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The most important speaker in a HT is....

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77 replies to this topic

#1 of 78 Joe Maiurro

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Posted November 23 2003 - 10:03 PM

Which one do you guys think is the most important?

#2 of 78 Hartwig Hanser

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Posted November 23 2003 - 11:34 PM

center. It contains almost all dialogue and lots of music and noises.

#3 of 78 Johnny Ayala

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Posted November 23 2003 - 11:39 PM

Sub............gotta be the sub. Try looking at a movie without it after you've had one. You'll see what I mean. Johnny Posted Image
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#4 of 78 JawhnM


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Posted November 24 2003 - 01:13 AM

All speakers have a purpose and certain elements are lost if each one does not fulfill that purpose. Having said that, I would say the Center Channel speaker is the MOST important.


1. The Surround speakers give you that sense of envelopment.
2. The Main L/R speakers greatly enhance the soundstage and musical score.
3. The Sub adds impact and depth.
4. With all of the above and a lousy Center Channel speaker, the dialogue becomes hard to understand and not centered to the screen , which would tend to make the entire movie VERY unenjoyable (unless your watching a Charlie Chaplin movie).
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#5 of 78 ChrisMatson



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Posted November 24 2003 - 01:50 AM

Center. With that said, there are those who prefer splitting center channel to the main speakers. I like the sound of a firmly planted center speaker so I know the sound is coming from the screen.

#6 of 78 Neil Joseph

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Posted November 24 2003 - 03:06 AM

Te most important speaker is also the one that usually gets the least glorification - Centre
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#7 of 78 ChrisLazarko


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Posted November 24 2003 - 03:54 AM

I agree, the center speaker is the most important.

In regards to the subwoofer though. It stinks to not have one but i'd rather hear what is going on in a movie then just hear a boom every once in a while.

#8 of 78 Stelios


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Posted November 26 2003 - 04:45 PM

Now in a set of various brand speakers, I have noticed that the center speaker is the same as the L & R and surrounds. Does this mean then that the receiver is the one that determines the quality of the center one?

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#9 of 78 RolandM


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Posted November 26 2003 - 05:16 PM

I'm going to disagree a little about the centre speaker... IMO if you actually have a centre then it becomes very important that the centre you have is a good one. IOW if you have a centre speaker then it is the most important speaker in the setup, IMO. If you don't have a centre and your room isn't very big (and perhaps also if your TV isn't that big) then the dialogue can still sound pretty centred if you ask me.

I can see that in some situations having the centre might become more important though.

Like Johnny, I am tempted to say the sub as well because of the above opinion of mine...

I think in a low-cost set up you can get away without the centre but you can't get away with a budget centre speaker in a higher cost system (and nobody would try anyway)...

#10 of 78 Jack Briggs

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Posted November 27 2003 - 04:27 AM

Debating this red herring of a question is best done in the area devoted to the discussion of speaker systems. It's not a Basics area type of discussion.

#11 of 78 GeorgeJM



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Posted November 27 2003 - 04:32 AM

The center is the most important, but a sub has has the most WOW! factor. Take away the sub and it's not as thrilling of an experience. Take away the center and you'll be missing 1/2 or more of the movie.

#12 of 78 Reginald Trent

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Posted November 27 2003 - 05:07 AM

I'm gonna disagree with the premise of the question. Because I don't thing any one speaker is more important than the other. They are all needed to make the ideal audio presentation of the DVD/video. A strong argument could be made that the center speaker is the least needed speaker in a HT setup. Keep in mind some people prefer no center speaker and run theirs in the phantom mode. While others run their systems without a sub, prefering to hear the lows from their mains.

#13 of 78 george_k



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Posted November 27 2003 - 02:00 PM

I agree with what Reginald said...a good set of tower speakers could produce both upper and lower frequencies.

Personally, if I could go back in time, using the same budget I spent on my current setup, I'd buy a good quality stereo receiver and a pair of really good tower speakers.

#14 of 78 Brian OK

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Posted November 27 2003 - 02:30 PM

If I may,

your front trio is the seamless "front" speaker. Without the front stage intact (same speakers, in other words) then it is a matter of spurious psycoacoustical calculations after that.
Granted, the center is dialogue laden, but if you do not have the same tweeter and bass drivers up front then it is a matter of variables and degrees after that. Purely subjective. But that is the love of audio ;^) ...go figure. So enjoy what you strive for.
It really does matter. IMO and IME.

PS- if you are a bass head, then ignore this reply ............ if you enjoy musical speakers then you will nod


#15 of 78 John Garcia

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Posted November 27 2003 - 05:47 PM

I agree with Brian, all 3 of the front speakers are the most important, and having them be as similar as possible is of great benefit to the listener.

Sub is a very close second in my book Posted Image
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#16 of 78 Lewis Besze

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Posted November 27 2003 - 07:31 PM

The center channel carries about 70% of the data,so do the "math".Ragading the "fold in" option,I've never seen a decent HT that didn't have a dedicated center speaker,nor anyone "reputable" would recommend skipping it.

#17 of 78 Brett DiMichele

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Posted November 27 2003 - 08:16 PM

The most important speaker in a home theater is?: The Wife!

When she speaks you listen!Posted Image

(So glad I don't have that particular speaker in my setup!)
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#18 of 78 Stelios


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Posted November 27 2003 - 11:19 PM

You can say that again Brett!
The WIFE is the center speaker,left,right and sometimes under....

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#19 of 78 Kevin. W

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Posted November 28 2003 - 12:33 AM

For me its this little baby.

Posted Image

Matched with a pair of these at the front.

Posted Image

With a pair of these are the rear.

Posted Image

A finally one of these for bass.

Posted Image

All working in harmony to bring me the sound I want to hear. Overall I think in HT the center channel is the most important and for 2ch music its the fronts.


#20 of 78 Chris Tabor

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Posted November 28 2003 - 12:51 AM

i've always heard the center was most important but its just as easy to send the signal to your mains. I think the most important speaker(depending on what your speakers are) is the subwoofer. If you have large mains that can handle the bass then I would say the mains would be most important. But if you have smaller speakers that need a sub then the sub would be first. Basically it all depends on the setup you have i'd say.