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Two quality centres vs Three average?

Evo42

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May 20, 2024
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Trying to solve the solution of LCR between the tv and sideboard in the attached pic for a 5.1.2 set up. I've looked at so many dimensions and specs of centre speakers with the idea of running three in a row. However the solutions are getting bulky and due to the cost it is limiting options particularly as I want around a 5 inch driver so I can I get down about 60hz or thereabouts.

I am wondering if I could just run two better quality centres which reduces the visual bulk and means I can go higher quality. Considering they are not going to extend beyond the width of the tv do I even need three or would say two kef q250c's or q accoustic 5090 or similar work well? Would my Denon avr just split centre sound across both and create the perfect phantom centre or am I better to still keep scratching my head for a three channel solution.

Don't worry I have considered two q150's on their side with the q250c but their depth and size is too much.
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Confusing post - three centers on a Denon receiver? A phantom center split between two centers?

5" driver down to 60Hz? You mean, "down to" in the sense that it can be reasonably crossed over to subs?
 
Sorry the picture is confusing. I had a used def tech passive soundbar that I had purchased but was damaged by the couriers so I am using my rear surrounds on their side so I could at least listen the system in the meantime.

The plan was to run three centres as LCR but wondering if two will do. Essentially L & R with a phantom centre.

I want the fronts to go down to around 60hz so I don't have to compensate by crossing the subwoofer so high particularly as it is located behind the seating area. A lot of the slimmer centres with 4 inch drivers don't go that low.

Hopefully that makes a little more sense.
 
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With 3 speakers, I would just run one of them as a center channel. Use the other 2 as front right and front left.
Yeah. But my query is just about runn two better quality centres as L & R and having a phantom centre or are 3 cheaper ones still better.
 
Yeah. But my query is just about runn two better quality centres as L & R and having a phantom centre or are 3 cheaper ones still better.
The issue with "phantom center" is that it exists only for the person sitting right between the speakers. As soon as you sit to either side, the sound will pull significantly towards whichever speaker you're closer to and not be anchored to the action on the screen. This is why there are dedicated center channels (for multiple viewers).

Also, with your placement of the speakers, there are a bunch of early reflections and combing of the top of your AV cabinet. If you can manage (along with your better KEF speakers) to place them along the front edge of the cabinet, this would help as well.
 
The issue with "phantom center" is that it exists only for the person sitting right between the speakers. As soon as you sit to either side, the sound will pull significantly towards whichever speaker you're closer to and not be anchored to the action on the screen. This is why there are dedicated center channels (for multiple viewers
Thanks. We will be sitting pretty on axis so I thought maybe that might be okay re the phantom particularly with the kef but still a compromise I guess. Although MTM also have axis issues I guess.

My other option is two book shelves on the side and a centre as a compromise but the rabbit hole of why this is also not great is doing my head in trying to understand how bad it actually will be considering we sit basically on axis.The kef bookshelf would be okay for this but they're just a bit too big.


Also, with your placement of the speakers, there are a bunch of early reflections and combing of the top of your AV cabinet. If you can manage (along with your better KEF speakers) to place them along the front edge of the cabinet, this would help as well.
Yes I had wondered about this, I think the best I will be able to manage is sliding forward for movie sessions.
 
Why use center channel speakers for L & R rather than normal bookshelf speakers? If memory of the reviews serves it's far easier to get bookshelves that measure well than a center that does.
 
I'd like to use bookshelf speakers buy they would need to be on their side to fit.
 
Why use center channel speakers for L & R rather than normal bookshelf speakers? If memory of the reviews serves it's far easier to get bookshelves that measure well than a center that does.

I'm assuming it's so that the speakers don't block the bottom of the TV.

OP, two or three Kef Q250c should work great in this scenario. Erin's review of that speaker showed quite good performance. I would avoid the Q-Acoustics, or any non 3 way center, as they're compromised designs.

As for 2 vs 3 Q250s, do you live alone or with a partner/kids? 3 speakers will cost more, but it will work much better for listeners not sitting in the sweet spot. If it's just you and you're always in the sweet spot, 2 speakers with a phantom center will be more cost effective.
 
Using a 60 Hz cross-over with such small speakers might work if you only watch TV/dramas at modest levels...otherwise you'll want to run at least 80 Hz.
 
Using a 60 Hz cross-over with such small speakers might work if you only watch TV/dramas at modest levels...otherwise you'll want to run at least 80 Hz.
Yeah would run at 80hz but just want to make sure the speakers have got that mid bass oomph
 
I'm assuming it's so that the speakers don't block the bottom of the TV.

OP, two or three Kef Q250c should work great in this scenario. Erin's review of that speaker showed quite good performance. I would avoid the Q-Acoustics, or any non 3 way center, as they're compromised designs.

As for 2 vs 3 Q250s, do you live alone or with a partner/kids? 3 speakers will cost more, but it will work much better for listeners not sitting in the sweet spot. If it's just you and you're always in the sweet spot, 2 speakers with a phantom center will be more cost effective.
We will mainly be in the sweet spot and the reality is it is going to be a pretty narrow left right soundstage due to the width. With the avr pushing the centre channel to both speakers would that effectively be creating a wider centre soundstage as they're so close together compared to single speaker in this scenario?

Also if sitting mostly on access is the MTM design such a compromise?

Anyway basically where I have landed with speaker options in Aus to get this point is:

1. 3 x q accoustics 3090 or fyne audio f300c as they're slim and good value but performance perhaps not good enough.

2. Two small bookshelves on their side and a centre such as b&w 607 and htm6 centre( can get a really good price) or the same option but with klipsch.

3. Two better quality centres such as q250f or klipsch rp-500c. Current thinking hence the post.
 
My first thought is the impedance load on the center amp channel. Two would be less problem than three but even two can be a problem. Better off with just a better center speaker, probably a 3-way.
 
My first thought is the impedance load on the center amp channel. Two would be less problem than three but even two can be a problem. Better off with just a better center speaker, probably a 3-way.
Is that due to the centres having multiple drivers and therefore requiring extra grunt to run them?
 
Is that due to the centres having multiple drivers and therefore requiring extra grunt to run them?
Just the impedance load by connecting multiple speakers to a single amp. Not recommended, altho at low volumes may not present an issue.
 
They would be connected to a home theatre amp
 
The avr likely only has one amp channel for the center speaker, what make/model is it?
Denon x1800h. I was just referring using the centre speakers as left and right with the amp running the centre sound to those speakers. A 4.1.2 setup not biwiring the centre channel.
 
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