Does CENTRE speaker have to match front LEFT/RIGHT?

joysleep1

Active Member
Hi Peeps

Looking for some advice in setting up my home theatre. When i first starter my project i was focused on the passive soundbar method so i purchased a 2nd hand monitor audio R one HD.

I never realised how rubbish this was for my room. I have a 13ft by 13ft room and this has no where near enough power to produce good sound. Granted i need a proper left right and centre channel set up.

So i am on the hunt for a floor standing speakers. Ideally narrow the better due to space. Now i can see lots of options for speakers so will be looking for a good pair from various brands.

MA, KEF, DALI, Tannoy, B&W, Jamo , Q-acoustics, POLK and many other well known brands. I am sure i will be happy with any of these as front left and right.

My only concern is that a lot of centre channels that come with these speakers are above 14.0cm which wont fit under my TV. The centre channel is very important to me because i have trouble with dialogue from my current MA R ONE hd.

Would it be so bad if i get lets say MA tower speakers and a POLK centre speaker. But a good powerful one. Lets assume 100-150 watts. I think my current one is like 60 watts or something (no wander is soo pants).

I know its ideal for the front three to be the same but its just logistics are tricky. If this is possible, how can i make sure they match well.?

Please bare in mind, i am not an expert in audio so if there is slight mismatch, i am unlikely to spot it. Also, this set up is purely for TV and movie watching. No MUSIC is going to be used so i dunno if that changes anything

Another question, is how powerful should my centre channel be in specs or WATTS. Does higher the watts automatically mean its a better speaker?
For example, i like the look of the

Polk Monitor XT35C​


If i purchase this, do i really have to resort only to POLK floor speakers as well

(see photo of the set up i am looking to build)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The reason for having all the front speakers from the same model range is to preserve timbre when audio pans across the soundstage. When all three speakers are active the timbre imbalance may draw too much attention to the centre.

There are however members that use different makes of fronts. The centre though is the most active and probably the most important speaker in any set up.
 

larkone

Member
The answer is yes it should match as gibbsy has said. I know because I did have a mismatched centre when I had a surround system and it was horrible and they were not bad speakers per se - Rega RS7s LR and PMC TB1 as a centre, was so much better when I got a Rega Senta - nice seamless soundstage across the front.
 

joysleep1

Active Member
The reason for having all the front speakers from the same model range is to preserve timbre when audio pans across the soundstage. When all three speakers are active the timbre imbalance may draw too much attention to the centre.

There are however members that use different makes of fronts. The centre though is the most active and probably the most important speaker in any set up.
So are you saying the same BRAND automatically ensures timbre matching?
How can i tell that my center is balanced if they are not the same brand?
 

joysleep1

Active Member
The answer is yes it should match as gibbsy has said. I know because I did have a mismatched centre when I had a surround system and it was horrible and they were not bad speakers per se - Rega RS7s LR and PMC TB1 as a centre, was so much better when I got a Rega Senta - nice seamless soundstage across the front.

Ok so basically, i have to pick my centre speaker and ensure the left right are the same brand. It just seems strange that its only the brand that matters and not the actual specs of the speakers. It just makes things harder esp because of my height limitation.

So are you saying if i get a monitor audio pair of left and right, then any MA centre will match rather than a POLK centre for arguments sake?
 

larkone

Member
@joysleep1 The best method is use your ears - sound will not move smoothly and evenly across the front speakers if they are not matched - timbre differences will be apparent
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Another question, is how powerful should my centre channel be in specs or WATTS. Does higher the watts automatically mean its a better speaker?

You don't mention what amp you have but no more watts does not mean better speakers.

60Watts RMS in a room can go pretty loud but if you amp isn't up to it then your speakers will sound rubbish.

How many speakers do you have?
 

joysleep1

Active Member
You don't mention what amp you have but no more watts does not mean better speakers.

60Watts RMS in a room can go pretty loud but if you amp isn't up to it then your speakers will sound rubbish.

How many speakers do you have?
Oh sorry about that


I am using a denon X2600H. I assume this is power enough to handle the speakers i need.

I use MA radius 90s as my rears and they are nice so want to keep them as it is
 

joysleep1

Active Member
Oh sorry about that


I am using a denon X2600H. I assume this is power enough to handle the speakers i need.

I use MA radius 90s as my rears and they are nice so want to keep them as it is

So what does the watts mean in terms of speaker, how can you tell one speaker is more louder than another?
I can only go by the power stats because that makes the most sense to me
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
I don't think they do, as long as good sounding speakers. I've just swapped my Celestion a4c with kef 200 and it sounds fine with the Celestion a speakers.
 

joysleep1

Active Member
I don't think they do, as long as good sounding speakers. I've just swapped my Celestion a4c with kef 200 and it sounds fine with the Celestion a speakers.

Hmm its a tough one cos i dont want to get it wrong. It is a subjective matter so i guess there is not always going to be a right or wrong.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Sorry just realised it is a combined unit.

The wattage on a speaker is how much incoming power it can handle. It does not indicate the quality of a speaker.

However, sensitivity is how loud a speaker will go for a given power. Again though it doesn't indicate the quality of a speaker.

So some speakers will be significantly louder at a given power output of an amplifier. In your case

Sensitivity ([email protected])​

C: 90 dB
L/R: 87dB


It's a bit like buying a car, if you were to purely buy it on the size of the engine then that wouldn't tell you how it drives or actually how quick it is 0-60 or good at braking etc.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
So what does the watts mean in terms of speaker, how can you tell one speaker is more louder than another?
I can only go by the power stats because that makes the most sense to me
It's not the watts that really matter. The figures you should look at with speakers is their ohm rating and sensitivity. The higher the sensitivity of the speaker then the easier they will be for the amp to drive. There is a caveat in that in that some speakers dip really low, many down to 3.2 ohms. This is where the amp is important as it has to sustain and quickly recover from that quite substantial drop.

The size of the room also matters. The bigger the room the more air that has to be moved to achieve a useable volume.

The X2600 will drive the majority of speakers in a normal sized room. The main thing with AV amps is ventilation when using 4 and 6 ohm speakers. The unit will run pretty hot and care should be given to the placement of the Denon to avoid repeated safety shut downs.

As for speakers in the surround positions then using different make and model is acceptable as these speakers do not carry as much information and any imbalance will not be so apparrent.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Hmm its a tough one cos i dont want to get it wrong. It is a subjective matter so i guess there is not always going to be a right or wrong.

It just depends, if you get a high end center for good price say kef 204/c for £300 compared to matching kef q I'd rather have the 204/c

I had kef q mains and kef 200 center that was much better than q center, and had Celestion a3 with kef 200 for a while now have A3/a4c but still have the kef 200 so able to swap back and I don't notice any change. In fact the kef has bigger midrange driver so possible it's better..also with rew like feature in my AV I get 5khz dip in my a4c
 

joysleep1

Active Member
So by having MA radius 90s as my rears, am i forced to only using MA for my front 3 now?

Do the surrounds really impact with this timbre matching issue
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
So by having MA radius 90s as my rears, am i forced to only using MA for my front 3 now?

Do the surrounds really impact with this timbre matching issue

No not really. You're paying attention to the front


Now if you get totally different speaker like soft fronts and harsh horn rear then likely. But then room EQ could tone that down or you could manually adjust rears with HF filter
 

joysleep1

Active Member
No not really. You're paying attention to the front


Now if you get totally different speaker like soft fronts and harsh horn rear then likely. But then room EQ could tone that down or you could manually adjust rears with HF filter
Hmm I am not sure i know how to do HF filter.

But then what would you say is opposite speakers. Which ones do you have to avoid mixing?

Also, there are hardly any MA center speakers with a height less the 14.0cm so it makes it really tricky to match.
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Hmm I am not sure i know how to do HF filter.

But then what would you say is opposite speakers. Which ones do you have to avoid mixing?

Also, there are hardly any MA center speakers with a height less the 14.0cm so it makes it really tricky to match.

You don't want tiny speakers,.as that means limited driver siD and frequency response. Whatboi these and rotate?

 

joysleep1

Active Member
It's not the watts that really matter. The figures you should look at with speakers is their ohm rating and sensitivity. The higher the sensitivity of the speaker then the easier they will be for the amp to drive. There is a caveat in that in that some speakers dip really low, many down to 3.2 ohms. This is where the amp is important as it has to sustain and quickly recover from that quite substantial drop.

The size of the room also matters. The bigger the room the more air that has to be moved to achieve a useable volume.

The X2600 will drive the majority of speakers in a normal sized room. The main thing with AV amps is ventilation when using 4 and 6 ohm speakers. The unit will run pretty hot and care should be given to the placement of the Denon to avoid repeated safety shut downs.

As for speakers in the surround positions then using different make and model is acceptable as these speakers do not carry as much information and any imbalance will not be so apparrent.


Hi

Thanks for that. Interesting.

In regards to heat, I should have no problem as i have fans near mine to keep it cool.

Now in regards to the OHMS rating. Is there a correlation between sensitivity and OHM rating.

So is a lower OHM rating a better speaker than a higher one?
When you say bigger the room and more air. What is the statistic for that in terms of air movement?
 

joysleep1

Active Member
Sorry just realised it is a combined unit.

The wattage on a speaker is how much incoming power it can handle. It does not indicate the quality of a speaker.

However, sensitivity is how loud a speaker will go for a given power. Again though it doesn't indicate the quality of a speaker.

So some speakers will be significantly louder at a given power output of an amplifier. In your case

Sensitivity ([email protected])​

C: 90 dB
L/R: 87dB


It's a bit like buying a car, if you were to purely buy it on the size of the engine then that wouldn't tell you how it drives or actually how quick it is 0-60 or good at braking etc.
Wow man. never knew speakers can be so complicated. Getting your head around this stuff is time consuming
 

rccarguy2

Distinguished Member
Can't you fit slightly bigger center?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
13x13ft I take it. That's not a big room. Why not consider quality left and right speakers and forget the centre. Configure the Denon as 4.1. You'll easily achieve a good listening point in the room. If you do feel you need a centre then that can come at a later date. I'd rather not compromise on a poor centre that is mis-matched but prefer the stereo front soundstage route.
 

joysleep1

Active Member
13x13ft I take it. That's not a big room. Why not consider quality left and right speakers and forget the centre. Configure the Denon as 4.1. You'll easily achieve a good listening point in the room. If you do feel you need a centre then that can come at a later date. I'd rather not compromise on a poor centre that is mis-matched but prefer the stereo front soundstage route.

Hi

Sorry i apologize about the dimensions of the room. Its a 6 meter by 6 meter extension.
So my sofa to the TV is about 5 metetrs. (about 16ft)

Surely, i would need a center tho regardless, how would i achieve good sound without a center speaker esp with dialogue.

I see what you mean with the mis-match. So as a rule of thumb, if you stick to the same brand in the front 3 then you have no issues right?

I just wish MA made centre channels that are more slimmer.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung S95B Update, B&W Panorama 3 & Q Acoustics Reviews, HDR PQ EOTF/Gamma Calibration Discussion
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Netflix confirms ad-supported option is on the way
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Rotel announces 60th Anniversary Diamond Series Hi-Fi duo
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Paramount+ launches in the UK and Ireland
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Hisense launches A9H 4K OLED TV
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
What's new on UK streaming services for July 2022
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom