Center channel speaker choice dilemma - AVS Forum
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, having both which one would you recommend as the center channel speaker in an all JBL L-series 7.1 surround setup :

1- JBL LC2 :

or

2- JBL ES30 :

I read a lot about positioning the regular center channel verticaly to avoid out of phase something ... biggrin.gif , but with the LC2 it is not possible in my environment (it's too wide, LC2 width = 56 cm where ES30 height = 39 cm)), so I got this ES30 but not sure if it is wiser ?

Also would it be possible to lay the ES30 on its side to save some more vertical space but without the same phase problems as with the LC2 when horizontal ?
Thanks
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:37 AM
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The LC2 attempts to correct those issues normally had with horizontal centers. It has the super tweeter, tweeter, and midrange all arranged vertically and only the woofers are horizonal to them. The issue is when the tweeter is on the same horizontal plane as 2 midrange drivers.

Use the LC2 center!

Don't use the ES30 especially if you want it horizontal on its side because the wave guides would have the dispertion of the tweeters sounds going vertical but you want that dispertion going horizontal.

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Old 08-26-2013, 11:53 AM
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Ideally your center speaker should be the same exact speaker as your mains located on the same vertical plane (all tweeters about ear level). Horizontal center speakers are designed as a compromise for fit and location but have also been marketed as a MUST for the center. Are you using ES30's as your mains? If so it sound like the ES30 would be the best match but you MUST position it vertically.

EDIT: After rereading I see the LC2 (apparently) came with your system. It may be a better timbre match but MUST be used horizontally. What are the mains? Can you buy a 3ed main and will it fit? If so this is by FAR the best option.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jj-34 View Post

I read a lot about positioning the regular center channel verticaly to avoid out of phase something ... biggrin.gif , but with the LC2 it is not possible in my environment (it's too wide, LC2 width = 56 cm where ES30 height = 39 cm)), so I got this ES30 but not sure if it is wiser ?

Normally, the ideal would be the same speakers all around, assuming that you had ES30 in every spot. But the LC2, as stated, attempts to alleviate most issues with horizontal centers, so it might be the better choice in this situation.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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Old 08-26-2013, 05:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to both of you for your answers.
My mains are JBL L-series L890 big towers and the center is an LC2 slightly angled up towards ear level, the surrounds are L820 and the back surrounds L810 also not fitted yet . It's all powered now by an Onkyo 807 but probably replaced year end by a Denon x4000.
Questioning the LC2 came from reading many reviews where it was said that one should never position the center horizontaly, but is the LC2 horizontal ?

I am currently re-arranging my physical speaker setup as my surrounds where too much in front of the seating place due to the room being a large mezzanine with no wall at all on the right side and a wide stair case on the left, so no wall to hang the surrounds nor any room to fit them on stands. But I have now found a way to suspend the surrounds from the sloping roof at 90°.
I am also preparing the room to fit a future video projector screen in front of the current 55" TV set, bottom of the screen being at 55 cm from the floor and the mid line of the LC2 being below it at about 40 cm from the floor which is wall-to-wall carpeted.
In the mean time I had an opportunity to acquire a single ES30, but have not run audissey MultEQ again ( the only 807 version) with the ES30.
I'd rather keep the LC2 as it visually blends in better with the L890s and is easier to fit in, I am reluctant to simply put the ES30 directly on the floor, but if audio demands I am willing to use it instead.

Here is how it will look like now with the re-positioned surrounds and LC2 :


With future 113" video screen in front of TV and LC2 :


If ES30 instead :


Thanks for any help to decide which is better?
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Old 08-27-2013, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jj-34 View Post

....Questioning the LC2 came from reading many reviews where it was said that one should never position the center horizontaly, but is the LC2 horizontal ?...

You are (understandingly) confusing the design of a speaker with it's placement. The design of most center speakers is horizontal design. However it should be positioned in it's normal vertical (top to bottom) as it's designed.

Here is the LC2 incorrectly placed horizontally to it's design (notice the incorrect horizontal tweeter and midranges).

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Old 08-27-2013, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Ah Ah, well I agree there is some misunderstanding in the wording I used.
I know what the manufacturer's intended placement of the LC2 is, just look at the schematics I posted above which actually show the way it is to-day at home.

The question " but is the LC2 horizontal ? " was a thought about its somehow hybrid design where the tweeters and medium are aligned vertically in the middle of the horizontally aligned bass speakers. So when compared to many other centers where all the speakers are in line horizontally (the ones that should be "placed" vertically if I get it right), what is predominant in the LC2 ? It's horizontal bass alignment or vertical tweeter / medium one ?

Just to make my original request more clear, I am not an audiophile expert and trouble came from reading many reviews stating that center speakers should (must) always be "placed" vertically to avoid horizontal interactions between right and left speakers of the center unit itself.

I take it from your "incorrectly placed LC2" picture that by design the LC2 is a vertical center unit that is intended to be placed horizontally .... biggrin.gif that is on it's longest base.
In summary, there's no need for me to worry or change anything ? Right ?

Oh yes there's one ..... I now have a redundant single ES30 (not even a pair !)
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:54 AM
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Keep the LC2 as it is the correct matching center and keep it the way you show it in your pictures with the tweets and mids vertically with the woofers on either side. Obvously the best choice for a center would be a 3rd L890 but that isn't an option in your setup.

And we aren't saying to buy a "dedicated" center speaker and flip it vertically is best.... The best is 3 identical vertically oriented speakers for your front 3. Some speakers called LCR's can be place vertically or horizontally but vertical is the preferred orientation. Some LCR's have horns that are not semectrical and the tweeter assembly needs to be rotated 90 degrees to operate correctly in the other orientation.

Shawn
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Old 08-27-2013, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Good, one thing less to worry about ....
Thanks
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jj-34 View Post

...Just to make my original request more clear, I am not an audiophile expert and trouble came from reading many reviews stating that center speakers should (must) always be "placed" vertically to avoid horizontal interactions between right and left speakers of the center unit itself....
Drivers playing the same signal and frequency aligned horizontally experience comb filtering. 2 things: The center is a compromise and as you stated you don't have space for a vertical speaker and while comb filtering can be measured the brain does a fantastic job of correcting it.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jj-34 View Post

....Questioning the LC2 came from reading many reviews where it was said that one should never position the center horizontaly, but is the LC2 horizontal ?...

You are (understandingly) confusing the design of a speaker with it's placement. The design of most center speakers is horizontal design. However it should be positioned in it's normal vertical (top to bottom) as it's designed.

Here is the LC2 incorrectly placed horizontally to it's design (notice the incorrect horizontal tweeter and midranges).


One of the things you have to consider is the crossover frequencies:

http://www.jbl.com/images/media/LC2_OM_EN.pdf

700Hz, 4000Hz, 20kHz

In its normal orientation, the speaker has a horizontal driver configuration up to only 700 Hz. Above 700 Hz, it has a vertical orientation.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:17 AM
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^^^+1

IMO this center is designed as correctly as possible to keep the speaker longer than it is high for horizontal placement. A few other speakers do this as well; Paradigm does it, Energy does it with there one LCR with the Tweeter and Mids in a diagonal orientation, Infinity Primus 351 does it. I think why most center speakers suffer from the comb filtering and lobing is because they are only 2 way designs with 2 mid/woofers and 1 tweeter.

Now some speakers use a 2.5 way design in which there is 1 tweeter and 2 other drivers of the same size and the 1 is a mid/woofer and the other is just a woofer. Only 1 driver gets crossed over to the tweeter which is the area where most of the issues come from and the other driver has a filter limiting it well below where the tweeter picks up.

Shawn
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Old 12-23-2013, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
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At last I have now finished rewiring my whole HT 7.0 audio setup with the LC2 horizontal as designed and Front Heights, rerun a complete Audissey calibration and it all works (sounds ...) very nicely. I only had to increase slightly (0.5 dB) the level of the right speakers as there is no wall this side ( the pit side of the mezzanine).
It took some time as I had to build custom speaker supports to hang the surround and height speakers from my roof beams and hide the wiring.
Thanks again for your help.
Have a very nice Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
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