Mixed vintage speakers for HT use?

Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by gogofast, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    Yes and no, your AVR will adjust the balance, the mix of horn speakers with coventional.......? Im not surprised the Klipsch house sound didn't work with the JBL house sound, apples to oranges.

    Again, using some common sense in the pairing, for video matching speakers isn't as important as for music reproduction. I'm currently running Infinity mains and sub with Canton center and rear channel speakers to good effect. Both are sealed cabinets with a similar design goal of a flat frequency response so mate well together.
     

     

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  2. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    The advantage of Vintage Horn loaded speakers is the directionality of the horn gives higher definition and more dynamic range than point source speakers. You could pick the 3 Belles, for smaller 3 Heresy, Two Cornwalls and a Heresy. Two Forte's and a Hersey. Of course Belles and Hersey will need subs. Corn walls and CF series and later Chorus not necessarily . It takes a very strong pair of subs to keep up with Klipsch Heritage. Horn loaded Altec model 19's, Carmels, etc work well as do larger 4300, and 4400 series speakers from JBL. But again subs are an issue. I use large Bozak with line array and spherical array for the front. Point speakers for the side and spherical for the rear. All the same drivers so I don't have to worry about sonic mis matches. All the same mids, woofers, and tweeters. Yes my speakers are a little dynamically challenged compared to the more efficient Klipsch Altec and JBL, but I prefer the over all quality and I only loose a few db with the speakers being bi-amped and tri-amped and with 14 woofers I don't need subs. The are other choices, EV, Frazier, Beta, Cornscala by Crites, JBL made so many models, you just have to do research. There are Klipsch RF series speakers, two. How about a pair of 3 way Hartsfields with a paragon in the middle and L300's for the sides and rears by. JBL. I know I go crazy some times. Or three DD67000 for the front and 4367 for the rear and sides. Any one got $200,000 for a Magic set up with 2 subs. Of coarse you would need 5000 watts of power. I'll stick with the 3 Belles or 3 Heresy with subs and maybe 300 watts of total power including the rears and side.for a vintage system. .
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  3. hnash53

    hnash53 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It seems to me that the 5 speakers you choose should all be within 3dB of each other in terms of sensitivity/efficiency. Otherwise, some will sound louder, others softer... perhaps enough for your to tell the difference.
     
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  4. Spiceman50

    Spiceman50 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Really looking forward to hearing your thoughts when you get this all put together.
     
  5. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    :bigok:
     
  6. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    Not quite correct Duane, Sir.
    UDP-203, and 205 players were the last that OPPO produced..

    I own 1 BDP-103, and 2 UDP-203`s, and "applied" for one of their UDP-205 models via their web site, but missed the boat.. :(

    All 3 players, are solid, and the 103 was my HT player for over 6 years, and then was relegated to ripped WAV. flash drive music playback for all day background listening after upgrading to my first 203 for HT duty.. :thumbsup:

    It(the 103) was left running 24/7, until it was replaced by the second 203, over a year ago, and now that 203 also runs 24/7.

    The music purposed 203, is playing, as I type this, and the only time I turn it off, is when I`m adding new ripped music to the flash drive. :music:
     

     

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  7. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    That`s not been my experience, especially with any movie sound that`s panned across front 3 speakers..

    The center channel speaker should be very similar, or even better, have the same mid/tweeters(timbre matched), bass, though, is not so important, if the HT is setup right, there should be a roll off below 80 Hz coming out of the center channel, depending of course, if during set up and calibration large center speaker is selected, and one, is, in fact, used. IMHO/E.

    Just saying, from doing this, since the early nineties.. IMG_0320.JPG IMG_0167.JPG
     
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  8. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    Also doing this since the 90's, my main concern has always been my 2 channel music first. Although I'm concerned enough about my surround that all channels have their own dedicated power amplifier, no AVR. Actually I've never used a receiver in close to 5 decades of buying electronics lol.

    But I digress, my experience is not the same. As long as the speakers aren't grossly different, say horns with planars etc then it's not all that big a deal. As things pan from left to right in the real world they change timbre for a multitude of reasons, just ask any two people hearing the same event from different perspectives.

    I'm about the most OCD guy I know, speaker wires exactly the same length, speaker placement measured to the nth degree, etc etc. And to me the center being a Canton the mains Infinity eh, don't sweat the petty stuff, pet the sweaty stuff I always say.
     
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  9. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes and no. If your AVR or pre/pro is anything resembling modern, it will have Audyssey or something similar with a calibration mic. This will correct for different levels, but what is important is timbre, so panning sounds don't sound unnatural as they move from one speaker to another.

    I have done exactly what you suggest twice in the past.

    First real A/V setup was typical Polk bookshelves, I want to say Monitor 30s?, matching center, and a Polk sub.

    At some point I found an Outlaw sub for cheap.

    Then I found a pair of Monitor 70s that I swapped in in place of the front L/R.

    Then things got stupid.

    The one real drawback of this whole setup was that this was set up at my girlfriend's place, and the center channel was sitting on a shelf directly above a 60" display. Even I, who has admittedly poor directional hearing, was annoyed when watching a news program or any scene with a "talking head" centered on the screen. All the sound was clearly located a good two feet above the speaker's mouth.

    Somehow I ended up with two sets of KLH Twenty Threes and a pair of Twenty Fours. Thus began the Ludicrous Vintage Surround System. Since this was in a wide but short room, I stayed 5.1, put two Twenty Threes in the corners for front L&R, and the other pair right next to the screen, one on either side, with the tweeters at center of screen level. The Twenty Fours went in the back corners of the room. The ones close to the screen were wired in parallel to the center channel output. Yeah, I know, that's a four ohm load, but the same AVR is still kickin' today.

    For whatever reason, this solved the height problem of using a single center channel (as would, probably, using speakers above and below the screen - or maybe four in parallel/series, thus solving the impedance problem? But I digress.) But what I noticed was that the "sweet spot" was right in the center of the couch and diverging too far left or right would make the sound seem like it was right in front of the seating position, not centered on the screen.

    Next try was a mix of various EPI and Genesis speakers, all 2-ways with the inverted dome tweeters. That worked really well, much wider sweet spot, guess the dispersion pattern of the tweeters made the difference.

    Unfortunately that system has been decommissioned and a lot of the speakers sold as she ended up moving a few years ago to a smaller place and the system now is a much more conventional one based on some little Boston speakers I got off Craigslist. The Outlaw sub has remained, however. Had she kept a large place I would have been tempted to experiment with using power amps...
     
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  10. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    As you can see, from this early nineties scanned photo taken by my dear departed friend, my initial evolution, was 2 channel based, by looking at the TV size..
    And the next scanned pic by him shows the start of my progressing into what I have current/y Livingroom07-92.jpg Livingroom02-91.jpg HT endeavors ..
    When a flyover sound of a bee freaked out my Saint Bernard, while watching the movie : "Honey, I shrunk the Kids".
    I figured that if that sound made her think there was a bee buzzing over her head, then the system must be pretty close
     
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  11. Bill Ferris

    Bill Ferris Super Member

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    My Integra A/V/P has Audyssey, and I did calibrate/voice the system.
    Before I did, I tweaked it for best sound first.
    Prior to buying the Integra, I have been voicing/level calibrating the system using 1/3 octave eq`s on all 7 channels, using my IVEY class 1 IE 30 RTA/SLM though my Lexicon CP 3, then later on, a DC1 A/V/P..
     
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  12. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    Also been startled by voices etc that "I " was fooled into thinking someone was in the doorway etc.
     
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  13. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Many units like the Emotiva processor I use offer trimmers for each channel. Along with white noise to measure and balance each. When I upgraded the mains, there was a big difference between them and the center/rears. Later upgrading to a new center, its now just the rears.

    Never been a problem for me once adjusted.

    As for the importance of the center, I guess each person's experience is different. I'll qualify mine as saying I don't listen to much MC music. Mostly cable content and movies. A lot of cable content is stereo where nothing is send to the center. With movies and MC content, it seems that the center is used mostly for dialog. I chose a Magnepan center for two reasons: it is full range like the electrostatic mains and has a large radiating area to minimize localization.

    I found the previous Polk LSiC distracting with its horizontal 2.5 way design. The right woofer was for midrange and I sensed dialog always coming from the right of screen.
     
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  14. Pyrrho

    Pyrrho Well-Known Member

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    1. Theoretically, there should be no difference at all. Speakers are supposed to accurately reproduce the signal sent to them. In practice, since home theater systems are designed for using subwoofers, there tends to be less need for the main speakers to reproduce deep bass. After all, if you have the subwoofer anyway, why bother with having the main speakers do that, too? Of course, many people use small bookshelf speakers for stereo, so this isn't always going to be different in practice, either. Another difference is with speakers designed for different positions in people's systems. In the case of surround speakers, some (though certainly not all) have been made dipole or bipole in order to produce a more diffused sound. In the case of center channel speakers, the ones designated as such are made to fit people's cabinets and not block the TV; the horizontal orientation is not ideal for sound (if it were, they would make the right and left speakers horizontal for audiophiles, instead of, generally, vertical).

    2. Being vintage or new is not important. What may be important is how well or poorly they match each other. How okay that is depends on how much you care that the sound will be altered by the different speakers sounding different. When, for example, a sound pans across the front, the tonal quality of the sound should not be changed by different speakers; the difference should be one of location, not due to a different type of speaker with different characteristics reproducing it. In real cinemas, they typically have identical speakers across the front, so that the tonal quality does not change. In my case, I use identical bookshelf speakers for all positions (except for subwoofers, obviously), so that when a sound pans from one channel to another, I have perfect matching, with the difference being only that which is caused by the sound being reproduced in a different location. I used to have "voice matched" speakers, and I will NEVER go back to just that. My center channel speaker is oriented vertically, just like the right and left, at almost exactly the same height. I picked my TV furniture with this in mind, after deciding on the speakers I would use. So sounds panning across the front sound great. I use bookshelf speakers for two reasons. First, a very tall speaker in the center would block the TV. Second, I have subwoofers for the deep bass anyway, so I don't need any of the other speakers to reproduce deep bass. I filter the bass from all other channels and send it to the subwoofers.

    Now, since you already have a bunch of speakers, I suggest trying them. You may be happy with the results. In which case, you can save a lot of money. Not everyone is as picky about speakers matching as I am, and so you may not need to worry about this. It really depends on you whether speakers matching matters or not. You are the one who will be listening to it, not us. You are more likely to be dissatisfied with front speakers not matching each other than the rear speakers not matching, both because humans hear better in front of them than behind them, and because surround channels tend to be for ambience and effects rather than the main sounds that you are hearing, but, again, what matters is how you feel about it, not what matters to others.

    As far as the impedance goes, that does not matter at all if they match each other or not; all that matters is that the amplifiers are okay with all of the impedances. And differences in sensitivity should be taken care of by the channel balancing that needs to be done anyway, though it could be a problem if the differences were very extreme, beyond the capability of your receiver/processor/preamp to adjust.
     
  15. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    The center channel speaker is MTM horizontally oriented for a sonic reason, not to fit your tv lol. With this design the output is more directive for dialogue to be locked to the screen for more seating positions.
     
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  16. Pyrrho

    Pyrrho Well-Known Member

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    If that were true, real cinemas would do it that way. But they don't.

    A home theater is a recreation of a real theater, though with some differences, in that most home theaters are much smaller, and consequently one tends to need far less volume of air moved, opening up many other speaker possibilities than would work in a large theater.

    With an MTM horizontally mounted, there can be comb filtering issues from hearing the same frequencies from two sources, with the one slightly delayed from the other (as the distance between you and the different "M" speakers in an MTM will be different for everyone not exactly centered). You can read a bit about this in an article (it is multiple pages, so to read it all, one must click for the next page):

    https://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/comb-filtering

    Here is another article relevant to this topic:

    https://www.audioholics.com/loudspeaker-design/center-channel-designs-1

    So, no, a horizontal MTM design is not ideal. If it really were better for more seating positions, real cinemas would use such a design, and they don't.


    What locks a sound to the center of the screen is having a center channel speaker. With 2 channel audio, there is a "phantom" center when a particular sound comes equally from both right and left speakers, but that will only be centered for someone sitting in the center between them. Having a center channel (virtually any center channel speaker) and directing those sounds to it anchors the sound to the center, because for everyone in the room, those sounds are coming from the center of the screen (either above or below with conventional TVs).
     

     

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  17. Grenadeslio

    Grenadeslio Super Member

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    Real cinemas are not our homes lol. Now if you just happen to have a house large enough to have a cinema then kudos. The Heresy was designed as a center channel for theaters and its directivety was a part of the design. Horizontally placing an MTM layout gives a similar result, that's why it's the design de' rigueur for "home" theater use.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  18. tanker 200

    tanker 200 Well-Known Member

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    I'm guilty of using vintage speakers in a HT system. A few months ago I picked up a Yamaha RX-A1070 and am using ADS L730's for front speakers, L300's (C's and E's I think) for both surround and rear speakers, L200's for front presence speakers, a Polk center channel, and a Velodyne HGS-18 for a sub woofer, It sounds nice to me but I'm sure it could be better. We're looking for another house right now but will most likely end up building at this point and will make sure there's a room that will fit the K-horns (in the main music system) and work as a HT.
     
  19. PanheadXR290

    PanheadXR290 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    There is a difference between speaker systems designed for mainly home theater use and designs made mainly for superb 2 channel use ,the difference is that HT specific speakers aren't designed to provide low bass ,that's why you see so many floor standing speakers with a bass response of 35hz and above ,instead of investing the money into cabinets and driver's tuned to below 20hz the low bass duties are handed off to a subwoofer .

    I have a 5 channel Stereo/Home Theater ,a 3 channel system , a small 2 channel rig and the rig I'm building now that will become a dedicated 5 channel audio only system ,I've found that keeping fronts and rears within the same manufacturers specific speaker line is best ,for an example ,any speaker from the Klipsch Heritage line will be a spot on match for your ears ,and your amplifier ,this is where alot of people take a wrong turn by not properly matching speaker systems .

    As to the mixed ohm speaker systems you have ,keeping the amplifier in mind plays a huge role in the sound you end up with ,your amp wants to see the same ohm values in front and rear ,if your running both pairs from the same amp then your gonna want to stay close to the same ohmage with fronts and rears ,a speakers 2, 4 ,6, 8 or 16 ohm rating isn't a " true " ohmage the speaker will present the amplifier with ,your speakers rated ohms are an averaged rating , the impedance "ohms " changes with frequency ,this means that the impedance will be mainly around the 4/8 ohm range ,as frequencies change the speakers ohm values can swing above 32 ohms, or go as low as 2.5 ohms & still be rated as a 4 ohm " nonimal " speaker ,this is where careful speaker matching plays a huge role ,when running more than 1 pair of speakers off the same amp most amps aren't designed to take different impendeance curves & you end up with poor quality sound & an overworked amp ,this is why it's best to keep your fronts and rears within the same speaker line , the engineers who designed the speaker line have surely thought through impendeance curves and level matched the models within a series ,if your center speaker is also on the amp the fronts & rears are on the same general rules apply .
     

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