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Mixing Speakers

by volcomnick / November 28, 2007 1:43 PM PST

I recently got a good deal on a center channel speaker, a new Polk CS2 for 50 bucks. I only got it because it was a good deal, now I'm wondering if I could use it with the system I was originally going to upgrade to, the Onkyo 540 7.1 speaker system. What appealed to me about the Onkyo system was the sound for the money.

Would it sound well if I used it in place of the other center speaker?

Any information on this, or advice of a different path to take would be really appreciated.

I have a 7.1 set up of cheap Yamaha speakers right now and an Onkyo SR 605 receiver right now.

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Well how does it sound???
by jcrobso / November 29, 2007 7:04 AM PST
In reply to: Mixing Speakers

If you like the speaker, you might think about add more Polk speakers. John

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why do I keep saying
by jostenmeat / November 29, 2007 7:28 AM PST
In reply to: Mixing Speakers

"what John said".

In so many words, there is only way to find out! Happy

Placement of center is paramount. Try to avoid reflections, or, if its on a shelf, maybe have it at least flush with with the edge, if not over. Angle it too. Well, ideas...

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by stewart norrie / November 29, 2007 7:43 AM PST
In reply to: Mixing Speakers

First call Onkyo and tell them what model speaker you own they will tell you what speakers you need for the rest of the system. O had a mixed speaker system and there was no sirround effect at all you could hear sound coming from each speakeres but no sirround at all good luck stewee

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Awesome. Thanks for the help.
by volcomnick / November 29, 2007 8:15 AM PST

I'm thinking I'll skip the complete system and keep with the Polk. I'm amazed at the difference in the sound.

I'll probably do it in parts,
Front Left and Rights?
Then surround, left, right, back right and back left??

Any suggestions as to what order I should get 'em in?

Also, any suggestions as to good speakers? Just no floor standing.

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well it depends
by jostenmeat / November 29, 2007 10:31 AM PST

my personal vote would be sub. Although that does happen to depend on personal tastes, size of your room, even neighbors, etc. IMO, the fronts are often not much more than surround speakers that just happen to be in front (HT considerations only, not music).

So, yes, Id reverse order to sub then fronts, then whatever else. budget?

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by volcomnick / November 29, 2007 10:55 AM PST
In reply to: well it depends

I could justify spending 300 for a set of front speakers, 300 for a sub probably, then I'm not sure about rear surround or whether they even need to be replaced or not. So 600 total, however i should split it up.

Bass isn't too important to me, more worried about my system all blending together and sounding better overall. Would a better sub help?

Are rear speakers worth upgrading? Right now I have a cheap Yamaha set of 4.

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I forgot to ask
by jostenmeat / November 29, 2007 10:50 AM PST

whats wrong with floorstanding?

bookshelves + stands are usually the same price! Why wouldnt you want the most likely improved midbass response and reduced compression? for the same money... (at least what I imagine at price point you will look at). Just curious.

I have bookshelves for surrounds, but for a very specific reason: to obtain "proper" height of tweeters.

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no floor stands
by volcomnick / November 29, 2007 10:58 AM PST
In reply to: I forgot to ask

Its just a spacial issue. I don't have enough width on my wall to have them down on the ground.

I never considered rearranging to maybe squeeze out enough space for floor standing. Is there a real advantage?

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by jostenmeat / November 30, 2007 4:25 AM PST
In reply to: no floor stands

$600. I can't decide how to split that for you. How big is your room? (volume and is it open?). Then, what is the system used for? Like... 80%HT 10%games 10% music? I will say one thing, once you have "solid" bass in your system.... you will be spoiled rotten. You will never go back. 50/50 split on sub/speakers is not a bad idea, but I personally would get the best sub possible, and eek out the fronts, used or whatever. (assuming HT primarily. my system is also for 2-ch and my mains cost as much as all the other audio equipment combined).

Yes, a better sub will help your overall system, and how it blends. But, then again, all of it matters. Placement of sub, and placement of listener position are paramount. (Living rooms are guaranteed to provide plenty of issues with humps/nulls).

Don't worry about the rear speakers. In fact, erase them from your mind for now. They will come naturally. Don't even bother to even think about them, till you get the sub and/or fronts.

Well, I think you usually get more speaker by getting floorstandings than bookshelves+stands at the entry level price point. (Obvious reasons on both counts). But your response makes me wonder about even just placement for bookshelves. Yes, they are called "bookshelves", but actual bookshelf placement is normally quite a compromise. All speakers like some space on all sides.

OK, so in a nutshell, I like floorstanding. But, what I am saying is that no matter what you get, think about good placement (as I already touched upon with the center channel). Hope this helps.

If you want more help, better explanation, diagrams, pictures of your setup and room might be in order....

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by volcomnick / November 30, 2007 8:37 AM PST
In reply to: volcomnick

That is helpful.

The bass my new center channel puts out is already a big help, so I think I'll will start looking for a good sub first.

My room is a moderate sized rectangle bedroom. The only real obstacle is left surround speaker should be placed where a moving closet door is, so rather than having it above the door, I have it back behind me to the left. Would it sound good from above?

I mostly use it for gaming and really like being able to detect where shots came from.

My front right is almost up against the wall to the right of it, that's bad? My surrounds are hanging on the walls in the corners and the rears are sitting in a window seal.


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by froasier / February 13, 2008 9:35 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks

You definitely want your layout symmetrical, especially in the front. Get the front left/right speakers to be the same distance from center if you can, put them most of the the way to the corners of the room, at or just above ear level (going by the tweeters). You want your center speaker to be as close to the TV screen as possible--either right under it or right on top of it. Surrounds should be on the side walls, slightly behind and above your ears. Rear surrounds go on the back wall, possibly in the corners, again slightly above your ears. Surrounds and rear surrounds can be mounted up high if necessary, just make sure you angle them down and do it symmetrically. To position the sub, if possible, put the sub at your listening position and then walk around while playing something bass-heavy, listen for where it sounds best, and put the sub there. Oddly enough it usually works to do it backwards like that. If that doesn't work for you or depending what type of sub you have, put it in the corner or follow the sub's manual, and then experiment by ear from there. Avoid resonant spaces like under a desk.

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Mixing Speakers
by Cosrocs / December 1, 2007 2:32 AM PST

When mixing speakers with your current sound system, make sure the
speaker have the same wattage and ohms rating.

Your sound system may have 4, 8, 12, or 16 ohms and the wattage output can be from 10 or more up to 100 watts per home system.

The speakers must match the power rating of your system, the size
and shape of your speakers does not matter.


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I would say
by jostenmeat / December 1, 2007 2:51 AM PST
In reply to: Mixing Speakers

exactly the opposite of what you wrote Cosrocs.

A lot of audio specs are baloney, or at the least only as a ballpark figure. Power ratings for speakers included. It also depends on if the specs are more influenced by marketing team than the engineers.

The speakers do not have to match in power, nor impedance.

The most important aspect in matching IS size or volume of the speakers.

At least according to Dolby and DTS.

volcomnick, Ill get back to thread later today, working right now, though I don't know how much more I have to add.

Flatworm, Id love to try Audyssey. Yours is the entry level version, right? Not the MultiEQ version? Id love to try their top of the line Sound Equalizer, but thats $2,000....

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by volcomnick / December 1, 2007 3:48 AM PST
In reply to: I would say

I'm using they Audyssey set up is awesome and I noticed a huge difference over my old receiver right away when using the same speakers.

The sound level isn't as much of a concern as the sound of the system blending together for me.

Its kind of funny, I used the Audyssey to set it up and it had to crank my center speaker down to -10.

I read on a different thread and its very true, "Beware of the ever expanding budget..."

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mixing not always a good idea
by damond64 / November 30, 2007 7:30 PM PST
In reply to: Mixing Speakers

First off, you won't harm anything by mixing the speakers, although you won't achieve the sound that you may otherwise get if you were to have matched speakers. You got off to a good start with Polk, I would look into getting the sattelite speakers that will match that particular center speaker.

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Sure it's OK.
by Flatworm / November 30, 2007 8:52 PM PST
In reply to: Mixing Speakers

You should check to make sure the impedance on the speakers match, but aside from that it ought to be OK to mix and match speaker brands within certain limits. On a 7.1 system you probably should have the right and left speakers of the front, surround and rear speaker sets match each other, but even this is probably not absolutely necessary. In any event, the brand of the front speakers don't have to match the surround or the rear speakers. The center speaker and the subwoofer can pretty much be any brand you want. This might make balancing the output a little bit more complicated than just going with the defaults, but that's really the only problem and this is something you need to tweak anyhow for nearly every actual room that exists in the real world.

Newer Onkyos (I don't know about your older SKS-HT540) come with this absolutely miraculous Audyssey system that allows you to balance the speakers in a 7.1 system automatically.

My own system, which employs the Onkyo TX-SR705 receiver, has two Bose 501s as the front speakers and the remainder of the speaker set, including the subwoofer, have been scavenged from a much cheaper Onkyo HT-SR800 7.1 theater system. It sounds utterly INCREDIBLE even in my highly non-standard living room where all the seating positions are at weird positions related to the room center.

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I see that you have the TX-SR605
by Flatworm / November 30, 2007 8:54 PM PST
In reply to: Sure it's OK.

NO PROBLEMO! Hook up the speakers and use the Audyssey system to balance them.

(I really should read things all the way to the end, don't you think?)

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