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Getting ready to purchase some new speakers. I don't have a large room so I do not plan on using towers. 80% TV/movies/gaming; 20% music. Not sure what brand yet - considering Chane, SVS, Ascend (and XTZ but their website is horrible)

I have been planning on purchasing 3 Center speakers as my LCR's... any reason this is a bad idea? I think I like having 3 identical speakers (I did this in my last theater). I assume (most) center channels have better mid-bass since they usually have two 5.25" or 6" woofers (vs a bookshelf with 1).

Any reason this is not an ideal setup? Or am I better off with traditional L/R bookshelves and a Center for the C? Why don't more people use Centers for L/R? And why don't more sellers promote this concept?
 

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Many center channel speakers have a MTM design and not ideal for imaging. You might be better off going with 3 of these SVS Ultra bookshelf speakers or something like them as the imaging will be substantially better.
 

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I'd have to agree with you, curious that more people do not utilize LCR's. One of my favorite systems consists of 5 LCR speakers.
 

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Center channel speakers are designed the way that they are to produce the best sound possible with the minimum amount of height so that it can fit below or above a TV/Screen. Bookshelves/LCR are designed to produce that best sound possible period.

If every TV was a front projection screen and speakers could be place behind them no speaker company would make a center channel that was different than the Left and Right. They would just make the best speaker possible and sell you 3.

ARX is great as you can get the A1 or A2 but All the brands you mention are great. I will be help with any of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the feedback. Wouldn't the MTM lobbing only be an issue if they are horizontal? But if I have them all vertical - wouldn't that be ok?

I would be happy to get all 5 or 7 speakers as bookshelves - saves some money as they are usually less expensive than the Centers. But it seems at least for the front 3 - having the extra size would be better (and even better to have all 5 or 7 the same).

Looking at Chane A1 vs A2 (since they are mentioned and one of my top candidates) - I would assume (since I haven't heard these in person and so I have to make a guess) the A2 would be a bit fuller and richer since it has two 5.25" vs 1 and the cabinet is larger? I credit Chane - they do say their A2 would be a good main speaker.

SVS (for example) does not list their Centers for LCR duty, or show any pictures of it vertically oriented. Does that mean they are not good at it (maybe the non-symetric box doesn't allow it to stand up properly) and 3 (actually 5) of their bookshelves would be better?

Ascend has the CMT340 - and they specifically call it out as a Main speaker with a different part number (I think only difference is the packaging). Looks great and seems like it would be a stellar performer with dual 6.5" woofers. Seems like 5 of these around the listener would be outstanding - rather than towers, horizontal center, and bookshelves for rears.

How come we never see reviews of speakers like this? (not just here, but magazines, etc). I guess one downside of this approach is that you still need stands - and with this added cost and no real reduction in floor space - I suppose people just gravitate to the towers? Maybe I'm thinking about this wrong and should be considering towers even though I don't have a real large space?
 

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Thanks for the feedback. Wouldn't the MTM lobbing only be an issue if they are horizontal? But if I have them all vertical - wouldn't that be ok?
Sadly no in most cases, by turning them sideways you are not using them in the orientation they were designed for and can cause other issues.
 

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^ correct

The off axis performance of a tweeter is different up and down vs left and right so turning a speaker can really mess things up.

ARX A2 can be turned but you need to turn the tweeter by unscrewing it turning it and re-installing.
 

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There is a bit of a difference between vertical LCR speakers and horizontal center channel speakers. There was a lot of work put into the D'Appolito speaker design and a reason why there are so many excellent speakers out there that use it. Speaker design, driver placement, crossover design, cabinet edge diffraction and on and on and on all play a very important role in how a speaker performs. A well designed speaker is going to perform well no matter.

Here are a couple of reviews for LCRs.
Snell Acoustics LCR7 XL
RBH Sound MC-616C

Problem is that not all MTM speakers adhere to D'Appolito's design.
There are pros and cons to every speaker design. For example a pro for the D'Appolito (MTM) is that the broad horizontal dispersion of sound works very well for multiple seating positions in a home theater environment. And on the flip side, the imaging of a typical (TM) bookshelf may only benefit the person sitting in the sweet spot.
 

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I've run a few different Chane setups over the last 2 years including 2 A1b with an A2rxc center, an all A2rxc LCR setup and A5's with an A2rx center. They are all quite good and when considering the relatively low cost they are REALLY good. The A5 is a little more dynamic and can really belt it out if you have a larger space to fill but the A2 isn't really all that far behind. The A2 is more than capable of chasing a small kiddoes or spouses out of the room when you crank it up!

Overall using the same A2 across the front has worked really well in my setup and I would really recommend it. I am using the center horizontally with the tweeter rotated and haven't had much of an issue. I haven't really seen an issue with noticeably strong difference in response based on seating area that really bad lobing would cause.

Very happy with them but my only complaint is when pointing folks over to this brand they are often out of stock with long delays while waiting for their next shipment. But if your looking for really impressive performance, for not a lot of coin, they should definitely be on your short list.
 

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MTM center channel lobing (when laid on it's side) is only a problem around 30 degrees off axis. Only the people outside of that cone may experience the peaks and nulls that lobing can introduce.

And most of those people are not audio enthusiasts and won't care! :T

Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to get five MTM's and lay one down. Rotate the center tweeter, if needed, and enjoy.
 

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I have been planning on purchasing 3 Center speakers as my LCR's... any reason this is a bad idea? I think I like having 3 identical speakers (I did this in my last theater). I assume (most) center channels have better mid-bass since they usually have two 5.25" or 6" woofers (vs a bookshelf with 1).

Any reason this is not an ideal setup? Or am I better off with traditional L/R bookshelves and a Center for the C? Why don't more people use Centers for L/R? And why don't more sellers promote this concept?
It's an excellent idea. The second paralleled midbass driver in a symmetrical MTM (or "center") adds a whopping 100% to the speaker's capacity where it counts, which is in its foundational efficiency and thermal power capacity. Good driver selection and crossover work can also improve soundfield consistency over a conventional asymmetrical array - over a standard tweeter-midwoofer T/M or M/T.

Wouldn't the MTM lobbing only be an issue if they are horizontal? But if I have them all vertical - wouldn't that be ok?
It certainly would be okay.

Looking at Chane A1 vs A2 (since they are mentioned and one of my top candidates) - I would assume (since I haven't heard these in person and so I have to make a guess) the A2 would be a bit fuller and richer since it has two 5.25" vs 1 and the cabinet is larger?
Exactly. Roughly double the acoustical horsepower, which in HT matters...and that's not including the Chane SplitGap advantage, which nearly doubles again the linear output and can cut distortion by well over half. The A2rx-c gets up and goes.

How come we never see reviews of speakers like this? (not just here, but magazines, etc). I guess one downside of this approach is that you still need stands - and with this added cost and no real reduction in floor space - I suppose people just gravitate to the towers? Maybe I'm thinking about this wrong and should be considering towers even though I don't have a real large space?
The next comment is right on the mark. Rare, but right on, and it lays the ground work to answering your questions.

There is a bit of a difference between vertical LCR speakers and horizontal center channel speakers. There was a lot of work put into the D'Appolito speaker design and a reason why there are so many excellent speakers out there that use it. Speaker design, driver placement, crossover design, cabinet edge diffraction and on and on and on all play a very important role in how a speaker performs. A well designed speaker is going to perform well no matter.

Problem is that not all MTM speakers adhere to D'Appolito's design.

There are pros and cons to every speaker design. For example a pro for the D'Appolito (MTM) is that the broad horizontal dispersion of sound works very well for multiple seating positions in a home theater environment. And on the flip side, the imaging of a typical (TM) bookshelf may only benefit the person sitting in the sweet spot.
All true. While the pure, original D'Appolito array, as implemented by the late John Dunlavy and others, was a specific work with a very specific aim, many MTMs are not of that caliber. They cannot be because the design restrictions are significant.

Instead, most MTMs actually deviate from that ideal setup in the area where it was ideal. Further, conventional wisdom assumes that any symmetrical array - any and all MTMs - must lobe. Untrue, especially considering that every asymmetrical array lobes.

The short version of all this is that the lobing assumption, while true in many cases, is neither exclusive just to MTMs nor is it representative of all MTMs.

Further, a vertical MTM, heard more or less perpendicular to the front baffle and on-axis to the treble component, has no more inherent lobing than a conventional asymmetrical speaker - a bookshelf, or any other T/M - in the same alignment in your space and assuming equally competent designs.

So, put 'em up where you would any other speaker, orient them toward the listener - again, as you would any other speaker - and especially if the design is aimed at not lobing, which MTMs can be excellent at, enjoy a consistent sound field and all that added acoustic horsepower and slashed distortion.

...Assuming the better half lets you, naturally. :foottap:
 

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There is a bit of a difference between vertical LCR speakers and horizontal center channel speakers. There was a lot of work put into the D'Appolito speaker design and a reason why there are so many excellent speakers out there that use it. Speaker design, driver placement, crossover design, cabinet edge diffraction and on and on and on all play a very important role in how a speaker performs. A well designed speaker is going to perform well no matter.

Here are a couple of reviews for LCRs.
Snell Acoustics LCR7 XL
RBH Sound MC-616C

Problem is that not all MTM speakers adhere to D'Appolito's design.
There are pros and cons to every speaker design. For example a pro for the D'Appolito (MTM) is that the broad horizontal dispersion of sound works very well for multiple seating positions in a home theater environment. And on the flip side, the imaging of a typical (TM) bookshelf may only benefit the person sitting in the sweet spot.
I'd also like to add praise to this post. An MTM does not a D'Appolito make!
 

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MTM center channel lobing (when laid on it's side) is only a problem around 30 degrees off axis. Only the people outside of that cone may experience the peaks and nulls that lobing can introduce.

And most of those people are not audio enthusiasts and won't care! :T

Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to get five MTM's and lay one down. Rotate the center tweeter, if needed, and enjoy.
To avoid confusion I should qualify my statement with "may be a problem around 30 degrees off axis".
 
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