Author Topic: Five center channel speakers?  (Read 928 times)

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Five center channel speakers?
« on: December 19, 2015, 08:46:20 PM »
Our family room is small-ish, but even worse is that two of the speakers have to go over door openings.   There is only about 8 1/2" of vertical space to work with in those positions.   Right now I am using an Athena Micra 6 HT speaker system.   This is similar to Bose but better sounding for less money.

I am happy with the sound for TV, but find it woefully inadequate for multi channel music, especially when there isn't a ".1" bass channel.   So I started looking at better HT systems with the notion of turning the four satellites on their sides to fit my space.

When looking around and reading specs on systems, I noticed that the center channel speakers had lower stated bass responses.   This seems reasonable to me as they are the same driver compliment just with two woofers instead of one.   So then I started thinking why not just get five of the centers rather than getting satellites and turning them on their sides.   Is there some reason this wouldn't be preferable?   Many of my favorite stereo speakers have been dual woofer designs.

Offline MacGeek

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2015, 07:52:50 AM »
StaL-there are a number of manufacturers that use the same speaker compliment for the surrounds as the center, even the same speaker.  Your idea should work very well
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Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2015, 08:58:27 AM »
Do you know of a good small MTM that is good for music that I could use in this way?   Right now I'm leaning toward saving for five Klipsch RC62s, but am wide open to suggestions.

Offline Jim Pittsburgh

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2015, 09:47:15 AM »
just a few thoughts from my readings and experience regarding HT center channel speakers...

Center channel speakers are, in theory, designed more for voices and a wide dispersion pattern than anything else. The best really do a remarkable job of making voices sound natural and cover the entire listening area.. the worst over emphasized in the highs and are "beamy". All lack bass, unless they make it a point of having bass, powered or otherwise, but these are always large and expensive. The norm is  they are designed to be used with subwoofers. The best still go no lower than 60 htz while most actually, like many little satellites, only go down to only 80 htz to 100 htz.  I've tried four different speakers for a center in what is now my son's living room.... and even the B&W LCR3 sounds pretty poor. In the garage system I tried a single NHT SuperOne for the center channel... the SuperOne are known for good voicing, but ended up having to use two... which itself proves troublesome.

The point here is that centers are usually not good all around speakers... no matter what they say in the specs or advertising.

I'd suggest a couple of things to consider and look at... the first being larger indoor/outdoor speakers... something like the KEF Ventura 5 would work very well in your application and are the right size, have a better dispersion pattern and go down to at least 60 htz .... or secondly NHT SuperOnes or possibly their newer siblings.. any that are rated to voice well. I have less than $50 into my SuperOnes including the wall mounts thanks to Craigslist! Maybe the small Advents? but if I remember correctly they were a bit beamy...
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Offline MacGeek

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 09:59:44 AM »
Good points, Jim.  For the surrounds, most of the concerns about the center don't matter much IMO.  Having a common "voice" helps.  I don't have any particular models in mind, but have been partial to Def Techs and Phase Techs of recent vintage (within the last 10 years).  My favorite older models are the smaller KLH and AR models (6" and 8" two ways), as well as the little Boston A 40s.  I have not used or listened much to horn based models.  Always liked the NHT line.
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Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 10:36:20 AM »
I think it depends on the center.    Paradigm had for a while a model called LCR 450 that was sold ea - you bought as many as teh number of channels you needed.  It worked great,  I had a set of fronts matched to a Paradigm PS1000 sub and it was one of the nicer setups I remember.  They designed a really good center than marketed it for all positions in the field.  Reviews were very positive.

I seem to remember that Paradigm put some design effort into overcoming the dispersion differences between the horizontal and vertical placement.  Eventually I think they dropped the identical LCR thing for speakers w identical drivers but the center used a slightly different cabinet shape (uneven trapezoid) and the drivers in  L and R were not in d'apollito config but woofers stacked and tweeter on top.

This experiment is worth conducting -  you could start with the fronts.  Get a trio of decent centers and see how they sound [I have to believe others have tried this and it is a matter of searching the internet for lessons learned]. 

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Offline F1nut

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 12:35:15 PM »
Another idea since your space is extremely limited. The Polk SurroundBar 9000 is pretty darn good.
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Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2015, 06:16:37 PM »
Another idea since your space is extremely limited. The Polk SurroundBar 9000 is pretty darn good.

For music?   I thought they were even more "theater-centric" than center channels.  My main goal is good playback of surround music in my space.

I appreciate all of the suggestions.   Jim, you got those speakers and those mounts for $50?   That's outstanding!

Offline Jim Pittsburgh

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2015, 08:16:23 PM »
Yep, like anything vintage that you're looking for, it took a while to accumulate them all (at the price I wanted to pay lol) ... went to the Cinci area for 5 of them @ $30.ea... but thought it worth the effort. 
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Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2015, 12:25:32 PM »
Unless something used presents itself, I am now leaning toward five of these...

http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-DV-62CLRS-Channel-Speaker/dp/B00009WBYL

I had a pair of the MT bookshelf version and really liked them.   Now to find brackets rated to 25 lbs that will hold a 20" speaker at a 30 degree angle.

Offline MacGeek

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2015, 06:08:46 PM »
In my last house, I hung a pair of Mac XR 14s using a large lag hook on the wall (into a stud) and stretching a piece of chain between bolts on the back of the speakers.  You should be able to do the same, on a smaller scale for a few bucks a speaker.  The speaker angle can be set by adjusting the depth of the hook, chain positioning or the use of a wood shim.  Cheap, relatively easy and unobtrusive.

I should note, I had to pull the woofers on the Macs to through bolt the chain to their backs, but the speakers weigh in at about 50-55lbs each and are large.  Smaller, lighter speakers should hold a chain with decent wood screws.
MAC C-46 pre, MQ 108 eq, MC 352 amps (2), MR 78 tuner, MCD 500 CD, MPI-4 scope, LS 352 speakers, Sony HDR-F1HD AM/FM/HD tuner, Denon DRS 810 cassette, Denon CDR-W1500 CD recorder, Music Hall MMF-9 w/B&O MMC2, Revox A-77 R to R.

Offline MacGeek

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2015, 06:37:26 PM »
By the way, I highly recommend Toggler wall anchors to hang the speakers on the wall:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hilti-1-4-in-HTB-Toggler-Bolts-with-Philips-Flat-Head-Screw-8-Pack-3512329/204992997?cm_mmc=Shopping|THD|G|0|G-BASE-PLA-D25H-Hardware|&gclid=CPSHuMuN7skCFcETHwodm7gC_A&gclsrc=aw.ds

Various sizes are available at the big box stores and the claimed weight capacity is honest.  I hung two solid walnut CD cabinets, with glass shelves, glass doors and about 300 cds each on my living room wall in this and my last house.  For the speakers, to add a bit more diameter to the screw head and more securely hold the chain, I added a washer between the chain and the machine bolt head.  Or, you can run the machine bolt through a chain link, if they are large enough.

I also attached "feet" to the bottom corners of the speaker cabinets to protect them and the wall.  Felt pads will work for smaller speakers.

Any potential damage to the wall is minimal, amounting to a 1/4 to 1/2 inch hole, which is easily filled with spackle and  covered with some touch up paint.
MAC C-46 pre, MQ 108 eq, MC 352 amps (2), MR 78 tuner, MCD 500 CD, MPI-4 scope, LS 352 speakers, Sony HDR-F1HD AM/FM/HD tuner, Denon DRS 810 cassette, Denon CDR-W1500 CD recorder, Music Hall MMF-9 w/B&O MMC2, Revox A-77 R to R.

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2015, 08:18:00 PM »
I've flown lots of speakers with chain.   I have to be somewhat considerate of the wife and kids.

I used Togglers for my turntable shelf.   They are a nice product.

Offline Jim Pittsburgh

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Clearaudio Performance SEP/Talisman V2 gold,PL XP-15, Onkyo Integra DSP 8.3, Marantz SR6005, KEF Reference 5, KEF Reference 4C,KEF Q900, , Q800, HSU VFT-15H,Emptek DSA250,Krell S1500 #2 Marantz SR6007,  McIntosh1501, KEF Q600, Sunfire NHTsuper1s, Technics 1200 MkII/ Shure V15 xMR, dbx DX5 ,Jolida JD

Offline Sir Thrift-a-Lot

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Re: Five center channel speakers?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2015, 09:32:51 AM »
I think I found a good, inexpensive bracket. Anyone have any experience with these?

http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=6839

 

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