Center channel speaker as Left and Right speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 22 Old 05-14-2019, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Center channel speaker as Left and Right speakers

Hello guys, I am building a new 5.1 home theater in my house. The location I have for my left and right speaker will limit me to small book shelf speakers if I stand them up, or I could put a larger (the speakers I want) on its side. I'm afraid if I lay the bookshelf speaker on its side it will hurt the imaging. That's when I had the idea of using center channels as my left and right speakers too (all three speakers would we the same).

I wanted to get your guys opinion on this. Using 3 center channel speakers as the LCR speakers
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post #2 of 22 Old 05-14-2019, 10:23 PM
 
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Yes it is possible to use three speakers marketed as "center" speakers for all three front speakers.

The good news is having three identical front speakers is a great way to go and it is what I use, as does Dolby Laboratories. [However in both cases the speakers are sold as L and R speakers, not 3 centers.]

The bad news is that unfortunately some/many companies that sell speakers seem to put their focus into making great stereo speakers and their center speakers aren't as good. This is irational because the center channel is the most important, but it seems to be how it is for many.
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Yes it is possible to use three speakers marketed as "center" speakers for all three front speakers.

The good news is having three identical front speakers is a great way to go and it is what I use, as does Dolby Laboratories. [However in both cases the speakers are sold as L and R speakers, not 3 centers.]

The bad news is that unfortunately some/many companies that sell speakers seem to put their focus into making great stereo speakers and their center speakers aren't as good. This is irational because the center channel is the most important, but it seems to be how it is for many.
If you don't mind me asking, what speakers are you using? I'm thinking of using the SVS ultra center speaker.
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post #4 of 22 Old 05-15-2019, 09:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by VWtech View Post
If you don't mind me asking, what speakers are you using? I'm thinking of using the SVS ultra center speaker.
I currently use three Polk Monitor Series across the front. Unfortunately you can't buy them singly to get three matching fronts but I was a dealer when I got them and was afforded a special opportunity to do so at a very good price, so I bought them.

Not counting their subs, I've never heard any SVS speakers myself but everything I've read about them from sources I trust is very positive.
https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-labs-measures
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 11:49 AM
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Consider KEFs for this. They feature a coincidentally-arrayed (UniQ) driver which will essentially behave the same when rotated 90° or when used in a center channel speaker format. So there won't really be any dispersion issues specific to using a toppled bookshelf or center channel speaker in your R/L positions with the KEFs.
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post #6 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 12:01 PM
 
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^ Good point. Also some speakers are specifically marketed as being side flippable such as these three, front, identical ones [JBL LSR6332, I believe] where the tweeter and midrange element can be rotated for side mounting applications, as has been done with the center one in this image from Harman Labs:

https://i1.wp.com/audio-head.com/wp-...68%2C494&ssl=1

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post #7 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VWtech View Post
If you don't mind me asking, what speakers are you using? I'm thinking of using the SVS ultra center speaker.
Another 3 way center to consider for your front three.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...BoCBtsQAvD_BwE


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-sp...em-review.html

And another.

https://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-LS.../dp/B0067XUYC8

Geoff A. J., California
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 05:48 PM
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post #9 of 22 Old 05-16-2019, 08:24 PM
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Basically, what you are describing is a 3 channel passive soundbar. Lots of options in this category and they would be superior to turning bookshelf speakers on their sides (KEF the exception).

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-22-2019, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VWtech View Post
I wanted to get your guys opinion on this. Using 3 center channel speakers as the LCR speakers
The basic problem with "on the side" is there can be a "Venetian blind" effect of hot spots and cancellation since speakers aren't designed to be used that way. (Not even center channels-the usual woofer-tweeter-woofer array is not good and just an accident of furniture history really). So you want 3-way centers-including, as someone noted, coaxial mid/tweet designs like KEF or ELAC.
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-22-2019, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
Basically, what you are describing is a 3 channel passive soundbar. Lots of options in this category and they would be superior to turning bookshelf speakers on their sides (KEF the exception).
That is what I'm upgrading from (definitive technology) . I am moving the L and R speakers further apart. The problem is I have bookshelfs that cannot accommodate the bookshelf speakers standing up. That is why I was asking if anyone has used center speakers as L & R.
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post #12 of 22 Old 05-23-2019, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VWtech View Post
That is what I'm upgrading from (definitive technology) . I am moving the L and R speakers further apart. The problem is I have bookshelfs that cannot accommodate the bookshelf speakers standing up. That is why I was asking if anyone has used center speakers as L & R.
How much vertical room do you have to work with? IMO, you'd be better off with two vertical speakers in the L&R position, if you can make it work. Speakers on their sides are subject to combing nasties ...

That said, if you got three-way center speakers (i.e. speakers with a tweeter and midrange in a vertical orientation) then you would have a better chance of success. Still, it's the lesser of your options. Example:

https://www.amazon.com/Emotiva-Audio...r=8-1-fkmrnull

Final comment ... maybe you need to re-think your positioning options to accommodate a better speaker layout? If you are building the theater, you should be able to design a better situation for your speakers, so you don't have to compromise the sound. Pics of the space might help in brainstorming options ...

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

Last edited by RayGuy; 05-23-2019 at 11:23 AM.
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post #13 of 22 Old 05-23-2019, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
How much vertical room do you have to work with? IMO, you'd be better off with two vertical speakers in the L&R position, if you can make it work. Speakers on their sides are subject to combing nasties ...

That said, if you got three-way center speakers (i.e. speakers with a tweeter and midrange in a vertical orientation) then you would have a better chance of success. Still, it's the lesser of your options. Example:



Final comment ... maybe you need to re-think your positioning options to accommodate a better speaker layout? Pics of the space might help in brainstorming options ...

The center channel I'm look at is very similar layout (SVS Ultra)

The wife has bookshelves (the furniture, not the speakers ) on either side of the TV. I am not allowed to replace them unfortunately. If I move them off the bookshelf they will have to go under the TV, essentially back to sound bar I had before. I want to move the speaker to the bookshelves to get a little more LR separation, and upgrade the sound quality too
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post #14 of 22 Old 05-23-2019, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VWtech View Post
The center channel I'm look at is very similar layout (SVS Ultra)
Yep. 3 of those should work OK.

Also, in a similar price range:
https://www.kefdirect.com/speakers/s...l-speaker.html
You might be able to find these for less, elsewhere.

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post #15 of 22 Old 05-23-2019, 01:23 PM
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I used 3 Klipsch RC42ii center channels in my bedroom in a 3.2 setup. I had the space issue as well and was able to get my hands on 2 extra centers for free (temporarily) so I gave it a try. Sounded fine to me.

Projector:Epson 6050ub Screen:Elite screens manual SRM Pro series 120" TV: Vizio P75f Pre/Pro:Marantz AV7705 Amplifier:Monolith 7x Speakers:Klipsch THX8000-L (LCR) R5800 side surrounds, 5650-S rear surrounds Subwoofers:PSA v1811x2 Bluray Player:Panasonic ub820 Media Streamer:Fire TV cube
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post #16 of 22 Old 05-23-2019, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VWtech View Post
The center channel I'm look at is very similar layout (SVS Ultra)

The wife has bookshelves (the furniture, not the speakers ) on either side of the TV. I am not allowed to replace them unfortunately. If I move them off the bookshelf they will have to go under the TV, essentially back to sound bar I had before. I want to move the speaker to the bookshelves to get a little more LR separation, and upgrade the sound quality too
You did not answer the key question, which is, how much vertical height do you have to work with? BTW, I assume that these are not movable shelves (many are)?

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #17 of 22 Old 05-24-2019, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
You did not answer the key question, which is, how much vertical height do you have to work with? BTW, I assume that these are not movable shelves (many are)?
I have 10.5" of height available
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post #18 of 22 Old 05-24-2019, 11:26 AM
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I have 10.5" of height available
Well, then, you do have some options. Check out RSL CG3/23 for your L/C/R. Despite their diminutive size, they can get pretty loud, without distortion. Sealed design has benefits in close quarters, like a shelving unit. Ridiculous cost to quality ratio.

PSB Imagine Mini is another option. Clean, neutral, very high quality. Mini C center channel available. Also, the Alpha P3 ... with c3 center.

Wharfedale Diamond 210. A bit warmer sound than the above ... 220C center channel available.

KLH Ames with their center channel speaker. New entry, probably bright as they are Klipsch ex-patriots.

Monitor Audio Bronze 1, Bronze Center ...

Dali Zenzor Pico and Vokal Center (not the Pico center)...

As you can see there are a lot of options without the compromises associated with three center channel speakers. Do some research and choose whichever option suits you best! Also note that the rear-ported versions will need a couple of inches of space behind them.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

Last edited by RayGuy; 05-24-2019 at 11:49 AM.
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post #19 of 22 Old 05-24-2019, 11:57 AM
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As you can see there are a lot of options without the compromises associated with three center channel speakers.
If he uses WMTWs (with a vertical tweeter/mid arrangement) or speakers with a coincidentally-arrayed driver (like KEFs), the compromise is minimal, IMO, especially relative to the option of using a pair of diminutive L/R speakers.
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post #20 of 22 Old 05-24-2019, 12:05 PM
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If he uses WMTWs (with a vertical tweeter/mid arrangement) or speakers with a coincidentally-arrayed driver (like KEFs), the compromise is minimal, IMO, especially relative to the option of using a pair of diminutive L/R speakers.
Yes, those are options, both of which I mentioned in this thread. His choice, based on listening distance, dB levels required, subwoofer capacity in the mid-bass region. He also has WAF to consider ...

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #21 of 22 Old 05-28-2019, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, those are options, both of which I mentioned in this thread. His choice, based on listening distance, dB levels required, subwoofer capacity in the mid-bass region. He also has WAF to consider ...
The WAF is probably my biggest consideration. She has allowed me to clear off the bookcase shelves for the speakers and she wont let me modify/move the shelfs for the larger bookshelf speakers. I already have a sub I LOVE (Fathom f112v2) . The room is a medium size (opens up to another room), we sit back from the TV about 10 ft. I don't need ear bleeding volume, my denon receiver is rated at 125w per channel and I rarely have it maxed out.
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post #22 of 22 Old 05-28-2019, 12:44 PM
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That sub has output to 119dB (-3dB), so you will need a speaker you can crossover to at 80-100Hz ... 80 probably preferred. The 100 Hz crossover probably only applies to the RSL option.

From a WAF perspective, the PSB would probably be the most coveted (best wood finish options), although the Dali is quite nice to look at, sans grille. The others are all good looking, perhaps at a level below the above.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

Last edited by RayGuy; 05-28-2019 at 01:35 PM.
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