Timbre Matching - Consolidated thread

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Rick Moore, Aug 1, 2003.

  1. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm going to quote myself from another thread in another forum - not because I'm right or smart, but because I'm lazy and because I never got an answer to my question:

    In a 2 channel system you want everything equally balanced. In a 5 channel system, the front channels should match each other and the surround channels should match each other. There is not the need to match all the way around as the sound spectrum is far less demanding for all other channels than the L & R front. That is where timbre and image come into play. This may also be true of the front channel. Which leads back to a previous question I posed:

    If the center channel should be the same as the R & L front channels, why do, even high end speaker manufacturers, offer and tout specifically designed center channels?

    Not necessarily the same reason they would offer different rear channel speakers. Many buyers would simply not be able to afford to use the same speakers for mains and surrounds. That could be a reason that they offer a similar speaker at a different price point. Of course, some surrounds are dipole and this would be another reason (and another argument against "same speaker" home theater).
    As the center channel often costs more than a single front speaker of the same quality, the argument regarding cost could not be made.
    What seems most likely (to me) is that the center channel covers a different sound spectrum and is designed to best present that spectrum.
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    You raise good points that I actually mostly agree with. But as far as why manufacturers offer center channels when ideally all three across the front should be the same, is simply that most people have floorstanders for the L & R's, but obviously that won't work with a center channel. So voila, a specific center channel design. [​IMG]
     
  3. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kevin,


    While I find your interpretation believable for some manufacturers, take a look at this:

    "With the availability of surround sound movies and multi-channel audio components, in-home entertainment has greatly expanded. Now, with the VCC-1 center speaker, you can have a high-fidelity home theater system where all the speakers combine to create an expansive panorama of sound that enhances your emotional involvement in the film experience.

    The previous thinking, that three identical speakers across the front would provide a consistent soundfield, proved incorrect as our research revealed that the center speaker is subject to unique demands and requires a highly specialized design.

    The VCC-1 is the only center speaker that incorporates integral design solutions to the specific center channel requirements. It is immune to lobing response variations and performs consistently at any height or positioning. It is magnetically shielded and can be compensated for any environment. It maintains the critical phase integrity of the original sound and fully complements the main speakers. As an important part of a high-fidelity home theater system, the VCC-1 folds seamlessly into the multi-channel soundfield. Whether reproducing a whisper or a shout; a breeze or a blizzard, it creates a realistic and totally involving experience."
    http://www.vandersteen.com/pages/vcclit.html


    and the dimensions of this:

    http://www.vandersteen.com/pages/VCC_VSM_SIG.html

    Vandersteen is someone I truly respect and after reading the paragraph inserted above, I will become much more dogmatic re: the falsehood of using identical speakers.[​IMG]

    Doug
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Doug- Irregardless of Vandersteen's info (and even the fact that that's what I have! [​IMG] ), I honestly do believe that *if* a person could do 3 identical across the front, that is *probably* the best way to go. Just might look a little strange, even if for example to use 3 B&W bookshelf speakers across the front, and to get the best fidelity, you have to place the center channel vertically too... [​IMG]
     
  5. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Won't argue with that, even though I disagree. I envy your Vandersteens. Haven't any room for them or I'd have bought them years ago...but the quotes from Vandersteen I just stumbled across while researching this subject. I'd truly have to listen for myself to decide which would sound better. I absolutely agree with you about which would look better. [​IMG]

    Doug
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  7. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oops! Next!
     
  8. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    You think Vandersteen thinks his products are the best?? The nerve of that guy!!!![​IMG]
     
  9. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Lew- That quote is kind of old. It actually might be true that when the VCC 1st came out, and maybe for a little while after that, it was true. [​IMG]

    Everyone knows about the off-axis lobing problems of most woofer-tweeter-woofer designs? [​IMG] Vandy's use a coaxial setup that do not exhibit this problem. They also have a switch on the back to compensate for being placed on top of a TV.
     
  10. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    I’m sure that it is an old quote Kevin. It is the kind of comment that I’d expect to see in almost any brand's marketing—and I’d take it without any comment. My only reason for reacting in this thread is that the quote was being used to support a position.

    BTW, I have nothing at all against that speaker nor the company, and in fact think that Vandersteen makes an excellent product.

    On a bit of a technical aside, it is interesting to see their solution to the MTM (or WTW) design problem was a coaxial one. Just goes to show the cycle of design technology. Coaxial (and even triaxial) speakers were all the rage back in the 50s and became discredited by early audiophiles. In fact my first DYI speaker project back then was based on a coaxial driver from Radio Shack.

    I thought that I had the best sound around. [​IMG]
     
  11. Doug Brewster

    Doug Brewster Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wait a minute ! I have been talking about the wrong stuff ! This is about Timber-matching !:b

    Well, I think Timber-matching is really important. If you don't have timber-matching, the veneers on your speakers would make your system look like a patch-work quilt. Who wants 1 oak, 1 maple, and 1 walnut speaker enclosure across the front. I absolutely agree that these speakers should have identically matching timber...or you should spray paint them...Aluminum spray paint. Yeah, that's the ticket. [​IMG]

    Doug
     
  12. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Doug- Through a combination of buying new and used:

    My sub and center are black, the mains are rosewood, and the surrounds/rears are maple! [​IMG] Man, no wonder I have complaints about a cohesive soundfield...
     
  13. Keiwana

    Keiwana Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am leaning hard at purchasing two pair of athenas for my front and rear. I do not want to purchase the center because it sounds very irratating and lacks the presence that a center channel speaker should have.

    Consequently, I considering using a paradigm CC-370 center with two pair of athena asf2s. I will be using a paradigm ps1200 for the sub. My receiver will be the pioneer elite 45tx.

    How important is it use speakers from the same company or line?

    Can you get a quality sound with different speaker brands?
     
  14. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Messages:
    6,017
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    The front three speakers should match if at all possible. This is so that sounds don’t change as they more across the front sound stage. Matching the surrounds to the front speakers is less important in HT, but if you plan on listening to multi-channel music, it is vital that they match here as well (you don’t really want clarinets to sound different just because they are in different locations).

    Good pick-up on the center channel, as this is the source of a lot of sound (and almost all dialogue) in HT. Lesser center channels result in difficult to understand speech (among other problems). Don’t compromise here—change your R/L main speakers.

    Have you listened to the Athenas without a center channel? They might well produce a satisfactory ‘phantom’ center channel. Pick a couple of places in movies that have hard to discern dialogue (especially with a lot of other stuff going on in the background) and give it a try.

    If this does not produce results you like, go with a different line.
     
  16. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keiwana- Try a quick search, as there was a big thread on timbre matching not too long ago in this section... [​IMG] Should help to address some of your questions.
     
  17. Keiwana

    Keiwana Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2003
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Shane, Kevin, Lew, or anyone else,

    If I must go with a complete line I will. With that in mine, What set-ups do you guys have & What would you recommend?
     
  18. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is your budget? And room size?
     
  19. CurtisSC

    CurtisSC Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Keiwana,

    I am in agreement that timbre matching the front stage is important, but I think the rear surrounds are important too, more so than I think Lew.

    That aside, what is your budget? Many setups to choose from in every budget range. Amd more important, what kind of sound do you like?
     
  20. Jarek

    Jarek Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2003
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys, quick question regarding this issue. I will be getting my receiver in about two weeks. Currently I have an old pair of Infinity mains SM112 Studio Monitor series but this week I got a good deal on the Athena C1 center channel. How well do you think will this combo sound together? In theory do you think the timbre of the Inifinty Polycell Tweeter will be a good match for the Teteron tweeter of the Athena?
    Obviously I'll have to listen to the setup with my own ears, but I'm hoping it will sound ok since I am on a budget. [​IMG]

    Other than custom signal Cd's, off the top of your head, which movie has some good material with "across the screen" sound to test this issue? Thanks for any feedback. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page