I was listening to a Spyro Gyra SACD with a 5.1 mix the other day. Great music, btw, for demoing speakers and audio equipment. Anyhow in one song there is a long bass guitar solo that's mixed entirely in the center channel. I was paying close attention to the drivers in my VP180 during the bass solo, and I noticed during the lowest pitched notes of the solo, that the midrange drivers were moving quite a lot, with large extension, along with the two woofers. I would have thought that the crossover electronics in the VP180 should send the low freq signals only to the woofers, but it seems the mid range drivers are also getting low freq signals to cause them to move with high extension. Is it possible he crossover in my Center is defective or is this normal operation?
If the sound is good and it is not distorting then, no problem. Like the others have already mentioned, it depends where you have done your speaker settings on your AVR. Electric bass doesn't go much below 60HZ even at its lowest register, a frequency range the VP180 is more than capable of handling. Its pretty common knowledge, but even if you have your crossover for the center channel set at 60/80HZ, its a gradual roll-off not a sudden elimination of frequencies below the set level so you will still hear frequencies below that level. If you have the center set at full-range, then that's OK too.
That is the great advantage of full-range center channel speakers, you get significantly more flexibility in your set-up and it sounds better too with a much smoother blend with everything else.