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Will it sound ok to use 3 Superzero main fronts instead of a separate center ?


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#1 of 38 OFFLINE   Ken.L

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Posted January 21 2004 - 08:22 AM

What would be the difference between using a center channel speaker and two Superzeros versus three Superzeros? I may be able to get a set of three Superzeros at a reasonable price but if it's going to sound much inferior to using a center channel speaker, I'll have to reconsider. Seems like the specs of the centers and mains in matching sets have the same frequency response numbers. So, I don't really understand why they don't use three mains. I'm very new at this and this forum have been tremendously enlightening. Thanks in advance. Ken

#2 of 38 OFFLINE   Dan Halchak

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Posted January 21 2004 - 08:26 AM

Technically the best sounding way to set up the ol HT is to have all five (or six or seven) speakers identical.

I think if they are decent speakers and you can get 3 of them for the front sound stage, that's the way to go!!!!

It's more important to match up the L/C/R then it is to match Front to Rears. Posted Image

#3 of 38 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted January 21 2004 - 09:12 AM

You ask an obvious question Ken and Dan has already provided the short answer. In fact, Dolby recommends that you use the same speakers at every position. There are a few reasons that many people choose to use a speaker designed for center channel use. To begin, many people mount their center speaker directly on top of their TV or immediately underneath their TV. TVs with CRT displays (all of the tube-type TVs and some RPTVs, are sensitive to magnetic fields, so placing a speaker with unshielded drivers (magnets are used to move the speaker cones in and out) close to the tube, can (and probably will) cause discoloration on these TVs pictures. As it happens most speaker manufactures don’t shield any drivers other than the ones in a center speaker. If you are going to put your center speaker on top of a CRT TV, make sure its drivers are shielded. Center speakers are normally horizontal, which means that they tend to look better in front of a display than a design that is vertical in nature. A vertical floor stander in front of a TV looks kind of silly, even if gthe TV is high enough that the picture is not blocked, for example.I know nothing about ‘Superzeros’, so this may not be an issue. Some of the better center speakers are designed so that speech is reproduced very accurately and clearly—this is important in HT, as the center channel contains almost all of the dialogue. Hope that this helps.
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#4 of 38 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted January 21 2004 - 12:51 PM

I believe the Zeros are sheilded or are at least avaliable sheilded (I'd check to se if the ones you are buying are). The benefit of the center is a small gain in sensitivity, though when calibrated, it should basically sound the same. My front three speakers are identical, and I am very happy with the way it sounds, but they are also an MTM design like a center, so the one I am using for a center is laying on it's side.
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System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
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#5 of 38 OFFLINE   Mike_Skeway

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Posted January 21 2004 - 06:34 PM

I don't know the speakers that you are getting, but it is fine to use the same as your mains for a center, unless you have placement issues, for example a tower may not stand on your TV very well. Posted Image Or the are unshielded and you have a Direct View or RPTV.
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#6 of 38 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted January 22 2004 - 12:10 AM

Absolutely...it's the preferred way to go. I had the same three fronts years ago and they were great. No off-axis anomalies, etc. Small enough that the fact that it's not a low/wide speaker wasn't an issue. And don't lay it on its side, that defeats the whole purpose by screwing up the dispersion.
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#7 of 38 OFFLINE   Dan DRC

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Posted January 22 2004 - 01:45 AM

NHT superzeros would be great for running a matched five speaker set up. I have listened to several setups that used five superzeros and it was really good. I wished NHT would keep on making these they were an true entry level audiophile classic. You will have to pay attention to the sub that you mate them with since the superzeros are very bass shy. It can be difficult to get the right mix depending on the room.

#8 of 38 OFFLINE   cabreau

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Posted January 22 2004 - 03:48 AM

LOL, check this out:

NHT SuperZero Bookshelf Speaker (Single)
Manufactured by NHT
Price: $125.00
Buy it used for: $800.00
Availability: This item is not stocked or has been discontinued.
"...He who knows how to live can walk abroad without fear of rhinocerous or tiger. He will not be wounded in battle. For in him rhinoceroses can find no place to thrust their horn, tigers can find no place to use their claws, and weapons no place to pierce. Why is this so? Because he has no...

#9 of 38 OFFLINE   Mike_Skeway

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Posted January 22 2004 - 08:41 AM



That sounds like a great deal! Posted ImagePosted Image
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#10 of 38 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted January 22 2004 - 10:17 AM

IMO, the replacements, the SB line, are even better than the Super series. The SB1 is essentially an updated Super Zero.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
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#11 of 38 OFFLINE   dan-0

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Posted January 23 2004 - 02:08 AM

NHT does make a center that is matched for the super zeroes. I believe it is the super center one (SC-1). As John G said, they are a very nice speaker for the price. I bought (all used at different times) 6 nht super zeroes, matching nht center (I believe SC-1) and nht sw2p sub for $807 all together. NHT does still make the super zero, now the super zero XU, basically the same speaker but in a different cabinet.

#12 of 38 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted January 23 2004 - 02:45 AM

I picked that one up years ago (still have it in the attic, in fact) and found the off-axis lobing to be too severe to be useful, the timbre completely changed even slightly to the sides...all 'Zeros worked much better across the front. The Center was also quite "crisp", a little too much so for my taste.
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#13 of 38 OFFLINE   Doug Brewster

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Posted January 23 2004 - 05:08 AM

Dan Halchak I am currently using a superzero for a center-channel and find that it is excellent for music, but dialogue in movies is a little recessed. You have opened up an old can of worms with this question, but this forum is supposed to be a place for exchanging ideas and opinions. I personally believe center channels are meant to be different than the rest of the speakers because they play a different role when employed for home theater. I would be in the minority here, but still hold to this opinion through personal experience and information from other audio experts. Still others would violently disagree..."That's what makes horse races." By the way, in answer to why I would use the Superzero as a center channel if I don't believe it is the best fit for movies, here is my 2 part answer: 1) I am at least as much interested in hearing good music as in hearing dialogue. 2) The configuration of my system doesn't allow for the correct alignment of a center channel (I actually have had to stand it on end). This causes the sound to bounce off of the floor and there is an annoying echo-like quality. Using a regular speaker greatly improves the sound. I can live with the other problem much more easily than with that echo.
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#14 of 38 OFFLINE   Jack Gilvey

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Posted January 23 2004 - 05:59 AM

Yeah, the Zeroes definitely lack that "presence peak" intended to bring out dialogue that so many centers have and which I found annoying with the SuperCenter. I'd rather turn up the center a bit than have that eq curve hard-wired into the speaker.
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#15 of 38 OFFLINE   Ken.L

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Posted January 23 2004 - 08:48 AM

Wow, you guys here super. I'm getting a first rate education on home audio here. I now have firm understanding of the relationship between the center and the two mains. Wish I had found you guys before I bought an entry level HT system just a month ago, I wouldn't be upgrading already. Thanks to all. Ken

#16 of 38 OFFLINE   JakubH

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Posted January 23 2004 - 09:29 AM

I have used superzeros all around, it works great as long as you cross to your sub nice and high. The fact is that most conventional centres (ie an MTM on its side) will have lobing problems off axis horizontally. There ony way that such a centre is superior to a normal MT (ie the superzero) is in terms of maximum volume and aesthetics. To me the tradeoff in horizontal dispersion is not at all worth the SPL gain or the 'nice look' of a conventional centre. But that is a matter of personal preference I suppose. Bottom line, use the superzero, don't sweat it. Just my $.02.

#17 of 38 OFFLINE   Doug Brewster

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Posted January 24 2004 - 07:40 AM

"Wish I had found you guys before I bought an entry level HT system just a month ago, I wouldn't be upgrading already."

You're only kidding yourself. Posted Image

Upgrading...It's in the blood, kid...but...Significant others (translated as wives or girlfriends) don't accept this scientifically proven theory. Posted Image
Lies and deception are only partially effective. You might as well establish an (almost constantly exceeded) upgrade budget.
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#18 of 38 OFFLINE   Mike_Skeway

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Posted January 24 2004 - 09:05 AM

LOL.. That is the truth, we will always be upgrading... Posted Image
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#19 of 38 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted January 24 2004 - 01:49 PM

Ken.L: If you're worried about lobing (aren't we all? Posted Image) this probably isn't an inexpensive solution, but does NHT sell a center channel with two midwoofers and a vertically aligned midrange/tweeter array? Lots of companies are now using this design to alleviate those irritating lobing problems.

Here's some (these are in my favorites section, since I'm looking for a non-lobing center for my dvd-audio surround music system. But I know there are others available out there):

JBL's Northridge Series "EC35CH" (cherry)

Infinity Alpha 37C (this is a BIG one; several people have commented that large centers like this have really improved their movie's sound quality)

Cambridge SoundWorks Newton MC500 (another large center; and has a rotatable mid/tweeter assembly for mains use)

LJ

#20 of 38 OFFLINE   Ryan Tsang

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Posted January 24 2004 - 04:50 PM

Doug, have you tried a small area rug? Also, I'd like to hear your thoughts on why a center speaker should be different. It interests me. Just a comment, not criticism to your opinion: It pisses me off to learn that MTM centers sound "clearer" because of their possible "presence peak." It's like a built-in treble control. Furthermore, it also acts a bit like a dynamic range compressor because people are listening at a lower overall volume to get the same vocal presence. Another thought, are mixers compensating for this by deliberately mixing dialogue lower than they would if everybody owned identical LCRs? I don't have a MTM center and this gives me another round of ammo against them. I have a bookshelf turned upside down (so the tweeter is closer to the screen) because I prefer the hori dispersion.




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