Really high center speaker? - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 9 Old 12-11-11, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Really high center speaker?

Hello All,

I am contemplating purchasing an actual center speaker for my 3.1 (no surrounds) home theater. Currently I am using a Martin Logan Motion 4 as the center because it is the only speaker that will fit next to my tv (refer to below image).

I have B&W 685's for mains and really like them. I would like to get something for the center which is pretty similar in sound. It is not so much that the ML Motion4 is bad, quite the contrary it is very good considering its size, but it is lacking in the lower mid-bass spectrum for which a center channel needs to perform well.

My question is can I mount a speaker above the tv (i.e. to the ceiling, slightly angled down)?

My first concern is being that the TV is in a corner I would be placing it in a corner^squared because it would be in a corner from both walls and the ceiling. Would that still be better than using a small center channel speaker?

And what if I told you that I have a Pioneer receiver with MCACC (Pioneer's version of Audyssey style auto-equalization)?

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post #2 of 9 Old 12-11-11, 08:48 PM
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Re: Really high center speaker?

That is the worst place to put a speaker since it will excite all the major room modes. In addition, I have been told that MCACC in most Pioneer AVRs will not eq the bass, anyway.

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post #3 of 9 Old 12-11-11, 09:03 PM
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Re: Really high center speaker?

Kal Rubinson wrote: View Post
That is the worst place to put a speaker since it will excite all the major room modes. In addition, I have been told that MCACC in most Pioneer AVRs will not eq the bass, anyway.
Unfortunately, all of those things are the case. An AVR with Audyssey MultEQ on up would help, but I would not expect a dramatic change at that current location.

Speakers: Martin Logan Vantage (Mains), Martin Logan Stage (Center), Martin Logan Vista (Surrounds), Martin Logan Montages (Surrounds) Hsu Research VTF-15h MK2, Martin Logan Descent i (Subwoofer)
Amplification: Aragon 8008bb, Parasound HCA-3500, Parasound HCA-2205 AT, Parasound HCA-1000a
AVR/SSP: Denon AVR-4520CI
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-11-11, 09:57 PM
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Re: Really high center speaker?

What is the -3db rating for your speakers. Between your speakers and sub, you shouldn't be lacking in the lower mid-bass. I wouldn't cross the sub above 100hz, but surly your bookshelf speakers can do that? I hope.

IMO, it would be better for you to just do 2.1. I don't see any place to put a center channel with your setup without be being so far from optimal, I don't think it would be worth doing.
post #5 of 9 Old 12-14-11, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Really high center speaker?

I have tried 2.1 but because the TV is so high it sounds disconnected from the sound.

And it is not too bad, but the center is just missing the "warmth" that my mains have when it comes to voices. The Martinlogan Motion4 only has a 4" speaker so in the end I can't expect it to hold up as well as the 6.5"-ers in my mains. The ribbon tweeter it uses really does produce a smoothness to the higher end, though so that is nice. If I could only combine the sound of the B&W woofer and the Martinlogan tweeter...

Overall, that is pretty much what I was expecting to hear, and besides it will be better for my wallet (and wife) to keep the status qua.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-18-11, 09:45 PM
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I'm going to give you a slightly different answer than the ones above. It is true that MCACC does not to EQ subs... But it certainly does EQ down into the 63hz range. At least my Elite does. The only time it doesn't EQ into 63hz is if your speakers are set to small and your crossover is set to >= 80Hz.... In that scenario that frequency is removed from your advanced EQ controls.

Secondly, EQing a sub can work to some degree. But anyone telling you that you can EQ major issues in the low frequencies is kidding you. I have a BFF frequency destroyer EQ-ing my sub and that works to a degree. The real magic is in managing the physical space of your room or altering how sound interacts with your room through absorption/diffusion. I would also say the same about MCACC. It does work to a degree-- but in all
Of my tweaking the best and most notable impact came from absorption/diffusion.

Not trying to knock MCACC -- just being realistic.

That wasn't really what you were asking about though...

My answer to your question is: yes, you could certainly find a creative way to mount a larger center channel over your tv. [[***edit**** the picture wasn't working when I wrote this. that is a pretty tight space. If I were you I'd look at ways to get the center channel under your tv, if possible... and mount the TV up a bit.]]
Where there's a will, there's a way.

In terms of the room acoustics... That's a different story. But, you won't really know what you've got... Or how MCACC might effect it, until you try it.

Worst case: buy a center channel you are interested in.... jury-rig it to see how it sounds. If you like it, then find a permanent mounting option. If you don't like it, return it.

That's what I would do if I were you.

At the end of the day, every room is unique. You'll need to do some exploring to see what you can get out of it. It could very well be that a real center channel
Would be a disaster. But what happens if it's not? Perhaps it would be just that much better than what you have - even if not ideal?

Last edited by Todd Anderson; 12-19-11 at 08:39 AM.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-18-11, 09:48 PM
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LOL... I meant "BFD"... Not BFF. :-). Although I'd do like the frequency destroyer!

Silly iPhone autocorrect!
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-19-11, 01:20 AM
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Re: Really high center speaker?

My suggestion, would be as follows:

You will need to start with speakers that have controlled vertical off axis response. In essence, anything that isn't a synergy horn or coaxial probably need not apply.

Second, you will want to wall-mount a pair of speakers to the sides of the television, aimed slightly downward. It will need to be speakers voiced for wall-mounting - typical stand mounts will have too much lower midrange.

One such example of a speaker that fits the above criteria, might be this:

Mounted alongs the walls, they'll probably crossfire in front of you slightly, which is the preferred orientation anyways.

Third, you will want to roll in multiple subwoofers to smooth out room modes below 120hz.

As for the 685s, place them elsewhere for music-only... though they're a good way to fund other things... dot dot dot
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-21-11, 11:23 PM
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Re: Really high center speaker?

Okay a couple simple solutions; try to mount your center on the front of the mantle below the tv. Don't even try to get anything below 120hz from your center in that location. Set the crossover higher on the center. Let the mains and the sub handle the lows for the center channel. If you get them to blend well you'll never notice that the bass isn't coming from that speaker. Make absolutely sure everything is in phase, this is the most crucial part of integrating dissimilar speakers. and don't assume that just because all the wires are red to red and black to black that everything is in phase. Try switching it and listening. And believe it or not, the "warmth" of the sound is not in the mid bass, it has more to do with the 300-800hz region. Just a few suggestions.
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