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Battle of the Center Channel Speakers? - Page 2

post #31 of 68
Yes, 3 identical speakers across the front soundstage is ideal, however it is extremely impractical for most of us. Seems like this thread is going the way of "if you don't have 3 identical speakers and a massive 120" AT screen, you're doing it backwards!"... my crappy home theater arrangements over the years all using crappy horizontal CC's below the tweeters of the L/R have sounded fantastic. I'm not saying there is no benefit to identical LCR, there is, but c'mon guys... systems using horizontal centers can sound incredible too, especially when you consider room-eq, etc.

Most of us could probably get away with using 3 monitors/bookshelf speakers but using all monitors/bookshelf speakers would reduce dynamic range and spl capabilities vs using full range speakers. Not to mention that the display then needs to be raised to accommodate that kind of setup, which is also not good imo. It's not so cut & dry.

Speaking of ideals.... ideally, you'd want to place your subwoofer(s) out in the middle of the room, practically floating in mid-air... but needless to say that's not possible for the majority of us. tongue.gifwink.gifbiggrin.gif
post #32 of 68
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the replies fellows! It looks like I am in the minority of people who believe that the center channel is the most important speaker in the setup, (when used for 100% home theater only). I personally believe that if someone is putting together a new, dedicated ht system, then that person should get the best possible center channel that he/she can afford, even if it means you have to step down a level on your mains and surrounds. It has been said over and over again that most of the sound, in a movie, comes from the center channel. So with that being said, I want to design my dedicated ht setup, with everything built around the center.

I do, of course realize that having 3 identical L/C/R speakers across the front would be the most ideal way to do this. My problem with that is the fact that I do not have the room in my current living quarters. When the time comes to build a new house with a dedicated ht room, then I will most likely go with 3 identical speakers across the front. I go through a lot of speakers, as I get a serious case of the upgrade bug every few years or so. I plan to keep doing this, until I get some sort of setup that begs me to stay. LoL.
post #33 of 68
Thread Starter 
I appreciate all of the responses, but, I don't see much discussion of the center channel speakers that I asked about. So with that being said, I would greatly appreciate it if some of you guys could possibly give me your subjective opinions on how these centers compare.

1. Paradigm CC-690
2. Paradigm C3 (possibly even C5)
3. B&W Nautilus htm1
4. Klipsch RC-64ii
5. Aerial CC3 (possibly even CC5)



Thanks!
post #34 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Thanks for all of the replies fellows! It looks like I am in the minority of people who believe that the center channel is the most important speaker in the setup, (when used for 100% home theater only). I personally believe that if someone is putting together a new, dedicated ht system, then that person should get the best possible center channel that he/she can afford, even if it means you have to step down a level on your mains and surrounds. It has been said over and over again that most of the sound, in a movie, comes from the center channel. So with that being said, I want to design my dedicated ht setup, with everything built around the center.
I do, of course realize that having 3 identical L/C/R speakers across the front would be the most ideal way to do this. My problem with that is the fact that I do not have the room in my current living quarters. When the time comes to build a new house with a dedicated ht room, then I will most likely go with 3 identical speakers across the front. I go through a lot of speakers, as I get a serious case of the upgrade bug every few years or so. I plan to keep doing this, until I get some sort of setup that begs me to stay. LoL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I appreciate all of the responses, but, I don't see much discussion of the center channel speakers that I asked about. So with that being said, I would greatly appreciate it if some of you guys could possibly give me your subjective opinions on how these centers compare.
1. Paradigm CC-690
2. Paradigm C3 (possibly even C5)
3. B&W Nautilus htm1
4. Klipsch RC-64ii
5. Aerial CC3 (possibly even CC5)
Thanks!

If you so adamantly believe that the CC is the "most important speaker in the setup", why do you want to use a horizontally aligned speaker in that position? Horizontally aligned speakers are notorious for lobing interference and and comb filtering. This article explains it: http://www.audioholics.com/education/loudspeaker-basics/center-channel-designs

It seems illogical to me to insist that the CC be the "best" speaker in the system... and then in the same breath, insist that the CC be a horizontal design. confused.gif

Craig
post #35 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

It seems illogical to me to insist that the CC be the "best" speaker in the system... and then in the same breath, insist that the CC be a horizontal design. confused.gif
Craig

LOL Good point.

I also think people are approaching this wrong in another way. It's not that the center channel is the most important. It's that a poor center channel choice is worse than no center channel at all. Bad enough center channel choice, and one would be better off running 4.1.

On the other hand, I can't imagine running an HT setup with 3.1 consisting of center and surrounds--no left and right speakers. Give me 4.1 over that. Not to mention 2.1 over 3.0 (but I'm partial to subs wink.gif )
post #36 of 68
What is there not to understand? Center channel is the most important for HT as 80% sound comes from it. But not everyone has a projector or wants one. And not everyone wants there plasma or lcd posted way up high to where their neck is hurting.

I would love to put a big tower speaker as center channel but puts tv way too high. Maybe a bookshelf as center.

And I don't know about phantom center. You seem to lose a lot of directional cues.
post #37 of 68
For me this is one of the most interesting threads, certainly the most thought provoking. After reading it I've decided to try two new options that are very different from my original approach to upgrading my HT.
post #38 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

If you so adamantly believe that the CC is the "most important speaker in the setup", why do you want to use a horizontally aligned speaker in that position? Horizontally aligned speakers are notorious for lobing interference and and comb filtering. This article explains it: http://www.audioholics.com/education/loudspeaker-basics/center-channel-designs
It seems illogical to me to insist that the CC be the "best" speaker in the system... and then in the same breath, insist that the CC be a horizontal design. confused.gif
Craig


I honestly wish that I could fit another tower in the center channel position, but unfortunately, I simply do not have the room.
post #39 of 68
Whether you feel the Front L/R are the most important, like I do, or think the center is the most important, like many do...IMHO, you have to get the best front 3 that you can afford/meets your standard/fits you space. To base your entire HT over a center channel seems flawed, just like basing your HT over L/R with no respect for a center is flawed!
post #40 of 68
For movies-only, I wouldn't suggest B&W. I have a pair of 804s, and if I get the matching HTM3s at some point, it would be because my one system has to do music well and movies decently. Someone earlier in the thread described B&W sound as 'flat and lifeless,' which isn't quite what I'd call it, but it's definitely more 'restrained,' so I can see where that description would come from. So if your system does a lot of classical, jazz, some classic rock, and the occasional movie, the B&W will be an excellent choice. If it's the other way around, go for something else.

I've always liked Paradigms when I've gotten the chance to demo their front L/R sets, but I haven't had the chance to take in a full surround system. Based on how the L/Rs sound, I would personally look in their lineup if I had the space/budget/inclination to do a movies-oriented setup. I guess that means my pick would be one of those.

Not a fan of Klipsch sound, personally. Any Klipsch that I've spent more than a couple minutes with has sounded fatiguing, though admittedly these are rarely 'nice' Klipsches, so I wouldn't build a system around a Klipsch center.
post #41 of 68
I've only heard Klipsch from the list, I have the RC-62 II and recently picked up an RC-35 for a second system. I've listened to a few systems, much lower than these, and purchased my Klipsch speakers based within the same price range (RF-82 II system without the sub) and like them a lot more. My dad has a set of old Polk RT1000i's and while they are much older and in a different price category, the Polks just seem to be reserved where-as the Klipsch speakers just bring out everything to life and kind of throw it in your face. I didn't do an A/B comparison in the same place but I did test them against my RF-52 II's, which now act as rears, and the RF-52's just played louder much easier. When I picked up the RF-35 system, it did sound a little harsher than the RF-82 II system but this could have been the room, haven't tried it yet, as I've never had a headache or any kind of unpleasant experience listening to Klipsch.

My recommendation would be to grab a movie that has a lot of dynamics and try out all of them at a local store if you can. Choose the scenes with the most action and dialogue and find which sounds best to you.
post #42 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

Whether you feel the Front L/R are the most important, like I do, or think the center is the most important, like many do...IMHO, you have to get the best front 3 that you can afford/meets your standard/fits you space. To base your entire HT over a center channel seems flawed, just like basing your HT over L/R with no respect for a center is flawed!

While I agree with most of your points, it just seems many speaker systems throw in an itsy bitsy center speaker as an afterthought which sucks if your main listening is with movies. I do agree though that front L/R is very important too.
post #43 of 68
What about 2 way identical bookshelf speakers as LCR and placing the center speaker horizontally (and having 1 or 2 good subwoofers)? That should make it so you don't have to put your TV up so high.
post #44 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by beezar View Post

What about 2 way identical bookshelf speakers as LCR and placing the center speaker horizontally (and having 1 or 2 good subwoofers)? That should make it so you don't have to put your TV up so high.

If you read the Audioholics article I linked above, you'll understand why turning a 2-way, vertical speaker on it's side is a bad idea.

Craig
post #45 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beezar View Post

What about 2 way identical bookshelf speakers as LCR and placing the center speaker horizontally (and having 1 or 2 good subwoofers)? That should make it so you don't have to put your TV up so high.


Trust me, I thought about that, but, my soon to be wife doesn't want me to do that. Plus, I really do not want to rely on bookshelf speakers for my front stage.
post #46 of 68
Thread Starter 
Have any of you guys compared the Klipsch RC-64ii to the Paradigm CC-690?

Also, have any of you guys compared the Paradigm CC-690 to the Paradigm C3?
post #47 of 68
I would argue that in the vast majority of cases, yes it's a bad idea to turn a bookshelf on it's side.... but there are some exceptions, provided the tweeter does not have a waveguide (or can be rotated horizontally, like the Ascend Sierra-1), the drivers are spaced very closely, the xover point is low enough, ect.

Still, the horizontal off axis dispersion is not going to be even.
post #48 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Have any of you guys compared the Klipsch RC-64ii to the Paradigm CC-690?
Also, have any of you guys compared the Paradigm CC-690 to the Paradigm C3?

I have not heard them, but doesn't the cc-690 look like a bad design according the that audioholics article. Maybe I'm wrong but that 3-way with 3 midrange drivers looks like it would have a lot of interference.
post #49 of 68
If I had the money right now, I would want to take a listen to the ascend sierra tower center. It's like 11 inches high.

421396448448
post #50 of 68
http://www.definitivetech.com/Products/products.aspx?path=Center_Channel_Speakers&productid=CS-8060HD

one of the best centers for the money...plus it fits in alot of cabinets...smile.gif
post #51 of 68
Some more speaker porn.

426450450
post #52 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by josh6113 View Post

http://www.definitivetech.com/Products/products.aspx?path=Center_Channel_Speakers&productid=CS-8060HD
one of the best centers for the money...plus it fits in alot of cabinets...smile.gif
confused.gif Irrespective of the fact that it's the much-maligned horizontal MTM design, would you actually recommend putting a speaker with an up-firing woofer and a rear firing slotted vent.. in a cabinet? confused.gif

346

Craig
post #53 of 68
sure...I do and it sounds great....plus off axis is dard good too
post #54 of 68
Thread Starter 
I should have included the Ascend Horizon center speaker in my list. It definitely looks to be a major contender, and the fact that I already own a pair of the Ascend Sierra-1's just sweetens the deal. I should note that I use my Sierra-1's for 2 channel listening, my ht system, on the other hand, is comprised of Definitive Technology BP-30's with a c/l/r-2000 and BP2x surrounds. I am still deciding whether or not I want to replace my Def Tech system for ht. Right now I am highly considering either going with a Klipsch RF-7ii setup, a Klipsch La Scala setup, a Paradigm Signature-1 + C5 setup, or possibly even some sort of Salk setup. It is just sooo hard to choose. There aren't any Paradigm dealers within a 300-400 mile radius that have a Signature setup for me to demo, nor do I know of anyone with a Klipsch La Scala setup in my area. This makes choosing very hard.
post #55 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I should have included the Ascend Horizon center speaker in my list. It definitely looks to be a major contender, and the fact that I already own a pair of the Ascend Sierra-1's just sweetens the deal. I should note that I use my Sierra-1's for 2 channel listening.

I just upgraded to the Ascend Horizon center and Sierra towers and I'm very impressed. I had the Sierra-1's in a 2-channel setup as well but moved them to surround duty in my HT setup. I definitely recommend auditioning the Horizon and Sierra towers if possible.
post #56 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by josh6113 View Post

sure...I do and it sounds great....plus off axis is dard good too
I'll keep that in mind when I read your future posts. eek.gif

Craig
post #57 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

I'll keep that in mind when I read your future posts. eek.gif
Craig
smile.gif...agreed
post #58 of 68
the energy rcl center channel is awsome clean clear and loud . best bang for the buck better than the def tech
post #59 of 68
I have a 14ish year old Paradigm LCR350 with 2-5.5"(?) woofers and a1" tweeter. I just talked to my friend where I buy my EQ from and it looks like I will be getting a Paradigm Center 3 which has 2-6.5." woofers, a 4."' midrange and 1" tweeter. I'm hoping this will be a major upgrade in center sound. What do you folks think? Got it for an excellent price as well.

Jeff
post #60 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by pronghorn/az View Post

I have a 14ish year old Paradigm LCR350 with 2-5.5"(?) woofers and a1" tweeter. I just talked to my friend where I buy my EQ from and it looks like I will be getting a Paradigm Center 3 which has 2-6.5." woofers, a 4."' midrange and 1" tweeter. I'm hoping this will be a major upgrade in center sound. What do you folks think? Got it for an excellent price as well.
Jeff

Just an FYI the LCR-350 has 2 - 6.5" woofers. wink.gifsmile.gif
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