Goodbye Center Channel - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 384 Old 01-14-2013, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Tank_PD View Post

The C3 is a very capable center with a LFE, defined by Paradigm as -3db, of 30Hz. It should go plenty low & match very well with the bookshelves.

I guess we will not find out if it was a matching C1|C3 model. Is the OP long gone?

I'm curious about what center he had, too. Some people will have great mains and then get some completely mismatched center speaker, so anything is possible.

 

The Signature centers to have a vertically-oriented mid/tweeter, so it's going to have less comb filtering problems than others, I suspect. It'd be interesting to see a directivity sonogram or polars for the speaker... like does the tweeter get "beamy" in the upper end? 

 

If the OP has the S2 bookshelf and the C1 center, the latter has 3dB less sensitivity (oddly, considering it has more drivers). If he runs the speaker up to the limits, the center could become harsh?

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post #92 of 384 Old 01-14-2013, 03:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dozer95667 View Post

Most important = mains
Next most important = sub

More important than any of it... enjoy your system. I can't tell you how many times I have got my system dialed in and will be blissfully enjoying music or movies... and then... I go to the internet to find consensus and support that what I'm doing is ok.

Invariably this internet feedback is confusing and makes me unhappy on balance. I need more amp, better wires, more toe-in, a better sweet spot, room compensation EQ, a radio shack SPL meter and REW software, I gotta do test tones, calibrate... I need to get rid of B&W speakers because they have a bad EQ curve, I have to get a timbre matched center channel, I need to change my rear speaker wires to 12 gauge because they are 6 ohms, I need a power conditioner, I have to turn my center channel right side up or upside down... I have to make sure my center tweeters are within two feet of my main tweeters, I have to make sure my mains are more than two feet from the walls and corners, I have to put sound absorbent fabric in the corners and cover up the glass topped coffee table....

I promise you one thing... this bull$hitttt never ever ever ever... ends.

Enjoy your system without a center! If you're doing it the way YOU like it.. you're on the right track. If you give a crap what I think about your system.. you're on the wrong track.

This is the best thing I've ever read on this forum!!
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post #93 of 384 Old 01-14-2013, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Second, when the CC content is down-mixed into the L/R, it increases the levels in the L/R channels. In order to accommodate this increase in info and levels, Dynamic Range Compression, (DRC), must be implemented to ensure the levels don't exceed the maximum digital levels, (AKA "digital overs"). This DRC implementation is not the same as, nor as aggressive as "Night Mode", but it can still limit the overall dynamic range of the content.
... by less than 3db (actually I think 1.5db is the correct specific number)

Assuming that the same frequency was being maxed on all three speakers before; and assuming that you are right about the need to maintain the same max level post-processing, then you'd be looking at less than -3db on each remaining speaker... and only on the topmost sound.

It doesn't sound like a common occurrence.
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post #94 of 384 Old 01-14-2013, 04:23 PM
 
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One time I hooked another two speakers to my fronts, so I had two on the left, two on the right, the first two were right next to the TV, the second two were another 5 feet away to each side.

I was only running stereo as I was in the process of getting rid of my 5.1, so I was running 4 tower speakers at the fronts, got to say, it never sounded so good before or since. Brilliant panning effects even in stereo and dialogue was great no matter where you sat.

Not feasible in my setup as anything other than an experiment but I did think it was better than the LCR I had before
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post #95 of 384 Old 01-14-2013, 07:28 PM
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Here is my situation. http://www.avsforum.com/t/1449789/3-1or-2-1-newegg-ht-setup-what-do-you-think-advice-needed/0_50

Placement for center speaker is not optimal. unless i cut my tv stand, or mount it 80in or so above the tv.

IF i were to go 2.1 for now, then match a center later.

What speakers can you reccomend from newegg? Left / Right & Sub

Need a receiver also.

I will have to update some room pics from my seated area with new tv on stand.

thanks all for your help
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post #96 of 384 Old 01-14-2013, 08:53 PM
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It sounds like you got the advice there in your thread: match center to the other two, the watts matter less than one thinks, room eq can help.

I didnt see you list the system's goals: one person sitting centered? Costume dramas? Acid metal? A family of four for TV and occassional blockbusters? Forgoing the center and surrounds for a while lets you at least save up for better speakers.
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post #97 of 384 Old 01-14-2013, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

It sounds like you got the advice there in your thread: match center to the other two, the watts matter less than one thinks, room eq can help.

I didnt see you list the system's goals: one person sitting centered? Costume dramas? Acid metal? A family of four for TV and occassional blockbusters? Forgoing the center and surrounds for a while lets you at least save up for better speakers.

Two people sittting at both ends of couch " i will be centered smile.gif " dog lays in the middle rolleyes.gif

No cable/sat viewing. All netflix/hulu and streamed movies from my pc to ps3.

Ps3 gaming / Wii

When we are both watching : pretty much everything except dramas.

Wife will watch chick flix and asian dramas at night when i am at work.

Music is pretty much 70/80/90s for me all types. I am not really into the new stuff.
Wife newer stuff and not 70/80s lol

i know i am all over with my posts & threads, just want to get it right first time.

This weekend i am going to take pictures of my room with measurements.

thanks
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post #98 of 384 Old 01-15-2013, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

I too would never give up my CC. A "hard" speaker in the CC position, properly selected and placed, is hugely beneficial. It provides an excellent timbre-match and a locks dialogue appropriately to the on-screen image. It also keeps sound effects that "pan" through the CC consistent and coherent as they move across the soundstage.

Here is my front soundstage:





Craig

Why would you not have matching speakers in the front with your setup? LCR I find is the best. I had a matching tower as my center and moved my center (which I never used) to the back in my 6.0 setup. I believe if you have the space and running a projector, use matching towers or book shelves is key. My next option would be to use a single bookshelf speaker from the same model line up, as I find they work better than a center channel speaker.

This may of been mentioned already but Center channel speaker ONLY look the way that they do because people needed a speaker to fit below or a tube TV. If that was not a problem companies wold be selling speakers in sets of three as that is the best.
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post #99 of 384 Old 01-15-2013, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklightning View Post

Why would you not have matching speakers in the front with your setup? LCR I find is the best. I had a matching tower as my center and moved my center (which I never used) to the back in my 6.0 setup. I believe if you have the space and running a projector, use matching towers or book shelves is key. My next option would be to use a single bookshelf speaker from the same model line up, as I find they work better than a center channel speaker.

This may of been mentioned already but Center channel speaker ONLY look the way that they do because people needed a speaker to fit below or a tube TV. If that was not a problem companies wold be selling speakers in sets of three as that is the best.

He doesn't have a matching center because he found a really good deal for all of those used. They aren't very cheap speakers:D. His old set up though he had three identical fronts I believe.

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 #100 of 384 Old 01-15-2013, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

He doesn't have a matching center because he found a really good deal for all of those used. They aren't very cheap speakers:D. His old set up though he had three identical fronts I believe.
I understand. Deals are always good.
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post #101 of 384 Old 01-15-2013, 10:19 AM
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post #102 of 384 Old 01-15-2013, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Blacklightning View Post

I understand. Deals are always good.

I like good deals biggrin.gif

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 #103 of 384 Old 01-15-2013, 12:17 PM
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I think everyone found something we can agree about. We all like good deals, especially when it comes to speakers.
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post #104 of 384 Old 01-15-2013, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

I like good popcorn biggrin.gif

fixed your post for you smile.gif

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post #105 of 384 Old 01-15-2013, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by holt7153 View Post

fixed your post for you smile.gif

So true. ahha eating some right now

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 #106 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 06:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacklightning View Post

Why would you not have matching speakers in the front with your setup? LCR I find is the best. I had a matching tower as my center and moved my center (which I never used) to the back in my 6.0 setup. I believe if you have the space and running a projector, use matching towers or book shelves is key. My next option would be to use a single bookshelf speaker from the same model line up, as I find they work better than a center channel speaker.

This may of been mentioned already but Center channel speaker ONLY look the way that they do because people needed a speaker to fit below or a tube TV. If that was not a problem companies wold be selling speakers in sets of three as that is the best.
Did you read what I posted previous to that?
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Originally Posted by craig john View Post

The most optimal center channel speaker in a Home Theater System has the following characteristics:
[*] a 3rd speaker identical to the L/R's
[*] vertically oriented
[*] placed in the same horizontal plane as the L/R's
[*] tweeter at ear height



Note the bolded section...

As pokekevin said, I bought my speakers used. They came as a set and included the horizontal CC. These speakers are $7,500 each MSRP. I got them for less than half that. I agree that a 3rd LCR would be the best option. However, I can't justify the price of replacing the CC with another LCR @ $7,500. The Horizontal CC sounds just fine in the on-axis plane. It's only when you get significantly off-axis that the lobing becomes somewhat apparent. I don't sit off-axis, so I'm not concerned enough about it to spend the money to replace it.

Here are some measurements that show the on-axis, (purple), and off-axis, (15 degrees - red, and 30 degrees - blue), responses of the LCR and the CC:





The lobing is seen from 100 to about 700 Hz in the CC. Sitting directly in front of the CC and having the LR's pointed directly at the main LP, I am seated in the on-axis response for all 3 speakers.

The drivers in the CC are the exact same drivers as the LR's and the internal cabinet volume is exactly the same. The only difference between the horizontal CC and the vertical LCR's is the lateral arrangement of the woofers. In that respect, it as close a timbre-match to the L/R's as is possible. In every other way, I've optimized the setup of my CC. I built stands for the speakers that place all the tweeter/mids at the same height, which is seated ear height on my seating and riser. Finally, I've used Audyssey XT32 to equalize the speakers and duplicate the target curve for all 3 front speakers.

Craig

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


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post #107 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

His old set up though he had three identical fronts I believe.

Yes, 3 Atlantic Technology 8200e LR's across the front, all on stands with the tweeters at ear height behind an AT screen.

Craig

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post #108 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 06:42 AM
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I am going to be a bit lazy and not read the entire thread tongue.gif. Two things I can say. I have heard Craig's Triad setup. To me, it sounds really good and whether we were listening to HT content or multi channel music, the center always seemed to match the mains. Second, I have JM Labs 1027Be speakers and the matching CC1000Be center. The tweeter on my center blew so I had to send it out for repairs. It was gone for a few weeks. During that time I used the phantom setup for HT. After awhile I got used to it and thought it sounded pretty good. Movies were not that bad at all. Then I got my center back and went back to the traditional settings. I then remembered why I liked the center so much. It made movies just sound so much better "to me" with a real center. The drivers in my center are the same size drivers that are in my fronts but they are not the "same" drivers. JM Labs has different drivers for different applications, So while they are the same size, they are engineered differently because they are going in a different size box. After living without a center for a while, I don't think I would have a HT system without one. Now for 2ch music, my system is setup that the phantom image I get is really good and it seems like the center is on when it is not. I like the effect for music but when I watch movies, I like having a real center.

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post #109 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MIkeDuke View Post

I am going to be a bit lazy and not read the entire thread tongue.gif. Two things I can say. I have heard Craig's Triad setup. To me, it sounds really good and whether we were listening to HT content or multi channel music, the center always seemed to match the mains. Second, I have JM Labs 1027Be speakers and the matching CC1000Be center. The tweeter on my center blew so I had to send it out for repairs. It was gone for a few weeks. During that time I used the phantom setup for HT. After awhile I got used to it and thought it sounded pretty good. Movies were not that bad at all. Then I got my center back and went back to the traditional settings. I then remembered why I liked the center so much. It made movies just sound so much better "to me" with a real center. The drivers in my center are the same size drivers that are in my fronts but they are not the "same" drivers. JM Labs has different drivers for different applications, So while they are the same size, they are engineered differently because they are going in a different size box. After living without a center for a while, I don't think I would have a HT system without one. Now for 2ch music, my system is setup that the phantom image I get is really good and it seems like the center is on when it is not. I like the effect for music but when I watch movies, I like having a real center.

In think what you just said sums it up. For 2Ch music, you don't need the center, heck for multichannel music you don't need the center speaker. Having similar or identical speakersfor FL, FR and CC helps with the imaging.

When i listen to 2CH music i get such a good imaging that i feel like the CC speaker is there or at least i feel like the music is coming toward me from the center but in a good way. Movies and TV, dialogue programming is a different beast. While you "may" get away with just two fron speakers that sound good, having the CC helps make the dialogue more clearer, especially when you are watching in 5.1 and you have effects coming from all the other channles, you want your CC speaker delivering those lines as clear as possible.

But to each its own...
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post #110 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Szeppelin75 View Post
... heck for multichannel music you don't need the center speaker. Having similar or identical speakersfor FL, FR and CC helps with the imaging.

How is multi-channel music different from multi-channel TV or film such that you don't need a center speaker?

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post #111 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 08:14 AM
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Doesn't have dialogue. For multi channel music the center speaker is not as important as for movies or TV. Music from my perpective, sounds more natural comming from just two speakers. Multi channel music comes out of all 5, 7, 9 or whatever speakers you have, but there are different settings on a modern receiver like PLII Music or NEO 6 music that puts more emphasis on the FL and FR speakers than on the CC speaker, so what you hear, while Multi channel, concentrates more on the FL and FR speakers.

Even when i listen to my IPOD which is Multi channel mode or watch videos on Google TV which i have it on multi channel mode, my ears are more aware of the FL and FR speakers than the CC speaker. Sound is coming out of the CC speaker, but the imaging is good enough.

But hey, i have an identical speaker (from the FL and FR speakers) for my Center channel spaker, and i use it for multi channel, i'm ok with it, and maybe i would withput for music but not for TV and movies, which i need the dialogue comming from the CC speaker.
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post #112 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 08:30 AM
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Multi channel music comes out of all 5, 7, 9 or whatever speakers you have, but there are different settings on a modern receiver like PLII Music or NEO 6 music that puts more emphasis on the FL and FR speakers than on the CC speaker, so what you hear, while Multi channel, concentrates more on the FL and FR speakers.
For concert BDs or SACDs mixed in 5.1, I'd use - and I do use - a CC speaker to handle the content assigned specifically to that channel. IMO, that's preferable to taking the 5.1 audio content, processing it into 2.1 audio and then processing it back to multi-channel using PLIIx or NEO:6.


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post #113 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 08:37 AM
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I never or practically never listen to SACDs, if something is actually mixed in 5.1 be it a concert or a SACD, yeah, the CC speaker is necesary, i agree.
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post #114 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 11:41 AM
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I guess I still don't see the difference:

 

DTS disc of a concert:

  •           voices (singing) coming from different channels, such as the center. Aren't we more picky about the voices when it's singing, than just talking?
  •           musical instruments / effects coming from different channels, such as the center.

 

DTS film:

  •            voices (speaking - unless it's a musical) coming from different channels, especially the center. 
  •            musical instruments and sound effects coming from different channels, such as the center.

 

-------------

 

When discussing phantom center, I don't think [most of us] are referring to using stereo, downmixing 5.1 to 2.1, and/or upmixing back to a processing like DPL-IIx, etc. We're ONLY talking about turning off the center, such that the front-left and front-right now need to produce that channel's content. 

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post #115 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

I guess I still don't see the difference:

DTS disc of a concert:
  •           voices (singing) coming from different channels, such as the center. Aren't we more picky about the voices when it's singing, than just talking?
  •           musical instruments / effects coming from different channels, such as the center.

DTS film:
  •            voices (speaking - unless it's a musical) coming from different channels, especially the center. 
  •            musical instruments and sound effects coming from different channels, such as the center.


When discussing phantom center, I don't think [most of us] are referring to using stereo, downmixing 5.1 to 2.1, and/or upmixing back to a processing like DPL-IIx, etc. We're ONLY talking about turning off the center, such that the front-left and front-right now need to produce that channel's content. 

I wouldn't turn off the center when reproducing multi channel music, movies, concert or whatever. However i would turn down the CC speaker when listening to multichannel music, compared to the other two front speakers.

I agree that the CC speaker is important. I don't like the idea of a phantom center.
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post #116 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Szeppelin75 View Post
I wouldn't turn off the center when reproducing multi channel music, movies, concert or whatever. 

 

To be clear, I don't think anyone advocated "Hey, I have a fantastically set up front sound stage with a high quality center speaker positioned ideally...I think I'll turn it off."

 

Rather:

  • "Ugh, I have a middlin' to poor center speaker...I'd be better off using my fantastic front two speakers and not use a center, and I'm smart enough to know the tradeoffs."
  • or: "My display / furniture make any center speaker severely compromised. The lesser of the two evils is no center speaker."
  • or: "My fantastic two front speakers throw a wide, even sweet spot, and I'm smart enough to set them up to achieve such, so I'll save money on a center I don't need."

 

I agree, 'to each his own,' and we can't say "a center speaker will always be better," when we know how many compromised center speakers and positioning situations there are.

 

And we can't say "two good speakers will always present a better soundstage than using a center," when we know how many compromised mains there are, how there can be big lobing problems and off-axis soundfield collapsing, and how someone could've gotten a better matching center and used it with a projector screen to best effect.

 

I think we could agree that, "For Joe Six Pack, using low-to-middlin' quality equipment, in a typical space, a center speaker will do the best job for a multi-seat listening space."  ?

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post #117 of 384 Old 01-16-2013, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

To be clear, I don't think anyone advocated "Hey, I have a fantastically set up front sound stage with a high quality center speaker positioned ideally...I think I'll turn it off."

Rather:
  • "Ugh, I have a middlin' to poor center speaker...I'd be better off using my fantastic front two speakers and not use a center, and I'm smart enough to know the tradeoffs."
  • or: "My display / furniture make any center speaker severely compromised. The lesser of the two evils is no center speaker."
  • or: "My fantastic two front speakers throw a wide, even sweet spot, and I'm smart enough to set them up to achieve such, so I'll save money on a center I don't need."

I agree, 'to each his own,' and we can't say "a center speaker will always be better," when we know how many compromised center speakers and positioning situations there are.

And we can't say "two good speakers will always present a better soundstage than using a center," when we know how many compromised mains there are, how there can be big lobing problems and off-axis soundfield collapsing, and how someone could've gotten a better matching center and used it with a projector screen to best effect.

I think we could agree that, "For Joe Six Pack, using low-to-middlin' quality equipment, in a typical space, a center speaker will do the best job for a multi-seat listening space."  [/smile.gif:)B]?

Agree.

Cheers
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post #118 of 384 Old 01-21-2013, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob7145 View Post

With a center channel speaker you can do things that are not possible with a phantom center speaker. While viewing a sporting event you decide you would rather put your head in the blender with the margaritas than listen to another second of that obnoxious announcer. No problem, just turn the center channel Level down as low as it wil go. You still hear the all the game sounds, the crowd, the refs, everything except the announcer. It is more like being at the game. And when the commercials interrupt it works sometimes on them also! Phantom center just puts out twice as much annoying announcer haha. The openning ceremony for the Chinese Olympics was totally ruined by Mat Lower who talked continuously thru the entire event obscuring the music.
Try it. Of course most people want to hear the commercials during the Superbowl so it just depends on the event. Not much more trouble than changing the volume on the remote. I occasionally use it on Nascar races.

hard to believe I hadn't thought of that smile.gif I wil be actually unplugging the center during football, it's worth a try smile.gif
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post #119 of 384 Old 03-05-2013, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveCallas View Post

If you don't use a center channel, DD automatically initiates dynamic compression behind the scenes. This causes you to lose lots of LFE and dynamic peaks. Simply put, to get the full DD soundtrack experience, you MUST use a center channel, otherwise the presentation is compromised.
But there are ways around it, especially if you use external power amps for the L/R. A couple of resistors added to mix the C equally into L/R solves that because the AVR still thinks you have a C present.
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post #120 of 384 Old 03-05-2013, 08:18 PM
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I haven't had a CC for about 5 years and don't miss it, but the speakers I use offer controlled directivity and are sharply toed in so I have a wide sweet spot. It's usually me watching alone, or sometimes with GF, so phantom works perfectly. The new speakers have huge dynamic capability so will in no way be burdened with extra work in reproducing the centre as well.

BTW, what are those speakers Craig uses?
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