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Athena B2/B1 as center question.....  

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am an owner of an Athena speaker system, have been for quite some time (F2, C1, R1). I have often read of people being unhappy with the C1 as a center, and recomending the B2 or B1 as a center instead. For people that do this, do you lay the speaker down on its side so the B1 or B2 looks more like a traditional "center" speaker? Would this be a problem as far as sound quality? In my setup, there really is no way I would use one of those speakers standing right side up as a center, it would not be asthetically pleasing.

Also, what exactly do people hear better when they switch from a C1 to a B1 or B2 as a center?

Brett
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
anyone?
post #3 of 14
I agree that the C1 center sounds a bit weak compared to the F2 towers. If you are using F2 as front speakers, with the C1 center, try listening to a TV show in ProLogic and switch to stereo, especially on men's voices, and you should hear a difference. I sure do. There was a review somewhere on the web that mentioned the center as a tad weak on men's voices. My opinion is that 3 front speakers all of the same model is best, if you can arrange it. Like maybe put the TV on a pedestal with a F2 as center. That should cause your wife to file for divorce when she sees it. Might be a good excuse to get that thin plasma TV to mount on the wall with the F2 in front as center. I don't know if 2 b2s, one on each side of the TV, as centers, would work sonically. That's my 2 cents worrth, I don't claim to be an expert on anything but eating and sleeping.
post #4 of 14
I have been thinking about the same thing. most people are just saying to use one B2, but one or two people have wired 2 B2's in parellel and layed them on the sides in a W-T-T-W config, simulating a dual driver center channel. The only problem I see witht his is that it also creates a dual tweeter center channel. that is not ideal as far as I know.
post #5 of 14
I emailed Athena to ask about center options. They said this:
"To answer your center channel question, using two bookshelf speakers as a center leads to a lot of phasing and other problems. The end result is that the center sounds completely different in different room positions. I would honestly use the C1 and if it has a lack of headroom, use it in small mode, and let the systems subwoofer fill in the bottom octave. Also, break in time is 100 hours, the speakers will all sound better after break in is complete"
I then inquired about using a F2 as a center, they said:
"The drivers aren’t centered in the cabinet so the sound would not sound like its coming from the middle of the screen at all. I don’t think that would work. If the C1 sounds that bad to you, maybe you look at other brands of centers that use a textile type tweeter. I can’t recommend anything as we don’t test other products in systems, but that may be your only option"
I dont understand how a F2 as a center would not sound centered, unless he thinks I'm talking about layng it down, which I'm not.
post #6 of 14
hmm, yeah, I am not sure about the f2 comment either. Although, I am probably going with the f1's myself. depends on what mood I am in when I buy really. I am a little excited right now. I just found a piar of AS-R1's at local best buy. 1 was an open box, 1 was clearance, so the pair was $120.
post #7 of 14
He thought I wanted to lay the F2 down as a center, I explained I wanted to have all 3 F2s up front, standing normally. He said that would be fine. Best Buy is blowing out many of the athenas. I can get a pair of their demo F2s for 300.00, that includes tax, and they will throw in a 5 year Best Buy warranty. That's really good.
post #8 of 14
I have the F1's and the C1 in my HT. I went for the F1's only because the F2's were (and still are) quite a bit more expensive (I got my F1's real cheap, probably a typo in the flyer). I found the C1 a bit lacking at first, but it's a lot better now, especially with a separate amp running it (Ashly SRA-120 I had lying around). I find male voices were quite decently reproduced now.

I also have two Athena "sub-8" subs. There's nothing on their website about them, not even that they exist, but I got them free when I bought the C1 and the B2's (used in another system). They're alright I guess, I have nothing to compare them to, and can't complain since the price was right :)
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by Big_D_STeve
He thought I wanted to lay the F2 down as a center, I explained I wanted to have all 3 F2s up front, standing normally. He said that would be fine. Best Buy is blowing out many of the athenas. I can get a pair of their demo F2s for 300.00, that includes tax, and they will throw in a 5 year Best Buy warranty. That's really good.
I am still looking for a set of local f2's. I don't want to pay 130 extra for getting a set shipped, but if I can find a pair locally, I would get them for sure.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
I do appreciate the replies, but nobdy has answered the main point of the question. When using a B2 as a center, are people laying them on their side or sitting them rightside up?

Someone out there should be able to answer this.....

Thanks

Brett
post #11 of 14
Kinda picky aint you? You want your question answered. Ha. Just kidding. I would think you would want it standing upright, with the way the tweeter sits in the box, it's made to be upright. Plus the woofer would be laying toward the right or left and not centered. Using two B2s might be better, with the tweeters next to each other. Probably requires some sophisticated computer modeling to determine the best way. You can go to Athena's web page and send them an email. By the way, audioadvisor.com was selling the F2s for 400.00, with free shipping, and they are an authorized dealer.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally posted by Big_D_STeve

"The drivers aren’t centered in the cabinet so the sound would not sound like its coming from the middle of the screen at all. I don’t think that would work.
this applies fairly universally to any speaker. they are typically (not always) designed with a certain vertical/horizantal alignment. swapping it could disrupt the dispersion of the speaker and cause excessive localization among other things. at least that is what I have gathered from my readings.
post #13 of 14
Sounds reasonable. I kinda wonder how much of a difference there is. I'm in my 40s myself, and they say after age 30, you already have lost some hearing, especially in the higher frequencies. Set up a test, try it out, should be fun.
post #14 of 14
yeah, easy answer, buy one and try it. if it sounds good to you, problem solved. I find that sometimes I get to caught up in the numbers and theories of audio. sometimes you just have to step back and let your eres tell you.
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