What makes the best center? A speaker designed to be a center or a R/L @ the center? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-18-2000, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Well the subject says it all. Im supposing were talking about high quality speakers where the manufacturer offers a center channel that is well regarded. And the manufacturer also offers mains that are well regarded also. Given my user name you could take this to mean Aerial Acoustics, but its really anyone. You could easily consider B&W, Meridian, custom speakers that are high quality, etc.

On one hand you have some centers that are designed to handle things the centers need to handle and should sound good from many degress off axis. On the other hand, if you use a R or L for the center youre gonna have the exact same speaker there.

You can assume for the purposes of this question that the room is a good size room for audio.

So which setup is better?

- Jerry

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post #2 of 19 Old 03-18-2000, 02:47 PM
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My center is identical to my mains except the lower bass module was made a bit smaller to accomodate the screen for a FPTV.

The only difference in sound is that the center cannot go as low as the mains. The orientation is the same as the mains (vertical) so that dispersion characteristics are identical across the front stage.

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post #3 of 19 Old 03-18-2000, 05:15 PM
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Among even audiophiles you will get differences of opinion. Richard Vandersteen will say that you should have a unique center speaker and special surrounds for on wall mounting, to which Richard Hardesty of Widescreen Review will agree. Me, I luv having four full range speakers (Aerial 10Ts of course) for the front and surround speakers. But what about the center. Even though my current Aerial CC3 is not the quality of the 10Ts, it really does sound good in my system. This is the one situation where the limited vertical dispersion specs of THX make sense. I think that with the high quality of the Aerial CC5 center speaker, to be released hopefully about June 2000, that it makes it a no brainer for us Aerial luvers, get the C5 for center. For overall music the 10T may outperform the CC5 a bit, but the CC5 is going to excel for voicing, which is what the center speaker in a home theater system is all about! I might add that I've listened extensively in my system to movies and tv stuff with phantom center channel and regular Circle Cinema using the center channel, and no matter how good phantom center channel sounds (and it does), when you listen to the real center channel for extended periods of time there is no contest, the latter wins easily. And that's using the current CC3, I can't wait 'til I get the CC5.

[This message has been edited by Steve Bruzonsky (edited March 18, 2000).]

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post #4 of 19 Old 03-18-2000, 06:43 PM
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Shouldn't the center be designed to have a wider dispersion than the L/R speakers?

Michael talks very highly of the CC5.

-Mark
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-19-2000, 07:13 AM
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If the speakers are THX, then the vertical dispersion is controlled for both mains and centers (to reduce floor/ceiling reflections).

In general, a L/R can be used as a center (provided you don't lay it on its side) except in cases where the L/R pair are not symetrical in the cabinet.

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post #6 of 19 Old 03-20-2000, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the responses!

I think Im asking, all else being equal, in a large room that is at least 20 feet wide, for someone who has aerial 10ts would you think there is an advantage to going with one of the aerial centers (cc3 or soon to be released cc5) or just stick another 10t in the middle?

- Jerry
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-20-2000, 01:46 PM
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I think you have to frame the question in reference to seating position. If you are sitting in the sweetspot, I would argue that an identical speaker would sound best. If you're seated on the wings, you'll get better sound with a dedicated center. That's why THX uses the D'Appolito driver configuration. I prefer a phantom center. I only use my center channel when I have people over.

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post #8 of 19 Old 03-20-2000, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Thats very interesting. I think I would sit in the sweet spot but I want my guests (I plan on having guests) to have a good experience also...........

- Jerry
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-20-2000, 05:13 PM
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Gee, my room is only 18' 3" wide. But does 11' 11" high and 25 foot long count? Or the fact that I have lived with four Aerial 10Ts and CC3 center speaker for more than three years now?

Jerry, get the new CC5. The limited THX vertical dispersion makes it a better speaker for center purposes than the 10T, and the CC5 sonically and materialwise will be of similar quality to the 10T. I could raise my screen a bit and go with another 10T, but its my impression that the limited THX vertical dispersion works well with the CC3, and if I have any reservation about the CC3 sound quality, well, the CC5 is projected now for June, and I'm at the top of the list! I posed the question to Michael Kelly, with his reply that the CC5 would voice a bit better although the 10T would overall be a bit more musical - but it was a close question even for him. Also, I ordered a custom Sound Anchors stand, so that the top of the CC5 would be 40" high off the floor, as I want the center speaker higher than the norm so its closer to the axis of the front left and right 10Ts.

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post #10 of 19 Old 03-20-2000, 06:11 PM
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The reason for the drive configuration on THX horizontal center channel speakers is to reduce lobing...a very, very serious problem.

Some do prefer phantom centers; however, they also introduce a rather strong notch ... usually at about 3kHz.

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[This message has been edited by Dennis Erskine (edited March 21, 2000).]

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post #11 of 19 Old 03-20-2000, 09:14 PM
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Lets get serious. Here we have something that Dennis and I wholeheartedly agree. Now when was the last time you saw that? So hurry up and get your order in to get a CC5 reserved, as they'll be hot, hot, hot!

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/show....php?t=1158431 No dealer is authorized to tell you I refer to them - any referrals I make will be done personally by me. Over the years I have found certain dealer(s) who I cannot recommend for good reason.
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post #12 of 19 Old 03-21-2000, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies! Steve, when the ht is closer I will re-evaluate this. For now I just wouldnt even have the space for the cc5- my cc3 sits in between 2 shelves (it doesnt touch the top shelf but its real close)

I was just curious and it seems that the thx type center that Mike Kelley designs seems- in general- to be the safer route to go.

- Jerry
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post #13 of 19 Old 03-21-2000, 06:01 PM
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Then how does a THX type center fit in with its special dispersion characteristics with non-THX type mains for serious music listening?

It almost sounds like a mismatch, but your decision may depend on how you intend to use the room (music vs video). However, this is a curious subject and I doubt there will be a defined answer.
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post #14 of 19 Old 03-21-2000, 06:05 PM
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Hey Jerry,

Did you notice that you are now an "Advanced Member"? So does this mean that your one step away from "Moderator" status? https://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif
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post #15 of 19 Old 03-21-2000, 06:09 PM
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Deniz:

The dispersion and lobbing characteristics of a THX speaker are best for multi-channel music as well. For music, as well as cinema, you don't want heavy reflections from the floor and ceiling nor nasty lobing either.

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post #16 of 19 Old 03-22-2000, 09:21 PM
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Dennis,
How about a primer on lobing and its effects? I've got a rough idea how this occurs with horizontal center speakers, but I think you could increase my understanding. I know that some models that are very similar to vertical models differ in their crossovers, some of that being phase modifications and what else I don't know. How does lobing affect listening across the different positions of the seating area?

Thanks, Randal
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post #17 of 19 Old 03-23-2000, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Peter,
wow! Im gonna have to read that again! https://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

Deniz,
You too are just a few posts away from "Advancing" https://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

- Jerry
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post #18 of 19 Old 03-24-2000, 07:32 AM
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Hootch,

In answer to your question:

Quote:
who cares about the guests...???
I do.

Quote:
if you will be seated in the sweet spot most of the time then get the same center as the mains. And the rears should also be the same. Anything else would be a compromise.
IMHO (nothing actually H about my O), I think it is an awful waste of resources not to take into account one's guests when equiping an HT.

Nothing good can come from isolating yourself. Look at what happened to poor old Howard Hughes, watching "Ice Station Zebra" over and over again. I bet he was sitting in the sweet spot.

I suggest aerialman take a guest along with him when he auditions speakers. Aerialman wouldn't have to listen to the guest's opinion, but a lunch should be provided.

I hope this helps you Jerry.

and

Never get out of the boat.

Ars Est Pecunia
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post #19 of 19 Old 03-24-2000, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Abbey, my friend, if you want to go listening to speakers with me, then you are certainly not "normal"! lol! https://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

- Jerry
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