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Pioneer SP-C22 Review (Center Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 6.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 41 31.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 71 54.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 11 8.4%

  • Total voters
    131

ROOSKIE

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Thanks for the review.

Out of curiosity and with respect, why list the PIR 1st.
Out of all the beautiful, wonderful actual measurements that help convey the speakers identity why elevate the PIR? It is not even a measurement, rather a prediction.
It certainly is not granular in anyway and may be as dubious as a type of sound summary, as the fabled "50hrz-20khrz +-3db" statement.
My understanding from Toole and co., is that it is a novelty in that in can generally be predicted with fair accuracy from the available data but that to pay very much attention to it is a mistake and misunderstanding of the best ways to understand what we hear.
- That it is not a summary, rather a side dish, one which only works if the main meal and other accompanying tasties are present.

So anyway listed 1st it gives at the impression that it has very high value to you, does it indeed? Thanks again.
 

prerich

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I believe in vertical center channels. I believe in them so much that I designed a speaker stand for my Infinity P-CC that makes it vertical and has an adjustable rake. My son-in-law had the Pioneer at one time - good speaker indeed.
 

Glitch

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Why aren't all center channel speakers D'Appolito crossover?
 

ROOSKIE

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Why aren't all center channel speakers D'Appolito crossover?
Because tall vertical centers rarely fit most installs.

This is not a D'Appolito by the way it is a MTM.

They do have issues when the tweeter is not at ear level even when vertical. See in vertical configs the sound horizontally is great but when a difference between the two M's exists they interact in dubious ways.
You must be at ear level with equal path lengths from each mid in the dual mid MTM or D'Appolito types of design.
 
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Dennis Murphy

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Thanks for the review.

Out of curiosity and with respect, why list the PIR 1st.
Out of all the beautiful, wonderful actual measurements that help convey the speakers identity why elevate the PIR? It is not even a measurement, rather a prediction.
It certainly is not granular in anyway and may be as dubious as a type of sound summary, as the fabled "50hrz-20khrz +-3db" statement.
My understanding from Toole and co., is that it is a novelty in that in can generally be predicted with fair accuracy from the available data but that to pay very much attention to it is a mistake and misunderstanding of the best ways to understand what we hear.
- That it is not a summary, rather a side dish, one which only works if the main meal and other accompanying tasties are present.

So anyway listed 1st it gives at the impression that it has very high value to you, does it indeed? Thanks again.
I'm also having trouble seeing the significance of the PIR. First off, it's virtually identical to the early reflections curve. Is this what you're supposed to hear when listening to the speaker? If so, then why all of grief over horizontal MTM designs? If you're listening on axis or not too far off axis, which is often the case in HT, the sound as represented by the PIR should be just fine. But--if you are listening on axis--why doesn't the PIR weight the on-axis response much more heavily? That would be the earliest arrival. I'm not advocating a position here--I'm just confused by what the PIR is supposed to represent.
 

MZKM

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I'm also having trouble seeing the significance of the PIR. First off, it's virtually identical to the early reflections curve. Is this what you're supposed to hear when listening to the speaker? If so, then why all of grief over horizontal MTM designs? If you're listening on axis or not too far off axis, which is often the case in HT, the sound as represented by the PIR should be just fine. But--if you are listening on axis--why doesn't the PIR weight the on-axis response much more heavily? That would be the earliest arrival. I'm not advocating a position here--I'm just confused by what the PIR is supposed to represent.
It wasn't designed with center channels (or horizontal speakers) in mind, so that's why it's not super applicable, same with the preference rating.
 

beagleman

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I'm also having trouble seeing the significance of the PIR. First off, it's virtually identical to the early reflections curve. Is this what you're supposed to hear when listening to the speaker? If so, then why all of grief over horizontal MTM designs? If you're listening on axis or not too far off axis, which is often the case in HT, the sound as represented by the PIR should be just fine. But--if you are listening on axis--why doesn't the PIR weight the on-axis response much more heavily? That would be the earliest arrival. I'm not advocating a position here--I'm just confused by what the PIR is supposed to represent.
There seems to be some mild obsession (on this forum) against anything that does not have very wide dispersion.

The idea as I understand it, is that any center channel with relatively narrow dispersion, will be utter junk and useless. I am simplifying it and being a bit sarcastic, but as you say Dennis, it should be fine.
 

beagleman

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It wasn't designed with center channels (or horizontal speakers) in mind, so that's why it's not super applicable, same with the preference rating.

I am not sure why it would not though?>

Amir listens with only one speaker to begin with, same as with a center.
I imagine he listens on axis also.....
 

MZKM

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I am not sure why it would not though?>

Amir listens with only one speaker to begin with, same as with a center.
I imagine he listens on axis also.....
But also a center channel is meant to cover a wide range of listeners, and Amir comments one that performance too (which for this speaker he noted that the sound changed noticeably as he shifted over).

For what we hear, vertical have a different level of influence & effect than horizontal, so even though the in-room prediction is good, that's only because the vertical is great, the horizontal will have side wall reflections of totality different tonality.
 

beagleman

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But also a center channel is meant to cover a wide range of listeners, and Amir comments one that performance too (which for this speaker he noted that the sound changed noticeably as he shifted over).

For what we hear, vertical have a different level of influence & effect than horizontal, so even though the in-room prediction is good, that's only because the vertical is great, the horizontal will have side wall reflections of totality different tonality.
I semi disagree.
Center speakers are meant to cover a few listeners at the distances used in HOME theatre.

Anyone sitting far to the left or right, would be RIGHT in front of the left or right channel speaker.
Creating another issue with the sound.

I am not sure where this "Theory" started, but where has it ever been suggested a center should cover a wide left to right sitting position ever??
In fact most stuff I have read, the center should only cover a fairly narrow range in width, to help pinpoint the image to the actual center.

No one should be sitting far to the left or right, as that implies the entire seating position or theatre was not well set up and one is far TOO CLOSE to the screen etc.

This narrow dispersion thing is ONLY an issue if one sits VERY close to the screen and does not allow room for a proper set up.
 

beagleman

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One needs to sit in the red cone area.
If you sit TOO close you are off angle and too close to the left or right speakers.

If a set up is well designed, you will not be far off axis from ANY of the speakers.

The black dashes represent seating positions.
Up close you have ONE ideal spot

Back further a bit 3

and so on......
Sorry guys, I see this MUCH MORE as a poor seating distance and theatre set up issue, than a center speaker issue.
 

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ROOSKIE

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I semi disagree...

This narrow dispersion thing is ONLY an issue if one sits VERY close to the screen and does not allow room for a proper set up.
I understand you are only semi-disagreeing. The thing is a lot of these budget 2way horizontal centers and 2ways that are designed as such for purely aesthetic reasons (small, low profile) are likely often used in small listening spaces. There is where the situation becomes off target.

Toole's book does imply does a center is universally better than no center vs a phantom center for HT, so therefore these poorer performing(off axis wise) centers are likely still relevant.

I deff can see why a very wide center may be a bad idea with all extra room interaction/refection energy. Still it seems a 3-way with tweeter over small mid or coaxial design is better.
 

MZKM

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Center speakers are meant to cover a few listeners at the distances used in HOME theatre.

What do you define as a few?

Many 2-way MTM centers that have been measured have a +/-10 degree sweetspot, which at a 10ft listening distance would put that as less than +/- 1.75ft, so may or may not be just barely enough to cover a 3 seater. I'd say a +/-20 degree sweetspot is good, as that makes it over +/- 3.6ft.
 

Dennis Murphy

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But also a center channel is meant to cover a wide range of listeners, and Amir comments one that performance too (which for this speaker he noted that the sound changed noticeably as he shifted over).

For what we hear, vertical have a different level of influence & effect than horizontal, so even though the in-room prediction is good, that's only because the vertical is great, the horizontal will have side wall reflections of totality different tonality.
But if that's true, why is the predicted room response so smooth? And how do we know how the brain processes those side reflections in relation to the more direct sound? As I've suggested before, listen to a decent horizontal MTM on axis, and then listen with it vertically. Do you really hear a difference? Do you think you can pass a blind test?
 

beagleman

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What do you define as a few?

Many 2-way MTM centers that have been measured have a +/-10 degree sweetspot, which at a 10ft listening distance would put that as less than +/- 1.75ft, so may or may not be just barely enough to cover a 3 seater. I'd say a +/-20 degree sweetspot is good, as that makes it over +/- 3.6ft.


When measured, "Maybe" but do you really believe, that sitting anywhere beyond a 1.75" wide area, the sound becomes bad or very altered??

You are talking the width of literally ONE person?

I think there is some huge disconnect between what is being measured, and what one actually hears in a real room environment.
I can guarantee you, even with the worst measuring MTM the REAL world listening width is more than just 1.75 feet
 

Glitch

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Because tall vertical centers rarely fit most installs.

This is not a D'Appolito by the way it is a MTM.

They do have issues when the tweeter is not at ear level even when vertical. See in vertical configs the sound horizontally is great but when a difference between the two M's exists they interact in dubious ways.
You must be at ear level with equal path lengths from each mid in the dual mid MTM or D'Appolito types of design.

Build center channels with D'Appolito crossovers = excellent horizontal coverage. Am I missing something?

Project MTM.jpg
 

beagleman

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But if that's true, why is the predicted room response so smooth? And how do we know how the brain processes those side reflections in relation to the more direct sound? As I've suggested before, listen to a decent horizontal MTM on axis, and then listen with it vertically. Do you really hear a difference? Do you think you can pass a blind test?

I think you hit the point, that not all measurements are easily translatable into real world listening.
Measuring a center or ANY speaker with one mic pointed straight at the speaker, will give one response, and listening with 2 ears in an actual room will combine the direct and reflected sound from several reflections and homogenize the sound to some extent.

I own center speakers of MTM, 2.5 way and true 3 way, with a tweeter over the mid.

The most surprising thing, is that the unusable sound with the lowly MTM some claim will happen, does NOT REALLY happen in a real room.
 

Beershaun

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I think you hit the point, that not all measurements are easily translatable into real world listening.
Measuring a center or ANY speaker with one mic pointed straight at the speaker, will give one response, and listening with 2 ears in an actual room will combine the direct and reflected sound from several reflections and homogenize the sound to some extent.

I own center speakers of MTM, 2.5 way and true 3 way, with a tweeter over the mid.

The most surprising thing, is that the unusable sound with the lowly MTM some claim will happen, does NOT REALLY happen in a real room.
That is not my experience.
The impact of very narrow directivity is the loss of frequency response and sound off axis. In these cases the voices sound muffled and lower volume. Which means if you are not sitting directly in front of the center you are constantly turning the volume up and down to hear the voices during quieter segments. You want wide directivity so everyone hears the same thing at the same level no matter where they are sitting. On a couch with 3 people that means covering an area of ~9' wide at the listening position.

I had this exact problem with my HT install with my vertical MTM speaker mounted too high above our heads. Once it was moved lower the sound was much better and we were not constantly having to adjust the volume.
 

beagleman

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Pioneer SP-C22 Listening Tests
I set up everything and hit play. I was stunned how good the sound was. My jaw was on the floor seeing how this is a $74 speaker! I go to adjust the speaker and realize that I had not connected the speaker cables to it. Instead I was listening to my Revel Salon 2 speakers!!! :D I connected the cables to the SP-C22 and of course there was fair bit of degradation. The bass was a bit tubby and highs a bit harsher/brighter. Otherwise, the sound was quite enjoyable with extremely good power handling.

I attempted some EQ based on on-axis response and that was not fruitful. Filling the 3 to 4 kHz give the sound a bit more space but made it too bright. I did dial in -2 dB at 100 Hz and that fixed the tubbiness (I happen to have a room mode in that region). Bass was tighter now which I liked.

Horizontal directivity is a problem. Go a few degrees left and right and tonality changes drastically. So definitely not a choice for non-solitary home theater usage.
I hate to ask this, but does that not seem to be a good bit of hyperbole?

a few degrees off axis, and it changes DRASTICALLY?? :eek:
 

beagleman

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That is not my experience.
The impact of very narrow directivity is the loss of frequency response and sound off axis. In these cases the voices sound muffled and lower volume. Which means if you are not sitting directly in front of the center you are constantly turning the volume up and down to hear the voices during quieter segments. You want wide directivity so everyone hears the same thing at the same level no matter where they are sitting. On a couch with 3 people that means covering an area of ~9' wide at the listening position.

I had this exact problem with my HT install with my vertical MTM speaker mounted too high above our heads. Once it was moved lower the sound was much better and we were not constantly having to adjust the volume.

But 9 foot wide.........you would have people sitting right in front of the Left and Right speakers.......How far apart are your left and right speakers from each other??

Would they not hear those far louder as a result?
 
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