Silly Question(s) (maybe???)


Novice Member
Firstly, I'm not sure if this question belongs in the speaker forum so mods, please feel free to move appropriately!

I dont have a surround setup, primarily due to SWMBO, neither do I have a sub, again due to SWMBO - I had a Velodyne CHT-8 but she was never happy with a 'big grey box' in the corner of the room and never stopped complaining about it. I used this to my advantage and said that I would sell it if I was allowed to buy some decent floor standers that went down low enough in the frequency range to make up for the loss of the sub - she agreed and I bought some MA GR60's - which are fantastic. The GR60's are tri-amped with an Arcam Alpha 9 integrated and a pair of Alpha 9 power amps.

Now I would like to add a MA centre of some kind for watching movies, so the questions are;

1. What is the right / best way to drive the centre?
2. Do I need to buy an AV amp / processor just for this one speaker?
3. Is there a way I can do it using my existing amps?

Thanks in advance :thumbsup:


Well-known Member
I can't answer you specific questions, but to be honest (and I've never had a 5.1 set-up, always 2.0) I've never seen the point of a centre speaker.

Stereo was designed to present a sound field across the plane of the speakers with just 2 speakers, and it does it marvellously in my view.

I get all the detail, soundstage, clear dialogue etc. just from 2 speakers, so I fail to see what a third speaker will give (cue flames!)

I've got similar (although not as much) kit to yourself - Arcam A85, MA GR10

The GR centre speaker is made up of the same drivers as the rest of the GR range, and whilst it would be a tonal match, I'm not sure what three more drivers will add to your existing array of drivers.


Novice Member
Interesting reply that.

I agree with you completely in regards to a good stereo setup being able to produce a clear detailed soundstage with stereo sources. To me, running a centre speaker in some fashion on a two channel setup, would prove to be somewhat pointless.

However, when playing multichannel material, on a setup that encorporates a suitable multichannel decoder/amplifier, not having a dedicated centre can mean that the listener misses out on so much.

Of course you can simply downmix a multichannel source into two channel, negating the need for a decoder, but for that "cinema" feel, a good centre ties everything else together.

Most people seem to be more interested in getting rear surround speakers connected, when in reality the most important speaker is the centre, which gets overlooked.

To keep it short. If you only have/want a stereo setup, then dont bother with a centre speaker. A well setup pair of speakers should be able to give a good image.

If you want a multichannel setup, then I belive a centre speaker is a must, more so than surround speakers.


:Edited bit:

You could run a centre speaker on your setup, but without a decoder/amp it would produce the same output as your stereo pair, which makes it a little pointless in my opinion.

If you wish to add a surround amp/decoder then it can be integrated into your setup so that your stereo amps power the fronts, leaving the surround amp to deal with the centre and rears as separate channels.

Member 96948

Distinguished Member
The point of the center is to tie the dialogue to the center of the screen. This may not be necassary if you listen alone and can occupy the hotspot, but off axis listeners will benefit massively. They'll stop suffering the 'all the sound is comming from the speaker nearest me' syndrome.

It's not possible and perhaps pointless with your existing amps. Yamaha used to make a 3 channel amp/ surround processor which would allow a surround speakers to be added whilst outputing the FR & FL speakers into your existing pre-amp. Great idea as it left the Hifi chain unpoluted. If I remember what it was called, I'll let you know, but I'm sure it was only about £300. It may be a bit long in the tooth though. Shame, I thought it was an excellent idea.



Novice Member
Thanks for the replys guys, all very valid points that pretty much confirm what I was thinking anyway.

@ GW43 - The stereo image is very good on it's own, but when I have the volume of the TV just loud enough to hear there is a perceptible difference (altho' very slight) and it does sound just that bit better. Bearing in mind it is just the TV I thought a centre speaker would that little bit more again. As for the .1 part the GR60's go lower htna my old sub did anyway and the sound from them is way better than what I had before.

@ phils_wicked - My thoughts are similar, very very little point in spending money on a GR centre unless it has a dedicated dialog feed (decoder / amp). I just keep coming back to the fact that the TV sound does give a very slight 'enhancement'

@ russ.will - The dialog source isn't too much of a problem as the speakers are either side of the TV and are a minimum of 9 feet from the nearest seat. As I am more interested in using the GR60's for music than film, the last thing I want to do 'polute' the hi-fi sound but if I could get something that would decode 5.1 and drive a centre channel only that would be ideal - but would depend on cost.

Given all that I'll probably stick with what I have and jsut use the TV as the centre, at least it will save me some cash that I can spend on other things.

Thanks to all!


Novice Member
andye, 7oaks in Swiss Cottage have a ex-demo GRLCR for £200 in their clearance list atm.....even if you end up not being satisfied you will get more or less that back for it second hand...heh

then go grab a second hand 3803 or similar from the forum trade section for a few hundred quid, it'll have the power to drive a GR centre happily and if you should need it power rears again one day and output to a sub when the other half isnt
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