What to do with an extra speaker?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Greg Walker, Jan 12, 2004.

  1. Greg Walker

    Greg Walker Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    This weekend I was picking up a DVD at Future Shop when I noticed that the Infinity Alpha 20s that I have been looking at were being cleared for 199 CDN$. That seemed like a ridiculously good price so I bought a pair. They sounded great when I got them home, but then I really noticed the limits of my CC-1. Not wanting my center channel to be the weak speaker in my system I began looking for an Alpha Center. To make a long story short, I could not find one locally, and at this price I could buy two more Alpha 20s for less than it would cost me to order the center on-line. I reasoned that it would be tough to timber match any better than to have three identical speakers across the front so I went back and bought another pair.

    My "problem" is that I now have an extra Alpha 20. I was thinking that I might save it for the eventuallity that I upgrade to a 6.1 receiver, but that will not happen anytime soon. Is there something I could do with it till then? I can't really think of anything, but it makes me sad to see it sitting in the box. [​IMG]
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do the dual center speaker thing with great results.
     
  3. Greg Walker

    Greg Walker Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Could you explain?
     
  4. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just parallel them together, I used to run them on top of my set, but my new HDTV, I decided it was to much poundage on top.
    I use one on each side now.

    A couple of years ago I purchased 5 pair of JBL S38's, and use them all the way around.
     
  5. Greg Walker

    Greg Walker Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does wiring them in parallel cause impedence problems? I realize that they are not in series so I wouldn't think that it would be an issue?
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, it does strain the amp more, but most receievers, especially on just one channel, can handle it just fine.

    There are many who assert two speakers from a mono source is a terrible idea, but in all my experiences, I have yet to see where it caused any undue issues at all, like muddyness, ect..ect..
     
  7. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Some receivers will also throw you a rear center channel (doubled from the front center). I know my Yamaha RX-V1 does, and though I've never set up a rear center speaker with my HT, I'll probably get around to it some day as I have a few extra satellites I can experiment with.
     
  8. Greg Walker

    Greg Walker Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the idea John.

    I actually just finished calibrating with my SPL meter and it sounds incredible to me with just the one speaker. I don't think I'm ready to mess around just yet.

    I'm sure in about a month I will be itching to try something else, and with an extra speaker kicking around, it may just be worth a try. I am concerned about the amp though. I am using an HK AVR 100 and it only pushes about 40 watts per channel. I have always heard that HK rates their receivers differently, but I wonder if that might still be on the weak side to drive two speakers on one channel?

    Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
     
  9. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 1999
    Messages:
    1,479
    Likes Received:
    0

    It just goes to show that theory only takes you so far. I've had numerous experiences like that where real world application worked out better than theory would suggest, although I'll bet you spent some time in placing them to get it right.

    DJ
     
  10. Greg Walker

    Greg Walker Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Although it may not cause any negative side-effects, what is the advantage to using the two speakers?
     
  11. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    More power from your center channel.. helps make dialog clear and loud.

    In my case, it became an advantage becasue I could no longer place them on top, one on each side, works real well, and does pull it perfectly centered to the HDTV.
     
  12. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greg,
    I too had a left over speaker (center) and wired both centers in parallel. One above and one below the TV. I found that the sound seemed to be centered more with no negative effects although I am not an audiophile. I have the Harman Kardon AVR110 (40W) and it handled the 4 ohm load no problem. Harmans will do 4 ohm loads because they are high current amps, especially with only one channel at 4 ohms. I now just use one center for aesthetic reasons. Hope this helps.
     
  13. Greg Walker

    Greg Walker Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow! Am I ever full of questions.

    GrahamT,

    If you put one speaker on the floor, how did you keep it in line with the other three? Wouldn't the TV stand get in the way?
     
  14. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    0
    I put it in the TV stand which is a DIY flexy stand. It was right below the TV and since it is a Paradigm cc370 it was pointing up towards the listening position.
     
  15. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2000
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    Greg:

    Don't feel you need to use two just because you have it. Center channel material is designed to emanate from one source, so why mess with setup, amplification, or possible sound degradation?

    I have a Hales Revelation One (a bookshelf) to handle the center duty. The other speaker is doing nothing. Eventually, I'll go to 6.1, but they say you should have two center rears, not one. That's my dilemma. I might assign both rev ones to center rears and buy a "dedicated" center.

    To maximize performance, experiment with placement if your room/setup allows it. Put the center at the same height as the mains, at same the distance to you, on a dedicated stand, not stuffed in some wife-pleasing entertainment unit. Calibrate and listen to your surround system sing.

    Glad you figured out identical speakers is the best way to go. I've always believed in this but it's difficult for me to buy one Hales Rev Two floorstander for the center.

    Now that you got me started, I wonder if enough people wanted to buy speakers as one and not as a pair, if manufacturers would sell'em that way. They could charge a little more than half a pair, and I'd be all over it. But that's probably what they want...us to buy more than we need.
     
  16. Greg Walker

    Greg Walker Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the input folks. I am sure pleased to see some other folks from Canada are giving their two cents worth.
     
  17. Brad-F

    Brad-F Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0


    How do you wire pair of speakers in parallel? Is that done inside the boxes, or is it just the way you attach the speaker cable?

    I am looking at trying that myself with a set of AR 18LS.

    Thanks.
     
  18. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    0
    You connect both speakers to one output (channel)of the amp. Two runs of wire, each going to one speaker. That is parallel. The resistance is halved and current will double if the amp can handle it.
     
  19. Brad-F

    Brad-F Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0


    Is this a measurable thing? That is, can you look at the specs of an amp to see if it will handle it? Or is it a bit of trial and error?

    And if it is the former, what should one look for from the channel in terms of specs?

    It is realated to the size/power requirements of the speakers?
     
  20. GrahamT

    GrahamT Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Messages:
    556
    Likes Received:
    0
    The specs to look for are a 4 Ohm rating on the amp like 200W into 4ohms. For the speakers they should be 8 Ohms each.
     

Share This Page