My last several set-ups have all had three identical mains, across the front.
My current set-up employs Seaton Catalyst12C, three of them. My center is currently horizontally config'd, with little to no audible issue when compared to the normal vertical orientation due to the coaxial design of the MF/HF drive section. From around 180hz on up, the coax handles everything. Since the (2)12" LF drives are separated by less than a foot, and only cover a limited range, the audible difference between horizontal and vertical orientation are minimal.
I'm eventually moving toward an AT screen, however our current system utilizes a 65" plasma display. Our non-dedicated family room is quite modest in size (25x13), and is as multi-function as they come. The amount of gear in this room is already significant. Everyone's patient with all the gear, but moving to a projection system is a step that changes the home's circular floor plan, to two dead ends
! Even in a temp scenario, big step. I'm working on it. They do love the superb audio.
Originally Posted by commsysman
It is very instructive that NO manufacturer recommends three identical speakers for the front.
The requirements for best performance are totally different for front L/R speakers and center speakers, and that is why they design dedicated center speakers.
This is multi-channel 101, and essentially the first and perhaps one of the most important starting points of system design and implementation; three identical loudspeakers across the front.
Originally Posted by Newbie01
As soon as you change the orientation of a speaker from vertical to horizontal you change the speaker. Even if it is the exact same speaker.
This depends on the speaker. Coaxial designs, such as the Seaton Catalyst family, change very little according to orientation. Front baffle diffraction may
impact someaberrations response abberations, however audibility would be questionable.
Originally Posted by Nethawk
Until manufacturers begin producing acoustically transparent flat screen displays the ability to distance ourselves from horizontally placed center channel speakers just ain't gonna happen.
There's a variety of solutions other than the typical horizontal center. I've had outstanding results from covering a room from directly above the display, angled down,... and L&R angled down and in. My background is laden with pro audio experience, and this is essential stuff, ie., covering a room from slightly above, angled down and in. My first HT I never gave a horizontal center a thought. My display height dictated my center channel elevation, and left and right should always be in the exact same height for uniformity.
Anything less was never an option.
Originally Posted by wse
The center channel’s job is a tough one.
Isn't that the understatement? All too often we see ill advised, ill optimized, poorly designed center channels. Yeah, it's that important.Edited by FOH - 4/7/13 at 8:42am