Mismatched speakers in home theater?


2010-06-14 8:31 pm
Wasnt sure where to put this lacking a general 'loudspeakers' category offhand...

Whats peoples opinions on how bad of a sin it is to have speakers which are not identical on a home theater setup? Assuming you at least are the same left to right for symmetry there. I've seen totally matched setups with 5 (ultra tiny) matched speakers and i've seen systems with two big full range mains and then totally different center and yet other different surrounds, and to be blunt... i've never yet heard a system I really liked all that well. But then I dont' have alot of in person experience with higher end home theater setups. I was just curious if there are any exception to the assumption that all speakers should be full range and match on a higher end home theater setup.

It's not even the cost of the speakers so much as much as mounting hassles... I wouldn't even mind surrounding myself with all those big woofers but now with the new heightfield audio and similar, plus the normal suggestion to mount surrounds at least at ear height, i'm starting to put more and more big heavy things further and further up into the air. Yet if I shrink down the size of all speakers not in the front on the floor i'm told pans won't be smooth for instance... one source suggested find speakers with matching mids/tweeters but like a smaller version of your floor speakers, which isn't always possible, isn't very common, and i'm still not sure whether limited range surrounds will give truly top notch sound quality/how common it is for tracks to ask for that. And I definately dont buy the "bass is nondirectional" argument when I spend my days reading things like Dr David Griesinger's audio journal writeups (the creator of Logic 7, works for Lexicon) documenting how even 50hz is localizeable under the right phase conditions.(I believe http://www.davidgriesinger.com/channels.pdf is the one that covers it in part)

What kind of references, acoustical studies, high end research, or well educated opinions are there worth reading into on the subject?

I was happiest with the exact same speaker across the front.
And surround was also great when you had the same speakers as the front.

I've had,
3 cerwin vega dx-9's (across the front) or 2 in front and 2 for rears.
5 yamaha cheapy 3-ways with 8" (sears used to sell them for $100).
And lastly, 5 cerwin vega v-12f's (I miss these).

But I haven't done home theater in over 10 years.