Centre speakers - how important?

sneerfulbrute

Novice Member
I am in the process of upgrading my surround system! I saving up for a BK Monolith sub as I type! And am quite happy with that decision. However when it comes to replacing my Eltax centre speaker I find myself on uncertain ground. At first I was going to buy a Mordaunt Short Avant 905i! Then the Monitor Audio BRLCR nabbed my attention. I basically believe that a centre speaker is the least important part of a surround sound system. Does anyone agree or should up the odds completely and go for something like the Monitor Audio GSLCR at a whopping £500?
 

reevesy

Distinguished Member
think you'll find that the centre speaker is probably the most important speaker as something like 70 or 80% of a movies sound will be coming through it......disconnect it and stick a film on and you'll see what i mean.
....i'd get the best centre you can afford in relation to your others.
 

danmc_82

Distinguished Member
The centre speaker is the most important speaker in your surround setup. Its where all diologue and alot of effects come from. Id have a centre speaker to match with my front L & R speakers, this way there will be a concistant sound betwwen the front three speakers. What speakers are you getting by the way?
 

sneerfulbrute

Novice Member
Yes I must admit that as I was typing this post those thoughts were going through my mind for all the special effects and surround sounds movies have, most of a movie is speech! My fronts are B&W XT4's. And although I love these speakers. I can't see me saving up for the same model centre speaker in this range.

I am sorely tempted by the Monitor Audio GSLCR's. And one thing I have noticed about all manufactures various claims about their speakers is that they will go with various set ups?

I have researched the price of B & W's XTC's and found that they are only £50 dearer compared to the Monitor Audio's so I'm going to take your advice and pencil them in! Thanks.
 

markymark3906

Standard Member
The GSLCR is a BIG centre. Go see one in a shop and have a look - see if it isnt too big for your TV/stand. I have the RS LCR and it works suberbly with my MA RS8's.
 

Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
I recommend getting the centre channel to match your fronts, anything else is a compromise.

I had to come to the same conclusion not that long ago and save up the £1500 I needed for the CB6 centre channel to match my OB1s.

Did I regret it, not one bit.
 

Dave777

Active Member
It is sooo important. Just upgraded mine from Q9c to XQ2c to go with my Q9's and big difference heard. Well worth while upgrade.

Dave
 

tonyrees687

Well-known Member
Well i have to agree the centre makes a huge difference
I have just changed my L+R fronts to sonus faber concertinos (from my listenen room) from the sats from a ruark vista 100 set up and the difference is amazing , the centre ruark vista speaker is compleatly underpar so iam saving up for the sonus faber solo centre speaker and i am planning to use the fronts ruarks as extra surround for 7.1 and the ruark centre speaker for the middle rear channel for the 7.1
the centre is so important
regards tony
 

badbob

Banned
Mate borrowed my Model Reference 200 and chucked his Kef Q95 literally in the bin, utter poo and bought a 200 that week.

So incredibly important, so is matching with your mains. You want the same treble/midrange driver.
 

stevefish69

Well-known Member
It is sooo important. Just upgraded mine from Q9c to XQ2c to go with my Q9's and big difference heard. Well worth while upgrade.

Dave

Ditto that.

I too was using an XQ2C with Egg's then Q4's and finaly my Ref 3.2's and it never sounded out of place with any of them.

IMHO go for the best quality center in the speaker range that you can pick up, as it always gives scope to upgrade the other fronts.
 

iainsilvester

Novice Member
I you were in the market for a stereo pair, which would be more important, the left or the right speaker?
 

iainsilvester

Novice Member
Hehe. I think he 's only pointing out that matching the center to the fronts is as important as matching L to R. Nice piece of irony.

I do think folk miss the point of surround, and the analogy with stereo is valid. If you have 5 discrete channels the sound stage is created by the interplay of all the speakers in the array. It is not about hearing different sounds from different speakers, it is the psychoaccoustic ellusion the array creates, each speaker should disappear in the room.

So if you start with the premise that one of the 5 is more important than the other, or balancing/tonal matching is irrelevant, you just won't get the surround effect as intended.

IMO this has come about partly because many start with a stereo pair and move to add additional speakers. The stereo pair are referred to as "main" which incorrectly elevates their status in the array.
 

badbob

Banned
I understand what you're saying, but because you face the front L/C/R panning is obvious. Surrounds are mainly "ambiance" I doubt you'll notice it. It would be worthwhile to do a double blind ABX comparison with your SS-150 and another good quality tripole design, calibrated to the same levels. I use non matching quality dipole sides, bipole rears and it sounds great (£600) per pair. The problem is most people would just buy the very cheapest side/rears possible.
 

owain_thomas

Active Member
a bit controversial but I'm not sure the answer is quite as cut and dried. I would certainly agree that if you've got a centre it really needs to match with your L&Rs. But... do you really need a centre?

bear with a me a bit on this as it goes against a lot of the standard thinking on this topic!

Last year I got some pretty good main speakers (totem arros, about 1k a pair), now due to all sorts of changes and upheaval (including moving house) my system has altered a lot in that time. currently I'm using a rotel processor and my arcam a90 as a power amp. this sounds absolutely fantastic in stereo. I powered my centre speaker using the aaron power amp I bought a few years ago. the thing I've found is that I'm not really sure I need a centre, the speakers in my room are not that far apart and at the same level as my plasma, they sound so good that I prefer using them on their own rather than mixing in the non-matching and distinctly cheaper centre. I am able to go VERY loud with this system, especially since the BK sub is taking care of everything below 80Hz (100 for music) and it doesn't sound at all strained or confused.

I'm not saying this is the case in all instances but, if your main speakers are fairly close to eachother (and sound good for stereo music) then maybe, just maybe, you'd be better investing more in them than splitting the cost between three speakers.

just my thoughts after a fair bit of messing around.
 

sneerfulbrute

Novice Member
I find it really interesting the spread of opions and expectations found in the forum, The point made lower down about people only buying the cheapest rears they can is something I'm guilty of, however these are again Eltax's and in some four years of listening I have found them to be very good little performers and if we go with the point of the thread eg that centre's are very important and that speech makes up 60 or 70 per cent of a sound track than logic detates that rears must be less important. I have changed my mind as to the sub I'm going to upgrade and have now plumped for the SVS SB12+. and for me thats strecthing what I feel comfortable spending on a surround system. So far on the posts I seen people asking if they can get a good surround package for £150 to others saying their SVS SB12+ will only be used in the bedroom with a sub costing fives as much installed in a dedicated room. I guess you have your cloth and cut it accordingly.As for me as if and when I decide to upgrade my rears, I'll let you know!
 

iainsilvester

Novice Member
I understand what you're saying, but because you face the front L/C/R panning is obvious. Surrounds are mainly "ambiance" I doubt you'll notice it. It would be worthwhile to do a double blind ABX comparison with your SS-150 and another good quality tripole design, calibrated to the same levels. I use non matching quality dipole sides, bipole rears and it sounds great (£600) per pair. The problem is most people would just buy the very cheapest side/rears possible.

I pretty much agree with you Bob. The LCR are really a simple extension of the stereo concept and don't really extend the sound field any more than a decent stereo pair would. Centres however are important for other reasons, like gettting natural voice. I do feel the surrounds/rears are important, they are after all solely responsible for turning a 2 dimensional sound field into 3 dimensional.

Sounds like the OP has reached a conclusion an I am sure he will be very happy :thumbsup:
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Q Acoustics Q3030i, Humax Aura, Roku Streambar & WandaVision Reviews and more...
Top Bottom