3-way vs 2-way center speaker why not all 3-way?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Bruce-E, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Bruce-E

    Bruce-E Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What does the midrange add to a center speaker?
    I was looking at the Axiom vp150 vs Rocket rsc 200,two completely different shape and stlye speakers?
    What makes a great center speaker?
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am in the camp of identical speakers all the way around myself. I don't typically like the center channel specific speakers sound in general.
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    12,060
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    This is the easiest question to answer. A great center speaker is one where the dialogue is always easy to distinguish and that reproduces all of the rest of the soundtrack accurately—and matches your R/L main speakers in tonal qualities (timbre). It should also be able to get the low frequencies down to the sub crossover point.

    Dolby recommends exactly what John states—all five speakers to be the same. However, this is not practical for many speaker types either from the way they look or from a practical perspective. For example many speaker modes have vertical lines that do not look very well when placed in front of a display—and some are tall enough that then would block the view of the display in some rooms. Also many manufactures do not shield all of their speakers and this is a real problem if the center is on top of a CRT display (or directly underneath).

    Some manufacturers use a three-way design in their center speakers to try to get most of the human voice range in the mid-range speaker. The Rocket you mention for example has crossover points of 500Hz and 4,000Hz, resulting in most voice going to the mid-range speaker. ACI also uses a three-way configuration on their even more expensive centers. OTOH, both Ascend and Axiom use two-way configurations.

    Whether or not this is better than a two-way design is not one I am able to answer—I only know the theory.

    BTW, there are some counter arguments that favor the two-way system. Simplicity of design being one and less expensive (or more bang for the buck) being another.

    ·I have the RSC200 and find it to be outstanding. But then there are many other centers that are also very fine. It is just big.
     
  4. Bruce-E

    Bruce-E Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the info,it helped me understand.
     
  5. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2000
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Not quite. Some manufacturers use a 3-way design to reduce the lobing (off axis suckouts) that is inherent in 2-way (mid tweet mid) designs. A propely designed 2-way, placed properly, will get as much out of the human voice as a 3-way.
     

Share This Page