Break up pair of B&W 685s to use one as center speaker for TV's 5.1 setup? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-16-2013, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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I bought eight B&W 685s to put in my condo. I did not purchase a HTM61 or 62 because of the bad reviews and plan hook up five of the 685s to my living room TV (with a Denon AVR1713 amp and Boston ASW250 subwoofer).

Two of the 685s are going into my bedroom, facing the bed, primarily for music and to be attached to a TV if I put one there.

The last 685 is going into my study alone for music.

Is it a good idea to break up a pair of 685s like this so you can use one as the center speaker of a TV 5.1 setup? Any problem with using a single 685 in a room for music?

By the way, I'm getting white 685s and figuring out how to mount them on metal brackets from the ceiling frames (the ceilings are low so the sound won't be weird). I live in Manila and the 685s are one of the few good speakers for smaller rooms I can find cheaper here.

Hope to hear your thoughts!
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-16-2013, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Coolnewbie View Post

I bought eight B&W 685s to put in my condo. I did not purchase a HTM61 or 62 because of the bad reviews and plan hook up five of the 685s to my living room TV (with a Denon AVR1713 amp and Boston ASW250 subwoofer).

Two of the 685s are going into my bedroom, facing the bed, primarily for music and to be attached to a TV if I put one there.

The last 685 is going into my study alone for music.

Is it a good idea to break up a pair of 685s like this so you can use one as the center speaker of a TV 5.1 setup? Any problem with using a single 685 in a room for music?

By the way, I'm getting white 685s and figuring out how to mount them on metal brackets from the ceiling frames (the ceilings are low so the sound won't be weird). I live in Manila and the 685s are one of the few good speakers for smaller rooms I can find cheaper here.

Hope to hear your thoughts!

Nothing wrong at all using one for a center. In an ideal set-up, all the speakers in any system would be identical.

Using a single speaker in the study would run into the problem of only being able to play one channel of audio when everything using at least 2 channels. Unless your amp/receiver has an option to downmix a stereo signal into mono and then pump that mix to the speaker, you will be missing quite a bit of your audio. Never tried so I honestly don't know if any receivers or integrateds would do that.
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-16-2013, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I was wondering if the odd speaker wouldn't be a much better iPod dock.

I haven't figured out what amps to put in the study and bedroom, actually.

Any suggestions on what amps to use (probably too complicated to set up the living room amp for multizone use and have it control the rooms) and how to use the odd speaker?

Would it be a better idea to just use four speakers with the TV and have no center?
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-16-2013, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Coolnewbie View Post

Well, I was wondering if the odd speaker wouldn't be a much better iPod dock.

I haven't figured out what amps to put in the study and bedroom, actually.

Any suggestions on what amps to use (probably too complicated to set up the living room amp for multizone use and have it control the rooms) and how to use the odd speaker?

Would it be a better idea to just use four speakers with the TV and have no center?

The problem is how would you get the left and right channels from an iPod merged into one to use with one speaker? I have no idea. And then you would lose stereo imaging and soundstage you could get from separate speakers.

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post #5 of 16 Old 09-17-2013, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Seems this is not the best idea. What would be a better center? Heard negative things about the B&W HTM61 and not sure how to match other centers.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-18-2013, 07:22 AM
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It can be really hard to match centers from different companies which is why you will always have people tell you to keep all three front speakers the same or at least within the same brand. The best center would be a 685 but that would of course leave you with that one odd one left out.

I would keep the 5 in the main room, 3 in the bedroom if you are planning on getting a TV, and look for a different solution in the study.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-18-2013, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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How would you set up 3 in a bedroom assuming no TV?
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-18-2013, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Coolnewbie View Post

How would you set up 3 in a bedroom assuming no TV?

I probably wouldn't. I would hang on to the extra 685 for backup, or maybe add it to the main room for 6.1 surround.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-23-2013, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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How would you configure a center of two 685s in lieu of a HTM61 or HTM62? You can do that with any amp?
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-23-2013, 11:11 AM
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You could use an inexpensive HT receiver in the bedroom and hook up the 685's as a front stage with no surrounds or sub. Would probably sound quite good. I know a couple of people who run 3.0 and 3.1 and love it.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-23-2013, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolnewbie View Post

How would you configure a center of two 685s in lieu of a HTM61 or HTM62? You can do that with any amp?

I wouldn't do that. It would be tough on your receiver and would probably induce acoustic lobing.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-24-2013, 09:55 PM
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Your plan for three 685's LCR is excellent, identical speakers across the front sound great.
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

... I would hang on to the extra 685 for backup, or maybe add it to the main room for 6.1 surround.

+1
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Originally Posted by NADz View Post

You could use an inexpensive HT receiver in the bedroom and hook up the 685's as a front stage with no surrounds or sub. Would probably sound quite good. I know a couple of people who run 3.0 and 3.1 and love it.

+1 Would make a super nice bedroom system! Almost all AVR's will recognize a 3.0 or 3.1 speaker setup and route the surround channels accordingly. Accessories4less often has very good prices on refurbished AVRs.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-26-2013, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
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So why don't more people run identical centers in lieu of a specialized center?
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-26-2013, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Coolnewbie View Post

So why don't more people run identical centers in lieu of a specialized center?
Because they won't fit under a TV. Most centers sacrifice function for form.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-26-2013, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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...yet cost more?

I imagine a bookshelf speaker wall mounted above a TV and angled downward or placed on the floor below the TV and angled upward would be enough of a concession to form, right? Or that just looks uglier to more people than I think?

By the way, thanks for replying Bill, among others. I lurked for a bit and came across quite a few of your old posts!
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-26-2013, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Coolnewbie View Post

...yet cost more?

I imagine a bookshelf speaker wall mounted above a TV and angled downward or placed on the floor below the TV and angled upward would be enough of a concession to form, right? Or that just looks uglier to more people than I think?

By the way, thanks for replying Bill, among others. I lurked for a bit and came across quite a few of your old posts!

We all have to make sacrifices of some sort with our set-ups and, depending on people's rooms, having 3 identical speakers just isn't feasible. My L/R speakers, for example are 59" tall. Using 3 of them across the front would seriously hinder my tv watching tongue.gif

Being able to use 3 identical speakers up front is one of the big draws for me wanting a front projection system with an AT screen.
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