Originally Posted by dougdabbs
I am really considering getting the Impression line to replace my Energy Take front right, front left, and center. I'm pretty sure I am getting the R5bi for the left and right, but I am a bit confused on what to do with the center. Through research it has come to my attention that a vertical speaker will sound better than a horizontal one. It sounded like a joke to me a first, but it seems true.
With that said, is it really true that a vertical R5bi will sound better than a horizontal R5ci (their center channel speaker) for a center channel? It seems like a dedicated center would be better, but everything that I've read states otherwise. Would this line be any different? Am I crazy???
The horizontal MTM center speaker is a compromise in itself. It's designed to fit into smaller places because a vertical center channel is not practical because of space. A vertical speaker would usually block the TV, or not fit into an entertainment center. You are more specifically describing a horizontal MTM designed center channel. The issues are usually combing and lobbing, which results in a less precise timbre match (in a nut shell).
If you have the advantage that you can pull your center channel out of an entertainment center and place it on top, you are doing good. I have my TV wall mounted, so like you, I am able to accommodate a much larger center both horizontally and vertically. The E56Ci center channel is a 3-way design. Because of the driver alignment, it doesn't completely solve stated issues, it just helps minimize them. Most people think that they don't notice an issue with horizontal MTM designs, but physics, planes, and wave theory prove otherwise. That being said, a horizontal MTM center placed on top of the entertainment center will probably not show any drastic problem. If you have some type of room correction in your receiver, then I wouldn't worry about it. I would give EmpTek a call and see if they can sell you a single R5Bi bookshelf because these speakers are advertised as being sold in pairs.
However, with Black Friday coming up, which EmpTek usually participates in, I would wait and grab the beefier of center speakers. A good, strong, and potent center channel is a must in HT. Unfortunately, it's also the most difficult to deal with. I'm actually in the process of trying to dump my entertainment center completely and get two component shelves so I can place a tower as a center speaker.
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____
Receiver : Denon x5200
Front Stage : Martin Logan Motion 60XTs/Elac Debut F5 Center
Surround Speakers : HTD Level 3 Towers/RBH R5Bi Front and Rear Heights
Subwooferage : Dual UM-18s
/6 SI HT18s
Born in 1995 and still continuing my HT journey