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Three - Channel System

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any experience listening or owning a three channel system with L,R,C for music?
post #2 of 16
I've been using a 7-speaker layout since 1991, primarily for music listening. So even with 2-channel music, it's been 3 speakers across the front.

Were you planning on using your centre speaker only with content that has a discrete centre channel or were you planning on using it with 2-channel material as well? If the latter, then what were you considering using to extract a centre output?
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesorensen06 View Post

Does anyone have any experience listening or owning a three channel system with L,R,C for music?

Meridian's Trifield mode is terrific for music sources -- even better with surrounds added to the mix, but works great with only three across the front too
post #4 of 16
Another is the SST Trinaural processor. Works differently than Trifield and not only because it's all in the analog domain. Haven't heard it for years but was impressed when I did. Owned a couple of Meridian processors over the years and like Trifield as well.

http://www.ampzilla2000.com/trinaural.html
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post


Meridian's Trifield mode is terrific for music sources -- even better with surrounds added to the mix, but works great with only three across the front too

Yup! Just be sure that the center channel speaker is up to the task
post #6 of 16
Why? When you do 2 channel right, you do not need a center channel with extra speaker, wires and electronics. A waste IMHO.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talk2Me View Post

Why?
Because when you do 3-channel right, it can more closely recreate the wavefront of the original event compared to 2 channel. Which is why "stereo" was oringally intended to be 3 speakers, not 2 (it was the limitations of the delivery media of the time that limited stereo to 2 channels).
post #8 of 16
Free download article describing the original 3-channel "stereo" experiment, courtesy of the AES (it's a 4.4 MB download, BTW):

http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/bell.labs/auditoryperspective.pdf
post #9 of 16
We hear with two ears, not three, and if a two channel setup is of sufficiently high quality and properly balanced in a room with no serious acoustic issues, and of course fed a well recorded piece of two channel music, it can sound as good as a three channel, which with two channel recordings is artificially creating the center channel. I don't know of anything currently being recorded in three channels, only 2.0, 5.1, and maybe a few 7.1 or higher, so listening to two channel in three or more channels uses a matrix system such as DPLII, Logic 7, or Circle Surround, to artificially create the extra channels. That can be a good listening experience, especially with Logic 7 music, but it often depends on the mix used, as that can create strange effects if not done correctly. Music CDs are generally recorded and mastered in 2.0 of course, so two speakers should properly recreate the original recording. For CD music listening I actually prefer two channel most of the time. Now with that said, I admit I also enjoy music in surround, especially music videos, most of which are recorded in surround these days (5.1) to start with and so they sound best as they were recorded, but also are very nice using the matrix decoders also. I actually copy a lot of music videos to DVD-R and the audio is necessarily copied as DD 2.0 regardless of the original soundtrack, so I ususally play them back using DPLII music or Logic 7 music. Using a center channel will help lock in front vocals (if there are any) but that may or may not sound as good as you expect. But of course in the end it is a matter of personal taste.

I should add that if someone prefers a three channel setup they might want to try using the venerable Citation 7.0 processor. It used a proprietary 7.2 surround decoding process called 6-Axis designed by the legendary Jim Fosgate (who designed DPLII) and because the 7.0 did not digitize the front three channels for it's analog processing, it provided an unusually clean and transparent sound quality. I used the 7.0 for many years and enjoyed it immensely, especially it's two channel bypass, but also it's unique surround for music. For anyone serious about music in surround I highly recommend the 7.0 be given a try, and good used versions usually sell for about $400.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

We hear with two ears, not three
What does that have to do with anything? That's like saying our eyes are only a few inches apart, so we don't need video displays bigger than that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

I don't know of anything currently being recorded in three channels
Current multi-channel music recordings include surround channels, but some early "stereo" recordings were 3-channel: RCA Red Seal Living Stereo catalogue, Mercury Living Presence catalogue, Sam Cooke's 'Night Beat', Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue', Dave Brubeck's 'Time Out'. Nat King Cole's early catalogue (Capitol Records years) was recently released on SACD: of the seven albums, six are 3-channel.
post #11 of 16
Dialog intelligibility is improved with three channel playback when you have a large spread in between the speakers. Many of the early Capitol stereo recordings through the 50's and 60's were tracked in three channels. Music on two and vocal on the third. That allowed vocal levels to be adjusted during mixdown to the final 2 channel stereo master.
post #12 of 16
Might look at the Magnepan-Bryston Tri-Center system.

Steve
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by vandevantersh1 View Post

Might look at the Magnepan-Bryston Tri-Center system.
Yup, Magnepan just discovered what Bell Labs was telling us in the 1930s.
post #14 of 16
re: Trinaural Processing

Have you considered using a Dolby Pro Logic decoder center-output to subtract from the summed L and R inputs (to attenuate/remove center-channel content) and subtract this output from the summed L/R input signal to get a derived center-channel - in order to remove most ambiance content from the center-channel. The separate L and R channels can then be extracted by combining the input sum-signal with the L/R difference-signal minus the derived center-channel, as described in the previous sentence.

C* = Dolby Pro Logic; Lt = Left total (input); Rt = Right total (input); C# = Derived; L# = Derived; R# = Derived

Lt+Rt-C*=L#+R#

Lt+Rt-(L#+R#)=C#

Lt+Rt+(Lt-Rt)-C#)=2L#

Lt+Rt+(Rt-Lt)-C#)=2R#
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rblnr View Post

Another is the SST Trinaural processor. Works differently than Trifield and not only because it's all in the analog domain. Haven't heard it for years but was impressed when I did. Owned a couple of Meridian processors over the years and like Trifield as well.

http://www.ampzilla2000.com/trinaural.html

I put this in 1987 Dan Marino's second untreated family room not to deal with the surround echoes, it rocked!
post #16 of 16
Yeah, everything James Bogiorno(sp?) did pretty much rocked, the SST and especially his Class A biased amps. He got how to express music thru electronics.
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