HTM-12 should I use a center? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-04-2019, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
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HTM-12 should I use a center?

I'm trying to decide between going with 2 or 3 HTM-12s. I don't know much about the seos waveguides, but I was wondering if the seos-15 in a 2.1 channel defeats the purpose of a center channel. I would just go with a 3.1 setup, but I'm planning to build a TV stand with 4x 12" subs down firing (about 1.5'x1.5'x5'). If I go with a 3.1 setup, my TV stand will have to be split in two, with the center in between them.

I also have an old polk audio center channel sitting around that could lay on top of the subwoofer TV stand but it would probably just get drowned out by the HTMs. The TV will be wall mounted.
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-05-2019, 12:02 PM
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Y'know, that's a darn good question. Answer may be dependent on distance between L/R HTM-12s, distance to (& width of) seating. Third HTM-12 would almostly certainly be an improvement - but it might be marginal. Would definitely rule out the Polk tho' - receiver would be routing critical dialogue to an inferior speaker.
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-05-2019, 12:08 PM
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IMO a phantom center does not take the place of a true discrete center channel, especially for dialog.
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-05-2019, 12:09 PM
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If you gots a TV, fusion 8 center is about as low profile as it gets.

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post #5 of 15 Old 04-05-2019, 12:43 PM
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The HTM12 with the 15" SEOS horn

These F15's are about 66-72 C2C for the horns depending on toe-in.

66 is for stereo, with subs.
all else movies, and such
I sit 11 feet back from the TV so FL/FR are a tad more . .

I cannot overstate the total awesomeness /dimension-ality (?) /clarity , and so forth of "only" the stereo soundfield these can produce,
source material dependent of course
legacy stereo - you'll have to re-listen to everything you like, all over again- and you'll love it

and yes, I have front wall treatments. ceiling treatments, 1st reflection pt. treatments, a few high corner traps and a few other things hanging around

it was exactly because of the F15's that I got the HTM6's for my man cave, also a seemingly well treated room, for all of its' 100 ft^2.
If you inclined for "recreational relaxation" and sublime immersion in "your tunes"
so . . . depending on L-R separation and toe-in options , you just may not need the CC

but matching LCR of course is a different subject.

as is on-ceiling SCATMOS assemblies

Be sure to ask your HT Doctor is MOREDIY is right for you.

HTH
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DIY FAN Denon X4400 , ATI A 2000 for 7.4.6 SCATMOS Sammy 82" 4K/HDR
L/R: Fusion 15 V2 , C: 88 Special , SL/SR: 88 Special(V2) , RL/RR: F-3, TF/TR: Volt 6's TM: SLX, FH: F4Q4
SUBMAXIMUS V2, ,Submaximus V3,LOWARHORNCustom Dual Driver VBSS,2 x 6000DSP
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-05-2019, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfster View Post
IMO a phantom center does not take the place of a true discrete center channel, especially for dialog.
FWIW, would agree (in principle) for the general case; would also say that a matched :: discrete center is always better than a phantom center for an AT screen. But when you have to place the center channel speaker above or below a fixed screen (or panel), psycho-acoustic "centering" may not be able to cancel out the vertical offset. There are spaces & cases for which a phantom center would prove superior.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-05-2019, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotthal View Post
... But when you have to place the center channel speaker above or below a fixed screen (or panel), psycho-acoustic "centering" may not be able to cancel out the vertical offset. There are spaces & cases for which a phantom center would prove superior.
One person who has no issue with center speaker vertical offset is none other than Dr. Floyd Toole, whose personal dream system features a center speaker located immediately under the bottom of his TV and retractable projection screen as seen in the link below:

avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/3038828-how-choose-loudspeaker-what-science-shows-78.html#post57740652
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-05-2019, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoobutter View Post
I'm trying to decide between going with 2 or 3 HTM-12s. I don't know much about the seos waveguides, but I was wondering if the seos-15 in a 2.1 channel defeats the purpose of a center channel. I would just go with a 3.1 setup, but I'm planning to build a TV stand with 4x 12" subs down firing (about 1.5'x1.5'x5'). If I go with a 3.1 setup, my TV stand will have to be split in two, with the center in between them.

I also have an old polk audio center channel sitting around that could lay on top of the subwoofer TV stand but it would probably just get drowned out by the HTMs. The TV will be wall mounted.
Definitely do not use the polk center, you will notice as things pan across the screen (for example if someone is talking and moves from offscreen left, across the screen and then offscreen right) and a huge portion of the audio is played through the center, so the worst speaker would be playing the most sound.

I have a phantom center with the 88 Specials in my living room (see signature) with the 88 Specials mounted on shelves flanking the TV. The 88 Specials use the same waveguide as the HTM-12s. My couch seats 4 across.

When in the middle two seats I don't notice any odd effects from the phantom center. Everything sounds like it pans properly and the dialog is good and "lined up" with where the person is on the screen. On the outer two seats if I concentrate on the speakers then I can sometimes notice that the sound seems like it is coming from a little bit off of where it is supposed to be. The issue is the outer seats have one speaker aimed directly at the outer seat so it is easier to localize the speaker. I use the word "sometimes" and "concentrate" because I have to make a conscious effort to notice it, if I am just watching a movie or TV show I never notice it.

I haven't tried toe-ing in the 88s because of the width of the room and wanting them to be ok for playing music. If your room isn't wide then toe-ing in the speakers would probably fix the edge seating issue and many recommend toe-ing the SEOS designs anyway.

In my basement home theater I have an AT (Acoustic Transparent) screen and am using my old tower speakers before I upgrade to 3 HTM-12s. The home theater is 4 wide with 2 rows, but the speakers aren't right at the edge behind the screen and the seats are further back compared to my family room. In this scenario I can't isolate the speakers and it never sounds wrong. I think this is probably because I can't see the speakers so the sound always just sounds like its coming from the right place.

So, if you think the WAF (Significant Other Acceptance Factor) or difficulty/reusability of the TV stand would be messed up by forcing the split for the HTM-12 then I think the phantom center will work really well. If its really a coin toss on whether to split the TV stand or not, then 3 HTMs will always be better. Also, if you ever changed to a projector and screen, or wanted to reuse the speakers in a true home theater, having 3 would be better.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-06-2019, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the responses. I still can't decide but I'm leaning towards sticking with 2, but I'm also toying with the idea of a fusion 8 center. I might have room for it and keep the TV stand as one peice. To answer some questions, the distance between the speakers is going to be about 6ft, and the listening/viewing position is about 10ft. The listening/viewing position is about 7ft - 8ft wide.

Also, if I go with a fusion 8 for the center, could I get away with powering it by the receiver or should I get another amp for that as well? I'll be using an 1 external amp for the HTM-12s and one for the subwoofers.
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-06-2019, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doodoobutter View Post
Also, if I go with a fusion 8 for the center, could I get away with powering it by the receiver or should I get another amp for that as well? I'll be using an 1 external amp for the HTM-12s and one for the subwoofers.
At 98.5dB sensitivity you'll easily drive it with AVR power to very high levels. I recently added one to my HTM-10 L/R setup and it sounds great.

Having said that, I am toying with the idea of redesigning the stand to accommodate an HTM-8 center. Damn this illness...
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post #11 of 15 Old 04-06-2019, 11:02 AM
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Absolutely crazy to have the option of a 3rd matching htm12 and think about anything else.

I have 3 and the center is under my plasma. Its flipping incredible. Your brain wont allow you to think its on the floor if tilted properly.

I mean no offense when I say this -- you are way overthinking why NOT to do it. There is no downside.

99% of folks have a crap center with great mains flanking it...you have a chance for 3 awesome seamless speakers...stop thinking so much and buy 3. Ill take 3 matching fronts over almost any combination that does not match.
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post #12 of 15 Old 04-07-2019, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Yea I would prefer 3 HTM-12s, I'm just trying to decide if I'm going to split my subwoofer "TV stand" into 2 separate pieces. That's my only downside.
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post #13 of 15 Old 04-07-2019, 11:47 AM
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I have 3 HTM-12's behind my AT screen, all 3 firing straight out into the room. Just running stereo I find the phantom center effect is very convincing if, and only if, you're sitting in the direct center. If you move off center you lose that effect almost immediately. I probably could toe them in a bit more to improve that but I found that if the speaker is far enough away from the screen I get a slight echo effect that is worse than the imaging.

With the center speaker in the mix, I get superb imaging all around the room, and it always sounds correct. I'd highly recommend going with 3 if you've got the space.
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post #14 of 15 Old 04-08-2019, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I have redesigned my subwoofer TV stand to accommodate an HTM-12 as a center, I have been convinced. It won't be done for another month or 2 because I'm waiting on better weather to cut outside. I'll update this thread and start a new one when I do.

I won't exactly have to split it into 2 pieces, it's hard to explain. There will be pics lol.
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post #15 of 15 Old 04-10-2019, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitmap42 View Post
I haven't tried toe-ing in the 88s because of the width of the room and wanting them to be ok for playing music. If your room isn't wide then toe-ing in the speakers would probably fix the edge seating issue and many recommend toe-ing the SEOS designs anyway.

I don't see the issue with toeing in no matter how wide the room; the more off-center the listener, the more it would help.

In any case, how hard is it to just try it?

Noah
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