Battle of the Center Channel Speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok so I am considering going with a different brand of speakers for my dedicated ht. Right now I have a Definitive Technology BP-30 setup that I am getting ready to put in storage. I want to start my journey of finding a new 5.1 setup, by choosing a center channel first, as I believe that is, by far, the most important speaker for a dedicated ht system. I am considering the following:

1. Paradigm CC-690 (latest version)
2. Klipsch RC-64ii
3. Paradigm C3 Signature
4. B&W Nautilus htm-1


How do you guys think that these center speakers would possibly compare to each other? Which has the meatiest and the fullest souind? Which ones have the most detail and clairty?
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post #2 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 08:05 AM
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As with selecting any product, you have to start with the goals and constraints and context.

 

For instance, if sitting only on-axis, in a sweet spot, then

  • the problems with M-T-M designs don't affect you
  • you don't care about wide horizontal dispersion as much

 

If the room is heavily treated acousitcally, then

  • you may need more sensitivity to reach desired SPL level
  • you may not need to minimize first reflection point on the side and thus don't need to limit extreme horizontal dispersion
  • or you do have side panels, and you want to limit side reflections more

 

The mid-point between you and the speaker on the ceiling is a first reflection point

  • most people want to limit ceiling reflections, so if low ceilings, vertical dispersion might be a consideration
  • with high ceilings, the first reflection may not hit your audience so you don't care

 

If needing to fill a large room for a lot of people

    And if the SPL goal is louder (like more than -10dBFS, e.g. -5 or 0)

  • Then you'll care about sensitivity more

 

Even if the room is smaller, but the SPL goal is louder

  • You'll care about sensitivity more
  • But that might be mitigated by speakers than can handle a lot of power, and if you can provide several hundred watts of power

 

Have you ever listened to horn speakers? Did some sound harsher or honkier? Did they all sound great? Did they all sound horrible?

  • Then maybe the Klipsch is or isn't for you. It provides twice the sensitivity of the Paradigm, but will not be as smooth as other speakers.

 

Can/will the speaker be mounted behind a false-wall as in a more architectually/professional theater, or behind a projector screen?

  • Aesthetics don't matter
  • Horizontal speaker isn't required
  • Opens up more possibilities, such as matching front three speakers (which is closer to ideal)

 

Or is it out in the open and needs to be furniture grade?

  • Aesthetics matter

 

And is it mounted on a stand in free space, or in a shelf?

  • Dimensions may matter
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post #3 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 09:54 AM
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Can you accommodate a standard floor-standing speaker in the center, either because you have an ATS or a high-mounted panel?

If so, getting three identical speakers for L/C/R will give you optimal integration and sound staging.


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http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #4 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 10:04 AM
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None of those speakers delivers what I would call top-notch sound quality.

Here is one that DOES!-

The KEF Q200c, which you can get for $450 at KEF Direct.

I would point out, however, that the primary speakers are the front L/R speakers, and if you are not getting most of your sound there (and relying too heavily on the center speaker), what you are tending towards is MONAURAL sound.

I hear systems all the time where WAY too much sound is coming from the subwoofer and center speaker, and that results in a dreary overall sound. This either happens because the front speakers are not very good and the others become a "crutch" to make up for them, or because someone actually thinks the center speaker is most important, which is a very misguided concept.

I can understand how people using low-quality L/R speakers fall into this trap; but the need for the best-quality L/R speakers cannot be overemphasized. First things first.

Rule #1--for good system sound; the subwoofer should NEVER operate above 60 Hz; the front speakers should deliver full STEREO sound down to 60 Hz and should be set up to deliver it!

Rule #2--the center speaker should operate from 100 Hz to 2 Khz; not much higher or lower; it is for midrange centerfill, especially the critical human voice region (120-1500 Hz), and it is undesirable for it to have drivers that do more than that. A tweeter is actually a joke in a center speaker, because they don't need to go high enough to need one. A friend of mine built his own center speaker using two 4" drivers and NO tweeter, and his system is one of the best I have ever heard.

Combine that KEF Q200c with a pair of KEF Q100 or Q500 speakers, and you will have some sound that is truly excellent; it will be be a new experience that you will find very nice indeed. The improvement in sound over the BP-30 will be an eye-opener. KEF C1 speakers will make good satellites.

IMO KEF speakers are very hard to beat for the best sound quality in an affordable price range.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Ok so I am considering going with a different brand of speakers for my dedicated ht. Right now I have a Definitive Technology BP-30 setup that I am getting ready to put in storage. I want to start my journey of finding a new 5.1 setup, by choosing a center channel first, as I believe that is, by far, the most important speaker for a dedicated ht system. I am considering the following:
1. Paradigm CC-690 (latest version)
2. Klipsch RC-64ii
3. Paradigm C3 Signature
4. B&W Nautilus htm-1
How do you guys think that these center speakers would possibly compare to each other? Which has the meatiest and the fullest souind? Which ones have the most detail and clairty?
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post #5 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

How do you guys think that these center speakers would possibly compare to each other? Which has the meatiest and the fullest souind? Which ones have the most detail and clairty?

Of these, I like the Paradigm Signature C3.

By the way, your center-first approach may work out for you, but in general one should consider all of one's requirements as a whole when looking at speaker systems.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Can you accommodate a standard floor-standing speaker in the center, either because you have an ATS or a high-mounted panel?
If so, getting three identical speakers for L/C/R will give you optimal integration and sound staging.

That's right, always go for identical speakers whenever possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

None of those speakers delivers what I would call top-notch sound quality.

Here is one that DOES!-

The KEF Q200c, which you can get for $450 at KEF Direct.

If that is out of your budget range, the PSB Image C4 is a very good one that is only $299.

Are you familiar with the speakers the OP is considering and how much they cost?
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I would point out, however, that the primary speakers are the front L/R speakers, and if you are not getting most of your sound there (and relying too heavily on the center speaker), what you are tending towards is MONAURAL sound.

Well, the OP is simply trying to reproduce movie soundtracks as they were mixed--if a movie is mostly monaural, then that's how it is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Rule #2--the center speaker should operate from 100 Hz to 2 Khz; not much higher or lower; it is for midrange centerfill, especially the critical human voice region (120-1500 Hz), and it is undesirable for it to have drivers that do more than that.

I totally disagree and see no point in what you're saying, but be that as it may, how would you have a beginner set this up? Oddly enough, all of the receivers I'm familiar with do not have a function to throw away much of the content of the center channel, which often includes many things besides dialogue.
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post #6 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 12:09 PM
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I agree with the post that recommends 3 identical speakers across the front if you can swing it.

If not, I have never heard any of those in person, but each time I look at a pic of the CC-690 I get chills because it look so imposing and cool.

All will probably sound awesome.

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post #7 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 12:40 PM
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I agree that the front L/R are the most important speakers in your HT AND are more critical to good HT than a great center channel. That said, your center channel needs to not only timbre match your L/R, but be able to keep up in terms of dynamic content and NOT be limited. How often do we hear the sounds of crashes, cars revs, gunshots... move from L > C > R and you really don't want your dynamic content to dip as it passes the center channel. A good center channel will do much more than voices!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
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post #8 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

I agree that the front L/R are the most important speakers in your HT AND are more critical to good HT than a great center channel. That said, your center channel needs to not only timbre match your L/R, but be able to keep up in terms of dynamic content and NOT be limited.

If the center needs to both timbre-match your L/R and keep up with them in terms of dynamics, then wouldn't logic suggest that its quality and performance is just as critical? If we add in the fact that some movies mix quite a lot of dynamic content with dialogue that at times must be intelligible over such a din, then perhaps the center must be AT LEAST as good as the L/R, if not better (depending on the speakers in question and other details of the specific system).
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post #9 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 02:45 PM
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I believe the center is just as important. Remember this isn't stereo and the center speaker is getting a lot of content to match what's on tbhe screen. Get two really good lrs and a eh center and see what happens

Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #10 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 02:47 PM
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The LR&C speakers are key to great HT sound and as Kal and others have said, three identical LCR's is best and by that I mean the same orientation. This usually means an acoustically transparent screen and FP.

There are many AV systems (I refuse to call these Home Theaters wink.gif) with television based flat screen video. That complicates matters regarding the center channels placement and orientation thus compromises are necessary. Add to that the WAF esthetics issues of a non-dedicated space and things get even more complicated. With a picture being worth at least 1000 words, I had these (and a few other tongue.gif) configurations in my HT room:

This was one config with a dedicated horizontal CC with moderate positive WAF:
338

Then I eliminated the equipment cabinet and went with this decidedly un-WAF friendly front stage (with an identical but horizontal center):
450

and finally, I decided to do it "right" (IMHO) so out went the plasma and in came a 130" AT screen with the identical LCR's behind the screen.
450

This last setup is by far the best sounding and the picture is great. Since it is a dedicated space, how the room looks was a low priority (although the dog likes it smile.gif).
YMMV

HToM

"Well, la di fricken da."!
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post #11 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

The LR&C speakers are key to great HT sound and as Kal and others have said, three identical LCR's is best and by that I mean the same orientation. This usually means an acoustically transparent screen and FP.
There are many AV systems (I refuse to call these Home Theaters wink.gif) with television based flat screen video. That complicates matters regarding the center channels placement and orientation thus compromises are necessary. Add to that the WAF esthetics issues of a non-dedicated space and things get even more complicated. With a picture being worth at least 1000 words, I had these (and a few other tongue.gif) configurations in my HT room:
This was one config with a dedicated horizontal CC with moderate positive WAF:
338
Then I eliminated the equipment cabinet and went with this decidedly un-WAF friendly front stage (with an identical but horizontal center):
450
and finally, I decided to do it "right" (IMHO) so out went the plasma and in came a 130" AT screen with the identical LCR's behind the screen.
450

Were those Revel speakers in the first picture? Replaced by what looks like JTRs. Interesting. What differences did you notice when you changed (besides, I assume, the ability to play very loud)?

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post #12 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 03:01 PM
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^ Yes,
If there was a difference in clarity and detail it eluded me. I preferred the big sound stage and limitless dynamics for my mostly movie watching room. I do like a good concert bluray as well and it feels like I am actually there, 5th row center.
To put it simply, ... horses for courses. smile.gif

HToM

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post #13 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 03:23 PM
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Awesome looking set up rmk!

Sent from my SCH-I405 using Tapatalk 2

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #14 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

The LR&C speakers are key to great HT sound and as Kal and others have said, three identical LCR's is best and by that I mean the same orientation. This usually means an acoustically transparent screen and FP.
There are many AV systems (I refuse to call these Home Theaters wink.gif) with television based flat screen video. That complicates matters regarding the center channels placement and orientation thus compromises are necessary. Add to that the WAF esthetics issues of a non-dedicated space and things get even more complicated. With a picture being worth at least 1000 words, I had these (and a few other tongue.gif) configurations in my HT room:
This was one config with a dedicated horizontal CC with moderate positive WAF:

Then I eliminated the equipment cabinet and went with this decidedly un-WAF friendly front stage (with an identical but horizontal center):

and finally, I decided to do it "right" (IMHO) so out went the plasma and in came a 130" AT screen with the identical LCR's behind the screen.

This last setup is by far the best sounding and the picture is great. Since it is a dedicated space, how the room looks was a low priority (although the dog likes it smile.gif).
YMMV
Excellent post, RMK! I was going to put up a post going way negative on commsysman. However, your tact of showing how to do it "right" is a much better approach. smile.gif Thanks for leading the way on that!

In my own system, I've had several iterations of CC's and I finally settled on an AT screen with the CC behind it. This is absolutely the best, most "right" way to do the CC. My current system utilizes a CC which is "virtually" identical to the L/R's. It uses the same drivers and same cabinet internal volume. The only difference is the horizontal arrangement of the woofers, (and a minor change to the crossover to compensate for the horizontal woofers.) I built stands that got the tweeter/midrange drivers at exactly the same height as the drivers in the L/R's.

450

450

I bought this speaker set used, and it came with the horizontal CC. If I had been buying new, I would certainly have gotten a 3rd Platinum LCR instead of the CC. However, the sound of this CC is so close to the L/R's that, on-axis, it is indistinguishable. Off-axis, there is some minor lobing, but I never sit off-axis, (unless someone is here demo'ing the system, in which case I give the sweet spot to them.)

My previous system was 3 identical speakers, Atlantic Technology 8200e's. That system also exhibited the same solid, cohesive and integrated front soundstage typical of the 3-identical speakers arrangement:

423

423

To the OP:

I agree completely with the other posters in this thread who have stated that 3 identical, vertically aligned speakers, all mounted at the same height, will provide the best front sound stage possible. If that isn't possible, then a timbre-matched speaker with similar frequency range, sensitivity and alignment will provide the most optimal blend of the CC with the L/R's. Then mount it as close to the same height as the L/R's as possible. The CC is not the "most important" speaker in an HT, but it is definitely "equally important" as the L/R's. Instead of selecting the CC first, I suggest you select the front soundstage as a "system", not as individual speakers.

Good luck. smile.gif

Craig

Lombardi said it:
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."

My System

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post #15 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

None of those speakers delivers what I would call top-notch sound quality.
Here is one that DOES!-
The KEF Q200c, which you can get for $450 at KEF Direct.


So if the b&w nautilus tweeter isn't top notch then what is? I think everyone in the audio video field of work and regular audiophiles can all agree that there hasn't been a better tweeter made yet. how can a $500 KEF even be on the same level as a b&w nautilus?



but back to the OP, the B&W is most likely the best choice out of the centers your listed. How ever i havent heard the Paradigm my self so I cant say. They do look cool in ugly awesome way.

good luck with the search.
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post #16 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 04:52 PM
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Here are a few pictures of how I accommodated three, identical speakers for L/C/R with my 50" plasma in my modest setup. The KEF iq10's are all at the same height but slightly below ear level when seated. To offset that, I angled them all up with small stands. It's not three speakers behind an AT screen (wish I had a basement) but for a small family room, it sounds excellent.

Dan

338338338

Little Loft Home Theater
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post #17 of 68 Old 06-29-2012, 05:51 PM
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I agree with the OP 100%. Nice to see someone take this approach. I have stated in many threads how I don't understand how folks just blow-by the center as an afterthougt. Of course a matching center to your left and right is ideal but most of us probably don't have that option.

I wanted my center so bad that I went with monitors as I couldn't afford the towers in the family. That turned out to be the best move ever for me. I auditoned the monitors and loved them which helps but I was able to hear the center when auditioning, which is so hard to do sometimes but was blown away.

I am a die-hard blu-ray concert junkie and the center is critical. I have posted before that my center changed everything about my HT environment and IS the most important speaker in my room.The better drivers and cabinet in the higher line made a huge difference. I have a little center in my bedroon that works fine for that duty but I get a grin when I move to the living room. It really makes a huge difference folks. The on-axis off axis arguments are fine but there is nothing worse then a boxy sounding center.

The Cremona M center is also quite impressive. The center that forced me into monitors so I could have/afford it was Dynaudio Confidence. The monitors aren't bad either biggrin.gif

I wish I had a large room like some of you guys but even in a small to medium space the Confidence made a great change and that was coming from an already very good Dynaudio Focus set-up. If you are up to a medium sized room it may be very worthwhile to consider monitors from a higher line within the mfg you love to keep within budget and get a greater experience. Most likely the center in that family will really make a difference. At least it did for me and it was not overkill..

To the original poster I have not heard those centers with their corresponding left/right speaker but I do agree with your approach and I might be an exception here but that's okay wink.gif

http://www.dynaudio.com/int/home_loudspeaker_systems/confidence/confidence_center.php#2

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post #18 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 08:44 AM
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While awesome, the problem with most of these setups is with regular flat panel, it will not work. Also, need a large room to fully benefit from a projector. That leaves most of us having to deal with a regular horizontal center speaker.

The three identical bookshelf for LCR would bother me too having the picture so high. Plus that would require me to have bookshelf as front LR and would lessen the dynamics I think.

The ascend sierra tower center has gotten my attention, looks like a beast, but may be too pricy for me. Maybe I'll save up to try it out. Wondering how this would compare to a klipsch rc-64 ii.

If a horizontal center is required, which ones are most recommended for under $1000?
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post #19 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
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338

I love that cabinet
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post #20 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Excellent post, RMK! I was going to put up a post going way negative on commsysman. However, your tact of showing how to do it "right" is a much better approach. smile.gif Thanks for leading the way on that!
In my own system, I've had several iterations of CC's and I finally settled on an AT screen with the CC behind it. This is absolutely the best, most "right" way to do the CC. My current system utilizes a CC which is "virtually" identical to the L/R's. It uses the same drivers and same cabinet internal volume. The only difference is the horizontal arrangement of the woofers, (and a minor change to the crossover to compensate for the horizontal woofers.) I built stands that got the tweeter/midrange drivers at exactly the same height as the drivers in the L/R's.

Thanks Craig, the high road is too often the one less taken by folks these days (myself included redface.gif ). Your system is one that I admire (if not envy wink.gif). Your horizontal CC implementation keeps the HF drivers on the same plane and I'm sure it is indistinguishable from three identical, vertical speakers as LCR. There is usually more than one way to do it correctly. smile.gif

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post #21 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Can you accommodate a standard floor-standing speaker in the center, either because you have an ATS or a high-mounted panel?
If so, getting three identical speakers for L/C/R will give you optimal integration and sound staging.

I have some old NHTs: 1.3's for the left and right , 1C for the center. The 1C is on a speaker stand behind my Sony LCD. It sits vertically and is slightly angled down toward the listener. To get the tweeters in line as much as possible I rotated the speaker 180 deg so that the tweeter is on the bottom and the woofer is above it. In your opinion would that cause any problems.
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post #22 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 03:23 PM
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Been following this post with great interest ... two questions.

1. For someone looking to upgrade their HT speakers, in slightly lower price range than represented in this thread, would it still be a good idea to start with finding a good/suitable center speaker first? (90% of my listening is movies.)

2. After finding a good center ... Would it be preferable to get R/L fronts that "match" as much as possible vs R/L fronts that in-and-of-themselves have bigger or better sound?

(In my case I have strict size limitations on my center speaker, and several of the best center speaker options for me are actually speakers rated/built for L/R/C use.)

Don't mean to hijack the thread - won't get into any discussion re specific speakers, etc.
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post #23 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom C View Post

I have some old NHTs: 1.3's for the left and right , 1C for the center. The 1C is on a speaker stand behind my Sony LCD. It sits vertically and is slightly angled down toward the listener. To get the tweeters in line as much as possible I rotated the speaker 180 deg so that the tweeter is on the bottom and the woofer is above it. In your opinion would that cause any problems.
Having it *behind* your LCD panel will cause a lot more problems than inverting it. A flat panel display is not acoustically transparent; it is acoustically opaque. It is *blocking* the sound from the speaker. Either raise it or lower it, but get it out from behind your display.

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post #24 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

Been following this post with great interest ... two questions.
1. For someone looking to upgrade their HT speakers, in slightly lower price range than represented in this thread, would it still be a good idea to start with finding a good/suitable center speaker first? (90% of my listening is movies.)
2. After finding a good center ... Would it be preferable to get R/L fronts that "match" as much as possible vs R/L fronts that in-and-of-themselves have bigger or better sound?
(In my case I have strict size limitations on my center speaker, and several of the best center speaker options for me are actually speakers rated/built for L/R/C use.)
Don't mean to hijack the thread - won't get into any discussion re specific speakers, etc.
Start a new thread where you can talk about specific speakers.

In general, as I said above, the front soundstage should be designed as a *system*, not as individual speakers. They are all 3 equally important. Would you select a different left speaker than the right speaker? Obviously not. Therefore, why would you consider a different center speaker, or one with a different timbre and output capability? Pick 3 front speakers that are as similar as possible... ideally, the same 3 speakers.

Craig

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post #25 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 04:44 PM
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Much thanks.

This "further" step of having all three (L/R/C) actually be the same speaker (vs. a brand matched 2 and 1 set) is not something I've seen discussed in the numerous (lower price range oriented) threads I've read, but it immediately made sense and piqued my interest.
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post #26 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

Much thanks.
This "further" step of having all three (L/R/C) actually be the same speaker (vs. a brand matched 2 and 1 set) is not something I've seen discussed in the numerous (lower price range oriented) threads I've read, but it immediately made sense and piqued my interest.
Yes, even in the "lower price range", a system with 3 identical speakers across the front is possible. Just take a look at dtfkell's system a few posts up. With appropriate speaker/subwoofer crossovers, a system like that can sound excellent, with a very integrated and cohesive front soundstage. It's not absolutely required to have an AT screen and large front speakers to have a properly designed front stage and an excellent sounding system.

Craig

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post #27 of 68 Old 06-30-2012, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Having it *behind* your LCD panel will cause a lot more problems than inverting it. A flat panel display is not acoustically transparent; it is acoustically opaque. It is *blocking* the sound from the speaker. Either raise it or lower it, but get it out from behind your display.

My bad, I should have been more descriptive. The stand is behind the TV with the bottom of the speaker 5" behind and slightly above the top of the TV.
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post #28 of 68 Old 07-01-2012, 01:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Seth89 View Post

So if the b&w nautilus tweeter isn't top notch then what is? I think everyone in the audio video field of work and regular audiophiles can all agree that there hasn't been a better tweeter made yet. how can a $500 KEF even be on the same level as a b&w nautilus?
but back to the OP, the B&W is most likely the best choice out of the centers your listed. How ever i havent heard the Paradigm my self so I cant say. They do look cool in ugly awesome way.
good luck with the search.
I for one am not a big fan of B&W. They don't measure very well and they sound kind of flat, dry and lifeless to me. That is of course my personal observation. Many people really like the sound, I don't, I prefer a much more dynamic speaker for movie watching. B&W's are more suited to music IMO.

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post #29 of 68 Old 07-01-2012, 09:29 AM
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A friend of mine built his own center speaker using two 4" drivers and NO tweeter, and his system is one of the best I have ever heard.

Was that Dr. Bose? biggrin.gif

I went with CLR 2002 , All 3 placed vertically and it sounds awesome.
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post #30 of 68 Old 07-01-2012, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Yes, even in the "lower price range", a system with 3 identical speakers across the front is possible. Just take a look at dtfkell's system a few posts up. With appropriate speaker/subwoofer crossovers, a system like that can sound excellent, with a very integrated and cohesive front soundstage. It's not absolutely required to have an AT screen and large front speakers to have a properly designed front stage and an excellent sounding system.
Craig

I agree and would suggest that you keep the L&R speakers out in front of the display as much as possible (as dftkell shows in the above pics). That large reflective surface directly between the mains can be very disruptive for stereo imaging.

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