So today I went ahead and upgraded my front speakers over to 2 Klipsch Icons KB-15. Best Buy had them for a 100 off. I am converting over from dahlton loudspeakers (white van speakers...lol) The Klipsch sound great and I can tell a huge difference in sound quality. When I started playing COD the sound seemed a little off on the Yamaha center channel. Now this center channel came in a kit with the hole 5.1 system and a receiver I bought years ago. Receiver has been upgraded since center has stayed the same. I switched the receiver over to 4.1 to phantom the center and the sound now is great. I do like a dedicated center for movies as I think it will push the dialog better. So my questions are these
1. Anyone hear use a phantom center and is it better for gaming?
2. Does it sound better because I'm using a crappy center now with better mains. IE they don't mix well.
3. If #2 is correct would getting the matching icon center help with this. I am planning on getting one of these soon as I am slowly upgrading as funds are available.
Not really important for me to know these things it just got me thinking after I tried the phantom center and was amazed at how well it sounded. Just wanted the communities take on this.
I exploreD and used a phantom center channel a few years ago and yes it is quite a good solution for gaming or movies, as long as you are located in the sweet spot. Where it suffers is for off-axis seating. A center matched to the fronts is ideal. Using a leftover from a htib is probably worse than the phantom approach.
The phantom center does suck if not in the sweet spot but I just cant stand the imbalance between my mains and center now. FWIW I did just watch Real Steel and I missed the center while watching it but while gaming everything still sounds good. Just waiting for center that will match my icon mains for a good price.
I tried the phantom center thing last Spring when I started upgrading my old Paradigm Reference speakers to B&W Diamonds and absolutely hated it. I had wanted to get 3 identical tower speakers for the front but wouldn't be able to have the center actually centered and my dealer told me to give a phantom center setup a try to see if I could perhaps save money by not buying the dedicated center channel speaker until I can get to a space that would accomodate 3 towers. Although the phantom works I found it incredibly inconsistent. Sometimes I couldn't tell there was no center speaker and other times I could hear irregular differences in the volume of the sound that was supposed to be coming from the center channel.
So like the others I highly recommend getting the matching center.