4 FXi30's for 7.1 surround sound?

SocioSocio Posts: 2
edited July 2002 in Speakers
I am setting up a 7.1 surround sound system, I already have 2 Polk Towers for front a Polk center and Polk sub. Now I need surround sound speakers. I was thinking 4 FXi30's set to dipolar for sides and bipolar for rear.

Am I thinking correctly? Can I mix bi and di poles configurations with this type of speaker or would it be better to go with R20's for rear?

Thanks for any help
Post edited by Socio on


  • HBombTooHBombToo Posts: 5,335
    edited July 2002
    Great question because I am curious about that also.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,565
    edited July 2002
    It depends on your layout.What do you have for fronts?

    You can get it to go but I'd rather use a monopole in the surround back position.Running the fxi30's in bipolar and the sides in Dipolar would work well with carefull placement.
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Frank ZFrank Z Polk-a-dweeb Posts: 5,967
    edited July 2002
    I would suggest that you use 2 FX30's for the surrounds (sides) and a direct firing speaker for the rear channels.
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  • bigsexy1bigsexy1 Posts: 557
    edited July 2002
    Go to hometheatermag.com as there is an article about a test they did with a panel of 4 or 5 people about this very subject. You can do a search and find it in the archives. In short, the majority of the panel like bipole/dipoles at both side and rear positions, and if a monopole (or direct radiator) has to be used, put them on the sides.
  • bigsexy1bigsexy1 Posts: 557
    edited July 2002
    P.S.- just wanted to add that having either one or two monopole direct radiating speakers in the rear was the least favorable option of the panel out of the four possibilities of combinations (direct sides/dipole rears, all monopoles, all dipoles, or dipole side/monopole rear).
  • shackshack Posts: 11,284
    edited July 2002
    P.S.- just wanted to add that having either one or two monopole direct radiating speakers in the rear was the least favorable option of the panel out of the four possibilities of combinations

    It wasn't that simple. There were various opininons and some did like the direct radiating REAR speakers better. I remember reading that article and I went back and read it again. What was the clear loser was direct radiating for both side and rear surrounds.

    Here is the conclusion of the article:

    "Whether or not you use dipole surrounds to the side in conjunction with dipoles to the rear seems to be a matter of preference. Movie nuts who watch mostly action films with predominantly discrete surround or rear-channel effects or music fans who like 5.1 recordings that place discrete instruments in the rear channels should definitely audition direct-radiating loudspeakers for the surround channels. Film and music buffs who like the rear channel to be more ambient in nature and want to focus on the action or soundstage up front should look more toward dipole speakers. "

    It should also be noted that while they did test some music in the form of soundtracks the bulk of the test was done on movies. It did not appear that they considered music in a 5 channel stereo mode and none of the music they used was SACD multichannel or DVD-A. Many people who listen to a lot of music with their system will use a direct firing rears (and di/bipole side surrounds with 7.1). I personally tried dipole rears and did not like them and ended up with direct firing rears in a 5.1 system. Based on MY listening preferences these sounded the best.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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  • begbiebegbie Posts: 630
    edited July 2002
    At one point, I considered another pair of fx500i surrounds but then dvd-audio blew me away. Ended up with another pair of directs but was a nice compromise between movies and music.
    If you're priority is to build a "mini" movie theater then I'd say go with another pair of fx speakers.
    Polk Rt800i -Fronts
    Polk cs400i -Center
    Polk fx500i -side surrounds
    Polk rc60i -rear surrounds
    Onkyo TX-NR 1009 (9.2) receiver
    Velodyne cht12
    Polk psw111
  • bigsexy1bigsexy1 Posts: 557
    edited July 2002
    OK. if you want to go this route, then here is exactly what the four people in the panel said (notice how 3 out of 4 picked rear dipoles and the one who didn't admittedly had absolutely NO prior experience in home theater, plus, he picked one rear monopole instead of 2 in the back because of the so called precedence effect-case closed!):

    Face Off: Surround-Speaker-Configuration Wars: Page 6

    What Do You Think?
    I've always been big on clear, distinct, directional sound. I want to hear exactly where sounds are coming from. Once the terms monopole and dipole were explained to me, I assumed that monopole speakers were for me—they shoot the sound right at you, so you can hear where it's coming from. This is why I was so surprised with the results of this blind test. I consistently preferred configurations that included dipole speakers. Ultimately, I preferred the all-dipole configuration; however, having at least one set of dipoles (either on the sides or in the back) still filled in the gaps and made me feel like I was a part of the action.
    When it came down to picking between one surround back speaker or two, I definitely preferred two. I still want distinct, directional sound, though. With the rear monopoles, sounds that I thought should be directly behind me often seemed to come from one side. I was pleasantly surprised to find that using dipole speakers in the rear eliminated this problem.

    Of course, the sound is also affected by the listener's location. I happened to be sitting in the exact middle of the room, and the room was a perfect rectangle with no open doorways or windows. (These people at HT take their listening seriously.) From this location, I definitely preferred all dipoles with a dual-rear-speaker configuration. However, I also thought the sound was good with monopoles on the sides, as long as dual dipoles were used in the rear.—Brandon Dahl

    I showed up at the studio on a sunny Saturday afternoon, ready to sacrifice my day to the cause of better sound. After eating a Carl's Jr. Superstar and fries (Mike's bribe to get us there), I was ready to sit back and let my ears do the work. We compared the common 5.1 speaker setup with 6.1- and 7.1-channel configurations and then compared both dipole and monopole versions of those arrangements.

    Unlike the other listeners, I liked having just one speaker for the back channel, although I did like the sound of the dipole more than that of the monopole. With two speakers in the back, there was almost too much going on. Sound seemed to bounce around. In a room larger than the one I was digesting in (which was 21 feet by 15 feet), two speakers may be necessary. But in a room the size of HT's listening room (or smaller), one speaker was just fine. With one dipole, I thought the sound was clearer, but not to the point of being distractingly obvious. It seemed to add a more even flow when sounds traveled from the right surround speaker to the left. I'd say that you can't really go wrong either way. Two surround back speakers are better than none, but, in my opinion, one was simply more satisfying.—John Martorano

    Apparently, we didn't have any die-hard Quadraphonic fans on our listening panel. Whenever I espouse the benefits of dipole speakers for surround sound, I'm usually yelled at by some older (or, shall I say, more chronologically experienced) gentleman who says that Quad was the best. These folks always insist, sometimes violently, that surround systems should, like old Quad systems, consist of five identical full-range loudspeakers. These people seem to forget that five full-range speakers are impractical for the vast majority of users and that Quad was, like 8-track, a colossal failure.

    That being said and having witnessed the outcome of our direct-versus-diffuse, single-versus-dual Surround EX speaker configuration Face Off (by far the most wordy Face Off title ever), I can continue to recommend dipole speakers for the majority of installations. Sure, for the handful of action movies that utilize discrete effects for a small portion of the film, monopole speakers might be better. However, to me, the benefits these speakers may add to those scenes don't outweigh the distractions they cause with other, more-ambient sounds. Dipoles, on the other hand, only soften the more-discrete effects while enhancing the majority of diffuse sounds. Besides, since the people who like the bizarre or, as Jason put it, "creative" mixing of some 5.1 music CDs are likely the same people who liked Quad stereos, I don't care if they complain. They were going to anyway, assuming they even made it past the first paragraph. For the rest of us, dipoles will offer enveloping sound that won't distract from the action onscreen. —Mike Wood

    Of the various surround setups we listened to, I preferred the dual rear Surround EX speakers, as opposed to the single one. I liked the fuller, more-enveloping sound. Even though the EX channel is a decoded mono channel, the two rear speakers seemed to create a rear stereo effect.

    In the dual-rear-surround speaker configuration, I preferred monopole side surrounds with dual dipoles in back. This seemed to offer the best of both worlds on software that has discretely placed surround information and software that has diffused ambient surround sounds. However, the all-dipole surround system came in a very close second and seemed to do almost as good on making the discrete/localized information just as aggressive and exciting. More tests with other EX software might be helpful.

    I preferred monopoles for the multichannel music software that was "creatively" mixed with a different instrument in each channel and dipoles for the traditional "ambient/audience/ reverb" surrounds.

    All things considered, I'd go with the monopole side surrounds and dual dipole back surrounds, as this setup offers more flexibility. And, if you can switch your speakers like the M&Ks, all the better.—Jason Koehler
  • bigsexy1bigsexy1 Posts: 557
    edited July 2002
    P.S.- I just actually reread it all myself, the one guy who dissented even also picked a dipole rear, only he prefered one instead of two.
  • goingganzogoingganzo Posts: 2,797
    edited July 2002
    i have 4 fx 500i for my surounds i like it
    you get a great sound feild
    i had a r10 when i was runing 6.1 it was ok but my setup sucked very bad compared to what i have now
  • DaMonkDaMonk Posts: 8
    edited July 2002
    Frank Z has your answer if there toward the ceiling aim them slightly downward.
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