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Discussion Starter #1

I was just recently given a Yamaha RX-V730 receiver for free, so it prompted me to setup a surround sound setup in my house. I used to have a recording studio, so I had two sets of decent powered studio monitors. I'm using Mackie HR624's for my fronts (outstanding speakers) and KRK Rokit 8's for the rears. For my sub (and I KNOW some of you are gonna cringe) I have a 10" kicker powered by a sony AX401 amplifier that I got for free. Yup, I have a car stereo sub in my living room, complete with the carpet covering. 

 

Despite the weird mix-and-match setup, it actually sounds awesome for music. Everything blends very well; none of the speakers "stand out" as a separate audio source, if that makes sense. Even the car stereo sub blends right in.

 

So now I'm in the market for a center channel speaker that will hopefully blend in just as well. Here are my concerns:

 

1. It will be the only non-powered speaker in my system, running off the Yamaha receiver. Will that create issues getting the levels right?

 

2. My Mackie's are only about 5 feet apart. They are about 8-10 feet from where I sit. I know that's not optimal, but I simply don't have the space to get them further apart. They are so close together that adding a center speaker just seems pointless. I've heard of setting up a receiver to create a "phantom" center channel with the front mains, should I consider that option instead?

 

3. I would like a smaller speaker, because of space issues, but I think it wont blend well, being the only small speaker. Although if it's only playing dialog, does it really have to be big?

 

4. I'm poor. I'd like to spend not much more than $120 ish. Yep, you're cringing again. I'm broke, get over it. ;)  
 

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With the exception of your sub, you have a pretty decent system. I would skip the center speaker under your conditions. Save up and wait until you can get another Mackie. That is the only sensible center for that setup. In the meantime, use a phantom center setup. Adding a cheap center would badly diminish the overall sound quality of the system. By the way, your receiver does not have pre-outs, how are you going to hook the powered speakers up to it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24575307


With the exception of your sub, you have a pretty decent system. I would skip the center speaker under your conditions. Save up and wait until you can get another Mackie. That is the only sensible center for that setup. In the meantime, use a phantom center setup. Adding a cheap center would badly diminish the overall sound quality of the system. By the way, your receiver does not have pre-outs, how are you going to hook the powered speakers up to it?
Actually it does, and it's already hooked up that way. It has a line out for every channel.

 

The mackie I would need is the HR626, which is not made anymore but can be found on ebay for about $500. I guess I should save my pennies.
 

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OK, I got that model Yamaha mixed up with another. The Mackie HR624 mk2 might do well as a center, and you don't have to resort to ebay to get one. You could probably use a HR824 as well, the voicing should be nearly identical. Basically I think you could use any of the HRs with good results. Very good speakers, btw, one of my fav monitors.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

Okay, I just switched the receiver to be "none" on the center channel. Will that automatically do the "phantom center" thing? Is there anything else I need to do?

 

Also, what DSP setting should I use when I'm watching movies? Dolby Pro Logic, or Dolby Pro Logic II? Or something else...?
 

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Watching movie from what device? If it's a blu ray or DVD player let the receiver decode the signal as Dolby Digital, DTS, TrueHD or DTS-HD.


TV, Cable or Sat dish sends HD movies in Dolby Digital.


You should only need Pro Logic II for 2 channel sources like older movies that are not Dolby Digital.


Since you didn't list any of your other devices its hard to give you better info.
 

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Discussion Starter #7

Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24575575


Watching movie from what device? If it's a blu ray or DVD player let the receiver decode the signal as Dolby Digital, DTS, TrueHD or DTS-HD.


TV, Cable or Sat dish sends HD movies in Dolby Digital.


You should only need Pro Logic II for 2 channel sources like older movies that are not Dolby Digital.


Since you didn't list any of your other devices its hard to give you better info.
 

Sorry, I'm planning on getting the new Amazon Fire TV, which has an optical audio out. Apparently most of the HD streaming videos are encoded with Dolby Digital surround sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

What about the Yamaha NS series center speaker?

 

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-NS-C444-Center-Channel-Speaker/dp/B0000W4U2M

 

My logic is, since the NS series are legendary studio reference monitors, as are the Mackie's (my mains) they should in theory work well together. Both were designed to simply be accurate, without attenuating or accentuating and particular frequency. And it's not too far over my budget.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac0nfat  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24576111


What about the Yamaha NS series center speaker?

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-NS-C444-Center-Channel-Speaker/dp/B0000W4U2M


My logic is, since the NS series are legendary studio reference monitors, as are the Mackie's (my mains) they should in theory work well together. Both were designed to simply be accurate, without attenuating or accentuating and particular frequency. And it's not too far over my budget.

It has to do with the voicing of the speakers, not their overall quality. Might work. Might not. What you are looking for is a timbre match, so best bet is the same manufacturer in a similar speaker line as yours.
 
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Like cel said, try to get the front stage speakers matching, otherwise you will have a goofy sounding front sound stage. Stuff that pans across the stage will sound schizophrenic. Also, that center is not quite the same as the Yammy NS monitors that you are thinking of. Furthermore, the classic Yamaha NS monitors were never neutral, they were only popular because they were inexpensive. The Mackie HRs are far higher performers. If you put anything less than a Mackie HR as a center, it will bring the whole sound down to the level of whatever center you choose, that is how critical the center is.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Okay, understood. You guys have been very helpful. If I'm gonna go with a Mackie, I'll probably pick up an HR626 off ebay, that way they all match in appearance. The only downside is that it's so big, there's only gonna be like 8 inches of space between each of the front three speakers. Just seems weird. I can't get my mains any further apart unless I mount them on the ceiling and aim them down. What are your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #12

Hmm, just noticed I can get on ebay an HR624 MK1 (same exact as my mains) for under $200. I can't think of a better solution than that for the price. Maybe down the road I'll end up making the whole system Mackie, including the sub.

 

Back to the issue of speaker placement? Hanging them from the ceiling to get them further apart, yay/nay? Or at ear height but closer together? Which is more optimal?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac0nfat  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24576638


Okay, understood. You guys have been very helpful. If I'm gonna go with a Mackie, I'll probably pick up an HR626 off ebay, that way they all match in appearance. The only downside is that it's so big, there's only gonna be like 8 inches of space between each of the front three speakers. Just seems weird. I can't get my mains any further apart unless I mount them on the ceiling and aim them down. What are your thoughts?

If they are that close together, just skip the center.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac0nfat  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24577839


Hmm, just noticed I can get on ebay an HR624 MK1 (same exact as my mains) for under $200. I can't think of a better solution than that for the price. Maybe down the road I'll end up making the whole system Mackie, including the sub.

That's optimal. Three exact matching speakers across the front is better for the front soundstage than two monitors and a manufacturer designed center channel.


However, there's no good sound quality reason to match the sub brand to the speakers. Get the best sub you can for your money.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24577868



If they are that close together, just skip the center.
 

Well that's with all 3 speakers on their side, and the longer HR626 for a center. The actual spacing between the tweeters of the left and right is about 5.5 feet. 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24577877



That's optimal. Three exact matching speakers across the front is better for the front soundstage than two monitors and a manufacturer designed center channel.


However, there's no good sound quality reason to match the sub brand to the speakers. Get the best sub you can for your money.
 

Good to know. I think I'll stick with Mackie anyway, just because I know it will perform.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac0nfat  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24577900


Good to know. I think I'll stick with Mackie anyway, just because I know it will perform.

A Mackie sub? Actually, it probably won't perform well for the money compared to the best alternatives. Especially for HT usage since pro audio subwoofers are not typically designed for the very low bass extension for movies.


Best to research and ask questions in the AVS subwoofer forum before you buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24577930



A Mackie sub? Actually, it probably won't perform well for the money compared to the best alternatives. Especially for HT usage since pro audio subwoofers are not typically designed for the very low bass extension for movies.


Best to research and ask questions in the AVS subwoofer forum before you buy.
Roger that, I'm a long ways away from purchasing a subwoofer anyway. The one I have will get me by for now.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bac0nfat  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24577839


Back to the issue of speaker placement? Hanging them from the ceiling to get them further apart, yay/nay? Or at ear height but closer together? Which is more optimal?

If they would be close to the ceiling, I might skip that. Ceilings have been known to have bad effects on the acoustics. How close would they be to the ceiling?
 

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Discussion Starter #19

Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ  /t/1526107/what-center-speaker-for-my-new-frankenspeaker-5-1-setup#post_24578585



If they would be close to the ceiling, I might skip that. Ceilings have been known to have bad effects on the acoustics. How close would they be to the ceiling?
 

Pretty close. Basically I have my TV on a wall, with a doorway opening on each side. The TV wall is only about 6 feet wide. If I make the speakers further apart, they would be IN the doorways. It's just not an option without knocking down walls and reframing my house.

 

Like I said, the only option to get the further apart is to hang them from the ceiling, but they would have to be high enough to walk under. My ceilings are standard 8 foot (ish) ceilings so that doesn't leave me a lot of room, but I could do it. 
 

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I don't think I would hang them from the ceilign in that case. You could try both ways and stay with whatever works best, but generally speaking, the fewer boundaries that speakers are near, the better.
 
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