Once again I feel like I'm swimming conversationally upstream
James, my soundstage hole appears between the front and side speakers, which are a bipolar type of Paradigm. I use Paradigm Sudio 20's as a direct firing rear speaker. Those I will replace with PMC's (probably LB1's, given my budgetary restrictions).
I have no problem with the soundstage created by direct firing surrounds when viewing movies. It is in listening to music that the direct firing surrounds just don't work for me.
Specific examples: Bipolar speakers fill in the hole between front and side speakers and allow for an experience (to whit, when listening to Riding With The King with BB King and Eric Clapton) that places me onstage with the musicians, but in the position of a front man, not sitting on the drummers head surrounded by noise. When listening to Joey DeFrancesco and Jack MacDuff's Multichannel SACD with bipolar speakers, each hammond organ (the greatest rock and roll keyboard ever invented
) is situated in a position that projects (roughly) from their respective front speaker to a position halfway along each wall (Joey on the right, Jack on the left). All Steely Dan DVD-Audio recordings have horns, "punctuating" keyboard parts, and percussion feeds emanating from the surrounds, but in a way which integrates the players with the rest of the band. When I use direct firing surrounds, in each instance, all of that surround info is extracted from its context and becomes an annoying addition coming from behind me.
Oh well. I'll keep playing around with this. I would really MUCH prefer to use PMC's all round. Thanks for the replies guys. I'm finding this interesting. Keep offering up your insights. I will endeavour to "comply" with the suggestions.