what makes a center speaker different to front speakers?

A

alpina

Guest
hi all,

what im trying to ask why dont people just use 3 of the same speakers up front rather than 2 fronts and a dedicated center?

are there any disadvantages or advantages of using 3 of the same? and if one was to go for 3 bookshelves for eg, could they all be positioned upright or would the centre have to be laid on its side?

cheers,

julie
 

Helicon

Banned
Most people will choose the 'dedicated' centre for the range from the same manufacturer from a visual point of view and because they believe it will sound the same. It won't.
The main drawback to this is that the centre will sometimes use smaller mid/bass drivers or even less drivers, and in most cases lacks the internal cabinet volume making the so called matching speaker sound thinner than the front L&R. This is why dedicated home cinema speaker manufacturers like M&K will always use the same speaker across the front 3, ensuring matching timbre and much more believable panning effects.
For a dedicated home cinema, there is no other way to do it properly.
 
S

skinnyfat

Guest
alpina said:
hi all,

what im trying to ask why dont people just use 3 of the same speakers up front rather than 2 fronts and a dedicated center?



julie

I dont think everyone has the space or the wife:devil: to allow three matching front speakers if you're using floorstanders. It would be ideal to the front three the same speakers esp. seeing as the centre carries the lions share of vocals. Like Helicon says there are manufacturers that do produce a LCR speaker although I think in the M&K S150P's case I believe they look the same but are designated L/C/R for correct dispersion of the soundfield. Correct me if I'm wrong:lesson: :)
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello all

alpina - there are lots of reasons for and against a matching array across the front and as skinnyfat points out Space, Furniture, Display and Screen layout often dictate you have a horizontal cabinet for your Centre Channel.

Some Manufacturers who use the same full range 'Cabinet' for the Centre channel use a different driver array and or 'rotate' the drivers to give you a better 'dispersion' pattern vs. laying a full range floor standing cabinet on its side and getting very little horizontal dispersion.

As Helicon says where your using a Satellite/Sub system then using matching LCR cabinets is a good option - though as skinnyfat suggests even the likes of M&K offer variations on a theme as you can have three 'matching' square S-150 cabinets or a set of 'matching' cabinets where the L and R cabinets have 'toed in' front baffles to focus the sound for near field monitoring.

Other manufacturers take the view that the frequency range directed to the Centre Channel and the Dispersion pattern required in a large room requires a completely different design to your front L and R cabinets and have dedicated Centre channels.

Like most things Audio and Home Theatre the results are very subjective and its good to have all these options - another option that a lot of folk subscribe to being not to have a Centre Channel speaker and instead mix the Centre into the front Left and Right Channels.

Personally what I find most interesting is the lack of attention to choosing a Centre Channel vs. the amount of time folk spend worrying about which sub woofer to use - when I'm using one I find the Centre Channel to be the most critical speaker in my set-up and can forgo a big sub as long as I can hear decent dialogue.

Best regards

Joe
 

russraff

Well-known Member
Personally what I find most interesting is the lack of attention to choosing a Centre Channel vs. the amount of time folk spend worrying about which sub woofer to use - when I'm using one I find the Centre Channel to be the most critical speaker in my set-up and can forgo a big sub as long as I can hear decent dialogue

Absolutely. One can do without the sub or centre channel speaker but, given the choice, I would rather have an excellent centre and no sub than vice versa.

In answer to the original question, quite a few manufacturers cite the centre as an "LCR" model, or Left Centre Right. B&W, Quad and Monitor Audio all maintain that their centre speakers are excellent monitors in their own right, as well as beign good centres.
Personally, I have three Monitor Audio Gold centres up front and there is a seamless transiton between them. It also helps that the cabinets are sealed designs which I find much easier to integrate into a room than ported (specifically rear ported) designs. If a manufacturer has specifically designed their centre speakers to be used as an LCR model then you can safely, space and wife permitting, use identical fronts. To my mind, this is certainly the way to go.
 

Ian J

Banned
Centre speakers are the shape that they are as traditionally they are either perched on top of a TV or on a shelf in a rack underneath it.

My guess is that with the growth of flat screens hung on the wall we will see more and more people using a matching set of three speakers at the front.
 
A

alpina

Guest
say in the case of the boston vr-m60, could you use 3 as my front setup?

regards,

julie
 

Sniper

Active Member
russraff said:
Personally, I have three Monitor Audio Gold centres up front and there is a seamless transiton between them.

Interesting as I was considering this! are the L&R speakers positioned vertically or horizontally? And in the case of your MAs would it matter anyway which orientation you choose?
 
A

alpina

Guest
Sammer said:
In terms of plasma on the wall.


Where would you put the third one then????


on a stand below the plasma - these speakers are pretty small :)

julie
 

russraff

Well-known Member
Interesting as I was considering this! are the L&R speakers positioned vertically or horizontally? And in the case of your MAs would it matter anyway which orientation you choose?

With the d'appolito (I think that's the right spelling) arrangement of cones, tweeter flanked evenly by bass drivers, it doesn't matter. With this arrangement, you are effectively getting a point sound source without the drawbacks of a concentric driver. There will be dispersion differences, but in practice my gold speakers work superbly horizontal or vertical. Like I said, as long as the speaker is in a traditional cabinet you can use them as left and right speakers, too. In fact, I passed on the chance to get some GR10's in favour of the better performing gold centres.
 

Ian J

Banned
alpina said:
say in the case of the boston vr-m60, could you use 3 as my front setup?

If you like the sound that the speakers make enough to buy a pair of them I would say that a third acting as a centre would be the ideal match.
 

Irf

Standard Member
My setup will soon have a fireplace (modern hole-in-the-wall type) quite low, with the screen bottom edge about a foot above it. Then the centre will be horizontal and above th top of the screen. L/R will also be wall mounted, on each corner/side of the chimney breast.

Irf.
 

Sniper

Active Member
Sammer said:
But what if i have a fireplace below?[usng 3 matching combination]

having the cake.... eating it.... not possible!

you'll have to improvise something - but you can't place it on stands, so you'll have to wall mount it if the chosen speaker allows! sealed design should not be an issue, so choose 3 sealed centres for your LCR and that should do it!
 

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