Re: Do rear channels really matter that much?
I whole heartedly agree with that statement, at least in an ideal situation, and take it one further. Not only should you have the same speakers, but you need the same amps. I have tried it many ways and find that even within one makers line, different amps respond to the input signal differently causing the system to come into and out of balance depending on the volume/level of the passage. This is extremely annoying to me as I am constantly aware of the imbalance and it ruins my listening to the material, I end up listening to the faults in the system instead.
I have found several speaker makers that use identical drivers in the front, center and rears within a system (My Canton Vento's come to mind) and they can match up perfectly. I don't have the full sized surrounds in this setup, so I lack some bass from the rears, but this can be switched off to a sub and when well implemented can be almost unnoticable.
NOTE Almost.... I would still prefer the L/R of the front and back to be identical speakers.
Ken Taraszka, MD