CC or Subwoofer More Important?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by MattSRO, Sep 20, 2003.

  1. MattSRO

    MattSRO Auditioning

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    I recently purchased 4 JBL s38iis and the matching center channel. I'm very happy with them except for the voice reproduction. It just doesn't sound "large" enough and transparent enough and it distorts on louder (not really loud but just crappy speakers i guess) voices, so i've been thinking of replacing it.

    However I also haven't got a subwoofer yet because right now i only have enough money for one good sub or CC. I've been looking at the SVS 20-39PCi and the B&W htm7 or lower. I cant make up my mind. The s38iis have 8 inch woofers which give some bass but also if i replace the center channel with something alot better then the front might not blend sonically. How much better would a B&W be over the JBL scenterii? And would a better sub with lesser CC be better or better CC and less rumble? It has to be one or the other [​IMG] I'm in college and got no money.

    And thanks for all of your time HT people [​IMG]
     
  2. dale^g

    dale^g Stunt Coordinator

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    what receiver do you have? just wondering because i have a HK7200 and a full set of JBL Studio series mains and surrounds. i haven't put everything together yet but from what i've read on the Studio series everybody seems pretty happy with them. i also have a SVS PB2+ to ad a little punch...LOL! seriously though...i hope i don't have the same feelings about the SCENTER when i get everything clicking.
     
  3. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I would get the sub. Why? you may ask.
    simple, if you get the sub, then you can set all of your other speakers (including your center) to small. This way all of the bass information crossed over at 80hz will be directed to your sub. Thus leaving your speakers to concentrate on reproducing the rest of the spectrum without having to work so hard on those hard to drive bass frequencies.
    Don't forget, invest in a RS sound level meter and a calibration disc such as Avia or Video Essentials and properly calibrate your speakers.
     
  4. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Richard, go for the sub. Your setup will sound very good with a nice sub, and you will free the reciever of some work, so your Studio setup will sound a lot better having them setup to small.
     
  5. MikeLi

    MikeLi Supporting Actor

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    Some speakers just dont do center dialog very well. Even with boosting the gain or EQ from your receiver. That has been the biggest complaint with my NHT's which are over 5 years old now. Hopefully they have solved the problem by now but I have a new brand on the way finally because of this. I think both center and sub are equally important. I guess you could always try the phantom switch on your receiver and that would sent all center action to your front mains and see how that sounds. If your constantly having to turn up and down the volume to hear the dialog between loud or explosion sceens then your sub is too loud or not SPL'd properly or your center speaker ain't cutting it and its time for a change. Hard to change just a center speaker though as you want it to match you fronts.
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I definitely think the center is more important because ALL movies have dialog in the center channel (and other effects too) but most movies as a whole don't have supernova explosions, tanks rumbling by or tornados whirling through them that require a subwoofer to reproduce realistically (jeez, WOULD you want such things reproduced at realistic levels?? A saxophone or guitar is one thing, but........).

    Despite what my other posts here recently may have made people think, I do think a good sub makes such movies more fun to watch--I just don't want them loud enough so that my knicknaks start to shimmy their way off their shelves on their own. [​IMG]

    Also: Matt, are you using this system in a dorm room or apartment? Because if it's a dorm room, I'll guarantee you 1) unless your RA and neighbors under/above/to the side of you are deaf or really really cool you won't be able to use any sub the way it was designed--they will all soon be banging on your door/ceiling/wall telling you to knock it off, or writing you up as the case may be. An apartment? They are a little bit less restrictive about things like this, but not much.

    Those JBLs have very good bass capabilities and in such small areas they can generate near-sub quality bass. Even Stereophile thought the first S38 series had excellent bass (to 35Hz). Back in 1997-2000, I got in trouble several times in my dorm with different people with my Boston CR9's (which also have ported 8" woofers) & my old Pioneer SX6 receiver which had "only" 45 watts per channel. Eventually I finally learned what levels I could get away with (hehe). I don't mean to sound like a repressive old fart, but I think you'll just be wasting your money by buying a sub right now.

    But if you are living in a house, I would go ahead and get the sub, because you can set the receiver to "no" center channel (if that center is really defective) and still get quality sound--you'll just have to sit in between the front mains to hear the center stuff from the center, not a big annoyance to me (because that's what I'm doing right now since I'm waiting to get a near-full range center channel for my dvd-audio surround system).

    Lastly: it sounds as if the center might be defective. I've listened to that model before at loud levels and never heard anything out of place. And it also uses the exact same midrange and tweeter as your mains and rears--that is pretty rare but it's very good too ,since they will all blend seamlessly (you particularly want the front mains & center to match well).

    So this is my recommendation for a dorm/apartment situation: no subwoofer--just set your receiver to "large" fronts & "small" rears & center (this way you only have three speakers to correctly position to get the low bass sounding good). Check to make sure your center speaker and receiver are working correctly, like hooking up the center to a left or right channel & playing music through it, etc, etc.

    Have fun!

    LJ
     
  7. Bill_Wil

    Bill_Wil Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Lance about there being something wrong with the center speaker. Did you buy it new or used? I own the S-centerII and find it to be very realistic/neutral sounding and it doesnt distort at all at louder volumes. Maybe its something to do with the receiver as well. I think most people will agree that the center speaker should match your fronts as closely as possible.
    I also agree with Lance that the S-38's are good speakers and not "just crappy speakers" like you mentioned. If you recently purchased the S-centerII then maybe you should claim its defective and return it for another one. If you still dont like it then you'll have to try another brand that closely matches the sound of your S-38's. I really dont think that a new sub is going to solve your center speaker problem. Good luck.
     
  8. MattSRO

    MattSRO Auditioning

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    Ok first of all thanks for the imput guys/gals. I have an HK AVR325 and i still live at home [​IMG] . I'm goin to go with a better sub because the center channel i have is pretty good and probably great if you're not picky. I'm looking at the SVS 20-39PCi. It should be excellent for my 12x15 room [​IMG] .

    I checked and the center was on small and everything else on large. So everything is set right.

    Also I have sitting around 2, 5 1/4" coaxial infinity CMMD car audio speaker. I remember (before i took them out of my car) that they sounded amazing. So i hooked them up to my center. I tried them as the 5 1/4 woofers then I tried one as the midrange and tweeter. It sounded good on music but sounded awful for regular voices. Anyway I noticed that often times car speakers are cheaper than home theatre and i'm thinking of buying some diamond audio 4"s that i saw on ebay. They are kevlar/nomex sandwich. I heard them at a hifi place once and was blown away. The only problem with that is that I would have one speaker wasted cause i only need one, and the 4" (which are rare) on ebay are midrange only with no tweets. That would be way cheaper than going the B&W route. I have to accept that I cant afford the B&W [​IMG] One last thing, I checked the impedance of the Infinitys vs the JBLs and they are the same. The only problem I see is that the car speakers require alot more power to run.
     

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