Maybe there is a difference between "good for music" and "good for HT"

JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
710 2
#1
More specifically: maybe there's a difference between "good for 2-channel" and "good for 5+ channel".

I recently setup some new speakers (KL-650-THX) in a home theater room I'm building out; and in test listening on movies and mutli-channel music (Elton John's DVD-A of Goodby Yellowbrick road, or Dire Strait's Brothers in Arms); I've really loved the sound. In particular: this is the first time I've really enjoyed a center channel [in a home setting] and found it improved clarity.

But when I listen in two channel; though the quality of the sound remains excellent, the ability to "fill the space" seems a bit lacking compared to the 2-channel setup before them (Philharmonic 2s).

I'm thinking that the difference might be that the Klipsh's have a more focused dispersion... they localize a bit more easily as they interact with the room a bit less. I wonder if this trait (or something like it) is why I so love these in multi-channel (the speakers interact with each other less than "normal") and why I don't like them as much in two channel; and why my experiences with most of my two-channel setups are the opposite.

Thoughts? Is there a difference in ideal "room interaction" between 2-ch and 5-ch?
 
M

markw

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,890 7 168
#2
Dunno if I'd paint that with such a wide brush but I do think the different speakers make the difference.. They are two totally different types of speakers of speakers designed for different purposes.. I'm pretty sure if you placed tour Phils where your nee mains are you'll find the presentation would be more like you expect.
 
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KEW

KEW

Audioholic Warlord
Ratings
5,688 22 9
#3
I am a fan of Klipsch as a great deal for HT! I feel the horns provide a sense of excitement/immediacy that is wonderful in action films. They also do an excellent job of providing clear dialog.
I am thinking of the older models like RF - 82ii. For them, things were just a little too bright (but I would not say harsh) for music. So my feeling is these were wonderful speakers for HT where perfect accuracy can reasonably take a backseat to dialog clarity and excitement.
But since I am very familiar with the sounds of acoustic instruments, for music, if the sound is wrong, it is wrong. I can "look the other way" for the small amount of acoustic music content in typical movies.
Klipsch more recent speakers (and presumably upper tier speakers) are more neutral, so I don't know how they would fit.
It surely seems reasonable that adding a center with horn speakers could fill the "wall of sound" better than just the mains.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
710 2
#4
I am thinking of the older models like RF - 82ii. For them, things were just a little too bright (but I would not say harsh) for music.
Traditionally, I avoided Klipsch because I did find them harsh. That does not appear to be an issue on this particular model.

So my feeling is these were wonderful speakers for HT where perfect accuracy can reasonably take a backseat to dialog clarity and excitement.
There's likely some good merit to this. We wouldn't know if an explosion is slightly off-tune.

It surely seems reasonable that adding a center with horn speakers could fill the "wall of sound" better than just the mains.
But what I'm saying is: when I run LCR music, I love the Klipsch (prefer? like similarly?),when I run LR, the Phils sound better.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
5,314 35 17
#5
There have been suggestions by researchers from Harman that people prefer the sound of wide dispersion speakers because the higher ratio of reflected to direct sound gives a greater sense of spaciousness and envelopment. This doesn't seem as well supported by their findings as other conclusions they have made, and some have argued against it (paging Dr. Poes). Some people think that narrow dispersion loudspeakers can have more precise imaging, and wide dispersion loudspeakers can have a wider soundstage.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
6,408 21 53
#6
Curious, when you had the 2ch setup the Phils were in the same locations for L/R as your Klipsch?

I use my systems for both music and movies and wouldn't be happy if they didn't sound good for both. While I might like some speakers in some rooms better than others, it's not based on whether I'm using them in 2.1 or 5.1/7.1 modes (rarely do I use 2.0). I did move into my main setup JBL Studio 5 series speakers, vs the soft dome tweeters in some Ascends before them (now in the bedroom),and don't find the horn style tweeters are particularly different/better for movies over music....more about the room sizes involved as to why I prefer their current locations.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
710 2
#7
lovinthehd

My history with this is longer and more complex than that.

Over decades with dozens of different systems and a plethora of different rooms; I have rarely, if ever, found a center channel useful [I should note I'm discussing my in-house systems; I'm not covering other venues such as movie theaters]. In fact, I've been an advocate on many a thread here or trying phantoming the center; particularly in cases where people have spoken of difficulty with muddled dialog.

I recently changed houses. I recently picked up the KL-650s and put them in temporary locations in the home theater. On this setup, I love the physical center channel. It's been a completely different experience then previous LCR setups.

I don't have 3 Phils to run LCR in. I did once have three Paradigm Sigs, I did once have three B&W 800-series speakers, I did once have three Energy speakers, three Polk speakers, three Sony speakers, etc, etc. In all of those cases: I preferred a phantom center to a physical one.

I'm the first to acknowledge that there are untested variables at play (new room especially).

My point is, however, that the Phils (which sound a lot like the B&Ws that I did have three channel of) are presenlty doing a better job of playing a 2ch recording than running 2 of the Klipsch's. They do a better job in a specific way; and that way disappears in a 3ch recording.

I'll have to spend some time to see if I can come up with a vocabulary to describe it.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
5,314 35 17
#8
People attribute far to much to the horn part of horned-loaded loudspeakers. They should be looking at frequency response and dispersion patterns instead to understand the sound character. Horns/waveguides can shape the response in a lot of different ways. Don't make assumptions about a speaker just because you see a horn or waveguide. However, one thing you can try when a speaker does have a horn is trying different toe-in angles since its more likely to affect the character of the sound. Try a toe-in that crosses in front of the listener by a couple feet (time-intensity trading),and also try one that crosses the speakers' paths behind the listener or on the listener. Try different angles and see if you like the sound better.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
6,408 21 53
#9
lovinthehd

My history with this is longer and more complex than that.

Over decades with dozens of different systems and a plethora of different rooms; I have rarely, if ever, found a center channel useful [I should note I'm discussing my in-house systems; I'm not covering other venues such as movie theaters]. In fact, I've been an advocate on many a thread here or trying phantoming the center; particularly in cases where people have spoken of difficulty with muddled dialog.

I recently changed houses. I recently picked up the KL-650s and put them in temporary locations in the home theater. On this setup, I love the physical center channel. It's been a completely different experience then previous LCR setups.

I don't have 3 Phils to run LCR in. I did once have three Paradigm Sigs, I did once have three B&W 800-series speakers, I did once have three Energy speakers, three Polk speakers, three Sony speakers, etc, etc. In all of those cases: I preferred a phantom center to a physical one.

I'm the first to acknowledge that there are untested variables at play (new room especially).

My point is, however, that the Phils (which sound a lot like the B&Ws that I did have three channel of) are presenlty doing a better job of playing a 2ch recording than running 2 of the Klipsch's. They do a better job in a specific way; and that way disappears in a 3ch recording.

I'll have to spend some time to see if I can come up with a vocabulary to describe it.
Thanks, was more curious about the 2.0 vs 2.0 (or is it 2.1?) comparo being same room/placement (or if placement could perhaps change your impression for 2.0 music). Personally am a fan of center speakers, have tried phantom centers a couple times and prefer having a center speaker.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
710 2
#10
I'd actually argue that you might toe-in in *front* of the listener. The basic idea being that, if you move left, you are closer to the left speaker but on-axis for the right speaker, helping to keep the two in balance.
 
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ichigo

Full Audioholic
Ratings
44 2 1
#11
Regarding Harman/revel and dr toole, they are all in on the spacious sound camp. However according dr Geddes in his psychoacoustic studies hes found that's true for live music, but for studio recordings people are actually more likely to prefer speakers with a higher percentage of direct sound, i.e. limited dispersion.
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
5,314 35 17
#12
Regarding Harman/revel and dr toole, they are all in on the spacious sound camp. However according dr Geddes in his psychoacoustic studies hes found that's true for live music, but for studio recordings people are actually more likely to prefer speakers with a higher percentage of direct sound, i.e. limited dispersion.
Neither have a solid body of research that puts this issue to rest. The matter has just not been studied adequately.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
3,668 11 12
#13
I believe a well engineered speaker is able to perform equally well for both purposes. Its either a good speaker or there have been compromises made in build and dispersion characteristics. My speakers are equally suited for both tasks and I've never been left with the feeling of wanting more for 2 channel or home theater.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
710 2
#14
I believe a well engineered speaker is able to perform equally well for both purposes. Its either a good speaker or there have been compromises made in build and dispersion characteristics.
I disagree.

Given magic pixie dust: what, exactly, is the ideal dispersion characteristic?
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
5,314 35 17
#15
I disagree.

Given magic pixie dust: what, exactly, is the ideal dispersion characteristic?
Wide or narrow dispersion depends on application and personal preference. But one thing is key, the dispersion should be uniform, whether wide or narrow. The off-axis response would ideally have strong correlation to the on-axis response.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
7,852 16 25
#16
Having build loudspeakers now for over sixty years, I have a few observations.

1. The better the speaker the less fussy it will be.

2. Being able to accurately produce human speech, not just clear speech, is probably the single most important attribute of a speaker. It is also by far the most difficult task for a speaker. If it achieves this it will more likely than not be good for everything else.

3. An extended smooth frequency range for the total system, and well integrated, is vital for truly natural reproduction.

4. Wide dispersion I think is correct and the off axis must closely mirror the axis response especially in the mid band.

5. I think the transition of the speaker from omni pole to dipole is a huge issue. You get it right under one set of measuring conditions conventionally. This transition is crucial for natural speech. My research has shown that this varies by position from boundaries. This is really what you would expect. I can not understand why I seem to be the only designer as far as I can tell that has built speakers with continuously variable BSC. In other words the BSC is isolated to a separate channel and fed to the speakers as such. It can be precisely set for a given location by measurement and listening. This is a feature of my front three and I think a very major reason for the fact these speakers are good for everything and have really natural clear human speech. I do regard this as a major game changer in accurate reproduction. I suspect the reason it is not done, is that it does add complexity and can not be done with only passive crossovers.

6. Finally even slightly muddy resonant bass ruins everything.
 
JerryLove

JerryLove

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
710 2
#17
Wide or narrow dispersion depends on application and personal preference. But one thing is key, the dispersion should be uniform, whether wide or narrow. The off-axis response would ideally have strong correlation to the on-axis response.
I agree that this is a desired goal of speakers. Of-axis performance should be as flat as on-axis.
 
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ichigo

Full Audioholic
Ratings
44 2 1
#19
4. Wide dispersion I think is correct and the off axis must closely mirror the axis response especially in the mid band.
The question is how wide? Some speakers are flat off axis to 30 degrees, then a roll off begins. Some are flat to 45 degrees, some to 60, some to 75+. Assuming if all of them rolls off without any peaks or troughs, and they have identical on axis FR, they will sound different, but which one is best?
 
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shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
5,314 35 17
#20
The question is how wide? Some speakers are flat off axis to 30 degrees, then a roll off begins. Some are flat to 45 degrees, some to 60, some to 75+. Assuming if all of them rolls off without any peaks or troughs, and they have identical on axis FR, they will sound different, but which one is best?
Again, this will be application dependent. The breadth of the dispersion will change the soundstage a bit, and the characteristic of the soundstage is a matter of personal preference as well. There is no 'best' without more context.
 

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