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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, looking for some center channel speaker recommendations. I currently have a 7.1 setup with all Cambridge Soundworks speakers. My current front speakers and center channel are all MC500's which are monsters size wise. Due to some configuration changes to my room and relocating everything (child in the picture now) unfortunately the MC500 is just too big of a speaker to keep as a the center channel. Depth is my biggest obstacle followed by height; length is not a factor. Ideally I'd like to find a center channel speaker that's no more than 4" deep which I can imagine really limits my options.


99% of my use for the center channel is for TV/movie watching so my goal is crystal clear dialogue. Price really isn't an issue, I just want something that's going to sound great (I'd really like it to compliment the rest of my CS equipment) and fit where I need it to.


If anyone could link me in the direction of some center channel speakers that would fit my goal I would really appreciate it. Thanks everyone!
 

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You may want to look for an on-wall LCR speaker. The DefTech Mythos Six is 4-1/16" deep, and still should offer good sound. One thing to note, you ought to replace the whole front sound stage because you need to have timber matched fronts. If you plan on keeping your current L and R speakers, you might want to try going without a center and see how well your speakers produce a phantom center.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'd rather not ditch my current front L & R speakers because they cost me a lot (for me) and I like the way they sound a lot. Then I have to worry about selling them and such. In order to achieve timber matched fronts would I be able to look into a speaker of the same brand, just smaller perhaps?


I'm not sure about the phantom center theory, granted I've never tried it I just have always used center channel speakers and have gotten pretty used to them. I also have a lot of people over often for sporting events and such so there would be a lot of people at spots other than my normal LP and without a center channel I feel like that would sort of make the other areas sound worse. But who knows.
 

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Timbre matching is only scientific, I've used many centers that differ from my fronts and never had an issue of the front sound stage sounding not quite right. Some centers will blend in better than others though, it all depends on your fronts. The only way to know is try it for yourself. If your ears can't hear a problem, then go with it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiforce  /t/1500605/center-channel-options-with-limited-depth#post_23974975


Timbre matching is only scientific..................

What does that mean?
 

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You take all the things that make up a speaker: dimensions, material, woofers, tweeters, and they form a certain sound. Changing any of those variables will change your end result, sometimes drastically, sometimes small changes. Either way, its science to me if you run off the definition that "Science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment." You can experiment when building DIY speakers, and you'll find that these variables all make a difference to your end result. You can timbre match scientifically using audio measurements on 'spectrum' and 'envelope' if you wish, but it's usually out of the way from what most users need to do. Using your own ears with pink noise can get you an accurate enough result as it is, so you are able to make your final choice weather you believe the center channels timbre is close enough to the L and R speakers.


Sivadselim, I didn't mean to sound like timbre matching isn't an important aspect in this case. But rather it is commonly thought of as a MUST HAVE when in all actuality many people are happy without a perfectly timbre matched setup. OP is really happy about his L and R, and it just seemed like we were bullying him into having timbre matched fronts, and nothing else would be possible. He has already presented resentment towards this idea, so I've given him the other half of the timbre matching spectrum as to not have a 1 sided debate on replacing his L and R.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiforce  /t/1500605/center-channel-options-with-limited-depth#post_23974975


Timbre matching is only scientific, I've used many centers that differ from my fronts and never had an issue of the front sound stage sounding not quite right. Some centers will blend in better than others though, it all depends on your fronts. The only way to know is try it for yourself. If your ears can't hear a problem, then go with it.
I agree with your conclusion but not your philosophy.  Timbre matching makes a huge difference to most of us but if you can't hear a difference, fine.  

 

In fact, most so-called dedicated center speakers, especially those with horizontal MTM arrangements, simply suck because they are fundamentally faulty.  For the past decade, I have used three identical speakers for L/C/R to avoid them.

 

Oh and while we are on the topic, a grossly mismatched center is, imho, inferior to a well set up L/R with a phantom center.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrutalBodyShots  /t/1500605/center-channel-options-with-limited-depth#post_23971402


. My current front speakers and center channel are all MC500's which are monsters size wise.
9"H x 26"W x 10"D is a monster? I'm sure that with some ingenuity you could find a way to keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well maybe not as front mains, but for a center channel I think it's pretty big footprint wise and weighs almost 30 pounds. Certainly not a viable option with limited space.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrutalBodyShots  /t/1500605/center-channel-options-with-limited-depth#post_23976250


Well maybe not as front mains, but for a center channel I think it's pretty big footprint wise and weighs almost 30 pounds. Certainly not a viable option with limited space.
One of the laws of acoustics that you can't get around is that small speakers deliver small sound. Now consider what the center channel does: it delivers at least 75% of what you're listening to. I can understand not being able to manage a Klipsch Cornwall as a center, but not a bookshelf. A picture of your setup would help with placement suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Agreed - I'm not suggesting that a center channel is worthless. I've always felt it to be arguably the most important speaker in a setup. Then there are those that argue that a phantom center is just as good which more or less negates my argument. It's tough to give a picture of my setup right now because nothing is where it's ultimately going to be. New furniture is getting delivered very soon and everything in the room is going to be moved around.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrutalBodyShots  /t/1500605/center-channel-options-with-limited-depth#post_23977389


Then there are those that argue that a phantom center is just as good which more or less negates my argument.
It seems to depend on the setup.


Certainly, the only advantage of 3 up front, other than 2, (other than +1db) is the *location* from which center audio is coming.


Any argument of the importance of having a center which isn't about the importance of the source being located dead-center rather than to the sides is not likely to go anywhere.


In at least some setups, imaging for the center position is good from stereo speakers... ergo phantom can be a good option.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson  /t/1500605/center-channel-options-with-limited-depth#post_23975776


... a grossly mismatched center is, imho, inferior to a well set up L/R with a phantom center.

+1
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove  /t/1500605/center-channel-options-with-limited-depth#post_23977452


... Certainly, the only advantage of 3 up front, other than 2, (other than +1db) is the *location* from which center audio is coming...

One other advantage is independent volume control over the center, which is typically dialog heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
True. I've always found myself bumping up the center a bit more than would be the typical setting as to hear the dialogue better. I feel like without a center and the ability to do that I may feel like I'm missing out. Only way to know for sure is to try it of course...
 
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