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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, Gentlemen


Here is an outline of my gear:


Left/Right Speakers: High Emotion* line array towers, model 18, 3 way. Tri amped through High Emotion Audio active XO-3. Woofers are XO-3 integrated LMSUs. They are coupled to the towers and crossed at 100/120Hz at 12dB per octave roll off. Hence the system cannot use the woofers for bass management for other channels. All speakers are required to handle their own bass loads.


Powered by two Hypex 400 UCD stereo chassis (mids/highs) and a Crown MarcoTech 5002 (woofers)


Rears are Klipsch KLF-30s, powered by a Van Alstine: Model Three


Processor: NAD T-163


Here is my dilemma. There is no center channel available that can match my L/R speakers without detaching their woofers from my XO-3 and allocating bass for all speakers to tem with the NAD’s bass management. Which seems to suck, btw. This would mean a complete rewire of the system and would necessitate rewiring every time I want to use the stereo system to its fullest potential because the XO-3 is a purpose built crossover for the 3-way stereo system.


Right now the center channel is set to off (phantom) and the system sounds good. I’ve tried inserting a center channel without bass management and as expected it sucks. I could wire the system for bass management and see how it sounds, but like I said that would mean I switching the leads to my woofers from the NAD’s sub output two my XO-3’s LF output every time I want to listen to music. Also, the XO-3 would do its own HP filter of my towers at 100/120 Hz, so I would be limited in my bass management selection at the NAD as it pertains to the center and rear channels in order to maintain consistency with the left and right channels. Do you have a head ache yet?


The simple solution has always been phantom, but I’m at an impasse. I want to upgrade to a processor that decodes DTS-HD and True HD faithfully. I guess my question is, since I know I’m likely to stick with phantom, how do I research which processor will do the best job?


Here’s a pic of the system. I’m open to suggestions about how to deal with this predicament.




Thank you, Gentlemen

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So excited. I just talked with the designer of the XO-3 and he told me there is an input selector for the LF that will allow a bypass of the XO-3's control over the LF. The selector turns my L/R low frequency into a mono output controlled by my NAD. That means I can run bass management and run 5.1 pure with no down mixing and no rewiring, just the push of a button!


I'll let you all know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is the most detailed and thorough reply I've ever received and I greatly appreciate the response! Yes, the question was: which pre/pro will do phantom the best :/ I know how silly that sounds.


I’m not going to try to match the sound of a vertically positioned line, though I have heard them turned on their sides, and to me this is very counter intuitive. The center material is point source, so why spread it horizontally? What would be cool is a nice audio transparent screen, a top end JVC projector, a third vertical line array, and a partridge in a pear tree, but that’s not going to happen.


My solution is likely going to be a rectangular enclosure with drivers identical to the lines mounted in groups of 6 x 3 (mids) and 9 x 4 (tweeters) with a passive crossover. In theory that would match the acoustic output of the lines from a point source. Any thoughts on that plan? I can get the drivers.


Edit: I would upgrade to the better proceesor regardless, becasue the one I have now cannot fully pass the higher bit, lossless, codecs. I would buy the new processor if only to have full HD in the existing set up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well that sucks. I have a decent two way center channel that I can try. Is the center channel really mostly vocals?


To address the "line arrays in the near field" quips. First off, forgive me if I don't through them out because some guy on the internet doesn't like them. No offense.


I am a layman in this field. The designer of these speakers has told me line arrays negate a great portion of the room boundary proximity issues, and their design dictates that their near field extends farther than I can get from them. You seem to be suggesting that there are inherent problems with the line arrays. I assume you have heard them.


Haha


Turns out the 2-way I have is the MTM!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwz414  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22129025


Yes, the question was: which pre/pro will do phantom the best :/ I know how silly that sounds.
ALL pre-pros and receivers use the same method to create a phantom centre: reduce the centre channel level by 3dB and copy it to the left channel and right channel outputs. It's not like some pre-pros split the centre channel more evenly than others.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwz414  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22129376


Well that sucks. I have a decent two way center channel that I can try. Is the center channel really mostly vocals?
The center channel is *not* mostly vocals. Yes, most of the vocals are in the center channel, but it also contains anything else that is localized in the center, as well as anything that "pans" through the center. It's a full range channel and can have bass down to 3 Hz mixed in it, as well as treble up to 20 kHz. It's the "panning" thing that is the reason why you want a "matched" CC speaker. When sounds pan across the front soundstage, you don't want them to change timbre or tone as they move from one speaker to another. However, as you are finding, a good timbre-match for a line array is very difficult to come by. I would contact the designer of your line arrays and ask him/her what CC would be a good timbre-match for them.


Oh, and BTW, you can still use a phantom CC with DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD. That might still be your best option.


Also, I tried to search for High Emotion Line Arrays. I found this company, but they don't make any line arrays: http://www.highemotionaudio.com/



Craig
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfyr  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22129302


Unfortunately, what results from a combinations of such spaced drivers is anything BUT what you assume.

You cannot simply arrange multiple spaced drivers and expect to obtain the same polar dispersal behavior except with more gain in anything but a Bessel array (optimally a 5 driver) Bessel array or a CBT (constant beamwidth array). (Trust me!!! I know from where i speak! And I am in possession of 2nd copy of the expansive test measurements made of the myriad speaker array configurations measured as part of the research that constituted the basis for Don Keele's seminal AES article on the Bessel array back in ~1990 with Mike Lamm.

Interesting. I actually built a 5-speaker Bessel array a number of years back, and it is still in service - as a stage monitor. I had a cheap-when-it-was-new burned-out stage monitor by a well-known guitar manufacture complete with 2 cheap ca. 10" cone drivers whose surrounds had long since disappeared, and a piezo tweeter. I had access to a large number of pretty nice (both smooth and good Xmax) more or less full-range ca. 6" drivers that were engineering samples for door speakers in some long-forgotten SUV. I liked the driver but just one of them was kinda short in the dynamic range department. Voila - the 5-speaker Bessel array stage monitor. End results were exactly as claimed - a speaker with about 6 dB more output than just one of the drivers and amazingly small amounts of lobing, even when used up front and personal.


Anyway, just to remind you that I seem to recall that there is a slightly more complex form of the Bessel array with maybe about 9 drivers. I think it is alluded to but not detailed in the Keele paper. It was discussed in more detail in some Syn Aud Con presentations and pubs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi, Craig. High Emotion doesn't make them anymore. I've seen them on AudiogoN, but nowhere else. Edit: They were produced under the name PipeDreams...


Dragonfry, I can appreciate the research you’ve done and the computer simulations that show the polar lobbing. They still sound better to me than many other high end systems I’ve heard and they are in a bad room. I’ve heard bending wave tweeter line arrays that were smoother sounding than any other system I’ve ever heard.


Pardon me, but you do seem to be attempting discouragement: “And........... so you really like line arrays in the near field??? ” and “severe superpositional interdriver interaction (severe polar lobing at various frequencies) rather than a coalesced uniform soundfield charactieristic of the far field”.


I’m not the one to argue the physics of design with you. I’ve heard other very good systems, and the lines are right up there. Even in the near field which is impractical to escape. I can’t sit 30 feet from my speakers.


I’ll stick with what I hear, and I’ll go with the remarks of the designer whose brilliance I’ve experienced in person, and who has helped me design multiple systems. I have yet to speak with Mike about your assertions or about the real world affects of the anomalies you reference, or of his interest in doing a Bessel design, but I'm interested to hear what he has to say.


Thank you for your time, Sir.


On a side note, I rewired the system for bass management and inserted a center channel. The results speak for themselves. Though the center does not have the line’s dynamic range, SPL, realism, or severe superpositional interdriver interaction; the elimination of down mixing and added dimension, or point sourcing of the vocals :/ seems to trump the center channels weakness for most tracks; however, “Top Gun” for instance is very demanding of the center channel and its limitations are more apparent there, where as tracks like “The Dark Knight”, “Iron Man 2”, and “Inception”, sound great and are within the limitations of the center channel at reference.


I am impressed with the bass management. The woofers decoupled from the lines and serving all channels really evens out the sound field and brings the surrounds and center to life. The sound is fuller, more consistent, and more immersive.


This easy switch between dedicated L/R woofers and mono sub-woofer has really changed my requirements. There are some timbre issues with my current center channel and I doubt I can alleviate them by replacing it, but I can address its SPL limits by replacing it.


My goals are these:


Buy or build a center channel that will match the SPL and dynamic range of the line arrays and get a processor that decodes the new codecs. I have 4 12”s and four 21”s that I may put to use in the back of the room to further even out the sound field. I’ll be replacing the Klipsh KLFs with a dome tweeter design to timbre match the other speakers.


I’m leaning towards the NAD T-175.


Perhaps a vertical center that doubles as my TV stand.


Thoughts on the NAD T-175? The Marantz AV7005 has also been suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, Dargonfry, what should I be listening for? Is there some tell tale sound these speakers are making that should stand out as the glaring weakness you and your calculator are pointing to? Never mind, I better not punish my ears any further.


Maybe I should just take them out side and put a free sticker on them. Nah, shoot, they'll probably just sit there and I’ll get a ticket for littering. Hmm. Well, come to think of it, that may be a bit rash. I suppose I could unhook them, carpet them, get a cat, and he could have a bad-ass scratch pole. Nah, that would do no good. He’d likely have good ears. If I didn’t take the drivers out he would hear the severe superpositional interdriver interaction when the static from his scratching makes it to a lead and causes a tone burst. Well, I suppose I could pull the wiring and scrap the copper, or pull the tweeters and sell the neo. Nah, this is all silly. Please pardon my sardonic humor.


You’re the guy on the internet, nothing more. Your first sentence to me was: “Hmmm... So, to recap, you essentially have a 2 channel configuration using line arrays placed near boundaries and listened to in the near field....You seem happy with that so we will simply observe that and move on...”


I can’t believe I thanked you for a well thought out post. The more I read what you’ve written the more you sound like an arrogant grandstander. Not the first time I’ve typed that about you, but in the spirit of being respectful, I thought I better not. Then I reread your first sentence to me, in which you basically call my system **** and call me an idiot for listening to it. Then you go on to say that you’ll just observe that and move on because it’s not worth trying to fix. Excuse me, but who the hell do you think you are? Oh, I forgot, the internet. Thank you for your time, but you are welcome to keep the rest of it. Again, guy on the internet, I’ll stick with what I’ve heard and we’ll leave it at that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Anything else?


"So, to recap, you essentially have a 2 channel configuration using line arrays placed near boundaries and listened to in the near field....You seem happy with that so we will simply observe that and move on..."


"And........... so you really like line arrays in the near field???"


Next time you choose to make an aside reference perhaps you shouldn’t lead and finish with it. People may get the idea it was your primary point. I think I didn’t recognize it immediately because of how audacious it was. Petulant? No, Sir, childish were your first remarks.


I know there are better systems out there, but I can’t afford them. I built, with a ton of help, everything in that room. My uncle designed the X0-3, I assemble one. My friend designed the PipeDreams, I built them, and without these personal relationships and their generosity I could never pay for this stuff... The solution was never for that room; the acoustic solution was to get the best system I could with the help offered to me. Along comes guy on the internet with a wink and a nod, insulting everything in the room, and then offers his objective science. When called on for pushing his science about the deficiencies inherent to line arrays in a query regarding phantom, center channel, and bass management, he accuses the caller of kicking and screaming when he responds to being insulted by… being insulted. Just admit it, you saw line arrays, you saw a chance to get a jab in and present your research, and you did it in a juvenile manner.


You can defend your position all you want, but it is clear that you have a bias against line arrays. After all, how would I know your position on line arrays had you not alluded to it fist and last in your objective primary response to a question that involved them not? :/
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22129811


ALL pre-pros and receivers use the same method to create a phantom centre: reduce the centre channel level by 3dB and copy it to the left channel and right channel outputs. It's not like some pre-pros split the centre channel more evenly than others.

Thank you. If sticking with phantom is the outcome that is exactly what I needed to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22130240

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwz414  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22129376


Well that sucks. I have a decent two way center channel that I can try. Is the center channel really mostly vocals?
The center channel is *not* mostly vocals. Yes, most of the vocals are in the center channel, but it also contains anything else that is localized in the center, as well as anything that "pans" through the center. It's a full range channel and can have bass down to 3 Hz mixed in it, as well as treble up to 20 kHz. It's the "panning" thing that is the reason why you want a "matched" CC speaker. When sounds pan across the front soundstage, you don't want them to change timbre or tone as they move from one speaker to another. However, as you are finding, a good timbre-match for a line array is very difficult to come by. I would contact the designer of your line arrays and ask him/her what CC would be a good timbre-match for them.

Oh, and BTW, you can still use a phantom CC with DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD. That might still be your best option.

Also, I tried to search for High Emotion Line Arrays. I found this company, but they don't make any line arrays: http://www.highemotionaudio.com/


Craig

Yeah, I've never run a center channel, so this is all new to me.


You and Dragonfry are quite right about the center content. Almost all of the vocals and any big event in the center of the screen. Even some musical content to increase the imaging.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwz414  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22128445


Greetings, Gentlemen


Here is an outline of my gear:


Left/Right Speakers: High Emotion* line array towers, model 18, 3 way. Tri amped through High Emotion Audio active XO-3. Woofers are XO-3 integrated LMSUs. They are coupled to the towers and crossed at 100/120Hz at 12dB per octave roll off. Hence the system cannot use the woofers for bass management for other channels. All speakers are required to handle their own bass loads.


Powered by two Hypex 400 UCD stereo chassis (mids/highs) and a Crown MarcoTech 5002 (woofers)


Rears are Klipsch KLF-30s, powered by a Van Alstine: Model Three


Processor: NAD T-163


Here is my dilemma. There is no center channel available that can match my L/R speakers without detaching their woofers from my XO-3 and allocating bass for all speakers to tem with the NAD’s bass management. Which seems to suck, btw. This would mean a complete rewire of the system and would necessitate rewiring every time I want to use the stereo system to its fullest potential because the XO-3 is a purpose built crossover for the 3-way stereo system.


Right now the center channel is set to off (phantom) and the system sounds good. I’ve tried inserting a center channel without bass management and as expected it sucks. I could wire the system for bass management and see how it sounds, but like I said that would mean I switching the leads to my woofers from the NAD’s sub output two my XO-3’s LF output every time I want to listen to music. Also, the XO-3 would do its own HP filter of my towers at 100/120 Hz, so I would be limited in my bass management selection at the NAD as it pertains to the center and rear channels in order to maintain consistency with the left and right channels. Do you have a head ache yet?


The simple solution has always been phantom, but I’m at an impasse. I want to upgrade to a processor that decodes DTS-HD and True HD faithfully. I guess my question is, since I know I’m likely to stick with phantom, how do I research which processor will do the best job?


Here’s a pic of the system. I’m open to suggestions about how to deal with this predicament.




Thank you, Gentlemen

Pat



Why can't you use bass management? No rewire is required. Just leave the subwoofer output in the processor set to OFF, and send bass from the center and surround channels to the R & L mains.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22134829


Why can't you use bass management? No rewire is required. Just leave the subwoofer output in the processor set to OFF, and send bass from the center and surround channels to the R & L mains.

Thank you for the suggestion. I did not know how to do that. I’ve now tried three distinct set ups.


1. LFE straight from the NAD to the woofer amp. Full bass management all speakers. Best results, but not practical as I would have to plug different leads into the woofer amp for movies and music.

2. LFE through crossover bypass. Full bass management all speakers. Second best results, but there is a big gain boost happening in the crossover. I have to turn the sub signal way down. It seems less flat too.

3. LFE through crossover bypass. FL/FR set to large, bass management on C/RL/RR, woofer off. Worst results, more uneven response.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwz414  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22144817

Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22134829


Why can't you use bass management? No rewire is required. Just leave the subwoofer output in the processor set to OFF, and send bass from the center and surround channels to the R & L mains.

Thank you for the suggestion. I did not know how to do that. I’ve now tried three distinct set ups.


1. LFE straight from the NAD to the woofer amp. Full bass management all speakers. Best results, but not practical as I would have to plug different leads into the woofer amp for movies and music.

2. LFE through crossover bypass. Full bass management all speakers. Second best results, but there is a big gain boost happening in the crossover. I have to turn the sub signal way down. It seems less flat too.

3. LFE through crossover bypass. FL/FR set to large, bass management on C/RL/RR, woofer off. Worst results, more uneven response.



Do not use the XO-3 crossover bypass feature. Go back to the original active crossover setup which equates to an active 3 way speaker if I understand what you are doing.


I assume that you do not use a subwoofer, and treat your L & R mains as "full range" or large. I assume that you feed the XO-3 active crossover via the R & L main preamp outputs from the processor.


The only thing that you need to do is set the processors bass management to large R & L, and small center and surround with the small speaker crossovers set to near 100 Hz (or as appropriate for your speakers). Subwoofer output jack is set to off (on if you do have a dedicated subwoofer). All that you are doing with this processor setting is routing speaker bass to your R & L mains via the processor. The processor will handle all of the bass mixing for you and will send the correct amount of bass (LFE .1 channel, Main bass, and small speaker bass) to your R & L main speakers.


There will be no change in the FR of your R & L mains if you do not bypass the XO-3 active crossover.


You then use the various processor processing selections to play music / movies in 2 channel or multi channel as you like.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J_Palmer_Cass  /t/1415493/phantom-vs-center-and-wh...i-layered-advice-seeking-thread#post_22145262


Do not use the XO-3 crossover bypass feature. Go back to the original active crossover setup which equates to an active 3 way speaker if I understand what you are doing.

I assume that you do not use a subwoofer, and treat your L & R mains as "full range" or large. I assume that you feed the XO-3 active crossover via the R & L main preamp outputs from the processor.

The only thing that you need to do is set the processors bass management to large R & L, and small center and surround with the small speaker crossovers set to near 100 Hz (or as appropriate for your speakers). Subwoofer output jack is set to off (on if you do have a dedicated subwoofer). All that you are doing with this processor setting is routing speaker bass to your R & L mains via the processor. The processor will handle all of the bass mixing for you and will send the correct amount of bass (LFE .1 channel, Main bass, and small speaker bass) to your R & L main speakers.

There will be no change in the FR of your R & L mains if you do not bypass the XO-3 active crossover.

You then use the various processor processing selections to play music / movies in 2 channel or multi channel as you like.

Thank you for the feed-back



I think we are talking about option 3.


No bypass, mains set to large. Center, right rear, left rear, set to small. Processor cross over set to 100Hz. Woofer set to off.


This setup sounds the weakest of the three. The immersion and flat response seems best with the mono woofers and all speakers under bass management. I think what I'm going to do is ask my uncle why there is so much heat in the bypass and if he can neutralize it. If he can it should sound identical to option 1.


Thank you for the ideas, Palmer


Pat
 
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