Opinions on 3 identical front speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Greg Johnson, Jan 28, 2002.

  1. Greg Johnson

    Greg Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking for all of your expert opinions on the use of three identical front speakers versus using a dedicated center channel speaker.

    In my current setup I am using an old pair of Polk Rta11 floor standing speakers that I bought new way back in 1987. I mated these with a Polk CS400 center channel per polks website info on matching their vintage speakers. The setup I have now sounds ok but timbre matching could be a lot better. I have been happy with the sound with DVDs but I have just been getting into SACD and think it may be time to upgrade all my front speakers. I guess my question is do you achieve ideal timbre matching with three identical front speakers.

    Thanks for any advice,

    Greg Johnson
     
  2. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    As ideal as your room allows. I have three matched Virtuel V303's across the front and pans across the front three speakers are seamless. I used to have towers and a center, but I found the dramatic shift in timbre distracting when objects would move across the front or characters would speak from off screen. That problem is now solved. I would think that identical speakers in all positions (something I have yet to achieve), would be ideal for multi-channel music specifically, if not in general.
     
  3. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    Six years or so ago, I would have argued that three of the identical front speakers would be the way to go but now centre channels speakers have evolved in a big way. I think it may be better to select the matching centre speaker for what ever new main speakers you choose would be best.
     
  4. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Most center speakers have their drivers arrayed horizontally. This is a very bad design, in that you get "lobing" and very uneven freq response as you go further left or right from the sweet spot.

    (You can easily see this with speaker tests where they show the change in freq response with both horizontal and vertical dispersion graphs.)

    3 identical speakers *is* the ideal situation, primarily as you suspect: for timbre matching. But obviously the one used as the center has to be shielded.

    And, the best situation is where the 3 speakers are all positioned vertically. (Might look a little funny, but I guarentee you'll get the best sound that way. Make sure to angle the center one towards your main seating position.)

    Some day, what I want to do, is to have 4 identical speakers: 1 L, 1 R, and 2 C's flanking my TV set.
     
  5. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

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    What Kevin says is still true for most centre speakers but generally they are now good enough to satisfy the majority of the population. Depends how picky you are.
    I can remember when centre channels didn't even have a tweeter. They didn't think it was important. I used to have a Yamaha NSC90 way back when and thought, wow this is awesome, at the time [​IMG]
    Axiom was smart with their flagship VP150Se centre speaker; they put a pair of tweeters on each end of the speaker to overcome that nicely. Maybe they'll all be like that soon.
     

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