Originally Posted by RMK!
The LR&C speakers are key to great HT sound and as Kal and others have said, three identical LCR's is best and by that I mean the same orientation. This usually means an acoustically transparent screen and FP.
There are many AV systems (I refuse to call these Home Theaters
) with television based flat screen video. That complicates matters regarding the center channels placement and orientation thus compromises are necessary. Add to that the WAF esthetics issues of a non-dedicated space and things get even more complicated. With a picture being worth at least 1000 words, I had these (and a few other
) configurations in my HT room:
This was one config with a dedicated horizontal CC with moderate positive WAF:
Then I eliminated the equipment cabinet and went with this decidedly un-WAF friendly front stage (with an identical but horizontal center):
and finally, I decided to do it "right" (IMHO) so out went the plasma and in came a 130" AT screen with the identical LCR's behind the screen.
This last setup is by far the best sounding and the picture is great. Since it is a dedicated space, how the room looks was a low priority (although the dog likes it
Excellent post, RMK! I was going to put up a post going way negative on commsysman. However, your tact of showing how to do it "right" is a much better approach.
Thanks for leading the way on that!
In my own system, I've had several iterations of CC's and I finally settled on an AT screen with the CC behind it. This is absolutely the best, most "right" way to do the CC. My current system utilizes a CC which is "virtually" identical to the L/R's. It uses the same drivers and same cabinet internal volume. The only difference is the horizontal arrangement of the woofers, (and a minor change to the crossover to compensate for the horizontal woofers.) I built stands that got the tweeter/midrange drivers at exactly the same height as the drivers in the L/R's.
I bought this speaker set used, and it came with the horizontal CC. If I had been buying new, I would certainly have gotten a 3rd Platinum LCR instead of the CC. However, the sound of this CC is so close to the L/R's that, on-axis, it is indistinguishable. Off-axis, there is some minor lobing, but I never sit off-axis, (unless someone is here demo'ing the system, in which case I give the sweet spot to them.)
My previous system was 3 identical speakers, Atlantic Technology 8200e's. That system also exhibited the same solid, cohesive and integrated front soundstage typical of the 3-identical speakers arrangement:
To the OP:
I agree completely with the other posters in this thread who have stated that 3 identical, vertically aligned speakers, all mounted at the same height, will provide the best front sound stage possible. If that isn't possible, then a timbre-matched speaker with similar frequency range, sensitivity and alignment will provide the most optimal blend of the CC with the L/R's. Then mount it as close to the same height as the L/R's as possible. The CC is not the "most important" speaker in an HT, but it is definitely "equally important" as the L/R's. Instead of selecting the CC first, I suggest you select the front soundstage as a "system", not as individual speakers.