Why are center speakers so much smaller than the left and right main speakers? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
c627627's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I have Infinity Studio Monitor speakers SM125 from the 1990's. I originally had the center speaker from the series but I got rid of it because I found it to be too wimpy when compared to simply using another SM125 as a center speaker [SM125 pictured below - it is 35 inches tall and due to its size, blows away the original center speaker from the series].

So I just use three of these large SM125's as Left, Center and Right. Obviously there's a reason why this is not a good idea so what are the pros and cons?


Question 2: Due to current furniture situation, I wanted to place the monster center speaker I use on top of a sub-woofer. What are the pros and cons (other than stability of setup) of having the sub-woofer directly under the center speaker, directly under the TV, as opposed to the side.

c627627 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 09:58 AM
Advanced Member
 
Dr_Mark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minneapolis MN
Posts: 812
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked: 44
My Dali Helicon center is the same size as my main speakers. It's huge. I would bet companies do that to keep the cost down.

Life is enjoyable with good quality
Dr_Mark is offline  
post #3 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
c627627's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
So what am I missing by not using the wimpy center speaker from the series and using the large standard speaker as center?
c627627 is offline  
post #4 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 10:06 AM
Senior Member
 
baranowski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Smaller speakers for smaller placement of the speaker.... of you are serious about home theater, you will find the center that matches your fronts or get one more of your fronts and use it for a center.

Bill
baranowski is offline  
post #5 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 10:14 AM
 
BeeMan458's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Magalia, CA
Posts: 8,374
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 801
For the best sound quality, turn your speaker to the vertical.
BeeMan458 is offline  
post #6 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 10:22 AM
AVS Special Member
 
psgcdn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Prov. of Quebec, Canada
Posts: 4,453
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by c627627 View Post

So I just use three of these large SM125's as Left, Center and Right. Obviously there's a reason why this is not a good idea so what are the pros and cons?
No cons, it's preferable. But your speaker may be designed to disperse properly standing upright. Maybe not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by c627627 View Post

Question 2: Due to current furniture situation, I wanted to place the monster center speaker I use on top of a sub-woofer. What are the pros and cons (other than stability of setup) of having the sub-woofer directly under the center speaker, directly under the TV, as opposed to the side.
A sub in the middle of a wall may lead to bass cancellation at room node frequencies. And it doesn't look very good. Place your speaker vertically, place the sub alongside or corner-loaded, and buy a $25 wall mount from monoprice for the TV.

Remember, it's called "AV Science"!

My HT
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Peter

psgcdn is online now  
post #7 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 11:12 AM
AVS Special Member
 
DonH50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monument CO
Posts: 6,087
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked: 262
1. Smaller centers fit more easily under (or above) the TV and within consoles. Since much of the center is dialogue and the L/R and sub can carry the bass load not much is lost. A matching (large) center will provide a more seamless transition across the front and reinforce the bass (though another LF source complicates optimizing in-room FR when you can't move it around). Size and cost are the biggest cons, potentially better/fuller sound the pro.

2. As has been said, the center of the front wall may not be the best place for the sub. Other than stability, I wonder about the picture quality and long-term reliability issues having the TV on top of a speaker and thus subject to vibration from the speaker cabinet. In the tube days microphonics were the issue; now, you may get funny patterns in the picture and/or problems with things vibrating loose or breaking over time.

All IMO - Don

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
DonH50 is offline  
post #8 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 11:21 AM
AVS Special Member
 
[Irishman]'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,414
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked: 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by c627627 View Post

So what am I missing by not using the wimpy center speaker from the series and using the large standard speaker as center?

Anytime a loudspeaker manufacturer designs front towers, center speakers and surrounds substantially different in sizes from each other, they're making sonic compromises. Goldenear does it for their Triton Cinema system. The Triton 2 towers are lush, beautiful speakers, well-suited for 2 channel setups. But add in the Supersat 50C center speaker Gross and his team have designed for it, and it becomes clear that they've made sonic compromises in the interest of offering a low-profile speaker for those customers whose tastes have been more informed by folks who think good sound begins and ends with miniscule Bose cubes, than by the engineering that brought us the Triton 2. It's a shame, really, when you listen to the guys from Goldenear trying to tell you that the whole system is timbre-matched. That may be true, down to a certain frequency. But down below the point where these tiny centers can't reproduce, is that not also part of timbre-matching?

That's why you should audition not only the primary speakers at your local audio shop, but also the entire system, so you can judge for yourself just how timbre-matched they are. If your room will allow you to do it (or if you're fortunate and can make the room do anything you want), I always recommend people do what you've done - use the same speaker model all the way around. (or at least with surrounds and rears whose drivers, crossovers, cabinet characteristics etc more closely match those of your fronts).

Just my 2 cents. I'm certain that many more examples of this abound.

[Irishman] is offline  
post #9 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
c627627's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thank you for explaining buying three identical speakers vs. two + "center". I have long wondered about this and now things are clearer. Thanks for the explanations.



When you say "your speaker may be designed to disperse properly standing upright. Maybe not." How is that determined for sure if it is or maybe not?


When I move, yes I will look into wall mounts and esthetics. That leaves this comment about the sub: "...may lead to bass cancellation at room node frequencies." How is that determined for sure?



As far as the vibration comment, you know what, maybe some people would dismiss that but look what happened to me: the DA5 cable came loose, do you think it was vibrations that did it, Don?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1368155
c627627 is offline  
post #10 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 01:38 PM
AVS Special Member
 
rick240's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 3,542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by c627627 View Post

Thank you for explaining buying three identical speakers vs. two + "center". I have long wondered about this and now things are clearer. Thanks for the explanations.

3 identical speakers is always best biggrin.gif
Quote:
When you say "your speaker may be designed to disperse properly standing upright. Maybe not." How is that determined for sure if it is or maybe not?

Speakers designed to be vertical are meant to be vertical - placing them sideways will result in unexpected dispersion and cancellation patterns. You seem to like your TV high enough for your centre to be vertical as it is designed to be.
Quote:
When I move, yes I will look into wall mounts and esthetics. That leaves this comment about the sub: "...may lead to bass cancellation at room node frequencies." How is that determined for sure?

Before you move, you should build a TV stand that will let your centre be vertical and hold the TV on top.

To determine where your sub should go put it where you sit, and then crawl around the room to find where the sub sounds best - that's the ideal location for it.

Other simple tests, try putting the sub in a couple of different corners, and decide if you like the current spot as well.

rick240 is offline  
post #11 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 01:51 PM
Advanced Member
 
nograveconcern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by c627627 View Post

When you say "your speaker may be designed to disperse properly standing upright. Maybe not." How is that determined for sure if it is or maybe not?

The centers of different size drivers within a cabinet should be on the same vertical plane to avoid beaming and comb filtering at the frequencies near the crossover points. Most horizontal center speakers ignore (or compromise) this rule in favor or saving vertical space. They can get away with this because the audience is directly in front of the center speaker making off axis response less of an issue. Still, you should rotate that center 90 degrees and put the sub off to the side.
nograveconcern is offline  
post #12 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 02:00 PM
Advanced Member
 
nograveconcern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 52
...and by the same token, spakers of the same size within an enclosure should be on the same vertical plane to avoid beaming throughout their entire frequency band. cool.gif
nograveconcern is offline  
post #13 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 03:53 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DonH50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monument CO
Posts: 6,087
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked: 262
I have seen numerous problems caused by vibrating things not meant to be vibrated. Moire patterns, tubes gone bad, cables working loose, internal connections breaking, you name it. There are many variables, of course, since the amount and sensitivity to vibration comes into play for all the various components, but I prefer to limit direct coupling if I can.

Most speakers disperse more in one plane, like horizontal, than the other, like vertical. Below a certain frequency all speakers look pretty much likea point source, and they become more directional as frequency rises. A speaker designed to be oriented one direction may not sound the same in the other direction, especially off-axis. Personally, I suspect (but do not know) laying a "regular" speaker on its side would work OK for the center since now it is most likely more "vertical" in spreading (dispersing) the sound and thus less likely to interfere with the L/R speakers. One could make any number of pro/con arguments, of course. You could try both ways and see what works best for you.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
DonH50 is offline  
post #14 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
c627627's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thank you all for expertly answering questions I wasn't 100% on for the past 25 years. I have decided to follow your advice and place the center speaker vertical and TV on top of it:


When I move I will wall mount the TV.

The sub-woofer would go directly next to it, but to the left or to the right, I'm not really sure how you would determine that. Playing what and then listening for what?
c627627 is offline  
post #15 of 49 Old 08-21-2012, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
c627627's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Also I suppose I could place the TV on that black stand and then the center speaker to the left or to the right of it, do you think that would be preferable, given only the choice of two, even if the center speaker would not be centered directly under the TV, but to the left or to the right of TV which would be on that black stand instead of on top of center speaker?
c627627 is offline  
post #16 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 06:56 AM
Advanced Member
 
nograveconcern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

I have seen numerous problems caused by vibrating things not meant to be vibrated. Moire patterns, tubes gone bad, cables working loose, internal connections breaking, you name it. There are many variables, of course, since the amount and sensitivity to vibration comes into play for all the various components, but I prefer to limit direct coupling if I can.
Most speakers disperse more in one plane, like horizontal, than the other, like vertical. Below a certain frequency all speakers look pretty much likea point source, and they become more directional as frequency rises. A speaker designed to be oriented one direction may not sound the same in the other direction, especially off-axis.

You were good until this point. It’s all about off axis response.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Personally, I suspect (but do not know) laying a "regular" speaker on its side would work OK for the center since now it is most likely more "vertical" in spreading (dispersing) the sound and thus less likely to interfere with the L/R speakers.

The center does not interfere with the L&R. Your ear still hears the separate channels coming from their source. You want horizontal dispersion to be maximized so that the sound produced sounds the same no matter where you sit in the room.
Quote:
Originally Posted by c627627 View Post

Also I suppose I could place the TV on that black stand and then the center speaker to the left or to the right of it, do you think that would be preferable, given only the choice of two, even if the center speaker would not be centered directly under the TV, but to the left or to the right of TV which would be on that black stand instead of on top of center speaker?

I would lay the center sideways before I would do that. Your dialogue will sound like it is coming from the side instead of from the actors on the screen. The way you have it is the best you will get until you can wall mount the TV. If you ware worried about stability, then look into securing the speaker to the wall so that it cannot move.
nograveconcern is offline  
post #17 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 07:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 9,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 1347
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Irishman] View Post

Anytime a loudspeaker manufacturer designs front towers, center speakers and surrounds substantially different in sizes from each other, they're making sonic compromises.
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.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
Bill Fitzmaurice is online now  
post #18 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
c627627's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I understand having center to the L or R of TV is no good, which is why I tried to avoid it by placing the TV on top of it, so all right that is not going to happen. However:


You know I do have a fourth identical speaker that is doing nothing. My 1990s receiver has connections for center speaker R and center speaker L. Why do modern receivers no longer have that, wouldn't I be able to simply place Center L and Center R on either side of TV and resolve the issue like that?


And finally, I would like to revisit the sideways vs. vertical issue and where to place the sub-woofer. I would appreciate it if you could help me with methods of testing those.
c627627 is offline  
post #19 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 08:07 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 9,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 1347
Quote:
Originally Posted by c627627 View Post

wouldn't I be able to simply place Center L and Center R on either side of TV and resolve the issue like that?
That raises the issue of comb-filtering, and is why a single center is preferable and L/R center outputs were eliminated.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
Bill Fitzmaurice is online now  
post #20 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 08:09 AM
AVS Special Member
 
rick240's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 3,542
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by c627627 View Post

And finally, I would like to revisit the sideways vs. vertical issue and where to place the sub-woofer. I would appreciate it if you could help me with methods of testing those.

I would leave the centre vertical and have the TV on top as you have shown.

Get out one of your favourite movies (with heavy bass) and listen to a key scene with speakers as shown...

...then move the sub to a corner and play it again

...leave the sub in the location that sounded best to you - all done and happy smile.gif

rick240 is offline  
post #21 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
Advanced Member
 
c627627's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Kansas
Posts: 888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Check.

Much obliged for everything.
c627627 is offline  
post #22 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 11:32 AM
AVS Special Member
 
DonH50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monument CO
Posts: 6,087
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked: 262
@nograveconcern: Curious... I understand about off-axis response; my thought was about interference waves from multiple sources at the listening position plus reflected waves. From the standpoint of imaging, it seems like three (LCR) speakers that beam straight at the listener with no off-axis response would be best. Of course, bummer if you are not in the lone sweet spot! The other extreme seems to be what you advocate, 180 degree dispersion. That would seem to maximize interference patterns among the speakers, and reflective surfaces, and lead to more interference patterns (comb filter etc. effects)? Whatever, all life's a compromise.

general: Magnepan (www.magnepan.com) advocates a "tri-center" approach that places center speakers left and right of the screen. Seems to get good reviews, but the only pictures I have seen of it are in large, wide rooms. I would be very hesitant to try it due to all the interference patterns it would generate; I'll stick with with my single center.

c627627: Search for "sub crawl" to help with subwoofer placement.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
DonH50 is offline  
post #23 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 12:03 PM
Advanced Member
 
nograveconcern's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 52
The center source does not reproduce the exact same content as the L&R, but yeah IDK. It's a compromise I guess, like you said.
nograveconcern is offline  
post #24 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 01:15 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
sdurani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
Posts: 19,379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1014 Post(s)
Liked: 867
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Magnepan (www.magnepan.com) advocates a "tri-center" approach that places center speakers left and right of the screen.
From the photos I've seen, the pair of small vertical centre speakers is there to improve the transition from their horizontal centre speaker to their vertical main speakers. So the centre channel is played back by three speakers, hence the "tri-centre" moniker. BTW, they also recommend using this set-up when playing back 2-channel music, which means they're recommending extracting a centre signal. Refreshing to see a speaker company recommend that.

Sanjay
sdurani is offline  
post #25 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 02:30 PM
AVS Special Member
 
commsysman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,270
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 123 Post(s)
Liked: 253
In general, I think the best sound is achieved by limiting the center speaker to the frequencies between 120 Hz and 4000 Hz (The front L/R speakers should provide most of the bass, at least down to 60 Hz); All components of human speech and 90% of all music is in this frequency range.

A friend of mine was very unsatisfied with the sound of most commercial center speakers, and built his own using only two 4-inch drivers that are specified to cover that entire frequency range. This eliminates the need for a crossover, and he loves the performance. His front L/R speakers are large high-quality speakers.

Putting larger drivers in a center speaker system can result in bass that is out of phase with the main speakers and this degrades the bass performance of the system. A center speaker should NOT put out any significant bass for this reason!

Even using an identical 3rd speaker for the center does not result in matched performance in the bass, because the difference in placement almost always causes the center to operate out-of-phase at low frequencies relative to the listening position. This causes partial cancellation of primary bass waves from the main speakers and worse perceived bass performance than no center speaker at all.

One example of this design philosophy is the excellent Cambridge S50 center speaker, which uses two 4-inch drivers and a tweeter; 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).


Quote:
Originally Posted by c627627 View Post

So what am I missing by not using the wimpy center speaker from the series and using the large standard speaker as center?
commsysman is offline  
post #26 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 02:56 PM
Member
 
ryanb650's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 27
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
In the second picture you posted do you have the left and right speakers stacked on top of each other in the corner?
ryanb650 is offline  
post #27 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 04:06 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DonH50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monument CO
Posts: 6,087
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked: 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Magnepan (www.magnepan.com) advocates a "tri-center" approach that places center speakers left and right of the screen.
From the photos I've seen, the pair of small vertical centre speakers is there to improve the transition from their horizontal centre speaker to their vertical main speakers. So the centre channel is played back by three speakers, hence the "tri-centre" moniker. BTW, they also recommend using this set-up when playing back 2-channel music, which means they're recommending extracting a centre signal. Refreshing to see a speaker company recommend that.

Correct, of course. As for multichannel "stereo", a lot of early recordings were done with three-channel systems, and a lot of folk thought that was the only way to do "stereo". Be nice to see a resurgence of multichannel music recordings. Kal can certainly speak to that...

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
DonH50 is offline  
post #28 of 49 Old 08-22-2012, 05:15 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
sdurani's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Monterey Park, CA
Posts: 19,379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1014 Post(s)
Liked: 867
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

a lot of early recordings were done with three-channel systems
Indeed, I have some RCA Living Stereo and Nat King Cole SACDs that are 3-channel mixes. Eye opening to listen to, considering how much of the mix is in the centre channel.

Sanjay
sdurani is offline  
post #29 of 49 Old 08-23-2012, 02:56 PM
Member
 
beezar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

Even using an identical 3rd speaker for the center does not result in matched performance in the bass, because the difference in placement almost always causes the center to operate out-of-phase at low frequencies relative to the listening position. This causes partial cancellation of primary bass waves from the main speakers and worse perceived bass performance than no center speaker at all.
One example of this design philosophy is the excellent Cambridge S50 center speaker, which uses two 4-inch drivers and a tweeter; 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).

What you are saying doesn't make too much sense to me. I would think having 3 identical speakers would be ideal because as you pan across the front stage (eg: going from left to center to right), you don't get the same bass output from all 3 speakers at the same time, but rather it would pan across the speakers as well. And if you have a center with weak bass performance compared to your left and right speakers, as you pan across the front stage (eg: from left to center to right) you would hear decent bass in the left, then you would all of a sudden lose bass performance in the center speaker then regain it in the right speaker, which can't sound good.

I'm of course talking about localizable bass in the frequencies of above around 80Hz.
beezar is offline  
post #30 of 49 Old 08-23-2012, 03:39 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 9,661
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 1347
Quote:
Originally Posted by beezar View Post

I would think having 3 identical speakers would be ideal because as you pan across the front stage (eg: going from left to center to right), you don't get the same bass output from all 3 speakers at the same time, but rather it would pan across the speakers as well. And if you have a center with weak bass performance compared to your left and right speakers, as you pan across the front stage (eg: from left to center to right) you would hear decent bass in the left, then you would all of a sudden lose bass performance in the center speaker then regain it in the right speaker, which can't sound good.
I'm of course talking about localizable bass in the frequencies of above around 80Hz.
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.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
Bill Fitzmaurice is online now  
Reply Speakers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off