Query on front 3 vs front 2 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-07-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a query which i think i could place in a separate thread such as this.

Initially, my set up was only 3 front speaker (left,right and centre) with no surrounds but I recently had my centre channel go bad so now i am down to only my left and right channel. I am still in teh process of finding out why the centre is bad and also if i could fix it on my own. At first, i was devastated that my speaker was gone and i refused to watch any BD movies simply because i am very anal when it comes to sound and i hate to hear "parts" of a movie and not the entire thing. But yesterday i gave in and watched a movie in simply 2 channel (i changed my receiver from direct to stereo). To my surprise it really was not bad. It still appeared as if i had 3 speakers there. Voices came from the phantom centre and the other sounds came out of the left and right just as before. Directionality was still on point and panning was just as similar.

So my question is, if i do not have surrounds and simply a front stage, does having 2 speakers put me at a disadvantage than having all 3 in the front? Or is it basically the same thing now as when i had all 3 speakers up front?

Please note: I sit directly in the middle while watching movies.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-07-2012, 11:32 AM
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As long as you are in the center, and not off-axis, then a phantom center worx well.  However, if you moved to the left or right, beyond the overlap of the two mains, then you may experience some drop out.

 

Experiment, if you like.  Many in the http://www.avsforum.com/f/173/2-channel-audio can and will extol the virtue of a two channel system.

 

Most, as far as I know, do not engage the phantom center at all.  They just listen with two speakers and no AVR processing. 

 

However, YMMV.

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-07-2012, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimwyn View Post

I have a query which i think i could place in a separate thread such as this.
Initially, my set up was only 3 front speaker (left,right and centre) with no surrounds but I recently had my centre channel go bad so now i am down to only my left and right channel. I am still in teh process of finding out why the centre is bad and also if i could fix it on my own. At first, i was devastated that my speaker was gone and i refused to watch any BD movies simply because i am very anal when it comes to sound and i hate to hear "parts" of a movie and not the entire thing. But yesterday i gave in and watched a movie in simply 2 channel (i changed my receiver from direct to stereo). To my surprise it really was not bad. It still appeared as if i had 3 speakers there. Voices came from the phantom centre and the other sounds came out of the left and right just as before. Directionality was still on point and panning was just as similar.
So my question is, if i do not have surrounds and simply a front stage, does having 2 speakers put me at a disadvantage than having all 3 in the front? Or is it basically the same thing now as when i had all 3 speakers up front?
Please note: I sit directly in the middle while watching movies.

Yes

The head-related transfer functions are different for a single centrally located speaker than a centered phantom image from a stereo pair. A center phantom image will sound brighter than if it were reproduced with a matching center channel at that location.

Of course, in practice one pair of good speakers placed well can beat a physical center channel that's not as meaty or stuck someplace bad. Your brain's impression of timbre also incorporates the spectra from sounds it believes to be reflections of a direct sound. Things may work better (or at least well enough) without a physical center channel. I skipped a center channel because one mismatched speaker with less headroom was much worse than a phantom image from the front speakers I built. I meant to build something which matched but never got around to it.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-07-2012, 12:48 PM
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Hi Kimwyn,

There was a thread on the "DIY Speakers and Subs" forum about using a phantom-center with waveguide speakers. Here it is:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1420941/phantom-center-with-constant-direcitivty-speakers

The most enlightening part to me was this PDF file, written by Bill Waslo:
http://libinst.com/PublicArticles/Setup%20of%20WG%20Speakers.pdf
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-08-2012, 12:22 AM
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