Best Surround Speakers

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  • 03-23-2004, 11:55 AM
    junkeroos
    Best Surround Speakers
    Can someone recommend better and cheaper surround speakers than the Snell SR30THX which costs $1800! What's nice about the Snells is that you can switch it to monopole so you can use it for SACD or DVD-Audio listening. What is your take or experience regarding the following surrounds?:

    Snell SR30THX
    http://www.heimkino.at/produkte/snell/snell_sr30.htm

    Axiom QS8
    http://www.axiomaudio.com/surroundsoundsystems.html

    Mirage Omni FX or Omnisat
    http://www.miragespeakers.com/omniFX.shtml
    http://www.miragespeakers.com/omnistat.shtml

    M&K Surround-55 MKII Tripole
    http://www.mksound.com/surround-55mkII.html

    Energy Veritas VR2.0Ri or Connoisseur C-R3
    http://www.energy-speakers.com/verit...s_sub2-0r.html
    http://www.energy-speakers.com/conno...ers1_c-r3.html

    Von Schweikert TS-150
    http://www.vonschweikert.com/ts150.html

    Currently I am using B&W SCM8-THX which are great for home theater but would like to replace them with something more capable of multi-channel music too.
    http://www.bwspeakers.com/downloadFi..._info_SCM8.pdf
  • 03-23-2004, 11:59 AM
    bturk667
    You really need to have your ears make that decission for you. Speakers are the most subjective component.
  • 03-23-2004, 03:29 PM
    junkeroos
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bturk667
    You really need to have your ears make that decission for you. Speakers are the most subjective component.

    I thought cables are the most subjective part of the setup. Anyway, It is true that your own ears are the best judge (especially with the front speakers) but it is nice to know what other people's experience with the abovementioned surround speakers. After all, they are just recommendations. It is a good starting point combined with professional reviews to narrow down one's choices to two or three contenders, besides, one doesn't necessarily have the time and resources to audition all the speakers. There are however several factors that would affect one's decision in choosing the right one for his setup other than sonic capabilities i.e. size, look, finish, flexibility, features, customer support, speaker impedance, reputation, etc. etc. Also, unlike the fronts, the surrounds are not as critical when it comes to one's sonic taste. One is more concerned as to the ability of the speaker to 'surround' the user from his listening position.
  • 03-23-2004, 04:05 PM
    Woochifer
    Before you even ask that question, the first thing you should look at is what main speakers you're using. If you plan to do multichannel SACD/DVD-A listening, then you really should go with a set of speakers that matches your mains. IMO, you don't have to go with dipoles as surrounds, so a bookshelf version of your mains would also work.

    With multichannel music, the closer the voice match between the main and surround speakers, the more seamless the overall imaging coherency. Mismatches are very audible with a lot of multichannel mixes, and significantly detract from the imaging effect. When you play back multichannel music discs using correctly positioned and voice matched speakers all the way around, the front soundstage is cohesive and very wide, and the side imaging is far more stable than anything you'll ever get with a two-channel mix.

    It's not quite as critical for most movie soundtracks because those mixes don't place the same sounds into the front and surround speakers at comparable levels like a lot of music discs do. Even though it's still desirable to match the speakers, it's not quite as crucial as with multichannel music. However, with 5.1 now the standard practice for movie soundtracks, I've started noticing a lot more of them steering music through all five speakers and doing a lot more sounds at equal levels between the front and back channels. With that trend, the importance of matching the surround speakers increases.
  • 03-23-2004, 05:34 PM
    bturk667
    I understand your point. However, unless a person has the same electronics as yours, there results will most likely differ from yours. As far as bulid quality, I have never heard a problem with any of them. I own Snell's, so I can tell you that their customer service is outstanding!
  • 03-23-2004, 05:49 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by junkeroos
    I thought cables are the most subjective part of the setup. Anyway, It is true that your own ears are the best judge (especially with the front speakers) but it is nice to know what other people's experience with the abovementioned surround speakers. After all, they are just recommendations. It is a good starting point combined with professional reviews to narrow down one's choices to two or three contenders, besides, one doesn't necessarily have the time and resources to audition all the speakers. There are however several factors that would affect one's decision in choosing the right one for his setup other than sonic capabilities i.e. size, look, finish, flexibility, features, customer support, speaker impedance, reputation, etc. etc. Also, unlike the fronts, the surrounds are not as critical when it comes to one's sonic taste. One is more concerned as to the ability of the speaker to 'surround' the user from his listening position.

    Cables are the LEAST important part of your setup. You need them, but the difference between the cheapest and most expensive options is minute compared to the variation between speakers and the effect that your room acoustics will have. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something.

    Like I said, if you already have main speakers and you're happy with them, then the best surrounds are the ones that have the most similar tonal characteristics, it's that simple. All these other considerations that you're bringing up are irrelevant if the surrounds sound significantly different.