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Home theater questions [message #97500] Mon, 11 March 2024 13:05 Go to next message
steve f is currently offline  steve f
Messages: 238
Registered: May 2009
I've been an audiophile damn near forever. (50+ years) However I never was a home theater guy. I was happy with my 2 channel systems. Lately 2.2.
I've been studying various center channel and surround designs. I don't get most center channel speakers. They just seem wrong. Why lay a WTW on its side?
My other question concerns the surrounds. What frequency range is necessary for proper effects? I'm really interested in a basic 5.2 system, and I don't have a dedicated room. Advice please?
Re: Home theater questions [message #97502 is a reply to message #97500] Mon, 11 March 2024 13:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 18728
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

You're exactly right, Steve. The layout for many center channel speakers is very bad. A horizontal array isn't good for sound quality. It is done solely for convenience and the only reason they sell is most people don't understand why they're bad.

So for me, I always recommend that people either run the same kind of speaker in their center channel as they do for their left and right mains. That usually requires an acoustically transparent screen, with the center channel placed behind it. If that's not possible - like is usually the case with a monitor or television with a hard screen - I suggest running no center channel, and depending on a phantom center instead. It actually works very well when the mains are constant-directivity and their forward axes are crossed in front of the listeners, like works so well for stereo. But a physical center is better, especially if the screen is wide and the distance between right and left mains is far.

As for the surrounds, it's wonderful if those can also be the same as the mains but I find bookshelf monitors are more than adequate. It is best if they are spectrally similar to the mains though. It's not as important that they be as similar to right/left mains as the center channel should be - left/center/right should be matched - but I do find it distracting when surrounds are too dissimilar from the mains. I find it gives a better illusion of reality when all speakers are fairly similar in tonal character.
Re: Home theater questions [message #97794 is a reply to message #97500] Sun, 23 June 2024 14:32 Go to previous message
Madison is currently offline  Madison
Messages: 332
Registered: June 2017
Grand Master
It took a while for me to understand that there isn't a layout that must be followed or a setting that must be implemented for the best experience. There's no real answer. Everything must be tweaked based on your home. Sometimes it's maddening.

I hope you'll come back and let us know how it's going.
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