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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie question here I suspect, but...


Most of the center speakers I see are horizontal and laid out in a "midrange driver - tweeter - midrange driver" arrangement. It seems to me that the best match for that would be identical horizontal left and right fronts. But you almost never see that so there must be some reason thats "bad." Can anyone explain?


Also, would vertical speakers with a "midrange driver - tweeter - midrange driver" arrangement match the center any better than a normal 2-way (1 tweeter + 1 midrange driver) bookshelf type speaker?


Thanks.

Steve
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kahn
Newbie question here I suspect, but...


Most of the center speakers I see are horizontal and laid out in a "midrange driver - tweeter - midrange driver" arrangement. It seems to me that the best match for that would be identical horizontal left and right fronts. But you almost never see that so there must be some reason thats "bad." Can anyone explain?


Also, would vertical speakers with a "midrange driver - tweeter - midrange driver" arrangement match the center any better than a normal 2-way (1 tweeter + 1 midrange driver) bookshelf type speaker?


Thanks.

Steve


I know some people get three identical speakers for their front stage, and they swear by it. Theoretically, you can't get any closer match than three identical speakers.


But in reality, your center is not playing the same information that goes through your right and left. The fronts (R-L) are often used for straight stereo music playback. The center is the workhorse in movies, responsible for most of the midrange, including almost all of the dialogue. So while you really want a tonal match, I'm not sure it's worth it to demand identical layouts as well.


And besides, who wants to try to fit a Monitor 7 into an entertainment center? ;)
 

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Actually, the horizonal midrange - tweeter -midrange arrangement, othewise known as D'Appolito, was designed to be used in a VERTICAL orientation. This configuration controls vertical dispertion limiting floor and ceiling reflections. When turned on it's side like in a typical two way center channel the horizontal dispertion is narrowed, not what you want in a center channel. In most designs a suckout start to develop in the crossover region when listeners are seated greater than 15 degrees off center. The better center speakers are a three way design, with a seperate midrange below the tweeter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRebel
... So while you really want a tonal match, I'm not sure it's worth it to demand identical layouts as well...
Actually, I am thinking more along the lines of using 3 center speakers across the front, to save room and look less unobtrusive. Say something like the Polk CS1, which is 18"W x 7"H x 9-5/8"D. I couldnt fit an 18" high speaker in my bookshelf vertically, but I could fit this.


I guess an easier question is, is it ok to buy a typical bookshelf speaker (which is made to play vertically) and position it horizontally?


(By the way this is pretty theoretical at the moment, so lets ignore price for now.)


Thanks again...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kahn
Actually, I am thinking more along the lines of using 3 center speakers across the front, to save room and look less unobtrusive. Say something like the Polk CS1, which is 18"W x 7"H x 9-5/8"D. I couldnt fit an 18" high speaker in my bookshelf vertically, but I could fit this.


I guess an easier question is, is it ok to buy a typical bookshelf speaker (which is made to play vertically) and position it horizontally?


(By the way this is pretty theoretical at the moment, so lets ignore price for now.)


Thanks again...
You might consider NHT Evolution M5 or M6 which are designed with this purpose in mind. The M5/M6 is a three way speaker that can be used in either horizontal or vertical orientation but works best in a horizontal configuration. In addition, it is not ported which works well installed within cabinets.
 

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If you put is horizontally, you will restrict horizontal dispersion whether it is in the center or left or right. The problem with this is that it defines the ideal listening position extremely narrowly.


Also, it is nonsense to say that the center channel'r role is significantly different in movies from its role in music. If there is discrete center channel information (not in stereo, of course), the demands from the center channel speaker are equally stringent for spoken voice as for singing ones!


Kal
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
Also, it is nonsense to say that the center channel'r role is significantly different in movies from its role in music. If there is discrete center channel information (not in stereo, of course), the demands from the center channel speaker are equally stringent for spoken voice as for singing ones!


Kal
I didn't make myself clear. I wasn't saying that the demands are any more or less stringent. I was simply saying that the role of the center speaker is not identical to the role of the left and right. Since many people like to listen to music in the "classic" two speaker stereo, it sometimes makes sense to include a woofer to let you handle bass with your fronts. Conversely, the driving consideration of a center channel is how to best reproduce the sounds that should be coming from the middle front, like dialogue or other sounds that should be "anchored" to the display.


I don't know whether either is more "stringent", but I'm simply saying that I can imagine reasons why you would want the center channel to be different in layout. Practicality is one (putting it just above or below your screen). With the midrange-tweeter-midrange layout, I could also see where that might be advantageous in spreading that center information out a little, rather than pinpointing it in the very center of the screen.
 

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From what i read, the drivers in the center should be the same size as the drivers used in the left and right speakers. The material that the drivers are made out of should be the same too. This allows for timbre matching, and the sound won't suddenly sound different if you pan from the center to the left and right speakers. Hope this helps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRebel
I don't know whether either is more "stringent", but I'm simply saying that I can imagine reasons why you would want the center channel to be different in layout. Practicality is one (putting it just above or below your screen). .
Practicality is the only one I can think of. In another word: compromise for appearance. Otherwise, the requirements for the center are the same as for the L and R.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRebel
With the midrange-tweeter-midrange layout, I could also see where that might be advantageous in spreading that center information out a little, rather than pinpointing it in the very center of the screen.
Spreading it out demands that it be vertical.


Kal
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kahn
Actually, I am thinking more along the lines of using 3 center speakers across the front
Hmm, I just came across a review of the Athena Point 5 system that basically recommended doing exactly this. It says:


'In fact, there are certain advantages in using the C.5 as an LCR/LS/RS, that is, for all channels. The first of these is better bass from all channels, since it has a little more oomph just below 100 Hz. Perhaps more important and obvious is the better power handling and greater dynamic capability that the two bass/midrange drivers provide for only a little more money. In effect, you'd be adding 4 more bass/midrange drivers to the system. You could call it the "Point 5 Turbo". '


Buying 5 C.5s would cost around $400; buying 3 C.5s and 2 S.5s for rears would cost $340. The system of 4 S.5s and 1 C.5 is currently being sold for $200. Anyone think this might be worth doing???


You can find the review here: http://www.audio-ideas.com/reviews/h...a-point-5.html


By the way this article is from 2002 and he concludes by saying that "this is one of the very best compact HT speaker systems I've heard for under $2000."


Steve
 

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Steve, I just did the same thing you are talking about using the Rocket RSC100 MKII. I guess in theory there are inherent issues with horizontal type speakers, but for my applilcation it made sense and I am happy with the sound. Take a look at my gallery and you can see how the horizontal orientation helped with my situation.


Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I went for the $200 deal for the Point 5s, and I am seriously thinking about ordering 2 more C.5s to make this a 7.1 system (vs the 5.1 that Athena ships). For about $150 more I can get 2 more speakers that perfectly match the system and are even better than the standard S.5s (the C.5s have dual woofers and better frequency response). Since the C.5s can stand vertically I think I will use the extra 2 of them as front L/R, keep the existing C.5 for center, and demote the old S.5 fronts to surround rears. Great 7.1 speaker-only system for about $350 (I'll probably spend more than that just on the subwoofer)! Can't beat that...

Steve
 
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