Originally Posted by Dennis Murphy
Uh--people who really don't want to spend another $400 if they don't have to. I personally think the RAAL is something of a waste on a center channel. You might even prefer the slightly more forward midtreble presentation you get with the dome on a speaker that will spend most of its time reproducing dialog.
Is the CC just for dialogue, or is it an integral part of the front soundstage? In my experience, it is most definitely the latter. In fact, a CC *identical* to the L/R's is the "gold standard." It's how recording studios and movie theaters are setup. Is there some reason the CC is less important in a Home Theater than in the place the content was recorded, or the place it was recorded for? So what if the CC spends most of it's life producing dialogue? When it's called upon to do some heavy lifting, it needs to be just as capable as the L/R's, at least IMO.
If a sound effect is recorded across the entire front soundstage, or if it pans "through" the soundstage, isn't it just as important for it to sound the same coming from the CC as it does from the L/R's? For example, if a truck is moving left to right on the video image, who wants the truck to sound like a truck on the left, a Honda with a coffee can muffler in the middle, and a truck again on the right? It should sound like a truck all the way across. The best possible chance it has of sounding the same as it moves from speaker to speaker to speaker is for all the speakers to be identical. Short of being identical, they should all have a close tonal/timbre-match, a close output match and they should all be at the same height as the L/R's. If you've never experienced a CC with the aforementioned characteristics, you definitely need to experience a properly designed and installed CC. If this is what you think a CC ought to be, it's no wonder that you place so little value on it:
Here is what a "proper" front soundstage should look like:
and what it should look like with the "display" in place:
(BTW, I am neither a Philharmonic nor a Salk owner. I was asked a question about CC's via PM by another member who owns your Phil2's, and he referred to your belief that spending a lot of money on a CC was "overkill." I thought I would respond here as it's an interesting discussion.)