Something has to go......center channel??

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by AlanZ, Sep 6, 2003.

  1. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    I am torn between the need to sell at least part of my set-up in order to pay some unexpected bills, and the desire to maintain what I've spent so much time and energy building. Here is my set-up:

    Studio/100's
    Studio/CC
    Studio/20's
    SVS PB-2ISD
    Outlaw 950 pre/pro
    Outlaw M200's x5
    Denon 2900

    The Outlaw stuff, the 100's, the 20's, and the SVS are untouchables. That leaves the 2900 and possibly the studio/CC as options. I've listed the 2900 in the for sale area, so hopefully that will go soon and I can just pick up a cheap Panny DVD player for now. But what I'm wondering is whether I could also sell my studio/cc and not have it be THAT big of an impact on movies. When I watch something that is only in 2.0, it really sounds like the voices are still coming from the center of the screen. There is not a huge difference. Does anyone else run their HT set-up without a center? If I just turn off the center channel on my pre/pro, the info will still be sent to the mains, right? Or am I missing something?
     
  2. Jason_Me

    Jason_Me Stunt Coordinator

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    I run my setup without a center channel. If your speakers are correctly setup for stereo imaging, a center channel isn't needed, as you will get a great center fill (as you've already experienced).
     
  3. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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  4. george.Legeza

    george.Legeza Stunt Coordinator

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    Back when I was using my 5.1 receiver I never bought a center channel because I didn't want to use a center speaker, but didn't want to buy another pair of DM303s and have an extra speaker that I had no use for.

    When I bought my new receiver I finally gave in and purchased another pair and put the extra as the rear center, but as far as the front stage goes I'm not at all convinced that having a center speaker makes that big of a difference. And I'm not even sure if I'm all that happy with the new sound. I felt like I had very good imaging with my two speaker set-up. Sound felt very fluid when it would pass between the left and right channels, but it feels too 'grounded' now, if that makes any sense.

    And, for what it's worth, back with my no-center set up I would commonly have people who didn't even believe that there wasn't a center channel. Properly set up, I'm convinced two speakers at the front are just fine for home theater.

    (of course, there's always a downside: with two speakers dialouge will be slightly less pronounced in comparison to background noise and music)
     
  5. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the responses.....I know that when I had Atoms in the front, I had to have the matching center because the dialogue was just not as clear and dynamic.....but now that I have better quality speakers as mains, I notice less of a difference w/out the cc. I guess I can live w/out the center in my system.....thanks again for the input everyone.
     
  6. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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    Given well matched front speakers, the center mainly helps if you have people seated off center so they are a fair bit closer to one of the front mains than the other. In this case, the center audio image will be dragged over to the side of the closer speaker (vs the screen image) if it is split between the main fronts.

    For most people a center speaker isn't really necessary.
     
  7. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    The one thing that convinced me that the center was of little or no use was that the very best DVD music disks have little or no center channel information and as already stated, unless you made a conscious effort, you would never know that the center was not sounding. I think anyone who really needs a center will know very quickly but for many of us, this speaker was a waste of money.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    All of the better music DVDs I've heard use the center as much or more than the mains. Examples: Diana Krall: Live in Paris, Eagles: HFO, Nine Inch Nails: All That Could Have Been (both Eagles and NIN are full bitrate DTS).
     
  9. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    John- I have HFO and Diana Krall LIP and can tell you that these recordings do sound very good and at the same time over processesed to the center and surrounds. Two of the close to perfect recordings IMO, Sheryl Crowe Live and Frampton LID. I can forgive any center Info on the Diana Krall album becuase of the gross and inappropiate mixing to the rear. Another disk that comes to mind is EW&f Live in Japan. Nicely recorded but a huge over emphisis on the center channel. I Love all these albums though and will forgive the problems I mentioned and hope that as time goes by, the recording engineers can learn their craft and apply it a little better than they have been.
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Sorry, OT. Yes, I actually find that HFO is a bit center heavy, and definitely hot surrounds. Diana Krall sounds processed, but not overly so, IMO. It actually sounds quite good in stereo as well.

    I haven't had a chance to check out Frampton, but I've heard it was very good.

    I'm not sure my response notes my opinion on the matter very well. I agree that a center is not a necessity. If I had to do without, that would be the item I would have no problem letting go. In my HT, I have had to check my listening mode a few times because I thought I had a DSP on, because I could swear the center was playing. In my 2ch system the room is small as is the sweet spot, but when you are sitting there, it sounds like a full compliment of speakers.
     

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