My Center Channel dilemma...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brett DiMichele, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Hey folks,
    First off I should list all of my speaker equipment to
    give you an idea of my setup.
    Center: Acoustic Research Performance Series 2 5.25 Mids 1 1" Poly Dome Tweet
    Front Stage L/R: Acoustic Research Hi Res Series AR9 Towers 2 5.25 Mag-Alloy Mids 1 1" Titanium Dome Tweet 1 10" Sub per cabinent
    Surround L/R: Acoustic Research Performance Series 216 BookShelf 1 6.5" woofer 1 1" Poly Dome Tweet
    My dilemma is that my Center Channel does not exude the same
    tonal charecteristics of my Hi-Res Towers and I should have
    known from the get go that if I was going to buy the best
    Front Stage Towers that AR has, then I also should have went
    with the timbre matched Center Channel. My problem is 2 Fold. Problem #1 is that I feel the center channel does not
    produce enough low end frequency. What kind of lows should I
    expect from any Center Channel? 70 Hz? The second problem is
    that the Poly Tweet will never sound the same as a Titanium
    Tweet. For my Surrounds the poly works fine but where tonal
    matching is critical the poly doesn't match the metal..
    I E-Mailed AR and asked if I could buy the Hi-Res 5.25" Mids
    and the 1" Titanium Tweet and they responded yes I can and
    the price each for the Mag-Alloy mids are $49.00 each and
    the Titanium tweeter is priced at $76.00
    Now I could just buy the cheaper of the 2 AR Hi-Res Centers
    the AR2C which has 2 5.25's and the 1" encased in a polymer
    enclosure for $179.00 ish... Or I could buy the AR4C which
    adds 2 downfiring 6.5" sub's for just under $300.00. The
    problem with the 4C is that those down firing subs will no
    doubt make my RPTV's lenses shake when bass his..
    So I was thinking I could buy the Hi-Res components (Mids,
    Tweet, Crossover from the AR9's, AR9 Binding Posts. And then
    I could Bi-wire the center or I could just buy the mids and
    Tweet and forget Bi-Wiring... What is your opinion on this?
    What should I expect from a Center Channel?
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Andy Kim

    Andy Kim Second Unit

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    Hi, try placing this question in the HARDWARE forum...you will get way more answers. You should probably place all questions concerning hardware in that forum instead of this one.
     
  3. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Andy,
    Thanks for the reply but I feel this post is of an advanced
    D.I.Y nature rather than general hardware. This is the place
    where all the speaker cabinent and driver picker experts
    reside and that is what my question pertains to.
    Again thanks for the reply.
    ------------------
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Brett,
    Usually we frown royally on posting in two forums, but this may be one of the rare exceptions.
    Conventional wisdom says that you'll get a closer tonal match by replacing the tweeters. I'd say start with those and then see what's next. I think you may need to ask AR about sensitivity issues.
    My humble opinion is that anything other than three identical speakers in the front soundfield is unacceptible. That's just my opinion though not a judgement. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Phil,
    Thanks for the reply. I beleive that what I will do is
    purchase the AR2C Center which is timbre matched to the
    rest of the Hi-Res line. Cost on that piece is $179.00
    which will be roughly what I would pay for just the 2
    Hi-Res Mids and the Hi-Res tweet. I can then remove the
    Mids, Tweet and the crossover from the housing and install
    them into the existing cabinent that I have and like.
    Interior volume on both cabinents should be the same.
     
  6. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    I'm in agreement with Philip's opinion that the front sound stage (L/C/R) should consist of identical speakers, if at all possible. That was one of the reasons (not the only one, but a contributing factor) that led to my choosing M&K S150 speakers. The center speaker is identical in every way to the L/R speakers with the exception of a slight angle to the cabinet (either up or down depending on orientation) so that you can place the center speaker low (for front projection, below the screen) or high for direct or RP Monitors, where it sits on top of the unit, pointing at the "sweet spot."
    Unfortunately, the size and geometry of many good speaker systems, like towers, etc. do not offer as elegant a solution as M&K. Therefore, they have to come up with timbre matching or other devices to accomplish an even front sound stage. The problem with these methods is that they are a compromise, not an identical speaker solution. Some come very close to sounding like the Left and Right speakers, but the operative word is "close." That's why I (and I believe Philip, although I don't presume to speak for him) have taken the position that I have.
    Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that these center speaker workarounds are necessarily bad speakers. In fact some of them are very good. They are just not my choice.
    And this is not limited to "cheaper" speaker lines, either. On the recent trip to L.A. for the HTF meet we were invited to Widescreen Review and their remarkable Home Theater (if you can call something that probably has about a half a million dollars worth of gear in it a "home" theater. My point is that the speaker towers cost over $12,000 each and the center channel was comprised of only about 2/3rd of the drivers of all the other towers (to fit under the screen.) Granted, the owner of this theater has a preference for two channel music, so it wasn't critical for him. However I (and some others) could not help but notice that the center channel, when watching movies, was a bit "muddled" when compared with the other front channels. And that's the problem. When watching movies, it is my opinion that the center channel is probably the most important channel of all. That's where most of the important dialogue emanates from, and the center channel must be able to provide crisp, clear dialogue while other sound effects are competing for your attention from all the other speakers.
    At least that's my opinion, and my experience watching movies on a very wide variety of setups back this up as far as I'm concerned.
    ------------------
    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     
  7. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Rob,
    I agree completely with you and your philosophy. The center
    channel see's the most action in most HT setups you hear the
    majority of sound from the center even in DTS and THX 80% or
    more of the important sound is comming from this particular
    cabinent.
    AR's Hi-Res series are identicle to thier towers in every
    aspect. The Timbre Matched means simply that they use the
    exact same materials to build the Center Channel as they do
    the towers, They use the identicle drivers as the towers
    with one exception, the Center doesn't have a 2 10" subs
    like the AR9 towers do.. The top of the line AR Center is
    the AR4C and it has 2 5.25" Mag-Alloy Mids 1 1" Titanium
    tweeter and one 6.5" downfiring sub, that is the exact same
    config as the tower and even the AR2C is the same excpet it
    does not have the 6.5" "sub"
    My problem is that my center is NOT timbre matched, it has
    Poly Drivers and no matter how good they may be, they can
    not be tonaly matched to a set of Magnesium Midrages or a
    titanium tweeter.. And you can hear it... All the channels
    should blend together with no noticeable distinction untill
    that channel is called upon to provide all of the dialogue
    or all of the special effects. That is the only time one
    channel should stand out from another IMHO.
    Thanks for the great replies guys.. I beleive I am just
    going to upgrade to the AR2C Hi-Res center that matches my
    towers.. And I may take the drivers out of the cabinent and
    put them into my Performance Series Cabinent because I like
    the looks of the PS's cabinent better than the AR2C's.
    ------------------
     
  8. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Brett,
    It sounds (no pun intended) like you are on the right track regarding your center channel. Happy listening!
    ------------------
    RAF
    [Demented Video Dude since 1997]
    [Computer Maven since 1956]
    ["PITA" since 1942]
    My HT (latest update 02/05/01)
     

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