anyone actually DISLIKE a center channel speaker?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott_Jua, Jan 27, 2003.

  1. Scott_Jua

    Scott_Jua Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been going Center-less since the beginning of my HT days back in 1993. I have found that unless you basically get another identical MAIN (L or R) for the center, the sound stage sounds rather odd. (of course in an affordable range for a full speaker system for HT MINUS SUB: 1000-1500$) I'm not sure if it's that I'm not a fan of the "on-screen" information being anchored to the screen, or that most center channel speakers are rather lacking compared to most's main L/R speakers.

    Anyone else go Phantom in their front soundstage? Anyone not like Center channel, or have a real reason why it's good or not good to go with or without.

    My current train of thought leads me to think I will TRY a center...but may go without when I upgrade all the rest of the speakers. I already have the SVS...so why would I want a piddly speaker to localize all the main information to an inadequate center channel speaker???

    thoughts?

    edit: sorry this may be in the wrong area...can someone move it to speakers??? if it needs to be...
     
  2. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    Im 50/50 on the center channel. The thing is my center is much weaker, even though the appropriate model, than my l/r and surrounds (which are the same as my l/r)....

    actually, on thiel's website they actually recommend not using a center..

    i would think it also depends on how big your room is. My room is kind of small, so maybe thats why i feel the way I do.

    Rich
     
  3. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    I have discovered that I like the phantom on DPL only, and especially for broadcast TV.

    In my case, with the HK AVR110 decoding DD 5.1, my LFE drops by about 8db when no center is selected, all speakers small. So I am forced to go LCR in 5.1.

    I have no idea why this is.

    My new center should be here soon and I'll then have 3x SuperOne's across the front. Can't wait to see how well it works.
     
  4. Scott_Jua

    Scott_Jua Stunt Coordinator

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    hmmm I wonder if the reason I don't like a center is because of my old DPL receiver. Maybe it will change when I get the 45TX...but then again...how would it change the WAY a center sourced sound works/sounds?
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Why not just use three identical speakers in the front? That works great for me.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    Can't say that I dislike the center, but I haven't used one for any length of time. Unless I am sitting way to one side, there isn't an issue with determining the voice is coming from the monitor. It is a relatively narrow front stage,
     
  7. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I have the same question as Phillip that is why not use identical speakers on the front soundstage. Wouldn't that blend the soundstage better?
     
  8. carl-s

    carl-s Extra

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    A center channel that matches the front left and right is an added plus for the front soundstage. While I"ve done different testing of 2 vs 3, the added speaker should make a difference.
    Philip Hamm is correct and if you notice, his center channel is not on it's side or a "special" center. If he raised his 2 front L&R speakers his sound field might improve evenmore.

    Carl
     
  9. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Hamm's center is actually tweeter down, like mine will be. The closer the tweeters, the better. Vertically oriented bookshelves @ center need to be evaluated for that...
     
  10. Scott_Jua

    Scott_Jua Stunt Coordinator

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    I was actually thinking that IF I were to do a center channel, I might just get a third MAIN as my center, instead of a designed center. Most of the center designed speakers I see and hear don't match very well, and seems like the main L/R in that series (of a speaker MFG line) are more robust.

    Why would it be bad to have three identicle speakers up front...like Phillip....but have the one in the middle on it's side or tweeter down (like he has)???
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  12. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    I've been contemplating this for a while. My matched center channel just doesn't sound matched. It could be due to placement issues, which are hard to overcome with a television that you have to be able to see... The MTM configuration is designed to get a wide horizontal dispersion... so one matched center speaker seems inappropriate to me. I would go for two matched centers, and play with toe-ing them out. (By matched center, I mean a main speaker in the center position.) Infortunately, the cost of the experiment procludes my trying it.

    Martin.
     
  13. James R. Geib

    James R. Geib Stunt Coordinator

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    I use Paradigm Studio 100's for my front L/R for excellent musical reproduction at concert levels. Using an identical center would be rather difficult, unless I was using a projector and screen that was transparent to sound waves.

    I'm using Paradigm's Studio CC, which uses the same mid and basically the same tweeter as the 100's, and my soundstage is seamless for me. Even if I attempt to listen for the center to stand out, it doesn't happen. Using a high-quality center is a must, or simply use the same speaker for all three, if it is a bookshelf or smaller.

    My center is slightly angled down towards the listeners for the highs to reach ear level at the same height as the front L/R speakers.

    Works for me!
     
  14. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    I too believe that identical speakers is the way to go. I had to compromise from that ideal a little....I have for mains the Hales Revelation Twos, and Hales Rev One for the center. (the other Rev One is waiting for me to upgrade to 6.1)

    I have my "bookshelf center" mounted on a stand in front of the RPTV. Not as tall as the Rev Twos, but much better than on top of the tv. I sit my TV on a 8" raised platform so the center doesn't interfere with the screen.

    Placement is so critical. I cannot rave enough about identical speakers and vertical placement. People spend thousands on pre-pros and amps and end up tucking their MTM center into an entertainment unit... makes me wonder.


    Great topic.
     
  15. Ben Hanrahan

    Ben Hanrahan Stunt Coordinator

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    center speakers suck...in general. They are a major compromise and are sold from a marketing perspective rather than a sound quality perspective. Philip has it right, 3 identicals up front is the only answer...and it's a great answer. Furthermore, with dd5.1 and dts movies that are mixed for 5.1 sound, they will sound much better...smoother and natural WITH a center speaker. Why the hell would someone want an inferior speaker in the middle when the middle is where most of the sound comes from???

    Furthermore, I too tried to get along without a center, but found that 3 identicals is best, followed by no center and then lastly a dedicated center. For those center channel speakers with 2 drivers and one tweeter lying horizontally, you'll get a phenomenon known as comb filtering, which will reduce your enjoyment of the sound.

    Come to Dewar's audio in Ottawa Canada where they don't sell center speakers unless the customer insists....they will also giva a demo to you and you can hear for yourself the huge upgrade in sound quality when you have a 3rd identical and vertical speaker.....wow, I really rambled on here....sorry.
     
  16. Henry_W

    Henry_W Stunt Coordinator

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    I am a little contrary on this subject - there is no doubt that the best sondstage is created by three identical speakers (I have modified a center to carry the drivers to match my mains and has a similar box volume), however, if your system is also set for music with a wider placement of the mains for the corners of a larger room (as is mine) anchoring the dialogue to the screen is very important to me. So, with a good quality center close to your timbre, the center is very helpful.

    Having said that I did go to matching myself to get the best results from a center.
     
  17. JeremyFr

    JeremyFr Supporting Actor

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    I have matched speakers in my LCR as well though the center channel has 2 LF drivers vs 1LF driver in the satellites but they are the same LF and same HF drivers and it is a seamless sound so seamless that when I go to normal stereo it sounds as though the center is still active when in fact it isnt. I really like having a center channel and in all reality it is the most important speaker in a 5.1/6.1 system next to the LFE. over 50% of a movie soundtrack is anchored to your center speaker.
     
  18. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    Ben,

    I've never heard of comb filtering in the context of sound waves before. Care to elaborate?

    Thanks,
    Martin.
     
  19. RobCar

    RobCar Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm still undecided about the center.

    One thing that seems strange to me is that 5.1 creates this illusion of depth, a 3d sensation based on sound, but the center seems to take that away by anchoring vocals back to the 2d tv screen.

    I'm probably thinking too much about this, though.
     
  20. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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