Originally Posted by bud16415
HT is vastly different than commercial cinema. We don’t have seating spread out over 100 feet or more. My suggestion would be to experiment before you buy a screen on a painted wall. If you have the width try placing them outside the screen and then set them inside the image and see how that sounds. I have done this experiment many times and personally haven’t seen an amazing difference in the sound stage.
If done right, the only thing different is the size of the rooms. My cinema is 1/10 scale of an 80 foot wide cinema and it works from every seat in the room.
Commercial cinemas use horn loaded speakers to give wide spread of sound, combined with the 202 X-Curve.
In the home, you can buy speakers with controlled vertical directivity (they behave similar to horns without the harsh sound) and thanks to "Enhanced for Home Theatre" soundtracks, we no longer need re-eq in the home. For the older stuff, there is still THX re-eq.
But the placement of the speakers should be the same where in a cinema, the L and R speakers are just INSIDE the masking limits if 1.85:1. If you do this in the HT, you will find that even Scope film soundtracks match better than speakers out wider than the screen.
About 12 years ago, I had a flexible set up that allowed easy speaker re-location and I spend weeks listening and testing on various soundtracks before coming to the conclusion that wider was not better when sound was matched to a picture. Audio only? Sure, 60 degrees works wonders. Add visuals and you want be closer to 45 degrees separation.
As for the centre speaker, I use it 100% of the time - even music. It locks the soundstage. I still remember the first time I added a centre speaker back in 1992 (I've always had identical LCRs) to my then Pro-logic system and not liking what I heard Vs the phantom image.
Move to now and now way would I lose the centre speaker. My LCRs are synergistic. They are flush mounted into a baffle wall and acoustically coupled to create a seamless wall of sound.
This all came about from researching how the pro systems are done, scaled down and it works remarkably well.