Matched/Identical Center vs. 'Traditional' Horizontal Center - Issues & Preferences? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

They should have been at least 24 inches to be of practical seating position given the average shoulder width of people.

I took measurements at the head positions where I, and other people, sit on that particular sofa. When I sit on either side of the sofa, my head is 18 inches off axis. I would have to lean over 6 inches for my head to be 24 inches off axis. My head would be leaning over above the armrest at 30 inches off axis.

In case you didn't notice, the measurements taken at the two loveseat positions were over 6 feet to the left off axis.Those are the two worst listening seats in the room and I can still hear everything I need to hear.
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Your FR image size was modified to match his for easier analysis. Your center speaker arrangement is causing the problem he describes even at 18 inches apart in measured positions.

Please be more specific. This translates to me hearing bad sound in what ways? I would appreciate you framing your answer within the context of the non-linearities of human hearing response.
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

I took measurements at the head positions where I, and other people, sit on that particular sofa. When I sit on either side of the sofa, my head is 18 inches off axis.
Wow, that's a very packed seating arrangement. Until now, I didn't know anyone who would sit like that for 1.5 hours or more for a movie. Even the non-luxury theater seats are about 24 inches apart center to center. http://www.4seating.com/images/premier-dimensions.jpg
Quote:
the measurements taken at the two loveseat positions were over 6 feet to the left off axis.Those are the two worst listening seats in the room and I can still hear everything I need to hear.
They look worse. I'm sure you can hear everything you think you need to hear, just not the same way as you would from the center.
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Please be more specific. This translates to me hearing bad sound in what ways?
So, you have to ask such question after linking those pages as if you didn't read and understood what's in them?:
rolleyes.gif Why do I even ask... you actually set up the center channel the way you have. eek.gif
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Old 08-31-2012, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Wow, that's a very packed seating arrangement. Until now, I didn't know anyone who would sit like that for 1.5 hours or more for a movie.

You act as if you have knowledge of my lifestyle and viewing habits. Most of the time when I am watching a movie, it is with one other person...and she often watches with her legs curled up on the sofa and her head resting on my shoulder. So yes, that is a very packed seating arrangement...which I enjoy immensely. Maybe one day you will be fortunate enough to enjoy a similarly "packed" seating arrangement.
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Even the non-luxury theater seats are about 24 inches apart center to center. http://www.4seating.com/images/premier-dimensions.jpg

Guess what? I do not live in a movie theater. I live in a private residence with normal residential style furniture that suits my lifestyle and aesthetic tastes. If I wanted to turn one of my home's rooms into a dedicated theater room with theater style seating and a 100" screen, I could do that, but that is not what I want at this time.
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

They look worse. I'm sure you can hear everything you think you need to hear, just not the same way as you would from the center.

I never said, or even implied, that every location sounds just like the center sweet spot. It goes without saying that sound quality changes as listening position changes. Sound quality will change even if one's head is turned to one side or tilted a few degrees off axis while in the on axis sweet spot. My point, which you do not seem to be able to grasp, is that all your talk of the horrendous effects of lobing is largely a non-issue unless someone is engaged in critical listening evaluation. For casual movie viewing at any seating location, what I have is outstanding.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

You act as if you have knowledge of my lifestyle and viewing habits. Most of the time when I am watching a movie, it is with one other person...and she often watches with her legs curled up on the sofa and her head resting on my shoulder.
When properly selected, one speaker for center channel will work well for your viewing style as well as others. Center channel set up like yours is problematic in 2 ways to begin with, 1) twice the cost, 2) acoustic lobing.
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Guess what? I do not live in a movie theater. I live in a private residence with normal residential style furniture that suits my lifestyle and aesthetic tastes. If I wanted to turn one of my home's rooms into a dedicated theater room with theater style seating and a 100" screen, I could do that, but that is not what I want at this time.
You are missing the point. The link I posted was for you to understand why 24 inches was mentioned instead of 18 inches.
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I never said, or even implied, that every location sounds just like the center sweet spot. It goes without saying that sound quality changes as listening position changes. Sound quality will change even if one's head is turned to one side or tilted a few degrees off axis while in the on axis sweet spot.
No kidding. But you don't mind the severe case of it. As fbov called out, your set-up is about looks.
OP expressed something else:
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Originally Posted by rosenkavalier View Post

but I was never happy with the sound
I gave him a tip on what not to do.

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Originally Posted by DarqueKnight 
My point, which you do not seem to be able to grasp, is that all your talk of the horrendous effects of lobing is largely a non-issue unless someone is engaged in critical listening evaluation. For casual movie viewing at any seating location, what I have is outstanding.
Of course it has to be outstanding (in your mind) after doubling the cost of center speaker.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

When properly selected, one speaker for center channel will work well for your viewing style as well as others.

You obviously missed my statement that I tried one center channel speaker and it did not blend well with the large front speakers.

Since you seem to know everything there is to know about my HT setup, what single center channel speaker would you recommend for my front speakers?

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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Center channel set up like yours is problematic in 2 ways to begin with, 1) twice the cost, 2) acoustic lobing.

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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Of course it has to be outstanding (in your mind) after doubling the cost of center speaker.

You twice mentioned cost. Obviously, I did not mind spending the money. I am not sure why this is an issue for you since your money wasn't being spent. Again, I plainly said that one center channel speaker did not blend well with the large front speakers.

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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

As fbov called out, your set-up is about looks.


Fbov also said that he understood the concept of having a center channel speaker that could keep up with the front speakers. Since you have never heard my HT system, it is very presumptuous to say that my set-up is only about aesthetics. Notice that I said that I went to two center speakers because I did not like the sound performance. I did not say that I went to two center speakers because "it didn't look right".

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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

I gave him a tip on what not to do.

I realize that you mean well. However, a wise counselor knows that design principles cannot always be applied in absolute terms. Rather than just saying "don't do this" and expecting someone to take your word for it, it would have been better to offer explanations and justifications for your advice.

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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

But you don't mind the severe case of it.

Since I am hearing clear dialog and sound effects from the center channel, I don't think I am having a "severe case of it" Are you 100% positive that the frequency response nulls shown in figure 6 are all due to lobing and not a combination of lobing and room acoustics...with room acoustics being the greater factor? Again, here are the frequency response plots for each seat:


Figure 6. Frequency response from all five seating positions (refer to figure 2):
Black line: Sofa center (on axis).
Red line: Sofa left.
Green line: Sofa right.
Blue line: Loveseat left (closest to television).
Purple line: Loveseat right.

According to part 1 of the "Dual Midrange Lobing Primer" found here: http://forums.soundandvisionmag.com/showthread.php?199564-COF-Dual-Midrange-Lobing-Primer

Quote:
"When a listener is equidistant from two midrange drivers, their output is summed and the listener hears a combined output 6dB louder than a single driver. However, if the listener is a different distance from one driver than the other, that difference will create an out of phase situation for one very specific frequency. The cancellation frequency's wavelength is 1/2 the difference between the two drivers. If the difference is 24 inches, the cancellation frequency is 1128 Hz. If the difference is 12 inches, the cancellation frequency is 2256 Hz, and so on.

When you have a center speaker with two midrange units side by side, the cancellations occurs when you are to the left or right of the dead center, on-axis location. The cancellation is call "lobing".

The Polk Audio LSi9 stereo bookshelf speaker is not an MTM design. It is an MTB (midrange-tweeter-bass) design. Therefore, going from left to right I have B-T-M M-T-B rather than M-T-M M-T-M. Polk claims to use a "cascaded tapered array" to minimize the effects of lobing and comb filtering:

Quote:
"Polk engineers designed a special cascade tapered array crossover to manipulate the frequency response of individual drivers in multi driver arrays. In this setup, one driver is crossed over at a much lower frequency, making that driver essentially a bass only driver in the array. This frees up other drivers to concentrate on more detailed frequencies, such as the upper mid range. Thus technically separated, performance robbing interference is tuned right out of the system."

Source: http://www.polkaudio.com/polk-university/technology/cascade-tapered-array-crossover

The table below shows the distance between each seat and the four drivers. The cancellation frequencies at each seat were calculated per the method given in the "Dual Midrange Lobing Primer" (calculations used the speed of sound as 1128 fps).



Since the Bass drivers operate from 200 Hz downward, they would not have significant effect at the calculated cancellation frequencies of 1593 Hz, 2089 Hz and 5391 Hz. Since the midrange drivers operate between 200 Hz and 2.4 kHz, at 2400 Hz, their contribution to lobing is most likely due to harmonics and tweeter/midrange interaction since the calculated cancellation frequencies are 3863 Hz and 5371 Hz. From the Primer:

Quote:
"This lobing also occurs at the crossover frequency between the tweeter and the midrange. So, all two way or greater loudspeaker systems have lobing issues between the midrange and tweeter."


Referring to figure 6, the frequency response nulls of each off-axis seating position is as follows:

Loveseat Left (blue line): 890 Hz, 1.244 kHz, 2.4 kHz, 3 kHz.
Loveseat Right (purple line): 988 Hz, 1.324 kHz, 1.8 kHz, 2.55 kHz.
Sofa Left (red line): 2.08 kHz, 3.17 kHz, 9 kHz.
Sofa Right (green line): 1.17 kHz, 1.985 kHz, 3.112 kHz, 5 kHz, 8.06 kHz.

The "Dual Midrange Lobing Primer" also states:

Quote:
"If the wavelength of the sound is twice as wide as the distance between the drivers, even at 90 degree to the right (or left) the two drivers are still in phase since the wave is so long. At all frequencies below that which is twice the wavelength of the distance between the drivers will be free from lobing."

The center-to-center distance between the bass drivers is 28 inches. A wavelength of twice that equates to a frequency of 241 Hz. The center-to-center distance between the midrange drivers is 11 inches. A wavelength of twice that equates to a frequency of 616 Hz. These frequencies agree with the frequency response plots in figure 6, which show a tight banding between 200 Hz and 600 Hz.

In the case of my dual MTB center channel speakers, it appears that differences in aural and measured response, particularly for the side seats, are due more to listening position and room acoustics than acoustic lobing.

In the future, when I am more dedicated to audio than I am now, I will look into some room treatments for the home theater room.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:30 PM
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More tweaking....smile.gif


Reviewing my notes from several years ago, I see that I experimented with disconnecting the tweeter in one of the LSi9's. I did not hear any difference or improvement, so I left both tweeters in. Over the years, I made some cabinet and crossover improvements that substantially improved the SRS's performance. I thought it might be advantageous to revisit the single tweeter idea.


Figure 7. Red line - on-axis frequency response with both tweeters.
Black line - on-axis frequency response with left tweeter disconnected.


Figure 8. Red line - on axis frequency response with right tweeter disconnected.
Black line - on-axis frequency response with left tweeter disconnected.

With only one tweeter working, I heard an improvement clarity and image weight at the sides of the sound stage. On Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, the ambient sounds of General Grevious' ship were more evident when Obiwan and Anakin entered the chamber where the Chancellor was being held captive. The buzz and hum of light sabers was clearer and heavier.

The response measured a little smoother with only the right tweeter, although I did not hear a difference between it and the left tweeter. I moved forward with only the right tweeter connected.


Figure 9. Frequency response from sofa seats with left tweeter disconnected:
Black line - on-axis.
Red line - 18" left of on-axis.
Green line - 18" right of on-axis.


Figure 10. Frequency response from sofa seats with both tweeters connected:
Black line - on-axis.
Red line - 18" left of on-axis.
Green line - 18" right of on-axis.


Referring to figures 9 and 10, the one tweeter response is much tighter among the sofa seats compared to the two tweeter response.


Figure 11. Frequency response from sofa and loveseat with left tweeter disconnected:
Black line - sofa on-axis.
Red line - sofa 18" left of on-axis.
Green line - sofa 18" right of on-axis.
Blue line - loveseat left (closest to TV) - 6 feet off-axis.
Purple line - loveseat right - 6 feet off-axis.


Figure 12. Frequency response from sofa and loveseat with both tweeters connected:
Black line - sofa on-axis.
Red line - sofa 18" left of on-axis.
Green line - sofa 18" right of on-axis.
Blue line - loveseat left (closest to TV) - 6 feet off-axis.
Purple line - loveseat right - 6 feet off-axis.



Figure 13. Frequency response at loveseat left (closest to TV):
Black line - sofa on-axis.
Blue line - loveseat left (closest to TV) - 6 feet off-axis, one tweeter.
Red line - loveseat left - 6 feet off-axi,s two tweeters.


Figure 14. Frequency response from sofa and loveseat with both tweeters connected:
Black line - sofa on-axis.
Purple line - loveseat right - 6 feet off-axis, one tweeter.
Red line - loveseat left - 6 feet off-axis, two tweeters.


Now my center channel configuration is B-M-M-T-B.

I need to make one of these:

http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?9271-My-Center-Channel-tweak-still-under-construction...
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

You obviously missed my statement that I tried one center channel speaker and it did not blend well with the large front speakers.
Obvisosly missed? What part of the phrase "When properly selected" didn't you understand? Or I should just say, "You obviously missed those 3 words." Given your track record of reading comprehension issues ( http://www.avsforum.com/t/1221438/speaker-cables-and-jumpers-vs-bi-wiring/180#post_22191154 ), the former would be a more likely case.
Quote:
what single center channel speaker would you recommend for my front speakers?
Find one with more efficiency / cone area.
Quote:
Notice that I said that I went to two center speakers because I did not like the sound performance. I did not say that I went to two center speakers because "it didn't look right".
Are you willing to replace those two with one bigger and more efficient center speaker?
Quote:
Rather than just saying "don't do this" and expecting someone to take your word for it, it would have been better to offer explanations and justifications for your advice.
Once again, you are assuming that the OP and other readers are incapable of researching the term "acoustic lobing".
Quote:
The Polk Audio LSi9 stereo bookshelf speaker is not an MTM design. It is an MTB (midrange-tweeter-bass) design. Therefore, going from left to right I have B-T-M M-T-B
You sure do, even after reading "Dual Midrange Lobing Primer".
Quote:
The center-to-center distance between the bass drivers is 28 inches. A wavelength of twice that equates to a frequency of 241 Hz. The center-to-center distance between the midrange drivers is 11 inches. A wavelength of twice that equates to a frequency of 616 Hz. These frequencies agree with the frequency response plots in figure 6, which show a tight banding between 200 Hz and 600 Hz.
Fig. 6 doesn't show tight banding at 200 Hz or 241 Hz. It's more like 210 Hz. It also doesn't show tight banding at 600 Hz. It's more like 650 Hz.
Quote:
In the case of my dual MTB center channel speakers, it appears that differences in aural and measured response, particularly for the side seats, are due more to listening position and room acoustics than acoustic lobing.
To see if that theory holds water, you would have to measure with just one center speaker in the middle and compare.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

With only one tweeter working, I heard an improvement clarity and image weight at the sides of the sound stage. On Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, the ambient sounds of General Grevious' ship were more evident when Obiwan and Anakin entered the chamber where the Chancellor was being held captive. The buzz and hum of light sabers was clearer and heavier.
You dropped the word "accurate" this time. Perhaps you are learing the concept of high-fidelity. That's a progress. smile.gif
Quote:

Figure 10. Frequency response from sofa seats with both tweeters connected:
Black line - on-axis.
Red line - 18" left of on-axis.
Green line - 18" right of on-axis.
Here's 1/3 Octave frequency response of M-T vertically arranged center speaker. Something for you to chew on.
rtacenter3.jpg
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

You dropped the word "accurate" this time.

My use of the word "accurate" in post #17 was with regard to the sounds of doorbells, telephone rings and door knocks. Sounds I am very familiar with. Since a light saber is a fictional device, I would not use the word "accurate" when describing the sound of one. There is a big difference between reproduction of real world sounds and the systhesis of fictional sounds.
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Perhaps you are learing the concept of high-fidelity. That's a progress. smile.gif

I understand the concept of high-fidelity quite well. Since you have demonstrated that you do not understand that the term "accurate" should not be applied to the fictional sound of fictional devices, I would say that you still have much to learn about hi-fi sound.
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Here's 1/3 Octave frequency response of M-T vertically arranged center speaker. Something for you to chew on.
rtacenter3.jpg

That's a real pretty FR plot. Five questions:

1. When you listened to that speaker, how did it sound?
2. How would that speaker sound in my room?
3. What would the FR plot look like in my room?
4. What scientific justification exists that a ruler flat or nearly flat FR always translates to excellent sound quality?
5. What scientific justification exists that significant FR deviations always translates to poor sound quality?

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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Obvisosly missed? What part of the phrase "When properly selected" didn't you understand? Or I should just say, "You obviously missed those 3 words." Given your track record of reading comprehension issues ( http://www.avsforum.com/t/1221438/speaker-cables-and-jumpers-vs-bi-wiring/180#post_22191154 ), the former would be a more likely case. Find one with more efficiency / cone area.

You seem to have such great insights into the inner workings of my HT system, I thought you might want to recommend a specific brand or model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Are you willing to replace those two with one bigger and more efficient center speaker?

You must have missed this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

I need to make one of these:
http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?9271-My-Center-Channel-tweak-still-under-construction...


Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Once again, you are assuming that the OP and other readers are incapable of researching the term "acoustic lobing".

No.
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Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Fig. 6 doesn't show tight banding at 200 Hz or 241 Hz. It's more like 210 Hz. It also doesn't show tight banding at 600 Hz. It's more like 650 Hz.

I said between 200 Hz and 600 Hz, not at 200 Hz and 600 Hz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

To see if that theory holds water, you would have to measure with just one center speaker in the middle and compare.

I was hoping you could just use your imagination and tell me what it would sound like and measure like.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

My use of the word "accurate" in post #17 was with regard to the sounds of doorbells, telephone rings and door knocks. Sounds I am very familiar with. Since a light saber is a fictional device, I would not use the word "accurate" when describing the sound of one. There is a big difference between reproduction of real world sounds and the systhesis of fictional sounds.

The above illustrates one of my favorite audiophile myths. It can be stated many ways, but they all seem to come down to this:

"I know how this recording should sound".

Being a recording engineer, live sound engineer, and having at least a decade of day-to-day experience with audio production, this strikes me as being a complete and total fantasy.

How do you know what any of the above (doorbells, telephone rings and door knocks) should sound like?

Are you not aware of all of the different brands and models and different ways to install any of the above that exist?

Do you seriously believe that all doorbells, telephone rings and door knocks all sound the same to the extent that you can actually use recordings of them as calibration standards?

Remember that only God and the production staff (with the tracking, mixing, and mastering staff possibly all being different groups of people who never actually communicate with each other) knows what sort of processing was applied to them. How would you chose which recordings of them would be suitable to use as reliable calibration standards?

Now if you recorded an example of one of the above under some representative conditions, and then used that recording as your standard and compared it to the sound of the equipment that made it in your listening room... Been there, done that.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

My use of the word "accurate" in post #17 was with regard to the sounds of doorbells, telephone rings and door knocks. Sounds I am very familiar with. Since a light saber is a fictional device, I would not use the word "accurate" when describing the sound of one. There is a big difference between reproduction of real world sounds and the systhesis of fictional sounds.

I understand the concept of high-fidelity quite well. Since you have demonstrated that you do not understand that the term "accurate" should not be applied to the fictional sound of fictional devices, I would say that you still have much to learn about hi-fi sound.

OMG eek.gif, you really have a long way to go. rolleyes.gif
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0WJ-8B6aUM
Quote:
4. What scientific justification exists that a ruler flat or nearly flat FR always translates to excellent sound quality?
Why do you ask ME that?
Quote:
5. What scientific justification exists that significant FR deviations always translates to poor sound quality?
What's "poor sound quality" in your opinion? Once you address that, we can discuss further.
Quote:
You seem to have such great insights into the inner workings of my HT system, I thought you might want to recommend a specific brand or model.
I said, "When properly selected, one speaker for center channel will work well for your viewing style as well as others." to your:
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

I tried one center channel speaker and it did not blend well with the large front speakers.
Then I added "Find one with more efficiency / cone area." There are many speakers out there and you have some homework to do.


Quote:
You must have missed this:
Contemplation and action are two different things. Post a picture once you have changed your center speaker and we will take it from there.
Quote:
I said between 200 Hz and 600 Hz, not at 200 Hz and 600 Hz.
Fig. 6 doesn't show tight banding between 200 Hz and 600 Hz. Look at 220 Hz through 380 Hz.
Quote:
I was hoping you could just use your imagination and tell me what it would sound like and measure like.
You are obviously not receptive to advice or criticism. Too bad because that's a big roadblock on your progress.
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:38 PM
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I was going to respond Saturday, but I had an issue with AVS (googlads links taking over) so I didn't.

You've relieved me of all sense of guilt, replaced by relief that I didn't step back into this fingerpointing quicksand. My apologies if I contributed to the tone.

HAve fun,
Frank
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Do you seriously believe that all doorbells, telephone rings and door knocks all sound the same to the extent that you can actually use recordings of them as calibration standards?

You missed the point. I was not speaking of all door knocks, doorbells and telephone rings sounding the same. I was speaking of particular movie sound effects that were mistaken for actual sounds in my home.
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Originally Posted by fbov View Post

I was going to respond Saturday, but I had an issue with AVS (googlads links taking over) so I didn't.
You've relieved me of all sense of guilt, replaced by relief that I didn't step back into this fingerpointing quicksand.

There was no finger pointing intended on my part. My point was that the sound of an audio system cannot be totally characterized by photographs of the room and system, charts, graphs and equations.
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Originally Posted by fbov View Post

My apologies if I contributed to the tone.

I appreciated your thoughts. I think the OP and others have enough information at this point to set them on a path to discovering what will work best for them. Thanks for your contributions.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

You missed the point. I was not speaking of all door knocks, doorbells and telephone rings sounding the same. I was speaking of particular movie sound effects that were mistaken for actual sounds in my home.
It is you who missed the point. Accuracy needs a reference to be able to judge. You haven't been in the sound mixing studio during mixing of those movies you mentioned so you don't know what they sounded like in that studio especially that particular doorbell or telephone ring through their audio system thus you don't have a reference. In other words, you don't have the means to figure out the accuracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

I understand the concept of high-fidelity quite well.

I would say that you still have much to learn about hi-fi sound.
rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif Please stop kidding yourself.
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:09 PM
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I have been fooled, as have others, numerous times into thinking a cell phone on TV was a real cell phone in the room. I had always thought the crappy speakers in my Toshiba flatscreen sounded like dirt on music. Glad to know they are accurate though.

Look, you're allowed to like any sound you like, even coming from systems flying in the face of conventional (or any other) wisdom and even having a response such as what you have posted. That's your prerogative.

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Old 09-05-2012, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarqueKnight View Post

You missed the point.

No, you missed the point. I will try to reiterate for you.
Quote:
I was not speaking of all door knocks, doorbells and telephone rings sounding the same. I was speaking of particular movie sound effects that were mistaken for actual sounds in my home.

Trust me, that did not escape me at all. In fact, it highlights out your logical error.

First off, I'm intimately familiar with the effect in question - where a natural sound on a recording is perceived to be locally generated and not part of a recording or TV show. My system does this from time to time, but I have no illusions about this being an indication of any high level of sonic accuracy that it might have. At times it has been such a common occurrence that we had to train ourselves to disregard it.

The problem is one that should be obvious to any electrical engineer. We have a black box (audio system) and when we put some unknown signal into it, it comes out in a certain way. In this case it comes out in such a way that we initially perceive it to be an event that is taking place locally, and not in the recording. What does this tell us about the black box?

A textbook answer might be: "Not a heck of a lot since so little is actually known about the input signal".

Or, we might say that this outcome tells us that the black box does not always mangle all signals so grossly that they are always unrecognizable.

Neither answer gives me a lot of joy. ;-)

BTW I've also done the more controlled form of this experiment where I recorded some common household noisemakers with measurement mics in low-reverberation situations, and played them over my stereo. The results can be striking even on a mediocre system.
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