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Discussion Starter #1
I have seen the majority of posts seem to side on matching L/C/R 100%. I have seen a decent amount of posts mention it being okay not to have a matching center.


This is taking things a step (perhaps leap) beyond that. Has anyone ever mixed a horn center with R/L leaf tweeters?

Is this a sonic nightmare or okay?

Asking, because I’m working on slowly putting a high end system together, and at the moment (more spouse than finance related) can only get a center, that will eventually match the L/R.

The choice is either get one piece, or nothing at all, for many months.
 

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Budget?
What speakers are you already using?
Budget?
What speakers are you considering?
Budget?
What speakers have you listened to?
Budget?
What is your seating distance?
 
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Discussion Starter #3
I have a full Chane set up, not getting rid of it. Just want JTR set up for dedicated HT room when we move. I wanted to get one piece, the center, and swap it into my existing set up for a few months. Once we move, back to full Chane in family room and JTR in HT room. If I can buy the center now, I will feel like I accomplished something and get to spread out the JTR expense.
 

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I think you just answered your own question. There will be a pretty significant sensitivity difference, but I don't know how "different" they will sound. I guess you'll just have to try it out... lol
 
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IMO, upgrading the center is rarely a bad idea. The center speaker is just so important. The content of the center channel is significantly different too. About 25 years ago I ran a surround system with a mismatched (upgraded) center, from the same mfg. as the others. It worked quite well for me. Quality, accurate speakers can be EQ'd to sound very close. Sensitivity is a power/volume question only you can answer.

Obviously, the "best" solution is perfectly matching LCR's, but if I had to choose between a matched set, or the same set with an upgraded center, I'm taking the latter. In the case of the OP, since this is a step along an upgrade path for all of them, I say try it.
 

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Has anyone ever mixed a horn center with R/L leaf tweeters? Is this a sonic nightmare or okay?
As long as you do all of your music listening in stereo rather than upmixing into fake surround, you'll be fine.

Besides, doesn't JTR offer a 30 day return period like everybody else?

 
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I upgraded the center in my Klipsch system to a DIY speaker. The Klipsch are bright and the DIY speaker is flat. It was a great upgrade without any negatives.

While the old center matched the LR speakers in tonality, the new center was an upgrade for me all around and I have yet to notice anything that I would describe as 'worse than before'.
In my experience, voicing is only an issue on the very low end, where one speaker might sound VERY different from the other. I experienced this when I upgraded my budged Magnat 5.1 system to the Klipsch, but only swapped out the LCR speakers at first. Anything that came from the rear sounded very out of place.
Don't forget to re-run your speaker calibration every time you make changes to the setup (that should also apply to making changes to the room and speaker placement, which has influences on the low-end).
 

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Only you personally hearing the front soundstage could tell how out of place to you it sounds or not. Not everyone will hear the same difference. It's not recommended to mix tweeters for music usage, but i have LCR with the same tweeter, and surrounds of a different manufacturer using another tweeter (none of the speakers are horns though) and i hear SACD/DSD 5.1. At first i thought my ears were picking up a tiny bit of mismatched sound from the surrounds, but over time hearing more DSD 5.1's, now i dont find anything to be out of place, my ears got adjusted to it.
 

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"...Is this a sonic nightmare or ok?..."

Frankly that depends on how good your hearing is, how critical a listener you are and what you can tolerate. A discriminating experienced audiophile who can easily detect minute frequency differences, types of tweeters, differences in baffles and crossovers and all the response and volume differences coming from such a mix would not do such a thing...at least not for very long while others might be very proud of it.
 

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Frankly, even though I'm in the "timbre-matching" crowd, I think you'll be okay.
You're keeping your Chanes, and wanting to spread out the JTR purchase - makes perfect sense to me.
I can also see why you'd want to use your JTR right away. You gotta put the new gear through it's paces! Just be sure to disconnect your Chanes if you try a "Max-SPL"-type test, to prevent their damage...
 
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I think that it was mentioned before, but back in the day, timbre matching was pretty important. At least having the same "type" of tweeter was desirable. We used to go to great lengths to have the same speakers in all locations.
However modern AVRs have fantastic computerized room balancing software. They run test tones with various frequency bands that often result in an excellent soundstage.
FI, in our HT set up, we have Salk L/R mains and center (with RAAL ribbon tweeters), but our surrounds are totally different BICs (with poly dome tweeters).
The AVR (with MCACC Pro) does it's magic and everything comes together...:)
INMO, here at AVS, people can get pretty obsessive about the minute details.
Don't get hung up on earning your "everything matches" merit badge.:rolleyes:
Let your ears be your guide, and enjoy the show.
My $.02
 

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I am sorta in the same situation. I want to upgrade my 20+ year old LCR speakers but want to do as well as I can with budget....which means waiting. My plan is to go with some sort of LCR setup from PSA. I have been tempted to get the center(210c if i go horizontal or MT-110 if i go vertical) first and see how it goes and then save for the matching L/R (probably pair of MT-110s...maybe splurge for 210s). That would leave me with Klipsch KSF 10.5 towers for mains and PSA for center for a few months....no idea if that is good or bad....but I think should be ok.

So the topic of mismatching C to L/R ..at least for the short term is interesting. I think you/it should be fine considering as others have said...modern AVRs ..and the fact that so much of HT goes thru the Center. I doubt many of us would notice.
 

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I have seen the majority of posts seem to side on matching L/C/R 100%. I have seen a decent amount of posts mention it being okay not to have a matching center.


This is taking things a step (perhaps leap) beyond that. Has anyone ever mixed a horn center with R/L leaf tweeters?

Is this a sonic nightmare or okay?

Asking, because I’m working on slowly putting a high end system together, and at the moment (more spouse than finance related) can only get a center, that will eventually match the L/R.

The choice is either get one piece, or nothing at all, for many months.
I'm a fan of having your front stage be timbre matched, be it an exact model match or at least a very similar tweeter type. However, I have run mismatched front stages before and in fact, am doing so currently. My upstairs projector is mostly just TV, so who cares if David Muir sound great all the time...so sure, the improvements you get from a timbre match are subtle and maybe, depending on your degree of OCD/concern, it will be just fine without. I mean, anything but TV speakers is an improvement!
I wouldn't, however run a cheap horn with a soft dome tweeter or ribbon tweeter, for instance! The more expensive horns of upper level Klipch, JBL, JTR or PSA, might be okay. But then you can run into level matching issues...it is not trivial to level match a 84 dB sensitive speaker with a 98 dB speaker!
 
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I have seen the majority of posts seem to side on matching L/C/R 100%. I have seen a decent amount of posts mention it being okay not to have a matching center.

This is taking things a step (perhaps leap) beyond that. Has anyone ever mixed a horn center with R/L leaf tweeters?

Is this a sonic nightmare or okay?

Asking, because I’m working on slowly putting a high end system together, and at the moment (more spouse than finance related) can only get a center, that will eventually match the L/R.

The choice is either get one piece, or nothing at all, for many months.
First, I'm a strong proponent of "timbre-matching." Having said that, I am not a strong proponent of "speaker matching." Wait? What????


Two different speakers can use different drivers, different boxes, different alignments, different crossovers, etc., but if they sound ...the same... they are timbre-matched. Of course, it's not easy to find speakers that are completely different designs that also sound the same, and the easiest way to ensure an ideal timbre-match is to use identical speakers.


With that as background, I think your idea of starting your dedicated HT speaker system now with a CC you will use later is great. Let the timbre-match thing stew until you can really do a full-on timbre-match in a system where you can take full advantage of it. I think you'll find that the timbre-mis-match of the JTR's and Chane's will drive you to wanting a full-on timbre-matched system... not to mention the output differences!



Good luck!


Craig
 
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I have seen the majority of posts seem to side on matching L/C/R 100%. I have seen a decent amount of posts mention it being okay not to have a matching center.


This is taking things a step (perhaps leap) beyond that. Has anyone ever mixed a horn center with R/L leaf tweeters?

Is this a sonic nightmare or okay?

Asking, because I’m working on slowly putting a high end system together, and at the moment (more spouse than finance related) can only get a center, that will eventually match the L/R.

The choice is either get one piece, or nothing at all, for many months.
Timbre matching is a thing ... a Real thing, but it doesn't absolutely dictate to the Universe.

Generally you want consistent sound across the Front.

This is the illustration I use for L/C/R Timbre matching -

As a motorcycle races across the screen from left to right -

Timbre Matched -

Motorcycle - Motorcycle - Motorcycle


Not Timbre Matched -

Motorcycle - Moped - Motorcycle

Now that is an illustration, more than likely as the motorcycle goes from left to right, it sounds like this in a NON-Timbre matched system -

Yamaha - Suzuki - Yamaha

And realistically, how many of us really have the auditory acuity to hear the difference between a Yamaha and a Suzuki in a 5 second clip?

The best way to get Timbre Matching is with Brand and Series matched components.

But, some people find the Center a bit weak, so they may choose to get the Center from the Next Series up.

But, other people know very specifically what they want from their Center, and perfect Timbre matching is not at the top of the list. They may have very specific requirements that the Matching Brand and Series Center does not provide.

I would suggest that the Ideal system has THREE Identical Speakers across the Front, but for a very substantial number of people that is simply not possible.

So, in the end, you do the best you can.

There are Guidelines in Audio, lots of them, and Timbre matching is one of them, but it is not absolute Law etched into Stone Tablets.

In the end you can do what you want and use what works best for you. But ... how do you know what works best for you? Simply you spend about 3 decades listening to a variety of electronic and acoustic equipment until you build up a sense of what actually works best as determined by experience.

So, do you have 30 years to experiment, or do you need new speakers in the next 6 months?

Feel free to experiment, if you seem a Center that you think will do a better job, then you can choose to buy it.

As a generalization, and my personal opinion, I think larger 2.5-way or 3-Way Centers work best, assuming a reasonable standard of quality. The standard common Center Speaker is inherently a flawed design, but a flawed design out of necessity. So, 2.5-way and 3-way Center can go a long way toward overcoming that inherent flaw. Plus bigger drivers (like 6.5") in the Center can give more strength to a speaker that is typically weaker than the others.

Then there are occasion where there simply is no matching Center Speaker. For example. Klipsch Forte-III have no center or other speakers in that line. So were I to use these in a 5.1 system, I would have to come up with an alternative that would generally work well with the Forte-III. I can think if several other speakers that are NOT part of a Series, but are simply a single Speaker Pair.

So, yes, Timbre Matching is a Real Thing, but it is not absolute Law, you can do anything you want that you think will enhance your listening experience. But to know what to do takes experience or just really good luck. So, for a (somewhat) beginner, Brand and Series Matching is the easiest place to start.

But ... you can DO anything you want. If it works for you, even if it goes against conventional wisdom ...then... it works for you and that is all that matters.

There are many people who have mismatched systems, and if we have been in the game long enough, then along the way we all had mismatched systems during that time. Few of us can afford to buy Complete Systems when ever the mood strikes. Most of us have to upgrade the component we currently feel is the weak link. So we upgrade the Amp and it steps well ahead of our Speakers. We then upgrade our speakers, and they step well ahead of our CD Player. And so on .... The underlying point is, that at some point all of our systems have been mismatched.

Now for those who have the luxury of doing complete system upgrades - bully for you. But even then, you have the ability to adjust the components to not suit some hypothetical balance, but to suit your own personal needs and requirements. So, if you feel you need a new better Center, and you see a specific Center that looks like it will do a good job for you, and if you so choose, you can buy it without worry.

If you are Happy, then the world is happy. That's all that counts.

Tumbre matching is a thing ...but.. it is not the only thing.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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If you want to invest in a future proof solution, then go to Salksound. https://www.salksound.com/
Jim Salk built us an identical MTM design for our R/L/C (Center is on it's side).
Over the years, almost every other piece of our HT gear has gone through multiple upgrade cycles. However, Jim's speakers have anchored our front soundstage. I took the Salk vaccine. It's a sure cure for upgraditis (prevalent disease at AVS).:)
Jim's speakers are works of art that work...
 

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This is the illustration I use for L/C/R Timbre matching -

As a motorcycle races across the screen from left to right -

Timbre Matched -

Motorcycle - Motorcycle - Motorcycle


Not Timbre Matched -

Motorcycle - Moped - Motorcycle

Now that is an illustration, more than likely as the motorcycle goes from left to right, it sounds like this in a NON-Timbre matched system -

Yamaha - Suzuki - Yamaha

And realistically, how many of us really have the auditory acuity to hear the difference between a Yamaha and a Suzuki in a 5 second clip?
BINGO!

(and 2-3 seconds is more common for panning effects, imo...5 seconds is a long time in a movie!)
 

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I'm on the "timbre-matched" camp, but that's because I listen to multi-ch music (SACD/DVD-Audio). For movies I'm fine with just the L/C/R timbre-matched. Not all speaker brands timbre-match their speakers even within the same series. I used to have B&W 705s2+HTM71s2 for L/C/R and wouldn't consider them timbre-matched. If anyone is timbre-OCD like me, it is safer to go with brands that voice their speakers neutral regardless of series (such as Salk, Ascend, Philharmonic, etc).
 
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I'm on the "timbre-matched" camp, but that's because I listen to multi-ch music (SACD/DVD-Audio). For movies I'm fine with just the L/C/R timbre-matched. Not all speaker brands timbre-match their speakers even within the same series. I used to have B&W 705s2+HTM71s2 for L/C/R and wouldn't consider them timbre-matched. If anyone is timbre-OCD like me, it is safer to go with brands that voice their speakers neutral regardless of series (such as Salk, Ascend, Philharmonic, etc).
I would say there is a difference between speakers that a PRECISELY Timbre Matched and speakers that are generally Timbre Matched.

Band and Series matched speakers are all built from the same components, and based on the same general design, so they are more likely to sound similar.

But speakers with the same General Design, such as Silk Dome Tweeter and Kevlar Bass Driver are going to have the same broad and general tonal characteristics. By contrast, if you have Silk Dome on the left and right, and a Horn in the middle, while it can still work, and might work nicely, these are not likely to be tonally the same.

The point is, if you use a Center Speaker that is Grossly Tonally different than the Lift/Right speaker, it is likely to sound out of place. But it should not be that hard to get Generally Tonally similar speakers across the Front.

I think the same with the Surrounds. They should not be grossly different tonally, but equally, I don't think you need a Precision Tonal Match.

But each person is unique, and gets to decide for themselves what is most important.

The Common Horizontal Center is inherently a flawed design. If the seating area is in a cluster near the center of the room, you are probably fine. But is the seating area is spread wide, the some people sitting off the general center are going to be sitting in a Lobe Area or Drop Out. It is not going to be so fine for them. 2.5-way and 3-way Centers can go a long way to eliminating these Side Lobes or Drop Outs.

So, more to the point, you can have general Tonal Matching without literally having the same speaker in each location. And how much precise Tonal Matching effects the listener will depend on how sensitive the individual is to slight tonal shifts across the Front.

So, keep in mind what I said - Timbre Matching is something, but it is not the only thing.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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I will also add that sometimes the DEAL makes the decision for us. Even if it is not perfect match, if I can get a good $1,000 Center Speaker for $300, that might be all I need to make that decision. The potential quality of sound over rides any degree of tonal mismatch.

So, lots of factors come into playing in deciding what Center is best for you.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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