Can I use towers for surrounds?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Asere, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Asere

    Asere AV Addict
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    I was looking at getting the Dayton tower speakers to use as surrounds. They stand at 30 inches tall so not ear level. Would that be ok?
    Screenshot_20180211-210719.png
     
  2. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Ideally your surrounds should be at or slightly above ear level... but I think distance can make up for below ear level placement. How tall are your front three channels?
     
  3. Asere

    Asere AV Addict
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    They are 36.6"
     
  4. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    My gut is telling me that you're better off not going with these speakers as your surrounds, simply because of height.
     
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  5. Tony V.

    Tony V. Moderator
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    I agree also, surrounds should be high up and I dont think the size of a tower speaker as a surround is beneficial and would also put more strain on the receiver amps (if you use one)
     
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  6. leecreek

    leecreek Active Member

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    Raise them up.
     
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  7. Asere

    Asere AV Addict
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    I may get the Dayton MK402 and place them on a stand.
     
  8. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    Do you have wall mount space? Or is this an open area?
     
  9. leecreek

    leecreek Active Member

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    My wife splurged for some E1's due to the fact that she disapproved on three other speaker sets I have on hand.....And she was right, I did find something she would like. They sound good too...
     
  10. Asere

    Asere AV Addict
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    No, the family room is an open space with the kitchen.
    I may be an oddball here. But since I haven't had floor surrounds in awhile when I tried it the other day with older speakers I didn't like the idea much of hearing stuff next to me. Maybe because I've gotten used to in ceiling for so long. Why now? IDK I want to go ahead and do it for the full submersion I guess.
    How far away should I place the surrounds from my ear? That's another thing I have tinnitus and don't want the speaker too close to me.
     
  11. GFOviedo

    GFOviedo Senior Member

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    I can tell you from experience that having tower as surround sound speakers is a waste of space especially if you have a small living room like mine. I ended up selling the towers, and I went with satellite speakers. I went with the Cambridge M21's for surround. They are small speakers, but can put out some good sound.
     
  12. Kal Rubinson

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    Perhaps for movies which are usually already bass managed with an LFE channel. For discrete multichannel music* which often comes as 5.0, I really appreciate having floor-standers all around (center, too).

    *added in edit
     
    #12 Kal Rubinson, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  13. GFOviedo

    GFOviedo Senior Member

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    If you have the room for them yeah. I don't really watch many movies anymore. I mainly listen to music.
     
  14. Kal Rubinson

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    Me, too, and that was my point but I, initially, left out the word "music."
     
  15. Matthew J Poes

    Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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    I would add that for movies or music (but especially for music) having 5 matched speakers which are identical provides the best and most seamless pans. After decades of playing around with different speakers, everything from fully unmatched speaker sets to timbre matched surround sets with horizontal MTM's and bipolar surrounds, I've come to believe that, quite frankly, there is no such thing as timbre matched. Either they are identical, and thus timbre matched, or they are not, and thus, not timbre matched. It is simply not possible to design a speaker using different drivers and/or a different arrangement and get exactly the same sound. You might get a similar balance, but it won't be identical. One of the biggest issues being, even if the responses matched to within .5db's (which they rarely do) the dispersion of the speakers will not match, which can greatly effect pans. For movies, it is the front 3 speakers that seem to matter most. For music, it seems to depend, but really, they all seem to matter equally. When surround music places you in the audience, I find you can get away with mis-matched surrounds as long as their tonal balance is similar. When they place you on the stage, especially with orchestral music, they must be all exactly the same.

    I'm still a fan of adding bass management and subwoofers for acoustic reasons, but that is a separate issue. I completely understand and respect your preferences Kal.
     
  16. Todd Anderson

    Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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    I think one of the best system improvements comes from three matching across the front... rarely possible for most, but if possible it's a must.
     
  17. Matthew J Poes

    Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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    Hi Todd, I agree!

    I owned timbre matched speakers for a long time that never sounded right to me. The pans had a smiley face pattern with a slight tonal shift that I found distracting. It was never seamless. Between the height difference and the slight tonal mismatches, it became one of my biggest erks. I bought Focal (Then called JM Labs) Utopia bookshelves with a matching Center. They all had the same drivers, but arranged differently. Measurements confirmed that their polar patterns and response shape were not identical, but were very close. I still found it to be a problem. When a bad lightning storm took out my entire system and I had an opportunity to rebuild from scratch, I spent all of the insurance money I received to replace speakers on just the front three, and bought three identical Gedlee Abbey's. Because these were kits, my technical knowledge was rapidly advancing at that time (as was my measurement capabilities), I learned a lot I didn't know. Including that three identical speakers is STILL not identical!!! My center actually has a modified crossover designed to match its on-axis response to the L and R speakers off-axis (listening axis) response. This modification made it so that moving left or right of center would reduce the shift in tonal balance that nearly all speakers would face, thus widening the sweet spot.

    While I've put together 5.1 systems using 5 identical speakers before and used it with music, I've never had the budget or room to setup a 5.0 system the way that @Kal Rubinson does. The few times I've heard such systems with surround music, they have completely floored me. The envelopment that is possible by using not only identical speakers but also moving them away from the walls for all positions is outstanding. If I did not have kids and did not need to worry about little ones getting into my equipment, I would happily build 2 more pairs of the Abbey's for surround duties. The only way to make that work today would be to hide the wires and bolt them to the floor.
     
  18. Sonnie

    Sonnie Senior Admin
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    Most of my surrounds have been floorstanders in my current room... other than the SVS bookshelf speakers I had up high for about six months. I think if you have Atmos, it may not matter as much, but either way, I like the floorstanders myself. Right now I have the Emotiva T2's up front and T1's in back. The mids/highs are about a foot above ear level when I am in my main center listening position, but they still work find at ear level when I am in a back row seat on the riser.
     
  19. Asere

    Asere AV Addict
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    Well I settled for the SVS Prime satellites for surrounds. I need to connect them but when I do I'm going to connect my LCR and satellites to my Onkyo 805 and the other 4 in ceiling to the x4200 receiver.
     
  20. Matthew J Poes

    Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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    Sounds good, let us know how it sounds.

    The Prime's are a more refined speaker for sure. Much better driver quality.
     
  21. Sonnie

    Sonnie Senior Admin
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    I was trying to get those Prime Satellites before I left SVS, but they were so far backordered I could never get a set. I even purchased mounts for them that I still have.

    That's an interesting setup with the 805 and 4200... how exactly are you integrating the two?
     

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