A few center speaker questions - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-13-2019, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Question A few center speaker questions

I am a total hack when it comes to audio, and I always seem to have to do things in my own odd way. I currently have a 7.1 system. Every speaker is a Klipsch RC-7 or the equivalent (fronts are RF-5 with RC-7 components). I ended up there simply because I liked the sound my RC-7 better than any other speaker I had. My sub is an old PB-12 Plus, which is old, but I like it.

The new SVS Prime Pinnacle speakers have me thinking about a refresh. I have been impressed with all things SVS, and the price seems very competitive.

My first question is a general one. I seen figures from 70% to 85% for the percentage of content that is delivered through the center channel, and that seems to make sense. Assuming that to be true, it would seem to make sense that home theater systems would be designed and built around the center speaker. Maybe that is the case, but I do not see it. SVS has Prime Pinnacle towers, but not a Prime Pinnacle center. I do not have the knowledge to understand whether center speakers are essentially as good as they can be or not, but it seems odd that they are always in the shadow of the towers. Wouldn't it make more sense for SVS to offer a horizontal version of the Prime Pinnacle tower with proper driver placement for a center channel? I really am fishing for some general information here if anyone wants to help me.

My second question is whether it would make sense to put an Ultra center speaker in a Prime Pinnacle/Prime 7.2 system. It again seems to make sense that if the center speaker provides most of the information, I would want then best one possible. Or would there be a reason not to mix them? In that regard, I have ADHD, which seems to affect my listening. A lot of my brain is always off thinking about other things, and I tend not to notice details that others do. The sound system is mostly for my wife and sons. So if mixing might create problems, I likely would not notice.

Lastly, assuming that center speakers are designed to handle 70% of the work, was my decision to use them all the way around nuts? I did not want to lose the tower aspect, but with the Klipsch, it was just a matter of switching out the tweeters on RF-5, and they had the same components. For the back and side surrounds, the horizontal orientation did not seem like a problem. At the same time, I wonder if the center speakers are designed to project sound straight forward, and maybe the others have a wider pattern. All center speakers was my own idea. It seems to have worked, but I did not do any fair comparisons to alternatives.

Would greatly appreciate any thoughts even if they are that I need in patient psychiatric treatment.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-14-2019, 02:18 PM
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The Prime and Ultra loudspeaker families share several design similarities and have been voiced to sound very similar.

Mixing the Ultra Center with Prime Pinnacles has been a popular combination with customers since Pinnacle launched - it's a great combination.

Both the Prime Center and Ultra Center have a vertical tweeter/midrange orientation, which is designed to minimize off-axis lobing and comb filtering.

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post #3 of 5 Old 08-14-2019, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Mullen View Post
The Prime and Ultra loudspeaker families share several design similarities and have been voiced to sound very similar.

Mixing the Ultra Center with Prime Pinnacles has been a popular combination with customers since Pinnacle launched - it's a great combination.

Both the Prime Center and Ultra Center have a vertical tweeter/midrange orientation, which is designed to minimize off-axis lobing and comb filtering.
That was helpful, especially about voicing. Here is my dilemma. I do not watch TV or movies. Maybe an hour or two a month. So this is all about my 55 year old wife with her old ears and my 17 and 14 year old boys. As a practical matter, and I going to make a noticeable difference for them with the ultra instead of the prime center? I really am looking for a 30,000 foot view. Everyone is different, so no way you could actually tell me, but from an overall perspective, is that a good focus of my attention, or would I be better off looking at elevation?

From my own perspective, I find that my ability to appreciate the next level up for speakers ends pretty low in the process. Then again, I love red wine, but if there is a difference between a $30 bottle and a $100 bottle, I have not seen it.

By the way, I love your subwoofers, and I am delighted to see what you are doing with speakers. You guys have simplified my audio life considerably because I am comfortable trusting you. I sort of wish that you have something along the lines of the Klipsch CF-4 or the JTR NOESIS 215RM, but I have no doubt that the Prime/Pinnacle/Ultra setup will be a giant leap from where we are now.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-15-2019, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleDavis View Post
That was helpful, especially about voicing. Here is my dilemma. I do not watch TV or movies. Maybe an hour or two a month. So this is all about my 55 year old wife with her old ears and my 17 and 14 year old boys. As a practical matter, and I going to make a noticeable difference for them with the ultra instead of the prime center? I really am looking for a 30,000 foot view. Everyone is different, so no way you could actually tell me, but from an overall perspective, is that a good focus of my attention, or would I be better off looking at elevation?

From my own perspective, I find that my ability to appreciate the next level up for speakers ends pretty low in the process. Then again, I love red wine, but if there is a difference between a $30 bottle and a $100 bottle, I have not seen it.

By the way, I love your subwoofers, and I am delighted to see what you are doing with speakers. You guys have simplified my audio life considerably because I am comfortable trusting you. I sort of wish that you have something along the lines of the Klipsch CF-4 or the JTR NOESIS 215RM, but I have no doubt that the Prime/Pinnacle/Ultra setup will be a giant leap from where we are now.
The Prime Center and Ultra Center sound very similar. The Ultra Center has somewhat deeper bass response and higher dynamic output due to its larger woofers and enclosure.

This seems like a non-critical application (from your perspective) for the center channel - and I'm sure your family will be thrilled with either choice and the Prime Center is smaller, lighter, easier to fit into the entertainment area and also less expensive. So it sounds like the Prime Center is the best choice for your particular application.

Ed Mullen
Director - Technology and Customer Service
SVS

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-15-2019, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Thanks again

I really appreciate this Ed. I have been known to joke that I buy audio equipment to listen to music while some people buy music to listen to their audio equipment. Photography is also a hobby of mine, and I like to take nice pictures, but some people analyze their pictures for minute imperfections. We call them pixel peepers. I have discovered that just as there is a real difference between $8 wine and $20 wine, my move to serious audio equipment made a real difference in my family's home theater enjoyment. The SVS subwoofer was a revelation.

I also know that there are people who genuinely can hear and appreciate audio differences that escape me. I respect and admire that even if it is not my own experience. I have really appreciated the kind assistance of those people here, and i certainly would include you in that. You have saved me a lot of needless agonizing and research, and I can research things to death. You have done me a great service, and I appreciate it.
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