Goodbye Center Channel - Page 14 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #391 of 421 Old 11-11-2014, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post
My 2005 Pioneer 1014 THX receiver reduced the dynamic range a great deal when downmixing to 4.1. A number of other threads on AVS and HomeTheaterShack talked about and tested this with other receivers as well.
I have Master & Commander DVD & BluRay. If I pick the DTS track, the phantom center doesn't make the receiver reduce DR, but on the Dolby Digital track, it does, and it's terrible. The same as using the receiver's dynamic range compressor settings, which robs the soundtrack of all life and impact.
Decode the audio in the disc player. The AVR will not apply DRC to PCM. The issue is not the disc, it's the AVR. It should not force DRC with phantom center, but some did that.

More AVRs are offering things like dialog enhance that can emphasize the center channel or voice. Not sure how that works with phantom center, but it should still do so. Keep an eye out for it when next you shop for an AVR.

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post #392 of 421 Old 11-11-2014, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
Decode the audio in the disc player. The AVR will not apply DRC to PCM. The issue is not the disc, it's the AVR. It should not force DRC with phantom center, but some did that.
He doesn't have an HDMI receiver.
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post #393 of 421 Old 11-11-2014, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Luke M View Post
He doesn't have an HDMI receiver.
oops.

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post #394 of 421 Old 11-11-2014, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
Decode the audio in the disc player. The AVR will not apply DRC to PCM. The issue is not the disc, it's the AVR. It should not force DRC with phantom center, but some did that.

More AVRs are offering things like dialog enhance that can emphasize the center channel or voice. Not sure how that works with phantom center, but it should still do so. Keep an eye out for it when next you shop for an AVR.
Thanks for that suggestion Roger. I'm currently running a phantom center with my JBL M2's and they do a fantastic job of it, but the whole DRC issue had me a bit hesitant to continue. I also have the Marantz 7702, do you know if it applies DRC to DD with a phantom center?

PCM is a workaraound I can live with, but maybe I don't have to?
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post #395 of 421 Old 11-11-2014, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post
Thanks for that suggestion Roger. I'm currently running a phantom center with my JBL M2's and they do a fantastic job of it, but the whole DRC issue had me a bit hesitant to continue. I also have the Marantz 7702, do you know if it applies DRC to DD with a phantom center?
I have a 7702 but have not tried phantom center. But all modern processors have shifted the downmixing away from the audio codec to the next DSP, post processing, and that breaks the trigger to activate DRC. Which is good. I'm confident you will not have a DRC problem with the 7702. And if you do, they can fix it with a firmware update, like they just did for the noise calibration bug.

And the 7702 has a Dialog Level Adj (p174), just in case...

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post #396 of 421 Old 11-26-2014, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Passive biamping provides no benefit.
Here you go
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post #397 of 421 Old 11-26-2014, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sbradley02 View Post
Why did you quote me?
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post #398 of 421 Old 11-26-2014, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Why did you quote me?
I added an active crossover (your post was in response to one of mine a long time back when I described how I passive bi-amped my mains since I had the extra amp channels freed up). I probably should have added more context.

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post #399 of 421 Old 11-27-2014, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bookishboy13 View Post
In a previous thread regarding using two center channel speakers, one above the display, one below, AudioJosh noted that he doesn't use a center channel, and that a good system doesn't need one. I was running Paradigm Signature bookshelves and my salesman talked me into adding a center speaker. With something bordering on evangelical passion, he told me the center channel is the most important speaker in the system. I bought it, installed it, hated it, and finally took it out. My receiver (Pioneer Elite) has the NO center channel setting and this works better than fine after a good set-up. The sound stage, for my tastes, are much more immersive. In fact, my current thinking is that the F/R are the most important, followed by the surrounds, followed by the center if you have a large, square room. Thoughts?
For all this talk about how important your center is and that it performs 70% or whatever of all the action, I'm not sure why it's so small. I think the only time you should have a center is when it's identical to your mains. Like the same exact speaker. That's why I don't use a center and it sounds fine, takes less power and cleaner
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post #400 of 421 Old 11-27-2014, 10:01 AM
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My TX-NR929 9.1/11.1 receiver has adjustable 'screen centered dialog' setting.

It optionally adds an adjustable amount of center channel information to the l/r and height channels to improve the localization of sound around a projector screen or large TV.

This is sort of like running a phantom center channel, except it tries to preserve the advantages of a center while improving the localization to the center of the screen.

It seems to work fairly well, but in my system the heights and center all have 'compromised' sound and the seating position is close so the utility of the setting is not so great. It might work much better in a professional quality home theater.

Despite the coloration of voices I prefer the center channel. For a while, I used two horizontally-mounted towers as a center channel above the TV. That helped but it introduces its own problems, such as having to mount a huge shelf to the wall, and it also compromised the effectiveness of height channels. Plus the diffuse sound from the huge center channel essentially destroyed the imaging.

Putting the horizontal towers under the TV would have meant replacing the stand with something that will hold them, and separating the l/r towers more. That would have compromised the wide channels.

There is really no substitute for a good center speaker. IMO the choice of speakers for surround is driven by the choice of center channel, unless budget comes into play (as it does for me) in which case, well, either live with it or without it but it is not the same.

Placing the center speaker into a stand, even one like mine that is open around the sides, will confine the speaker between two parallel shelves and that instantly degrades the sound even more than an inferior center speaker alone will. An enclosed stand is even worse. Gone are the days when speakers had such poor bass they needed the added boom of a bookshelf to enclose them in boundaries. Just putting it on a dedicated stand will improve the sound of a poor center speaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by indio22 View Post
With my 100" projector screen, a negative I have found using a center channel, is that the vocals and many other sounds, appear to be coming from below the screen. Well, this is because the center channel is in fact located below the screen! This seems to me a problem intrinsic to single center channel setups - unless perhaps you can place the center channel behind the screen using a material that allows sound to come through.

I tested using the phantom channel setup, and in some cases it seems to do a better job of making sounds appear like they are coming from the charactors/objects on the screen. This is likely because the L/R speakers are located higher up on each side, and volume of the sounds between them can trick the brain into thinking voices and other sounds are coming directly from the screen, or even somewhat left or right on the screen. Center channel can't do this since it is only one speaker.

I would be interested to read comment on the above mechanics, because it does seem a flaw when using a single center channel located below a screen. I would also add, phantom channel to my ear, gives a more expansive sound, compared to center channel, where sometimes if a part of a film has mainly center channel sound, it seems like I am watching the movie in mono sound. Might not be a problem with a small screen, but larger screen it is noticable. On the other hand, a few times using phantom center, the sound did seem too wide and expansive, maybe not focused enough.

For now I am using the real center channel in 5.1 setup, since I have it. But might try playing around with phantom setup again.
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post #401 of 421 Old 11-27-2014, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by snyderkv View Post
For all this talk about how important your center is and that it performs 70% or whatever of all the action, I'm not sure why it's so small. I think the only time you should have a center is when it's identical to your mains. Like the same exact speaker. That's why I don't use a center and it sounds fine, takes less power and cleaner
It's the center *channel* that is important.

It's the center *speaker* that is often small as manufactured and purchased.

It's a mindset holdover from centers as novelty afterthought in Pro Logic days to use a wimpy center. We still call the stereo pair "mains". If anything, the center could deserve to be a beefier, more capable timbre-matched speaker, IMO.

Manufacturers don't necessarily design the best center speaker acoustically, performance-wise. And customers don't necessarily pick or look for the best speaker for their room. And they don't place it correctly.

Customer education (and manfs playing into miseducation), space, aesthetics, all play a part.

But that doesn't mean that the center channel is a compromised concept. It's been shown to be ideal, objectively and subjectively.

Phantom can work just as well, maybe better, than LCR... for a single listening position.

But if you care about off-axis listeners, you'll try to keep their distance-to-speakers more consistent. Use a bigger room. Use more speakers (center and surrounds).

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post #402 of 421 Old 11-27-2014, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post
It's the center *channel* that is important.

It's the center *speaker* that small as manufactured and purchased.

Manufacturers don't necessarily design the best center speaker acoustically, performance-wise. And customers don't necessarily pick or look for the best speaker for their room.

But that doesn't mean that the center channel is a compromised concept. It's been shown to be ideal, objectively and subjectively.

Phantom can work just as well, maybe better, than LCR... for a single listening position.

But if you care about off-axis listeners, you'll try to keep their distance-to-speakers more consistent. Use a bigger room. Use more speakers (center and surrounds).
Not just for a single listener. Most of the time I have two listeners, myself and my wife. We have a theater loveseat (with cupholders in the center section) with the seat's centerline roughly aligned with the center point of the speakers. So we are definitely off axis, but not dramatically. Imaging is superb with the phantom center.

A number of people here prefer phantom centers. For them, an informal poll. How many seats do you have in your theater, and how many of them are off axis, and by how much? What issues if any do you experience in the off axis seating positions?
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post #403 of 421 Old 11-27-2014, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherylJosie View Post
My TX-NR929 9.1/11.1 receiver has adjustable 'screen centered dialog' setting.

It optionally adds an adjustable amount of center channel information to the l/r and height channels to improve the localization of sound around a projector screen or large TV.

This is sort of like running a phantom center channel, except it tries to preserve the advantages of a center while improving the localization to the center of the screen.


It seems to work fairly well, but in my system the heights and center all have 'compromised' sound and the seating position is close so the utility of the setting is not so great. It might work much better in a professional quality home theater.

Despite the coloration of voices I prefer the center channel. For a while, I used two horizontally-mounted towers as a center channel above the TV. That helped but it introduces its own problems, such as having to mount a huge shelf to the wall, and it also compromised the effectiveness of height channels. Plus the diffuse sound from the huge center channel essentially destroyed the imaging.

Putting the horizontal towers under the TV would have meant replacing the stand with something that will hold them, and separating the l/r towers more. That would have compromised the wide channels.

There is really no substitute for a good center speaker. IMO the choice of speakers for surround is driven by the choice of center channel, unless budget comes into play (as it does for me) in which case, well, either live with it or without it but it is not the same.

Placing the center speaker into a stand, even one like mine that is open around the sides, will confine the speaker between two parallel shelves and that instantly degrades the sound even more than an inferior center speaker alone will. An enclosed stand is even worse. Gone are the days when speakers had such poor bass they needed the added boom of a bookshelf to enclose them in boundaries. Just putting it on a dedicated stand will improve the sound of a poor center speaker.
That is really nice; I was not aware the 929 had that capability! I have the 809 and as far as I know, it does not. This might address the issue I have has with center channel speakers.

I have tried 4 or 5 different center channel speakers and not been much impressed with any of them. Invariably, I lost the resonant, baritone quality of male voice, no matter what crossover settings I tried with both my Yamaha RX-V1800 and Onkyo TX-NR809, or the subwoofer. It did not help that, because of my huge Mitsubishi CRT RPTV, I had to set the speaker on top of that big box.

Now, maybe more high end models with a feature like that 929 might be able to allow me to get the type of sound I get with running the "phantom" setting. I have been running phantom for 4 or 5 years now.

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post #404 of 421 Old 11-29-2014, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mtrot View Post
I have tried 4 or 5 different center channel speakers and not been much impressed with any of them.... ...Now, maybe more high end models with a feature like that 929 might be able to allow me to get the type of sound I get with running the "phantom" setting. I have been running phantom for 4 or 5 years now.
You probably are shopping with too little budget, IMO, like me. If we could afford something like this

http://www.mfk-projects.com/Home_The...r_speaker.html

we would most likely be happy... and broke.

I do not consider the TX-NR929 to be a 'high end' receiver. All Onkyo IMO will have HDMI failure due to local regulator electrolytic filter capacitors losing their storage capacity within 5 years under normal use and sometimes within 1 year, according to my personal experience with them (and others with similar experiences to mine).

I do not consider any equipment that 'reliably fails' to be 'high end' unless it is a disposable part like a projector lamp where such failures are expected and disclosed.

I presume 'high end' equipment to use reliable designs and high-end components that last for decade(s) under continuous use.
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post #405 of 421 Old 11-29-2014, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CherylJosie View Post
You probably are shopping with too little budget, IMO, like me. If we could afford something like this

http://www.mfk-projects.com/Home_The...r_speaker.html

we would most likely be happy... and broke.


I do not consider the TX-NR929 to be a 'high end' receiver. All Onkyo IMO will have HDMI failure due to local regulator electrolytic filter capacitors losing their storage capacity within 5 years under normal use and sometimes within 1 year, according to my personal experience with them (and others with similar experiences to mine).

I do not consider any equipment that 'reliably fails' to be 'high end' unless it is a disposable part like a projector lamp where such failures are expected and disclosed.

I presume 'high end' equipment to use reliable designs and high-end components that last for decade(s) under continuous use.
Uhhh...yeah, that might do the trick! On a more affordable level for mere mortals, I have always dreamed of one of these:

http://legacyaudio.com/products/view/marquis-hd/



By "high end", I just referred to the 929's ability mentioned above to customize the vocal qualities in the center signal and divert some to the front L/R channel speakers.

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post #406 of 421 Old 12-07-2014, 10:34 AM
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OR, mod an existing speaker you might already have (providing its a good sonic match).

I just finished doing a mod of one of my JBL PT800s. So now I can orientate it either vertically or horizontally, and still have the tweeter & midrange drivers vertically aligned.
Its just a matter of cutting a circle around the tweeter/midrange to make a rotating modular HF/MF unit.
Here is what can be done with a quality jigsaw and a steady hand. Mod a 3-way vertical speaker so it can be used either vertically or horizontally.
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This topic needs some bump up. Very intresting. There is lot of talk that you don`t need center speaker. Especially with Kef speakers because they have that Uni-Q driver. Some quotes from the Kef threads:

"I've been saying for years, with Kef's you don't need a center channel. Just toe in the L and R so that they cross in front of the center listening position. That way you always hear the dialog coming from the screen (regardless of seating position), as oppose to hearing the dialog obviously coming from a center channel speaker below the screen. Sounds much better than any center channel IMO. "

"After all that, I settled on the R300s. They were about double my budget, but they sounded so good to me that stretched the budget and went for them. I could not be happier with the purchase. The cabinet finish is beautiful. The sound is jaw dropping amazing. I was able to get the dealer to split a pair and sell me 3 for LCR, and I damn near returned the 3rd speaker. The imaging is so good that from the 2 primary listening positions, I can't tell if the center is on or off. "



Maybe i have to try some Kef`s with phantom center (4.1). It is pain in the $ss with the big plasma 64" and the center speaker. Have to keep it in under the tv and inside the tv cabinet. It doesn`t sound good. Three fronts are Monitor Audio BX5 towers & BX Centre LCR. Distance between speakers are 2,2metres (tweeter to tweeter). They are toed in slightly and my tv chair is center from speakers. Almost watch movies by my self only, so mancave it is. I think phantom should work for me. Maybe with Kef speakers coaxial elements the soundstage would be much wider and people has said that it doesn`t matter if you go little off-axis with them, because they sound so "wide" .

Do you think with Kef Uni-Q elements the phantom mode would be much easier to complish? I could sell my cheapish MA speakers and buy some more expensive Kef F/R speakers. Also the rear would be kef`s..
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Originally Posted by Mr_Hifi View Post
Maybe i have to try some Kef`s with phantom center (4.1). It is pain in the $ss with the big plasma 64" and the center speaker. Have to keep it in under the tv and inside the tv cabinet. It doesn`t sound good. Three fronts are Monitor Audio BX5 towers & BX Centre LCR. Distance between speakers are 2,2metres (tweeter to tweeter). They are toed in slightly and my tv chair is center from speakers. Almost watch movies by my self only, so mancave it is. I think phantom should work for me. Maybe with Kef speakers coaxial elements the soundstage would be much wider and people has said that it doesn`t matter if you go little off-axis with them, because they sound so "wide" .

Do you think with Kef Uni-Q elements the phantom mode would be much easier to complish? I could sell my cheapish MA speakers and buy some more expensive Kef F/R speakers. Also the rear would be kef`s..
You do not have to limit your selection to KEF. Any quality L/R will image well, good phantom center.
When I listen to stereo music, I can move all around and the center image stays put.
The main problem with your setup is the TV cabinet.
I avoid those things like the plague.

I just looked at the BX...straight MTM...not the best choice...
but if it was forward of everything else, it would be a big improvement.

I like to think outside the box. I have two 15" subs, one is at center stage, turned 90*. I mounted my mod PT800 center to the top of the sub, so its hanging in front of the sub box.
Then I built a shelf, that sits on the sub and connects to the L brackets that support the center. That shelf is both large enough and low enough to mount any flat screen up to 65". And be at the proper elevation.
Currently 32" screen...looking for a 60" 4K.
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Custom, one of a kind pair, MJC212 mains, mod PT800 center, PT800 surrounds, SUB1500s. Parasound P7, Citation 19, Parasound HCA2205A, HK AVR3600, Marantz TT, Denon disc player, MacBook Pro w/ DragonFly usbDAC.
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I've been center channel-free for two weeks now, don't miss it at all. IMO sweet-spot listening is superior with a phantom center—even with Atmos.

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I've been center channel-free for two weeks now, don't miss it at all. IMO sweet-spot listening is superior with a phantom center—even with Atmos.
With my system/setup, I can go either way...its all good.

Custom, one of a kind pair, MJC212 mains, mod PT800 center, PT800 surrounds, SUB1500s. Parasound P7, Citation 19, Parasound HCA2205A, HK AVR3600, Marantz TT, Denon disc player, MacBook Pro w/ DragonFly usbDAC.
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You do not have to limit your selection to KEF. Any quality L/R will image well, good phantom center.
When I listen to stereo music, I can move all around and the center image stays put.
The main problem with your setup is the TV cabinet.
I avoid those things like the plague.

I just looked at the BX...straight MTM...not the best choice...
but if it was forward of everything else, it would be a big improvement.

I like to think outside the box. I have two 15" subs, one is at center stage, turned 90*. I mounted my mod PT800 center to the top of the sub, so its hanging in front of the sub box.
Then I built a shelf, that sits on the sub and connects to the L brackets that support the center. That shelf is both large enough and low enough to mount any flat screen up to 65". And be at the proper elevation.
Currently 32" screen...looking for a 60" 4K.
Seriously, i want to get rid of that ugly box. I can`t put it anywhere else than inside tv-cabinet. After i read this topic 14pages i tried to put center off, and wow. I was suprised that i didn`t loose anything. It feels i can hear dialogue better i don`t know. Have to listen it more to be sure. It is sad that we are brainwashed to thinking that everybody needs center speaker. For my little mancave apartment the idea less is more sounds good to me. I can put more money into L/R speakers.

I like the sound of Monitor Audio sure, but i think Kef`s would be at next level and the more i read about R100/LS50/R300 it makes me think that phantom mode would sound even better. BX5 the soundstage isn`t that wide. I have to go listen Kef`s. Never heard them.

My use is ~95% movies, so maybe 4.1 would work nicely. And remember i watch movies almost by my self at the center in the sweet spot.
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Originally Posted by Mr_Hifi View Post
Seriously, i want to get rid of that ugly box. I can`t put it anywhere else than inside tv-cabinet. After i read this topic 14pages i tried to put center off, and wow. I was suprised that i didn`t loose anything. It feels i can hear dialogue better i don`t know. Have to listen it more to be sure. It is sad that we are brainwashed to thinking that everybody needs center speaker. For my little mancave apartment the idea less is more sounds good to me. I can put more money into L/R speakers.

I like the sound of Monitor Audio sure, but i think Kef`s would be at next level and the more i read about R100/LS50/R300 it makes me think that phantom mode would sound even better. BX5 the soundstage isn`t that wide. I have to go listen Kef`s. Never heard them.

My use is ~95% movies, so maybe 4.1 would work nicely. And remember i watch movies almost by my self at the center in the sweet spot.
As I was saying, your center placement in the cabinet is what is screwing it all up. So yes, using phantom center will give better results...no question about that.
Any early reflections caused by the cabinet just muddles the dialogue.
If you looked at my two thumbnail pics, you saw my center forward of everything, and slightly tilted up.

Custom, one of a kind pair, MJC212 mains, mod PT800 center, PT800 surrounds, SUB1500s. Parasound P7, Citation 19, Parasound HCA2205A, HK AVR3600, Marantz TT, Denon disc player, MacBook Pro w/ DragonFly usbDAC.
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I use analog out of Oppo 105 today (into Theta 6 shooter/casablanca). I am considering latest Marantz pre-pro (7702) or Pioneer receiver.

Sorry I am a bit confused- so if I remove center channel speaker (wife would love it!) then won't hi-res signal be compromised (compression?)? From above posts seems like not using center is a better compromise than using unmatched speaker or poorly positioned center?

Appreciate your inputs.

For now dialog I hear from center is more clear-and forward/upfont than recessed dialog (without center) especially for TV; for DVDs it has been a wash but seems like dialog is further 'behind' without center.

Last edited by newb2012; Today at 11:52 AM. Reason: added info
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With my system/setup, I can go either way...its all good.
Not only can I go either way, when reviewing a system I have to implement a physical center.

Mark Henninger
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post #415 of 421 Old Today, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by newb2012 View Post
I use analog out of Oppo 105 today (into Theta 6 shooter/casablanca). I am considering latest Marantz pre-pro (7702) or Pioneer receiver.

Sorry I am a bit confused- so if I remove center channel speaker (wife would love it!) then won't hi-res signal be compromised (compression?)? From above posts seems like not using center is a better compromise than using unmatched speaker or poorly positioned center?

Appreciate your inputs.
The signal, Hi-ris or not, has nothing to do with it.
When I listen to 96/24 audio, its only in stereo, no center.
If your center is not a sonic match to your mains, poorly designed and/or poorly positioned, then phantom center is certainly preferred.

Custom, one of a kind pair, MJC212 mains, mod PT800 center, PT800 surrounds, SUB1500s. Parasound P7, Citation 19, Parasound HCA2205A, HK AVR3600, Marantz TT, Denon disc player, MacBook Pro w/ DragonFly usbDAC.
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post #416 of 421 Old Today, 11:55 AM
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Not only can I go either way, when reviewing a system I have to implement a physical center.
Well yes, if you are reviewing a 5.1, 7.1 system. As opposed to a 2.0, 2.1 system

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post #417 of 421 Old Today, 12:04 PM
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This thread should be titled "hello center channel" at least for me..


I have been phantom for at least eight months and I miss it terribly. I am a HUGE blu-ray concert fanantic and even with decent imaging the missing of a center for me has been huge. I have adjusted for movies I guess but I am still in the camp that a center is key for overall enjoyment/sound quality with blu-ray concerts. A matching center to L/R is not possible for the majority of us due to living room set-ups but plan b is a higher end center. I don't understand why some mfgs that offer very good to excellent L/R in a line-up at times have a small boxy sounding center as the only option. Many mfgs are offering two centers in a line-up to help with this... This is smart and should be a thought for other mfgs to follow.


The KEF Uni-q might help with this as mentioned above if going phantom but still if you are in to some serious blu-ray concerts I stand-by the fact that the center is make or break at least to me.. I sure miss it for movies as well.


I fixed that by ordering some new KEFs and the larger center pictured in my avatar . Uni-q left/right and Uni-q center should be amazing. I have of course auditioned the L/R but center was not available to audition but I would imagine I will be in heaven with this set-up.. The uni-q driver is the best for imaging I have heard in any speaker I have auditioned in my price range, in my opinion and to my ears only of course.


Now if they would just arive. That center weighs near 100lbs. Going to have to get some help getting her in to place...


My vote is center YES and from someone that went from a great center to no center to soon back to center. I will leave the phantom behind. This time for good.. Ready for a long blu-ray concert marathon soon, I hope.


Rick

Last edited by Mr.SoftDome; Today at 12:33 PM.
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My vote is center YES and from someone that went from a great center to no center to soon back to center. I will leave the phantom behind. This time for good.. Ready for a long blu-ray concert marathon soon, I hope.


Rick
I certainly advocate using a center, but only if its a sonic match and can be properly placed.

As for manufacturers...ever since the days of DPL, the majority of them only gave a fleeting thought to the center. Which was most certainly evident of their designs...or lack there of.

Center designs have gotten much better since then (at least from some companies). And even center offerings from a given company can range from truly awful to very good.

I see entertainment centers, to house the flat screen, all gear, including the center to be a real detriment to producing a good center image. Just too many early reflections and boxy sound.

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Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post
I certainly advocate using a center, but only if its a sonic match and can be properly placed.

As for manufacturers...ever since the days of DPL, the majority of them only gave a fleeting thought to the center. Which was most certainly evident of their designs...or lack there of.

Center designs have gotten much better since then (at least from some companies). And even center offerings from a given company can range from truly awful to very good.

I see entertainment centers, to house the flat screen, all gear, including the center to be a real detriment to producing a good center image. Just too many early reflections and boxy sound.

Absolutely and I am one of those that have to house my gear etc with a rather large AV cabinet. It helps to mount the display on the wall and use the top for center but many folks seem against this and insist on cramming the center into the cabinet. Mounting the display and placing the center on top of the cabinet goes a long way here. I wish I had a dedicated room and could use a dedicated matching center but like many that is just not in the cards but I believe when one auditions and if one is going to use a center they should look at the available line and its center offering very close. There is one brand that I will not mention thats entry line has some really wonderful sounding towers available. I mean really good! Their center is the size of a toaster , oh my gosh and this is a brand known for stereo and HT. A case where you may be forced into phantom but then I have to ask why? If you are at least 50% into HT and it's not more of a stereo only rig why aren't you looking around at different brands with better center offerings? Yes they exist and not at the extreme high level either. Yes you have to like/love the sound of L/R to begin with but just saying..


But as many of us know and for me as well, you can almost next to never audition the center with the L/R. They just are not there to hear in typical audio shops. You have to kind of look at the specs and perhaps size to form an "unknown" opinon as well as L/R sound. That's too bad...really. But if it's the size of a toaster or two then perhaps that is going to give you a clue.


Rick
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post #420 of 421 Old Today, 01:17 PM
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About 15~16 years ago I was looking at the Energy Connoisseur & Veritas series.
I really liked the towers, but the centers left much to be desired.
I said screw it and built up my then existing 2.1 L212 system into a 7.2 system.

Quote:
Absolutely and I am one of those that have to house my gear etc with a rather large AV cabinet. It helps to mount the display on the wall and use the top for center but many folks seem against this and insist on cramming the center into the cabinet.
I've always gotten around that by using a vertical equipment stand, set off to the side, first with a RPTV and now with a flat screen.
The current setup of the sub/TV/center speaker is very compact and completely independent of the gear. (see post #408 )

Custom, one of a kind pair, MJC212 mains, mod PT800 center, PT800 surrounds, SUB1500s. Parasound P7, Citation 19, Parasound HCA2205A, HK AVR3600, Marantz TT, Denon disc player, MacBook Pro w/ DragonFly usbDAC.

Last edited by 4DHD; Today at 01:28 PM.
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