Should I buy a central channel speaker?

remomoreira

Novice Member
Dear friends, I need your help.
An issue about whether or not I should buy a central channel speaker for my system.
My set is currently a 4.1 (two front speakers + two booksehlves used as surround).
Right away I make it clear that I use the system ONLY FOR MUSIC (I don't watch movies on it).
Besides, I don't mind listening to the singer's voice in speakers other than the central channel one.
Even so, should I still buy this central channel speaker?
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Depends where you sit. If the MLP is off centre, a centre is recommended, especially if you're a home cinema enthusiast.

If you sit equal distance from the left and right speakers then a phantom/virtual centre can work.

The majority of home cinema enthusiasts will always have a centre channel regardless.

However, for stereo music only, its best to listen in stereo as recorded.

So the answer is, no you dont need a centre for music only listening if the source is stereo.

If you have music recorded in multi channel then you might consider a centre if there is dedicated centre channel information.

In fact, if the music is recorded in stereo, you only need stereo, no need for surrounds. I would consider a dedicated stereo amp/stereo receiver. Pound for pound a stereo amp would sound better for music than the same pricer av receiver.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
If you only use stereo the no. And ditch the surrounds. And the av amp and buy a stereo amp too :)
 

password1

Distinguished Member
You didn't say which avr or speakers you currently have.

If it's an affordable or low cost outlay, then you could add a centre if the virtual/phantom centre doesn't make the vocals/speech come from the centre.

Do you have a spare speaker to test how it might sound.
 

remomoreira

Novice Member
I currently use a Pioneer VSX-534 receiver, a pair of Sony SS-MSP16 front speakers, a Sony SA-WP16 subwoofer and a pair of BSA6 bookshelf speakers (thus, a 4.1 configuration).
I´ll follow your advice and get a speaker, with a friend, to test how it might sound.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You do need a multi channel amp for 5.1 music and the centre channel can be very active for lead vocals. This is not always true as a lot of SACDs can be quad recordings and although advertised as 5.1 they are in effect 4.1. Not having a centre you may very well be missing out on soundstage from true 5.1 recordings.

Your receiver is essential for surround sound music but will surely be a let down when you have to play stereo sources. If you use HDMI for surround sound then that is perhaps the worse to convey stereo, an optical connection for stereo music would be better. Better still would be analogue if your player has that ability.
 

remomoreira

Novice Member
Just a curious and polemical point (lol): the very concept of "central channel speaker" presumes one has "central ears" ( in front of a face, not laterally). :)
Has someone ever thought of this? :)
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Just a curious and polemical point (lol): the very concept of "central channel speaker" presumes one has "central ears" ( in front of a face, not laterally). :)
Has someone ever thought of this? :)
by that logic someone with atmos and rear speakers has ears on top of their head and the back of their head? 🙂😁😁
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Just a curious and polemical point (lol): the very concept of "central channel speaker" presumes one has "central ears" ( in front of a face, not laterally). :)
Has someone ever thought of this? :)
My wife has eyes in the back of her head. Doesn't miss a trick. ;)
 

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