Created on 29.11.2006 21:09.
Updated 05.04.2015 11:43.
With the same bass depth, the subwoofer + satellites system can be made cheaper than the system of “large floor-standing speakers.” But a minus appears – some mismatch (at best, only timbre, at worst – either a dip or bulging at the “boundary” frequencies) Since the requirements for sound fidelity in films are not so high, and the depth of bass, on the contrary, is very desirable, the system of subwoofer + satellites is preferable for “theater”. because there is less deep bass in it, and tonal balance and uniform frequency response are very important.Therefore, if you plan to listen to music on the same system, the front speakers take more bass, and the subwoofer is simply turned off.
Formally, in the DolbyDigital standard (and DTS too), the channels are equal and the speakers recommend the same. But in reality (even if we do not take into account the previous point), much less sound goes through the “rear areas” in films. Of the hundreds of films that I have seen, only about 10% of the rears were turned on at a noticeable power. Therefore, in the range of $ 800-3000 per diesel fuel, the redistribution of money from the rear to the front gives a noticeable improvement in the overall sound. Further (above $ 2500), you can also afford powerful rear areas, since further improvement of the fronts is already pointless due to the resonances of the room. Although I would not have done this – well, perhaps only after replacing TV with a good “plasma”.
It is highly desirable to have the fronts and center not only of one firm, but also of one SERIES, i.e. with the same speakers. Otherwise, due to the difference in timbres, the sound of an object moving, say, from right to left, will noticeably change in color, which immediately introduces unnaturalness into the sound stage. It is also desirable to have rears with similar speakers, but this is not so categorical (purely geometrically, rears are far from the fronts and the ear has time to “forget” the timbre). The rear panels “recommended” by the manufacturer are quite enough, although sometimes they are also available with other speakers. I would not recommend taking the rears of another company (at least without a thorough joint with the listening fronts).
If a subwoofer is purchased for a system with floor fronts and is not used for music (or bookshelf speakers, but it is not planned to listen to music at all), then the main thing that is required of it is to shake the floor while watching a movie. In this case, it is often cheaper to take a sub from another company, but more powerful and more powerful. But if you want to listen to music in the “shelf” system, it is advisable to take a sub, recommended by the manufacturer of the fronts (usually the same company, but there are exceptions). In this case, with a high probability, it is either already matched with the edges, or it is relatively easy to achieve this by adjusting. In this case, the payment for the “musicality” may be the insufficient power of the “terrible” movie explosions and cataclysms. Here you can choose for yourself, depending on your taste – “cinematic” or “musical”.
Modern amplifiers / receivers do a pretty good job with any speaker. Legends about the “incompatibility” of individual models and even firms come from expensive “Hi-End” -amplifiers “haute couture”, which not always, due to circuit solutions, can work either with speakers of low sensitivity (insufficient power), or with speakers with low peak impedance (not low enough output impedance). In the price group we are considering, you can safely forget about (in) compatibility and not fool yourself.
There is some truth in the opinion that theater receivers are worse at playing HiFi music than specialized stereo amplifiers are (this is not surprising, since there are less dollars per channel, which forces you to save on components). But the differences are so subtle that (again, in the given price range and with budget acoustics!) They can be neglected and listen to music through the receiver. This will eliminate the complication of switching. To have two pairs of fronts (“theatrical” and “musical”) does not make sense at all, because good “musical” ones will do an excellent job with the theater, and small possible negative nuances do not justify the double costs at all.
An important point – in some receivers it is necessary to forcibly set the “simple stereo” mode when listening from a digital input. For a signal from a CD, this gives the highest quality and do not forget to do it … Passing sound through DSP and splitting into 5 channels is a fun toy, but has nothing to do with Hi-Fi sound.
About the parameters. If they are taken from the manufacturer’s data, then you should not use them to compare different models. Very often, due to different measurement methods, the results are incomparable … Much more important are some objective things that are difficult to measure “incorrectly”: geometric dimensions, weight, speaker diameters, presence and direction of phase inverters, wall material. Small plastic speakers weighing 1 kg will never sound like ten-kilogram wooden speakers the size of half a TV, no matter what they say in the parameters!
The quality in the considered range is roughly equal to the price, albeit with some reservations. To put it very roughly, the dependence is linear with a constant price addition “per brand”. At the same time, the proportionality coefficient is “better” in “branded” audiofirms, but they also have a higher constant premium. As a result, in the LOWER part of the range (price!) It is better to take little-known (“young”) manufacturers like SVEN – due to the absence of a mark-up “for a label”, they noticeably win. But in the UPPER part of the range, with the rise in price and quality, the traditions and experience of “masters” (such as Tannoy, MB Quart, Infinity, KEF and many others) take over, and the premium is no longer so significant in the total cost.