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I've seen heated debates about whether one should even have a center channel in a home theater system. Most insist you should, but a vocal minority is dead set against it. The argument (see below) is basically that.


Two specific questions:


1. I'm building two speakers - instead of buying a center, should I go ahead and build a third to keep the same tone, etc?


2. Should I just skip the center completely?


I'll have a 15x18 theater room.


Here's a post that sums up the "anti-center" group pretty well:


"I agree with Mr. Guttenberg. For those of you that are complaining that you do not hear good dialogue and do not get a good center image with the center channel turned off and redirected to the L/R speakers, something is wrong with your set-up, your ears, or your system.

Turning off the center channel does not lessen the amount of sound that was meant to go to the center channel, it has all been redirected to the L/R channels. If you cannot hear the dialogue over the action then that is how it was mixed in the studio, it's not because you turned off the center channel and are no longer getting that signal.

I think Mr. Guttenberg's point of the article is mostly about the diminished sound quality that is inherent with the center speaker. Even a 'matched' center speaker sounds nothing like the L/R speakers because of the cabinet shape/size, the orientation of the drivers (even if the drivers are identical), and the placement of the center speaker which causes a huge tonal hump around the 200hz range (this is part of the cause for that boxy sound of Denzel's voice). When the L/R speakers are set-up properly they will make Denzel's voice sound more natural and will still sound centered in the TV.

I have the Studio line of JBL speakers. L/R: S312's, C: S-Center. Even though the center speaker is 'matched', there is no doubt that the L/R speakers sound much better than the center does. If you're really into sound quality, why muddy it up by using a speaker that puts out inferior sound."
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tentaguasu /forum/post/17003261


I've seen heated debates about whether one should even have a center channel in a home theater system. Most insist you should, but a vocal minority is dead set against it. The argument (see below) is basically that.


Two specific questions:


1. I'm building two speakers - instead of buying a center, should I go ahead and build a third to keep the same tone, etc?


2. Should I just skip the center completely?


I'll have a 15x18 theater room.


Here's a post that sums up the "anti-center" group pretty well:


"I agree with Mr. Guttenberg. For those of you that are complaining that you do not hear good dialogue and do not get a good center image with the center channel turned off and redirected to the L/R speakers, something is wrong with your set-up, your ears, or your system.

Turning off the center channel does not lessen the amount of sound that was meant to go to the center channel, it has all been redirected to the L/R channels. If you cannot hear the dialogue over the action then that is how it was mixed in the studio, it's not because you turned off the center channel and are no longer getting that signal.

I think Mr. Guttenberg's point of the article is mostly about the diminished sound quality that is inherent with the center speaker. Even a 'matched' center speaker sounds nothing like the L/R speakers because of the cabinet shape/size, the orientation of the drivers (even if the drivers are identical), and the placement of the center speaker which causes a huge tonal hump around the 200hz range (this is part of the cause for that boxy sound of Denzel's voice). When the L/R speakers are set-up properly they will make Denzel's voice sound more natural and will still sound centered in the TV.

I have the Studio line of JBL speakers. L/R: S312's, C: S-Center. Even though the center speaker is 'matched', there is no doubt that the L/R speakers sound much better than the center does. If you're really into sound quality, why muddy it up by using a speaker that puts out inferior sound."

I'm sure you can find movies with poorly mixed sound tracks. And I'm sure you can find poor quality center channel speakers, and center channel speakers that are a poor match for left/right mains. But these issues in no way argue against the use of center channel speakers.
 
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