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Centre Speakers vs Full range stereo pair

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Speakers' started by chrisp1, Oct 10, 2004.

  1. chrisp1

    chrisp1
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    Any of you guys ever experimented with your centre speaker configuration?. I've been having some shocking problems with my Mission 75c combined with a variety of amps - TAG Mclaren, Aaron, Harman Kardon, Yamaha, Arcam.

    With all of these, I found the sound to be progressively more diffilcult to listen to. Very strident and insistent - hard sounding - the only words that come to mind. The more capable the amp, the worse it got.

    I'm currenly using a Harman Kardon AVR 603 reciever and as a long shot decided to wire up one of my old Rogers LS4a speakers in place of my usual centre. OH YES - smooth, punchy and detailed. Takes my breath away rather than scouring my ear drums.

    What do you think?. Is one half of a stereo main pair better than a dedicated centre channel speaker?. Any suggestions for alternative centres?. Anyone want my Mission 75c :)??.


    Chris.
     
  2. Keiron

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    I've been uconvinced about the need for a centre speaker at all for some time now (there's another thread about this on here of you do a search). I'm forever switching it in and out. On the whole, I just don't get the point of them. A capable system should be able to create the effect of sound coming from anywhere between the two front speakers, right? So why stop at 3 front speakers? Why not 4 or 5? I think the best case that can be made for them is more accurate placement of dialogue if your're not sat in the sweetspot.
    Try changing your settings to "no centre speaker" leaving all the duties to the L & R. I have to admit, I sometimes can't tell whether it's on or off!
     
  3. Sniper

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    erm.... you cleary have not listened to some proper gear! There's a huge difference with/without a center speaker! It's arguably the most important channel on any 5.1 system.
     
  4. chrisp1

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    I'm not sure about this. I havn't tried my reciever with the centre set to 'ghost', but it may be worth a try. The Harman's processing power seems excellent (its an AVR 630 BTW, not a 603 :) ), so it may work quite well without a centre.

    Having said that I'm off to Sevenoaks at the weekend to listen to some alternatives. Any suggestions for £250-350?. Something smooth and full sounding. The Rogers I mentioned is doing a good job, but I'm not sure its practical, long term (its a bit ugly aswell - the wife doesn't like the look of it!!).
     
  5. Mylo

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    Got to agree. The centre speaker locks the dialogue to the screen.
    The front three speakers should be the same make/family for best results :lesson:
     
  6. Ian J

    Ian J
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    For best results you should use three identical speakers at the front but unfortunately it isn't always practical.
     
  7. Mylo

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    I agree, but that would be my first option when trying to get a coherent sounding set-up.
     
  8. Jules Tohpipi

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    That Mission 75c was always a bit hard and strident sounding. IIRC it used a cone tweeter, rather than a standard dome tweeter - so it was never a 'proper' matching centre speaker to the 75 series anyway. Personally, I never really liked it, for the same reasons you mention.

    I would go and audition some alternative centre speakers, with one eye on a smoother sounding one, and another eye on trying to blend with your front speakers as much as possible.
     
  9. chrisp1

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    Yeah - I've noticed that the tonal balance, when running the test tone, varies across the range of my front 3. It's hardly surprising though - my main L and R speakers are Mission 753's floorstanders and are about 3 times as big as the centre. Obviously if I'm going to keep the 753's, it would be impractical to use a 3rd one of those as a centre.

    Anyone heard the Kef Q9c or any of the B&W range?. What about Quad - I heard they're quite smooth sounding speakers?.
     
  10. Jules Tohpipi

    Jules Tohpipi
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    I think the Quad would be a suitable match for the 753s - fast and clean sounding (no box boom).

    At the time, I think most people judged the ideal partner to be either the KEF Model 90 centre speaker or, better still, the KEF Model 100 centre. Both teamed in very well the floorstanding Missions. Might be worth looking out for a secondhand Model 100 in particular (very popular with the cognoscenti at the time). Or alternatively, a newer KEF. B&W has a very different sound and should be auditioned with care.
     
  11. Keiron

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    Well, I’d consider a pair of Dynaudio 1.3mk2 mains with Dynaudio 42 rears and 42c centre driven by a Rotel 1066 processor and RB985mk2 power as "proper gear". One might argue that it's because I've got "proper gear" that the centre channel is superfluous? :)

    Before you say the front speakers aren't matched, until last week I had Dyn 42 speakers all round (good, but hell the 1.3mk2's are fantastic - keep an eye out for the 42's on the classifieds!) and I still had the same - undecided - opinion.

    Have a look at this here http://www.audioperfectionist.com/PDF files/journal1rl.pdf Specifically go to page 19 where he claims he's never heard a system that doesn't sound better with the centre channel turned off.

    See also here http://www.avforums.com/frame.html?http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132247 for an earlier discussion on this matter.
     
  12. Cmoth

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    The centre speaker is The most important on any given set up. I believe as much as 75% of the sound from properly decoded discs ( DTS, dolby digital etc) is intended for the centre channel / speaker.

    I tend to find ( as recommended by lexicon) that if you set the centre speaker to small and if you have further adjustment available ( will differ with av amps, processors etc) set to 120HZ, then everything below that will filter out to the main speakers anyway. This also ensures that the dialogue is pretty much fixed to your centre speaker as even if your centre speaker is the same as your side ones, if you use the large setting, the overall result is nowhere near as good.

    The only time i disengage the centre, more often than not, is when listening to 5.1 Music DVDS.
     
  13. chrisp1

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    Its tricky really - the default setup on my HK is configured exactly as you say, centre to small, crossover point to 120hz (might be 100hz factory default).

    The trouble is, it sounded horrible like this. It seemed to encourage the hard edge in my 75c and I had to redefine my centre to the 'large' setting. With Prologic 2 for tv broadcasts etc, I found it useful to use the 'music' setting so the sound was more shared with my main speakers.
     
  14. Cmoth

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    I would ditch the mission for a better centre as other people have commented. I used to have the mission a long time ago and I seem to recall i was never that impressed with it then. Go for a KEF 100, they integrate really well and sound much better than your mission. To be honest most dedicated centre speakers dont extend much below 100hz anyway but i would still utilise the small mode at every opportunity.The mission is the first point I would look to address, then go from there!
     
  15. chrisp1

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    Yeah - I think you're right. I might have a listen to a Kef Q9c aswell. I think the main cone in my Rogers is based on a Kef unit and that seems to fit in quite well, so it sounds like the way to go.
     
  16. danny daniell

    danny daniell
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    Try & listen to a Kef 200c.

    Secondhand they go for £300-350 & have a fantastically rich/smooth fathomless sound.My dad uses one with AudioQuest Indigo plus cable & the sound is awesome.There is no need to set this baby to "small"! :smashin:

    Regards Dan
     
  17. chrisp1

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    That sounds tempting. They're huge though arn't they?.

    Actually, I've just been loaned a small JM Labs centre by one of my mates. I thought it was a bit forward and bright, but the top end was certainly smooth. Much better then my old Mission. I can't believe I lived with it for so long :) !!.
     
  18. danny daniell

    danny daniell
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    The 200c is only as high as the 100c but about twice as wide.Honestly mate,i know the type of sound you are looking for & the 200c has it in spades.If you can get to listen to one you will see what i mean.Also the punch is awesome but totally unfatigueing.Kef somehow managed to produce a speaker that is rich,crisp & dynamic all at the same time.Give it a go! ;)

    Regards Dan
     
  19. chrisp1

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    Hmmm - there's an opportunity to get my hands on one in the not too distant future, but I was wondering where you guys generally look for equipment like this?. Anyone know any dealers who might have some Kef 200c's in stock (I realise its out of production)?.

    Thanks for your continuing help.
     
  20. danny daniell

    danny daniell
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    Hi Chris,
    there is one for sale on e-bay now.At the moment the bidding is up to £250,& i think there are four days left.you will also find all its dimensions there.Why not go & have a bid? :thumbsup:

    Good luck,Dan
     
  21. chrisp1

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    Thanks very much for that. Looks like a real monster :thumbsup: !. I'll see if I can get it. Failing that, I may try a want ad in the classifides.
     
  22. Cmoth

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    there is a 100 for sale unless you are not pursuing that?
     
  23. chrisp1

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    Yeah - I spotted that one aswell. The 200 just looks so impressive - I dunno if it would be overkill?.

    I also mailed the guy about the 100, just to enquire about size etc. He came back with bunch of dimensions which don't fit the information I later found on the KEF website. He's also about to move house. That kind of thing always makes me a bit suspicious, but he says he weill accept Paypal, so in theory I should be covered.

    Decision, decisions......
     
  24. danny daniell

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    Chris,beleive me mate,the 200c isnt overkill,just fantastic sound.Dont get me wrong ,the 100 is also superb but due to its size,the 200 performs more like a full range speaker.My dad uses his with Ref Model 4s(which are huge!) & the integration is seamless across the front soundatage.

    Regards Dan
     
  25. chrisp1

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    Heh - you make a presuasive case Danny :) !. I must admit I'm a bit scared of the wife's reaction if I go for the 200.
     
  26. chrisp1

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    That was meant to read 'a persuasive' case, of course :blush: !.
     
  27. danny daniell

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    Chris,sorry mate,i got you so excited about the 200c that you cant spell properly! ;) Seriously,if you go for the 100.i am sure that you will be more than satisfied & we dont want any agro with the Mrs do we? :rolleyes:
    I would be interested to know what that guy on e-bay is going to upgrade to after the 200c as i wouldnt have thought you could get a lot better than that(unless you go for the Kef Ref 202c like i have :D :D :cool: )

    Regards Dan
     
  28. Dfour

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  29. chrisp1

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    The Aelite looks like a lovely piece of gear. I'm still not sure if I should demo a few recent speakers at my dealer - I could get to hear the AE stuff then. Do you have personal experience of the AE stuff?.

    I've run into a potential prob with the 200c. Seller states he wants the item to be collected in person and he's in Bristol - I'm in Sheffield :mad:. There's another ref 100 for sale though.
     
  30. Dfour

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    I own the AE evo centre and evo 3's. Have previously owned eltax and Mordaunt Short speakers and would rate the evo's over all of them:smashin: The new aelite do look superb but my room and wallet arent big enough to get them:(
     

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