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Thread: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

  1. #1
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    Default Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    I just took the leap to an Anthem AVM 60 processor. The 7 channels on the floor will consist of 4 RAAL equipped towers, RAAL Horizon center, and S2s in the rear. Are S2s or Lunas viable as height speakers, or would the increased vertical dispersion of a dome style be better in this particular application?

    Some time back I tried S1s with NRT tweets as surrounds in a 5.1 configuration. I didn't like the mismatch and converted to S2s. I don't want to buy twice, will it take ribbons as heights to properly integrate with the rest? I'm thinking Lunas with swivel mounts for their diminutive size/weight.

    Jay

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    Congrats on the AVM60..
    Personally, I run HTM200's as heights with RAALs on the 5 floor channels (5.2.4) with an MRX720. I think they sound fine with movies. I don't listen to music in multichannel so can't comment there. Plus, for me, the added cost for ribbon heights versus the "ambient" sounds from the heights & my limited movie viewing didn't make alot of sense $$-wise. That said, no reason you couldn't use the Luna's as heights with a swivel mount (side to side & up/down) to adjust to suit.
    Last edited by racrawford65; 05-01-2021 at 03:45 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    I have a fairly extensive collection of multi-channel music, as well as Blu-Ray concerts. I will likely configure a mode for that type of material to a 5.1 or 7.1 setup. I must say that a well executed multi-channel experience can be quite engaging.

    All that aside, I'm still wondering if the mismatch of a dome tweeter on the height speakers will present as much of a mismatch in their role as the NRTs did as surround speakers. To be fair, the NRTs sound fabulous in their own right, but while listening to multi-channel music that panned front to back the mismatch was obvious, the metallic sparkle that the ribbons reproduce is astonishing to me. I'm not sure the same issue would present itself in the course of a movie encoded with Atmos content, as I've no experience with the format, and the reason I'm seeking guidance in this regard.

    I think the cost of the ribbon heights would not make sense should they not provide a noticeable difference, I do tend to be a bit on the OCD side when it comes to the sound system.

    Jay

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    Default Re: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    Quote Originally Posted by petmotel View Post
    I have a fairly extensive collection of multi-channel music, as well as Blu-Ray concerts. I will likely configure a mode for that type of material to a 5.1 or 7.1 setup. I must say that a well executed multi-channel experience can be quite engaging.

    All that aside, I'm still wondering if the mismatch of a dome tweeter on the height speakers will present as much of a mismatch in their role as the NRTs did as surround speakers. To be fair, the NRTs sound fabulous in their own right, but while listening to multi-channel music that panned front to back the mismatch was obvious, the metallic sparkle that the ribbons reproduce is astonishing to me. I'm not sure the same issue would present itself in the course of a movie encoded with Atmos content, as I've no experience with the format, and the reason I'm seeking guidance in this regard.

    I think the cost of the ribbon heights would not make sense should they not provide a noticeable difference, I do tend to be a bit on the OCD side when it comes to the sound system.

    Jay
    I think HTM-200s are perfectly fine for Atmos heights along with ribbon mains and surrounds. Atmos makes my whole system sound more seamless. Even with non-Atmos movies it feels like sound effects travel right through the middle of the room.
    Nate

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    Quote Originally Posted by natetg57 View Post
    I think HTM-200s are perfectly fine for Atmos heights along with ribbon mains and surrounds. Atmos makes my whole system sound more seamless. Even with non-Atmos movies it feels like sound effects travel right through the middle of the room.
    So let's say there is a scene where a glass dome shatters and the glass pieces rain to the ground and hit a concrete floor, would those sounds not pan from the heights to the floor? Would the transition from the heights to ground level be seamless?

    I appreciate any and all input, maybe I'm overthinking this, when it comes to theater sound one can't be too careful LOL! Seriously, with the economy being what it is today, I need to be as practical as it's possible for me to be, probably not too high of a bar.

    Jay

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    Default Re: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    Quote Originally Posted by petmotel View Post
    So let's say there is a scene where a glass dome shatters and the glass pieces rain to the ground and hit a concrete floor, would those sounds not pan from the heights to the floor? Would the transition from the heights to ground level be seamless?

    I appreciate any and all input, maybe I'm overthinking this, when it comes to theater sound one can't be too careful LOL! Seriously, with the economy being what it is today, I need to be as practical as it's possible for me to be, probably not too high of a bar.

    Jay
    I don't think our hearing is as discerning either upwards or backwards, so I would say, no, I don't think you would notice a transition going from domes to ribbons. I'm using HTM-200s as my rear heights and Polk OWM3s as my front heights. My front three are Sierra-2EX and my surrounds are Luna's. Even the cheap Polks don't draw any attention to themselves...that I notice anyways. I'm just happy if the mixing guys put stuff for the heights to play. A Quiet Place was a good Atmos demo movie.
    Nate

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    Default Re: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    Many have suggested that top speakers, on-ceiling or in-ceiling, give a more convincing overhead experience. If you have tall ceilings I guess you can make the case for front heights. The problem with trying to put Lunas on the ceiling, is that even if you are okay with mounting such a speaker on the ceiling, they have wide dispersion in one direction and narrow in the other. This is not really what you are looking for with an overhead speaker. Honestly an in ceiling speaker would be best for the overhead Atmos position. Ascend recommends Sonance, for such a speaker.

    I have cathedral ceilings in my living room, where I think that front height speakers might be okay. They go up to a 10 foot peak on the middle. Though if I were to go with Atmos in that room I would still want on-ceiling or in-ceiling speakers, to give the most convincing overhead experience. In my theater room the ceiling height is nowhere near that high for front and rear heights to work, so I went with in-ceiling overhead speakers. To be honest the overhead effect is subtle. I donít hear any difference in timbre, between the Sonance speakers and my fronts with the Raal ribbon tweeter. Maybe that will chance if I can get a rough carpenter lined up this summer to turn it into a dedicated room where I also get some acoustical treatments though. Having a dedicated room should lower the noise floor and the room treatments should help absorb and diffuse some the sounds to allow the brain to better understand location and to be able to pick out detail better too, hopefully.
    Last edited by N Boros; 05-02-2021 at 06:32 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    From what I've read, agree that top (on or in ceiling) give the best overhead experience. High walls aren't quite as good but maybe 85-90% of the way there. Ceilings in my listening area are trayed, from about 10' to 13', and not really a good spot for on/in ceiling so I went with top of the front & rear walls, angled downwards. Works fine for me.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    I'm currently in an ancient farmhouse in Illinois, but will be relocating to much nicer accommodations in Colorado. The space the theater will be in is a converted garage with an open beam ceiling, so in ceiling speakers won't work.

    I looked at the Sonance stuff just for kicks, they seem pretty darn proud of their products, confirming what we have all come to appreciate, that being what a superb value Ascend products represent. I was impressed with the Sonance invisible in walls. Fully taped, textured, and painted, when they say invisible they MEAN it! I'd sure be interested in hearing a full complement of those!

    It's quite an interesting phenomenon I've seen time and again that occurs on internet forums, A member poses a question, gets a fairly consistent consensus, and then totally disregards the excellent advice, and then they go ahead with what they planned on in the first place! At this point I'm inclined to try the HTM 200s. I'd be less than honest to say I'm not still a bit conflicted.

    Jay

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Atmos height speakers for a system that uses RAAL tweeters.

    If your hearing noticed a discernable difference going from the NRT to the RAAL ribbons, then I'd suggest sticking with the Lunas. They are notably pricier for surrounds and height speakers, but if your preference is going the all ribbon route, then that would be the best way to go. I enjoy their sound quality and they look great.

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