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Matching Center Channel to Front Speakers (1 Viewer)

StuKH

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I'm having trouble with vocals when watching TV and after some reading decided adding a center channel speaker to my pair of floor-standing speakers might help. I have read that the recommended approach is have the front speakers and the center from the same manufacturer and series. I have a Pioneer VSX 933 receiver and a pair of JBL HLS 615 floor-standing speakers. The JBL speakers are over 20 years old and the JBL matching center channel is only available used. I was interested in adding the Pioneer SP-C22 center channel. In comparing the Pioneer SP-C22 to the JBL HLS center I found the following:
JBL Pioneer
Sensitivity 88dB 88dB
Nominal impedance 8 ohms 6 ohms
Crossover channels 2 3
Crossover frequency 2800 Hz 3000 Hz
Can I have speakers of different impedance? I have read that timber-matching is also important. I'm not sure how to determine that. My concern is whether this is a good combination.
Thank you.
 
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JohnRice

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None of the specs you listed are actually important, and yes, they can have difference impedances. I would go ahead with the Pioneer as a try. The receiver probably has some EQ controls to help match them, but it'll still probably be better than no center channel.
 
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Just an option - I have a rather expensive HT - Multiple amps, Marantz pre-pro, Martin Logan Ethos L/R, and, until recently, a ML Theater, center, with 6 SVS Prime Elevation sourrounds.
We were also having trouble, understanding dialog, both on satellite feed, and, sometimes, on 4K Panny player. After being very pleased with the change to the SVS's, for surrounds, and reading every one, of the reviews, on their Ultra Center, I decided, to purchase the Ultra. There is supposed to be a rule of thumb - don't mix technologies (electrostatic hybrids, with "box" speakers); however, with SVS's generous return policy, I made the switch, to the Ultra. WOW - better tweeter, better mids, better dialog, more realistic instrument sounds, no problem with pans. The SVS Ultra is worth every penny!!
 

Rich Vincent

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Absolutely. When film soundtracks are are made the idea is for an effect to travel seamlessly from on side of the screen to the other. This means each channel should sound identical.

But different brands of speakers -- even models within a brand -- will sound different. I always match all 3 front speakers and use the same brand for surrounds. This may mean you need a shielded speaker for the center channel on some tvs.
 

DFurr

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What Rich said. Unless you're doing a behind the screen LCR speaker install, I realize it might be difficult to match a center speaker with two towers on either side of the screen (or TV) but it's very important that the sound travel from left through the center to the right side without a noticeable change in sound. And also, yes, use the same brand/model speakers for your surrounds. They should all match perfectly.
 

JohnRice

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Yep. All correct. Then there is reality. It's not always practical, or economically feasible.

Sometimes the striving for purity in this hobby can kind of take the fun out of it. Will you be better off buying all new speakers for the front, since there is probably no matching center? Yes. You seem to understand that. So, I tried to answer the question that was asked. Sometimes letting a little air out is the only feasible solution.
 

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