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Full range vs multi for wall mount surround speakers
Full range vs multi for wall mount surround speakers
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Old 8th November 2018, 04:47 PM   #1
jameswalker is offline jameswalker  United Kingdom
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Default Full range vs multi for wall mount surround speakers

Afternoon all,

I am in the thought process stage of designing some wall mounted rear surround speakers to replace my monitor audio silver RXFX. The reason for this is that the upgrade to the gold versions is incredibly expensive ($1500) and I would rather spend that on drivers, than the product.

I am torn between going full range in bulk, something like this:
Tang Band W4-1337SDF
I would have in biploe, 2 banks of 4 speakers angled at 45 degrees. So thats 8 speakers per surround channel, totalling 16 full range drivers.
Being surrounds, they will not need to provide anything below 80-100Hz, which is good because their response is not great down there.

The alternative is obviously a conventional 2 or 3 way setup. I am not against designing and creating a multi-way crossover circuit so that is neither a pro nor a con for going multi way. Component choice is far more free if I go this route, so I won't place any specifics here.

Given how good full range drivers perform these days, it is not clear cut to me which path to take. Any opinions on the subject would be appreciated!

I guess we need to take into consideration the disadvantage wall mount surround speakers have... Small air volume is a handicap from the start, which might swap one way or another for full vs multi way setup.

Thanks
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Old 8th November 2018, 06:05 PM   #2
Brett is offline Brett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswalker View Post
Given how good full range drivers perform these days, it is not clear cut to me which path to take. Any opinions on the subject would be appreciated!
Never heard a WR driver I thought was better than poor especially with complex material with some real dynamic range. Go multiway. There are lots of movies with quite a lot of material in the surround channels. Unless of course all you watch is Jennifer Aniston rom-coms.

Bipoles are also a product of the pro logic era. In my experience, mompoles are a much better match.
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Old 8th November 2018, 06:25 PM   #3
jameswalker is offline jameswalker  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by Brett View Post
Never heard a WR driver I thought was better than poor especially with complex material with some real dynamic range. Go multiway. There are lots of movies with quite a lot of material in the surround channels. Unless of course all you watch is Jennifer Aniston rom-coms.

Bipoles are also a product of the pro logic era. In my experience, mompoles are a much better match.
Wondering why your first paragraph is so? If you look at the frequency response of the full range I linked to, it is pretty impressive. Remarkably so.

I was dead set on 2 (or 3) way initially. While reviewing drivers I noticed how good full ranged seemed to be, which kind of begs the question why multi way has any place?!

Must be missing something!
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Old 8th November 2018, 06:31 PM   #4
cspieker is offline cspieker
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Good advice. I just went from full range dipoles to two way conventional monopoles and I can't believe the difference. I was wrong about everything I believed about surrounds. 1 forget dipoles 2. It turns out that bass matters. Try get down to 60 Hz. 3. They need to be capable of decent spl.

A movie I watched after making the switch, a truck drove by into the background and I was startled! Before it was "a vehicle-like noise somewhere in the distance". Now it is a truck driving right past just like I see on the screen. Rumble and all.
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Old 8th November 2018, 06:47 PM   #5
jameswalker is offline jameswalker  United Kingdom
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This is good. The kind of experiences that datasheets and tech specs can't convey.

What subs are you running? I have an SVS ultra and I can't see that the rears, with lows of 60hz, would add anymore than the SVS already gives?

Also, if I wanted as low as 60hZ, would I realistically achieve that with such a small enclosure? (I plan that the surrounds will be pretty large, but still smaller than your average front or center speaker of course).
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Old 8th November 2018, 10:47 PM   #6
mikejennens is offline mikejennens  United States
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Full range vs multi for wall mount surround speakers
I'll come at it from the angle of a guy who likes full-range, single driver speakers. With the right enclosure and some imagination, my opinion is that you could do very well with the Tang Bands.
I used this driver's brother in a relatively small enclosure and it put out a surprising amount of bass:3CR-Ti | Parts Express Project Gallery
With the right enclosure, a 4" driver can dig deeper than a lot of guys might think. The problem would be how much room you have, seeing that they are surrounds. There are builds in which the cabinet is only 3-4' deep, but fairly wide and fairly tall: Ever think of building a Cornu Spiral horn? Now you can!
There are other builds as well. If you look on this site, you might find something: Frugal-phile DIY Audio Community Site
Folded transmission lines with the right full-range driver are great as well.
Don't necessarily dismiss the full-range idea. There are A LOT of great sounding full range speakers that would make great surrounds.
Mike
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Old 9th November 2018, 12:14 AM   #7
cspieker is offline cspieker
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I have a 500watt 15“ dayton driver in a large vented enclosure. It produces 114 dB at 1meter in the model. I'm currently working on a horn sub to give me more output, but that's another topic.

When I initially installed the 2 ways, dayton br1. Which are awesome btw, I ran the receiver auto setup. After the truck drove by I got very curious what the auto setup had put the crossover point. I checked, 40hz! I later moved it to 60 to increase power handling but I was shocked that I could tell a difference. Bass isn't directional they say. I since found an interesting article on distributed bass in home theater that made the same argument that it is indeed. Sorry I don't have a link. My third next project is going to be surround line arrays 20“ tall with wide range drivers 500hz to 20k. And dayton hf 8" 40hz to 500hz.
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Old 9th November 2018, 01:00 AM   #8
Brett is offline Brett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswalker View Post
Wondering why your first paragraph is so? If you look at the frequency response of the full range I linked to, it is pretty impressive. Remarkably so.

I was dead set on 2 (or 3) way initially. While reviewing drivers I noticed how good full ranged seemed to be, which kind of begs the question why multi way has any place?!

Must be missing something!
You are missing something; WR drivers have awful distortion trying to reproduce bass and MR and HF especially with any sort of reasonable SPL involved. FR at 1W is meaningless.

I've been through several iterations of surrounds, and now to have something that keeps up with my mains, it's a 15" 3 way.

I've owned a whole bunch of WR drivers over the years after being told how good they are, and the best I'd give a 2/10.
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Old 9th November 2018, 01:19 AM   #9
Brett is offline Brett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cspieker View Post
Good advice. I just went from full range dipoles to two way conventional monopoles and I can't believe the difference. I was wrong about everything I believed about surrounds. 1 forget dipoles 2. It turns out that bass matters. Try get down to 60 Hz. 3. They need to be capable of decent spl.
Exactly. Mine will do 60Hz sealed with no EQ and about 115dB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswalker View Post
This is good. The kind of experiences that datasheets and tech specs can't convey.
Datasheets only tell the basics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswalker View Post
What subs are you running?
4 sealed FTW21's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswalker View Post
Also, if I wanted as low as 60hZ, would I realistically achieve that with such a small enclosure? (I plan that the surrounds will be pretty large, but still smaller than your average front or center speaker of course).
Which LF driver are you going to use? That will determine the majority of the enclosure volume.
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Old 9th November 2018, 03:19 AM   #10
GM is offline GM  United States
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FWIW, design based on these requirements and you've got all movies to date 'covered': https://www.dolby.com/us/en/technolo...ifications.pdf

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