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How critical are the surround speakers?


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Great forum. Just discovered, and well done!

I have KG 3.2, SC-1 center, and not Klipsch rears

I just upgraded to 5.1 DD, and still can't seem to figure out why my rear channel amp has 100W x 2. When I turn my mains off, I can hear my center and rears in isolation. There just doesn't seem to be much info going to the rears, even with DTS and DD DVDs. I got new monster cable, and have currently some Infinity SL10s back there (6 ohm). These speakers sound just fine as mains, relative to their size. However, they seem like overkill in the rear. These are small speakers.

Why should I get $400 SS-1s, when it doesn't seem that much info is going back there. I've read how many of you have huge rear speaker set-ups, and I dont' understand the point of all this. Am I missing something???

Thanks for setting me straight, in advance.

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Welcome to the board! Actually, with the proper hardware and software, there is a lot of sound going to the rear speakers. The first question is what receiver and DVD player do you have? Do you also have a Dolby Digital satellite dish? Other than a few Digital Cable boxes out there, DVD's and DD satellite receivers are currently the only sources able to transmit DD or DTS sound. If you have the right equipment, then you have to play the right movies, etc. through the system. Oh, and the right equipment needs to be hooked up correctly to get the signal. Since we don't know where you are at in this process, a little more info would help. Even with all the right hardware, hookups and software, those Infinity's are not near as efficient as your Klipsch speakers, so it may just be a need to adjust the volume up in your rear channels.

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Thanks for your reply.

My reciever is a Sony STR-de845. IT's all hooked up correctly, and I'm using coaxial connection as well as RCA to hook up my Toshiba 3109 DVD player. Does this help?

I just don't see why I would need a large rear speaker set up, when all the bass can be transfered to the mains and/or sub. Why wouldn't I want to transfer the low frequencies, as they are non-directional anyway. Might as well let the biggest drivers take care of it.

Incidently, I blew out (sort of) one of my 3.2s 2 days after hooking up the Sony. The glue came loose between the voice coil and cone on the active woofer, and was letting a gap of air in resulting in a farting sound. I can't believe this happened. The bass was not even bottoming out or clipping. Be carefull when playing the alien ship landing from Stargate (:

I'm considering exchaning my reciever.

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t-man, i feel your pain (see my set-up below). my room config allows the big beasts

only in the rear corns. & the sony dsp modes

and/or dvd mixes just don't put the same sound level to the rears. even w/ music in prologic mode.

i turn the rear level up +2-3db & crank the effect level to just 1 or 2 notches shy of full, which helps some. some where down the road i'm sure i'll upgrade my receiver to like a denon or marantz. would really like to have that 5 channel stereo mode for music.


RF-3 (front), RC-3, Cornwall I (rear)

Velodyne HGS-15 sub

Monsterbass 400 sub cables & Monster Z-12 speak wire

Sony de935 a/v receiver

Sony DVP-C650D dvdp

Sony Trinitron 27" tv

Technics dual cassette deck

Technics direct drive turntable

Scientific Atlanta Explorer 2000 digital cable box

rock on!

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You may want to check a couple other things as well. Being very new to home theater I learned early on from a couple mistakes. Some of this stuff required some trial and error and was a bit more complex than I thought.

First off check the on-screen set-up menu on your DVD player. I found mine had Dolby Digital and DTS set to OFF. So, I corrected that problem halfway through a movie when things just didn't sound "alive". Have no idea why ON wouldn't be the default but at least it's fixed now.

Second, check your DVD menu prior to playing the movie. Last night I watched part of a movie and again began to investigate the lack of effects. Come to find out that the DVD menu's "language and sound" section had "Dolby Surround" selected. When I changed this to "Dolby Digital" the difference was phenomenal. I noticed before that my reciever was displaying both "Pro Logic" and Dolby Digtal prior to making the fix--then just Dolby Digital. I restarted the movie to catch what I had "missed".

I upgraded to SS-1s and am pleased. I boosted the output to these by a couple dB as well. Keep in mind that your rears will not produce sound all the time. Only if the effects mixer deliberately intended to put something there. That is why I sometimes question spending so much for rears. Some folks specically select DVDs with a lot of action and special effects while others just like certain types of films. Depending on the DVD there may be VERY little rear sound encoded on the disk.

I have a Harman/Kardon AVR 110 receiver and like it a lot. Very user friendly. Anyway, just my 2 cents. Welcome to the boards. Sorry to hear about your speaker--hope you get it worked out.


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I checked all those setting on the DVD player, and it's working correctly as you described. I'm curious as to what you had before you bought the SS-1's. How much of a difference did it really make. I'm forced to have my rears right next to the couch where I sit, b/c the couch is on the wall. I aim the speakers with a toe-in (aimed just about right at the front of my head. They are only about 2-4 feet from my face at times, so I can't really jack up the volume, or it's too much. That's why I'm wondering what benefit I would get from a speaker upgrade.

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Have you run the calibration program on the HT receiver? It circulates band limited noise around the five speakers; each speaker sounds off individually and there is a software setting to get them equal in output. A Radio Shack sound meter is the measurement tool of choice, but ears work well too.

It could be that the rears are less sensitive and require more gain.

Please excuse if you have already done this.


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This is a semirelated topic.. maybe. smile.gif I have KLF20 mains and KSPs6 surrounds.. The KSPS6s are so much quieter than the KSPS6s... i used the thx optimode testing on t2 ultimate edition dvd, and i had to turn my rears +10 dB and its still not loud enough. Now i know that every 3 dB is doubling the power the amp is giving, so could i potential be damaging my speakers by putting them this loud??? i mean my receiver is a sony 110w x 5ch, and i've never turned it up past 3/8 of the way, but +10 dB is at least 8 times the power i believe. 3/8 of 110 would be like 41 and 8 times that is wow.. 330... does this mean i am damaging the speakers which i looked so hard for.. and are supposed to be matched for my mains might i add, just by making it so i can hear them at the same volume as my KLF20s?

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In my system I run my K-Horns(104dB)and modified Heresy Center(now 104dB)at -6,my KSP-S6's are set at +4.That's a 10 difference and the speakers are 8dB apart.

My rear centers are only 90dB and have to be set at +12.

I think your 20'are 102dB,am I close?

You aren't hurting anything.I never have and I do "Super Speedway"at 110 to 115dB.Never have heard any unhappy noises except for the cats running for cover.

Do you have a SPL meter?Radio Shack about $38.I set mine and leave it alone.

All movies are not mixed the same and you will notice some differences in the surround levels.

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I had SS.5's before and liked them fine but wanted to have a better match if I ecide to get Synergy towers in the next coule years. Also the .5s were balck and my wife wanted white--which the dealer I found had in SS-1s. Price difference was under $100.

My set-up:

Sony 32" Trinitron

Harman/Kardon AVR 110

Sony DVP-S360

Sony ES Tape Deck

Yamaha YV-1110S SVHS VCR

Klipsch KG4 mains

KV2 Center

SS-1s for rears

No subwoofer yet--out of cash

Good Luck


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I may not have the terminology quite right, but here goes. I am using KLF30s as both my mains and surrounds powered by a Denon AVR5800. From what I have read, the surround channels are (here comes the terminology part) are full range as are the front/main channels. My point being, you want to use a full range speaker (preferredly the same as your front/mains) for your surrounds. I tried a pair of KSP-S6s, believe me, there is no comparison. One of my S6s is now functioning as a center rear effects speaker and handling that duty quiet well I might add. I know there are a few others on this board that will back me up on this. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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SteveP, i'd set my mains minus a couple decibels, but the sony receiver (piece of crap, but 110x 5 is a lot of power for the 500 dollars i payed) doesn't let me do it. I'm just worried about blowing out the s6s, cuz i don't have the money to pay for fixing them right now lol..

ColaBear, i'd buy another pair of 20s, but i'm 16 and saving for a car and definitely don't have the cash right now.

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