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Would this center-speaker work as a bass??

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi!

I'm in a quite particular situation here, and would really need some help figuring this out.

A while ago, I got an old 3.0 pack of speakers (the rear two and center speaker from: http://www.eltax.com/en/model/227_Chroma-5-pack.html), in great shape, and an old sony amplifier (http://www.sony-asia.com/support/product/SDP-E300), which seemed pretty dusty. Anyhow, I set the thing up, but when I started playing music I've noticed that it doesn't play certain sounds. I had no idea why (the rear speakers were really quiet, the center speaker did the lion's share of playing), and am to date still only guessing; a great example is the intro guitar of Slash's Anastasia (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JC0NJdfbsA), which was pretty nonexistent.

While figuring out what to do I continued using the set; it's the only true alternative to laptop-speakers in my student's apartment. But then, while playing music high-medium loud, the set all of a sudden started to play really crappy. Like, without any scratching sounds accompanying the transition, just like that. And since I kinda suspected that the flawful playing of music was the amplifier's fault, I now suspect that the amplifier, well, went.

So now I'm looking for a new amplifier. ..and I've mentioned I'm a student, I really wouldn't like to waste a lot of money on it. And since any proper amplifier costs about way too much, at least as far as I know, I was looking at cheaper options; 2.1 amps from ebay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-Mini-Hi-Fi-2-1-Radio-MP3-Amplifier-Stereo-Home-Car-Motorcycle-Boat-B5UT-/261309661914?pt=UK_AudioTVElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_Amplifiers&hash=item3cd74502da or http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UN3F-Lepai-LP-168HA-Super-Bass-2-1-Car-Power-Amplifier-Mosfet-Power-Amplifier-/281208118021?pt=UK_MusicalInstr_Amplifiers_RL&var=&hash=item41794f5b05) . Of course my first question is, are they any good? AND, would it work out if I connected my center speaker to the bass output? The lower end of the frequency range of the center is almost subwoofer-like, isn't it? ..another alternative would then be to buy a used subwoofer, but I'd do that only if it would be WAY better than the mentioned option and than buying a cca.30€ worth 2.1 speaker system.

I know the better option would be to buy some front speakers, a propper subwoofer, and a 5.1 amp, but I really don't have the finances for that..
Please help! And don't judge me if I'm doing major mistakes, I really don't know THAT much about sound systems.. but I'd really like to make use of those speakers, they seem pretty good. ..my alternative to all this is to buy a 2.1 speaker system for about 30€, but I think that would be a shame.

Thanks for the help.

post #2 of 10
A center speaker should operate from around 100 Hz up to around 4 Khz or higher. It is to provide center fill at MIDRANGE frequencies, and should produce NO BASS AT ALL!.

The front L/R speakers are supposed to provide all of the bass, unless of course you have a system subwoofer.

Without some budget numbers, how can anyone recommend anything to you?

I suggest that you consider one of the Harman-Kardon AVRs, which IMO have much better sound than any Sony or Yamaha or Pioneer etc.

The AVR 1700 is very good, and if that is too pricey the 1565 is only $200 or so. That is a very good price for a good unit.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm sorry, I should've written that all the specs and price-ranges are rather easy to see from the attached links. I haven't included anything myself, since I only have a limited knowledge of which specs are important.


Anyhow, the center speaker operates from 55 Hz - 20 kHz. Shouldn't this produce a bit of a bass?

Is what you were trying to say that in a 2.1 system the L/R speakers provide all the bass??


Well, the two amps in the links above range from 7 - 25 £ (10 - 30 €). Again, are they any good? .. my budget is max. 50 €, and as I've said, the ultimate alternative for me is to buy a 30€ 2.1system.

 

Thank you for the advice, but $200 is way out of my budget. I just want something that will enable me to use the speakers I've got, and if I won't be able to do this in the limits of my budget, I guess I'll have to buy something else. But as I've already mentioned, I think it would be a shame to buy and use low-end speakers, when I have some better one's lying around..that's why I'm trying all kinds of stuff to make them work.

post #4 of 10
You didn't mention any front speakers or how you are connecting the system. The speakers look adequate, but if you only have the rears and the center you don't have a 5.0 system or even a 2.0 system. And your Sony seems to be an "add-on" surround processor and it doesn't look like it has amplifiers for the front channels.

If you are connecting the rear speakers to the rear outputs of the Sony, they will play only rear "ambient" information and only if the program source has surround information and the processor is set to a surround processing mode. There isn't much information in the rear channels so this isn't going to sound good.

And if you are going to try to use the rear speakers for fronts, you are going to have poor sound as well because those speakers are dipoles - the drivers are wired out of phase for a "null" in front of the speaker for a better rear surround effect - they won't work for front speakers. The center speaker won't work as a "bass" speaker and since your surround processor only has "mix" preamp out intended for a powered sub, there would be no way to connect it as a bass speaker anyway - you would need an amp.

You mentioned getting a 2.1 system - if it was powered you could connect it to the front / sub outputs and that would give you a 5.1 system but you will need to make sure the speakers match pretty well for the system to sound right.
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

A center speaker should operate from around 100 Hz up to around 4 Khz or higher. It is to provide center fill at MIDRANGE frequencies, and should produce NO BASS AT ALL!.

The above post is an unfortunate example of erroneous posts from a common source of them around here.

In fact center speakers often are:

(1) What most people would call a full-range speaker such as B&W 803 that has response down to 30-50 Hz



(2) A specialized center channel speaker that has response down to 50-80 Hz.



In either case the center channel speaker produces what most audiophiles call bass, and frequencies that show up on most frequency range charts as bass. Perhaps not the deepest bass, but bass.
Quote:
The front L/R speakers are supposed to provide all of the bass, unless of course you have a system subwoofer.

Simply false, except that a well-configured system has a subwoofer, even if the main speakers are large floor-standers.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk
In either case the center channel speaker produces what most audiophiles call bass, and frequencies that show up on most frequency range charts as bass. Perhaps not the deepest bass, but bass.

Does this mean that if I connected the center speaker to the bass-output of a 2.1 amp it would still play some medium-satisfying bass?

 

Quote:
And if you are going to try to use the rear speakers for fronts, you are going to have poor sound as well because those speakers are dipoles - the drivers are wired out of phase for a "null" in front of the speaker for a better rear surround effect - they won't work for front speakers. The center speaker won't work as a "bass" speaker and since your surround processor only has "mix" preamp out intended for a powered sub, there would be no way to connect it as a bass speaker anyway - you would need an amp.

But what if I got a 2.1 amp and connected the three speaker I have to THAT amp, not the sony sound processor I have now? Would that sound alright?

 

Quote:
You mentioned getting a 2.1 system - if it was powered you could connect it to the front / sub outputs and that would give you a 5.1 system but you will need to make sure the speakers match pretty well for the system to sound right.

Though I was thinking about (that means: my backup plan is) buying a cheaper 2.1 system, that would probably not match the speakers I have now, (if for nothing else, just for the sake of curiosity) what should I be trying to match (which specs), if I'd be using the new 2.1 set with my current speakers for a 5.1 system?

 

Thanks to all you guys helping me out!

Yet my question still remains, would it sound ok if I connected the three speakers I have (detailed specs in the Eltax link from the first post) to a relatively cheap 2.1 amplifier from ebay (links in post #1) in a way that the center speaker would be connected as a bass, and the two dipolar rear speakers would be connected as L/R. Would that turn out well?

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yersiwx View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk 


In either case the center channel speaker produces what most audiophiles call bass, and frequencies that show up on most frequency range charts as bass. Perhaps not the deepest bass, but bass.
Does this mean that if I connected the center speaker to the bass-output of a 2.1 amp it would still play some medium-satisfying bass?

Yup - depends what rocks your cradle! There are such things as 5.5 inch alleged subwoofers on the market, and some centers are robust to be in the same league for bass.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk
Yup - depends what rocks your cradle! There are such things as 5.5 inch alleged subwoofers on the market, and some centers are robust to be in the same league for bass.

Sweet! And the rear-dipolar speakers? would they work as L/R speakers on a 2.1 amp?

And if yes (gosh I hope the answer is yes!), would such a cheap-ass amp as this one do the job: ebay-amp?

post #9 of 10
Your only chance to get a dipole speaker to sound like a standard speaker is to open it up and either disconnect the drivers on one side (so the out-of-phase driver is silent) or to try to reverse the wires on the drivers on one side of each speaker so they are in-phase bi-pole speakers and see how they sound. Or better yet, you could just trade them to someone looking for dipole surround speakers as they are usually more expensive than standard bookshelf speakers.
post #10 of 10
If you're talking about hooking your center channel to the subwoofer output on your amplifier, that ain't gonna work out so well for you. eek.gif
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