Center channel speaker not from same manufacturer as R/L speakers - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 8 Old 09-01-14, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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Center channel speaker not from same manufacturer as R/L speakers

I have been into home theater for number of years and like everyone else, many speakers went through my modest system. And just about everyone agrees with how important for front speakers to be timbre matching particularly center channel speaker. My current two channel speakers are Martin Logan SL3 separate from home theater setup and I am very satisfied with their performance in two channel duty. But when it comes to home theater setup, choosing the center channel speaker was the most difficult task for me.

About 15 years ago, I tried complete set up of Sound Dynamics speaker system but the only model that I liked was their tower speaker Sound Dynamics RTS P100. I specially didn't care for its center speaker. So I got rid of everything except RTS P100 and searched for another suitable center speaker. After many trial and error, I found Definitive Technology CLR 2500 to be the best match for my Sound Dynamics RTS P100 even though they are not from same speaker company. In constant searching for better performance out of my home theater and everyone was saying how important to have timbre matching center speaker, I broke down and tried all Def Tech setup to match with my DT CLR 2500. I was trying real hard to like all Def Tech setup but I guess bipolar speakers wasn't for me in my setup. I sold off all Def Tech speakers except my center CLR 2500. By the way CLR 2500 is not bipolar speaker setup, its more typical center speaker array with powered 8" woofer facing up.

So to make long story short, I ended up with complete mix and match home theater speaker setup.
Front R/L speakers are Sound Dynamics RTS P100, center Def Tech CLR 2500, and two surround pairs are from Aperion Audio Intimus DB5, subwoofer duty is filled with SVS Ultra and DIY sub. This mix and match setup has been in my home theater for number of years and I have no immediate desire to upgrade any of my speakers. It is possible to have very coherent and satisfying home theater experience with mix and match strategy if you are not happy with current center speaker. So don't be afraid to try different center speakers from different manufacturers. In my search for center speakers, I found it is best to hook up center channel only and evaluate its performance. It is easy to be lost and difficult to evaluate center speaker performance when all the speakers are hooked up. As usual YMMV and this is strictly my opinion.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-01-14, 01:19 AM
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The only thing that matters is that you are happy with how your setup sounds. Is it preferred as a point of reference to start out mix matching different speakers from different companies? Short answer is no but that doesn't mean happiness cannot be achieved this way. For most people who have never heard nice surround setups a soundbar will be a marked improvement to tv speakers. To the majority that is good enough.
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-01-14, 01:20 AM
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Re: Center channel speaker not from same manufacturer as R/L speakers

I had ML Sequels for the front pair years ago... I had a pair of Celestion SL3s for the center, BA 60s for the surrounds, and 5 KLH subs. They sounded great together. Now I have JNL 2360a Horns with EVDH1A drivers, homemade bass bins, Klipsch Kp3002 pro speakers for surrounds, Klipsch Industrial HIPs for height channels and rear surrounds, and Danley DTS-10 subs. As you can see I once again have a mix match setup. I think with Audyessy the mix match is better than it was years ago when we just had Dolby Surround. Not to say that it couldn't sound better if it was all matched up, but it sounds great to me the way it is now too. Sometime you just have to go with what you got.


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post #4 of 8 Old 09-01-14, 01:34 AM
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True dat!
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-01-14, 10:39 AM
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As long as your happy that's what counts! Does anyone else hear an echo?
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-07-14, 02:08 PM
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Re: Center channel speaker not from same manufacturer as R/L speakers

It's possible that in movie surround reproduction where you have different "bundles" of information going to separate channels (dialogue/center, soundtrack/fronts, special effects/surrounds), that timbre coherence may not be entirely critical, as opposed to level or timing perhaps. Certainly a scenario where it may be easier to find a "sounds good" mix of speakers.

My home theater spends significant time reproducing multi channel music. I would like to think that for such an application, that matching plays a key role, even to the point that having 5 identical speakers should be considered. May not be practical of course.....
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-09-14, 09:20 PM
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Re: Center channel speaker not from same manufacturer as R/L speakers

Having all matching speakers is over stated. Unless all of the speakers are in the same exact acoustic environment (unlikely), they are going to sound different from one another, anyway. Run a mono signal and pan the balance control from side to side, you'll be surprised how different left can sound from right.

Run what you brung.

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post #8 of 8 Old 09-09-14, 09:31 PM
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Re: Center channel speaker not from same manufacturer as R/L speakers

Ive never had a matching centre channel and have not ever had any issues. The main speakers I have (see signature) dont have a centre that can match. I do want to upgrade my Klipsch but for now it does the job and as has been said already enjoy what you have and pay little mind to what some people in the industry say.

Home theater:
Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
3 EV Sentry 500 monitors across the front, 4 Mission 762i's Surrounds, SVS PB13U sub, Panasonic BDT220, Harmony 1100, Nintendo WiiU
Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

Living room system:
Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
Yamaha KX-393 Tape deck, CDC 805 CD changer, Panasonic BD60, Sony turntable PS-T20
Panasonic TC-P50ST60, HD-PVR & WDTV Live, Harmony 900

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