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Do you have your center channel set to large ?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by anthony_b, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    I have a big center channel the CS400I from Polk (this sucker is about 30 lbs!!)...Usually in multichannel setups you toggle between small and large options for speakers settings...so my dilemma is: a "Large" setting should be appointed to a FULL RANGE speaker IMO, so which center channel provides that if manufactures build them mostly for dialog reproduction in 5.1,6.1,7.1 setups....I have my center channel set to large and I feel that if I set it to small I'll be missing out of the speakers potential even though it's not meant to reproduce low frequencies.....So, what do you set your center channel at and why ?....also, what criteria do you use for your mains ?
     
  2. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    Set the center to small. You will overtax it if you listen at reference as it's not meant to play full range. I have used speakers that are flat to below 40 and still set them to small (80hz xover).

    Oh, and I hardly call the 400i a big center, but that's just me. That depends on one's frame of reference.
     
  3. Andy Goldstein

    Andy Goldstein Stunt Coordinator

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    i'm running 3 sets of double large advents across the front. i wish they had a setting of "enormous". large will have to do. [​IMG]

    ag.
     
  4. Edward J M

    Edward J M Screenwriter

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    I'm with Tony - small all the way. Some DVDs have full range bass in the center channel, and it can overload the woofers and cause dialogue clarity problems (intermodulation distortion).

    BTW, I have the CS400i and it IS a pretty big center channel; dual 6.5" drivers and a tri-lam tweet. It's a large enclosure and it has the patented Polk Power Port. It fills the room very well; lots of big natural sound.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/home/specs....y=5&speaker=41

    Regards,

    Ed
     
  5. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    Yeah I guess 30lbs is big, although I'm not sure what you'd call Vandersteen's 80 pounder. [​IMG]
     
  6. paul clipsel

    paul clipsel Stunt Coordinator

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    The center is easily the hardest working speaker in a multichannel system yet it is the most overlooked in most manufacturers surround speaker systems(they are more worried about physical size for the center). IMO 98% of left and rights front speakers are not good enough to run as large let alone centers. Even 30lbs is tiny when compared to the 105lb center mammoths that some brands use, and yet most still dont come up to scratch for running full range. Smalls is the way to go with one or more decent dedicated subwoofers handling the bass duties.

    PC
     
  7. StephenL

    StephenL Second Unit

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    Is your center speaker capable of playing as low and loud as your subwoofer? If not, set it to small.
     
  8. paul clipsel

    paul clipsel Stunt Coordinator

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    I must remember this explaination. Short but sweet.

    PC
     
  9. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    You need to be carefull in your settings, you can wind up creating a gap between your mains and your sub. Some recievers do not have alternate crossover settings and you could miss out on the frequencies that are in between your sub and your mains....
     
  10. John-Tompkins

    John-Tompkins Second Unit

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    My aerial cc-5 is 100 lbs..When I recieved it via ups the wieght was 149 lbs for one package ! aerial put mdf board all the way around the box to protect it in shipping.

    While I agree with the others that say set it to small/80hz..and this would apply to about any center channel, Im just not sure with the cc-5..it has two 8.9 woofers, rated to only 40hz (and Ive verified this is a true rating via tone sweeps)..The aerial dealer told me to run it on large.. and admitedly it did sound awesome on large by the way...It seems to handle the large setting with no problem..Ive been experimenting and I think I may strike a compromise and set it on 60hz_
     
  11. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    if you are "missing frequencies", then it's probably set up incorrectly
     
  12. Eddie Horton

    Eddie Horton Stunt Coordinator

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    DVD's definately have large amounts of bass in the center channel. Black Hawk Down is the first that comes to mind during the "Irene" scene. Most centers are just not designed to play that low. Set it to small.
     
  13. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    There’s another reason to set the center to small: Improved sound quality. A lot of program material has the voices, especially male voices, poorly equalized with too much bottom end. Leave the center set to large and you may find that male voices sound unnaturally boomy and bass-heavy.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  14. Nathan W.

    Nathan W. Stunt Coordinator

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    THIS has to be the most visually distracting center channel out there and it's not even full range with those big ol' woofers. I guess that's what the grill is for.

    The Cinepod found here just screams "Look at me!!" How can anyone watch a movie with that thing sitting in front of them? No grill on that sucker either!
     
  15. Mike_Skeway

    Mike_Skeway Second Unit

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    40 Hz is not full range. Physical size and weight of a speaker does not make it large or small when talking BM.
     
  16. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    With that thing sitting in front of them, I think the last thing I'd be thinking about is watching a movie.[​IMG]
     
  17. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Do soundtrack people regularly place subsonic bass frequencies in the center channel? I know that for actual theaters this may work out O.K. but wouldn't they change that for a home dvd release since most people don't use large centers?

    ************************************************** ***************

    This is for the surround music adopters.

    I recently bought a dvd-audio called Univisible by Medeski, Martin & Wood. This disc places an electric bass guitar in the center channel* for just about every track. The 6.5" woofer in my center speaker (a single Infinity bookshelf) was nearly bottoming out playing back this instrument. Does anyone know the frequency range for an electric bass? If it extends to below 80Hz I'm not sure I would want the guitar's output split between two different speakers. I've heard sytems with other music where you can hear the initial "pluck" of a stringed intrument or synthesizer note emanating from the center speaker first........than the remainder of the note came from the sub. This was not exactly contributing to a realistic listening experience. This is when I realized an 80Hz xover wasn't always seamless. I've also heard deeper male voices in some music (& movies too) being split between the center & the sub--bleh.

    A good reason for setting the center to small is because centers are almost always in lousy locations as far as good bass reproduction is concerned. But what if it was in a good location? While a limit of 40Hz isn't technically full-range, that is as far as many highly regarded floorstanding speakers reach to. I guess this enters the tricky realm of subjectivity as far as the amount of bass each person prefers is concerned, but based on the effects mentioned above, I personally would rather set my center to large to avoid any weird sonic side-effects (unless my center speaker was too small to handle this safely). This obviously also depends on your amp's power ouptut capabilities.

    5.1 surround music playback is still pretty new so I think it's a good idea to keep an open mind to make sure a person's specific system is set up correctly for this format.

    * this dvd-audio also places a bass drum in the front right main speaker AND the right rear channel. At @75% of full receiver volume, on almost every track my rear channel's 6.5" woofer became a blur (sorry--I don't own any frequency/level analyzing equipment so visual observations are all I have). This also happens sometimes on The Crystal Method's dvd-audio (for example, on the track "True Grit" during a synth solo) & to a lesser extent on the Pet Sounds dvd-audio. Just a friendly warning for the surround people with really small sats.
     
  18. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    My Paradigm Signature C5 is around 100 pounds.

    I set it to "small".
     
  19. Gary SI

    Gary SI Stunt Coordinator

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    My center is a 3 way Boston VR12 (2-6.5" +1-4.5" +1'' tweeter) it has a range of 55~20K and the manual says set your amp for large , NO WAY , !!
    It may have a good range , but I have found that a "small" setting and raising the center level as needed is a safer way to go.
    Before that I had a really cheap C ( 1 real driver , 1 passive + 1 tweet ) had a large setting (by mistake) and played "World Is Not Enough" (AC-3 -LD) and I blew the passive surround to shreads , will actully it came apart.
    I did get a replacement , but after that I have always made sure to set C`s at small.
    Better safe than sorry !!
    Gary [​IMG]
     
  20. John-Tompkins

    John-Tompkins Second Unit

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    Correct..40hz isnt full range by no means and size/weight isnt the overdriving factor in how low a speaker will go..However having bigger woofers may have an impact on how well a speaker could handle bass or how low it may go.

    Having said that, IF any center speaker can handle the large setting it would be the aerial cc5.

    I watched Gladiator and fast and furious all the way through with the cc5 on large and there wasnt a single scene in either movie that the cc5 didnt handle with relative ease (never bottomed out and no audible distortion)..Just clean clear bass centered directly in the middle firing straight out at my chest..It made things like the lion roaring in the fight scene sound incredible..Theres somthing about having the two 8.9 woofers phsically located in the middle of the mains pointed straight at the sweet spot !

    Which makes me wonder exactly how much bass goes into the center and how low of a frequency do the "editors" of the movie sound, let it go before they decide to put it on the lfe..
     

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