Putting an additional sub on the Center Channel

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Ben Nelson, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Ben Nelson

    Ben Nelson Extra

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    I'm just getting back into HT after being out of it for 12 years. I used to have quite the setup back in a day before I had sell it all when I moved into a dinky apartment.
    Now, I moved into a much bigger condo and I'm seeking to get back into the game. Alot has changed since then. (Dolby Digital was in it's infancy) I still have some old equipment from those days when I was upgrading receivers/speakers every 6 months but I think I pretty much going to get all new stuff anyway.

    I recently purchased a new Mitsu 52 inch DLP to start off and I do have a Polk Audio 12 inch sub from about 5 years ago that I'd like to keep in the system as my main sub.

    After looking at tons of speakers and varieties of steups, it occurs to me that it actually might be more economical for me to get a 5.1 speaker package (There are tons of these out there) over buying the front's, center and rear speakers separatly. The only problem with this is that I'll have to do something with the extra sub.

    What do you guys think about putting that sub to work to help out the center channel? I was thinking I might place it under the tv closer to the center or even possibly under the couch itself. I don't know how this arrangement will work out so I thought I'd ask you experts before I made any purchases. Any try this out before?

    The room the theater is in is a Living Room/Dining Room combo. All the bass from the sub unfortunatly resides in the dining area with little being heard on my couch. I thought maybe placing that extra sub under the couch might give me a tactile sensation I'm missing from the other sub. (It's in the corner)

    Keep in mind that I haven't even purchased a receiever yet so I will take any and all suggestions reguarding speakers and equipement.

    My starting budget is about 1000 dollars for Speakers and 700 dollars for a Receiver. Although that could go up in both areas if I see a great deal or am totally wowed by a good setup.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Well, I guess the first question is what type of inputs does your current subwoofer have? If it has an RCA-type input, you'll probably want to use that. Your receiver will most likely have a single RCA output for the sub/LFE, but you can use a Y-adapter to split the signal.

    If your price range you might consider the SVS 5.1 package. You could also rearrange your budget a little and get some Ascends with an SVS sub and a slightly less expensive receiver.
     
  3. Ben Nelson

    Ben Nelson Extra

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    My Polk Sub has speaker level, RCA right and Left and a LFE input.

    So you suggest that I put the Polk on the center channel and the SVS as the main? Is this SVS alot bigger than the Polk?
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    You probably would be better off running both subs off the LFE output (RCA-type connection) from your new receiver. Doing so will send the same signal to both subs. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone running a different sub for the mains and center -- some people run a different sub for their surrounds, but usually people with two subs run the same signal to both.

    The SVS that comes in the 5.1 package has a smaller driver than your Polk, but will likely play lower. Another option would be to upgrade the sub in the package to a PB12-isd or 25-31.
     
  5. Ben Nelson

    Ben Nelson Extra

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    Don't get me wrong, I don't want another sub. I just thought it would be more economical considering all the 5.1 packages they are selling these days. It seems like you get a better deal if you buy one of those packages as oppossed to buying them seperatly.

    And considering that nearly 75% of your audio comes out of the center channel, I thought giving the typically overwhelmed center channel a little help and more extension may be beneficial. I don't want to put another huge sub in the same corner though. I'm afraid two subs in the same corner with the same input may conflict with each other and cancel out some frequences. I guess I was looking for a sub small enough to squeez under my tv or under my couch.

    I just might have to buy speakers seperatly after all. I'd prefer I got the most accurate, best imaging, best soundstage ect ect I can for the money.

    This whole sub on center thing was just something I was exploring as an option.
     
  6. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    If you have a single sub with more headroom, then your center channel's bass will go there as long as everything's set up properly in the receiver. That will give the center channel "a little help" that you're looking for. Now, if you feel like the center channel is straining (even on small), then you may need more efficient speakers all around and/or more watts behind them.
     
  7. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Don’t. The primary function of the center channel is for dialog. The problem is that too many program sources have way too much bottom EQ’d into the voices, so a center sub is just going to muddy things up.

    By the way, you can do much better than the Polk sub. They don’t get much respect around here. I’d stay away from a 5.1 speaker set because usually their subs aren’t that great. Get a 5.0 and your sub separately.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  8. Ben Nelson

    Ben Nelson Extra

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    Really? When I got it, I thought it sounded better than the rest of the subs I listened to in it's price range. It was the only one that seemed to do both movies and music well while others only seemed to be able to one or the other.
     

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