Best match center channel for M22?

Posted by: luma

Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:16 AM

I'm working with a small (10x12) brick room for my HT. Because I don't have a lot of extra floor space and mounting into the walls will be difficult, I'm looking at Axiom for their extensive range of on-wall speaker options.

It looks like the M22 is the choice for on-wall installs. I'm also thinking of the M2s for front highs and surround speakers (using a dipole in the room is going to be a non-starter due to the shape of the room). This will be driven by an Onkyo TX-NR807 which will likely be replaced with an NR1008 fairly soon. This environment will be exclusively used for HT so music performance isn't a concern.

What I'm wondering is which center channel to look at. The VP100 utilizes the same drivers as the M22s in an MTM configuration, while the VP150 uses 3 of the same mids along with a pair of tweets. I'm looking to maximize timbre matching across the front stage between L/C/R. I'm not really looking for SPL and the room is small enough that whatever I select will be loud enough.

My thinking is that the VP100 will be a better match for the M22s, and I don't have a large enough room to require the output of a VP150.

Is this true? Is there any advantage of going with the VP150 in my case?
Posted by: cb919

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:33 AM

Welcome Luma,
If you can make it work I'd recommend you use the same 3 speakers across the front instead of going with the VP series for center. You can go either all M22's or all M2's or as a 3rd choice L&R M22's with M2 center. I don't know your space and budget limitations, but also consider the full book shelf size on a mounting bracket instead of the on-walls if it's an option for you. The on-walls are great (I have the in/on walls) but the full size is better.

For surrounds I highly recommend you look at the QS series instead of M2's for surrounds. I have no experience with height channel speakers so no comment there.

Cheers,
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:34 AM

The best match for the M22 is the M22. If you don't have enough room then an M2 would be next. If vertical space is still an issue I'd still take the VP150 over the VP100, just because the extra driver and cabinet size does increase bass output over the VP100.
Posted by: luma

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:43 AM

Originally Posted By: ClubNeon
The best match for the M22 is the M22. If you don't have enough room then an M2 would be next. If vertical space is still an issue I'd still take the VP150 over the VP100, just because the extra driver and cabinet size does increase bass output over the VP100.

Would this be horizontally mounted? I really don't have room on the wall to vertically mount an M22 above or below the screen. If horizontal, does the tweeter being offset to one side matter? I would think that it would.

Bass output is less of an issue as I'll be building a cabinet for a 15" sub which should have plenty of output for a room of this size.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:50 AM

No, a vertical speaker needs to be mounted vertically. If there is no way to use a vertical center, then a speaker designed for horizontal placement will yield better results than a vertical on its side.

I'm not even talking about sub range, the VP100 starts rolling off at 95 Hz, were as the VP150 can reach a bit lower to 85 Hz. That's still within the range of male voices.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:53 AM

Always mount a speaker in the orientation it was designed for.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:54 AM

I started out with the bookshelf versions of the M22/Vp100 and thoguht think they match quite nicely.

Having said that and as Chris(ClubNeon) mentioned the best match is another speaker exactly like the main L/R. If that is not an option then I would move to the next smallest vertical speaker, in your case the M2 and if that still won't fit, I would recommend the VP150,(in my testing of the freestanding versions(v2's) the VP150 played male voices a tad better than the VP100 but it was only really noticable with A/B testing) and finally the VP100 represents a very good budget horizontally designed center channel.

The resoning behind the suggestions for a vertical center is that this vertical alignment of drivers offers better horizontal dispersion of the sound than horizontally designed speakers like the VP series for an improved off axis listening experience.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 12:01 PM

I will just say I agree with Dan and Jason. You're going to have a hard time convincing Axiom forum members that the QS8's are not the right choice for surround speakers.

I have a VP100 with M60's in a very large room and I like it quite well.
Posted by: bdpf

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 12:18 PM

I agree with all comments regarding the speaker choices mentioned above smile
Posted by: luma

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 08:57 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
You're going to have a hard time convincing Axiom forum members that the QS8's are not the right choice for surround speakers.

I'm with you, but my problem is with the small size of the room and the layout. Let me illustrate with a crappy mspaint:

The walls are all brick. The tetris piece in the middle is a carefully selected sofa that actually fit along with a chaise along the left wall. The left surround dipole would then be mounted almost directly against the bumpout brick wall, which I don't think is going to be optimal. The rears are terribly situated but will be at least useable for somebody sitting on the right side of the sofa (guess who's seat that is smirk ).

It's a small room in a downtown condo, so I need to make do with what I have. If a dipole firing directly at a wall perpendicular to the wall it is mounted on is OK, then I'm certainly open to the QS8 option.
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 09:51 PM

I think QS8s for the left and right surrounds, and M2s for the surround backs.

Even if it weren't for the missing chunk of room in the bottom left, monopole backs would probably be better in this room just because of the distance.

But for the side surrounds, the QSes still would be ideal.
Posted by: Adrian

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 09:53 PM

That room's pretty small, would he even need rears?
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 09:57 PM

That too. Rears would be completely optional in that room.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 10:31 PM

Lu, welcome. Yes, as long as it's a few inches away from that "bumpout" wall section, the QS8(or QS4)should work very well, and its very wide dispersion would be especially useful in a room that small.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 10:39 PM

Agreed. I think 7.1 in that small a room is overkill, but if you're set on it, I still think using the QS8's would still work in your surround positions.

Nice mspaint, btw smile I like pichers.
Posted by: luma

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:03 PM

Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
Agreed. I think 7.1 in that small a room is overkill, but if you're set on it, I still think using the QS8's would still work in your surround positions.

Nice mspaint, btw smile I like pichers.

If 7.1 is overkill I don't suppose I should mention that I'm actually going for a 9.1 setup with M2s as front highs (no room for wides).

You guys almost have me talked into the dipoles. Is there any reason for the QS8s vs. the QS4s? It seems crazy to spend more on my surrounds than the fronts.

I'm going with on-walls all around due to both size and aesthetic reasons. While I appreciate that floorstanding or bookshelves might be better sounding options, I already have an array of giant black towers that this setup is replacing entirely due to aesthetic reasons. I'd blame it on the wife but it's more my idea - I want the room to look great and sound good, and the on-walls are simply a better fit.

Finally, back to the original question - any consensus on the center channel? I get the impression that folks on this forum aren't to hip to center channel speakers in general.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:10 PM

Incidentally, the QSs aren't dipoles; all the drivers work in-phase. Maybe no consensus, but a small vertical center such as the M2 works best in my view if a center speaker rather than a "phantom" center is to be used.
Posted by: tomtuttle

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:10 PM

What is hip? grin
Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/13/11 11:16 PM

We like centers, just that we like good speakers as centers, rather than design compromised horizontal centers (says the guy with the VP150).

If I had the room at all, I'd have the same speaker across the front, but for now the VP150 fits my setup best. I do know it is a compromise; I still feel a center is better than no center. If at all possible a standard vertical speaker is even more superior.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 01:56 AM

Most member here believe a vertical speaker like M2/3/22 will provide a better option over the VP serie. I dont think that way. I had the chance to talk with JC about this "septical" theory provide from some member. And he was not very convinced about that idea. Well, what a center speaker is design for ... to be a center !?
I know THX will favored all 3 same speaker as front L/C/R.
But from my own experience, i have try the M3 over my VP150, and it was definitely not a good experience. The VP150 was way more superior in every aspect.

All i want say is that you should call Axiom about all this, and they will guide you in the good way i am sure.
Everyone here have good experience about HT but it still personal experience (i guess).

M22 and VP150 on wall would probably the best to go. My 2 cents wink
Posted by: luma

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 02:35 AM

I should clarify in regards to my center channel statement - it appears that many members here don't think too much of the horizontally placed purpose-built center channel speakers. As it is, I have no way to vertically place the M22 above or below the screen (the screen is big, the room is small), so I'm pretty much forced to go with a horizontal mount or a much smaller speaker.

Thoughts on the VP100 vs VP150, particular in regards to timbre matching across the front stage?
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 05:39 AM

The VP100/150 and M2/M22 all use the same drivers thus have virtually perfect timber match. If you can't fit the shorter M2 as a center then either of the VP series you are looking at works very well.

I have been using my VP100 instead of my VP150 recently and I think I might prefer it over the 150 even though the 150 plays most male voices better, some seem to have a resonance to them that is not quite natural on the 150, IMO, but this could also be seating and room issues. I need to do more listening but I am sure you would be happy with either one of the VP series. smile
Posted by: bdpf

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 09:38 AM

I also think that in a room that size, either will work well. I totally understand the WAF approval but ultimately, when the lights are off, the only thing that matters is picture and sound, you don't see how good the room looks anymore so maybe it is worth to give it a second thought.
Posted by: cb919

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 10:04 AM

Hi Luma,
I agree with Jason, I think either the VP-100 or 150 will work fine in your room.

In regard to vertical vs. horizontal centers, we are all trying to help you find the optimal solution for your room. I had a horizontal center for the past many years. After much research I recently decided to experiment with an M2 as a vertical center instead of my VP150 ( see this thread ) . Long story short, I preferred the M2. So based on the lesson I learned, I would tell anyone to try a vertical center if possible before they commit to a horizontal center. Now, if a vertical simply won't fit then there is no point discussing it and you should just move on to the VP series. Just wanted to clarify where we were coming from on the center channel discussion.

For the L&R side surrounds I believe you really will appreciate the QS series sound dispersion over the direct radiators. No opinion from me for the back surrounds I can see how either might work.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide to do.
Posted by: billy p

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 11:37 AM

Lots of discussion regarding this topic lately and I like to say thanks! Come springtime I'm switching over to onwalls but I'm not sure which configuration? Ideally 3 22's across the front would be my choice but I'd need to raise my display for proper placement of the 22, if I go that route? Having read all these thread and peoples opinions have helped...well sort of. blush

Regards, Bill... smile



Posted by: ClubNeon

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 11:43 AM

Don't raise your display to an uncomfortable hight, just to fit a speaker under it. Your eyes should fall 1/3 of the way up the screen measured from the bottom. The tweeters of the left and right speakers should also be on that line (your ears are roughly level with your eyes). Then just place the center as high as you can under the screen.
Posted by: cb919

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 12:03 PM

+1 to what Chris said. That's exactly how I planned my theater based on the professional advice I received (I wasn't on this forum back then).

That's also why I went with an M2 instead of an M22 when changing my center channel - the M22 just won't fit well unless I raise my display which I don't want to do.
Posted by: billy p

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 01:16 PM

Yeah...when I first installed my display I had accounted for that with my current set up. It sure sounds like the consenus of opinion here slightly favor the m2 over the vp150 due to its dispersion level and/or range is better for dialouge over the vp150 outside the primary sitting area. We've all read to varying degrees the benefit to going that route. In all honesty, I hadn't given it much thought...only untill recently have I started to ween that way... cool.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/14/11 01:50 PM

I plan on replacing my VP100 with a boxy M2 sometime soon. I placed my TV where my eyes fall at the 50% mark and this is where I like it. Lately, I've been siting in an office chair with my feet propped up and my eyes are about 4 feet away. (Poor mans big screen).
Posted by: luma

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/16/11 03:44 AM

First, I'd like to give a big thanks to everyone that's responded here, you've been a great help!

I've decided on the VP150, along with QS4s for the surrounds. Just poured the leveling compound in the room today and will get started with laying flooring tomorrow. I'll post pics when everything is in it's place!
Posted by: billy p

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/16/11 10:02 AM

That would be great. I just figured out my LCR is actually designed for placement either way. I'll experiment myself to see how it sounds on and off axis before I dedide which way I go. cool
Posted by: cb919

Re: Best match center channel for M22? - 01/16/11 04:00 PM

Oh, please post or link to pics of the WIP construction as well. It's good to see the process of getting to the finished product.

Have fun constructing!