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Running 2 separate Speakers off a single output (center channel)

post #1 of 369
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for feedback....... I have two 8 ohm center channel speakers of decent quality. I would like to try running them both at the same time as either one by itself just doesn't provide quite enough umphh and dialogue sometimes gets lost when they are talking quietly even when the center trim is elevated in comparison to the other channels. One of the two speakers is bi-wire/amp compatible in that it has 4 inputs with a bridge connecting both the mid and woofer. What I'm curious to know is what is the better way to accomplish my quest? Should I run two separate sets of full length speaker wires from the back of the amp to each speaker or would going the route of piggybacking off the one speaker with 4 inputs and running a short cable to the other speaker work the same. The amplifier is a Parasound that is quite capable of handling 4 ohm loads.

Thanks for any and all help as I'm kind of an electrical theory challenged individual.
post #2 of 369
Two speakers on one channel is not the solution and in fact will probably create more acoustic issues than it could possibly resolve. Even if it were feasible (it's not), using two dissimilar speakers to do it would probably also be a bad idea.

Focus instead on optimizing the center speaker's placement. Where is it, now, exactly?

Piggybacking (+) to (+) and (-) to (-) will represent the same parallel connection that connecting both speakers to the same amp outputs represents. Which, yes, with two 8ohm speakers, will present a 4ohm load. The biampable/biwirable capability of one of the speakers is not relevant.
post #3 of 369
It is probably not the best way to do it. You'd be better served getting a stronger center. It can be done as said running parallel.
post #4 of 369
but if your amp isn't 4 ohm compatible, then you could cook that channel and be "up sh*#'s creek".
Better off selling your two "inferior" centers, and by one capable One.
post #5 of 369
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips. Yeah, I do realize it's not the "ideal" way to solve this problem but figured since I do have two center channels at my disposal, it might at least be worth a try. This will NOT be a permanent solution as I do plan on a complete speaker system purchase sometime in the next couple years.

Just so you know, the two centers I have are a Psb Stratus C5 and a B&W LCR60. Yeah, I know, I know......... mixing two different brands ESPECIALLY when it's the center is a bad idea. I'm just curious to see what changes might be realized and if it does make dialogue more evident, then I'll at least ride with it for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Focus instead on optimizing the center speaker's placement. Where is it, now, exactly?

The way I have my center positioned currently is it's vertically aligned in front of and just below the 60 inch LCD. We sit about 10 feet back from the TV and the room is ~24x24 and it does have some acoustic treatments.
post #6 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqdog View Post


The way I have my center positioned currently is it's vertically aligned in front of and just below the 60 inch LCD. We sit about 10 feet back from the TV and the room is ~24x24 and it does have some acoustic treatments.

Maybe this is a clue

Why would you vertically align a speaker designed to be place horizontally?
post #7 of 369
no speaker with 2 mid-woofers is designed to work horizontally.
post #8 of 369
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

no speaker with 2 mid-woofers is designed to work horizontally.

Yep....... everything I've read seems to back up that statement. I also have hands on experience as well. My center was at one time sitting on a shelf under the TV in a horizontal position. Dialogue was much worse than it is now that I have it positioned vertically.

Bottom line is that I've tried most every position and suggestion and dialogue is still not what I feel it should be. Hence the idea of running two centers until I can afford a complete speaker re-vamp. I figure what do I have to lose........ I can always go back to using only one if improvements are not realized.
post #9 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqdog View Post

I'm looking for feedback....... I have two 8 ohm center channel speakers of decent quality. I would like to try running them both at the same time as either one by itself just doesn't provide quite enough umphh and dialogue sometimes gets lost when they are talking quietly even when the center trim is elevated in comparison to the other channels. One of the two speakers is bi-wire/amp compatible in that it has 4 inputs with a bridge connecting both the mid and woofer. What I'm curious to know is what is the better way to accomplish my quest? Should I run two separate sets of full length speaker wires from the back of the amp to each speaker or would going the route of piggybacking off the one speaker with 4 inputs and running a short cable to the other speaker work the same. The amplifier is a Parasound that is quite capable of handling 4 ohm loads.

Thanks for any and all help as I'm kind of an electrical theory challenged individual.

This is going to create a lower impedance...like if both of your spkrs are eight ohm, (doubtful), you will create a four ohm load...which that particular channel might not handle very well...over work that channel...or make the receiver shut down.
Why bother? Can't you make the one center that sounds and performs best work for you? If I had two centers that didn't make me happy, I would sell them both, add a little bit of $$ to it and buy a matching center of higher quality.
post #10 of 369
So hook them up in parallel, not series. This will give u a 4 ohm load which your receiver seems to handle well. If you hook them up in series, you will end up with 16 ohm load.
post #11 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

So hook them up in parallel, not series. This will give u a 4 ohm load which your receiver seems to handle well. If you hook them up in series, you will end up with 16 ohm load.

Why are you recommending this? This is the wrong direction to go in. Two centers, even if the receiver/amp can handle the load, will cause more issues that the OP most likely won't be happy with. This has been talked about here over and over...negative results.
post #12 of 369
1) Sell your existing speakers on craigslist or Audiogon.
2) Run phantom center until you get a replacement.
post #13 of 369
Quote:


Yeah, I do realize it's not the "ideal" way to solve this problem

That is not even a solution to your problem. It is an excellent way to make your problem worse. It is more likely your dialogue problem is related to speaker positioning and/or in room acoustical issues.
post #14 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

Why are you recommending this? This is the wrong direction to go in. Two centers, even if the receiver/amp can handle the load, will cause more issues that the OP most likely won't be happy with. This has been talked about here over and over...negative results.

Let him try it out and let him be the judge of what the results are.
It is not that we are recommending him to go out and buy those speakers.
They are already there.
post #15 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

Let him try it out and let him be the judge of what the results are.
It is not that we are recommending him to go out and buy those speakers.
They are already there.


Right. Not really anyone's job to tell him he can't do something based on opinion and not fact. Because frankly he can. Chances are at 4ohm even on a receiver not rated for 4ohm he'd be fine. There's a good chance he will find that it doesn't solve his problem, but at least he will come away knowing what he can/can't do on ohm ratings, versus thinking it's absolutely impossible to run.
post #16 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

That is not even a solution to your problem. It is an excellent way to make your problem worse. It is more likely your dialogue problem is related to speaker positioning and/or in room acoustical issues.

_________________________________________________
Dennis Erskine CFI, CFII, MEI
Architectural Acoustics
Subject Matter Expert
Certified Home Theater Designer
CEDIA Board of Directors
www.erskine-group.com
www.CinemaForte.net

The ideal solution would be to have a professional come out, do his thing, and get you to buy the best products for your room.

But c'mon. Where is the fun in that?

This way, at least OP will learn some basics, teach us some of what he learns during this exercise and make us amateurs a bit better informed.
post #17 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

no speaker with 2 mid-woofers is designed to work horizontally.

Ummmm, but yes they are. The tweeters are rotated to enhance horizontal dispersion since that's how they're intended to be set up.

By placing them vertically (without rotating the tweeter) you now have a vertically dispersed sound field.

I know centers are compromised from the start but why add to it by placing it incorrectly.

That said, if the OP has room to put these speakers vertically he/she should just get a bookshelf from the same line and use that.
post #18 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by khankewycz View Post

Right. Not really anyone's job to tell him he can't do something based on opinion and not fact. Because frankly he can. Chances are at 4ohm even on a receiver not rated for 4ohm he'd be fine. There's a good chance he will find that it doesn't solve his problem, but at least he will come away knowing what he can/can't do on ohm ratings, versus thinking it's absolutely impossible to run.

From knowledge I've gathered, mostly here on AVS... by reading more than posting, two centers IS bad advice...so, again, more bad advice.
post #19 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

no speaker with 2 mid-woofers is designed to work horizontally.

Well, I think we know what you are trying to say, but you didn't really say it correctly. Center channel-specific 2-way MTMs were definitely "designed" to be used horizontally. How well that configuration works is another issue, altogether, of course. But there ARE several specific design features that can be incorporated into horizontal 2-way MTMs that are intended to maximize the horizontal performance and/or minimize the pitfalls of the horizontally arrayed midwoofers.

- an offset tweeter which allows the midwoofers to be positioned closer to one another (and also provides enhanced dispersion from the tweeter)
- lowered crossover point which moves at least some of the midrange frequncies that are subject to lobing/comb filtering to the tweeter
- 2.5-way designs where only one midwoofer operates through the critical midrange frequencies
- although it doesn't address the dual midwoofers, the tweeter or tweeter baffle may be designed to provide enhanced horizontal dispersion when used as intended
- of course, a 3-way design with a dedicated midrange driver completely sidesteps the lobing/comb filtering issues
- etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Ummmm, but yes they are. The tweeters are rotated to enhance horizontal dispersion since that's how they're intended to be set up.

By placing them vertically (without rotating the tweeter) you now have a vertically dispersed sound field.

Yes, there can definitely be design features intended to enhance a horizontal MTM's performance which can actually be detrimental to a speaker's performance as a center channel speaker when such a speaker is oriented vertically. A directional tweeter or tweeter baffle, with enhanced horizontal dispersion when used horizontally, as intended, is a good example. But many horizontal MTMs do not include such features and WILL perform better when oriented vertically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

I know centers are compromised from the start but why add to it by placing it incorrectly.

Whether any particular MTM may perform better when oriented vertically has to be evaluated on a speaker to speaker basis. But many WILL actually perform better when oriented vertically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

That said, if the OP has room to put these speakers vertically he/she should just get a bookshelf from the same line and use that.

If his speaker is a good candidate for vertical orientation there is no reason to get a bookshelf speaker. A matched tower would be ideal but I believe the OP said that was not possible.
post #20 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

So hook them up in parallel, not series. This will give u a 4 ohm load which your receiver seems to handle well. If you hook them up in series, you will end up with 16 ohm load.


I'm not sure what this is offered up as a solution to, exactly. He already said his amp is up to the task of driving a 4ohm load. If the impedance was a serious issue, then a serial connection might be a solution, but running speakers at a higher impedance than designed creates other issues in regards to the speakers' performance.
post #21 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by khankewycz View Post

There's a good chance he will find that it doesn't solve his problem, but at least he will come away knowing what he can/can't do on ohm ratings, versus thinking it's absolutely impossible to run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

This way, at least OP will learn some basics.........

I believe the OP is already ahead of both of you guys.
post #22 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqdog View Post

Hence the idea of running two centers until I can afford a complete speaker re-vamp. I figure what do I have to lose........ I can always go back to using only one if improvements are not realized.

If you try it I would go the 'over/under' route. Two speakers, side by side, even if identical, even oriented vertically, is not a very good idea. And straddling your screen is probably really asking for issues.

But, I do not see any reason why you shouldn't be able to get reasonable performance from a single center speaker, especially if it is vertically oriented and your speaker is a good candidate for that orientation. Granted, we do not really know enough about your layout, room, and specific placement, but I think that, generally, you would get better performance with the speaker positioned above your screen, as opposed to below, even if that means it would have to be oriented horizontally.

Can you post a photo?
post #23 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

no speaker with 2 mid-woofers is designed to work horizontally.

uh, no... while issues do exist with mtm designs for center speakers (or mtm designs period)*, several speakers are designed to be used horizontally...

* and imo, those "issues" are WAY overblown when taken in the context of the GREAT majority of users setups... the great majority have far more important acosutical issues to worry about than that...
post #24 of 369


Is this your Stratus C5, Torqdog? Which speaker are you currently using for your single vertical center? The B&W or this one? I'm not sure what the ramifications of using this particular speaker, vertically, with those dual tweeters, might be. Interesting design, for sure.
post #25 of 369
Quote:


Let him try it out and let him be the judge of what the results are.

...and just what would be the point ... to waste time ... hearing the difference will not (a) fix the problem; (b) tell him what the problem is; (c) provide understanding.

A single center channel should not result in dialog intelligibility problems. When such a problem exists, something is broken. Anything from a decoding error, processing error, broken speaker, to bad speaker position. Adding a second speaker and making the problem louder is not a fix.
post #26 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

...and just what would be the point ... to waste time ... hearing the difference will not (a) fix the problem; (b) tell him what the problem is; (c) provide understanding.

A single center channel should not result in dialog intelligibility problems. When such a problem exists, something is broken. Anything from a decoding error, processing error, broken speaker, to bad speaker position. Adding a second speaker and making the problem louder is not a fix.

Dennis, thanks for the above comments. You said what I was thinking, but couldn't seem to put on paper. You can't always believe what you read on the Internet, but after one spends enough time on here, you kind of know who has the accurate answers.
post #27 of 369
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post



Is this your Stratus C5, Torqdog? Which speaker are you currently using for your single vertical center? The B&W or this one? I'm not sure what the ramifications of using this particular speaker, vertically, with those dual tweeters, might be. Interesting design, for sure.

Yes, that is the "other" center that I just purchased from fleabay. It's due to arrive early next week. So yeah, that is NOT the center I currently am using in a vertical aligned position. I'm using the B&W LCR 60 S3 that is a 2 1/2 way design and seems to do much better in the vertical position as opposed to horizontal.

Am I getting prematurely excited and have doom and gloom written all over my OP? Probably. After doing extensive research on my new purchase I discovered that PSB made two incantations of the Stratus C5 center. The early model had two 1/2" tweeters as opposed to the C5i that got upgraded with two 1" tweeters. I sure wish I had stumbled across that info before buying.

I was just inquiring as to what the ramifications were of possibly running these two different centers together and although I will try it for s**ts and giggles, I think the real solution is to buy a "good" center that will fill my fairly large 24x24 room with good, easy to understand dialogue. I think my problem all along has been (besides a slow loss of hearing due to age and rock wars) always having an insufficient center. The LCR60 that I'm currently using is more suited to some of the matching bookshelf speaks from the same line.

I will hold out hopes that maybe this PSB will somehow react differently to my room and I will most likely go through the many facets of placement before ruling one way or another.

I guess I kind of opened a can of worms judging by all the traffic. Sorry....... it was not my intent. I have learned much sifting through all of your different opinions and I thank y'all for the lesson. When I've finished monkeying around with both centers I'll be sure to let y'all know what I discovered.
post #28 of 369
What are your front L/R speakers, Torqdog?

(sorry if I missed that)
post #29 of 369
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

What are your front L/R speakers, Torqdog?

(sorry if I missed that)

Nope, you didn't miss it. They "were" B&W DM 605 with an active bass amp built in. I say "were" as unfortunately a couple of months ago I had a large static electrical spark jump from my finger and hit one of the woofers which blew the B&W's amplifier. This forced me to move them to surround duty and move the PSB Stratus Silvers into main operation. In a way, this was a good thing as I re-discovered how nice the PSBs sound compared to the B&Ws and has really got me salivating for a complete re-vamping of my mish-mosh speaker arrangement. The aquisition of the Stratus C5 center was meant to be a short term fix as it will match the Silver's timbre perfectly which is another problem I have been experiencing using the LCR60 since moving the PSBs to the fronts.

Fingers crossed, hopefully it will produce good, audible dialogue as well as blend nicely with the Silvers.
post #30 of 369
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I believe the OP is already ahead of both of you guys.

maybe...if he were, he would not ask questions but do what he wanted.

And in our defense se do know the difference in how to pair 2 speakers to a single channel because been there done that, learnt some physics along the way
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