole speakers would have better room filling effects. My room is 20 feet long and 14 feet wide, so it's not too terribly wide. I'd think that the di-pole/bi-poles would do a better job of eliminating dead spots and such. However, I think as I said that the bookshelf speakers would sound better, and more sub is always a good thing.

Any thoughts and advice will be highly appreciated:)

06-29-2004, 07:26 AM
My suggestion is save your money, avoid the dipolars. Get 2 surrounds and a sub for now (or 4 surrounds if possible)...you can always get 2 more surrounds if you wish later on.
For multi-channel music, the dipolar/bipolar speakers are annoying at best. I've been in rooms 10 feet wide, where bookshelfs placed 1.5 meters above, beside the listener but slightly behind, created an incredibly wide and diffuse surround environment. I wouldn't worry about your room being narrow.

The dipolar/bipolar vs. direct firing speaker debate is as old as the hills, tons of people like them, tons don't. But definitely, multi-channel music is NOT intended for use with dipolar/bipolars.
But make sure you get your 5.1 system up to your standards before going to 7.1.

06-29-2004, 08:37 AM
A sub for sure is the best way to go. With a 10' ceiling you've got up to 2800 cu. ft. of space to fill with bass. A higher powered sub will fill that space a lot better and will yield a much more satisfying HT experience. The surrounds - especially the rear surrounds in the 7.1 setup - play only a very minor role. For the most part you get a bit of ambient music from those speakers and in very rare instances you actually get a bit of "real" surround effects.

06-29-2004, 05:21 PM
If you don't currently have timbre matched surrounds, then that would be the first purchase I would make. Get the 5.1 alignment done right before you worry about adding the two additional back surrounds. I'm not a fan of dipoles, but others are. I suggest you give a listen and decide for yourself. Typically, multichannel music does not work as well with dipoles. IMO, the surrounds are more important than the sub because the split full bandwidth surround channels convey an extra dimension that was not possible before.

And rather than worry about which subwoofer to get, keep in mind that the room acoustics will dictate the bass just as much, so get that squared away by getting a parametric EQ, a SPL meter, and test discs. Any acoustical problems will affect all subwoofers similarly, so it's important to deal with that no matter what sub you go with. In general, a calibrated and equalized sub will almost always sound better than a sub that's just dropped into a room without equalization.

06-30-2004, 11:32 AM
Does Anyone knows were to purchase these speakers over the Internet. (PSB Image S50 Bipolar Surround Speaker)?


06-30-2004, 12:35 PM
Does Anyone knows were to purchase these speakers over the Internet. (PSB Image S50 Bipolar Surround Speaker)?


PSBs are not authorized for mail order sales, so you're not going to find a lot of place offering PSB for sale online. Anything you might find is unauthorized, and customers that buy PSB speakers from mail order houses will lose the warranty as well. If you're in an area without a local PSB dealer, then you can probably contact a PSB retailer and have them ship it out to you. But, most PSB dealers will not ship into an area that has a local dealer close by.

07-01-2004, 11:06 AM
Thanks guys. I've decided to go with the bookshelf option.