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#326103 - 10/19/10 09:30 PM Center channel speaker question
cvictorg Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 09/11/10
Posts: 18
Came across this article and would like the opinion of the members here as to whether or not it is believable

http://theaudiocritic.com/plog/index.php?op=Default&blogId=1&&page=3

Center-Channel Speakers: What the Industry (Even the "White Hats") Often Refuses to Tell You

Looking at the market, I’ve found that nearly all center-channel speakers have a low, wide profile using an MTM—often called D’Appolito—array, with a pair of 4", 5.25", or 6" woofers flanking a dome tweeter. This style is decor-friendly, has a better partner acceptance quotient (PAQ?), and is physically well suited for perching atop a large-screen rear-projection display. While the driver layout of these speakers is sometimes called a D’Appolito array, few of them fit the criteria of the originator as to driver spacing, crossover frequency, and final response. These speakers, even the better ones, have a universal characteristic: strong, sometimes severe, lobing in the horizontal plane, which will be launched into the listening area either through reflected sound or direct radiation to off-axis listeners. Fig. 1 displays an example of a typical, currently sold, MTM center channel speaker. Lobing begins at 7.5 degrees and by 22.5 degrees is quite strong. This is a sweet-spot device!

I’ve had the opportunity to test hundreds of different loudspeaker systems over the past decade. From 80 to 100 Hz upward, the best systems—and I mean best in an absolute sense—have been 6.5" two-way designs. Two-way speakers by manufacturers such as Paradigm, PSB, Polk, NHT, JBL, Boston Acoustics, and Infinity make excellent center-channel choices, often at remarkably low cost. The optimal center-channel speaker choice will usually be a good-quality, vertically deployed 6.5" two-way speaker. Good sound, even greater value. Dedicated center-channel loudspeakers are designed and marketed as horizontally arrayed, low-profile, gracefully styled accessories for large-screen television. While the inclusion of a pair of woofers improves low-frequency capability, few of them will deliver an honest 40 Hz at the listening position and, frankly, there is no need for them to do so. They offer no other performance advantage, and most lack acceptable sound quality for more than one listener.

Question - Does it make more sense to use a 2-way speaker as a center channel speaker in the vertical position?

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#326110 - 10/19/10 10:12 PM Re: Center channel speaker question [Re: cvictorg]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10623
Vic, yes I'm familiar with the excellent material in the archives of the Audio Critic and that specific article relating to center speakers. This is in agreement with other studies of the matter, which have shown vertical configurations to be superior to horizontal MTM speakers for the center channel.

This has also been my personal experience and I've frequently suggested here over the years that a vertical center as similar as possible to the mains should be used wherever feasible.
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#326116 - 10/19/10 10:41 PM Re: Center channel speaker question [Re: JohnK]
cvictorg Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 09/11/10
Posts: 18
So - would 5 M3 v3 Bookshelf Speakers work nicely in a 1600 cubic foot room?

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#326122 - 10/19/10 10:56 PM Re: Center channel speaker question [Re: cvictorg]
bdpf Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 769
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I would still use the QS for surround.
_________________________
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M80s/VP180/QS8s/EP600/AVR-890
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#326125 - 10/19/10 11:02 PM Re: Center channel speaker question [Re: bdpf]
DreamTheater Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/03/10
Posts: 92
Loc: East Haven, CT
I have always heard it best to use a vertical floorstander at center, unfortunately most (including me) don't have the room to accomodate such a design, so we compensate with these horizontal space friendly arrays. Excellent article though, in my dream system I would have a projection screen and have it high enough off the ground that I could throw in a vertical center, and all 5 of my speakers would exactly match.
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#326126 - 10/19/10 11:05 PM Re: Center channel speaker question [Re: cvictorg]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10623
Yes, 5 M3s would work nicely, but 3 M2s, a good sub and QS surrounds would work even better.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#326130 - 10/19/10 11:32 PM Re: Center channel speaker question [Re: JohnK]
cvictorg Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 09/11/10
Posts: 18
http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/T...tions/13680.pdf

http://www.harman.com/EN-US/OurCompany/Technologyleadership/Documents/White%20Papers/multsubs.pdf

I've also been reading these papers on multiple subs - I was thinking about 5 M3s for the speakers and using 4 of these subs

http://www.lavasubs.com/12_inch/powered_home_subwoofer.html

one per speaker - just one more question - would it be necessary to put one under the "center channel" speaker as well?

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#326131 - 10/19/10 11:48 PM Re: Center channel speaker question [Re: cvictorg]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10623
The Harman papers are well-known here and have been discussed fairly often. If you mean that you propose to put a sub under each speaker so as to create in effect full-range units, then sure, the center has to be included. Note, however, that this arrangement wouldn't achieve the benefits in room mode smoothing discussed in the Harman papers and Dr. Toole's book Sound Reproduction. That requires placing the subs at locations such as the midpoints of opposite walls or in diagonally opposite corners, not under the speakers.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#326133 - 10/20/10 12:10 AM Re: Center channel speaker question [Re: JohnK]
BlueJays1 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/19/08
Posts: 4116
Loc: Porch,enjoying Bombay Sapphire
Never heard of Lava subs before. The fact they market their subs by comparing them to Polk Audio models does not instill confidence. Don't get me wrong, Polk make some nice speakers and they have some models that offer excellent value but their subwoofers are rubbish.
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#326142 - 10/20/10 08:13 AM Re: Center channel speaker question [Re: DreamTheater]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
Originally Posted By: DreamTheater
...in my dream system I would have a projection screen and have it high enough off the ground that I could throw in a vertical center...


I plan on using a 7 or 8 foot 2.35:1 AT (acoustically transparent) projector screen with 3 M80 in-cabinet's behind it. This would accomplish the same thing, no?

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