Why are center speakers so much smaller than the left and right main speakers? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 49 Old 08-23-2012, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

A logical assessment, if the signal sent to all three speakers was the same. But in the vast majority of cases it isn't. Whether it's a DVD or CD most are mixed with less low frequency content in the center feed than the L/R, and less still in the surrounds.

Depends on the disc, of course.  


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post #32 of 49 Old 08-23-2012, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Depends on the disc, of course.  
Of course, but IME the percentage that have the same frequency content in all channels is far too low to justify tailoring the system for that occasional disc.

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post #33 of 49 Old 08-23-2012, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Of course, but IME the percentage that have the same frequency content in all channels is far too low to justify tailoring the system for that occasional disc.

Mebbe but I see no other downside to doing it, especially as it maximizes the probability of consistent L/C/R voicing.  

 

BTW, since I am, first and foremost, a music listener, my sources usually have full-range center channel bandwidth.


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post #34 of 49 Old 08-23-2012, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post


BTW, since I am, first and foremost, a music listener, my sources usually have full-range center channel bandwidth.
When I do listen to music on my HT system I put it in stereo mode anyway.

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post #35 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

When I do listen to music on my HT system I put it in stereo mode anyway.

I use whatever number of channels are in the original source.  So, for 2 channel sources, I use stereo mode but I prefer multichannel (SACD, BD) in multichannel.

(Why would we be talking about stereo listening in this thread?)


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post #36 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I use whatever number of channels are in the original source.  
I don't listen to anything recorded since roughly 1990, so that pretty much takes everything other than stereo off the table. smile.gif
Unless you count mono, of course.

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post #37 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Mebbe but I see no other downside to doing it, especially as it maximizes the probability of consistent L/C/R voicing.  

BTW, since I am, first and foremost, a music listener, my sources usually have full-range center channel bandwidth.

Me too. I got into Home Theater because I loved to experience Movies in the privacy of my own home. From there I discovered Multichannel Music and imo, those same disks in CD format can't compete in SQ or experience (outside of the crap I was singin' to in my teens and twenties along with partying) with their SACD/DVD-A counterpart...That said, the last CDs that I purchased were by Sarah Mclachlan and those I listen to in 2-channel, but still use my subs to take up the bottom end...Sublime *stuff*.
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post #38 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Not at all. The content sent to each speaker is different, and that makes the requirements for each speaker different. Yes, frequency response should be similar above 100 Hz or so, but that's not something that requires identical speakers to accomplish. Very well engineered speakers would be optimized for each placement position, and that would make them different. But just as one cannot assume that all identical speakers will work best neither can one assume that different speakers are in fact very well engineered.
As to the original question, centers generally need not be as large as mains as they typically don't have to go either as low nor as loud as mains.

I should have prefaced that I was referring to multi-channel music listening (SACD, DVD-A, or better yet, a properly-recorded Blu-ray concert). In those cases, having all your speakers being identical is more preferred.

Not so much for Home Theater usage.

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post #39 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

I should have prefaced that I was referring to multi-channel music listening (SACD, DVD-A, or better yet, a properly-recorded Blu-ray concert). In those cases, having all your speakers being identical is more preferred.
Not so much for Home Theater usage.
Perhaps a bit OT, but I've never heard a Blu-Ray concert recording that actually sounded like a live concert. And that's because live concerts are heard through the PA, and the PA is almost always stereo.

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post #40 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Perhaps a bit OT, but I've never heard a Blu-Ray concert recording that actually sounded like a live concert. And that's because live concerts are heard through the PA, and the PA is almost always stereo.

I have not upgraded to Blu-Ray, but have a couple hundred Concert DVDs and feel the difference is that they are trying to recreate the atmosphere of a live venue with 5.1 technology...Sometimes the SQ is great like with Sarah Maclachlan's Afterglow Live dvd (which gave me the impetus to purchase her cds) and most of the material comes out of the front soundstage with only the echos of her voice every once in a while coming out of the surrounds...

Then again, some of the more rockin' concerts like U2's concerts have more "being there" fan noise which I sometimes feel is distracting. I admit either one I don't notice which is coming out of the center or the mains--That said, I was really surprised to find Roger Water's "In the Flesh Live" hardly used the center channel at all and found that out when walking past the speaker and thinking it may have been broken when I heard nothing coming out of it--That was after listening and enjoying the disk a bunch of times.
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post #41 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I would recommend it to anyone who finds the performance of their center speaker problematical. It is also quite compact, which may be desirable (less than 5 inches tall).


When was the last time you read someone wishing they had a much smaller less capable center channel?

So those that have nice centers like the Paradigm CC-590, PSB Synchrony One C or Monitor Audio PLC350 have it all wrong? Its crazy that they just can't enjoy their system since it doesn't use tiny 4" full range woofers rolleyes.gif .
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post #42 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by gtpsuper24 View Post

When was the last time you read someone wishing they had a much smaller less capable center channel?

That would be my wife, but I heard that sentiment in person and on several occasions. biggrin.gif
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post #43 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Perhaps a bit OT, but I've never heard a Blu-Ray concert recording that actually sounded like a live concert. And that's because live concerts are heard through the PA, and the PA is almost always stereo.

You need to broaden your horizons.  All the concerts I listen to are classical and acoustic without any electronics before the microphones.  (There are rare exceptions.)


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post #44 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

You need to broaden your horizons.  All the concerts I listen to are classical and acoustic without any electronics before the microphones.  (There are rare exceptions.)
At 62 my horizons are as broad as they're ever going to get. And I listen to nothing but classical...as in Classic Rock and Roll. cool.gif

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post #45 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 12:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

At 62 my horizons are as broad as they're ever going to get. And I listen to nothing but classical...as in Classic Rock and Roll. cool.gif

Being a child of the 60's Barbary Coast, I don't care how hard I try but I just can't get into too much of today's youth oriented music. But if you look, and I'm sure you have, it can be found in these samples:

Young the Giant: "My Body."

The Black Keys: "Gold on the Ceiling."

You can even find it in Christian Aguilara: "Candyman."

And

Pink: "So What."

All is not lost. Rock on.

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post #46 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 12:39 PM
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Looks like this has been answered pretty well, but I might as well chime in.

The reason for the wimpy center channel is that is what the market wants. People want a small center channel to throw above or below the TV that is not distracting or hard to place.

As for the L/C/R setups, a well designed L/C/R setup behind a transparent screen is definitely the way to go. But in a small room, a horizontal center channel is not as big of a deal as many make it out to be.

As a general rule I like to keep, any home theater centric sound systems should have a center that is just as large or larger than the left and right. Seeing that a vast majority of the soundtrack is coming from there.
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post #47 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 02:46 PM
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Three identical mains across the front, in a line, optimized to the primary LP. Anything else is a compromise. A capable center, properly optimized, is a powerful tool anchoring elements to the center, significantly lessening distortions associated with off axis listening of down mixed, multi-channel material.

This is 101 level material. Bill, I understand your points, but others may not and begin to pursue something incorrectly. A center channel needs to be robust and quite capable to provide realistic playback of typical 5.1/7.1 material, and deliver it to the listeners in the room.

----

Yes, (2k HRTF dip or not) many get by just fine on a mere 2 channel, down-mixed front soundstage. It's prolly better than these junk little horizontal masterpieces marketed to the masses. Please.

----


And yes, wrt to the 3 channel material mentioned, engineers understood this need back in the 50's, as much was recorded in this manner.


Don't intend to bitch, Bill is one of the finest contributors around, just sayin'.

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post #48 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Three identical mains across the front, in a line, optimized to the primary LP. Anything else is a compromise.
Life is a never ending series of compromises. My center isn't identical to my L/R because I neither need nor want it to be. So long as my system does what I want it to do that's good enough for me.

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post #49 of 49 Old 08-24-2012, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

At 62 my horizons are as broad as they're ever going to get. And I listen to nothing but classical...as in Classic Rock and Roll. cool.gif

Well, there's hope for you.  Perhaps when you get to my age (although you may not ever catch up), you may make new discoveries. wink.gif

 

And, of course..............................

 

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Originally Posted by FOH View Post
Don't intend to bitch, Bill is one of the finest contributors around, just sayin'.

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