5.1 setup: Center of the same type but smaller size - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-03-2012, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I'm planning on upgrading my front speakers and need to decide whether to buy 5 of the same (including front widths) or 4 slightly larger with a smaller center of the same type. (The larger one unfortunately doesn't fit my rack for the center). We're talking same brand, same line of speakers.

Both types have the same tweeter but the larger would have a volume of 18,6l and a 180mm low frequency driver, whereas the smaller would have 11,2l and 150mm respectively. The smaller one would also have a crossover at a 100Hz higher frequency.

I'd somehow like to get the larger ones... would that be a problem with that center? Power and low-frequency handling for both would be above (or below in the case of low-frequency handling - I'd pass it on to the sub @80Hz) what I need.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-03-2012, 06:16 PM
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I have iQ KEF speakers. iQ5s for the front, iQ1s for surround and an iQ2 for the centre. Works great! iQ1s are too small for the front and tower iQ5s would not work for the centre. It is not only okay - it may be preferable to have different sizes. My sub takes all the <80 signals.
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punman View Post

I have iQ KEF speakers. iQ5s for the front, iQ1s for surround and an iQ2 for the centre. Works great! iQ1s are too small for the front and tower iQ5s would not work for the centre. It is not only okay - it may be preferable to have different sizes. My sub takes all the <80 signals.

Why do you think that? The general chorus usually advises to have all the front speakers of the same exact type.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 07:50 AM
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I think this could be problematic under a couple of conditions.

If you play movies big and loud, the center could be taking most of the load. Sonically, it could limit the dynamic range of the entire system.

It could also be a problem if your system doesn't allow you to set the crossover separately for the center. If you have to use that 100Hz xover for everything, you've changed the sound of your system in a way you can't really compensate for. It might not matter, but if it does you're powerless.

Sometimes a phantom center is a better solution than an inadequate center.

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post #5 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintageologist View Post

Why do you think that? The general chorus usually advises to have all the front speakers of the same exact type.

I had not heard that.

My fronts and my centre of of the same brand and same speaker series but are of different model numbers, The centre was designed as a centre, not as a front.
I am not saying you are wrong, only that I had never heard that all speakers should be identical, only that they should be the same brand and same line so they have the same characteristics.
I am calibrated with Audyssey and can set each speaker's crossover. My KEF subwooer gets all the low signals.
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 08:51 AM
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Ideally your front 3 speakers should be completely identical and oriented vertically. All the woofers/mids and tweeters should be the same size and at the same height.

Most ppl don't have the room for that type of situation so that's why the horizontal center was created. If you can do 3 identical fronts do that! If not buy the center to match the Front L&R speakers and make sure the center has the same size drivers in it.

For me when researching for my near future system, any speaker company or model line that had a center with smaller woofer/mids than the Front L&R were ruled out immediately. I also wanted to have a minimum of a 2 - 6" woofers in each speaker and wanted a freq resp of down to 60hz +/-3db or lower so they can be crossed over at 80hz without being driven to their limit.

Shawn
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

I think this could be problematic under a couple of conditions.

If you play movies big and loud, the center could be taking most of the load. Sonically, it could limit the dynamic range of the entire system.

Is it like that? I once heard the center basically doesn't handle much more than the vocals really. I think I need to set my l&r to minus whateveristhehighestvalue dB in order to find out.

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Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

It could also be a problem if your system doesn't allow you to set the crossover separately for the center. If you have to use that 100Hz xover for everything, you've changed the sound of your system in a way you can't really compensate for. It might not matter, but if it does you're powerless.

Ah sorry, I think I didn't formulate that clear enough! I was talking about the crossover frequency from the tweeter to the mid-low-frequency driver of the speakers themselves, which is at a frequency 100Hz higher for the smaller one (i.e. 2600Hz vs. 2700Hz). They both go way deeper than required. 41Hz for the "smaller" one.

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Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

Ideally your front 3 speakers should be completely identical and oriented vertically. All the woofers/mids and tweeters should be the same size and at the same height.

Most ppl don't have the room for that type of situation so that's why the horizontal center was created. If you can do 3 identical fronts do that! If not buy the center to match the Front L&R speakers and make sure the center has the same size drivers in it.

For me when researching for my near future system, any speaker company or model line that had a center with smaller woofer/mids than the Front L&R were ruled out immediately. I also wanted to have a minimum of a 2 - 6" woofers in each speaker and wanted a freq resp of down to 60hz +/-3db or lower so they can be crossed over at 80hz without being driven to their limit.

It that opinion based on theory or have you already had centers with slightly smaller woofers with less-than-favorable outcome?
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 10:17 AM
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Some centers are better designed to match the L/R speakers than others. Rather than keeping the speakers you are interested in a mystery, you might benefit from getting feedback on THE particular center you are considering.

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post #9 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Some centers are better designed to match the L/R speakers than others. Rather than keeping the speakers you are interested in a mystery, you might benefit from getting feedback on THE particular center you are considering.

Oh... that would be Elac BS243 and BS244 "Black Edition". So I'm either considering going all 243 or going 243 for the center and 244 for the rest.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 11:51 AM
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What about the Elac CC241 with the 244s? Will it fit in your rack? Then you have more drivers pushing sound to match up with larger driver of the 244.

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post #11 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 12:10 PM
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It has often been said that the center channel is the most important speaker. It carries most of the dialog and a large amount of the regular sound. (An easy way to demonstrate this for yourself is to play a movie and just disconnect your center speaker without telling your AVR you just did that. Depending on the movie of course, you'll probably be amazed at how relatively little sound comes from the L & R speakers.)

My personal experience is that having 3 identical speakers is better than non-matching speakers; Sound that pans from side to side through the center is unlikely to sound the same along the way if your center has a different set of drivers than your L & R mains. If the "small" versions of the speakers are rated to down well below 80Hz, i would consider just doing all "small" speakers; what's the point of going with the bigger speakers if your sub is going to handle the stuff <80Hz anyway?

"He who asks feels dumb for a few minutes, but he who does not ask remains dumb forever."

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post #12 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

What about the Elac CC241 with the 244s? Will it fit in your rack? Then you have more drivers pushing sound to match up with larger driver of the 244.

No the CC241 unfortunately is way too wide. The BS243 really is the only one that would fit in. The BS 244 is just a tad (about 3cm) too high. The thing that really creeps me out is that I've been considering another rack but there's none that would offer enough height for the 244 (at least over here). I'd have to actually build one myself...

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Originally Posted by Gertjan View Post

It has often been said that the center channel is the most important speaker. It carries most of the dialog and a large amount of the regular sound. (An easy way to demonstrate this for yourself is to play a movie and just disconnect your center speaker without telling your AVR you just did that. Depending on the movie of course, you'll probably be amazed at how relatively little sound comes from the L & R speakers.)

My personal experience is that having 3 identical speakers is better than non-matching speakers; Sound that pans from side to side through the center is unlikely to sound the same along the way if your center has a different set of drivers than your L & R mains. If the "small" versions of the speakers are rated to down well below 80Hz, i would consider just doing all "small" speakers; what's the point of going with the bigger speakers if your sub is going to handle the stuff <80Hz anyway?

You're probably right about the matching speakers.

I'd think larger speakers not only go down deeper but also handle deeper frequencies within their spectrum with more "ease".
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post #13 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintageologist View Post

No the CC241 unfortunately is way too wide. The BS243 really is the only one that would fit in. The BS 244 is just a tad (about 3cm) too high. The thing that really creeps me out is that I've been considering another rack but there's none that would offer enough height for the 244 (at least over here). I'd have to actually build one myself...

What about a new rack for the CC241? That shouldn't be nearly as hard to fit as getting one tall enough for the BS 244.

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post #14 of 16 Old 01-04-2012, 05:37 PM
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I started with a center with dual 5.25" drivers, and ended up upgrading it to one with dual 6.5" drivers (which is what my L and R mains have). Much better.

If anything, go BIGGER than the rest on the center, not smaller.

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post #15 of 16 Old 01-05-2012, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintageologist View Post

It that opinion based on theory or have you already had centers with slightly smaller woofers with less-than-favorable outcome?

I have had experience with centers will smaller woofers than the Front L&R and didn't like it, granted they were Onkyo HTIB speakers.

Also take Klipsch Synergy and Icon Series speakers: they offer towers with dual 6.5" woofers and also dual 8" woofers and the centers for those systems have either dual 4" woofers or dual 5.25" woofers. I hate the way it sounds panning across the front with dual 8" towers and dual 5.25" centers. The crossovers are obviously different and doesn't sound seemless like it should.

Shawn
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post #16 of 16 Old 01-05-2012, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

What about a new rack for the CC241? That shouldn't be nearly as hard to fit as getting one tall enough for the BS 244.

Probably... but if I'm honest, I'd prefer upright speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florida_Gator View Post

I started with a center with dual 5.25" drivers, and ended up upgrading it to one with dual 6.5" drivers (which is what my L and R mains have). Much better.

If anything, go BIGGER than the rest on the center, not smaller.


Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru View Post

I have had experience with centers will smaller woofers than the Front L&R and didn't like it, granted they were Onkyo HTIB speakers.

Also take Klipsch Synergy and Icon Series speakers: they offer towers with dual 6.5" woofers and also dual 8" woofers and the centers for those systems have either dual 4" woofers or dual 5.25" woofers. I hate the way it sounds panning across the front with dual 8" towers and dual 5.25" centers. The crossovers are obviously different and doesn't sound seemless like it should.

I see, well that does sound valid.
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