PSBs, Centers and the "The Wife Factor"

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Gene^C^G, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. Gene^C^G

    Gene^C^G Auditioning

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    I'm helping a friend install a 7.1 HT. He's settled on the PSB M6x1 Surrounds for the side and rear. He has a large, sectional wall unit across the front with a 60" Sony TV, so in-walls are out of the question up front. He sold the Wife on "small" towers for the L/R and chose the PSB Image 5Ts. The problem is the center...his wife has a vase on the center shelf above the TV and its not moving (no chance for an Image 9C to cover his 17x30' room). He does have cloth-covered shelves immediately to the left/right of the TV screen's mid-point that are an exact fit for PSBs Image 2Bs to lay on their sides (both are 8x15"). PSB uses the same 6.5" woofer & Tweeter for this part of the Image line, so the timbre should match? How is this HT going to sound using dual bookshelves to fill the CC? Should the Tweeters go closer/further from the TV? What device should he use to connect two 2B's to the CC of his Denon AVR1082, the 2B's present 6 ohms nominal, 4 ohms minimum? The 2B's are front-ported, so I'm hoping they won't sound too warm in an enclosed shelf and if so what can be done? What other solutions have you seen for my friends "Wife Factor", ie using the TV speakers for the Center?
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Gene. Welcome to HTF!

    You want close to identical speakers across the front!

    More and more movies are sending dialog to the L/R speakers if the actors are shot wide and it really ruins the effects if sounds change when they flow from left-center or right-center.

    No way in heck should you try and use the TV speakers or a different brand/model other than what matches the L/R speakers.

    Option 1: Look at the receiver your friend is using. Does it have a "phantom" center mode? This allows you to watch/hear movies without a center speaker. Some people with real good L/R speakers have argued this sounds superior to them.

    Option 2: Get another matching vase, or 2 matching vases and position them to bracket the center speaker.

    Option 3: Smear a little Tunafish oil or peanut butter on the back of vase. Train the cat to jump up there to locate these treats. One night he could take the wife out and come home to find the vase knocked over & broken in front of the TV. (Are you a good enough friend that you have a spare key?)[​IMG]
     
  3. Gene^C^G

    Gene^C^G Auditioning

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    Bob:

    Thanks for the reply and suggestions. If the shelf were only a little lower, I could place a tennis ball next to the vase and my Yellow Lab would take care of the job. I'll check on the phantom center and post you back. The L/R will be placed about 13' apart if he goes with towers, its a large wall unit. If he drops back to bookshelves with a phantom center, his only "option" is where I thought we could place dual centers using the Image 2Bs. If we get crazy and want to try the dual center idea, what would you suggest for an impedance matcher?

    Great Forum!!!

    Gene
     
  4. Robert Fellows

    Robert Fellows Stunt Coordinator

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    Dual fronts won't work. You'll get phase cancellation and other issues.

    Your 'friend' needs to put his foot down, or he is not going to have a workable home theater arrangement.
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I think it's a bad kludge too.
     
  6. Koren T. Wolf

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    Gene,
    i guess when the server(s) went down a few nights ago, my post was lost.
    i had a couple of points, i'll see i if i can actually remember them.
    first point - i was laughing at: "He sold the Wife on "small" towers for the L/R and chose the PSB Image 5Ts". my 5Ts power a room a smidge bigger than your friend's and they are almost overwhelming, the fact that these are the "small" ones is funny. (when i looked at the 7Ts, i was checking to see if my ears were bleeding.)
    second point - although you are going to use 2 speakers which have the same woofer size, the sound is going to be off because you have to split the channel into two, and the sound field is separated by the TV. essentially, you'd be powering 2 separate speakers instead of one, and some receivers don't have enough poop to do that properly without you losing some noticeable signal strength and/or getting cancellation.
    third point - get the 9C and put the vase on top of that.
    fourth point - i think PSB actually gets most of their tech support from this forum.
    fifth point - why don't you get a key from your buddy, and when they're away, mess up the house and steal just that stupid vase and put both of you out of your misery. a vase must step in the way of HT utopia.
     
  7. Gene^C^G

    Gene^C^G Auditioning

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    Koren,

    Thanks a bunch for re-posting! Still working on the WAF, we may still win. I've read a number of posts where some members feel that their HT sounds better without a center. What is your opinion of how well the 5Ts image and could they pull off a room without a center? What would your room sound like if you switched your center to L/R? I rechecked the measurements, the 5Ts in my friend's house would be 13' apart, center to center.

    Agreed on the PSB Tech response, pretty weak.

    Gene
     
  8. Koren T. Wolf

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    well the whole point with a 7.1 system, is to hear, well, 7 channels. otherwise, install a 5.1 (or a 6 and a half point 1) and try your luck. it's up to you and how you want it to sound, and what the whole purpose of the HT is.

    i don't think i'd want to go through the hassle of buying/creating the HT and then opt out of a centre. it does make a difference, especially on 6.1/7.1/ES/EX DVDs, SACDs, and DVD-As. if you were just playing 2 channel music, then sure, no centre channel is needed.

    i love the PSB 5Ts, don't get me wrong, and i think they could handle a split centre quite well. 13' though, is a fair distance, and you're definitely going to be confused by the signal coming through the sound field (dialogue is generally intended to appear as if coming from the monitor, hence the centre channel). i don't think it would matter what the speaker make was.

    again, it will also depend on the receiver, and whether your friend is going to feel comfortable with how the sound is split. personally, i wouldn't like it.

    *just went to the HT and fired up SW Ep I to see what it was like without a centre. my fronts are 6' apart (i keep the HT area tight, and then spread the fronts for parties and tunes) and even at that distance, there were subtle scenes throughout the flick that didn't sound particularly right. you could tell that the dialogue wasn't right - it was multi-directional, as opposed to straight on from the monitor.

    what i would recommend is have your friend see if he can borrow a centre channel (regardless of make) and hook it up to view/hear his favourite flick. then compare that to the splitting of the centre to the L/R fronts. that might help him also convince his darling spouse.

    (when my wife started to give me a hard time about the HT purchases - which piled up quite high in one month - i offered her an evening of Gladiator and Sound of Music (don't say it, i know) or a handful of divorce papers. *sigh*...if only she had left with the cat...j/k ;-) things are good, and she really does like it. maybe your friend's wife will cave and learn to like it too.

    cheers.
    KTW.
     
  9. Gene^C^G

    Gene^C^G Auditioning

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    KTW

    Thanks for your insights, we'll see how the saga unfolds.

    G
     
  10. Dan Kaplan

    Dan Kaplan Stunt Coordinator

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    It sounds like you could go with a setup similar to mine. I have dual center speakers, with each being fed by one channel of a stereo amp. I have the speakers mounted up high on a shelf, angled down toward the primary seating area and toed out slightly to make the "sweet spot" much less fickle. Works great! When I had just the 32" 4:3 TV in place, you could sometimes localize the center speakers as being a bit higher than the picture source, but it was pretty minor. Now that I have a projector screen mounted directly below them (which was the plan from the start), they blend in seamlessly.

    You can see a few pictures here that might help visualize what I'm describing:

    http://www.run-down.com/house/

    Dan
     

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