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post #31 of 50 Old 01-31-2019, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ChromeJob View Post
I feel the center speakers gets a lot more “use” in some films than the sides, and so should be as capable as the side speakers.
The center speaker is the most important speaker despite how many people think of it as a afterthought when selecting their fronts.

- has the highest use as a percent of scenes in a movie
- has our most focused attention even when all the other speakers are also active
- covers the sound for the movie visual image we are most focused on: the center
- used almost exclusively for one of the most important parts of a movie's sound: dialog
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post #32 of 50 Old 01-31-2019, 10:19 AM
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The attached picture shows the set up that was the biggest improvement I have ever made to my AV set up over 20 odd years of different speakers/subs/amps.

All three are exactly the same model, positioned at a suitable height, with room treatment and were eventually hidden behind an AT projector screen. They should have also been beyond my means, but for a great ex-demo deal, so they will have to be the last LCR I ever buy...

Sounds panning across the front don't change and I never have problems hearing dialogue, even on content (usually TV programs) that get complaints about poor dialogue. I also never get that effect where the other speakers overwhelm the centre and I attribute this to them all matching.

Sure you can mix and match, hoping that it'll work out OK, but I never seemed to get the best results doing it that way.

FWIW my surrounds and Atmos channels are from the next range down, but share very similar voicing, just a lower maximum SPL capability, though of course they are closer to the MLP anyway, so have headroom to spare.
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post #33 of 50 Old 01-31-2019, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p3trol_h3ad View Post
I wondered if the reasoning was based upon how the tracks were mixed,
I think when audio is mixed for movies it is mixed with the assumption that a movie theater is the "reference" point. In theaters you will almost always, if not always, have 3 identical speakers behind the screen. Something like the JBL 5732, with 3 identical speakers be is those JBL's or 3 towers from your favorite brand it give you the exact same sound signature and dispersion to the MLP. However most people can't accommodate say 3 towers across the front. That's why there is a prevalence of horizontal centers, but they disperse sound differently by nature of the horizontal layout.
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post #34 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 12:41 AM
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no
still yes, I explained why...
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post #35 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Mickey Mouse View Post
still yes, I explained why...
Well, it was unclear to me from your initial post, what you were saying, exactly. It seemed, though, that you were trying to say that the center speaker SHOULD necessarily be different from the left and right speakers and I thought that you were describing the shape of the center speaker as needing to be "horizontally wide, vertically narrow".

If you were describing the speaker's dispersion then, yes, you want wide horizontal dispersion with relatively limited vertical dispersion from your center channel speaker. But that is the same thing you want (and usually get) from your left and right speaker, too. The characteristics that make for a good left and right speaker are the exact same ones that make for a good center channel speaker.

Horizontal center speakers exist for one reason only and that is to accommodate those (many) people who can't use an identically matched (or even just vertical) speaker in the center position. Some horizontal center speakers are designed better than others but they are (almost) all a compromise.

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post #36 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
It seemed, though, that you were trying to say that the center speaker SHOULD necessarily be different from the left and right speakers and I thought that you were describing the shape of the center speaker as needing to be "horizontally wide, vertically narrow".
1) sorry, I wasn't talking about the shape but the "dispersion of the sound" (don't know the correct words)
2) in my opinion in a typical room the center should be different to the L/R speakers, but not necessarily, it depends on many things but especially the distances from speakers to the side walls and the speakers of course.

an ideal center has a horizontal spread angle with even dispersion of nearly 180°, for a front speaker with 2ft distance to the side wall this would be a catastrophe!
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post #37 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 10:26 AM
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All three fronts should be exactly the same and when we hear sound in a commercial movie theater that's exactly how it is:

This provides the most accurate and seemless audio pans L to R, say when a car zooms across the screen.

The weird horizontal designs some use in home use were born when the CRT was king and getting all the drivers as close to the screen image as possible was deemed paramount, since only a tiny sliver of the home market uses acoustically transparent screens like commercial movie houses do, even if it meant the center speaker's radiation pattern was/is compromised.
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post #38 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Mouse View Post
an ideal center has a horizontal spread angle with even dispersion of nearly 180°, for a front speaker with 2ft distance to the side wall this would be a catastrophe!

If sidewall reflections are that big a concern, then you would use room treatments.

But any well-designed vertically-oriented speaker intended for left/right (as in, stereo) use IS going to desirably have wide horizontal dispersion.

And, once again, any speaker that is ideal for left/right use will be ideal for center use as well. The desired characteristics are identical.

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post #39 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
All three fronts should be exactly the same and when we hear sound in a commercial movie theater that's exactly how it is:
yes, but in real life we don't live in a commercial room and need to make compromises!
an acoustically transparent screen is one of them, it needs special structural measures. Unfortunately at my home it's impossible to use such a screen, it needs to be motorized and hides parts of a window.
a lot of people have to place their (tower) speakers beside the screen with a distance of 3ft or even less to the side walls. And under these conditions three identical speakers (same shape and orientation) are NOT the optimal solution!
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post #40 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
If sidewall reflections are that big a concern, then you would use room treatments.
better than catching away reflexions are reflections which don't appear.

Quote:
But any well-designed vertically-oriented speaker intended for left/right (as in, stereo) use IS going to desirably have wide horizontal dispersion.
I don't subscribe this blanket statement, not for a living room used as HT!

Quote:
And, once again, any speaker that is ideal for left/right use will be ideal for center use as well. The desired characteristics are identical.
let's agree to disagree
to get "perfect" sound like I define it, each speaker needs to be a perfect match for the room and its placement within!
since the placements are completely different, there are different desired characteristics, that simple.

it depends on your demands. What you say would mean, that all speakers are usable in all rooms!
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post #41 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
If sidewall reflections are that big a concern, then you would use room treatments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Mouse View Post
better than catching away reflexions are reflections which don't appear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
But any well-designed vertically-oriented speaker intended for left/right (as in, stereo) use IS going to desirably have wide horizontal dispersion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Mouse View Post
I don't subscribe this blanket statement, not for a living room used as HT!

Can you provide an example of a speaker intended for L/R stereo use that is specifically designed to have limited horizontal dispersion?

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post #42 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
All three fronts should be exactly the same and when we hear sound in a commercial movie theater that's exactly how it is:

This provides the most accurate and seemless audio pans L to R, say when a car zooms across the screen.
My friend Frank used to do it, um,
:

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post #43 of 50 Old 02-01-2019, 07:15 PM
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^... Now there we have true stereo sound as it was intended from the beginning! Before albums came along which necessitated the handicapping of real stereo down to the "two channel" systems of the last several decades.

So it's always amusing when you encounter audiophiles who think their two-speaker systems represent the most authentic way to listen to music. But in truth, it was nothing more than the necessary compromise resulting from the circumstances of the time.
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post #44 of 50 Old 02-02-2019, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
Can you provide an example of a speaker intended for L/R stereo use that is specifically designed to have limited horizontal dispersion?
actually I personally own a pair of Audio Physic Celsius (1. gen) speakers (couldn't find a better link)
they have a tripple tweeter building a kind of line array with a limited dispersion in one level. With a switch at the back you can switch off the two outer tweeters and it acts as a "normal" speaker.
the main purpose is to use the celsius as a horizontal center with limited dispersion vertically (as wanted) but you can also "play around" with the settings when using it "standing" as normal speaker. I have done that a lot and it really is a difference!
I would like to encourage people to do more such tests on their own. You don't need such exotic speakers, just move your speakers nearer/further to/from the side walls, experience different toe-in angles (don't concentrate on the level of the high frequencies but concentrate on the changing image stage!!!) and so on.
there are good examples/instructions by Audio Physic (don't forget the follow up links at the bottom of the page)
once you noticed the big differences just by moving the speakers a little bit within their environment you probably accept that a center in a totally different environment will sound different as well, regardless "how identical" it is.
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post #45 of 50 Old 02-02-2019, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
Can you provide an example of a speaker intended for L/R stereo use that is specifically designed to have limited horizontal dispersion?

ML Electrostats?

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #46 of 50 Old 02-04-2019, 05:53 AM
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I wondered if the reasoning was based upon how the tracks were mixed, so that makes sense. However, couldn't that issue be successfully mitigated, along with front sound stage cohesion, through the use of equalization and room correction? Basically, what I'm getting at is... does it really matter anymore? Obviously, it would be tough to correct vast differences, but if one is using all speakers from the same line, I don't see how the differences could be material, post AVR correction, these days. The lobing issue present from an MTM design, which may or may not matter depending on the user's room, is a whole other topic.

So let's say someone has three identical speakers and is having trouble with dialogue. The only option for that user would be to simply "turn it up," right? Boosting the center channel via AVR settings would hurt the cohesion. I suppose, in this case, it is simply "user (ear) error" lol.

Thanks for your replies and thoughts.
LCR speakers can sound different even though the same speaker is used. This is due to room acoustic effect as the 3 speakers are placed at different positions in the room. Proper room design and EQ will help to bring the same sound across all 3 speakers. If a differently designed speaker is used as a center speaker, although from the same series, it will sound a lot more different. No EQ can fix that. Depends on your hearing ability. YMMV.

Problem with dialogue? Matthew McConaughey? Assuming the room is perfect with minimum room acoustic issues, the best fix is attending English dialect class.
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post #47 of 50 Old 02-04-2019, 09:49 AM
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Problem with dialogue? Matthew McConaughey? Assuming the room is perfect with minimum room acoustic issues, the best fix is attending English dialect class.
Alright alright alright.
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post #48 of 50 Old 02-15-2019, 09:20 PM
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I don't use a center speaker but have been thinking lately of adding one again.

But I watched Gravity again tonight. At the beginning when they are on their spacewalk and floating around, voices pan across the front and surrounds quite a bit. I was wondering if I had a center playing, especially a mismatched center, would it sound disjointed and distracting. It certainly was from front to back but that may have been due to the difference in bass output

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post #49 of 50 Old 02-18-2019, 05:24 AM
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I wholeheartedly agree. The only way to watch surround is with identical speakers - at the bare minimum at least at the front.

What is mostly overlooked: non-identical center speakers usually are NOT placed at the same height as the other speakers, too. So in most cases they increase the problem instead of reducing it.

It was mentioned to place the center below, already, while the TV is raised sufficiently.

An option which was not mentioned yet: to place the center above the TV angled torwards the MLP and move the TV as low as acceptable for a good viewing experience.

Placing the center above has not only the benefit to use identical speakers. It allows to raise the other speakers to ear's height, too. And depending how high the TV is being placed, the height difference to the center can be kept at sonically acceptable differences.

The higher speakers at the back have the big additional acoustic benefit to be higher than the backrest.

Good sound is always the result of engineering. And engineering always starts with measuring. Consumer industry and mainstream will never tell customers about that: improvements in room acoustics are worth roughly ten (10!) times the amount spent on equipment like speakers and receivers. For example: only $500 in room treatment is worth more than spending $5000 (fivethousand) on equipment.
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post #50 of 50 Old 02-22-2019, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post
Can you provide an example of a speaker intended for L/R stereo use that is specifically designed to have limited horizontal dispersion?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Mouse View Post
actually I personally own a pair of Audio Physic Celsius (1. gen) speakers (couldn't find a better link)
they have a tripple tweeter building a kind of line array with a limited dispersion in one level. With a switch at the back you can switch off the two outer tweeters and it acts as a "normal" speaker.
i totally forgot about the B&O beolab 50 with "beam control".
i've been able to listen to these speakers once and they are really fabulous in general!
it's really amazing what kind of "holographic" sound stage they project in the room when listening at the MLP in "narrow" setting and how that image becomes "less 3D" when switching to wide but with much larger "usable" listening area.
these speakers don't just use the mechanical "lens" for the tweeter but also DSP technic for the 3 midrange chassis to alter the dispersion angle.
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