silly HT front/rear matching question?

Hi all. I'm new to this forum but so many of you sound so knowledgable I'm hoping you won't mind helping me with a dumb question.

I'm upgrading from a 2 speaker to a 5.1 speaker system. And be warned-i'm not an audiophile. My question is, why should I go to the bother and expense matching the rear surround speakers with the front/center speakers? When playing music with e.g., Neo6 the rears seem to be just for a little fill. And for movies, is it that important that they timbre match?

Oh, in case it matters in your answer, because my sofa is against the rear wall and the surrounds need to go near the sofa, I guess need to go with dipole surrounds.

I'm leaning toward the Paradigm studio line for the front and saving $500 by getting a more modest surround, also Paradigm, but of a different line that won't match the studios.

Thanks in advance,
So what's your silly question? This is a sensible one.

Surrounds that are too different in sound from the main speakers will sound out-of-place (and, in particular, stand out more than surrounds ought to). There's a tendency among manufacturers to give all of their speakers a similar timbre. That's partly by design, because they know HT customers will want to mix and match, and partly just a function of the fact that whoever designs their speakers aims for a certain sound.

There's a good chance that the speakers you have in mind will sound fine together. That said, you cannot count on it happening. The only way to be sure is to take a pair of the surrounds home on trial (or with a money-back guarantee from the dealer), and see how they sound in your system. (Note: It is always important to try speakers out in your room, since speaker-room interaction matters a lot.)
Thanks KR, Bomarc, and Dopogue. On the one hand it seemed like it should work okay, but what scared me was when I saw the HT packages recommmended by speaker manufacturers, they always, without fail, suggested matching their better front speakers with their better surrounds, never with their lower end surrounds. Thanks again.
Well, jeez, Marie, of course they want you to buy the better ones. They're trying to get as much of your money as they can. Why is it that, when it comes to audio, normally sensible people miss the bleeding obvious?
The better your sources are and the more multi-channel music that you listen to, the more you would notice the differences between matched and mismatched speakers. Other than that, i would agree with Kr4. Pay the most attention to matching the center and mains as closely as possible. If you are going to use this in a relatively small room and have the mains placed relatively close together, skip the center channel and invest that money into better L-R speakers. Sean
I think you will be just fine with less expensive surround speakers. If you're mounting the surrounds on the side walls, it's almost impossible to timbre match these speakers to the fronts anyway. In my last theater, I had the full Revel Ultima line of speakers, and even for this highly regarded $20K+ speaker system, the surrounds still sounded very different than the fronts. Did this detract from the movie experience? I never noticed it.

For movies, the vast majority of surround effects are mixed in independently of the front channel information anyway. Occasionally, you'll have sounds that move between the surrounds and front speakers, but this is not the norm. With multi-channel music, you may notice it a little more, but I don't think it will make that much difference.

In my new theater, I am using Revel C50/F50s in the front, but relatively inexpensive B&W speakers for the surrounds (sides and rears).

If the timbre mismatch really bugs you, you can always add a parametric equalizer for your surround channels (assuming you're using a separate amp). Rane makes some pretty decent ones and you'd probably get a better timbre match this way than using the so-called matched surround speakers.

If you really want to have optimal timbre matching, the only way to do it is to use the same speakers for all speaker positions and make sure that they are placed in approximately the same position relative to room boundaries.
Thanks JTor. I'm taking your advice and am not going to worry about timbre matching fronts and rears.

Bomarc - I really think you hit the nail on the head. Sometimes you have to listen to your little voice and ignore the "experts".
Home theater is a waste of cash buy quality 2 channel your money goes alot farther if you really value music .Take care