Question Is my weird 3.1 setup letting me down?

PocketTim

Novice Member
Hi all, long time lurker first time poster. I'm really struggling with my set up right now and need some advice.

Equipment:

  • TV: Samsung the Frame 2020 65"
  • Amp: Denon AVR-X250BT
  • Left and Right: Wharfedale Denton's 85th Anniversary
  • Centre: Cambridge Audio Minx Min 22
  • Sub: Wharfedale SW-150

Aesthetic and room layout has been a major driving force in what I'm currently using. My house is from the 1600's and whilst 5.1 probably is achievable, 7.1 and atmos are completely off the table.

We've been running with 2.1 for quite a while now but as a tinnitus sufferer I struggle with dialogue and a centre channel is a must hence why I've introduced a centre for 3.1 setup. The Min 22 is a very recent addition. Previously we've had a Monitor Audio Radius 225 (physically too big), a Wharfedale CS 9 (ugly as sin). I also found that the MAR and the Wharfedale were too hungry no matter how I configured the set up and totally drowned out the L and R. I appreciate that 80% of the audio in DD etc comes from the centre but it was too much.

The current setup seems to work ok but I'm now wondering if the left and rights are too much for the centre? I don't have a huge amount of budget but I'm seriously tempted to drop the Denton's and fit the entire room with the Minx Min 22's (they are the only speakers I can get an ok for from the other half aesthetically) but after the richness of the Denton's I'm wondering if I'll be left wanting?

Alternatively I was thinking of adding the Cambridge Audio cubes to the rear and then just settling on that but dropping the Denton's would give us a little more space at the front for room configuration, also I could wall mount them for ear height.

Controversially I'm more interested in what sounds right over what sounds best. I have to do all of this by ear as my AVR doesnt have any Audessy capability and I don't have budget to upgrade it and the speakers.

Would appreciate your advice. I guess what I really want to know is is this current imbalance of speakers a major negative?
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Hi, welcome to avf,

The minx 22 is weak compared to the Dentons, for a start it lacks depth so you'd need to set the subwoofer crossover point relatively high to compensate. I would run 2.1 with a phantom centre rather than a mismatched centre but it's what sounds better to you. Alternatively look for a better centre if you have the space.

Mismatched centre is not a negative if panning and timbre matching isn't important.
 

PocketTim

Novice Member
Hi, welcome to avf,

The minx 22 is weak compared to the Dentons, for a start it lacks depth so you'd need to set the subwoofer crossover point relatively high to compensate. I would run 2.1 with a phantom centre rather than a mismatched centre but it's what sounds better to you. Alternatively look for a better centre if you have the space.

Mismatched centre is not a negative if panning and timbre matching isn't important.
Thanks for the advice on the crossovers...I didn't realise I could adjust crossover for the centre channel until I checked again when running through everything and I probably wouldn't have gone back into that menu had you not brought it up.

I've set it at 150hz for the Centre and left the Denton's at 80hz as they were on that frequency anyway and that's been giving me a nice roll off. My sub LFE is at 120hz however with the next increments being 150 and 200, I'm not quite sure I understand what that is for. If my L,R & C are set to drop off at their set crossover frequencies, what does the LFE frequency equate to? I've checked the manual for the Denon Amp but I find their naming of things is often far removed from industry standard terms at times. I'm also running at LFE+Main which I believe means the sub will work against all speakers and pick up bass where the other speakers can't and not just the LFE track is present....correct?

Following your advice I've also decided to leave the amp on direct mode on all sources and just let it handle the decoding wherever possible, this is resulting in stereo for a large amount of time anyway and I'm finding stereo encoded content sounds great that way. I can force prologic if I have to but seem to be doing ok without it.

When the centre is active it seems to be fitting in quite well, I'm still having to play with the levels a little and can't seem to get the centre to blend as nicely as I'd like but this is probably due to the mistmatch. It's a real shame I don't have an amp with any form of auto-calibration as it would be useful but maybe when I get to introducing the rear speakers I can re-assess this.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Your sub's quoted frequency response goes up to 110hz and the quoted 120hz of the minx 22 means there is is a dip of gap.

Settings the centre at 150hz means there's a huge gap missing or at least trough. I would experiment with and without a centre.
 

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