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The whole OHM thing? (Creating a Surround from various speakers)

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Old 06-19-2005, 11:55 AM   #1  
A couch and an HDTV to go please.
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Default The whole OHM thing? (Creating a Surround from various speakers)

Sorry for my complete lack of knowledge regarding electrical and audio componentry, but can anyone please explain to me how OHM's factor into speaker selection, and in setting up a Surround Sound system?

I want to create a Surround Sound system using existing stereo speakers. I know this may not be ideal solution due to possible mismatching, but it's the best I can do for now, financially.

What I have so far is a set of front speakers at 8 ohms. The satellite speakers are 6 ohms. The receiver I'm buying recommends 8 ohm speakers, but does have a switch setting for 6 ohm speakers.

So I'm wondering if I CANNOT use 6 ohm and 8 ohm together? If I do, is there a downside?
Also, I'm wondering if this OVERALL system would be a decent match sound and performance-wise?
Any recommendations, including subwoofer and rear speakers (for a guy on a budget)?

THANK YOU!

RECEIVER:
Pioneer VSX-D914 (6.1 Digital A/V Receiver)
  • Surround Power: 110W x 6 Channel
  • Stereo Power: 110W x 2 Channel
  • Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Dolby Digital EX
  • DTS 5.1
  • DTS-ES Discrete 6.1
  • DTS 96/24
  • DTS-Neo6
  • Pro-Logic IIx
  • Analog to Digital Conversion: 96KHz / 24-Bit
  • Digital Analog Conversion (DAC): 192KHz / 24-Bit
TV:
Toshiba 57HX94, (57" CRT RPTV w/ HDTV Tuner)
CENTER CHANNEL SPEAKER:
Onkyo Fusion AV S-35
  • 12" High Power Polypropylene Woofer
  • 4.5" Ferrofluid Cooled Cone Midrange
  • 3" Ferrofluid Cooled Polyester Film Dome Tweeter
  • Automatic Thermal Overload Protection System, Self Resetting
  • 110 watts power handling

FRONT L/R SPEAKERS:
Marantz SP103
  • 10" high compliance woofer
  • 4" liquid cooled mid
  • 3" liquid cooled tweeter
  • Crossover points, 1,000 HZ, 3,000 HZ
  • Impedence: 8 Ohms
  • Frequency response: 40 HZ-20,000 HZ
  • Amplified power: Min. 5 Watts/Channel RMS, Max. 130 Watts/Channel RMS
  • Sensativity: 90db @ 1 watt/1 meter

SATELLITE L/R SPEAKERS:
Yamaha NS-E60
  • 4" paper mid/woofer driver
  • Minimum Frequency Response: 70 Hz
  • Maximum Frequency Response: 20 KHz
  • Max Output Power: 50 Watt
  • Minimum Input Power Rating: 10 Watt
  • Maximum Input Power: 50 Watt
  • Nominal Impedance: 6 Ohm

REAR CENTER SPEAKER(S):
To be determined
SUBWOOFER:
To be determined
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Old 06-19-2005, 01:07 PM   #2  
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I don't see a problem hooking those up the way you plan. Of course, you will not get as smooth a transition across the front three (like when there is sound moving with action across the screen) because ideally the 3 should be 'matched'. That does not mean they are necessarily the same model of speaker, but generally the same manufacturer with models designed for center channel applications. Using a center channel with a 12" woofer is not ideal, and probably even less practical with regards to size consdirations.
The surrounds are less crtical.
But power is always a nice thing to have on hand, even if you don't crank up your audio. The reserve will be there and often adds up to better dynamics.
And using 6 or 8 ohm is not a big deal. Since you use the same speakers for L and R.
The 6 ohm switches often have limited value too. You could try the switch in both positions, with various program material, and see if you hear a benefit to one over the other.
I would not add any more speakers, nor would I add a sub.
What I would do is save about $400-800 and shop around for a nice small set of speakers such as these. They will sound good for music, and even better for movies, and fit nicely anywhere.

Onkyo SKS system

Polk Audio RM6800 or 6900

Atlantic Technology system 920

JBL SCS 135 (or 300.7)

Onkyo HT 520

to name just a few well reviewed ones.


And forget about additional surrounds for now. Quality beats out quantity any day of the week.

Last edited by daleb; 06-19-2005 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 06-19-2005, 11:04 PM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daleb
. . . Using a center channel with a 12" woofer is not ideal, and probably even less practical with regards to size consdirations. . . . I would not add any more speakers, nor would I add a sub. . .
Daleb, thanks for some great info.

Other than size considerations, why would you advise against a Center Channel Speaker with 12" woofer? ... I thought the idea was to try and closely match the Front Left/Right Speakers, which I thought it would do in this case.

And why would you want to stay away from a Sub at this point? Wouldn't it add some nice bottom end to video special effects and music audio?

Thanks again.

Last edited by CaptainMorgan; 06-19-2005 at 11:08 PM..
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Old 06-20-2005, 11:59 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainMorgan
Daleb, thanks for some great info.

Other than size considerations, why would you advise against a Center Channel Speaker with 12" woofer? ... I thought the idea was to try and closely match the Front Left/Right Speakers, which I thought it would do in this case.

And why would you want to stay away from a Sub at this point? Wouldn't it add some nice bottom end to video special effects and music audio?

Thanks again.
If you check around, you never see center channels with large woofers. Most bass is handled by large woofers in L/R channels or a sub in satellite systems.
A large woofer would not get much action in a center channel position.
Adding a sub is 'okay'. But I think you need to look at your whole system. You are throwing together different brands with different responses. This can affect timing too, when various sounds reach your ear. Seriously consider a new system. They are not that much more than a more expensive subwoofer which would be out of place with the speakers you have now. Sure bass is great, but you want good sound from top to bottom.
Adding a good sub to what you have now, is like putting expensive perfomance tires on a economy car. Maybe not the best analogy... with due respect.
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Old 06-20-2005, 12:02 PM   #5  
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Your real problem is phase between your speakers. The positive and negitive design could be different from different manufactures. This can cause frequency loss and soudstage problems.

This is how to hear phase relation:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search
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Old 06-20-2005, 12:03 PM   #6  
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Sorry this one:

http://www.physics.umd.edu/lecdem/se...osh2/h2-27.htm
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Old 06-20-2005, 08:49 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwcyle
Your real problem is phase between your speakers. The positive and negitive design could be different from different manufactures. This can cause frequency loss and soudstage problems.

This is how to hear phase relation:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search
I'm wondering, do you think the untrained ear of the non-audiophile average man/woman would pick up the deficiencies of phase problems in a non-matched four-speaker setup? I don't have the luxury of examining matched/unmatched systems side by side, so I'm relying on those with more experience to help me understand if this idea is a total wash or not.

I'm just trying to put together a budget system using existing (I think decent) speakers ... one that sounds better than the muddy echos of a walk-in theater, but not something that has to meet the high standards of the true audiophile. I just want something that, although put together inexpensively, could still can give that "wow" factor when someone watches a movie . . . the sense of space, the dispersion and clarity of tiny individual sounds, the "you are there" feeling of loud booming FX.

I really can't afford a decent surround speaker package at this time, so I'm going to have to use my existing units, or just hold off for a looong while.

Thanks
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Old 06-20-2005, 08:57 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daleb
Adding a good sub to what you have now, is like putting expensive perfomance tires on a economy car. Maybe not the best analogy... with due respect.
No offense taken. I'm wondering what you mean by a "good" sub, in terms of cost?

I thought these Marantz and Yamaha speakers were fairly decent speakers. Am I kidding myself? The Yamahas are $380 new, and used Marantz's were running $275+ last time I checked.

The Marantz's, espessially sounded really sweet I thought.
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Old 06-20-2005, 09:39 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainMorgan
No offense taken. I'm wondering what you mean by a "good" sub, in terms of cost?

I thought these Marantz and Yamaha speakers were fairly decent speakers. Am I kidding myself? The Yamahas are $380 new, and used Marantz's were running $275+ last time I checked.

The Marantz's, espessially sounded really sweet I thought.
If you read the prices on some of the systems I told you about, some are not a whole lot more than a good sub. If you can go 380 you should be able to save for while and buy a nice system for 400-600 that includes a subwoofer and everything is matched and sweet sounding.
You suggest you may not appreciate better audio. I can only suggest you go listen. Train your ears as you did your eyes when you bought your display. Just leave your wallet at home, because you might be very pleasantly surprised.
When you are ready to make the move, ask if you can take a system home with the idea of bringing it back for exchange or refund if it does not suit your needs.
Otherwise, hook up your speakers now, grab a Yamaha sub for more boom, and break open the popcorn. Sometimes you are better off not knowing what you are missing.
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Old 06-21-2005, 09:50 AM   #10  
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You have passed into a new field when you get into paying more than a grand for a television. Sound is very important. If you take steps to improve, you need to take correct steps to spend you money correctly.

Stay away from proprietary systems like Bose. Warfdale makes good cheat subs. Subs and speakers with floor spikes help speakers to sound better. Always buy high current amp swing amplifiers. Speaker wire and interconnects do matter.
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:59 AM   #11  
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Default A slippery slope, this one........

Any time you get into a discussion with audiophiles over what method or brand is best, the landscape gets slippery, fast. Go with what your instinct tells you, the sound is really an individual choice. You have some great speakers. I don't think the mis-match is a big issue, unless all listening is concert-oriented. I have cobbled systems too, and find them very satisfactory. Add a sub if you wish. It's all about what you really want. I feel that speakers blended from different origins are ok if some thought is given to the process.
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Old 07-12-2005, 05:18 PM   #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrow2
Any time you get into a discussion with audiophiles over what method or brand is best, the landscape gets slippery, fast. Go with what your instinct tells you, the sound is really an individual choice. You have some great speakers. I don't think the mis-match is a big issue, unless all listening is concert-oriented. I have cobbled systems too, and find them very satisfactory. Add a sub if you wish. It's all about what you really want. I feel that speakers blended from different origins are ok if some thought is given to the process.
Actually, mismatch can be a problem even for home theater. For HT you are looking for smooth audio transitions that follow movement on the screen.
Matching tonal characteristics is very key in this regard.
Not the best analogy, but I would not mix tires on my cars either, beause handling characteristics would be compromised.
Mixing speakers (and tires) does not work well. Not like coffee where you may well come up with a delicious concotion.
Subwoofers, due to their range being limited to the lower octaves, could certainly be interchanged. In the case of subs, the crossover points and location are the most important elements.
Next to the sub, a center channel 'could be' exchanged. Most important is to have one that does a good job of reproducing the human voice.
But again, and just as important for HT, is matching tonal quality for smooth transitions across all speakers, as I previously mentioned.
With so many reasonably priced, and nice sounding systems out there is no reason to settle for less.

Why would you compromise audio when you are willing to invest in a display that accurately presents high definition?
At least this what experience tells me, as well as my instinct.
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Old 07-13-2005, 11:30 AM   #13  
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though this is not my area of expertise, the system you have sounds pretty good--the receiver is more than adequate. the fronts are fine, especially for non musical material, perhaps even for musical material. the center speaker is not ideal.
as for your original question, 6-8 ohm speakers do not present any problem as long as you don't put them on the same channel, which you are not. that would cause a difference in loading on the amp and the efficiencies would be mismatched. there is no phase cancellation on sounds that go left to right as, front left and front right handle this, not the center speaker which is used exclusively for speach--another reason why your center speaker is not ideal.
you difinitely need a sub as there is a separate program solely for the ultra low content...that's why they call it 5.1 i do agree with the above post that a musical concert might not be ideal with a mismatched system, but only if the mix is integrated as opposed to a concert simultion where the back of the hall sounds totally different anyway.
p.s. you get a lot of opinions here most of which only confuse the person who asked the original question. a lot of these people are not trying to help so much but, are trying to display their knowlege. if you read my "vintage vs modern speaker challenge" thread...you will know exactly what i mean. (page 3!) THESE PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY SHUT UP ONCE YOU PROVE THEM WRONG.

Last edited by Akira; 07-13-2005 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 07-13-2005, 11:47 AM   #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira
p.s. you get a lot of opinions here most of which only confuse the person who asked the original question. a lot of these people are not trying to help so much but, are trying to display their knowlege. if you read my "vintage vs modern speaker challenge" thread...you will know exactly what i mean. (page 3!) THESE PEOPLE IMMEDIATELY SHUT UP ONCE YOU PROVE THEM WRONG.

Assuming you are really the only one who has a valid opinion or knows anything....and I don't assume anything!

Last edited by daleb; 07-13-2005 at 11:56 AM..
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Old 07-13-2005, 12:46 PM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrow2
Go with what your instinct tells you, the sound is really an individual choice. You have some great speakers.
In the final analysis, nothing changes the fact that opening your ears to other speakers and even live music to getting educated as to what sounds good is the best way to go.
Then you can make an intelligent choice based on experience AND personal taste. And no one can question it, including experts whether they be genuine or not.
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