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When someone says mismatched centers don't matter what they really mean is that mismatched centers may not matter to some but will to others. We don't all have the same auditory capabilities so the degree to which we will notice a mismatched center varies. An obvious example is that a few people have perfect pitch but most don't. Try to tell everyone that exact pitch isn't important and those with perfect pitch may tell you that even slightly off pitch is not only noticeable but can be annoying.

For those with more sensitive auditory capabilities a mismatch in speaker voicing can be noticeable and even annoying. So the most important thing when considering audio advice from others is to self-analyze where we are on the auditory sensitivity scale. The different advice others are giving may or may not be applicable to us and it's up to us to figure out which sometimes conflicting advice best matches our hearing.
I think what's often missing in these "matching doesn't matter" discussions is the reason we use a center speaker in the first place: so that listeners in off-center seats have a good experience, too. And for those off-center seats you want a wide-dispersion center speaker, which is hard to do when physics constrain the horizontal dispersion of your horizontal speaker. I think too many people are fixated on the on-axis response of the center speaker. That, I think, is not very telling of the speaker's performance in the context of why we bought it in the first place (otherwise we would just be happy with L/R speakers and sit in the middle seat). For example, look closely at the 30° and 40° lines in yellow and green, which is roughly where your off-center listeners will be. Everything might be all hunky dory for you in the middle seat, but I dare you to tell me these two speakers will sound the same in the other seats.

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And yes, I realize the OP's goal was audio for himself only. But this needs to be said because it comes up again and again.
 

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I think what's often missing in these "matching doesn't matter" discussions is the reason we use a center speaker in the first place: so that listeners in off-center seats have a good experience, too. And for those off-center seats you want a wide-dispersion center speaker, which is hard to do when physics constrain the horizontal dispersion of your horizontal speaker. I think too many people are fixated on the on-axis response of the center speaker. That, I think, is not very telling of the speaker's performance in the context of why we bought it in the first place (otherwise we would just be happy with L/R speakers and sit in the middle seat). For example, look closely at the 30° and 40° lines in yellow and green, which is roughly where your off-center listeners will be. Everything might be all hunky dory for you in the middle seat, but I dare you to tell me these two speakers will sound the same in the other seats.

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And yes, I realize the OP's goal was audio for himself only. But this needs to be said because it comes up again and again.
Although in many setups 30 degrees is further than any seating location, so the 10 and 20 lines will tell you more about the direct sound performance of the speaker for those listeners.
 

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Although in many setups 30 degrees is further than any seating location, so the 10 and 20 lines will tell you more about the direct sound performance of the speaker for those listeners.
A lot depends on what kind of seating, and how far are the speakers. A sectional that's 7-8 feet from the speakers in a small room is closer to the 30 degree range, while theater seats in a long room with speakers 10-12 feet away are 10-20 degrees off-axis. I would argue that the greater the angles, the more important a center speaker becomes to the off-axis seats to center the image, which means you need a wide dispersion speaker there with good off-axis performance.

To add: the speakers above are the Infinity RC263 and Buchardt S400.
 
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I think what's often missing in these "matching doesn't matter" discussions is the reason we use a center speaker in the first place: so that listeners in off-center seats have a good experience, too. And for those off-center seats you want a wide-dispersion center speaker, which is hard to do when physics constrain the horizontal dispersion of your horizontal speaker. I think too many people are fixated on the on-axis response of the center speaker. That, I think, is not very telling of the speaker's performance in the context of why we bought it in the first place (otherwise we would just be happy with L/R speakers and sit in the middle seat).
It would be interesting if someone did a much larger poll to see what % of folks regularly sit directly in front of the center speaker, and what % are 30 degrees or more off-axis. Then we'd get a REAL idea of just how important off-axis performance really is or not (aside from the theory-addicts who'll swear that off-axis significantly affects on-axis sound).

As for the perennial "phantom center" suggestion, having now perfected my JBL 570s' toe-in I actually do get a perfect center image during movies that have native stereo sound. It's nice, but losing the ability to boost the center channel trim level independent of the other speakers, would still deter me from ever wanting to give up having a physical center.
 

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A lot depends on what kind of seating, and how far are the speakers. A sectional that's 7-8 feet from the speakers in a small room is closer to the 30 degree range, while theater seats in a long room with speakers 10-12 feet away are 10-20 degrees off-axis. I would argue that the greater the angles, the more important a center speaker becomes to the off-axis seats to center the image, which means you need a wide dispersion speaker there with good off-axis performance.

To add: the speakers above are the Infinity RC263 and Buchardt S400.
Agreed. It is very setup dependent.
 

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It would be interesting if someone did a much larger poll to see what % of folks regularly sit directly in front of the center speaker, and what % are 30 degrees or more off-axis. Then we'd get a REAL idea of just how important off-axis performance really is or not (aside from the theory-addicts who'll swear that off-axis significantly affects on-axis sound).
It wouldn't matter if you listened in an environment with no boundaries, but of course we do, so off-axis performance is not just a theoretical exercise with no practical importance. There's a reason it's part of the frequency response measurement standard.

You've been encouraged many times to educate yourself on such matters, and there's lots of resources out there besides this popular one. If you don't care to do so, that's fine; it won't diminish your enjoyment, but then when you come to an audio forum to discuss such matters, it puts you in a position of making the audio equivalent of a flat Earth argument.
 

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It wouldn't matter if you listened in an environment with no boundaries, but of course we do, so off-axis performance is not just a theoretical exercise with no practical importance.
It is a theoretical exercise if actual users don't report any AUDIBLE difference, despite whatever flimsy academic/laboratory "research" claims.

Again, I would not place religious faith into the findings of ONE person, nor dismiss the disagreement of anyone who fails to read that one person's 500 page tome...similar absolutist faith as any flat-earther. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #168 ·
Don't blame the messenger if you don't like the science.
On this I am afraid I will trust my ears over anybody's "science".

If you think I am hallucinating just click on this guy's review of the 4.2s ... go straight to the 10:00 minute mark.

 
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I don't have a lot to offer this tread but it has made me finally pull the trigger on the emotiva c2+. I have been using the jamo s83 center paired with jamo s809 towers and two svs s2000 subs. I have no complaints with the towers but i was just thinking the other day how my center is slowly starting to be noticeably lacking with dialogue in my setup and I only sit 8ft away from the screen. I have always wanted the emotiva c2+ so i figured no point in waiting any longer. I plan to eventually pick up the T2+ tower, as I prefer towers over bookshelves for athletics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #170 ·
I would give the Emotiva C2+ a spin, half the price of the 4.C and I'd expect it to be equal or better. Only disadvantage is aesthetic, if that matters to you.
You know this is very tempting now that the C2+ are back in stock. Might just do it ... but probably after I check out the pair of 4.2s I have coming.
 
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Discussion Starter · #171 ·
And yes, I realize the OP's goal was audio for himself only. But this needs to be said because it comes up again and again.
Not entirely true ... I wanted to upgrade to a 3-way to improve sound quality at the edges of the seating area. But, in my case, if the upgrade doesn't ALSO produce sound quality improvement at the MLP then I would NOT consider that speaker as a worthy upgrade for me.

Basically I want it all for a reasonable price (y)
 
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You know this is very tempting now that the C2+ are back in stock. Might just do it ... but probably after I check out the pair of 4.2s I have coming.
fwiw, the 4.2 and C2+ pair extremely well, according to:
 

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On this I am afraid I will trust my ears over anybody's "science".
Yes. Trust your ears, as you should, but this is a case where the science is proving that "break-in" is nothing more than the brain adjusting to the sound. That review was one of the things that lead to the purchase of my own EVO 4.2s, but that doesn't negate the scientific fact that that's just how our brains work. While there is undeniably some physical change in/relaxing of the woofers after long periods of use (because that's physics), it simply hasn't been proven to actually have any impact on the sound a speaker produces.

Anyway - I'm very happy that you have decided on the EVOs (IMO they would be the ones I'd pick for myself), and please be sure to let us all know your impressions once you get the 4.2s set up!
 
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Again, I would not place religious faith into the findings of ONE person, nor dismiss the disagreement of anyone who fails to read that one person's 500 page tome...similar absolutist faith as any flat-earther. :)
As far as I'm aware there are no theoretical audio engineers.:)

The standard was developed by a CEA committee of many different professionals in the industry. Working groups were part of the process, and as the name implies, they were working on practical aspects beyond theoretical. From the document:

"Unlike previously published standards, this standard describes how to measure and report the directivity of a loudspeaker, whether it stands by itself or is mounted in or on a wall or ceiling. It also describes how to use this directivity data to estimate the in-room frequency response that more recent research has shown correlates well to subjective listening preferences of consumers."(emphasis mine)

It's a tool to educate consumers, to help in comparing loudspeakers, and perhaps narrow down the choices. Imo, more information is better.
 

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What Zorba may not understand is that the standard was developed after studies revealed what people's preferences are! His favorite metric.
 
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What Zorba may not understand is that the standard was developed after studies revealed what people's preferences are! His favorite metric.
Does Toole's book include full disclosure of the TESTING PARAMETERS for those preference studies?

This to me seems to be THE critical question, since the entirety of the measurements-are-gospel argument is based on the presumption that these studies are representative and realistic/applicable to real-world listeners.

In any case, I've placed a local library request for Toole's book and will take a crack at it over the summer.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! :)
 

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Does Toole's book include full disclosure of the TESTING PARAMETERS for those preference studies?

This to me seems to be THE critical question, since the entirety of the measurements-are-gospel argument is based on the presumption that these studies are representative and realistic/applicable to real-world listeners.

In any case, I've placed a local library request for Toole's book and will take a crack at it over the summer.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! :)
What's next, Zorba? Actually running room-correction software, DSP, a measurement microphone and REW software? lol
TBH, I'm probably going to be ordering a Umik-1 to tune my new sub. I managed to find a brand-new BFM (Bill FitzMaurice) folded-horn sub with a 15" driver up here, so I have some work ahead of me...
 

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Zorba922 I want to thank you for your help (and others) with my HT setup. With your help I purchased the Emotiva C2+ couple months ago (it was a long wait they were out of stock). As far as the C2+ 3way CC all I can say is WOW!! I will add to that lol, dialog is so clear even at low volumes. I hear the smallest things (rain,whisper etc.) that I haven't heard before. When this speaker kicks in it is so awesome it fills my large room with beautiful audio, sound affects, the 6.5 woofers does amazing job with the low end. I just got a pair of Evo 4.2 bookshelf speakers to go with C2+ (through Crutchfield, I tried the local BB I'm still pissed at them, thats another story) just because I wanted to stay with a 3 way setup (If Emotiva had a 3way bookshelf speakers i would have tried them out) and the tweeter design between the C2+ and Evo4.2 are similar. You are spot on with the Evo4.2 sound signature. My listing experience with the LCR speakers together was only a week then I installed my new Denon x3700h AVR and had communication problems between the x3700h and Sony A8H TV, (I'm in the middle of troubleshooting the 30ft hdmi cable) So as soon as I get my setup back up and running I will know more about how the C2+ sound with the Evo4.2. Thanks again Zorba
I am looking forward to your impressions about Evo 4.2 and C2+ because I am torned between T1+ and Evo 4.4 (4.3 not sold here in India) since T1+ is quite cheaper. Waiting for how do they compare in sensitivity, loudness and level set by Audyssey for both. They are not available for audition and also no return policy.

Sent from my SM-N975F using Tapatalk
 

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What's next, Zorba? Actually running room-correction software, DSP, a measurement microphone and REW software? lol
TBH, I'm probably going to be ordering a Umik-1 to tune my new sub. I managed to find a brand-new BFM (Bill FitzMaurice) folded-horn sub with a 15" driver up here, so I have some work ahead of me...
Nice find! Smart guy, interesting designs
 

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What's next, Zorba? Actually running room-correction software, DSP, a measurement microphone and REW software? lol
TBH, I'm probably going to be ordering a Umik-1 to tune my new sub. I managed to find a brand-new BFM (Bill FitzMaurice) folded-horn sub with a 15" driver up here, so I have some work ahead of me...
(whispers) he's a secret Amir fan (whispers)
 
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