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  1. #1
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    Difference between "musical" and "HT" speakers??

    I have several speakers in mind but I am confused about what some say are mainly for music and others are mainly for HT.

    What determines if one would be better at the other? For example, I understand that the Salk Song Towers are not for HT. Some say that the B&W are mainly music speakers??

    From my "common sense" perspective.... if a speaker can reproduce something musically well.....then it should do HT great. Am I wrong? Can anyone shed some light on this please!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Ajani
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    Generally I would expect a 'musical' speaker to do HT well... however there are some things that might be lacking:

    1) Room Shaking, Heart Attack Inducing Bass is not always a requirement of a musical speaker... which is why HT usually uses Sub-Woofers...

    2) Personal Preference - some people prefer speakers with a less obvious high frequency response for music, but find 'bright' speakers ideal for hearing voices clearly in a HT/TV Show....

  3. #3
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crash32
    What determines if one would be better at the other? For example, I understand that the Salk Song Towers are not for HT.
    One consideration is optimum speaker placement. Since I prefer large dipolars that require significant distance from the back wall, using anything but a projector would be a bad match. A narrow tower type speaker (or monitors/subs) works better in that respect.

    rw

  4. #4
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    The speakers I have in mind for my system is the B&W 683's. I am getting a nice sub to go with the set-up so bass should not be too much of a consideration.

    Thanks for the clarification..... helps out a lot!!!

  5. #5
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
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    I agree with Alan Lofft of Axiom Audio who states:

    ".....If you are considering speakers for mostly home theater use, the same standards apply. A speaker that is smooth and accurate on music alone will be just as neutral and transparent with movie soundtracks. There is no separate category of speakers which are "good for home theater" or "good for music." The same standards of fidelity apply......"

    Some people might desire speakers that are more effeicent for home theater, etc. but the basics are the same with the exception that great subs with low bass extension are absolutely necessary for HT.

    The 683's should be excellent for HT and music both. Do not skimp on the sub and do not crossover to the sub too low.

    RR6

  6. #6
    PDN
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    I have a pair of B&W DM603-S3's for both and they do an excellent job. They're extremely musical plus great for special effects in HT. The key difference in HT is the center channel speaker. That's where most of the dialog is produced. Be sure to purchase one that is a good match with your mains (best bet is to use the same brand with your mains). I have the B&W HTM61 which is the match for the 683's but is super also with the 603's.

  7. #7
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    I think its generally true that if a speaker is good at reproducing music, then it will be good for HT as well.

    As far as the centre channel is concerned, yes, it should match the mains. However, not every movie soundtrack makes a lot of use of it. Some do, some don't.

    There seem to be different opinions on whether or not to use dipole speakers for the rears. I think dipoles were probably more appropriate in the days of pro-logic, where the purpose of the rears was to produce a diffuse sound field. These days, with discrete sound effects being mixed into the rear channels via DD or DTS, I tend to lean towards direct speakers rather than dipoles for the rears.
    All we are saying, is give peas a chance.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    IF a speaker is good with music then it will be good for HT, since HT isnt as demanding as good music.
    On the other hand good HT speakers are not nessesarily good music
    speakers.
    B&W loudspeakers are very demanding, they show up every
    wart in source material, everything.
    Their subs are the most musical also, musicality is what they strive for,
    they build matched sets for HT, they have to for marketing reasons, but they still concentrate on musicallity.
    Every other brand has disapointed in some way, but these have never disapointed, ever
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    LG 42", integra 6.9, B&W 602s2, CC6 center, dm305rears, b&w
    sub asw2500
    Panny DVDA player
    sharp Aquos BLU player
    pronto remote, technics antique direct drive TT
    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
    emotiva upa-2 two channel amp

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    I agree with Alan Lofft of Axiom Audio who states:

    ".....If you are considering speakers for mostly home theater use, the same standards apply. A speaker that is smooth and accurate on music alone will be just as neutral and transparent with movie soundtracks. There is no separate category of speakers which are "good for home theater" or "good for music." The same standards of fidelity apply......"

    Some people might desire speakers that are more effeicent for home theater, etc. but the basics are the same with the exception that great subs with low bass extension are absolutely necessary for HT.

    The 683's should be excellent for HT and music both. Do not skimp on the sub and do not crossover to the sub too low.

    RR6
    What's wrong with that? The 683's should play fine into the low 30's.

  10. #10
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
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    AA, you say they play "fine" into the 30's. Actually they are not playing fine but putting an increased strain on the amp that is driving them down to the last octave of their bass extension. In addition, they are producing a higher distortion level in that lowest bass octave. The quality sub's sole purpose is to reproduce this lower octave (and lower) of the main speaker with ease due to its dedicated amp and at much lower distortion. One can move the sub to a different location but not the main speaker which might be causing a significant peak in that lowest octave due to standing waves.

    We crossover the tweeter down to the mid and the mid down to the woofer when they run out of steam and roll off. Why not do the same with the woofer to the subwoofer rather than adding the lowest octave of the woofer to the sub (or rather than the sub) when the woofer is reproducing at less than optimum.

    The 683 is a very nice performer but why not take over for it in both music and HT with a sub which is optimized to do the work better.

    RR6

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    AA, you say they play "fine" into the 30's. Actually they are not playing fine but putting an increased strain on the amp that is driving them down to the last octave of their bass extension. In addition, they are producing a higher distortion level in that lowest bass octave. The quality sub's sole purpose is to reproduce this lower octave (and lower) of the main speaker with ease due to its dedicated amp and at much lower distortion. One can move the sub to a different location but not the main speaker which might be causing a significant peak in that lowest octave due to standing waves.

    We crossover the tweeter down to the mid and the mid down to the woofer when they run out of steam and roll off. Why not do the same with the woofer to the subwoofer rather than adding the lowest octave of the woofer to the sub (or rather than the sub) when the woofer is reproducing at less than optimum.

    The 683 is a very nice performer but why not take over for it in both music and HT with a sub which is optimized to do the work better.

    RR6
    Actually I should've only underlined the crossover part on my preivous post, not the cheap sub thing. I'm all for a good sub but why not crossover low if your mains go low? Are you saying you set yours to 'small' on your AVR or perhaps high pass them in some way? Unless this is true i see no reason not to x-over your sub as low as your mains will allow it (i.e under 40Hz in the case of 683's.)

  12. #12
    Audio/HT Nut version 1.3a
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    Yes, it was implied in my mind but I forgot to mention that the 683 (which is flat roughly down to about 40Hz) should be set to "small" and thus all bass below 80Hz would be directed to the quality sub which does a superior job of reproducing those lows.

    This article copied at Ecoustic.com states it briefly and well. I know there is disagreement on this subject but in my opinion this article has it right.


    "............Avoid setting your speakers, even if they are towers, to the "large" setting in your receiver's setup menus.

    Receivers and preamp/processors typically have two settings for your speakers: "small" and "large." You need to get past what these words actually mean in English, as they are a very poor choice for this feature of a processor. This setting actually has nothing to do with the size of the speakers, and everything to do with the range of the speakers. This setting determines when low frequencies are diverted from your front speakers and into your subwoofer (the crossover frequency). In other words, it has a tremendous effect on the bass you'll hear in movie soundtracks.

    Very few speakers should actually use the "large" setting. Even most of the big, powered towers should not be used with the "large" setting because they can't produce these low frequencies (or they produce them without power and depth). What you should be thinking is that "large" means you have a truly full-range speaker; use "small" for everything else. If your speaker can't put out more than 100dB at 20 Hz, set it to "small."

    There are three main reasons for avoiding the "large" setting. The first is that crossovers aren't brick walls; they have slopes in both directions. The rule of thumb is that with typical bass management crossovers, your speaker should be flat to 1 octave below the crossover point. So, with an 80-Hz crossover point, your speaker should be flat to 40 Hz. Lots of speakers can do this. Only a few speakers are flat to 30 Hz (even though manufacturers' specs will try to tell you otherwise, there really are only a few, at least within a reasonable price range), and even fewer speakers are flat to 20 Hz (and below) at the levels a home theater will be asking for. The large setting on a receiver doesn't filter any low frequencies from a speaker to the sub. If the speaker isn't capable of the really low frequencies, they simply will be lost. Set to "small," however, these low frequencies will be filtered out and passed to the subwoofer, which is capable of reproducing them.

    The second reason for using the "small" setting is that when you relieve a speaker of low bass duties, that speaker becomes a much easier load for your amp, and the midrange quality of the speaker often improves. The third reason for using the "small" setting is that bass frequencies have the greatest interaction problems with a room. Multiple sources of low bass in non-optimal places cause all sorts of sound wave problems. The best place for your main speakers is almost never the best place from which to produce low bass. Being able to produce all the bass from one spot in the room gives you the best chance of optimizing your room's bass response.

    A final thing to note is you have to be wary of processors that allow you to set different crossover points for different speakers. With the exception of some very high-end processors, you should not use this feature. The vast majority of processors with this "feature" high-pass each speaker's signal at the frequency you specify, and send it to the speaker. This is good. However, to feed the sub, the processor will sum the full-range signals from all the full-range channels and the LFE channel, and then low-pass this signal at the lowest crossover point you set. So, if you have your surround crossover set to 100 Hz and your main crossover set to 40 Hz, there will be a 60-Hz hole in your surround channels' responses. This is not good. THX chose 80 Hz as its bass management crossover point for a reason; trust their research and experimentation.........."


    RR6

  13. #13
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    Fair enough

    OK, I get your point, but personally I'm not sure I agree on the whole.
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    "
    RR6
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