@ Brandon - Great looking room
@ Terry - donít discount QS8s as surround speakers even for music. I know the recommendation is for direct radiating (identical all around if possible) but almost all my multi-channel music SACDs and DVD-As use the surround channels for ambient sounds which the QS8s are better suited to produce. Same goes if you use PLII or PLIIx processing as they are going to pull out the ambient information and route it to the back.
I compared both QS8s and M22s as surround and rear speakers in my apartment (speakers were 5.5í away and I proffered the QS8s for both movies and music. The more diffuse sound from them blends better with their corresponding mains and with each other over a wider listening area. OTOH if I were just sitting in the sweet spot I found the advantages of the QS8s less noticeable especially as back speakers even more so the further away the back speakers were. However, I still canít see using anything but the QS8s for surrounds even for music.
Here is a technical question I've been meaning to ask: as great as the M22s are, why do people still prefer the QS8s as surround speakers. I know they are designed differently, but I don't know all the technicalities of it. I hear people saying how great the QS8s are and I am a little confused. Aren't the surrounds usually used the least amount of time? It is strange to me a pair of QS8s cost more than a pair of M22s.
Iíve compared M22s and QS8s as surround, back, wide and height speakers so hereís my take for what itís worth.
For movies, as mentioned, the dispersion characteristics of the QS8s better spread out the sound the way an array of surround speakers in a movie theater does. This helps the surround sound stage (sides and rear) to blend more seamlessly between all your speakers. It also helps prevent the side/rear soundstage from collapsing to the nearest speaker for people sitting off to either side.
For music I prefer the QS8s because most of the multi-channel music I have or have seen the surround channels only carry ambient sounds from the venue they were recorded in or mixed to simulate that. I have about 50 multi-channel recordings and I can only think of 2 DSOTM and Quaudiophiliac that mix discrete instruments of vocals into the surround channels. Iím sure there are many more but in my experience the ambient stuff far out weighs the directional.
In terms of usage Iíve noticed the following order of precedence in speakers:
Movies - Center, mains, surrounds, wides, heights, backs.
Music - Mains, (center and surrounds (about even)), wides, backs, heights.
Although in both cases the surrounds play less of a role itís still significant in many recordings because they are often solely responsible for creating the side and back soundstage.
Some might question my putting surrounds on par with the center for music but the more high quality multi-channel music Iím getting the more Iím hearing sound engineers mix most of the center channel into the mains. On the audio demo Blu-ray that came with my Oppo there was almost nothing coming out of the center channel. My understanding is that the sound engineers understand that the mains are likely going to be the best speakers on someone system for music reproduction. http://www.soundstage.com/surrounded/surrounded200307.htm
On thing I have noticed is that for back (not surround) speakers that are about 5í or more away then using the M22s actually have some advantages over the QS8s in my experience do to the more directional nature of sound effects. However, IMO M22s are overkill as back speakers and M2s or M3s would be more cost effective in this role.
Overall my preference for speakers would be
L/C/R = identical tower or bookshelf. Timber matched vertical center if identical not possible. Timber matched horizontal center if vertical not possible.
Surrounds = QS8s or QS4 depending on room size
Wide = M2 or M3 maybe M22 if room is really big and wides are far away.
Height = QS4 maybe QS8s if room is huge
Back = M2 or M3 I skip backs in small rooms when using QS8 surrounds.
Obviously people will have differing opinions on whatís most important.