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Center channel speaker: Yes or No


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted February 01 2013 - 10:22 AM

In our family room's 55" TV setup, the 2 front speakers are 6' apart(measured center to center). Between the speakers is 5' 4". Is a center channel speaker really necessary with this span? Thanks.

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   BrennanOSD

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Posted February 01 2013 - 10:48 AM

Hi Jim. Yes, a center channel is an important part of your home theater experience. It is the speaker that provides you with the majority of the dialogue and will add great dimension to your sound. Hope that helps. - Brennan, OSD Audio

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted February 01 2013 - 12:57 PM

IMO it depends on where people sit. In the "sweet spot" it won't make that much of a difference. The further to the left/right the seats are the more important it becomes. In my room the speakers are about 9 feet apart center to center and I sit right in the middle. I set the Center speaker to "None" and didn't notice much difference, but there was a difference. It would still be enjoyable if I didn't use a center but when I switched the Center speaker back to Small it was a bit more realistic. And the tonal quality changed a bit. Most center channel speakers aren't an exact match for their fronts. Different driver compliment, different orientation, etc. But in the end, I would always use a center speaker if at all possible. But it certainly isn't necessary. After writing the above paragraph I moved my L/R speakers to your measurements. When I set the center channel to None it did sound like there was a hole in the middle of the audio. I would now say get a center speaker and enjoy the whole 5.1 experience as it was meant to be. Even in a small room with close speaker placement. It does make a difference. And of course, a lot depends onhow the surce material was mxed.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 


#4 of 9 OFFLINE   TheGary

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Posted February 01 2013 - 01:16 PM

Make sure to match the center with the fronts. If not in series, then in brand at the very least.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted February 01 2013 - 02:01 PM

Originally Posted by Jim Mcc 

In our family room's 55" TV setup, the 2 front speakers are 6' apart(measured center to center). Between the speakers is 5' 4". Is a center channel speaker really necessary with this span? Thanks.

You have a stereo setup or four-channel surround?


I ran stereo for years -- though that was before HD and 5.1 digital. Stereo TV can sound great and is a huge step up from a TV's speaker. But if you've got four speakers, what's one more for the complete system?



#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Brainwasher

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Posted February 01 2013 - 04:06 PM

Though I've never run 4 channel, I can tell you the addition of center makes all the difference in movie soundtracks. Dialog alone would be worth the addition.

#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Jim Mcc

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Posted February 01 2013 - 04:16 PM

IMO it depends on where people sit. In the "sweet spot" it won't make that much of a difference. The further to the left/right the seats are the more important it becomes. In my room the speakers are about 9 feet apart center to center and I sit right in the middle. I set the Center speaker to "None" and didn't notice much difference, but there was a difference. It would still be enjoyable if I didn't use a center but when I switched the Center speaker back to Small it was a bit more realistic. And the tonal quality changed a bit. Most center channel speakers aren't an exact match for their fronts. Different driver compliment, different orientation, etc. But in the end, I would always use a center speaker if at all possible. But it certainly isn't necessary. After writing the above paragraph I moved my L/R speakers to your measurements. When I set the center channel to None it did sound like there was a hole in the middle of the audio.

I would think it would be the opposite. When the fronts are closer together, it seems like it would work better without a center channel speaker. Anyway, I'm going to stick with the 5.1 system. Thanks guys.

#8 of 9 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted February 02 2013 - 01:28 AM

Width of the R/L has no bearing on having a center. If it did... Pinnacle wouldn't make the QP 9 or 15. BIC wouldn't have their 3 channel soundbar. Polk wouldn't have their 3 channel soundbar. Pretty sure HTD makes a 3 channel soundbar. Axiom I think even has one.

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted February 02 2013 - 02:32 AM

I would think it would be the opposite. When the fronts are closer together, it seems like it would work better without a center channel speaker. Anyway, I'm going to stick with the 5.1 system. Thanks guys.

If you don't have a center speaker then placing the fronts closer together would work better. But there would still be a hole in the middle, just not as big of a hole. I just think a 5.1 source (I was watching an episode of Elemantary at the time) sounds better with 5.1 speakers, regardless of how small the room is or where the speakers are placed :) . The room I was in is 15 X 17 but only 15 X 10 is used for the HT.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
Also have  MB Quart Vera VS05 +.....too much to list. Help me.
 
 

 





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